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  #61  
Old 01-23-2017, 08:46 PM
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Today I began working on the right side of the cowl area which contains a bracket that holds fuse blocks and relays. My first inclination was to clean it in place but I could soon see that would be very difficult. So I took it all apart. Once I had the bracket clean I could see that it needed to be refinished. It is now at the refinishing place. I am looking for a cover for one of the fuse blocks because one is missing.



The bracket is held to the firewall with two screws. Each of the fuse blocks is fastened to the bracket with two screws. I took a bunch of photos to make sure I re-attach the wires correctly. After taking the photos and removing the wires from the fuse block, I zip tied the wires together for each fuse block. Should make it easier to put everything back together.
















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  #62  
Old 01-23-2017, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TZ_280SEL View Post
Also keep in mind, almost nobody in business knows how to align these front end.
I've been doing my own alignments for over 10 years after getting poor results from severla shops. All one needs is a level surface, a digital level and tape measure.
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1972 280SEL 4.5, silver
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  #63  
Old 01-24-2017, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerhofer View Post
Here's the link to the PDF file I found. I printed this file and then used photoshop to prepare the images. It's the best I could do.
http://alabbasi.com/backup/RandT280SEL.pdf
Thanks, printed fine and added to my file on the 280 SE 4.5.
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  #64  
Old 01-24-2017, 05:40 PM
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I worked on the right side of the engine compartment today. I did find some rust that would have been under the battery tray. It is surface rust which I will treat with POR 15. Probably due to brake fluid leakage, there is also an area where the paint is gone under the brake booster on the other side.

As you can see in the photos, the covering on the wiring harness was also harmed by the battery acid. I used some convoluted tubing to protect those areas. I didn't have time to do any polishing of the painted surfaces today.

















Gratuitous garage photo!


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  #65  
Old 01-24-2017, 06:51 PM
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Looks like someone relocated the AC drier. The original ones are a weird size and are hard to find.
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1972 280SEL 4.5, silver
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  #66  
Old 01-24-2017, 07:11 PM
1973 280SEL 4.5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vandor View Post
Looks like someone relocated the AC drier. The original ones are a weird size and are hard to find.
+1

Facing the front, it should be to the far left of the auxiliary fan.

While I still have the original using R12, the elongated driers are now available from Bud's Benz.
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  #67  
Old 01-24-2017, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vandor View Post
Looks like someone relocated the AC drier. The original ones are a weird size and are hard to find.
What is strange to me is that it does not have a bracket. I am looking for one. I assume it may have been changed and relocated when the system was converted to 134a over 20 years ago. There is a line coming from the firewall that goes through an adapter line before it attaches to the drier.

I didn't know the drier was there until I removed the ECM bracket. It evidently was just wedged into that area.
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  #68  
Old 01-28-2017, 11:30 AM
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Your attention to detail is meticulous and incredible. You and http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/members/280se-guy.html must be kindred spirits. I still want to see his car in person so badly, it is the most pristine example I've seen so far. When you're done, if you do put the effort into it he does, you will have the nicest 4.5 most likely!
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Previous: 1972 280SE 4.5 "Quicksilver", 1992 Jeep Cherokee Laredo "Jeepy", 2006 Charger R/T "Hemi"
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  #69  
Old 01-28-2017, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomguy View Post
Your attention to detail is meticulous and incredible. You and http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/members/280se-guy.html must be kindred spirits. I still want to see his car in person so badly, it is the most pristine example I've seen so far. When you're done, if you do put the effort into it he does, you will have the nicest 4.5 most likely!
Thanks for the kind words. I had previously been on your site and think it is great. It's one of the first places I visited after I bought the car.

The work has been on a hiatus the past three or four days as I had a project to do on my motorhome. Since the weather is supposed to be nice for the next week or so, I cleaned up our daily drivers today.

It is cool here today so I washed the cars in the lower garage with the lift. That's also where the furnace, TV and sound system are. To give me a bit more head room (and to avoid hitting said head on the low hanging tires), I removed the wheels and tires today. I had a balance issue on the drive home so I cleaned the wheel and tires so I can haul them to the tire place and not make a huge mess in my station wagon.

The exhaust needs to be replaced. On eBay I found a used Borla stainless steel exhaust for a 4.5. It is in the stock configuration and in very good shape. It was also cleaned up today in preparation for its installation.

In Microsoft Access I created a database containing all of the service records that I have for the car. Those date back to 1991 when the second owner purchased it with 96K on the clock. The very first record is for a PPI done prior to purchase. The second record is a work order fixing those issues found on the PPI. The car was sold in 2015 so the guy owned it 24 years. The total dollar figure for the 24 years was $48K and change. So his average cost per year was about $2K.

The most interesting part of entering the information was how the costs have changed. The same shop was used for most of the repairs over that period of time with the hourly rate going from $45 per hour to $90 per hour. But the cost of the oil filter remained at $9.35 until about 2005 when it went to $11. However, the third owner (the guy I bought the car from) was only charged $10.50 for an oil filter back in December, 2016.

The oil of choice over all of those years of ownership was Pennzoil 10W40. There were many oil changes over the years. The third owner used Valvoline synthetic. I may go back to Pennzoil the next time I change the oil just for old times sake!!

Now that I have the data very accessible, I will take the time to hit some highlights on a future post. My impression was that the second owner fixed whatever needed to be fixed. The one thing that is not there is a bill for a paint job. There is an estimate for $2800 for rear end accident damage in the year 2000 and there is a reference in one of the service bills about taking the car to the body shop for repair. But no bill.

Another quirk happened in the year 2000. If you recall, there was much consternation about what would happen with computer dating during that year. Evidently it affected the computer at the repair place. I had placed the work orders in a three leaf binder in order. As I came upon three entries for the year 2011, I discovered a discrepancy in the mileage figures. After looking over the entire work order, I found where someone had hand written the date of the receipt of payment and it was in the year 2000. I made some notes on the affected work orders for future owners.
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  #70  
Old 01-28-2017, 10:37 PM
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Using synthetic oil in an older car that has never been run on synthetic often results in oil leaks.
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  #71  
Old 01-29-2017, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vandor View Post
Using synthetic oil in an older car that has never been run on synthetic often results in oil leaks.
That's another reason I am going back to non-synthetic.
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  #72  
Old 01-29-2017, 04:28 PM
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Highlights from the service records

Below are some highlights from the service records.

174K-1/17 - Current mileage

174K-1/16 - Speedometer repair

172K-3/15 - New set of Michelin tires

170K-5/11 - New plugs, valve adjustment, inspect chains and guides, adjust timing and fuel ratio, replace fuel hose at rear of car, new battery (still in the car)

168K-3/09 - replaced alternator

166K-8/07 - Replaced driver's door window regulator, installed new driver's door window

165K-7/06 - Resealed transmission, replaced rear main seal, replaced transmission cooler hoses & PS hose, new radiator core, Sealed PS box

164K-5/05 - Replaced windshield with PPG unit, new windshield seal (The seal cost more than the windshield!!)

159K-1/05 - replaced exhaust manifold gaskets, installed electronic ignition, replaced swing axle boot

157K-12/04 - replaced both rear brake calipers & pads, replaced front pads and sensors, installed new rear wheel bearings, replaced rear brake hoses, replaced both front door weather strips

153K-8/04 - Replaced fuel tank sending unit, replaced brake booster vacuum line, installed new heater control wheels

148K-7/03 - Replaced throttle valve & switch, replaced brake booster, replaced AC compressor, drier, expansion valve, replaced front flex disc, installed radiator mounting kit, replaced all fuel hoses

141K-12/00 - replaced rear shocks and hydraulic compensator, installed sub frame mounting kit, replaced front springs, installed new exhaust system, replaced driver's door check, Replaced RF window regulator

138K-6/00 - resealed PS pump

136K-7/99 - replace brake master cylinder

135K-6/99 - Valve job on heads, replaced timing chain and guides, replaced AC blower motor

131K-7/98 - replaced steering damper, tie rods

127K-6/97 - replaced fan clutch

8/96 - New leather and pads for front seats, new rear seat foam

114K-7/96 - Replaced auxiliary fan

107K-6/95 - Replaced ECU, converted to R-134a, replaced all AC hoses, drier

102K-6/94 - Replaced water pump, belts, radiator, thermostat
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  #73  
Old 01-29-2017, 07:59 PM
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Damaged Paint

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerhofer View Post
Below are some highlights from the service records.

174K-1/17 - Current mileage

174K-1/16 - Speedometer repair

172K-3/15 - New set of Michelin tires

170K-5/11 - New plugs, valve adjustment, inspect chains and guides, adjust timing and fuel ratio, replace fuel hose at rear of car, new battery (still in the car)

168K-3/09 - replaced alternator

166K-8/07 - Replaced driver's door window regulator, installed new driver's door window

165K-7/06 - Resealed transmission, replaced rear main seal, replaced transmission cooler hoses & PS hose, new radiator core, Sealed PS box

164K-5/05 - Replaced windshield with PPG unit, new windshield seal (The seal cost more than the windshield!!)

159K-1/05 - replaced exhaust manifold gaskets, installed electronic ignition, replaced swing axle boot

157K-12/04 - replaced both rear brake calipers & pads, replaced front pads and sensors, installed new rear wheel bearings, replaced rear brake hoses, replaced both front door weather strips

153K-8/04 - Replaced fuel tank sending unit, replaced brake booster vacuum line, installed new heater control wheels

148K-7/03 - Replaced throttle valve & switch, replaced brake booster, replaced AC compressor, drier, expansion valve, replaced front flex disc, installed radiator mounting kit, replaced all fuel hoses

141K-12/00 - replaced rear shocks and hydraulic compensator, installed sub frame mounting kit, replaced front springs, installed new exhaust system, replaced driver's door check, Replaced RF window regulator

138K-6/00 - resealed PS pump

136K-7/99 - replace brake master cylinder

135K-6/99 - Valve job on heads, replaced timing chain and guides, replaced AC blower motor

131K-7/98 - replaced steering damper, tie rods

127K-6/97 - replaced fan clutch

8/96 - New leather and pads for front seats, new rear seat foam

114K-7/96 - Replaced auxiliary fan

107K-6/95 - Replaced ECU, converted to R-134a, replaced all AC hoses, drier

102K-6/94 - Replaced water pump, belts, radiator, thermostat
I will be excited to see how you tackle the damaged paint in the engine compartment. That is the very worst thing about my 108 as well. I was thinking a touch-up gun with the original color but just haven't pulled the trigger.
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  #74  
Old 01-29-2017, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Foreste2002 View Post
I will be excited to see how you tackle the damaged paint in the engine compartment. That is the very worst thing about my 108 as well. I was thinking a touch-up gun with the original color but just haven't pulled the trigger.
On the day after I cleaned up the right side of the engine bay, I coated all of the rust areas with POR 15. This product is meant to be applied directly over rust to seal the area. When dry, it has a very hard, durable finish. I had some left over from a previous project. I applied it with a brush being sure to make sure it was thoroughly soaked into the seams. I also applied it to the area under the brake booster.















While the POR15 will do its job of sealing the rust areas, I couldn't leave those areas black, even though much of the right side area will be covered by the battery tray. We have a local old time auto parts store in Salisbury. Been there forever as has their paint guy, who is considered to be one of the best in the area for mixing paint.

I told him I was working with a '73 Mercedes and gave him the paint code number. He said he would have to go to his archives which turned out to be a bunch of dusty old auto paint books from years past. Once he found the one for imported cars in 1973, he found the paint code to match the car. He then proceeded to mix a single stage paint to match the car. We had no idea how good the match would be. He said if it did not match perfectly I should bring him a gas door so he could make it perfect.

Since it is not in a highly visible area, I asked him about the possibility of using a brush. He said brushes don't normally work with auto paint but that I might have a shot here as the only paint he could use to mix the paint was his best premium paint. Because the paint it so good, he said brushing should work. It was $40 for a 1/2 pint!

Believe it or not but I have experience with painting an engine with a brush as I painted the engine bay in the red 912 in that manner and it turned out great. One advantage I had with the 912 was that the surface was textured. In this car I would be painting a totally flat surface.

I bought the best 1" brush I could find and it worked great. The paint covered in one coat and looks great. I forgot to take a photo of the area under the brake booster.




I now have plenty of paint left for touching up any chips on the car.
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  #75  
Old 01-30-2017, 11:11 AM
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Re: painting area in engine compartment

Great...I was hoping this method would work. I have used the POR15 on projects but I have not used a brush for the finish. I think I will got the same route. Thank you for taking pictures and elaborating on your work...it really helps!
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