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Oh yes! Another W124. (hauserplenty's sorted affairs)


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Around this time last year, I had a Cadillac. One of the last full-size Fleetwoods, but it was just too good to keep. I couldn't afford to care for its appearance, which was a shame. Plus they do have their disadvantages. So I sold it, and bought a 1981 F-100. It was a lighter version of the F-150, featuring a 255ci donk and a three-on-the-tree. I was told that it was used to push-start sprint cars at a local, now-defunct racetrack, hence the bumper extension. Which I quickly deep-sixed.


At the time, I thought that it would be shite.


post-5083-0-99354900-1451600344_thumb.jpg <--FOTO SKILLZ YO


But it was shit. Gas station shots? It's an Autoshite thing, my man. You wouldn't understand...


So I did the bare minimum of work, (radiator, heater core, master cylinder, belts & hoses, tune-up), and started looking around for a way to trade it for something that wouldn't devalue the neighborhood in which it was parked. It had a wooden bed floor, which had partially rotted. The PO had cut an old door to fit, but of course this added weight (but also traction.) I didn't feel like restoring it. So I kept looking around for a way to buy a car, but with no money.


Then, I found this:






It should clean up nicely.



WCPGW? I just agreed to trade a running truck, upon which I had relied for a month or two, and for which parts were dirt cheap, for a 1990 Mercedes 300TE, about which I knew very little, and was not running except for 30 seconds at a time. It was filled with stale gasoline, and it clearly had multiple problems, despite having been well looked after by its previous owner. In fact, all the telltale "one-owner" signs were there, so it seemed a good bet. Besides, I'm sure* any judge would rule, that "Black, black, no-take-back" is a valid, sustaining, and enforceable contract.


As with many of these, the odometer had packed up. But it seemed to still be under 200K, so probably one of the few left in this condition:



At first, I was allowed to keep the truck until I could get the Mercedes running. But time ran out, so I ended up taking the bus to work. Eventually, after several FTP's trying to drive the sodding thing home, I joined: www.benzworld.org where there were some very helpful people who convinced me I should not give up on it. I was ready after three months to sell it and buy (of all things) a Cadillac Cimarron with FSH for $500. [/AS confession] Then, out of the blue, one benzworld member stepped forward and allowed me the use of his shop to fix it. It would only run for 30 minutes or so, which made for an interesting trip over there. The problem(s) turned out to be: both fuel pumps, sand and sediment in the tank (despite having drained and strained it twice!), a duff fuel distributor, and as an extra added bonus, I replaced the ECU and the ignition module just because I felt like it. in a failed attempt to fix it, which may have improved it anyway. eBay specials, the lot.


I've been driving this car for three months now, and I just can't see myself parting with it. "Her" name is Inge, and she's a keeper. This from someone who never names cars, but the damn thing fought me every step of the way. I believe it a miracle that I got it to run, let alone steam into port under its own power. Of course I could not have done this alone, so props to Those Who Shall Remain Nameless &c....

Das beste oder nicht!

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No plans to sell it, I'm afraid. After all the work I put into it, this one's a keeper. But I did check the ball joints though! ;)


Because Woolarding:





...do I look proper worried? Maybe I should have been.

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I just took it for granted, on such an expensive car, they all had Badermatics and climate control. Rare? Well, rare that it works. Needs new BLOWAH MOTAH. I guess the US versions didn't vary much. Most of the Mercs I've seen with Spanish waiters have been grey market cars...

Anyroad, upsy daisy:





I'm proper worried about this. OMG...

post-5083-0-21204300-1451625516_thumb.jpg ...Apparently...

They all do that, sir.



Old/new fuel tank strainers. The service manual on Identifux called for a 22mm hex $ocket:


post-5083-0-81380500-1451625625_thumb.jpg ...So...


I used a lug nut.



Well, they're not "factory approved",




...but they are called exhaust hangers, so any port in a storm.


After this, It ran. Long enough to get me halfway home. It was towed back to the shop, and several more trips to eBay for a new fuel distributor/air flow meter assembly, then several more "victory laps" around the block, as well as calls to a local specialist later:




Another common problem: An unobtainium fuel hose, as the wagon version had banjo fittings. I would be forced to "MacGyver it!"



INGREDIENTS: hacksaw, chisel, hammer, obscenities...


...and reading COMPREHNSHUN. Which would have saved me quite a faff. The instructions read: "...cut it diagonally..." Which obviously I had forgot by the next morning, when I arrived and did this. You see where I nicked the banjo fitting slightly? Well...ever watched horses standing around in a field??

Well, watch 'em for long enough, and you'll see what I mean. All I can say is that I have since learned to always, when repairing fuel lines to: CHECK FOR LEAKS. I had to file it down until it was flat again...cost me two hours.




Installation is the reverse of removal. Ja, Richtig.

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Liverpool Phil! Ullo dur wack! Glad to see you made it back to Autoshite! 'appy new yeah mayte, y'know loike.

And I sure wish I could have exported the Cadillac, Eddy, but needs must. Thanks mate!...for nothing, right?

I did float a trial balloon, you may recall, which generated no small interest. In fact, no interest at all. It seemed that it would have cost me more to export it than I could have sold it for. Not very good business that, I'm sure you'll agree.


So, off it went:





I got the Benz running again, after replacing the fuel line. But, it kept stalling after 20-30 minutes or so. Bunging a fuel pressure gauge on it would have saved a lot of time, but as I didn't have one, I did what I could: a fuel mixture/lambda adjustment. The Fluke meter is connected to the air flow potentiometer (analog computer input) and was adjusted to the correct voltage value at idle. (.65-.7)  It's a bit like quite similar to adjusting the throttle position sensor on early GM MAP sensor systems.The orange Snap-On meter is connected to the diagnostic port, reading the duty cycle of the fuel mixture--this is controlled by the EHA, which is an expensive part to replace new. Which is why they often are substituted with junkyard specials, as in this case. This adjustment is made using a 3mm allen wrench, which adjusts the height of the flow meter relative to plunger in the fuel distributor. (45-50%) The hole in the top of the air cleaner is provided for this purpose &c.


post-5083-0-86645100-1451679388_thumb.jpg  #of THE BEAST, loike.


Close enough for government work! Well, not exactly. By this time I was getting so fed up I decided to sell it at a loss. I had a standing offer of $500, which was a giveaway price at any time. But then this happened: a mate from London stepped forward, and let me tell you, I really didn't think there were people like him left in the world. He really restored my faith in humanity, by allowing me the use of his shop, not to mention his considerable expertise in KE-Jet Benzes. I can't say too much more about him, or his shop. But I was able to drive it halfway over, until it stalled, then the rest of the way, and then after substituting the secondary pump for another one, we removed the primary pump and found this:




...which was causing the secondary pump to buzz like a beehive, so loud I could hear it from the driver's seat. So I drove it for about three glorious, trouble-free weeks...

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...until it did this:




...HGF. Scheisse! I had just changed jobs and now I needed to drive 20 miles each way to work. So I called my mate from London to ask his advice...he said, no problem, just bring it down. I'll even lend you a car while it's here. Wow. Sometimes I just can't thank people enough! I had to drive it for a couple more days, hoping it would keep going. But the fuel pump failed on the trip to work, the day I was going to bring it in. So I had it towed back in, where I proceeded to undertake my very first OMGHGF repair:




It was obvious by now that both problems had to be fixed once and for all. Head removed, with manifolds in place per the service manual, new bolts and gasket set, a full tank of gas in the loaner car and some beer from Stuttgart as a courtesy to Mr. JW were all I had to pay. This job could have easily set me back two grand otherwise. I didn't send the head out to be skimmed, I simply cleaned off all the surfaces with a razor blade, and the carbon deposits with carb cleaner and liberal doses of that stuff they call elbow grease.







The fuel pump had clogged up again, but not as bad this time, causing the secondary pump to fail once more. I found one I had earlier condemned as defective, and actually tested it this time. It proved to be OK so after replacing the fuel line I had MacGyvered with the correct type (I had used transmission cooler hose the first time, as that was all I had), it was time to fire it up.




That's better. Much better. It fired right up, and is still running almost two months later. I've got a few more slight adjustments to do, but overall I'm very happy with the way it turned out. I really wish I was in a better financial position to afford such a fine car. Time will tell...for now, it's Das beste oder nicht!


As for the question about the headlamps: The foglamp lenses were brittle and cracked from the UV rays--I replaced one of those to even it out a bit. Definitely not US spec to have them crumbling into dust if you looked at them wrong.


Cn: www.benzworld.org -- not .com as stated earlier.



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I guess one might say I'm "going posh without dosh" mate! Minis are cool too. I've always wanted a Benz so I just figured I'd take the risk. But I threw all me dosh on the car, not a new wicker. Dem's Martin Henry's? Gnaw, deez are me bezzies wack! Ta!

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