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Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercs, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5...26/07 - Merc Hopefully Oil-Tight...


Zelandeth

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4 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

Stuff...

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All loaded up and we're underway.

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Suffice to say I'm looking forward to the transport for the return leg more than the outward... though this one does manage to be at least reasonable comfortable - though whether I'll still be saying that after an hour remains to be seen.

The cruise control is broken though - less than 500 miles into life.

An Audi "Q5 Vor 45 Tfsi Mhev Quat S-A" According to car check!

261 bhp petrol

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1 hour ago, Six-cylinder said:

An Audi "Q5 Vor 45 Tfsi Mhev Quat S-A" According to car check!

261 bhp petrol

"Jiggly as all hell and with busted cruise control after less than 500 miles" is about all I know.

Aka: The company car my housemate has which changes every few months.  This gets points for being merely jiggly rather than absolutely intolerably uncomfortable as many have been.

The Golf-R estate being the worst - if you sat in the back seat of that you actually regularly got air time while traveling down anything other than a glass smooth road.  It was like being in the back of a Series Land Rover going down a rough track at speed.

 

Progressing okay...

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroens, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 17/07 - Collection Collected...
23 minutes ago, Zelandeth said:

Fine!

It has been done! 

Say hello to the latest member of my little fleet.

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And safely to the hotel for our overnight stopover.

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Guessing most of you had figured this out by now!

Awesome! very much looking forward to seeing this one in person at some point hopefully! :) I do like these old Mercedes

as RCR put it when "Mercedes was MERCEDES"  so very much looking forward to seeing more on it! :)

 

going to have to move the S in the title from the Citroen section to the Mercedes section now!

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will admit, the Merc as the new car somehow completely slipped my mind until @DodgyBastard posted that it was going to a new home :) and then I suddenly realised Oooooh, LOL despite the fact that I had seen you express interest in it a couple times before now! so it should of been obvious!

I guess because based on your previous list of things you wanted in a "new" car to replace the Xantia etc I was expecting you to get something newer then the Xantia, so it never crossed my mind! but then again this is Autoshite! :) 

and im not complaining :) 

 

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Had really hoped it would be cooler up here...

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So much for that!

... Should have booked the hotel with air conditioning!  My bad.

Also slightly embarrassed to admit I didn't clock the Merc has a sunroof until about 500 yards before getting to the hotel carpark!

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 17/07 - Collection Collected...

Figured it made sense to do a levels check today so we can just go in the morning.

Initially this proved problematic as the bit of wire which serves as the secondary bonnet pull immediately came off in my hand.

I did briefly consider taking the approach of "Just going to pretend I didn't see that, it'll be fine..." Before telling myself to stop being an idiot.  Especially as I've played this game before on the W123 belonging to a friend so knew it wouldn't be a problem to get into and we've a 300+ mile drive in the morning.

30 seconds with a torch peering through the grill to remind myself how the latch worked and we were sorted.  Especially as I know full well that this car has a couple of oil leaks (fully disclosed before the sale I might add).

Yep, this was worth checking before a 300 mile drive.

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Much better.

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We'll be stopping to check this again after about an hour.  Coolant was also a little on the low side, not drastically but with 28C forecast tomorrow I figure all the help it can get makes sense.

Will obviously be taking things nice and easy as far as possible on the rest of the way home.

 

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 17/07 - W123 Collected & On the Way Home...
37 minutes ago, Zelandeth said:

Charnock Richard achieved...hiding in Chris' car to eat lunch as he has AC!

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Should be home around 1700 we reckon if all goes well.

guess the most pressing question then would be how hard would it be to add air con to the W123 :) 

I see the keeper change has gone ahead :) 

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hope you have nice and uneventful trip back home! :)

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Should show as taxed, bloody system.  It was put through about 30 seconds after the keeper change.

Anyhow, home now.

372 out of the 389 miles went absolutely swimmingly.  Car literally didn't miss a beat.

Right up to the point where 5 miles from our exit from the M1 there was an accident and we wound up stationary.  For 40 minutes, in direct sun, where it was 29C in the shade.  39 minutes in she vapour locked on me...because shitty modern fuel.

In lane 2.  On a bit of motorway with no hard shoulder, right as traffic started moving again.

Mercifully it was a simple case of wait five minutes, start back up as though nothing had happened and leg it.  We either lost spark or fuel, but she was sounding like she wasn't getting fuel.  Will make a point of pulling the ignition amplifier off and renewing the thermal paste under it in case that was overheating.

No Biggie really and we're now home safe and sound.  Thankfully traffic was still crawling while this was unfolding, so other than annoying a few people no harm done and there weren't any huge safety issues.  If it hadn't been the case and traffic had just taken off as often happens that could have got very scary very quickly...all lane running motorways are a really stupid idea.

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385.9 miles covered till just before I turned into the estate when I fuelled back up (with nice ethanol free Supreme 99).  30.16mpg, which isn't too bad at all I reckon given we weren't hanging around for a fair bit of the run.

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I really don't begrudge the car the brief temper tantrum.  Aside from anything else, I have *never* seen so many dead cars at the side of the road, the side of the motorway was littered with them the whole way down today.  Plus it was absolutely the worst case for thermal issues - we'd been driving for a few minutes over two hours solid at that point, and it was basically into 40 odd minutes of stationery traffic following a hard braking stop from 70mph with no cool down period...so if anything was going to have any issues relating to thermals it was going to today.

Aside from that five minute spat she literally didn't miss a beat the whole way down and drove absolutely flawlessly.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 18/07 - Home Safe!
1 hour ago, Zelandeth said:

Should show as taxed, bloody system.  It was put through about 30 seconds after the keeper change.

ah I wont worry about it, that always takes a little while longer to update! ill keep an eye on it and let you know when its status updates :) 

(its only fairly recently they implemented instantaneous keeper changes even! back when I got REV if you may recall even tho I did the keeper change online it still took about 14 days to process the actual keeper change!)

 

1 hour ago, Zelandeth said:

Anyhow, home now.

372 out of the 389 miles went absolutely swimmingly.  Car literally didn't miss a beat.

Right up to the point where 5 miles from our exit from the M1 there was an accident and we wound up stationary.  For 40 minutes, in direct sun, where it was 29C in the shade.  39 minutes in she vapour locked on me...because shitty modern fuel.

In lane 2.  On a bit of motorway with no hard shoulder, right as traffic started moving again.

Mercifully it was a simple case of wait five minutes, start back up as though nothing had happened and leg it.  We either lost spark or fuel, but she was sounding like she wasn't getting fuel.  Will make a point of pulling the ignition amplifier off and renewing the thermal paste under it in case that was overheating.

No Biggie really and we're now home safe and sound.  Thankfully traffic was still crawling while this was unfolding, so other than annoying a few people no harm done and there weren't any huge safety issues.  If it hadn't been the case and traffic had just taken off as often happens that could have got very scary very quickly...all lane running motorways are a really stupid idea.

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385.9 miles covered till just before I turned into the estate when I fuelled back up (with nice ethanol free Supreme 99).  30.16mpg, which isn't too bad at all I reckon given we weren't hanging around for a fair bit of the run.

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I really don't begrudge the car the brief temper tantrum.  Aside from anything else, I have *never* seen so many dead cars at the side of the road, the side of the motorway was littered with them the whole way down today.  Plus it was absolutely the worst case for thermal issues - we'd been driving for a few minutes over two hours solid at that point, and it was basically into 40 odd minutes of stationery traffic following a hard braking stop from 70mph with no cool down period...so if anything was going to have any issues relating to thermals it was going to today.

Aside from that five minute spat she literally didn't miss a beat the whole way down and drove absolutely flawlessly.

glad to hear you able to get home without too much issue :) 

I think you need to retake that picture but without the modern, and TPA parked in shot somewhere instead :) 

its interesting to compare the general styling and atheistic to that of your camper van especially of the gauges/interior 

 

BTW if I am understanding things now the Xantia is gone does that make TPA the longest serving member of the current fleet now? :) 

(well unless we count the C5, but both are plastic 3 wheelers so go figure :) )

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Yeah, still not quite sure what the deal was.  One thing I'll definitely do as a matter of course will be to pull the ignition amplifier and renew the thermal compound between it and the wing, as that overheating could definitely lead to a sudden loss of spark.  It *felt* more like classic vapour lock, though I've never personally had that with an injected engine before.  The way these continuous injection systems work though it seems entirely possible, especially if the fuel was boiling off in the line between the fuel distributor and the injectors.

Observations from the drive etc...

For all she looks a little care worn cosmetically in a few areas she actually drives incredibly well.  The waft is strong with this one.  She does have a decent turn of pace though when asked.

It took me until departing the toll booth on the M6 Toll to discover the front seat arm rest...and about another ten minutes to figure out how to deploy it.

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That huge, carpet lined cubby where most cars would have the handbrake is absolutely brilliant.  I am going to miss that in everything going forward!

Why don't more cars have sunroofs this big?

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Cabin is generally a nice place to be...resecuring a couple of bits of trim, sorting the front and rear trim panel headlining and a really good clean will transform it.

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Really good rear legroom.

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Boot space is absolutely massive...this must be twice the size of the boot in the Lada which is the only other estate I've owned to date.

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It's the best part of 15 years since I last drove a W123...and I've definitely been reminded why they have such a strong following...they are cracking cars to drive.  Not massively engaging, but a lovely way to waft around.

Really does feel in a lot of ways like a German Saab...and I mean that we a huge compliment.

Definitely glad to have bought it.

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The single combined indicator/wiper stalk is something I'm absolutely used to (and like) from the van... though it's on the opposite side of the column.  I'd just about stopped flailing around into my keyring when cancelling indicators about the time we got home.

Had forgotten how nice and purposeful a growl these engines make higher in the rev range... it's that perfect blend of refined yet purposeful.

Issues we need to look into:

[] Aforementioned engine cutout incident...clean up, re-thermal goop the ignition amplifier module.  In honesty an electric booster fan to help keep under bonnet temps down in traffic wouldn't be a bad thing these days.

[] Oil leaks.  Rocker cover is definitely leaking...will sort that, clean up then see what else we find.

[] Valve clearances need setting I think as the top end is a bit tappy.  I need to take the rocker cover off anyway so a good time to sort them.  Sounds more like valve train than timing chain.  It's a bit strange a setup on these engines as they have a central can which is completely hidden under the rockers, but I've done it before so no worries there.

[] Driver's seat base needs some help, feels like the springing has partly collapsed.

[] Secondary bonnet catch release handle is broken.

[] Electric adjustment for nearside mirror doesn't work.

[] Missing pin in NSF interior door release handle.

[] All four door locks loose in doors... already sorted.  They all close with the proper solid thud now...love the noise they make, very reminiscent of Volvos.

[] In gear idle is a tad low.

[] Minor exhaust blow from somewhere.

Looking forward to getting stuck into it.  The brightwork will be getting s polish shortly too...that alone will probably make quite the difference.

Expect a couple of dozen photos tomorrow.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 18/07 - Classic Merc Home Safe & Initial Thoughts...

Little very mild tinkering before I went out to run some errands this afternoon.

Step 1 was to implement a slightly more robust solution to the broken secondary bonnet catch pull than the bit of bent wire on it.

Cable tie to the rescue.

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Which I can tuck back into the grill to make it slightly less conspicuous when not in use.  Of course I remembered about 30 seconds after this that I have some grey ones in the garage.  Meh, it will do for now, the broken bit will be getting replaced eventually anyway.

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While I was under the bonnet there were some checks to make.  First up, how much oil did we use during the run down yesterday?

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An unmeasurably small amount it appears.  Nice to know.  Coolant hasn't moved either.

On the subject of coolant the radiator isn't in the best of condition.  It's serviceable (if she held temperature yesterday she should do under any situation) but I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for a replacement.

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Air cleaner looks to have been replaced recently so that will be left alone.

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The spring clips on the airbox are wicked strong so I quickly learned to keep your knuckles out of the way when releasing them...ow.

Fuel metering plate could do with a clean though.  This ideally wants to be cleaner than a hospital operating table after it's prepped for surgery.

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Just having a general poke around the engine bay I discovered that the power steering pump has an integrated reservoir.

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Which was a slight surprise as I'd assumed that was what the bottle on the offside wing was - albeit seeming vastly oversized for such an application.

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Need to investigate that further at some point...know I've read somewhere that some of these cars had a self leveling system on the rear suspension...so if this had that fitted this could be the reservoir for that.  It's definitely *something* hydraulic, and the pipes disappear downwards under the brake master cylinder.

Ignition amplifier was easily found on the nearside inner wing.

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The heatsink compound under it wasn't horrible but was clearly just starting to break down and go chalky in a couple of places.

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This was cleaned off and replaced with new good quality stuff.  I do note that the O-rings on the wiring connectors are badly perished so will need to change those - especially as a date with the degreaser is definitely in the future of this engine bay.

Really is a nice car to waft around in and is properly classy.

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It does have SLS on the back and it was working well when I had it.

Pretty sure I put a rocker gasket on it but I’ve slept since then.

As for it sounding tappy - there’s a good chance it’ll be the exhaust manifold gasket(s). I replaced  them, but the mating face of the manifold to the rear most cylinder wasn’t great and I had to smear a load of paste on to get it to seal. It held for the few months I was bimbling about but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was blowing now.

I did a thread at the time, I’ll try and dig it out 

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2 hours ago, J-T said:

It does have SLS on the back and it was working well when I had it.

Pretty sure I put a rocker gasket on it but I’ve slept since then.

As for it sounding tappy - there’s a good chance it’ll be the exhaust manifold gasket(s). I replaced  them, but the mating face of the manifold to the rear most cylinder wasn’t great and I had to smear a load of paste on to get it to seal. It held for the few months I was bimbling about but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was blowing now.

I did a thread at the time, I’ll try and dig it out 

I'll need to read up on that suspension setup then!  No real reason to think it isn't working...just never expected it to be there!

Tappy noise isn't load related which would make me think exhaust, it's classic valve gear noise.  Rocket cover seals seem to be a consumable on these anyway so it was probably fine last time you saw it!

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4 minutes ago, J-T said:

Found it 

I think the Merc stuff is towards the end. 
 

The rear suspension set up is simple, it was copied from Citroen so I’m sure it’ll be familiar. All the estates had it.

Cheers for that, will have a read in a bit.

 

The thing I learned this afternoon:

If you brake firmly at speed, the sunroof slides closed and scares the living daylights out of you.

Didn't occur to me to check if it latches into place in the open position...will look next time I'm out.

 

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag XJ-S, Citroen BX, AC Model 70, Merc W123 230TE & T1 208D Camper...19/07 - Light Merc Tinkering...
On 18/07/2021 at 19:33, Zelandeth said:

Should show as taxed, bloody system.  It was put through about 30 seconds after the keeper change.

 

On 18/07/2021 at 20:03, LightBulbFun said:

ah I wont worry about it, that always takes a little while longer to update! ill keep an eye on it and let you know when its status updates :) 

(its only fairly recently they implemented instantaneous keeper changes even! back when I got REV if you may recall even tho I did the keeper change online it still took about 14 days to process the actual keeper change!)

 you will be pleased to hear its showing as Taxed now :)

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and so is the Xantia now for whoever has it now! :) 

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Just as a bit of background to the "thermal incident" during the trip home, this is the highest the temperature gauge ever seems to get to, in stop/start town traffic today with 30C ambient temperatures.

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It gets that far, then drops back down to just below that mark on the gauge over the course of a minute or two, then just repeats that cycle.  Presumably as the (electromagnetic) clutch on the fan cuts in/out.  Temperature when actually driving seems to sit at a fairly solid 85-95C.  So I don't think she's overheating, rather something just took exception to being hot.

Checked today and the sunroof does indeed latch open.

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Noted for future reference, hopefully will scare myself to death with it less in future.

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Lovely car. One of an long and ever-growing list of cars where I missed the boat in terms of my budget. The owner of the best Chinese in Colchester had one of these in pale yellow when I was a child, for years you'd see it parked in Crouch Street and I remember admiring it then. Mate with a reputation for not keeping things long turned up with a red one about two or three years ago, probably couldhave talked it out of him I think but there was enough filler in it to put me off the idea. Well bought. 

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While the stereo fitted was relatively recent it lacked Bluetooth connectivity.  Given that this is a car I plan to use regularly this was a must have. 

Pulling the old one out revealed that the cage wasn't actually anchored to the dash at all and typically 80s stereo wiring.

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The "I wonder if I can leave it be..." Lasted about two seconds after I turned it on and I found I could make channels come and go by wiggling the wires...so an actual connector was added before the new head unit was slotted in.

By the standards of modern stereos it's not massively blingy at least.

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Having fully customisable display colours is a bonus, I went with red for the controls and warm white for the display - matching the heater controls directly above it.

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Have discovered that the whole centre console doesn't seem to be attached to the rest of the dash though, so that will need to go on the to do list.

Would have preferred to stick with JVC but none of those available locally had the option to change the display colours and I wasn't having a garish blue LED monstrosity sitting in there...that was one reason I wanted to change it in the first place!

Haven't fitted the hands free mic or DAB antenna yet, will come back to that when I have more time and it's less than 29C in the shade.  In fact I've not even turned the volume up to see how good or otherwise the speakers are, as they may well be the next thing to see attention if they're poor.  Even sticking with the stock sizes there can be huge improvements to be had, speaker tech has come a long way in recent years.  Don't worry, no holes are getting cut, everything will be kept behind the factory grills.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag XJ-S, Citroen BX, AC Model 70, Merc W123 230TE & T1 208D Camper...20/07 - Light Merc Tinkering...

Had a proper nose around in the engine bay today for the first time since I picked the Merc up, when a very basic check of "does it have oil and water in?" was done.

Immediate thing which just leaps out at me is how much room there is around the engine on all sides.

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Even behind the engine there's about a 6" gap.

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Anyone spot something missing there?

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Yep, missing a manifold nut.  Looks like the threads are a bit chewed up so we may wind up with a few washers involved.  I'm inclined to just leave the stud alone rather than breaking it trying to remove it for replacement.  I *have* a spare head and manifold here but I'd rather not have to mess around swapping parts over between them if I can avoid it.

Looks like radiator replacement will need to be moved up the list a bit.  Not lost any measurable amount of coolant, but the top tank to core seal is definitely weeping.

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Will have a dig around and see what I can find.  If there's a drop in all-metal replacement I'd rather go that way as I'm really not a fan of plastic tanked radiators.  Having said that I'm kind of curious to see if I can find any date codes on it to see how old this one actually is.

First mechanical job though is definitely going to be setting the valve clearances in the hope the rattle is slightly reduced.

As soon as the new rocker cover gasket arrives (a whole £18 from the dealer - going rate on eBay looked to be £20-25) I'll get that done.  Then drown the whole engine bay in degreaser and blast the worst of the crud off, as it's honestly disgusting.  Every time you touch anything you get covered in oil.

Did notice one nice detail in the engine bay that I'll need to try to remake...you know all that technical info for servicing you're likely to need?  Spark plug type and gap, timing details, valve clearances...all right here on the slam panel.

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Nice little detail to find.  Just a shame it's so faded...wonder if someone sells reproduction engine bay sticker sets for the W123...

Made a run over to the Formula 1 in Newport Pagnell to get her up on the ramps to see if we could find where the exhaust is puffing from.  The answer is the second silencer, which has split around the weld on the outer casing on the leading edge.  The rest of the system isn't in bad shape actually.  Given the degree of grot is visible on some of the body panels the underside looks to be in surprisingly good shape to be honest.  Does look like I've got a bit of a fuel leak though - looks to be from the top of the tank, so thinking the seal around the gauge sender is most likely the culprit.  Wasn't actively leaking but you could see the evidence of it having run down the side of the tank.

Sadly they can't source any exhaust parts for a car this old (can't say I'm surprised) so I'll need to see if I can track one down...or just go round to Deutsche Tech and get the offending section made up in stainless.  I don't like faffing about with exhausts so that is likely what we'll end up going with, as the puffing from it will likely drive me mad.

Quite happy with today's tinkering though.  Was pleasantly surprised at the condition of the underside of the car, found the exhaust is actually mostly sound aside from one silencer (which actually looks like a manufacturing defect rather than corrosion), got a price on a set of tyres which is well within my expectations, dealer was helpful, oh...and found this bit of broken trim in the glove box.

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Just glue this back together and replace the missing fastener, you'd never notice it was cracked.

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Feeling quite positive today.  There was a certain degree of "what have I got myself into" creeping in with regards to some areas, but I'm getting more convinced that there is actually a good car here, she just needs a bit of TLC.

Finally got around to getting a couple of photos of her and the van together.  These do a good job of showing how much wider than a car the van is too.

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I think a couple of paint touch ups, a damned good polish, some nice fresh tyres and a new set of plates will make her look quite different.

The number plates are both knackered.

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What do folks think for plates?  Will be getting them made up in the correct typeface obviously (she wouldn't suit Serck), thinking given the age just standard acrylic plates make the most sense.  Think pressed metal would look like we were trying to pretend to imitate the German ones a bit too hard, which is why they bug me on Golfs etc so much.

Question is whether is just go for a plain plate though or if I try to recreate a dealer plate?  Not sure where this was originally sold.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag XJ-S, Citroen BX, AC Model 70, Merc W123 230TE & T1 208D Camper...21/07 - Merc Investigation Continues...

Courtesy of a local independent locksmith we now have a non manky set of keys for the Merc, the tatty ones it came with have been relegated to the spares drawer.  They both worked fine but the ignition key had long since lost the plastic handle bit so was really awkward to use.

Has reminded me that I still need to get a spare made up for the van, as they have the right blanks will run by there again tomorrow to get one made.  Not having a full set of spare keys makes me really uncomfortable... especially as I've locked them in it once already (and had to break in via the gas locker and unbolt the sink from underneath to gain access!).

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercs, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5...26/07 - Merc Hopefully Oil-Tight...

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