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Old 11th March 2016, 09:39   #16
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

Just awesome! You have got yourself a beauty! Amazing car, looking forward to the restoration. Subscribing to this thread, please do keep the updates rolling along with more pictures. I loved your car-buying story.

Wishing you lots of miles and smiles with the Merc.

Regards,
Neel

P.S: That's a good name you have given her too!
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Old 11th March 2016, 19:00   #17
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Originally Posted by amit_shimla View Post
Super story and a great car indeed. Just a suggestion if the restoration is not complete then why dont you send it to Pavan Kadam, in my opinion he is the best man for this job
The person whom you are suggesting, reputation as a restorer is not that clean,if the experiences I read in the forum are to be believed.There are very good professional genuine restorers in Western India so no need to go after self proclaimed restorers

Last edited by sankar009 : 11th March 2016 at 19:06.
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Old 11th March 2016, 20:33   #18
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

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Originally Posted by sankar009 View Post
The person whom you are suggesting, reputation as a restorer is not that clean,if the experiences I read in the forum are to be believed.There are very good professional genuine restorers in Western India so no need to go after self proclaimed restorers
Sankar 009 , I very much disagree with your kindselves and that's rather inappropriate to say all this about Pavan Kadam, especially when he is unable to defend his good name on this thread. He's restored so many Beetles and other classic and vintage cars. Please refrain from excesses.

Last edited by vinay kamath : 11th March 2016 at 20:44.
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Old 11th March 2016, 23:36   #19
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

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Originally Posted by sankar009 View Post
The person whom you are suggesting, reputation as a restorer is not that clean,if the experiences I read in the forum are to be believed.There are very good professional genuine restorers in Western India so no need to go after self proclaimed restorers
Well sankar009 this is totally a baseless allegation without any facts, please go through this forum thoroughly and you will find how amazing restorations have been done by Pavan Kadam and if there are good professional geniune restorers in Western India as you say may be you can recommend one to BowMan.

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Originally Posted by vinay kamath View Post
Sankar 009 , I very much disagree with your kindselves and that's rather inappropriate to say all this about Pavan Kadam, especially when he is unable to defend his good name on this thread. He's restored so many Beetles and other classic and vintage cars. Please refrain from excesses.
Totally agree with you Vinay Kamath. My only idea was just to suggest a restorer to BowMan not to start a debate.

Last edited by amit_shimla : 11th March 2016 at 23:39. Reason: Spellings
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Old 12th March 2016, 01:35   #20
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

Amazing thread Bowman! Kudos for the W123, these Classic Mercedes always take my heart away!
Eagerly waiting for more pictures. Glued to this thread!
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Old 12th March 2016, 15:23   #21
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

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Originally Posted by vinay kamath View Post
Sankar 009 , I very much disagree with your kindselves and that's rather inappropriate to say all this about Pavan Kadam, especially when he is unable to defend his good name on this thread. He's restored so many Beetles and other classic and vintage cars. Please refrain from excesses.
Kamath sir, i have not done any excess .Heard and read abt this guy from this forum only.His restorations are nowhere near the class of people like Manavendra Sing,DKG,C.S.Ananth,Ravi Kapur,etc..
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Old 12th March 2016, 18:30   #22
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

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Originally Posted by Siddash View Post
WOW !! ... Clearly remember this car as a kid parked in front of "Dr. B's" house in the campus, the color is the same (good > 30 years back ) Remember wondering what's the stuff attached to the roof of the boot when it was opened - the traffic warning reflector! Congratulations on the acquisition BowMan ... wish you many lovely miles on it !
It's a small world isn't it. I'm so happy to have you here sir, someone who knows the car for that long

Please feel free to share more of your memories or even there are some pictures...

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Originally Posted by Rover2000 View Post
Owner's Pride, Neighbor's Envy!

Congratulations first! Simply wowed to see this beauty! Thank you for sharing.
Thanks.

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Originally Posted by karuvally View Post
You are one lucky man BowMan. Treat her nicely. I wish you both lots and lots of mile munching
Thanks.

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Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
Just awesome! You have got yourself a beauty! Amazing car, looking forward to the restoration. Subscribing to this thread, please do keep the updates rolling along with more pictures. I loved your car-buying story.

Wishing you lots of miles and smiles with the Merc.

Regards,
Neel

P.S: That's a good name you have given her too!
Thanks, I too hope you enjoy the rest of the story.

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Originally Posted by parth.jain View Post
Amazing thread Bowman! Kudos for the W123, these Classic Mercedes always take my heart away!
Eagerly waiting for more pictures. Glued to this thread!
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_shimla View Post
Super story and a great car indeed. Just a suggestion if the restoration is not complete then why dont you send it to Pavan Kadam, in my opinion he is the best man for this job
Thanks.

Last edited by aah78 : 8th August 2016 at 19:51. Reason: Quoted post edited.
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Old 12th March 2016, 20:09   #23
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

October of 2014

As September rolled over I was still in the process of doing the initial detailing. While one of the obvious reasons to detail her was to make the car as clean as possible and to address some of the obvious signs of neglect, there's another thing about which I will talk later.

I decided my next focus would be the engine bay area. The engine bay had a black sooty deposit in some places. The drainage cowls, particularly the driver side one, were blocked with dirt...30 years is a long long time

Here’s how the engine bay looked before I started. Like I said, not too bad but there is the soot and the patina.

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Those who are familiar with a W123 240D will note the coolant reservoir bottle which is not original to the car filled with green colour coolant and some extra wiring. And the aftermarket battery tray.

I made myself a solution of dish soap and vinegar and got myself a lot of different size brushes and went over each and every nook and cranny of the engine bay with a brush and sponge and later carefully pressure washed everything taking care I do not get too much water in the wrong places. The last thing one would want on a old car is a short circuited alternator or water in the fuse compartment

And this is how she looked after I was finished with two days of hard work. I must admit I was somewhat satisfied with my work so far.

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I dried everything with a blower and lubricated in places like the accelerator linkage, cables, hinges. This took me two days and after all that bending my back was hurting real real bad….ufff.

That hood which opens all the way up...It is another testament to how well thought out this car's design is. Not only did Mercedes Benz manage to think for the driver, occupants...but also the guys who would service them...brilliant!

While there I also cut loose this twisted wire that was perhaps evidence the car may have needed to be towed. It was simply an eye sore.

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The upholstery was done and I had rid of as much rubber cement as I could. I also rubbed some rust that was coming up on the seat frames and painted over with black enamel. I reinstalled the seats and the carpet.

I had now passed over each and every square inch of the car with a brush, bucket or spanner and I had done so very very carefully. I could now say with a reasonable level of confidence that there were no surprises left for me, good or bad, and I knew her inside out. This was for me the single most important reason why I spent a good 1 1/2 months in the initial detailing and I did it all myself (after all it could be got done for in just half a day at a detailer's place).

I also took her to a friend who owns a workshop that has a hydraulic lift and examined her underside. I was happy to see no issues like rust, torn boots, loose suspension points apart from some fluid leakage. I could not exactly pinpoint the leak but it could be the engine or power steering pump. But nothing too serious that required a urgent fix. This is another reason why I believe car's should be kept as clean as possible because any possible issues can be spotted much earlier on a clear car or a car that is routinely cleaned rather than one that is neglected.

I started to drive her almost daily (loved the smiles she gathered wherever she went). Sadly on one of her trips to the Khanpur Rifle Club with my dad someone tried to steal the rear Star and was successful in vandalizing her. I felt disgusted that something that had been on her for more than 30 years gets ripped of on her maiden trip to the city. I decided not to take her there unless I am sure someone is watching over her.

By this time I had also started to collect information about possible restoration partners, started taking detailed notes of what was wrong with her and what might need to be changed...

Yes my friends. I had come to the decision that I will indeed take her through a restoration and I had also decided that it will not be a patch up of sorts but a full restoration. In the next post I will describe how I went through that how I arrived at the decision process, how did I shortlist candidates who may work on my car, how did my interaction with each one of them go, what were the factors/decision points that were going through my mind and so on...

(to be continued)

Last edited by Aditya : 21st March 2016 at 07:50. Reason: Deleting extra smiley
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Old 14th March 2016, 00:07   #24
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

Congrats on what looks to be a delightful 240d. I too own a W123 - a 300D Automatic fully specced from the factory with air-conditioning, MB-Tex seats, self leveling suspension, sunroof and oil sump guard. Like you, I have worked on restoring every inch of the car, like any good Parsi owner naturally would. Every replacement part is OEM Mercedes Benz from the UK or DE. Outside of interior plastic bits, every single replacement and service part is still made by Mercedes to support their cars. Never use anything else and the car will last longer than both of us will

If you need any advice with this process, and it looks like you could use some, pls. don't hesitate to reach out. You own a priceless classic vehicle, one of the few that will never let you down.

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Old 14th March 2016, 10:08   #25
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

Quote:
Originally Posted by BowMan View Post
October of 2014

As September rolled over I was still in the process of doing the initial detailing. While one of the obvious reasons to detail her was to make the car as clean as possible and to address some of the obvious signs of neglect, there's another thing about which I will talk later.


(to be continued)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Screwdriva View Post
Congrats on what looks to be a delightful 240d. I too own a W123 - a 300D
Thank you gents for restoring such elegant beauties. You can see the love pouring out of these threads. Mr Bowman, your patience in finding this car and tirelessly working on it and documenting the whole process is something that could inspire an entire generation of new bhpians like me. Thank you. Waiting to hear more developments in this thread as much as the world awaits the next season of Game of Thrones.

Mr Screwdriva, that is one impeccably maintained car. Looks gorgeous. Do accept our compliments.
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Old 14th March 2016, 10:52   #26
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

Congrats on the purchase & restoration. The 123 was my wallpaper for a few months just because I loved the shape and admired how reliable they were. Keep posting updates!
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Old 15th March 2016, 12:40   #27
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

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Originally Posted by Screwdriva View Post
Congrats on what looks to be a delightful 240d. I too own a W123 - a 300D Automatic fully specced from the factory with air-conditioning, MB-Tex seats, self leveling suspension, sunroof and oil sump guard. Like you, I have worked on restoring every inch of the car, like any good Parsi owner naturally would. Every replacement part is OEM Mercedes Benz from the UK or DE. Outside of interior plastic bits, every single replacement and service part is still made by Mercedes to support their cars. Never use anything else and the car will last longer than both of us will

If you need any advice with this process, and it looks like you could use some, pls. don't hesitate to reach out. You own a priceless classic vehicle, one of the few that will never let you down.

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Lovely W123 there and I must say very well restored indeed and you set the bar high for me

Thanks for the support and I will sure reach out if required

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohitoasis View Post
Thank you gents for restoring such elegant beauties. You can see the love pouring out of these threads. Mr Bowman, your patience in finding this car and tirelessly working on it and documenting the whole process is something that could inspire an entire generation of new bhpians like me. Thank you. Waiting to hear more developments in this thread as much as the world awaits the next season of Game of Thrones.

Mr Screwdriva, that is one impeccably maintained car. Looks gorgeous. Do accept our compliments.
Thanks Rohit, indeed restoring a car is something that takes a lot of patience and persistence. And if you're thinking of taking on something then my advice is not to go by the TV shows that push out cars in weeks. This is something that requires months if not years of commitment. But is still something more than worth the effort....life is all about experiences

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Congrats on the purchase & restoration. The 123 was my wallpaper for a few months just because I loved the shape and admired how reliable they were. Keep posting updates!
Thanks Joe.
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Old 16th March 2016, 05:02   #28
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

Did oil + filter change in my 180E yesterday. The engine and transmission are so smooth I can't believe it's 24 yr old now. The 123s, W201s and 124s used the same transmission, which is one of Merc's best ever.
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Old 16th March 2016, 12:31   #29
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

Congratulations with the W123.

I'm a huge fan of these cars. Last properly all in house designed and engineered car of Mercedes.

I own a 1982 W123 200 (so just the petrol version), see my garage.

The weakest points of any W123 is rust. Actually, I found rust on my German W123 a bigger problem then on my Italian Alfa Romeo.

Noticeable weak areas are the four jack points, the bottom of the doors, the sills and inside the engine compartment the areas around the hinges of the hood. Also, the rear windows might leak might leak into the boot and you will find rust there as well.

Although, typically relatively easy to fix, it does take time and money.

Mine also has a sunroof and that is the pits, rust wise. The drains are simple tubes, 4x, running from the corners of the sunroof base down into the chassis. The drains get clogged, tubes burst/disintegrate over time you will have rust everywhere near those drains. (its one of the reason for the rust on the jack points as the drains end up very near to them. Looks like you dont have the sun roof, I hope rust isn't an issue with yours.

The one thing nearly all W123 suffer from is play on the steering wheel. Mercedes specification allows 1 cm play at the circumference of the steering wheel. You can adjust the steering gear box, but only so much. You overdo it and you might find yourself in a situation of the steering locking up on you. Not a good place to be.

I took mine out and had it properly overhauled and restored to original condition and specifications.

Not sure if it applies to your car, but a lot of these W123 have a pneumatic system for the door locks, head light adjustment. the auto boxes uses pneumatic vacuum as well. Over the years especially the vacuum actuators, especially the rubber parts just disintegrate and you need to replace them. Original Bosch parts are still available and you can change them all out yourself easily on one afternoon.

My son bought a W123 a few years ago and this is the very first job we jointly undertook.

Other then the above, these cars, especially the diesels, are just about indestructible! The were extensively used as taxi in Germany and Western Germany. When I grew up, every taxi was a Mercedes W123. Some clocked up phenomenal mileages. Even today there are a few original W123 Taxi driving around in a few German town.

My W123 sits at home, in the Netherlands in my garage these days. I keep the battery on a trickle charge. When I get home, the first thing I do is put the battery back in. She has never failed to start first time even after sometimes sitting idle for over a year. And even after 34 years she still drives as new. Not very fast, but very comfortable, no rattles, no squeaks.

I dont have my W123 manuals here with me in Delhi, but if you have any technical questions feel free to contact me. I can get access to most technical information via my W123 clubs

There are quite a few interesting books on the W123 as well.
This one I would rate as the best most comprehensive:

http://www.w123book.com/

Lots of technical documentation, workshop manuals, technical bulletins are available on the Internet. Quite a bit in German, but plenty of English version out there. I have the original American workshop manuals for my car and my engine. These alone are a joy to own and use

Enjoy

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 16th March 2016 at 12:33.
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Old 19th March 2016, 21:09   #30
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

Contrary to popular opinion, these cars only last forever IF routine preventative maintenance has been carried out.

As an example, a simple oil cap dancing test to test diesel engine blowby can speak volumes about the condition of the engine compression, oil leaks and overall health.

Owners have to use OEM Mercedes parts (all still available) to replace glow plugs, rubber parts and filters to keep the car running the way it should.

Sadly, newer owners try to cut corners in the short term only to end up with much more expensive restoration work in the longer term. Rust, as Jeroen rightly points out, can also be a problem and can only be prevented with new OEM MB rubber seals and rust prevention treatments like Waxoyl etc.

Last edited by Screwdriva : 19th March 2016 at 21:13.
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