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Old 10th April 2016, 21:28   #46
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

April - May

I will now fast forward to April and May of 2015. By this time I had realized that my mechanics establishment was a very busy one and work would be carried out on my car in after some stops and gaps about which I could not do much. Nevertheless I m made it a routine to visit his garage at least once every week which was a drive of nearly 350 Km for me.

One Sunday morning I got a call from my mechanic. A call from a mechanic is a very important event in India for it is the customer who does the calling. This could mean a emergency or a disaster or demand for money or in rare circumstances some details he wants to discuss. Even rare is a mechanic calling a customer for some technical input. To ask the customer how something should be done or if he has a preference is for some strange reason demeaning to most of them.

I picked up the call and my mechanic sounded like he was rushing to catch a flight. "Are bhai thodi mehnat karna merer liye" (please do me a favor) I replied "yes what is it?". I was a bit puzzled now. "Are woh jo apni badi hai na us ka paint banwana hai to jara batana kaunsa shade hai koi naam ya code to hoga?". (can you identify for me what colour shade of code is our car). I think I smiled a bit at myself and got myself my diary where I note such things. "Paint code number hai 623. Shade ka maan Hellelfebien. Aur paint manufacturer code H hai. Is ka matlab yeh paint Dr. Herbert company ka hai, Glasurit nahi. Company ab band ho gayee hai" (Paint code is 623 H which means it is Hellelfebien shade made by Dr. Herbert). There was a silence for a few seconds after which my mechanic managed to sputter. Okay mai paint banwane order de deta hu (Okay I will order paint).

Later in the week I received a whatsapp image which was the test panel. My mechanic wanted to know if I was satisfied with the shade and he should order the entire lot needed for my car. I told him I will inspect in person to confirm. Later that week I visited the painters workshop (he has an arrangement with a painter who does all his work). Here is the test panel and I gave him to go ahead.

'83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary-img_2606.jpg

I now shifted my weekly visit to the painters workshop. All these weeks I was plodding him to take up my car (he quickly laid down primer but seemed to be keeping me waiting for the paint) but also observing him, how he checked consistency and adjusted his gun, how he diligently kept his workshop area free of dirt.

Finally in May I was driving to his workshop and realized from some distance that my car was inside his workshop and it was completely covered in fresh paint and clear coat

I took these pictures that day. In my humble assessment I will give him a solid 7.5 or 8 out of 10 on paint. I observed a very even texture to the paint which was close to the factory texture on German cars because they tend to lay the paint rather heavily when compared to American or Japanese manufacturers. There was no excessive orange peel and just one spot where I spotted a bit of run off. There was some surface contamination (like most of our painters he does not have access to a paint booth but does his job in the open) but nothing that could not be detailed out. The engine bay was not painted because for that the engine would need to be dropped. That was something for when the engine was being rebuilt.

That day I spent a good hour or more oogling the fresh paint from all sorts of angles. The workshop guys were a but amused at me as I closed my eyes and tried to feel the paint texture all over...but I couldn't care for less

Let me share some images I took that day. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

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Old 23rd April 2016, 22:09   #47
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

Sep 2015 to Jan 2016

After getting the car painted the next stop in the line was obviously the engine. However I was frustrated and kept waiting for a long period as the mechanic's workshop was busy and he could not give my car much time.

In September the car was rolled into his workshop again after a gap of almost 5 months (the painter's was a different workshop) and he began engine disassemble.

I was a bit nervous and there were questions going through my mind. I was hoping for a few things. First, I or the mechanic will be able to arrange for all the parts, genuine ones at that. Two, I will not find any signs of catastrophic failure or neglect which will threaten the rebuild outcomes.

Once we opened the engine we found that head gasket was still in good shape even after almost 3,00,000 Km. The crack journals and even the crank bearings were in good shape and did not need grinding/oversized bearings. Even the tensioner and chain were in really good condition. So much for the good news.

The bad news was that sleeves had worn out and cylinder 1 showed the most clearance (this was expected). Engine small end showed some wear and my mechanic told me the pistons showed some taper. Well to be honest I was hoping that I could keep the old pistons to keep the rebuild cost down. Conventional wisdom floating around suggests that it is not very wise to reuse pistons in these engines and they need a full rebuild....no half measures.

I discussed with my mechanic who said the piston may be just within specs and can be reused. But it will never have even compression and he would suggest against it. I spent some days pondering over this question and finally told him to go ahead with all new parts, pistons included.

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I was careful in personally examining the parts when they arrived. I satisfied myself...Elring gaskets, Goetze pistons and sleeves, Kolbenschmidt bearings...I couldn't be happier. We could not find OEM duplex chain and tensioner and had to use Rolon. This delayed the rebuild for a month before we finally went for non OEM. I repeatedly stressed the importance of being through to my mechanic during this stage....make sure you clean and oil the head bolts, keep this print out of the workshop manual with you, observe torque settings to the letter, make sure your torque wrench is calibrated (on this one I got a really funny expression from him ). It was my plan to even be personally present the day the head was to be assembled but at the last moment I decided it would be unwise.

It was in early January that my engine was finally completed. I will leave you with some pictures.

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In the meanwhile we were also searching how to source other parts like body trim, seals etc. After some futile attempts at Delhi and Mumbai I decided I will order all these online. I ordered at www.autohausaz.com and got delivery within a week of ordering. Here is the list of new parts.

1150720450 Accelerator Linkage Bushing; White Plastic
1232420413 Auto Trans Mount; Rear; Square Type With Oval Center Hole
1405401217 Brake Pad Wear Sensor
55422617 Coolant Temperature Switch; For Temperature Gauge
1233511142 Differential Mount; Rear Subframe to Frame
1237201578 Door Seal; Front Left Door Seal
1237201678 Door Seal; Front Right Door Seal
1237300178 Door Seal; Rear Left Door Seal
1237300278 Door Seal; Rear Right Door Seal
1267250365 Door Window Seal; Front Door Window Brush, Outer
1234101081 Drive Shaft Center Support; Driveshaft Center Support with Bearing
1234100015 Drive Shaft Flex Disc/Joint Kit
15425319 Engine Cooling Fan Motor Relay; With 6 Pin Connector
65453924 Engine Cooling Fan Sensor; Auxiliary Fan Switch; 212 Degree F
1232411213 Engine Mount
1124920282 Exhaust System Hanger; Hard Rubber Donut
1236900380 Fender Trim; Front Left Fender Moulding
1236900480 Fender Trim; Front Right Fender Moulding
1238800220 Hood Release Handle; Plastic Pull at Grille
9920510 Manual Trans Shift Lever Bushing; At Shift Lever on Side;
1159920110 Manual Trans Shift Lever Bushing; Gear Shift Bushing, Shift Rod to Transmission
6161841380 Oil Filter Flange Gasket; Flange Gasket for Oil Pressure Switch Cover at Bottom of Oil Filter Housing
6161840780 Oil Filter Gasket; Oil Filter Housing to Engine Block
6160140122 Oil Pan Gasket; Oil Sump Pan Gasket
4662104 Power Steering Filter; Late Style Metal Encased
EZ-1236900980 Quarter Panel Molding
EZ-1236901080 Quarter Panel Molding
1235010215 Radiator Cap/Expansion Tank Cap; 1.2 Bar; Metal
1235011882 Radiator Coolant Hose; Lower
1235010082 Radiator Coolant Hose; Upper
1235000012 Radiator Mount Kit
6162030280 Thermostat Housing Gasket; Thermostat Housing to Cylinder Head
6172001815 Thermostat; 80 Degree C; With Seal Ring
1237580098 Trunk Lid Seal
1236900580 Weatherstripping/Moulding; Front Left Door Moulding
1236900680 Weatherstripping/Moulding; Front Right Door Moulding
1236900780 Weatherstripping/Moulding; Rear Left Door Moulding
1236900880 Weatherstripping/Moulding; Rear Right Door Moulding
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Old 23rd April 2016, 23:01   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BowMan View Post
Sep 2015 to Jan 2016

After getting the car painted the next stop in the line was obviously the engine. However I was frustrated and kept waiting for a long period as the mechanic's workshop was busy and he could not give my car much time.
.
.
.

Wow! great effort and thanks for sharing the huge list of Part nos.
Kudos!!!
Would love to see your tank on road soon.

Last edited by aah78 : 25th April 2016 at 23:37. Reason: Post edited. Avoid quoting large posts, & limit smileys to 2/post please. Thanks!
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Old 24th April 2016, 09:46   #49
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

Did you re-use the original timing chain?

Jeroen
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Old 24th April 2016, 21:14   #50
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

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Originally Posted by avinashimpex View Post

Wow! great effort and thanks for sharing the huge list of Part nos.
Kudos!!!
Would love to see your tank on road soon
Thanks. Indeed the day is nearing when she will be back home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Did you re-use the original timing chain?

Jeroen
No, I wanted to source new OEM IWIS timing chain and tensioner and this set us back by 4 weeks. Finally we gave up and decided to go for an Indian made Rolon stuff instead. Even though I was amazed by how little stretch there was on the chain and how little wear there was on the tensioner rails I would not be foolish to risk a old chain in a rebuilt engine.
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Old 24th April 2016, 22:32   #51
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No, I wanted to source new OEM IWIS timing chain and tensioner and this set us back by 4 weeks. Finally we gave up and decided to go for an Indian made Rolon stuff instead. Even though I was amazed by how little stretch there was on the chain and how little wear there was on the tensioner rails I would not be foolish to risk a old chain in a rebuilt engine.

I agree, you just don't want to risk it. Mind you the W123 is one of those few cars where Mercedes actually specifies the maximum chain stretch, rather then only a mileage at which it needs replacing.

But with the engine out and everything taken off, I would have replaced it too. No matter what i would measure.

Jeroen
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Old 25th April 2016, 10:22   #52
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

Quote:
Originally Posted by BowMan View Post
Sep 2015 to Jan 2016

After getting the car painted the next stop in the line was obviously the engine. However I was frustrated and kept waiting for a long period as the mechanic's workshop was busy and he could not give my car much time.
BowMan,

Truly great restoration going on...congratulations! I have a specific question, the transmission case aluminum looks really nice in one of the photos. What paint or coating or process did you use to obtain that cast aluminum look?

Regards,

mbz180
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Old 1st May 2016, 12:24   #53
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Originally Posted by mbz180 View Post
BowMan,

Truly great restoration going on...congratulations! I have a specific question, the transmission case aluminum looks really nice in one of the photos. What paint or coating or process did you use to obtain that cast aluminum look?

Regards,

mbz180
Thanks. I used this product.

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Is available online too.

http://www.amazon.in/THERMOLAC-Resis...ilpage_o04_s00

I had initially bought it for sealing aluminium parts to prevent corrosion bt my mechanic put it to other ingenious uses like you see in the pic, and on light reflectors...

I also used some other products from this manufacturer and they will also feature on my narrative later.
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Old 31st May 2016, 22:32   #54
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

Hello Friends,

It's been a while since I updated the forum on my car. I must make amends today.

The last few days have been rather eventful and not sure if in a good way or not. Its now been 1 year 6 months since my car was handed over to the mechanic. I had noticed many times that he would give time to my car only when there was no other project he was working on. Progress was slow but I made sure whatever was done was to best standards.

However my patience was wearing out with the excuses and about two months back I had given my mechanic a deadline to finish the car in May. The long and short of it was that since we have nearly crossed the deadline I dragged the car home resolving to finish the remaining things myself.

No I will be working on her as and when I find time and will update you guys on the events.

Stay posted.
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Old 2nd June 2016, 11:39   #55
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Hello Friends,

It's been a while since I updated the forum on my car. I must make amends today.

The last few days have been rather eventful and not sure if in a good way or not. Its now been 1 year 6 months since my car was handed over to the mechanic. I had noticed many times that he would give time to my car only when there was no other project he was working on. Progress was slow but I made sure whatever was done was to best standards.

However my patience was wearing out with the excuses and about two months back I had given my mechanic a deadline to finish the car in May. The long and short of it was that since we have nearly crossed the deadline I dragged the car home resolving to finish the remaining things myself.

No I will be working on her as and when I find time and will update you guys on the events.

Stay posted.
Bowman this is so typical of Mechanics in India. I have faced the same issue and I have now changed my mechanic.

We have just moved into a new family house where I have 1000 sq.ft of basement for myself. I intend to convert it to a private workshop and have already tied up with a mechanic living 5 minutes aways to do basic work (servicing, brakepad change etc)of all my cars at the workshop. I have started hunting for all necessary kit (jacks, tools) etc for the same. I guess it should be ready in a couple of months. That way I can fix a date with mechanic and he is all mine for that day lol.
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Old 4th July 2016, 19:32   #56
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Bowman this is so typical of Mechanics in India.
Bunch of r*****s most of them I say.

However I am happier now. The car is parked in from of my eyes, I can work on it at my leisure time. And in fact most of my weekend time I dedicate to her and by the end of the day I am completely exhausted and satisfied. It is a family thing and my dad also chips in whenever he is free from his gardening and other chores.

I will briefly update what all I have finished so far.

When I brought back the car the first thing I realized that the doors were badly misaligned with the chassis and the seals were missing clips on a lot of places. I have loosened all the doors from their hinges and re tightened so that the chassis is straight as a arrow now. Mercedes prides itself on the claim that a fully sized man can hang on the doors but they will still not droop under his weight. What a sorrow it was for me to bear those misaligned doors and I could not stand them for even 2 days. B****y mechanics.

The next things is I took out all the seats and carpets. I cleaned the seats and stored them away because the carpets needed some attention. They had become dirty and a lot of dust, leaves, needles etc. had collected on to the floor. I knew this can be a rust magnet so I thoroughly vacuumed the floor to rid of all this and the I washed the carpets and died them to as close to original as I can. The results was way better than what I had expected and they are almost as good as new. This is build quality at its best. Take a look at some of the pictures. It is the satisfaction of things like this that makes fools like us love these old cars.

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Next I have turned my attention to the floorpan and I have decided I will find the strongest paint available and apply at least two coats. The floorpan is mostly free of rust except one area which I will work on later. But this is to take my W123 to another level of longevity.

This is the paint I have zeroed on. It is a two part epoxy paint guaranteed to have the best anti rust properties and this is how it looks covering the inside of the floorpan.

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Some day I will get her foisted on a lift or buy myself an hydraulic jack and scrub and paint her underbelly as well. But that will be not now.

I have been doing other things. Tightened out some of the steering box slack through the adjustment screw, bought and installed a new coolant temperature sender unit, got myself gear shifter boot, new door seal clips, under side moulding clips...the list is big. But I hope to keep a log of everything and keep on sharing with you folks.

Cheers for the response and support so for from you all.
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Old 5th July 2016, 23:37   #57
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Default Re: '83 Mercedes 240D - My W123 Restoration Diary

Excellent decisions. The epoxy paint is the best protection for corrosion. I use Miracle paint, a US equivalent.

Amazing results on the carpets. What did you use to clean them?
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Old 6th July 2016, 03:36   #58
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I have been doing other things. Tightened out some of the steering box slack through the adjustment screw, :

Careful with that. Too tight and the steering box can lock up!
These steering boxes are allowed a 2cm play measured at the rim of the steering wheel.

I had my steering box overhauled. Not cheap, but the only way to get rid of the play properly.

Jeroen
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Old 7th July 2016, 11:29   #59
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Careful with that. Too tight and the steering box can lock up!
These steering boxes are allowed a 2cm play measured at the rim of the steering wheel.

I had my steering box overhauled. Not cheap, but the only way to get rid of the play properly.

Jeroen
+1 I had a lot of play on my W123 and tried a lot of things. At one point the steering became very hard and had to revert back to the initial setting. As a last ditch effort I replaced the whole unit with another one from a W123 that was being taken apart in exchange of my existing unit. That solved all my problems for mere INR 3000/-

After several visits to Chor Bazar, I have started feeling like a Vulture who keeps visiting cars that are taken apart!
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Old 7th July 2016, 15:54   #60
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+1 I had a lot of play on my W123 and tried a lot of things. At one point the steering became very hard and had to revert back to the initial setting. As a last ditch effort I replaced the whole unit with another one from a W123 that was being taken apart in exchange of my existing unit. That solved all my problems for mere INR 3000/-



After several visits to Chor Bazar, I have started feeling like a Vulture who keeps visiting cars that are taken apart!

Actually, it's a good plan to swap for another unit. Although just about all of them have some level of play. So you never know and it's difficult to check if the unit is not mounted.

Very jealous on the price. You can't get a decent second hand steering box under several hundreds of Euro's. You can still get new one ms from Mercedes too. About Euro 3000! That's about as much as I paid for the whole car!

There are various specialist companies that do these sort of steering box overhauls in Europe. Depending on what needs doing you end up probably between Euro 350-700. But then it as as good as new.

According to the Mercedes specification you need to replace the main bolts and nuts every time you take the steering box of the frame. When properly torqued before you can't use them again. And you really want to make sure these bolts are properly fitted and properly torqued!
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