The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur

#62
Re: The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur - pre WOF work

Thanks chaps. I do like the idea of building a false shelf over the existing one. And I agree, messing with the door cards would be my least preferred option.

Cheers

James
 
#63
Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur gets a friend.

Hi all

Well I ended buying another project. Now its not a Rover, but given our clear penchant for well engineered executive cruisers I have spent the princely sum of NZ$1000 on the following - a 1982 Mercedes 230 CE:



I`m hoping the 230 CE is a good compromise between complexity and maintainability. 95K miles on the clock. It`s originally from Hong Kong, imported to NZ in 1988.

The good.






Excellent interior
Excellent chrome / trim
Driveline , suspension , brakes all seem fine.
Factory alloys.
Body is very straight. No sign of rust around the jacking points / suspension mounts as is common on these things Doors / bonnet / boot / roof rust free.
Factory tinted windows.

The not-so-good.

Blown head gasket. Possible overheat damage. I believe rest of the engine (assuming the overheat wasn`t too bad) to be sound and the auto box also.
Rust in the rear pass side wing . I can see light through it





Rust on the front drivers wing to valance join. Not so bad but needs to be excised as well.
Various bubbles in other places, one on the windscreen rubber so the screen will have to come out..
Aircon system has gone from engine bay leaving natty looking but useless controls on the dash. Some rather clumsy blanking off of radiator hoses as well - I think that`s how the head gasket got cooked.
Steering box. I`m hoping I can adjust some of the play out but they are a notorious weak link on these cars. That may cost me dearly.
Electric rear windows, winders on the doors. 4 window switches on the console - something has been tinkered with somewhere..

The plan is to do a proper job on this one - I`ll probably do all the welding / prep and have the metallic "silbergruen" topcoat done professionally. I think I could realise $10K if I make an effort. According to Practical Classics Sep 12 article, a top Coupe can be worth up to 25k pounds. Obviously this won`t be near that but there aren`t too many in NZ and its a Merc, right? I think it`ll take 6 months if I put my mind to it. Getting parts is not trivial. Apparently any good W123 bodied cars get exported to the Middle East to be parted out. The old gag about Beirut taxis has a ring of truth to it.

I`ve never worked on a car that has vacuum operated seat back releases and central locking before. It has a bizarre bladder under the parcel shelf that stores manifold vacuum after the engine is off in order to provide for it. Should be entertaining..

The ETD is scowling at me from under a cover on the drive. "Daddy just got a new mistress"! I suspect she know things were afoot because she has been idling roughly lately. Time to break out the "Gunson Gadgets" again..

Cheers

James
 

corazon

Well-Known Member
#65
Re: The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur - ETD gets a friend (ETD2)

Love the interior!
I really like Merc coupes from that era and earlier
Jim
 
#66
Re: The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur - ETD gets a friend (ETD2)

Yeah, I think Mercs lost their way a bit style-wise after about 1985. The 190E and the cars of that era of were pretty charmless.

The W123 like mine represents the last of the old Mercs, I reckon.



corazon said:
Love the interior!
I really like Merc coupes from that era and earlier
Jim
 

GRTV8

Well-Known Member
#67
Re: The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur - ETD gets a friend (ETD2)

James ,
theres a merc wreckers yard down the bottom of my road here in rural Ranui , Waitakere
You may already know of them . Actually run by a sheila .
I can pop in and ask about parts for you if you get in a bind for bits .
Pocked my nose in there once , looking for 14" tyres for the P6
She has a couple of acres of busted mercs and there may be some stuff in there that suits you needs .
Im not afraid of rotweillers !!! Yeah right
Happy to help
regards
Gerald
 
#68
Re: The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur - ETD gets a friend (ETD2)

Hi Gerald.

Thanks for the offer of assistance. I`m sure I will be looking for a few parts down the track and may well take you up on the offer.

James

GRTV8 said:
James ,
theres a merc wreckers yard down the bottom of my road here in rural Ranui , Waitakere
You may already know of them . Actually run by a sheila .
I can pop in and ask about parts for you if you get in a bind for bits .
Pocked my nose in there once , looking for 14" tyres for the P6
She has a couple of acres of busted mercs and there may be some stuff in there that suits you needs .
Im not afraid of rotweillers !!! Yeah right
Happy to help
regards
Gerald
 
#69
Re: The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur - ETD gets a friend (ETD2)

The new project looks like it will be fun. One of my friends' parents own a 230E, and they use it a lot. They rust to a far greater extent in the UK, but I'm surprised at how much it needs done to it! I look forward to seeing how it progresses. It'll be a nice companion for the P6.
 
#71
Re: The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur - ETD gets a friend (ETD2)

I hit it with the wire brush disc hard over the weekend. Took both front wings off and discovered a hole I can put my hand through in firewall under the battery tray. A classic rust spot on these things. Eminently weldable but I strongly suspect I`ll have to take the blower / ac assembly out to make clearance , along with the dash possibly.

All the spots I`ve been cleaning up were areas that had been 'fixed' by the previous owner. He had paid to have it done, and the rust was coming through the primer already.

The rest of the car seems ok. The boot floor area, which I thought was the worst part, isn`t so bad. That can be treated and filled..

The ETD needs front suspension work (as well as the rough idle). There are a number of knocks from particularly the driver`s side. Balljoints and bushes all round I think.

Cheers
 

unstable load

Well-Known Member
#72
Re: The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur - ETD gets a friend (ETD2)

A favourite place for suspension "clonk" is the rear axle mounts on the front outer arms.
They have a rubber bush that goes hard and shrinks, giving rise to the clonk. If you jack
the car, you can stick a lever under the arm and as you lever it you will see the movement.
Replacing the rubber bush does it for a good few years' driving.
Go over the bolts with a torque wrench first, you may get lucky and tighten up some of the knocks.
Another place is the engine mounts, they do give in after time.
When you replace the front pads, run a bit of copper-slip on the edges of the pads and on the contact
area for the piston, even if you DO have the anti-squeal pads fitted. It also helps to chamfer the leading
edge of the pads a bit with a file.

If you have the flat tappet cover engine, there is a mod to fit a duplex timing chain that helps a lot
with the chain wear problems that those engines have. You can do it yourself with basic hand tools.
 
#73
Re: The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur - ETD gets a friend (ETD2)

Thanks for the info, John. I`ll have to look into the 230 engine in more detail. It sounds like an ideal time to up-spec the chain when the head is off.

Cheers
 

unstable load

Well-Known Member
#74
Re: The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur - ETD gets a friend (ETD2)

The memory is a bit fuzzy as to whether it can be done or needs to be done to the rounded tappet cover engines.
 

WarrenL

Active Member
#75
Re: The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur - ETD gets a friend (ETD2)

Ooh! Jealous! I've long had a soft spot for Mercs of that era.
 
#76
Re: The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur - ETD gets a friend (ETD2)

Don`t be too jealous, yet, Warren. At the moment I`m uncovering more and more rust. These mercs have a thick coating on the inside of the floor, which has trapped water against it. I spent the evening exploring it with a large screwdriver and a chisel and found a few spots.

Nothing terminal, but the rear pass side footwell has just been added to the list, along with the area around the seatbelt mount on the same side..

So , firewall, inner wing, floor x 2 and seatbelt mount.

Tme to get me a mig welder and some snips.

Cheers
 
#77
Re: The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur - ETD gets a friend (ETD2)

Hi

The ETD gave the first hiccup since the restoration finished today Almost a year of regular local driving without any real hesitation until I drove back from the shops. Pottered around and then went to start it for a tune up about an hour later and nothing. Brightly glowing lights but no starter activity. Clearly the switching circuitry (relay / solenoid) had failed. I had just taken the air cleaner off to commence tuning.

I can start it if hot-wire the brown to the brown-white wire on the relay so it is not the solenoid or the starter. Also crudely bypassed the park inhibitor switch , no change. Reckon it is either the relay itself or the wiring or , most irritatatingly, the ignition switch.

I`m assuming I can just substitute a generic relay (of the correct amperage) to replace the original kit on the drivers inner wing? I like the old style metal casing of the current one. I fear there will be a large plastic box there by this time tomorrow..

PS, if anyone is interested in the Mercedes, she has a blog now, http://www.waiwhetu.org/staffcar

Cheers

James
 
#78
Re: The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur - ETD gets a friend (ETD2)

Turned out it was the earth connection from the relay to the body.

Unfortunately, I pulled the contact tang out of the park inhibitor switch when pulling the wires to bypass it.

Win some lose some..
 
#80
Re: The Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur - ETD gets a friend (ETD2)

I took the Elegant Thirsty Dinosaur on her longest journey to date yesterday. 420Kms across the Lower North Island of NZ to a car show.

My son took a great shot of the run towards the show. There`s not a single modern car in sight!



Name the car at the back, the rest of them are Moggies in a club 'peloton'

The car behaved herself almost perfectly. I did note a tendency to run rough at idle after coming to a stop after a long period of high-speed cruising. Had apply a minuscule amount of choke to prevent stalling.

Cheers
 

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