For the last few weeks i have been making and welding into place the required repairs on this 280CE,but most of the work has been concentrated on the Right side front floor and sill structure.
As more rust has been uncovered ,the rockers have to be fixed before any more rust removal can be addressed,once again to prevent the car collapsing.
Inside it is the usual story,lots of foreign ‘stuff’ used to hold things together .Fortunately there isn’t much rust in the rest of the panel.
I found one reason why the car didn’t run very well . the two Lines in the pic,the white and Black ones,are vacuum lines for the central locking. the engine was sucking a lot of air at idle throwing the engine tune right out. An electric central locking had been fitted.
The Seat mount was held in place with a pair of roofing screws and two pieces of rubber which had been glued to the floor. One of the screws had missed and most of the floor and inner sill section was gone completely.
Most of the floor here was rusted away and once all the various substances stuck on it to prevent feet falling through were removed it became clear where the rust began and could be trimmed up.
The rust in the low middle of the picture runs right across the car ,so the only option is to remove the diff so it can be reached easily.
Because there is insufficient places to support the car while the back end is removed,I have it sitting up on blocks of wood.
More rust uncovered….
Further to this ,the boot seal was removed and the lower edge was rusted completely under some poorly applied filler.
The spot welds holding the panel on are drilled out then the skin is removed. The Lower section (on the right of the picture was rusted and covered in filler to disguise the damage. The holwe is for the forward bumper bolt.
Here ,besides lot of rust holes and attempts to disguise it with filler is a large dent ,the dark area. The filler is very thick here.
Some time ago I rebuilt this engine but during the running in process it had a rattle, which would only come at a particular rev range ,but was otherwise smooth. Once the sump was off ,the bottom of the oil pan was inspected and odd tiny peices of metal which looked like bearing metal . The rod caps were removed and the bearing,although not completely destroyed are scuffed really badly. Why?
My initial thoughts were to pull the oil pump off as this is an obvious oil supply problem .Although the pump was inspected atc when the engine was rebuilt I decided to strip it right down and two things popped right out . First, the round wear mark in the pump shaft housing . and that square hole . It’s actually a fault in the pump housing as far as i can figure .It would appear that this hole has allowed the oil ,once hot to lose a fair amount of the pump vacuum as it sucks the oil up from the sump . So,once the car got up to temperature and at highway speeds the oil volume would fall away although the gauge would still be indicating full pressure at engine speeds above idle speed.
Next step will be to replace the oil pump and bearings and inspect the oil pressure relief valve ,then reassemble the engine and install it back into the car.
The new engine and trans are installed with a new oil pan ,rear and front crank seals. New injectors with new intake manifold gaskets,timing chain and rails should see a nice reliable tow car for the owner 🙂 .New fuel hoses and clamps will connect the fuel system together .
In February this year 2022 My Workshop went underwater which held several classic Mercedes. Amongst them was 300SEL 6.3 which I had been driving since 2008 when I had rebuilt it from a tired wreck. As I’m getting very old and the bus is getting ready to leave the bus top I decided to see if I could sell the car to a enthusiast who would use it to restore (a huge undertaking) .Well ,my attempt to sell on ebay bought forward a couple of enquiries, one of which asked just how badly it was affected,which truth be told was quite badly. But the other person known only as Walterhall 1234 decided the best chance he had to own my car was to insult me and call me names ,none of which hurt ,and I’ve struck his type before,trying to buy into something expensive by running the item for sale down. Here is the last email he sent me…as i own the car and he doesn’t and never will , I feel that he will go on through life missing out on the true joy of owning a rare Mercedes. Here is his email for all to enjoy.
“I don’t wan’t an engine I want a parts bin, like your shed on wheels, that old wet rat, that you thinks worth nearly £18,000 pounds, with stinky carpets and milky wood with turds behind the rev counter, with titanic rusty inner sills, that seams are rotting away like wet drowned rat, you should speak to a Texan or Arizona man they know about smart people and proper Mercedes guys, that buy 300sel shells of them all day long and send them all over the world to re-shell on rotten 300sel bodies like that rare car you made a mess of and ruined, haven’t you got a hill near your house or did you not think.? I noticed they’re where no inside shots, bad is it, so where you going to get an interior from and original carpets from then, well you can’t, so why don’t you just do the right thing and pass it to a none invalid to fix up, I’m not interested unless it’s for peanuts, for monkey pox and that’s you, think your proper, that thing looks stupid like a clowns car chrome wheel arches are they rotten also, with them wheels, painted black, did you have a mid life crisis, things only got 250bhp my S65 got twice that, what you like, maybe you should get a shitty British car as you not capable of taking car of a classic are you? Yeah I’m poor your right that’s why I write screenplays and live in a 3M pound designer mid century house, I’ll send you a link to youtube as I don’t really care for this car to be honest, it was a trade in on a 928 S4 i’ll crush next week, show your friends you helped to do another one in, shame buddy sounds like it’s got the parts you needed also been a 1969 original G180…”
PS,All parts for The W109 are available with a click of the mouse from lots of online vendors. And I dont think I’ll sell my 6.3.
The floor sections are badly rusted but that is not as serious as the rust in the bottom of the B pillars which are now disconnected from the upper structure seriously weakening the cars body. All can be fixed but it appears this job is going to take longer than anticipated.
Engine and general mechanical check over and Rust Repair
This car was booked in some time back for a mechanical tune up but the owner had found signs of rust ,which he asked me to provide an estimate of costs to sort it all out.
A price was agreed to and a start has been made. Although the car looks great it is in dire strait sand appears to have been sitting somewhere for a very long time in long grass or possibly on it’s belly.
Firstly a set of new sills and floor panels were ordered but thanks to the virus this took far too long for the parts to arrive (never use the Pitney bowes global shipping program,) while the wait was happening the interior has been removed to get reupholstered ,
it was necessary to start here as it was suspected that the rust was really extensive.
Most of the sills are composed of polyester body filler.
The Left side is proving to be very problematic because the guard appears to have been welded to the sill. it will have to bwe cut off to get access to the worst rust.
The floor will have to bwe rebuilt completely before the rotted out sills are removed,the car will collapse otherwise.
To remove the seats it was simply a matter of lifting them up and out,the mounts were so rusted they came apart.
The underside of the car has yet to be stripped of all the tar etc but it has been deemed easier to replaced the rusted sections first,to save time.
to be continued now that the materials to build all the replacements for the rear floor section has been ordered.
his W114 is a low mileage example which is unfortunately show a bit of rust in the fresh air plenum in the cowl .
Picture on the left is the right hand corner ,the insulation pad has been pulled aside to get a look at the damage. the right picture shows the inside with the hand brake mech on the side where rust has come through there too.
The Right side front guard has been removed to get access to the rust on the cowl. the hole at the top was caused by moisture getting into the weld seam over the last 50 years.
The whole rustyb part was cut out,revealing more rust inside the plenum which can only be accessed from the engine compartment. New steel is welded into place ,etch primed then zinc primed .This will be painted body colour and then wax treated.
The sound and heat insulating pad has been removed to expose the rust.
A bit hard to see here but the front panel on the cowl has been removed to expose the inside of the plenum. the grey is factory primer ,which was removed and replaced with etch primer then zinc primer ,to be coated with body colour and wax coated to prevent rust in the future .The Shiney grill is the fresh air intake and it allows water to get into the plenum when it rains. This has been removed to gain access to the entire plenum and repair spot rusting.
This is an engine bought to me recently for a rebuild. It had been rebuilt in the past but over heated due to a leaking and corroded cylinder head. Unfortunately the head has been planed too much ,so the only option the owner felt he had was to get the bottom end rebuilt with the block surface machined flat. The engine had already been rebored to 87.5 mm ,the maximum so a good used block was sourced which had already been bored in the past to a 1st repair size. this allowed the block to be bored to 2nd repair size using the pistons from the other block. these are in like new condition . The conrods have been rebushed which is necessary on all of these six cylinder engines.
A nice 1959 190SL which the owner said was pulling badly to the right has come in for some work, but needed a full set of wheel cylinders to make safe.
The Brakes weren’t releasing properly and the home made push rod was too long .a heavier version imitating an original ajustable push rod was fabricated. The device in the right picture is the fuel tank sender which had rusted up, along with a half a tank of very old fuel
A bit difficult to see but there are spots on the exhaust manifold…it’s petrol dripping from the carbs. Not Good…..
An example of what i found in the brakes . This was the right rear hub, the small round thing is a push point on the brake shoes, there is supposed to be a forked rod pushing on this when the hand brake is applied. It was behind the shoe,so no hand brake. the larger round part is one of four self adjustors on the rear brakes. i had to strip those and rebuild them as the thrust washers were broken. Everything is working as it should now. Carb over haul is next.