Brunhilda My Big Banger Merc needs to get tarted up,

Started by Ferryman, 01 April 2004, 05:16 AM


Hi all,

I thought I'd start a new topic on the restoration of my 79 450SE. While being basically a 99% car, it does have issues to be dealt with in all areas associated with restoration.

Basically I have a list of mechanical things, paint/body stuff, trim/upohlstory and "entertainment" bits to contend with.

If I'd paid more than the $300 that I did for this car, in its as is condition then I'd be cranky. :evil:
However I actually saved it from the wreckers because; A/ I like W116 V8 cars (I don't have the money for a 6.9 Grosser),B/ There was more right about the car than bad, C/ I was looking for an unusual project "I" could "work on" without having to have it back on the road monday morning to go to work.

Heres the incomplete list in no order of importance;
New front and rear windscreen rubbers and perhaps windscreens ( haven't cleaned them up properly)
Replace the vacuum central locking, I'll be updating to an electronic system incorperated with a security system.
Get the damn electric windows to do their thing quickly, its a combination of things that conspire which will be dealt with
Recover the door trims, front and rear seats in a cloth trim ( No I don't want Leather, I wanna be able to sit in this car all year round.) 8)
Replace the carpets/underlay.
Chase all the little spots of corrosion around the car that was poorly attended to when it had its "Full" respray.
Fix the brakes. Master cylinder, Calipers the lot.
Replace the exhaust system.
Either get the fuel injection system to encourage actual performance from the motor or adapt a Holley Predator onto where the throttle boy sits.
Exorcize the remains of the seized airpump and sundry fittings from the motor. Its not required to comply with period Australian EPA regs which were ADR27, and if it aint there it don't need to work.

Theres more general sundry stuff like suspension bushes, vacuum, heater/radiator/fuel hoses which are now past their used by date. Most of this is paint by numbers stuff. I'm not building a concours car (I can't because I don't have all the history/paperwork or $$$) but a car that I can enjoy every now and then and the occasional run to work when I feel like it.

Believe it or not, most of this I can do myself, some stuff like retrimming the door trims and seats I'll get done because I cant drive a sewing machine like the local motor trimmer can.

I had hoped to have got the old girl on the road for Xmas but my two landrovers, a 4WD subaru station wagon and a (customer) 1950 Chev ADC 3600 Ute have gotten in the way. Just as well I'm single or I'd be divorced :lol:

Which brings me to the philosophical point, you only get out of tinkering with cars what you put in, but sometimes it helps to get someone elses perspective. I have a good friend who makes sure I don't lose the plot with all my tinkering and keeps me focused ( bit blurry but). If your embarking on a resto, invite your mates around and get them involved. Lets face it rubbing back a car as big as a W116 on your own is a big task. Make your resto a group event and save your social life...  

I'll get some pictures up soon, and I will document through this forum the progress or otherwise of the "tarting up" of Brunhilda my Big Banger Merc..



I look forward to reading of your restoration work. It sounds like you have quite a bit of work cut out for yourself. I would love to know what state your car was in when you purchased it for only $300.

Keep the updates and photos coming.

1977 450SE [Brilliant Red]
2006 B200


Thanks Mike,

Basically you would call it "found in old dead geezers garage" type condition. Its not been registered for quite a few years, ex deceased estate.

The widow couldn't get rid of it quick enough so she could sell the ol house and move in with the "kids".



Borrowed Mums box brownie to take some before photos... :shock:


Some more photos


Well I thought I'd rule out some potential problem sources in the fuel delivery system.
Having removed and disassembled the fuel pump/filter/accumulator/swirlpot assembly. I discovered I shouldn't have because now I have to replace all the banjo fitting bushes, and the fuel line from the tank. :shock:  

Realising that the pump is tickety boo, on account of how well it defeated my attempts to stop it spraying fuel everywhere, I turned my attention to the fuel distribution.

After much aggro and realising I left my manual at home. I managed to just get the assembly off the throttle body/manifold. I was thwarted at further dis assembly by a phone call from a friend. His problem was a simple flat tyre complicated by the fact that his spare tyre didnt fit the car.

He's owned the car for around 7 years and aside from when he checked it at the car yard (ie yes it has a spare)never thought twice about it since. Oh yeah its his wifes car, and she only cares that it (the car) runs or more precisely when it don't.

Yes he called the "No Reliable Mechanics Avaliable" to be told they don't fix tyres but could tow him 2 and a half hours away in the wrong direction from home to a tyre service that most likely be closed on sunday... Now I couldnt find my tubeless tyre repair kit (must clear out and sort shed)so I dashed off to the carpart and geegaw emporiums around my neck of the woods. 5 different places with much ceiling gazing from slack jawed pimply faced hopeless water buffaloes later, I found and bought a new kit and drove to (middle of nuthin on the old pacific highway) where my mate was, repaired the tyre pumped it up and had it back on the car in 10 minutes flat. I checked his spare and identified it as coming from a toyota camry (5 stud black and does look similiar at a glance)which is no good coz he owns a conformadore. Unfortunately for Brunhilda, I had now run out of time and daylight.

At any rate I'll get some new fuel hose and banjo bushes through this week and try again next weekend, to sort out Brunhilda's fuel injection woes.


There are not enough days in the weekend to get stuff done! As I feared, the moment I start to disassemble anything on Brunhilda I run out of time to do anything constructive.

To add to the misery my "Premium" soft "All weather" car cover has begun to fall apart. It's about 18months old and in comparison to the common garden variety Blue Nylon Tarp probably has been longer lasting. The BNT has a life span of about six months before it becomes Blue Nylon Raffia string.

Also the Chev Ute job has now consumed much of my freetime and it appears it will do so for the next two months. The things one does for love....


Poor Brunhilda, is losing her storage/workspace and is now up for sale. A$300 buys you a project/resto/parts car with serious potential. Unfortunately I'm losing my storage so poor Brunhilda has to go, along with my other projects, 1982 Subaru wagon(nearly ready for blue slip), 1967 Series 2 LWB Landrover(serious project) and 1978 Series 3 LWB Landrover (Meccano set any one?)

I can be contacted through this forum or on the phone 0422 211885.


No! Don't sell Brunhilda. Some matches were made in heaven, and some Brunhildas have only one shot at a new life. You're it man, if you sell her, she'll die. Look into your heart. Put her under cover, whisper that you'll be back soon, and then get on with your life. When you return, Brunhilda will still be there, waiting patiently for your loving hands to restore her to her former glory.

You won't regret it.

Then again, I'm hopeless at mechanics, so what would I know?