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6.9 #521 Restoration

Started by wbrian63, 28 August 2013, 06:40 AM

wbrian63

The process has begun. I'll attempt to record the progress as I move from front to back on the car.

The first step is rebuilding the front suspension. Everything was in really sad shape once I got the car up onto blocks and the tires removed - both sides had the brake pad wear sensors in tatters.


The sheathing on the wear sensor wires had long since perished:


The passenger fenderwell was particularly nasty:








The inner bushings on the upper control arms were almost non-existent:


I removed the struts - this was easy, no pressure in the system after sitting on blocks for several weeks.

There were three areas of difficulty -

I fought with the driver's side brake line where the flex hose attaches to the rigid line. The ham-fisted mechanic that replaced these hoses tightened the connection to the point where no amount of persuasion would break the connection. Even a set of locking pliers refused to release the connection. I spent over 2 hours trying to get the line to break loose from the hose. Finally resorted to a pair of wire cutters and cut both the hose and the line...

The second was disconnecting the steering knuckle from the lower ball joint. I have a tool that presses up on the control arm and down on the end of the ball joint where the nut attaches. I tightened this for all I could and nothing would give. Finally resorted to using a pneumatic impact hammer with a blunted chisel to hammer on the finger of the tool where it presses on the ball joint stud.

The final area was the lower control arms where they attach to the cross member behind the engine. The bolts were rusted solid in the bushings.

Removed the lower control arms as a unit with the transverse member, then used a pneumatic cutoff grinder to cut through the bolts on the head side of the bushing. With the nut removed and because the transverse member is slotted to allow for suspension adjustment during an alignment, I was able to pivot the control arm out of the cross member.

The rear bushings were shot - here's a picture of one before I removed it from the cross member:


The front bushings appeared to be in good condition, but I removed them anyway, since I had a complete repair kit:


Removing the upper control arms involved detaching the outer bushing carrier from the torsion bar, as there was no way to remove the bolt that goes thru the control arm and bushings and attaches to the torsion bar. Once the were on the bench, the state of failure was obvious:



The bushings in the transverse member are cactus as well:




Started cleaning up the passenger side fenderwell. When I went to remove the oil tank, I discovered that the same monkey that worked on the brake lines also worked on the hoses to the oil tank. I could only get the smaller of the 3 busted loose. Resorted to cutting the other two lines - I have a new set of hoses anyway.

Discovered that there's a cover missing up by the torsion bar. It's present on the driver's side. Thank goodness this is so, because the parts were impossible to find in EPC. The driver's side part had the part # cast into the plastic. They appear in the section with parts for the center console...




Cleaning with a mixture of Simple Green and Purple Stuff resulted in a fairly good outcome:






Did discover some rust in the typical spot. Have to replace the rocker panels anyway and I'll fix this mess then:


These rust spots are actually solid when probed with a punch:


I think this is a drain hole in the upper control arm recess - at least I hope it is:




I've decided to pull the fenders off the car and do a proper job. While I was waiting for the heat gun I ordered to arrive, I started cleaning up the parts in preparation for powder coating:
Lower Control Arm - before:




Lower Control Arm - after:




Brake shield - before:




Brake shield - after:


Sadly, the brake shield shows noticeable pitting - I think too many years sitting the shed is the cause. No rust-through, but they won't look as nice after powder coating as if they'd been un-pitted.
I'll see if I have versions of this part from #1164 that are in better shape.

That's all for now ---

W. Brian Fogarty

'02 S55 AMG (W220)
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter VII
W. Brian Fogarty

'12 S550 (W221)
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted out

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter V

wbrian63

#1
Here are some pictures of the Parts Washer I'm using.

For a cleaning fluid, I use Kerosene. Seems to work fine, and if I keep the lid on the washer closed when not in use, I'm not even aware that there's a parts washer in the room, odor-wise.

I modified the parts washer to externalize the pump, and even found a solvent-compatible pump (Little Giant Model 518550 PE-2YSA) on Amazon.Com for a reasonable sum of money.



The pump requires a sealed connection where the wires enter, so I took a 1/2" pipe and welded it to a cradle that stands up in a 5 gallon bucket. This elevates the pump off the floor of the bucket.



I added a setup to attach a large oil filter to the output of the pump. This is an attempt to keep the cleaning fluid clean - not sure if this is working for or against me. The system worked like crazy when I first turned it on. I cleaned some really nasty parts and then the flow dropped off dramatically, so I changed the filter, thinking it was clogged. The flow came back up some, but tapered again very quickly. I discovered that the lid on the solvent bucket was being sucked in as the level in the bucket drops if the outlet from the tub gets clogged, which it does regularly. I need to change the outlet from a 3/8" fitting to a 3/4" and add a screen of some sort.



And I adapted the outlet of the pump to allow for either a brush or a nozzle.

W. Brian Fogarty

'12 S550 (W221)
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted out

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter V

wbrian63

The sand blaster is a unit of my own construction, using a parts kit from TP tools. The floor of the unit is 24" deep x 48" wide. The arm holes are the right distance off the floor such that I don't have to stoop down at all to use the unit.

It took 2 sheets of 3/4" MDF to build the cabinet. The top was easy, the funnel was a Pain In The Ass. The instructions from TP Tools give you the dimensions required to build a funnel for a 30" wide (if I recall) unit. It took quite a bit of fiddling to adjust the dimensions to make the funnel wider. In addition, the TP Tools instructions assume that you'll use caulk to fix all the inconsistencies in the joints.

I used caulk, but only to provide a radius in the corners - the joints on all aspects of this cabinet don't need caulk to seal tight.

The frame for the cabinet is my own design, and creates a cradle that the funnel sits in. A few bolts keep the funnel in the right place, and the top sits on the funnel. I do have a piece of 1/4" thick foam weather stripping between the top and the funnel. There's nothing other than gravity holding the top in place - it weighs about 100#, so it's not going anywhere.



For lighting, I added two 150w halogen spots in the back corners, plus a 36" long 2-bulb florescent light on top. A gasketed piece of lens designed for a suspended ceiling florescent light keeps the blasting media and dust from fouling the light.

Here's a view from the outside with the main light on:


And with the halogens going:


Interior views of same scenes:




As I started using the cabinet, I discovered that there was too much of a shadow in the front of the part, so I found 3 LED puck lights from SuperBrightLEDs.com - part #  SSM-x3x



This adds some needed light between and adjacent to my hands. The pucks are rated for exterior exposure, and the wires are housed in the copper tube so they're safe from the harsh environment:


I painted the interior with gloss white paint, and the exterior with the same battleship grey that coats the floors in the shop, with a few blue accents thrown in.
I can see after just a little use that I'm going to have to get a piece of sheet metal to protect the back from the harsh effects of the glass media.

To bring air to the blasting gun, I decided to mount a regulator on board, with a 1/4" pipe welded to the frame to accept the air inlet:


I also wanted a dust-off air gun inside the cabinet, so I added a tee to the back of the inlet, the dust-off gun air supply doesn't flow through the regulator.


A 1/2 copper pipe passes the air across the back of the cabinet:

and to the front where a short piece of 3/8" air hose passes the air to a custom bulkhead fitting:




This nothing more than a 1/2" fender washer, drilled to accept a short section of 3/8" iron pipe which is tack-welded to the washer. A similar setup passes the air into the cabinet from the foot pedal to the gun.

To control dust inside the cabinet, I added a slide valve to attach my dust collector system.


The inlet is at the opposite side of the cabinet:


If I open the valve fully, the gloves inflate so much that they're difficult to move, so 1/2-way open is good enough.

The dust collector is the same unit I used for my wood-working equipment. It's a 3hp cyclonic unit with a high efficiency pleated air filter on the outlet of the blower, the airflow from which is ducted outside the workspace.

Since the cabinet is on wheels, I wanted to have a place to hold the foot pedal, so I added a hook on the front and drilled a hole in the top of the pedal.


After using the cabinet for a while, I grew frustrated as the foot pedal would slide around too easily. A 1/2" rare earth magnet set into the floor at the right place keeps the pedal in the proper position:


I put two such magnets - one for the pedal in position for right-foot operation, the other in a position for left-foot operation.

The door has a full gasket seal, and two toggle latches keep it securely shut. Truthfully, I don't really need either of these - with the dust collector on, the door stays shut all by itself.
I did make a mistake in my choice of gasket material. Once closed and dogged down, if left for even a few moments, the door sticks to the gasket material and is hard to open. So far, no gasket material has transferred to the door, but I think a different sort of foam, maybe something open-celled would work better. I'll have to do some experimenting in this area.


Power comes in at the left rear of the cabinet. The upper switch controls the main florescent light and the LED pucks. The bottom switch turns on the halogens.


So far, the only complaint I've got is how quickly the protective mylar sheet on the inside of the window has gotten fogged from the flying media. I think I'm going to devise a setup to allow me to add regular window glass easily. Then I'll buy a bunch of pieces and swap them out as they get obscured. The glass will last far longer than the mylar - I'll just have to devise a good seal to keep the media from getting between the two pieces of glass, and a frame to make it easy to exchange the glass as needed.

I've not had any issues with media flow, but I do plan to construct a pressure feed pot to make the media delivery more consistent.
W. Brian Fogarty

'12 S550 (W221)
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted out

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter V

wbrian63

On a different forum,  I asked about inner fender colors, a reply was posted that the only proper way to restore a 6.9 was to properly restore it - not to cut corners.

The more I thought about it, I realized they were right - I was just hoping I could avoid a bunch of really nasty work...

So I began the task of pulling the front fenders...

First task - the bumpers, headlamps and valance(s) under the front bumper have to come off:






Then you need to buy, make and utilize some tools to remove the fenders. The first is a heat gun capable of generating 600C temps (about 1100f) - Amazon.com to the rescue for about $100.00.




A bent putty knife is helpful to release the seal that binds the fender to the fender well at the top:


A bottle jack and a brace puts gentle upward pressure on the fender to help ease it off the car:


The service manual says to heat the fender at the point where the bolts attach, then use a sharp knife to cut the PVC liner from inside the fender at the top where the fender and inner fender meet. While it might seem a good idea to heat the fender from the inside, this won't work well, as the PVC acts as a very good insulator.

I tried the passenger fender first, and a little over-zealous prying with a wide bar left me with some scars that will have to be repaired:




This dent is in the top edge of the fender and was caused by pulling to vigorously before all of the PVC had been cut free.


Once the fender is free of the car, the real picture can be seen. Very small surface rust on the inside of the fender:








This rust is not as bad as it appears, it should clean to bare metal and require no additional work.


I was more patient with the left side fender and no dents were created. I did have to drill/grind out one of the screws that attaches the fender to the body behind the trim at the bottom of the fender.

Rust not as extensive on this side, but holes are still there to be repaired:


I thought it would be a good idea to remove as much of the PVC with a combination of a sharpened putty knife and a small sharp chisel. What you see here is a small part of what must be done, and it took about 3 hours to get to this point. 99% of the rust seen in these pictures is surface only, but almost all of it was invisible under the PVC - as good a reason as I can find for following Ryan's (S Class) suggestion.






I ordered some quick-change rust removal pads that fit in my 4-1/2" angle grinder from Amazon.Com - about $12.50.



It requires an adapter to fit the grinder, but allows for quick swapping between discs - about $11.50


With the disc mounted in the grinder, this is the result after about 10 minutes work:







I need to get some smaller versions of these strippers to get into the nooks and crannies. I've yet to figure out how I'm going to deal with the cup that receives the strut - it has nooks and crannies behind it that will be impossible to reach fully.

That's all for now - my shoulders and back are still angry with me...
W. Brian Fogarty

'12 S550 (W221)
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted out

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter V

gavin116

Hi Brian

I just though I would say what a great write-up and good photos too!  I really like the 'auto' section, as well as the 'tools and equipment'.  I can't wait for the next instalment.  Your parts have come up trumps in the sand blaster, they will look super once they have their final coating.  Judging from your wheel-houses, your car could have originally been Cyprus Green Metallic.

Keep on going and keep us posted,

Gavin
1979 450SE "Mrs White"
2022 Touareg-R 3.0TSi Hybrid
[url="http://forum.w116.org/test-drive/my-first-w116-here-at-last/"]http://forum.w116.org/test-drive/my-first-w116-here-at-last/[/url]
[url="http://forum.w116.org/the-org/british-near-london-meet/msg97613/#msg97613"]http://forum.w116.org/the-org/british-near-london-meet/msg97613/#msg97613[/url]

TJ 450

Nice work! All things considered, that rust doesn't look too bad. Once the PVC is removed everything will be revealed.

Those 3M discs look rather impressive. I'll have to look out for them in future.

A regards to the fender... They are very easily damaged during removal indeed.

Tim
1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500

wbrian63

Quote from: gavin116 on 29 August 2013, 10:49 AM
Hi Brian

I just though I would say what a great write-up and good photos too!  I really like the 'auto' section, as well as the 'tools and equipment'.  I can't wait for the next instalment.  Your parts have come up trumps in the sand blaster, they will look super once they have their final coating.  Judging from your wheel-houses, your car could have originally been Cyprus Green Metallic.

Keep on going and keep us posted,

Gavin

Indeed - the car was originally Cypress Green Metallic. I picked up some of the paint for the inner fenders (along with the other required primers and materials) at my local Paint & Body supplier on Monday. Gads was it Expensive! $65.00 for a PINT!!! That wasn't even the most expensive they had either. I'll save the best quality for the exterior painting...

Paint has gotten REALLY expensive in the past few years. A quart of each for the etching primer for bare metal, along with the filler primer and required hardeners and reducers and thinners and the bill was over $300.00. That's not counting the >$100 I've already spent for seam sealer and Wurth rock-chip undercoating - and this is just for stuff that's more-or-less hidden when the car is on its wheels...

Sheesh!!!
W. Brian Fogarty

'12 S550 (W221)
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted out

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter V

wbrian63

Quote from: TJ 450 on 29 August 2013, 10:51 AM
Nice work! All things considered, that rust doesn't look too bad. Once the PVC is removed everything will be revealed.

Those 3M discs look rather impressive. I'll have to look out for them in future.

A regards to the fender... They are very easily damaged during removal indeed.

Tim
I did some more on Tuesday evening and found more rust. Some above the bracket for the brake hose, but nothing other than surface. Then down by the other existing rust, on the inside of the "stiffening tube" that runs across from the main bulkhead by the hole for the torsion bar outwards and down to the curve at the bottom of the fender. Where that item ends, towards the inside, completely hidden by the PVC was rust-through.

Joy.

BTW - what gauge metal should I be getting to make the required repairs? I've never done work like this before, and it needs to look right and function right as well.

As for the dent in the top of the fender, I recently arranged for a PDR (Paintless Dent Repair) service to remove a dent on my mothers new Lexus RX350. This dent was over the passenger side front tire and was a doozy. When they were done, the results were invisible. Her car is white.

At the same time, I had them remove a small ding in the right rear quarter panel of my 2002 S55. A door-ding type dent about 1cm in diameter (3/8"). When he was finished, he asked me to inspect the work. I said "looks great, the only evidence that remains is where the paint was scratched slightly by whatever hit the car" as I pointed to a blemish in the paint. He said "yeah, but the spot I fixed is over here" as he pointed to a spot about 2" away... My S55 is black.

I think a few $ spent letting him massage the divot out of the top of the fender and the oil tank recess will be money well spent.
W. Brian Fogarty

'12 S550 (W221)
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted out

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter V

be free

Brian,
Awesome work.
I am a Texan just starting to restore a 6.9 (#4153)
I will be following your saga and hopefully someday copying your work.
Do you have a spare Fuel heater/regulator? A friend needs one.
Jeff

wbrian63

Thanks for the cudos.

Do you have a part # for what you're asking after? I can check my stock.

Regards
W. Brian Fogarty

'12 S550 (W221)
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted out

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter V

be free

thanks
waiting on the call with that part number.

be free

part # 0 438 140 060 for a 1979 model 6.9 that has to be specific to that year.

wbrian63

That looks like a non-MB part # - maybe a Bosch reference?

MB part #'s usually start with model # (116, 123, 108, etc), followed by 47 (fuel system) followed by 4 more numbers.

I wasn't even aware that the W116's had that feature. If I find what you're talking about in EPC correctly, it's actually a fuel cooler. It's an inline heat exchanger that uses the low side of the A/C to chill the fuel before it enters the fuel distributor. The part # listed there shows 107-476-04-17, or 116-476-02-81 or 107-476-02-17, but all show 126-476-00-17 as the replacement part #.

At any rate - since my '76 model lacks such a feature, it's not something I'd have available.

Sorry.
W. Brian Fogarty

'12 S550 (W221)
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted out

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter V

be free

The part only has a Bosch number on it. What I understand the 1975-1978 has a warm up regulator with the Bosch number of 0 438 140 068 and the 1979 has a Bosch number of 0 438 140 060.

This is a part for a friend of a friend. I am only trying to learn and get good karma for when I am in need. I am just now entering into the 6.9 world and need all of the knowledge and help from friends as I can get.

What is your opinion on using Aviation Gasoline in the M-100 engine? My current problem is the varnished old fuel that has caused my fuel distributor to malfunction. My warm regulator may be in need of a rebuild as well.

Thanks again for your time.

wbrian63

Ah - Warm Up Regulator.

This is a topic of some reputation, what with the varying versions of that item and what version works best for which model.

There are several threads on that here on this site.

There's even a company that was making an electronic based replacement (UnwiredTools), but I don't know if it's still available.

Also - are you aware of the M-100.co website? If not, check it out. It's specifically tailored to the MB cars equipped with the venerable M-100 powerplant, the 600 Grosser, 300SEL 6.3 and the 450SEL 6.9. Good stuff over there.

Regards
W. Brian Fogarty

'12 S550 (W221)
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted out

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter V