Author Topic: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman  (Read 104095 times)

floyd111

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Re: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman
« Reply #690 on: 24 May 2020, 02:29 AM »
Today I received the delivery of all the thousands of parts I been buying the last 6 years. The truck almost tumbled off the road when he maneuvered himself backwards and drove one of his front wheels off the road, on top of a hill. A proper nightmare.
Long story short, with a dose of pain killers and a few hours work, all pallets were -manually- pushed uphill into my garage downstairs. It was a sight to behold.
Naturally I could not wait for workers to come tomorrow and sort everything in cupboards and boxes, and I pretty much opened each of the 50 boxes for a quick look.
What very quickly became clear is that I set a new bar for what should/could be called "megalomanic insanity". I am not even a mechanic. What on earth have I been thinking? All those parts! Without even opening everything, I found 4 sets of front chair luggage nets, all new.
4 sets? really? For what? The effort it took and will take to finish just 1 car, and I bought 4 sets.
4 sets of seat heaters, 2 full sets of locks and keys, a dozen front and rear light assy's, hundreds and hundreds of bags with parts I do not recognize. All of it NOS and no idea where they need to go. Dozens of items I DID recognize and remember. Memories of Australia shipments, boxes full of NOS chrome that ended up twisted and mangled on the back of a muddy fruit truck, winging it as a part time courier. Parcels that were sent from France to germany to Holland to Taiwan. Minimax's that were bought in Holland, shipped to Bulgaria, loaded into the back of god-knows what car, into a container, smuggled into taiwan, moved house 4 times with the restoration workshop moving house 4 times, just to finally end up here, after nearly falling off a mountain during delivery.
There is no end to the hundreds of stories that accompany each of those hundreds of parts.
And my restored chassis? No word. Did they spray the aluminum bonnet and trunk I shipped in from the USA? Nope, coz those are right here, and my chassis is not.
Also shipped here, all the rotten fenders and doors that should have been tossed in the kipper.
And somehow I have 4 bonnets here, some in colors I do not recognize.

I think I might need therapy, or a religion. I definitely need a mechanic. :)

ptashek

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Re: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman
« Reply #691 on: 24 May 2020, 05:04 AM »
I'm sure a lot of us will be more than happy to relieve you of the parts you won't need, at reasonable prices of course ;) (unlike the guys we all know as "frenchies")
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1988 "Arctic White" W124 200T
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE (history, resto)

rumb

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Re: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman
« Reply #692 on: 24 May 2020, 06:17 AM »
For you at least a big step has been realized. Your storage racks will become a bit of a museum to see.
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floyd111

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Re: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman
« Reply #693 on: 24 May 2020, 03:48 PM »
Yeah, I was already planning some of that. First let's have a look-see and hope I have built enough cupboards. I kinda don't think so.
Getting workers here is famously difficult and my DIY days are gone and may not return.
Think I am gonna start with getting rid of as many cardboard and paper boxes -but keep the part number- to save space, of those parts I am gonna keep. All the second-hand stuff that came off chassis 1 was also shipped here. Gotta throw out all the rusty doors and fenders, Then all the used door handles and window lifter mechanisms.-keep the motors. Gotta toss out al the bonnets, and just keep the aluminum one.
Looks like I have a lot of interior vinyl.  There's 2 full sets plus everything that came in bits from abroad. I know there's 2 more full sets on the other 2 cars I got stashed away. I found the vinyl spray I smuggled into Taiwan years ago, so I could start selecting the best pieces in any color to get a full set, in any color, since they all gonna get re-done  in 1 color at some point
Frustrating that there's 2 sets still on those other cars!
Saw a bunch of hat shelves sticking out of pallets, one more pathetic than the other. Sure hope there's at ;east 1 decent one among them. (I must have found at least 1 over the years)

floyd111

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Re: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman
« Reply #694 on: 25 May 2020, 08:30 AM »
And today my workers decided not to show up. A depression of sorts, they explained, and I shared their feelings right after they told me such.
I found that each time I walk downstairs and see the garage filled with pallets and parts in chaos, my neck vertebrae lock up and I climb right back upstairs to do 5 minutes on the orthopedic traction bed. I'm gonna  try again tomorrow. I am glad that the 2 full bumper sets I bought new are still in their safe, sturdy packaging, but all the other NOS chrome is all over the place. My NOS grille assy is without packaging, clamped in between seats and interior parts.
You can imagine I'd want to unpack them as fast as possible, with the other half of me trying to delay the very likely pain that will come seeing some of those hard-earned parts scratched.
Fingers crossed that i get lucky.
I also hope that what's not been lost when they disassembled and misplaced my engine is on that pallet, as well as the gear box and the differential, all of which I have yet to find buried somewhere..IF they are there.
The there's the unobtanium 6.9 front spoiler, and both baffle plates that I have not yet found.
Scary days.

floyd111

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Re: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman
« Reply #695 on: 25 May 2020, 04:32 PM »
(copy)  I am going to have to address the rear seat spring unit issue.  Much has been said here about welding and foam inserts. My  workshop must have stored mine under a leaky ceiling. Just saw the once OK covers are wasted away on the sides, and the internals are completely rusted. I have new pads, luckily, but I am no doubt faced with having to get decent or new rear sets springs.
is there any news, updates, about these being back on offer at MB?
Any way to obtain a new-ish one, NOS, refurbished or whatnot?

UTn_boy

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Re: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman
« Reply #696 on: 26 May 2020, 02:40 AM »
Rear seat spring frames haven't been available for many many years.  I don't expect Mercedes to ever again offer anything like this for a lowly (to Mercedes) W116.  I suppose the best thing would be to source some good used ones from Europe.....but then there's that issue of shipping, customs, sneaking in through the back door, transport on the back of some horse drawn buggy over mountains in crappy weather, and then on small fishing boats across the Black Sea, Caspian sea, Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, down through the Arabian sea, Laccadive Sea, through the Bay of Bengal into the Andaman Sea.....at which point it may end up being allowed to pass through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, or Vietnam, finally into the South China Sea on to Taiwan.  (This is all assuming that China won't allow transport across their land) Once there the crap starts all over again.  Or.....you could buy from the U.S., and it would only have to cross the Pacific Ocean and Philippine Sea after leaving some port on the southern coast of California.  :) 

I can't even imagine the hell you go through with shipping.  I don't envy you. 
1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1971 280sel Black/black leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1976 280s astral silver/blue MB Tex

ptashek

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Re: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman
« Reply #697 on: 26 May 2020, 07:41 AM »
One of our members has had an entire W116 dashboard shipped in the hold of a passenger jet from UK to South Africa, checked in as sports equipment. Nobody seems to have cared enough on the bulk luggage x-rays. If there's a will there's a way.

Maybe find someone who's travelling to Taiwan ;)
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1988 "Arctic White" W124 200T
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE (history, resto)

floyd111

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Re: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman
« Reply #698 on: 30 May 2020, 04:26 PM »
''travelling to Taiwan"  That WOULD be a great option. Tony, my mech will be coming this direction at some point, and he could check in a spring seat as oversize luggage.-maybe. For now, he doesn't feel like being locked in a hotel for 2 weeks in quarantine after arrival, but that stuff should end at some point.
BTW.. shipping is an issue all over, no matter what country it's from. It's pretty much not getting IN. Strangely enough, everything that is shipped in by companies on pallets -like my Ohlins air-pallets from Sweden- is getting in without delay. Business first, I guess. it's couriers, everything small and private that is not, or hardly getting through customs.
So, worst case scenario, there is still the pallet way. It's just very costly, unless I can get Ohlins Sweden or Ohlins Thailand to add a spring seat to my shock absorbers pallets. Sweden is very official, and thus a long shot. Thailand is a bit more forgiving, but go find a -decent- spring seat from Thailand!
So, long way round, asking Tony to carry one would very much be the best option.

floyd111

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Re: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman
« Reply #699 on: 02 June 2020, 05:57 AM »
Sad days..
Been opening more and more boxes, just to find more and more damaged parts.  Costly shiny NOS trim, scratched, spread out over countles pallets, often unprotected. Broken left mirror glas, scratched hydraulic armored car jack, NOS RPM counter with the needle come off, because it was simply tossed in a box unwrapped. The list just keeps getting longer. Workshop guys just keep asking when they can rid themselves of my cars and wash their hands in silence.
It's a disgrace. i'm looking at damage in the thousands.
Gonna end up having to re-plate all the NOS trim, something I spent so much money on as to avoid by buying mint NOS.
Hopefully things will look up again later. For now, it's not good.

ptashek

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Re: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman
« Reply #700 on: 02 June 2020, 09:35 AM »
Hopefully some of it will be salvageable.
For instrument cluster stuff, if the faceplates aren't damaged, and the shafts unbent, re-attaching the needles isn't an issue. Heck, some people even take them off when restoring, so I wouldn't loose any sleep over it.

Trim you will likely just need to live with. I don't think anyone has trim that is 100% perfect. It wasn't perfect from factory either :)

Think of it this way - you're likely to have the only road going, restored W116 in Taiwan when (not if!) this project is finished.
Try to find something positive in a world of cargo misery :)
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1988 "Arctic White" W124 200T
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE (history, resto)

floyd111

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Re: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman
« Reply #701 on: 02 June 2020, 06:04 PM »
Thanks for the kind words. i  do, I try and will, and have been doing so for a long time. So long.. In the last 6 years I have only missed 2 days in regards to my online searches, mails and investigations. For more than 3 years it was a good 6 hours per day. The rest of the years it was/is 3-5 times 15-30 minutes, every day. It is relentless. especially for someone like me who doesn't even own a mobile phone.

Last week I found myself needing a warm shoulder to laugh-cry in, haha!
I found a soft-copy of the 70's MB dealer accessories folder, with all the detailed photos. I only had a group-cupboard photo till now, and thought I had managed to track down most of the available accessories of yesteryear. The folder showed me how far i yet have to go. I have collected only 35-40% thus far, and many of of the missing items I have never even seen on offer anywhere!
As far as the W116 NOS parts are concerned, I was pretty complete, if it wasn't for the recent damage.
In regards to the "100 years of MB Customer Gifts" collection, it is now 'raining" newly found additions, where I was convinced recently -again- that I was "pretty complete"
My word, these MB boys have been busy coming up with new gifts. It is mind-boggling. I have long stopped posting all my new additions here on my blog, just because it's too much to keep up with.
I am so tired. I need this to finish, but it just keeps coming. I am not even addicted anymore, I am just running on routine, determination and discipline.
Worst thing is, not a single person I know in this country even cares about anything i am trying to do here, not even my wife, haha! I must be mad.

Thanks to Marku here, I can keep on making payments to those without paypal, and thanks to TJC here, my (almost) daily parcels can be shipped to a safe location in Germany during Covid, or I would have been climbing the walls in despair, seeing my mission evaporate.
Also, thanks to the warm assistance from so many helpful and supporting members here, or I would never have been able to get this far! :)



UTn_boy

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Re: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman
« Reply #702 on: 04 June 2020, 06:31 PM »
Stan, do you have any stationary like this?  It would look lovely in your museum!  I bought two of them.  I'm actually using one, but this one is unopened.  I didn't know if you could use it or not. 
1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1971 280sel Black/black leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1976 280s astral silver/blue MB Tex

floyd111

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Re: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman
« Reply #703 on: 05 June 2020, 12:04 AM »
wow! Never seen one of these! Are they hard plastic boxes, or a pile of paper sheets?

floyd111

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Re: 280" Concourse; Diary of a layman
« Reply #704 on: 05 June 2020, 06:00 AM »
And while we wait for Aaron's stationary..some news here.
The workshop is shipping 2 out of 3 W116's to me tomorrow morning. Luckily I have the space for them outside.
Oh, and of course it's the 2 W116's that I was NOT waiting for!.
Inside the large garage downstairs it's an ocean of boxes, parts and whatnot. A mountain of vinyl parts, another mountain of chrome, a big pile of rubber, a mountain of sheet metal for W116, another pile for R107 and another pile for W108. (The latter 2 piles are totally up for sale. All NOS sheet metal and a big bag of small NOS parts.)
There is a mountain of seats, and a mountain of used parts, a pile of new FEBI and Meyle, and a pile of lights and reflectors. There's a pile of GAHH and a pile of W116 accessories. There's a pile of W116 options and a huge pile of everything that never should have been shipped here to start off with. Those are 2 piles.. rusty garbage and a pile belonging to other people.(!)
Even though it satisfies my OCD to sort this chaos into  order, there is a constant shadow over all of this, and that is the shadow of damage and loss.
I haven't even sorted the chrome, nor the thousands of small parts, and already I am 20-25000 in damages and losses.
Massive items are missing, even brand new windshields and rear windows. the NOS instrument panel, ORIS towbars, my high end Focal and JL Audio speakers.. the list goes on and on.
That instrument panel is absolutely nowhere to be found worldwide. tried for hours in a row. (Can only be built with seperate parts, that sell between 500 and 800usd (x3), plus the casing and shipping.)
My brand new 4 front seat spring units apparently have been standing in water for a long time, and are rusted. Those now cost 1000usd a piece on ebay to replace.
There is so much more.. I can't even bear to write it all down here.

Been talking to the workshop manager for 2 days, listing missing item after item, just to find out that he didn't even call the boss, so wasn't even aware of these insane issues.
I just had him on the phone, and he is convinced the missing stuff is still in his garage, while the manager says all was shipped out.
To be continued tomorrow.
« Last Edit: 05 June 2020, 06:05 AM by floyd111 »