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280" Concourse; Diary of a layman

Started by floyd111, 09 March 2015, 04:44 AM


Lighters and instrument panel indicator strip.


It is not going to get easier. I bought these as well. Valves at 150usd are a bargain, even though not MB.. the rest is!


In preparation for my Zebrano needs, i bought these.
The wheel and shifter from Eris, 2 full sets (and the chrome sils)
2 used Zebrano ashtrays for restoration, from ebay, 25usd and 40 usd.


These will look good, for sure. I know they aren't MB genuine, but the plastic originals are never pretty for long.


Oh, and thanks to "mercdz" for the Australian Hand Brake thread, allowing for a near-OEM permanent fix of the seat handles.
5 minutes after the thread was posted, I had cornered the world market in right-hand drive brake handles. 6 in total, 5 of them new in the box. 25usd each.

I also turned to Mercedessource, for once. Not my favorite shopping venue, but I needed to buy 12 central locking actuator rubbers for my cars. The bill still felt like a pound of flesh. 13usd, x12, plus shipping and taxes.. Not funny for a bunch of tiny rubbers..


Days, weeks fly by, and more and more items keep coming in from abroad.
I find myself driving to the restorer every 2 weeks to dump new loads of new parts.
I guess they are not sure what I am thinking or planning. No doubt some of the mechanics do not believe this project will ever happen.
When are they to start doing the first work? 1 car became 3 cars, 6 months will become 2 years, and Stan never ever stops schlepping more and more boxes with exotic goodies.
Well, fate stepped in.

My daily car is a rather beaten up 2001 honda CRV that has done it's job for me, well beyond expectation. 100000km extra on the tacho since I bought it 2 years ago, and it still drives.
However, it needs dumping now. Repairs are simply not wise. It may have 400000Km on the fake tacho. Who knows.
Another used car will cost 10000usd, and I am gonna hate it.

So, I told my restorer to take the first w116 280S, and replace everything in Meyle and Febi, check all cooling, fuel, water and oil lines, and make it a daily car that is presentable, and won't break down for some time to come.
He is to only fix the drivers seat internals with GAHH pads, while we await the express shipment of the MB seat spring unit.
He WILL have the carburator done with new rubbers and gaskets, after ultrasound cleaning.
It should be ready in 10 days, allowing me to drive a W116 on a daily bases, until the day comes that the other, W116 280SE has seen a Concours restauration
It allows me to split all the future MB Parts shopping in 2 large batches, where I only need to pay for 1 batch for a year to come.
The second batch only gets ordered after the Concours has been sold as planned. Or when I win the lottery next week.

I am not entirely happy with these change of plans, but it is probably a wise move, allowing me to keep the 10000usd in the bank, that would otherwise have been a sure expenditure on a used car.
The worst part about that is automotive depreciation. I loathe it. It is insane to buy a modern, costly car and see value disappear, even if it is parked.
I am decided that is no longer going to be me. Classics only!

Also had a few lucky turns this week. My Aero 750 finally sold, and even though second-hand, for the new price ! (license plate related!)
An old debtor paid his debts, and the CRV will be sold as well. That's 10 thou for MB parts!
The time is here. It needs to be done.
I need to lock myself in a hotel room for a week with no phones or disturbances, and sift through every W116 part on the EPC, establishing a final order list. Or at least, something that resembles a final list.
I know I will forget things
I know I will be ordering stuff that needs no replacement.
At least, I hope I won't be ordering the wrong part numbers
What can one do? I am a layman.


Looks like you are buying a fair bit of parts from the guy in Argentina via ebay?

I do find he has good stuff but his prices are crazy :o
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber


Quote from: floyd111 on 10 March 2015, 02:02 AM
2 full sets of these, from Germany. NOS, even cheaper than new. -And they ARE cheap, from MB, Don't buy these used unless you get them with very good rubbers. MB supplies the rubbers all-in.

Ah yes, the bizarre case of the indicators.
The indicator seals alone cost something like twice as much as the indicator lens *with* the seals...
One of the arguments I've heard was that the seals are NOS, but the indicator lens + seal set is fresh, reproduction stock.
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1988 "Arctic White" W124 200T
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE


Quote from: daantjie on 10 March 2015, 12:37 PM
Looks like you are buying a fair bit of parts from the guy in Argentina via ebay?

I do find he has good stuff but his prices are crazy :o

Who's that mysterious guy in Argentina? :)
Mind posting a link to his eBay shop (or any of his items)?
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1988 "Arctic White" W124 200T
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE


1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber


About Fatone_inc
goods quality
OK shipping rates
safe packing
import taxes(!)
Prices are negotiable..a little.
If they have NLA, who cares.

Items rumored NLA are sometimes not NLA

If you have wholesale MB links, Fatone is -mostly- same as wholesale. Not cheaper, not more
If you're en end-user, and you need a few items of  great cost, they may just be the ticket.
I find few bargains in Benz-world. Bulk is the only ticket.


This month is also about finished product details.
I told the restorer to remove every large or tiny chrome part on the car, from interior trim parts to mirrors, wheel caps, bumpers, etc etc, and load it all into a large box to send for factory re-chroming.
It won't be cheap, but again, bulk should get me good prices. If the parts are not rusted, or dented, re-chroming should allow for a better quality than new, and buying new would be expensive beyond belief.

At the restorer, I found that, after the extraction of my Zebrano dash, tiny MB parts were all over the floor.
I hammered down the importance of keeping all the nuts, bolts, rivets clamps and screws neatly bagged and numbered, each time with a description where the screws go.
Without such a system, it is a sure thing that all will end up in a big bucket, or lost, and I will find the wrong screws in the wrong holes everywhere.
At the same time, I will take those bags to various hardware shops, and meticulously replace every possible nut, washer and screw with stainless replacements.
Whatever isn't available in stainless will be bought new, galvanized
Whatever remains left after that will be sent to the factory for galvanizing.
That last batch of bags will be a head ache.
I will need to measure and log all of them, photographing them on maths paper with reference, so I can later place the new screws back into the right bags.
There's no other way. Galvanizing needs to be done in one go. As many parts as possible, in a one-time galvanizing session.

This last session will include all the small parts that belong to the engine as well. Plan is to have all the nuts, bolts and covers outside the engine stand-out, color-wise, from the engine housing and external larger units.
It should look stunning.


Yesterday I ordered the second batch of GAHH stuff. This time it should contain what was missing last time, plus all that can be bought for the second car. Worried about not meeting Concourse standards, I bit the bullet and also ordered the rear seat pad combi's.
I ordered extra vinyl to refurbish the sun visors, x4, and extra velours to refurbish both hat shelves. I already had extra vinyl to re-do the dash boards
I want both cars to have head rests front and back, so I got covers for those as well.
Ordered a bottle of vinyl re-freshener that they sell. Will experiment on spare panels, to see whether it works miracles like advertised.

I still need 4x luggage nets that belong on the rear panels of the front seats.
If anyone can tell me where to get these, that would be great.  I can't find them anywhere. I want to retro-fit them onto the GAHH panels.

I still need white-wall tyres, 12 of them, and I can't get them in Taiwan. I will try and see whether my European MB supplier can source them locally and load them in my MB-order ocean container.

And, now that the first W116 needs to be a daily drive for a year, it will need hifi, and it must be the same set it will have after a full restoration. Must be mint.
Problem with these W116's is that there is almost no way to install hifi without cutting holes into the car. That is not an option here.
It must be high-end, invisible, and non-invasive.

Hifi is yet an issue unresolved. Shopping in Italy ebay seems a sure thing, though.
I found high-end 2-way 5" KRC 130 Focals that can fit in the OEM holes in the dash.
I found a kicker ZX700 that is listed as a 5-channel top amp, and hiding it under a chair is easy.
I found an Alpina 12" woofer, shallow-mount type, SWR-T12. I see no other way than to fit it inside/under the rear seat.
Not sure it can be done. The floor is not flush, so the bottom of the boom box can not be flush. I am thinking about molding the bottom of the box out of A-B epoxy-putti, exactly fitting the bumpy seat floor. The sides and top of the speaker could be done in simple MDF.
Any other ideas are welcomed!

There is room under the front seats for custom-made boxes with 2-way speakers. Well-designed, in black, with velcro against sliding, it may be the only option.  I need to measure the height tolerance to see whether quality ovals can be fitted, or whether I will be forced to add 4 more 5" Focals.

The seats need to hide the speakers, so space is limited, to say the least.
This leaves to find a spot for the receiver. I do not want a receiver in the glove box. Ugly!
The Pioneer DEX P99Rs is the summit, and buying from Japan eBay saves 200-400usd per unit, be it that the radioband is Jap-spec. Not my prob. Radio in Taiwan sucks.
It has auto-EQ, linked to an external sound-check microphone in the head rests. It has a 24 D/A converter. It has no amp, and no CD.
It has a remote and hole for a USB stick that contains enough music for years to come.
Great, but where to put it? I want to see if there is room behind the dash, or behind the lower dash panels.
Again, ideas here are welcome


Well, days are flying by, expecting a call any moment from my man that the 280S has been returned to "drivable"condition.
They basically replaced everything available with Meyle and Febi parts, which included the brake lines, brake disks and the brake pads front and back. Calipers were taken apart, cleaned, and refurbished, to my surprise, with local parts.
Carburetor was taken apart, ultrasonically cleaned, with rubbers and gaskets replaced.
Scores of steel-rubber parts were replaced, ensuring a safe, comfortable drive.
Bumper parts were selected from the 3 available W116's, leaving me with the most presentable set.
Front chairs were taken out, aligned, and when when my OEM front seat spring frame arrives next week, the GAHH pads will go in, and the chairs will be put back in.
Can't wait.. My CRV has now become not only a danger to me and my family, but also for all mortals roadside. It needs to go.

In the meantime I am still banging my head against the EPC. Not that it won't work! It works fine. Problem is my brain can't wrap itself around the countless pages with parts data I only half understand. I am well out of my comfort zone here. If only I could find some help from a professional Benz mechanic that has a day to spare. Since I won't be buying my parts locally, that really is not an option.
Wish I could hope for my restorer to do the work on THEIR EPC, but they have little idea how to work it as well.

Yesterday I went to a classic Benz meeting. People nationwide attended. Over 100 old Benzes there, and 10 times more people. Regrettably, only 1 W116, and more than 95 W123's.
The oldest car, a single W108, stole the show. On the inside, the veneer had fallen off the dash.
It really exposed the levels of restoration available in Taiwan. Nil.
When word got out that I was the designated guy to talk to about Parts, people were almost lining up. Name cards were flying. Orders for W124, W116, W123, W126 Parts followed suit. Apparently, I am the authority now, haha!
Not bad for future business, but it illustrated how much I need to rely on myself.
Even the many Benz-workers, and Benz management that were hovering over the old cars did not want to attempt to dabble in classic cars.
I also found out I am beyond doubt one of the few people in the country with a W116, and the only guy that has 3 of them.

Still, on an even more positive note, I floated the idea of selling a fully restored Concourse W116 with 3 years full warranty for 100.000usd, and people were nodding that might work.
There are no Concourse cars anywhere. Just wannabe-mint imports from Japan, without license plates.

Still, on the W116 front, the one owner I spoke to was delighted to meet a fan.
He had bought his 2-star W116 280SEL so expensive, he could not even utter the figure.
Still, even though the lightly-dented bumpers and interior needed a cosmetic touch, under the bonnet it was a feast for the eyes. Not a drop of oil, not a scratch, not a spot of rust anywhere, and not only the engine bay was mint, but the whole car was absolute rust-free.. The engine bay had never been touched, resprayed or touched otherwise.. It was so clean and new, you could eat your lunch off of it. Amazing. It had been parked indoors for all of it's life. Air conditioned, no doubt.
Now, that is a car I should have found a year ago. Still, it would no doubt have been outside my budget. White interior, and even the seat springs seemed new.
I will post some photos in the next weeks, when he comes and visits me to see my cars at the restorer.
Back to the EPC, for now..


That is pretty bizarre.

Here in North America they are plentiful and cheap as borscht.  You can wander through any of the scrap yards here, and you will find at least one W116 in half decent shape.  Granted some of them are rusted beyond repair, but you just have to be a little patient and you can find a gem for $5K here (not 6.9 of course, but any other W116).

Same thing for W126's, they are plentiful and cheap-cheap.
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber