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My 1st experience on a W116

Started by dei.85, 14 December 2022, 09:50 PM

dei.85

Hello folks! My name is David, I live in Córdoba province, Argentina. This is my first post on this forum, although it has been very usefull for me to read it in the last two months. (Huge thanks to all those who share they´re knowledge and experience!)

I have some other Mercedes: Three S123, two W201, one W110 and one W115 coupe. But never before a W116, and it always drew my attention because of it´s elegance and prestige, but never found "the one".

Since my first 300TD Turbo I became very fund of diesels, and turbodiesels in particular.

So, about 2 years ago during COVID restrictions, I found a 300SD W116 (Very rare here in Southamerica) that had been sitting for 16 years in a garage. It had 227K original miles. Its previous owner passed away on 2007, and his sister kept the car stored in her house. She had many cats, and the rear left window was left open... The cats lived in it all those years.

She sent me many pics, since I could not go and see the car personally. And it really seemed in awesome conditions, in spite of the dirt and garbage all around.



As soon as it was permitted, I went to see it, and it was love at first site: All original paint and upholstery. Original carpets, manuals, radio, radiator, hoses, first aid kit. Even the original spare tire with very little wear!

Here in Argentina regulations about paperwork are very burocratic, so I had to wail a whole year to be able to "legally own" the car, and only then I could go pick it up. That was about two months ago.


We became friends with the lady who sold it to me, and the car took it´s name from the previous owner´s nickname: "El Gordo".

So, we pulled the car out. The cat piss smell was everywhere (And still struggling to get rid of it). Tow truck came and we took it home.

As soon as we arrived, I poured fresh diesel into the tank, changed oil and filters, new battery and tryed to start it: it fired right up! Then went driving it a few short rounds, and tended to stall when accellerating. The hand primer on the pump was definitely indicating a clogged diesel line.

Later, it ran perfectly using an auxiliary tank. And when I say perfectly, it´s exactly that: Firing right up even cold, very nice acceleration, and idling very smooth! Only very little smoke on the exhaust when cold.

When I pulled the diesel tank out, there was LOTS of  black crud. The indicator sending unit was also covered in crud and rusted, as also was the fuel strainer on the bottom. Cleaned all up with multiple techniques, and accomplished a reasonable -yet not perfect- cleaning of the components.
Nowadays, I´m using a big gasoline filter before the original pre-filter, and changing it every 500 miles, or when it becomes too dark.

Then, started taking all the interior off and ventilating and cleaning everything I could. The rear parcel shelf was apparently the cat´s favourite spot: It was absolutely teared appart, and filled with substances and smells I can not describe... I think it was the main source of the smell. I was able to rescue, after many washes, the original foam. And then got a similar fabric, new hardboard, and good to go. One of the rear speakers still works great! The other one died.

Both front window regulators were bended and not working properly, so I got from a friend two reasonably good regulators, reinforced those with some steel, and got them working.

The car had these additional issues:

- Original oil pressure gauge not working, a non original one was installed. The driver´s foot well was notoriously stained with oil, so you can imagine what was the story there.

- Missing: AC compressor, Clima Control servo, Tempomat module, tach amplifier.


So, to correct these, at least until I can get the propper parts, I did the following:

- Oil gauge: Disassembled the whole instrument cluster, cleaned and change light bulbs. I used the bronze capsule from a W114 instruments, and it worked perfectly! It also seemed a bit more robust than the W116´s original one. I had enormous pleasure when taking out the non original gauge. :)

- The whole clima control vacuum line was blocked with a bearing ball. I re connected it, and found that the only important vacuum leak was on the element over the passenger foot well (I think is the one to obtain fresh or recirculating air) so I temporarily blocked it, and in the servo vacuum connector jumped the plugs to enable center and legs ventilation. This was to be able to get some "conventional" AC, until I can get one of those modern modules to replace the Chrysler so-faulty system.

Just bought today a new AC compressor, the brand is "Alanko", and the salesman says it is German made. Not sure tho, but I think it´ll work. Looks exactly as the original.

- For the tempomat module, one of the S123 I own is a US spec non turbo. I bought this one as a spare source, since it was so corroded structurally that the previous owner declared it as junk (Here in Arg that is a way to not pay taxes for it, since it´s declared as not usable). I´m not at all into "killing" any Mercedes that could be restored... but this is one of those cases where nothing could be done.

Anyway, just today I took the tempomat module from my parts S123, connected it, and guess what: It worked perfectly!! Accelerates, has constant speed, everything! I could not believe it, since I´ve read is not an easy subject. So, let´s hope it lasts.

A few weeks ago I also had the car polished, and the interior proffessionally cleaned, and the results were awesome! Still can´t get rid of the cat piss smell on a 100%, but I would say maybe 80%. I used a 3D product that made a great difference, and plan on use it again in a few weeks.


In the mean time of this story, I have driven the car for about 1,500 miles, on short and long trips (Of course with new tires, new water pump and thermostat, cleaned radiator, new front wheel bearings, brake pads, etc.). The result: I am really loving it!

On the road, after a 5 hours trip that I usually do on my 1985 300TDT, there is clearly a difference. I arrived less tired, front seats are great, and in great shape. Even having the front doors weatherstrips deteriorated, the sound isolation is really superior! The whole experience in the car is awesome.

In regular street traffic, and beeing a 42 years old diesel, it always goes on front of the row, and smoothly passes among the other cars like silk on the wind... I just can´t explain it, but I´m sure you all know what I´m talking about.

I know El Gordo and I have lots of miles ahead. He´s one of my "keeper" cars now.

I just wanted to share this love story to whom ever might like to read it! And to thank again to those who make this website possible, and to all of those who are generous enough to take time and effort to share they´re knowledge and experience.

I hope to be able some day to contribute!

P.S.: Pardon my english, it´s not my mother tongue :) 

revilla

Excellent story!
Welcome to the forum.
Great you were able to recover this jewel before it was too late.
Good job, really!
Keep us posted and don't hesitate if you have questions.
Hope you're a dog type person, or maybe you will become one after this experience :)
Robert
W116 1977 280SEL & 1979 280SE
[img width=150 height=100][url="http://revillagodfroy.com/MB%201977%20280%20SEL/album/thumbs/IMG_0371.JPG"]http://revillagodfroy.com/MB%201977%20280%20SEL/album/thumbs/IMG_0371.JPG[/url][/img]

dei.85

Quote from: revilla on 15 December 2022, 12:40 AMExcellent story!
Welcome to the forum.
Great you were able to recover this jewel before it was too late.
Good job, really!
Keep us posted and don't hesitate if you have questions.
Hope you're a dog type person, or maybe you will become one after this experience :)

Thank you for your words!! I actually have both, two dogs and a cat... But neither of them come near any car :)

My pics weren´t uploaded in cronological order, sorry for that! Still learning to use the forum.

I´ll be posting soon I hope!

Regards

daantjie

Very nice rescue ;)   In addition to the very knowledgeable dieselheads here on the forum, you can also check out mercedessource on youtube.  Kent is a big fan of the diesel Benz and also the W116 and he has many good videos on there.
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

nathan

Thanks for putting up the pictures, a great story.  Its great to see the 116 in different environments around the world in their natural habitat.  I am restoring also restoring an S123 and the cars will make a great couple, 116 and s123!  the paint looks very nice after you cleaned it up. good luck with the progress.
1979 116 6.9 #6436
2018 213 e63
2011 212 e63
2011 463 g55
2007 211 e500 wagen
1995 124 e320 cabriolet
1983 460 300gd
1981 123 280te

Randys01

wow!.what a find!!..........and it's coming up a treat. Well done!
You don't need to apologise for your English.it's pretty damn good.  I understood exactly what you meant by the cats' piss!!

w116john

That's super great to see,  best of luck with it

dei.85

Quote from: nathan on 15 December 2022, 04:16 PMThanks for putting up the pictures, a great story.  Its great to see the 116 in different environments around the world in their natural habitat.  I am restoring also restoring an S123 and the cars will make a great couple, 116 and s123!  the paint looks very nice after you cleaned it up. good luck with the progress.

They do make a great couple indeed! Just had the 1st opportunity to portrait them together, so here they go:

1985 300TD Turbodiesel (Euro) + 1980 300SD


ptashek

Welcome, and thanks for the cool story. My favourite colour combo too!

As for:
QuoteA few weeks ago I also had the car polished, and the interior proffessionally cleaned, and the results were awesome! Still can´t get rid of the cat piss smell on a 100%, but I would say maybe 80%. I used a 3D product that made a great difference, and plan on use it again in a few weeks.

Find an AC repair shop, they should have an ozone generator in their tool belt. It's used to disinfect ventilation ducts in cars with AC. Ozone is also great at destroying organic sources of bad smells - mold, mildew, tobacco smoke, and cat piss too. It may get you the remaining 20%.
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1988 "Arctic White" W124 200T
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE

nathan

thats a really nice 123 colour!
1979 116 6.9 #6436
2018 213 e63
2011 212 e63
2011 463 g55
2007 211 e500 wagen
1995 124 e320 cabriolet
1983 460 300gd
1981 123 280te