Author Topic: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2  (Read 25906 times)

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #75 on: 21 June 2018, 11:16 AM »
Is it just me, or is the US retail business market just one huge collection of - for lack of better description - cowboys?

Whoever I speak to among friends and acquaintances in the US, has all those same horror stories of terrible customer support and experience in general.

It seems like a systemic issue.

In my experience, yes. I have found that in most cases, customer service is full of aggressive, angry, and abrasive characters whose motto is "the customer is always wrong". I was working on my roommate's 1960 Ford Truck (which, like the W116, is completely overlooked by parts suppliers) and found that the parking brake cable Dennis Carpenter sent was several inches out of spec. When I called customer service, the person I got was extremely rude, skeptical, impatient, and would say things like, "Invoice number! I need your invoice number!" I asked if he'd be willing to check another cable they had to see if it was the same length, and his response was, "Nope! We're not doing anything until you send back the part. Then we'll go from there."

I've found that customer service anywhere tends to be extremely poor other than in the case of an exceptional employee. I always get the impression that I'm bothering and upsetting them, even when I'm as nice as I can be and try to get straight to the point and communicate effectively. I think the social culture in the USA is declining. People are so self-centered these days. It's a far cry from how it used to be.
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #76 on: 21 June 2018, 11:18 AM »
An absolutely amazing project.  Congratulations on it, sounds like you're getting close to putting it back in the car.  Looking forward to the next chapter!

I'm getting there, but I still have to do some welding in the firewall, and I am a very inexperienced welder. I'm going to have to start working on my car at night because it's getting too hot in the garage. It's already been 111F and the constant sweating is getting irritating.
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

kjenkins

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #77 on: 21 June 2018, 05:56 PM »
     Keep up the good work buddy. I always learn something from the work you do and this particular project with your climate control is nothing short of incredible.

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #78 on: 21 June 2018, 10:24 PM »
     Keep up the good work buddy. I always learn something from the work you do and this particular project with your climate control is nothing short of incredible.

Thanks! Soon I'll be able to drive this car COMFORTABLY in the Phoenix heat. This is my seventh summer here without having air conditioning in my car, so it's past due.

I got the spare defroster control lever cleaned up and painted to match the other three levers. This time, for whatever reason, the cable popping off was not a problem. I think it had to do with me bending the loop of the wire at an angle so it lined up parallel to the lever. Unfortunately, I was trying to bend the plastic shield slightly and the pin broke off. I put a drop of acetone on each end of the broken parts and pushed them together. Then I brushed acetone around the outside and the pieces melted together. It is repaired and seems as strong as ever.


Here is the custom climate control box with the control levers in place. The heater valve is opened and closed by a little vacuum switch on the far left and right. It's funny because only a slight movement of the lever moves the switches as far as they will go and the rest of the travel won't do anything--originally it was intended to move the inner flaps which would have controlled the left and right heat level separately, but I'm going for simplicity.



I can't install the case just yet. Besides having to complete the wiring, I have a rusted firewall to repair. The metal partition that is supposed to prevent water and debris from getting into the blower motor has holes in it, so water and debris from the cowl have been leaking in.


The 280SE that I bought for parts, though rusty, had a partition that's not rusty. So, I used a Blair Rotabroach spotweld cutter and removed it. I'll also cut out some parts of the firewall to use to patch mine. I'll have to weld in the parts (I haven't done much welding other than making tandem bicycles when I was a kid) and will make sure to use a lot of seam sealer.
« Last Edit: 21 June 2018, 10:33 PM by Squiggle Dog »
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

raueda1

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #79 on: 22 June 2018, 08:05 AM »
That custom HVAC box is too beautiful to hide behind the dash.  It should be on a pedestal in an art museum!
-Dave
Now:  '76 6.9 Euro
Before that:  1966 230S, 1964 220SE coupe, 1977 Carrera 3.0

daantjie

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #80 on: 22 June 2018, 08:39 AM »
Very impressive work indeed!  Also good and clear pics which always helps. nicely done ;)!
Daniel
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Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #81 on: 29 June 2018, 02:22 PM »
Look at how rusted the cowl partition in my car was compared to the one I removed from the parts car.


Once I had the partition out, I saw that the inside of the cowl had also rusted through. It got even worse where you can't see. The bottom surface was heavily pitted and I poked a screwdriver through in several places. So much for simply plug-welding a new partition in place.


I have an 85 amp wire feed welder, so I cut twenty holes in a sheet of metal that I cut from the parts car, and after cleaning the surfaces to bare metal, I tried plug welding the holes at several different settings. Nope. The stick welder isn't going to cut it. I would destroy the metal for sure. A proper MIG welder would cost several hundred dollars or more, even used. I could get a cheap $200 one from Harbor Freight, but then I'd still need to get a gas bottle, which could be another $100 or so on top of that (just guessing). Then with now having to weld in patch panels, I think it's going to be wiser and cheaper to pay to have a professional do the work. It's money I shouldn't be spending, but I'm not going to just J-B Weld it together and call it good.


I cut out the rusted-through and pitted sections of metal. It was a larger section than I had hoped, and there are still about two pinholes and three pits that will need to be filled in.


It looks like it's probably going to cost a couple hundred dollars to have the panels welded in. The area that has to be welded floats about an inch over the right side wire harness that exits the firewall, so I'm hoping it can be shielded enough to stay in place.
« Last Edit: 03 July 2018, 09:03 PM by Squiggle Dog »
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #82 on: 29 June 2018, 02:43 PM »
I got the patch panels cut out of the parts car. Ironically, even though the rest of the car was super rusty, this part wasn't. It's a testament to keeping the cowl drains clear. I cut the panels larger than needed and placed them under the area on my car so I could draw marker lines for a guide as where to cut.


I used a Dremel rotary tool with a flex shaft attachment and cutoff discs for all the metal cutting. I cut slightly larger than the lines so I could slowly trim them down until they fit on the cowl.


It was several hours of tedious work, but I got them to fit pretty well.


The cowl opening needs to be 232mm from the widest point to the widest point. It's not very scientific, but it seemed to be accurate.


I had to do the patch panels in two sections to make it possible to access the back to remove and weld them.
« Last Edit: 29 June 2018, 02:49 PM by Squiggle Dog »
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #83 on: 06 July 2018, 08:37 PM »
I looked around for someone who could weld the patch panels onto the cowl, but only one person actually responded and he was an hour away. I rigged my car so I could drive it to him. He was a war veteran and had a really good attitude, unlike many people these days that want to do nothing but complain about why something can't be done--his attitude was, "I know it can be done, I don't mind a challenge, let's see how we can make this work."


He did a good job and was pleasant to deal with, though he didn't have a way to hold the panels in place while welding them. I had magnets which would have worked, but he said the magnets would mess with the welder. Even if they were just on long enough for the panels to be tacked, it would have helped. He held the panels in place with his hands, and though he got pretty close, there are some spots were they weren't lined up perfectly. I'm a perfectionist and things like that bother me, but that's the thing--when other people work on your car, you're at their mercy.

It took a little over two hours and he only charged the minimum shop charge of $150, so that was nice. I feel he was honest and didn't take advantage of me. When I was driving back home, a W115 diesel passed me on the left and gave me the thumbs up. It had nice dark blue paint, custom wheels, no bumpers, and a license plate that read "BLU PIG". Then when I was near home, a guy in a Volkswagen New Beetle Turbo Diesel gave me a thumbs up.


The next day, I ground down the welds to get them as flat as possible.


There were some low spots and pinholes in the welds that I filled with J-B Weld.


Here's the partition welded in place. I bought some weld-through high zinc primer that I intended to apply between the overlapped metal areas before the partition was welded in. I sprayed some on the bottom of the partition with it, but it came out as a weird powder, and then the nozzle clogged. Hopefully it helped.
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #84 on: 12 July 2018, 11:24 AM »
I have to say that I am very frustrated with the business practices of some companies these days. Well over a month ago (June 4th), I placed an order with MBOEMParts.com and I still have not received it all. A box with some of the parts arrived, and then on the June 16th, I got an email informing me that the rest of the parts were on the way, and was given a tracking number. I followed the tracking number from Illinois to the sorting facility here in Arizona. On the day it was supposed to arrive, the FedEx truck never stopped by. So, I checked the tracking number and it said that the package was damaged in transit and was being returned to the shipper. In the meantime, I've been emailing MBOEMParts.com, asking them for updates. They are completely ignoring me. I finally had to initiate a dispute on my credit card, and am still awaiting to hear back.

ACParts.com has been completely ignoring me for over a month, despite my constantly messaging them asking for them to please take care of the wrong parts they sent, and to refund me for the order they never sent, plus the shipping. I couldn't wait anymore, so I just bought some premade hoses from Klima Design Works and filled out Return Goods Authorization Forms so I could send my entire order back to ACParts.com. They never responded to those. So, I had to initiate a dispute on my credit card for both of the transactions with them. This is ridiculous! Keep in mind that I placed the orders on May 9th.

The seam sealer in the cowl still hasn't fully cured even after a week with it being 114F, so in the meantime I've been working on the blower motor case. I'm using one from a manual system, but it turns out those don't have a 100% recirculating air feature. The flap moves upward and creates at best an 80% cabin air, 20% outside air mixture. I want the 100% recirculating cabin air feature for maximum air conditioning performance so the 120F desert heat isn't warming up the cabin air.

So, in order to have 100% recirculating air, I took apart the blower motor case from my car so I could transplant the flap and sealing surface onto the one I will be using. The case comes apart with clips, but of course there's also a rivet holding it together, making removal more difficult. I drilled it out.


Once the case was apart, I was able to drill out the rivet holding the piece of the case I needed to remove that's accessible from inside, and then drilled out the rivets on the outside.


The flap sealing piece is removed and can be transplanted onto the manual case.


To remove the flap, I pried back the tabs so it could be lifted away from the bar, and then the bar was slid out.


The flap on top is the one removed from the automatic climate control blower motor case. It's flat and designed to have foam on each side. The one on the bottom is the one from the manual case I will be using, and it has a lip and wasn't set up for recirculating air. All it really did was seal off the cabin air during defrosting and then raise up to allow a mixture of cabin and outside air the rest of the time.
« Last Edit: 12 July 2018, 12:01 PM by Squiggle Dog »
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #85 on: 12 July 2018, 11:49 AM »
There is another flap inside the manual blower motor case which adjusts the flow of air dependent on the speed of the blower motor for microtuning of air flow. I put new 1/8" thick extra soft high temperature resilient silicone foam on it. The plastic retainers weren't staying in place, so I had to use a heat gun and wedge the prongs apart with a thick flat blade screwdriver so there would be enough tension to hold them in place. This probably wouldn't have been necessary if I didn't use such firm foam.


I cleaned up the recirculating air flap from the automatic case, put new 1/8" thick high temperature resilient silicone foam with adhesive back on both sides, and installed it in the case. I tried to install the plastic retainers on both sides, but unlike the other flap I did, the plastic retainers would not stay in place. So, I had to remove them and fill the little holes in the foam with some twelve-year-old POR-Patch clear seam sealer that I had. I would liked to have used new foam, but I didn't have any left, didn't want to spend over $40 for another 12"X12" square of it, and then deal with having to cut it out and fit it into place. The automatic cases with 100% recirculating air had a foam strip that seals against the flap, so I installed one in the manual case.


I put new 3/16" diameter neoprene foam cord from McMaster-Carr (the same stuff I used in the climate control case) in between the blower motor case halves.


Installing the rivet that helps hold the case halves together. Once again, McMaster-Carr came through. I needed 5/32" rivets for 3/16"-1/4" material thickness. Of course, none of the hardware stores carried them, and any hope I'd have of getting them would be to drive downtown in this heat. McMaster-Carr had some all-aluminum sealing ones (97524A114) that were identical to the ones Mercedes used. I ordered them online Wednesday afternoon, and they were delivered to my door the next day.


I installed the recirculating air flap sealing piece with sealant and rivets. Figuring out where to drill the holes was tricky, and I had to fill the holes with hot plastic and re-drill until I got it perfect. Now this blower case will have a recirculating air function, and with much less parts than the one my car originally had. One vacuum pod and one cable are all that control the flaps.
« Last Edit: 12 July 2018, 11:53 AM by Squiggle Dog »
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

gavin116

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #86 on: 12 July 2018, 12:22 PM »
Great work there Squiggle. Occasionally bits of foam fly out of my windscreen defrost vents... :(

I can see at some stage I will need to refurbished my air-box. Will have to pick your brain closer to the time, especially what materials to employ.

I think recirculation only happens when you turn the blue knob all the way on past the little "-" sign in the "max" area. In a 450 with the General Motors A6 compressor, the air-conditioning is fierce, I'm not sure one needs a 100% recirculation feature. Even on the lowest setting its cold, in fact sometimes I have to turn it off from time to time.

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #87 on: 12 July 2018, 01:16 PM »
Great work there Squiggle. Occasionally bits of foam fly out of my windscreen defrost vents... :(

I can see at some stage I will need to refurbished my air-box. Will have to pick your brain closer to the time, especially what materials to employ.

I think recirculation only happens when you turn the blue knob all the way on past the little "-" sign in the "max" area. In a 450 with the General Motors A6 compressor, the air-conditioning is fierce, I'm not sure one needs a 100% recirculation feature. Even on the lowest setting its cold, in fact sometimes I have to turn it off from time to time.

Thank you! I think almost all W116s have deteriorated flap foam by now. I am happy with the foam I used, other than even the extra soft foam being too firm--what this means is that it can keep the flaps from fully closing if the alignment isn't perfect as it doesn't compress as much. I just wanted to stay away from an open-cell foam that would disintegrate in only a few years, and saw this post where a guy used the same stuff in his Volkswagen EuroVan: https://1705.net/dash-removal-and-foam-repair/ . Modern open-cell foams are supposed to be better than they used to be, though.

I know that on the manual climate control systems, the flap only moves up fully to the "80%" position when the highest air conditioning setting is selected, and the highest setting isn't supposed to be selected until the cabin air has had time to cool down significantly past the outside air temperature. So, now instead of the flap in the manual blower motor case only keeping 80% of the outside air out when at the maximum setting, it will to keep 100% of it out, like the one that was originally in my car would do. So, I won't be losing effectiveness on the maximum setting by using the manual blower motor case.

Keep in mind I live in one of the hottest climates in the world (over 100F most of the year). Every little detail makes a difference here. My roommate has a 1991 W126 350SDL with a parallel-flow condenser, dual auxiliary fans, Denso compressor, new hoses, drier, and expansion valve, and is charged with R-134a. In the winter, the air conditioning is pretty good. But, in the summer, the air conditioning actually seems to blow warm at any time other than when the car is being driven at speed, and I'm trying to end up with colder air than that.
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

TJ 450

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #88 on: 12 July 2018, 10:53 PM »
Excellent work there,

Yes even though the A/C systems work well they can struggle with high ambient temperatures through all the air leaks in the cabin and that flap won’t be helping things.

I’m not sure if the diesel runs the A6, but they are a lot better than the York but still archaic by today’s standards. They to work well though.

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

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #89 on: 13 July 2018, 07:20 AM »
Excellent work there,

Yes even though the A/C systems work well they can struggle with high ambient temperatures through all the air leaks in the cabin and that flap won’t be helping things.

I’m not sure if the diesel runs the A6, but they are a lot better than the York but still archaic by today’s standards. They to work well though.

Tim

Thanks! The diesels came with Delco R4 compressors, which have a bad reputation. I replaced it with a polished aluminum Sanden 508.
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+