Author Topic: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2  (Read 9848 times)

TJ 450

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #150 on: 14 April 2019, 05:32 AM »
Great work. The diff looks great, it will be well worth the effort.

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 #151 on: 14 April 2019, 10:51 AM »
Thanks for the compliments, and that's sad about the no-name turn signal lenses now offered.

I used a prybar and worked the subframe mounts from side to side until they came out. I ended up returning the Meyle subframe mounts and got genuine Mercedes. It turns out one kit is enough for both sides and I ordered them through a dealer which gave me over a 30% discount. I noticed that the inside of the subframe where the mounts were feels ribbed, but it might be that the old mounts fused to it and stuck? Unless it was cast like that to keep the mounts from popping out. Strange.


I am very happy that the new tires were tougher than the swaybar end links!


I tried ordering new upper control arms from The Classic Center, but was told that I would have to get them somewhere else. UTn_boy told me that was strange because he had just ordered a set of them and Mercedes showed stock of about a couple hundred of each side in Germany. After talking with a couple of Classic Center employees, they told me that while there are plenty in stock, they can't sell any to me because Mercedes charges them $370 each, but the MSRP is $72 each, so they would lose big money on each one they sold, and they suggested buying them from a Mercedes dealership. This was an eye-opener. I guess The Classic Center isn't actually part of Mercedes-Benz.

UTn_boy ended up ordering some for me at his cost and didn't even charge for shipping, which was really nice of him. Unfortunately, one of them was a mess; the bushings didn't really match the ones on the other side part, they hadn't been pressed in fully, were crooked, and the rubber was rotten. It was really disappointing and it's amazing how it could have passed quality control. So, UTn_boy ordered up another one from Germany to replace it. Hopefully the next one is a good one.




At this point all the parts I have are genuine Mercedes except for the Turkish Lemförder drag link (which is no longer available from Mercedes), German Lemförder tie rods, Thai Meyle lower control arm bushings (only brand available other than Karlyn) and Thai Meyle front crossmember bushings (only brand available). So, I stepped up on all the parts that I could except for the tie rods and saved a little money getting highly discounted rates from an online dealership. With the way things are going these days (being charged $75 per year for access to the online parts database, online dealerships giving double the discounts I was getting with my MBCA discount from The Classic Center, and The Classic Center not selling me parts because of some weird glitch between them and Mercedes-Benz), I just might let my 11-year Mercedes-Benz Club of America membership lapse and use the funds I would be spending on my membership toward paying for access to the online parts database.
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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, 347,000+

ptashek

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #152 on: 14 April 2019, 05:31 PM »
And you're so right about M-B parts pricing... it's getting more and more out of reach for us classic car enthusiasts. It's not all that it seems either: I bought a new set of front indicators from M-B and they no longer have "Bosch" or made in Germany on the lens. They have no name, but do have "Made in Poland" embossed on the lens, so even M-B is sourcing out of Germany.

They haven't been made by Bosch for a very long time I think. W116 lighting parts were marked as discontinued in their online catalogue before I've started my restoration, so at least six years now. Unlike the headlight + indicator lens unit, they don't even list the indicator lenses as discontinued anymore, they just don't list them at all.  You could still get them aftermarket and from MB back in 2013, now it seems it's MB only. 

I'll try to find out who makes them now. It could still be Bosch, it could also be Magnetti Marelli. MM still make parts for W126/W124/W140, and have their automotive lighting unit in the country, so who knows... It's unlikely to be Hella as they don't seem to have any manufacturing capacity there. Could be a local vendor too.

Rest assured, quality will be at least as good as "Made in Germany". There's nothing sad about these parts being made in a country with some of Europes most modern manufacturing lines. What's sad is that MB will charge us the same price, while paying the man on the ground at least 4x less than they would in Germany.
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE (history, resto)
1977 "Milan Brown" W116 350SE (parted out)

ptashek

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #153 on: 14 April 2019, 05:39 PM »
I guess The Classic Center isn't actually part of Mercedes-Benz.

You're quite right. They are a commercial unit of Daimler AG, the parent company of MB.

Unfortunately, one of them was a mess; the bushings didn't really match the ones on the other side part, they hadn't been pressed in fully, were crooked, and the rubber was rotten. It was really disappointing and it's amazing how it could have passed quality control.

It probably passed through quality control some 20 years back.
A lot of the stuff you're buying from MB for our cars these days is old stock, pushed out at eye watering prices.
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE (history, resto)
1977 "Milan Brown" W116 350SE (parted out)

TJ 450

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #154 on: 14 April 2019, 08:44 PM »
Those upper arms are shocking. I was able to get Lemforder ones a couple of years back and they were fresh stock. Are they NLA now? Pretty sure they were from PelicanParts.

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 #155 on: 14 April 2019, 11:04 PM »
Those upper arms are shocking. I was able to get Lemforder ones a couple of years back and they were fresh stock. Are they NLA now? Pretty sure they were from PelicanParts.

Tim

I originally got Lemförder, but they were made in Taiwan and one of the boots had a grind mark in it, so I sent them back and got genuine Mercedes, but then one of them was no good. Here's hoping the replacement is better, but it takes a few weeks to get them here. There are about a couple hundred of each side in Germany.

There are many other brands available, such as Meyle, ÜRO, Febi, Vollig, Moog, Beck-Arnley, and on and on. But who can tell the country of origin and level of quality these days? Worst case scenario, maybe I can order new bushings from Mercedes that I can press in myself to replace the rotten ones in the new genuine control arm. I really hope that was an anomaly, and I'm not going to have the bushings rot away in short time even if they appear fine initially.

Even though I'm broke and racking up credit card debt doing this, I want to put the best quality parts on my car so they last as long as possible and give the best performance so I'm not having to mess with my car more than necessary. The desert is really harsh on rubber parts anyway.
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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, 347,000+

TJ 450

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #156 on: 14 April 2019, 11:35 PM »
Yep, it’s a pretty sad state of affairs these days. I bought a set of rod bushings for my 6.3 from MB, and they are made in China.

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

ptashek

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #157 on: 15 April 2019, 01:43 AM »
I have febi upper control arms in my car since 2013 and they're in like-new condition still. I have driven the car in excess of 200km/h on the autobahn many times since, and also on poor quality Irish back roads which are unforgiving to any suspension components. Nothing has deteriorated or disintegrated, alignment I spot on, and there's no play of any kind.
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE (history, resto)
1977 "Milan Brown" W116 350SE (parted out)

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #158 on: 15 April 2019, 11:25 AM »
Yep, it’s a pretty sad state of affairs these days. I bought a set of rod bushings for my 6.3 from MB, and they are made in China.

Tim

"You'll never see a genuine MB part made in China."

--Tom Hanson, July 24th, 2016.

I followed up by letting him know that I in fact did recently receive a genuine Mercedes part that was made in China, to which he responded:

"China is pirating a lot of parts. I've seen them. Scary. None of our authorized parts manufacturers are in China! There is an independent parts importer near Irvine that has a dealership in China and they sell lots of pirate parts. Eventually we will nail them."

In fairness to Tom, things change and he may not have been aware of them yet.
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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, 347,000+

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #159 on: 15 April 2019, 11:31 AM »
I have febi upper control arms in my car since 2013 and they're in like-new condition still. I have driven the car in excess of 200km/h on the autobahn many times since, and also on poor quality Irish back roads which are unforgiving to any suspension components. Nothing has deteriorated or disintegrated, alignment I spot on, and there's no play of any kind.

Do you remember in which country the Febi ones were made? Lemförder is supposed to be top tier, even above Febi, but I saw the country of origin (Taiwan) and the damage to the boot and was disappointed because I paid the extra money for Lemförder because I was expecting German-made and better quality control standards. Then again, I was expecting better quality control on the genuine Mercedes, too. Age was clearly not the only problem on the one piece, as the bushing wasn't even pushed in all the way and was crooked.

I really don't like the feeling of paying extra money for the best and getting something that's unacceptable.
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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, 347,000+

ptashek

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #160 on: 15 April 2019, 04:05 PM »
I don't know where the febis are made, or by whom exactly. I bought mine from a trusted source, but fakes are always a risk.

As a side note, the whole "made in" thing is largely irrelevant. Same company may have plants all over the globe, and supply local markets from multiple sources.
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE (history, resto)
1977 "Milan Brown" W116 350SE (parted out)

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #161 on: 15 April 2019, 06:31 PM »
As a side note, the whole "made in" thing is largely irrelevant. Same company may have plants all over the globe, and supply local markets from multiple sources.

Correct, but it's possible that quality may differ from one factory to the next. A part made in China may or may not be the same quality as a part made in Germany, but how do I know what level of quality I'm actually getting? I feel that it's too much of a gamble. In theory the Chinese part might be just as good as a German part, but I'd like some reassurance before installing the part on my vehicle.

For example, I've put Chinese parts on cars before in the past, which appeared to be decent quality, but then dry rotted in a week, whereas the original part lasted 30 years. Then I installed a German-made part and it's lasted years since. How can we tell which Chinese parts are any good? This is the problem I face--when everything is Chinese-made, it's hard to tell the quality from the junk until it's installed. At least with the German-made parts, I had confidence in the quality standards.
« Last Edit: 15 April 2019, 11:25 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, 347,000+

karmann_20v

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #162 on: 15 April 2019, 09:50 PM »
Yep, it’s a pretty sad state of affairs these days. I bought a set of rod bushings for my 6.3 from MB, and they are made in China.

Tim

"You'll never see a genuine MB part made in China."

--Tom Hanson, July 24th, 2016.

I followed up by letting him know that I in fact did recently receive a genuine Mercedes part that was made in China, to which he responded:

"China is pirating a lot of parts. I've seen them. Scary. None of our authorized parts manufacturers are in China! There is an independent parts importer near Irvine that has a dealership in China and they sell lots of pirate parts. Eventually we will nail them."

In fairness to Tom, things change and he may not have been aware of them yet.

Well, URO Parts is indeed a MB supplier now so there goes that!

Good progress Squiggle, by the looks of t you're going to hang on to the old 116 for a while, Kudos to you!

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #163 on: 28 April 2019, 06:37 PM »
I received the replacement upper control arm, so all is good there. Thanks, UTn_boy! I cleaned up the rear subframe with biodiesel. It's fantastic stuff that melts off the grease! Fortunately most of the paint was intact. I sanded and treated the rusty spots with Corroseal rust converter. The pockets where the subframe mounts go had rubber from the old mounts fused to them. I wonder if this has to do with the alcohol-based sliding fluid the factory used.


I slowly scraped off the old rubber with the help of brake parts cleaner. When I was done I sprayed a coat of semi flat black paint in the pockets to cover any scratches to keep rust from forming in the future.


I cleaned the trailing arms by hand as I didn't want to get a bunch of junk sprayed into the brakes and bearings. They also got rust converter applied.
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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, 347,000+

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #164 on: 28 April 2019, 07:11 PM »
I used genuine Mercedes trailing arm bushings, which are now a 126 part number made by Boge, replacing the 123 part number originals which were made by Phoenix. I got the old ones out by using a socket over the fat end of the bushings and improvising a puller with a bolt, washers, and a nut. The new ones went in with a yoke remover tool against the eyelet of the trailing arm with a rubber oil filler cap gasket in between to prevent chipping the paint.


After the end of the bushing would bottom out against the yoke puller, I would add a socket to give it clearance to go in the rest of the way.


I didn't know what kind of lubricant to use to get them in place. The Mercedes sliding fluid recommended is very expensive at about $57 a tube. I didn't want to use a grease (especially not a petroleum-based one, which I don't use anyway) as I didn't want to risk having the bushings rotating inside the eyelets, though they are a tight fit. As I was doing research, dish soap was recommended as it's slippery at first and is supposed to dry out afterward. Then I read that WD-40 was even better, didn't contain petroleum, and dried with no residue. Lots of people were recommending it, so I took their advice, happy to have finally found a use for the stuff.


Now that I've used WD-40 to install the trailing arm bushings on my car, it turns out it DOES attack rubber because it contains hydrocarbons and petroleum. It uses capillary action to open up pores and cracks, penetrates, causes the rubber to swell, and then dry rot.

WD-40's USA website says it's safe to use on rubber and recommends it as a rubber dressing and using on door seals (they lie). https://www.wd40.com/uses-tips/automotive-repair/keeps-weather-stripping-and-rubber-car-door-seals-soft-and-prevents-drying-and-cracking Their Australian website cautions against using it on rubber. http://www.wd40.com.au/faqs/wd-40-safe-used-rubber/

In the end, there are many reports of it damaging plastic and rubber parts. Obviously, some types more than others (natural EPDM rubber being one). So much for all the posts of people saying WD-40 is the best thing to use to install rubber suspension bushings as it "is safe for rubber and fully evaporates". I hope I didn't shorten the performance and lifespan of mine, and will be sure to keep WD-40 away from my car. I suppose it's dish soap for the rest of the bushings I will install.

I'm happy with how the differential turned out. The rear wheel bearing sockets are a perfect fit to act as plugs for the side seals.


The CVJ axle shafts are painted and it is necessary to strip the paint off of the seal surface and shaft that goes inside the differential. They install new spacer rings for a fresh seal surface; the surface on my old axles had deep grooves worn in them and they would no doubt have leaked. I failed to strip the paint off of the shaft and one side got stuck in the differential and wouldn't budge in either direction. I carefully tried prying out the axle but ended up bending the lip of the can, much to my frustration. So, I tried tapping in the axle shaft with a rubber mallet, and it didn't budge. So, then I hit the end of the axle shaft with a sledge hammer to try to force it in, and it wouldn't budge. Finally, I was able to fit a small square file into the opening on the other side of the differential and was able to tap the axle shaft back out and then strip off the paint; after which it went in without trouble (after straightening the lip and doing some paint touch-up). However, the circlips that hold the axle shafts in place seem to be worn, one side more than the other, and they are a loose fit, so I ordered new ones which should hopefully circumvent needing to replace the spacer washers.
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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, 347,000+