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Raptelan's 1974 450SE

Author Topic: Raptelan's 1974 450SE  (Read 8483 times)

Casey

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Re: Raptelan's 1974 450SE
« Reply #30 on: 30 June 2012, 01:56 AM »
Tonight on the way home, I made the mistake of using the A/C. At a stop light, I niticed some unusual grinding feelings from under the car via my feet. Noticed the oil pressure also seemed low.  Turned off the A/C and they went away. Turned it back on, and they came right back, and then the car died and wouldn't start, right in the middle of traffic. Backed into a turning lane eventually and tried starting it a few more times. Finally it started up and I continued on my way.

A while later I pulled off the road for a minute into a driveway. Misjudged in the dark and ran a bit over the grass. As luck would have it, there was the stump of some bush that had been cut down there, which made a terribly frightful noise as I went over it. Car seemed alright so I continued on my way. Heard some subtle noise that seemed relative to my speed, figured some bit of branch or something was wrapped around the driveshaft so ignored it until I could get home where I could have light. A mile or so later the car started making a terrible racket and I thought metal bits must be tearing off under the car. Pulled into the next drive and had a look, relieved to discover it was only a flat rear tire. I'd had a flat previously, and put a Bundt rim tire into the trunk as a spare as the wheel was the correct size. Well that didn't work at all, since the steel rim bolts were too short.

Called AAA for a tow, and then it started raining. Unfortunately it was so hot and muggy I could hardly bear to sit inside the car. Then the wind REALLY picked up and tornado sirens started sounding.  Lots of lightning. That passed after a while (but the rain didn't), and finally a couple hours later a tow truck showed up, with the most brain dead driver possible - I suspect a long history of huffing fumes. Anyways got back to the garage and set about swapping the Bundt rimmed tire set from my dormant 300CD to the 450SE. Not the correct size (actually that set was from my 300SD in the first place) but consistent.

Much sweat later, the 300CD had it's BBS's installed and I had the flat tire replaced. When I went to change the front one, the car suffered catastrophic jack point failure, damaging the door in the process (fortunately the tire was not yet removed).  Sigh.

Moved the badly-leaking 200D off the lift and used that to change the rest of the tires. Hope I don't get a flat in the front - I suspect the other front jack point is also rusted out inside too - the rockers look fine from the sides but there are rust holes in the front wheel well.

While on the lift, determined that I scratched up the bottom a fair bit, but no real damage from the shrubbery stump. Also figured out the cause of my exhaust rattle - a loose bracket at the front of the rear muffler. Tried to tighten the nut and the bolt broke instead, which is a part of the bracket, so now it's no longer secured at all there. Also determined that while the rear flex disc seems okay, the front one feels quite dry and brittle - I'll probably just replace both soon. Tried to raid the bracket from my 450SEL but it's quite different - the whole exhaust system uses fatter pipes and the muffler is bigger.

Yay for problems?

Casey

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Re: Raptelan's 1974 450SE
« Reply #31 on: 30 June 2012, 01:57 AM »

Tony66_au

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Re: Raptelan's 1974 450SE
« Reply #32 on: 01 July 2012, 05:00 AM »
What a crappy DAY!

Time to mig in some steel and fix the jack points eh?

Hope today's been better, I really do.

Tony66_au

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Re: Raptelan's 1974 450SE
« Reply #33 on: 01 July 2012, 05:03 AM »
I have to say though, Regular inspection is the key with these cars.

They are a bit like women in that regard, pay them regular attention of they will bite you in the arse.

And not in a good way.

Casey

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Re: Raptelan's 1974 450SE
« Reply #34 on: 01 July 2012, 05:50 AM »
What a crappy DAY!

Time to mig in some steel and fix the jack points eh?

Hope today's been better, I really do.
Thanks man, it was a pretty damn crazy night...I didn't get to bed until after 4am. But drove the car 4 hours yesterday and all is well. The A/C belt is loose and worn, so I'll try just replacing that (actually plan to replace all the belts soon). I've got no welding knowledge, but intend to eventually have both rockers replaced on the car.

Tony66_au

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Re: Raptelan's 1974 450SE
« Reply #35 on: 01 July 2012, 05:58 AM »
With a Mig its easy, tune it so it sounds like frying bacon and you are pretty right plus rocker panels or sills are usually 1.2 mm or 1.6mm so not bad to weld.

And the old saying goes, if you cant weld well? Weld lots!

And when you go to clean your welds if they disappear under the grinder then you need either a cleaner surface or more power.

Im pretty sure many here will be more than happy to help and its pretty rewarding even if you are just plug welding in panels.

Casey

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Re: Raptelan's 1974 450SE
« Reply #36 on: 04 March 2013, 04:06 PM »
Well, I'll avoid a fun dramatic post since that seems to cause some unfortunate reactions, but the 450SE is at this point not going to be a proper car anymore, as it took a pretty good impact on the rear right side from a pickup truck:







It was always a reliable driver, but never a "fun" car.  The performance issues of the engine, poor fuel economy, lousy paint condition, various mechanical issues, and the more recent minor damages added up to a lot of work that I wasn't terribly enthusiastic to do.

Started driving the nice 450SEL with a fresh alignment, and it's been like night and day.  Both the acceleration and brakes are much more responsive, and I find myself naturally driving more carefully since I have more respect for the car.  We're expecting a lot of snow this week, so I'm simply not going to go to work until the roads are clear, as I really want to avoid exposing the car to any more salt than necessary.  The 300SD also needs an alignment and some parts transplanted from a donor vehicle to be roadworthy, at which point it will probably become my daily driver, if for no other reason than to save fuel.  I'd like to keep the 450SEL in as best of shape as possible though, and that means not relying on it or driving it too much in general (especially with the crazy traffic heading towards DC in the morning).

Squiggle Dog

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Re: Raptelan's 1974 450SE
« Reply #37 on: 04 March 2013, 05:42 PM »
A sad day, indeed, but at least you have other W116s you can put into service with a few repairs. It will be a treasure trove of parts for the other cars. I'm glad you were not injured.
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ZCarFan

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Re: Raptelan's 1974 450SE
« Reply #38 on: 04 March 2013, 05:52 PM »
Just needs a quarter panel, trunk lid and filler panel and it'll be right as rain. :)


Casey

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Re: Raptelan's 1974 450SE
« Reply #39 on: 04 March 2013, 06:05 PM »
A sad day, indeed, but at least you have other W116s you can put into service with a few repairs. It will be a treasure trove of parts for the other cars. I'm glad you were not injured.

It was, after all, bought as a parts car originally.  No worries, just a bit sad to see a W116 come to an end.

Casey

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Re: Raptelan's 1974 450SE
« Reply #40 on: 04 March 2013, 06:06 PM »
Just needs a quarter panel, trunk lid and filler panel and it'll be right as rain. :)

It can be yours for a great price!  Heck, you can even drive it home as it still drives just fine!  After the accident, I proceeded to finish driving to work, and then home afterwards.  Then proceeded to pick up the 450SEL from the shop, which conveniently got the alignment done the same day (it had been sitting in the queue for a few days).
« Last Edit: 04 March 2013, 06:08 PM by Casey »

Depa77450sel

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Re: Raptelan's 1974 450SE
« Reply #41 on: 04 March 2013, 06:09 PM »
I hate seeing banged up w116s it breaks my heart :(
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Casey

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Re: Raptelan's 1974 450SE
« Reply #42 on: 04 March 2013, 06:20 PM »
I hate seeing banged up w116s it breaks my heart :(

Yeah. :(  I mashed the driver door into a parking garage pillar recently, but found plenty of spare doors since then, and was thinking that it would be a good subject to learn to paint on.  With the paint fixed (really doesn't look bad in pictures, but it's appallingly dull and no use in polishing it because then all these zillions of little hairline cracks just get emphasized), and engine performance issues fixed (I've got a few hundred dollars worth of parts for it), I think it could have inspired a lot more motivation on my part.  I really like the feel of the D-jet 450 engines and do miss that aspect of it when driving the 450SEL - still hoping to get one fit into my W123 coupe at some point...

ptashek

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Re: Raptelan's 1974 450SE
« Reply #43 on: 05 March 2013, 01:19 PM »
Looks bad enough, but I'd say repairable.
But in the end I guess all that really matters is that nobody was injured.
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Casey

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Re: Raptelan's 1974 450SE
« Reply #44 on: 05 March 2013, 02:44 PM »
Looks bad enough, but I'd say repairable.

Well, I'm not planning to haul it to the scrapyard.  It'll stick around for a while.  At a minimum, I want to transplant the manual climate controls to another car.  I just can't justify investing more than the car cost to fix it and still have a car with a load of other issues needing addressed - with the current state of the economy it's significantly less expensive to just buy another W116 in great shape, and I prefer the long wheelbase chassis anyways.  But I've also toyed with the idea of getting a welder, and this might be a good project to learn on, after some more basic stuff; along with something to learn painting on.  Worst case, it comes out looking terrible, and I make it into a Benzamino instead. ;P

In any case, I have other cars that will be getting attention first, most notably the euro 6.9 which'll be arriving in a few weeks.  This will just get parked in the back of the garage for the time being.