Poll

How much of your own work do you do on your 116

As much Major Mechanical as possible
Minor Mechanical and Servicing
Interior Trim
Electrical
Bodywork
Paint
I write the Cheques and have clean fingernails
I drive and someone else pays the bills.

Author Topic: Who Spanners their own cars?  (Read 5772 times)

CraigS

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Re: Who Spanners their own cars?
« Reply #15 on: 01 May 2007, 02:33 AM »
I have parts books and workshop manuals, so that helps. I also spend an extraordinary amount of time researching each car that I own. When I pulled the car apart, and this is the first one I have done such a complete restoration of, I put all the parts into small clear plastic boxes and labelled everything. What I didn't do was to document HOW these things came off, and in what sequence. I found out when I tried to put it all back together ! I did several things twice or three times - quite frustrating, but my own fault. When I was putting all the engine bay back together, which is not so easy as the inner/outer guards need to go on as one piece, I found out that the water pump had seized through sitting for 2 years. The water pump is located at the side of the motor and driven by the generator. The only access to it is with the guards removed. By the time I had the water pump rebuilt and reinstalled it 3 times due to water leaks caused by misalignment, I knew it pretty well ! Each time, the guards had to be removed and reinstalled so I probably spent the best part of one entire day on this part alone. For anyone contemplating anything like this, take as many photos as you possibly can BEFORE you disassemble anything and try and document how things come apart. It is not easy to do this in your haste to get it apart. At the beginning, I thought I would have it all back together in 6 months, but 2 1/2 years later ............

I guess it helps having worked on my own cars since I was 15, and it was a matter of necessity in those days because you couldn't afford to go to a mechanic so you learnt as you went. My brothers are also into hot rods and the like so it must be a family thing, although my father never did much to his cars. Patience is probably the biggest thing you need, and a thirst for knowledge. I don't see it so much about the money - for me it is the challenge of doing it and learning about it at the same time. Some things you have to rely on the experts for - that's why they learn their trade, be it a mechanic, lawyer, or whatever. Each of us has specific skills, and passions, and no one should get frustrated that they can't do certain things on their cars as I'm sure they have skills in other areas.

CraigS

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Re: Who Spanners their own cars?
« Reply #16 on: 01 May 2007, 08:00 AM »
The advantage of having your own business means that you can devote as much time as you want to either your business or your hobby. I could, and probably should, spend more time on the business, but I am not greedy for money, so as long as I have enough to have a good life, buy more cars, and travel the world, I don't need anything else !

Grant V

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Re: Who Spanners their own cars?
« Reply #17 on: 01 May 2007, 10:27 AM »
Craig - your 300 is BEAUTIFUL!!!!

I do most of the work on my cars myself. However, I have my limits when it comes to electrical and bodywork. I haven't upholstered seats yet, but have upholstered door panels etc.
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116.025

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Re: Who Spanners their own cars?
« Reply #18 on: 01 May 2007, 11:18 AM »
Craig - your 300 is BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Indeed, that's the closest a car has ever come to eliciting salivation... ::)  Simply stunning, makes me wish I had one.

I do as much of my own mechanical/electrical as I can, though I do get tempted at times to pay someone else.  Though I find the more of my own stuff I do, the less I can stand someone else touching my car, period.
Chad Johnson

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gregdeklerk

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Re: Who Spanners their own cars?
« Reply #19 on: 01 May 2007, 10:13 PM »
Your 300 looks really good, Craig!

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Re: Who Spanners their own cars?
« Reply #20 on: 02 May 2007, 03:31 AM »
I'm great with mechanics and bits and pieces but don't go near electrics or bodywork. And here's a good PS. I recently did somemore work on my Solex carb (increased 1st stage jets etc.) and the now the car seems to be more economical! I'm getting 7-8 KM/L.
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gregdeklerk

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Re: Who Spanners their own cars?
« Reply #21 on: 02 May 2007, 04:49 AM »
I'm getting 7-8 KM/L.

That sounds about right. I am getting that too.

James R

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Re: Who Spanners their own cars?
« Reply #22 on: 02 May 2007, 04:57 AM »
I'd love to be able to do everything myself. I worry about my lack of patience but its really a case of simply not having a clue about which parts do what. What on earth is a solenoid ?

That said, I am currently having a craving for buying an Ultima and building it myself. If you believe the hype, complete novices can build them.

See : http://www.ultimasports.co.uk/

James
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WGB

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Re: Who Spanners their own cars?
« Reply #23 on: 02 May 2007, 05:45 AM »
I'd love to be able to do everything myself. I worry about my lack of patience but its really a case of simply not having a clue about which parts do what. What on earth is a solenoid ?


James

You've got 40 or so mates here who will point you in the right direction with only a pleasant word and a few photo's.

You need some patience but more importantly you need persistence - even though time can turn into years.

Persistence = lots of little bits of patience x time

Bill

James R

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Re: Who Spanners their own cars?
« Reply #24 on: 02 May 2007, 05:49 AM »
Thanks Bill !
1978 450SEL 6.9 - GONE!

1979 450SEL - GONE!

s class

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Re: Who Spanners their own cars?
« Reply #25 on: 02 May 2007, 06:47 AM »
Ah yes, I didn't mention upholstery.  I will not try redoing a leather seat, but that's about all I won't try. 

Speaking of spannering, I have a 'to do' list, as I'm sure many others do :

It is as follows (focussing on BIG stuff, not the inbetween smallies)

a) Remove engine, trans and suspension from 450SL, fix all rust, spray engine bay, bonnet, front fenders and underside.  Detail engine and replace a lot of gaskets.  Refit.

b) Rebuild engine on W140 S500

c) repaint 280SE - either citrus green or dark metallic grey, haven't decided yet but I've got a while before I get there. 

At least this should give me a bit of variety for the next couple of years. 

Oh well.  Of course I'm hoping a 6.9 will arrive on the property amongst all this. 

Oh and inbetween - note to self- I need to be more disciplined about driving these cars at least once a month. 

Wife has agreed to extending my workshop for space for a hoist ... watch this space...

Ryan

'76 6.9 Euro, '78 6.9 AMG, '80 280SE, '74 350SE, '82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro , '81 500SL

oscar

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Re: Who Spanners their own cars?
« Reply #26 on: 02 May 2007, 07:31 AM »

b) Rebuild engine on W140 S500


Such a short statement, must be an easy job.   ;)  It reminds me of my Haynes manual when it'll direct the reader on some basics in great detail then say "Now remove engine"   :D  Ok, not a direct quote from the manual but there's similar utterances.

But rebuild the S500 engine.  I'm looking forward to reading your posts when the time comes. :)
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gregdeklerk

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Re: Who Spanners their own cars?
« Reply #27 on: 02 May 2007, 07:40 AM »
Oscar, you have hit a nerve!! S Class and I were discussing this very topic on Saturday afternoon!!!! :D

s class

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Re: Who Spanners their own cars?
« Reply #28 on: 02 May 2007, 08:12 AM »
Indeed Oscar,

The other favourite Haynes line is "refitment is the reverse of removal" - a single line that equals hours of work.

Greg - nah - the 500 engine is not a sensitive issue, its just that there isn't much help out there - there just isn't a W140.org like this place.  I'll be pretty much on my own and that's a little scary. 

As we all know the W140 is a love it or hate it car, and at this weekend away I found generally favourable comment - many people loved the sound of my dual free flow, but there is always the odd guy who has negative things to say - that's fine, let them.  I shall recline in my W140 listening to the brilliant (but worn  :( engine), dreaming of future completed projects. 

Ryan

'76 6.9 Euro, '78 6.9 AMG, '80 280SE, '74 350SE, '82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro , '81 500SL

WGB

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Re: Who Spanners their own cars?
« Reply #29 on: 03 May 2007, 01:50 AM »

b) Rebuild engine on W140 S500


Such a short statement, must be an easy job.   ;)  It reminds me of my Haynes manual when it'll direct the reader on some basics in great detail then say "Now remove engine"   :D  Ok, not a direct quote from the manual but there's similar utterances.

But rebuild the S500 engine.  I'm looking forward to reading your posts when the time comes. :)

I'd rather rebuild the 500 engine than paint a car anyday.

Bill