Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bruno Benzs

Both cars designed by the same Italian car designer, Bruno Sacco for Daimler-Benz. He personally owns a W126 coupe but his favourite design is the W201 (190E, aka Baby Benz).

My garage queen in all her glory.

New Hood Pad/Insulation

The old hood pad was in pretty poor shape. It was dry and brittle and would come off like dust if you touched it. Oddly enough I don't think the hood pad on the car was what it came with from the factory. It was definitely an OEM hood pad but I don't think it was stock.

Thinking Mercedes would have updated the hood pad by now, I ordered a genuine replacement hood pad from Mercedes using the part number I got from EPC. Sadly it looks like Mercedes has done nothing to improve the quality of the material - it's pretty much the same type of material I took. off. The hood pad I received even looks like it was designed for the turbo diesels as its got the aluminium section for the turbocharger. In any case its a million times better than the one I took off.

I glued it using 3M High-Strength 90 Spray Adhesive. Its very quick drying so you only have a second or two to fit the material. Without anyone to help me put it in place, I glued it in small 1 or 2ft square sections. Ended up a little skew, but I just trimmed about 1cm from the right hand side and tucked it into the edges.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Top End Rebuild - Post Op

With the heavy wrenching complete I can start looking at sorting out all the little things. The car starts and runs smooth. But when in gear and foot on the brake, the engine shakes quite a bit. It doesn't feel like worn engine mounts. Its definitely something a little more complicated.

The only issues I know of is a leaking EHA valve and a broken vacuum check valve. Both of which I'll be ordering new tomorrow. The shaking is scaring me a little. Being my first rebuild I'm worried I might have screwed up something. But since the car drives and idles fine, its all a bit strange.

From what I know the EHA valve it meant for small fuel mixture adjustments. Thus it doesn't seem likely the cause of the shaking. As for the check valve (A126 800 00 78), I have no idea what it does. The EPC describes it as "Air conditioner case to partition panel" - doesn't sound like it affects idle.

I've ordered a case of Joe Gibbs HR-1 (15w50) motor oil for the 560. I've read many good things about this stuff. Its got high levels of ZDDP and unlike folks like Royal Purple, they're not afraid to provide their mixture quantities. That alone makes me believe its going to be better than Royal Purple.

I've also ordered a new distributor cap and rotor. The old rotor looks a little burnt.

Hopefully all these things together should sort out the shaking. If not I don't mind sending it out to the dealer to do the finishing touches. I've saved myself easily $5,000.00 in garage fees by doing the top-end rebuild myself, so I can afford to send it out for a few things now. It could definitely have the timing done more professionally.

Tallying up the hours for rebuild gives a total of 55hrs. Given that Mercedes-Benz quoted me 40+hrs as a rough estimate, I'm pretty happy with my performance :) Especially without having any power tools or a hoist to help me.

The most difficult job of the rebuild has to be removing and reinstalling the exhaust manifolds. Getting all the little fittings in the engine bay installed is also very time consuming. But I suppose it could have gone completely differently had any of the head bolt threads in the block stripped. Thank God that didn't happen to me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Top End Rebuild - Day 27

Although not strictly Day 27 - I did work on the car a few times since Day 26 but didn't bother logging it, as it was less than an hour each time. Anyhow. I got her started today! Four months worth of work is coming to a close. Feels amazing to hear the engine running so sweet. Does wonders to one's ego. How many people can say they've rebuilt a V8 Mercedes engine. Definitely an elite club.

Lubed up the cams one last time before putting down the cam covers to fit the fuel lines and ignition wires. That RedLine Assembly lube is amazing. Even after running the engine, I can see it has built up a film on the cam lobes.

Pressurised the fuel system first to check for leaks. And lo and behold I had a few leaks. I forgot to tighten one of the lines on the pressure regulator and the cold start injector. Good thing I checked for leaks before starting the engine. At 90psi, you don't mess with petrol.

After tightening those two lines I tried to start it. Just cranked without firing. Moved the distributor cap all the way anti-clockwise (timing advance) and then it started. I haven't bolted the downpipe to the manifold yet so it sounded mean! I spilled some oil on the right exhaust manifold when filling the engine oil so there was quite a bit of smoke as it burnt off.

Eventually the smoke cleared, the engine warmed up and it gave me a chance to set the ignition timing. Got it as close as possible by ear. Will probably need to go in with a timing light and make the final adjustment but its pretty good right now. Checked for leaks. All looks good. But won't really know for sure until I take it out of the garage during daylight (I got it started at 11pm).

Used a new filter and some CanadianTire brand Formula 1 10w30 for the first start. Will run it like this for a day or two and then replace the filter and oil with Castrol GTX 20w50.

As far as engine work goes, I only really have the following 3 things to do:
- Bolt up the remaining exhaust system
- Change oil and filter
- Replace distributor cap and rotor (the rotor was pretty done actually)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Top End Rebuild - Day 25 and 26

Day 25 was about 3hrs fitting the driver's side exhaust manifold. Took forever getting the rear exhaust flange to line up. You can only thread the lower studs in once you've hung the exhuast manifold. There is not enough clearance to have the studs in when fitting the manifold.

Day 26 was about an hours work fitting the power steering pump and alternator. Getting really close to completion. Which means the anxiety and paranoia is also building up - did I bend any of the valves while assembling the heads? did the head torque down properly? Dying to get it done and hear the engine run.

Remaining items are:
- Radiator + Coolant hoses + Radiator fan
- Wiring harness
- Main fuel lines
- Distributor + spark plugs + Ignition wires
- Windscreen washer bottle
- Secondary firewall
- Oil change + New coolant
- And any miscellaneous vacuum connections

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Top End Rebuild - Day 24

About 3hrs today and I have the rest of the fuel system connected and the passenger's side exhaust manifold installed. Fitting the exhaust is a real pain. Because of the clearance you have to thread the bottom studs into the engine only once the exhaust has been hung using the top bolts. All the exhaust manifold gaskets are identical so there is no risk of mixing up the gaskets. My hands are pretty raw and full of metal splinters. Not a fun job.

Getting very close to completion. Remaining items are the driver's side exhaust manifold, electronics, ancillaries, radiator and the secondary firewall. I'm hoping to do a first start next weekend.