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29-11-2014, 16:52   #61
Meso Harney
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The crazy thing about that last photo - you live about 300 yards away from me. Really looking forward to seeing the finished product driving around the place
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30-11-2014, 12:37   #62
pryantcc
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The crazy thing about that last photo - you live about 300 yards away from me. Really looking forward to seeing the finished product driving around the place
You never know what's going on in people's sheds & garages!
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07-12-2014, 21:58   #63
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Just showed my dad this project and he loves it .. He had somethin similar years ago
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06-01-2015, 21:22   #64
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Some more progress being made, slowly but surely!
She's starting to look a bit rough I've most of the interior and doors stripped now and removed a lot of chrome trim, etc.


Here you can see one of the 3 beautiful fibreglass patch-jobs I've found so far and what it was covering.




I found more rust in the rear floors under the sound deadening bitumen stuff, but nothing too scary.


I chipped a bit of paint away from the base of the C pillar where it was bubbling. There are small perforations, but, to be honest I expected it to be worse. I was surprised, though at how far the rot goes under what seemed to be good paint from the outside!


I bolted up the flywheel and clutch. I re-measured all the clearances with respect to the gearbox input shaft length, release bearing position, etc. It couldn't really have worked out any better, everything has fitted perfectly.


The big news is that my welding expert friend visited earlier in the week and fixed my gear shifting mechanism in place. It worked out well in terms of position and seems like it'll be very comfortable to use. This feels like a big step as all the mojor requirements for driving are now in place. Happy days!
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10-01-2015, 02:16   #65
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This will be one hell of s stand out merc when it's all done you would never expect a fat v8 under it ha
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10-01-2015, 13:21   #66
pryantcc
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This will be one hell of s stand out merc when it's all done you would never expect a fat v8 under it ha
Sorry to dissapoint Darragh, but the v8 is gone & 6cyl diesel inserted in its place. You definitely wouldn't expect to see that under there!!
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02-02-2015, 11:14   #67
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There's been a major push the last few weeks. I'm sorry to say I've very few photos. Plumbing has been a large part of the work, there was quite a list:
Feed for clutch master cylinder
Intercooler
Oil cooler
Radiator
Power steering
Oil pressure gauge
Temperature gauge

The clutch master cylinder was the easiest part, just a length of hose from the brake reservoir down to the master cylinder.



The intercooler needed a custom pipe to be welded up to get down around the alternator and the anti-roll bar. the intercooler itself isn't permanently attached yet, but fits well between the two front bumper mounts.



For the oil cooler, it was a bit more involved. In the original car, the oil cooler is actually boldted onto the right side of the radiator, in line with it, so, apart from being unboltable, it is effectively an extension on to the side of the rad. The biggest problem with this was that the oil cooler plumbing on the new engine was on the left hand side. In order to move the cooler to the other side, we had to de-solder the sides off the rad and swap them around. You cna see it in its new position on the left of the rad in this photo:



Once this was done, it was clear that the top connection on the cooler was going to interfere with the power steering pump.



The solution was to swap the outlet position with what used to be the drain plug as the cooler is now upside down. So, we cut the fitting off the W210 E300 oil cooler as there was more meat in those and welded it to the oil cooler from the W108.

The W210 oil cooler:


And the swap job on the W108 cooler:



Once this was all sorted out, the only requirement was to extend the oil feed lines slightly to reach the cooler.


The top connection on the rad is very close to the outlet from the engine, so a bit of bodgery was required to get them connected. I got a couple of tight bends and cut and joined them. It's a little rigid as the engine moves about under power, but I'll try to sort that out by spreading the two halves on the joiner.




The power steering was probably the most awkward to sort out. In terms of plumbing, the guys making up the hydraulic pipes had nothing that would fit the pump end. So, my good welding friend cut the original pump connector and welded it to the hydraulic fitting.









Now, I also knew that the pump output would produce about double the pressure of the old original one, so presumed that hooking my more modern version up to the ancient steering box would result in bad things. So, I bought a gauge for £7.50 from Ebay, and, welding ecxpertise was required again to put together a fitting so that it could be connected to the end of the high pressure pipe.





An evening of testing followed. The pump registered just over 100 bar at the start and I was aiming for around 60. There is a pressure relief valve inside the pump body, a very simple arrangement with a spring that holds a ball bearing against a seat until the pressure pushes it off the seat against the spring. There were a few shims in it, so I went about adjusting with shims. The first try had only minimal impact +/- 2 bar, so adjustment was acheived by shortening the spring with careful application of the angle grinder! 3 or 4 tests later and the pump was outputting about 60 bar.


More welding was required to fit the engine oil presure gauge. There's a nylon pipe running to the back of the pressure gauge in the dash which feeds the pressure up to the mechanical gauge. The diesel engine had a handy bung at the base of the oil filter housing which was removed, drilled out and welded to the fitting from the petrol engine.

The temperature gauge is a vial on the end of a capilliary tube which runs to the back of the dash. The fitting from the petrol engine went straight into a handy hole which was plugged in the diesel without any modification.

If you're still reading, fair play! Here's what I'm getting around to:



It works!! The first time in about a year she's moved out of the shed! The drive went well. Gearing is very low as was expected, but I'm very happy with the way the engine behaves. It's hard to tell what it'll be like until you have it on a manual gearbox, but it's great. Clutch and gearbox work nicely too. I'm very happy and really like it. I'll try significantly bigger wheels and tyres shortly. According to my calculations, +2 inches in diameter will have me cruising at 70 and 2,400RPM.
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10-06-2015, 16:16   #68
pryantcc
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Sorry it's been so long since the last update. I have a bit of work to do to get you all up to date with the current status. This post will be another "I didn't do any of this myself" one!

My friend very kindly undertook to make me an exhaust pipe. The original engine was a V8, so there was a pipe down each side of the car that came together and entered the single back box with twin exit pipes on the driver's side of the fuel tank. The W210 donor car had a catalytic convertor just in front of the firewall around the driver's feet and a single back box on the passenger side of the spare wheel well with twin exit pipes. There was a lot of cleverness required to route the exhaust past the steering box (catalytic convertor was removed), over the gearbox support cross member and over the rear axle using only the existing piping and bends from two W210 exhaust systems. We decided to re-use the original back box as it was in good shape and the W210 item was really too big for the space we had available. He did a fantastic, tidy job. The silencing is great, the car is lovely and quiet. It's a little bit of refinement returning!


This is the first short section which attaches to the turbo:


The next section:



You can see how precise it is feeding between the bell housing and the steering arm:





The whole length:



Here you can see how he fed both parts of the back box from the one pipe:


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10-06-2015, 18:08   #69
Bigus
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All those W108 s used to scrape their original exhaust centre boxes on irish roads !
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21-06-2015, 20:04   #70
pryantcc
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All those W108 s used to scrape their original exhaust centre boxes on irish roads !
Mine's seen a bit of action too!

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05-09-2015, 15:40   #71
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Just read through the whole thread , amazing work done on it, very impressed would have painted the intercooler piping black myself though for a more stock look but each to their own
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06-09-2015, 20:26   #72
pryantcc
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Just read through the whole thread , amazing work done on it, very impressed would have painted the intercooler piping black myself though for a more stock look but each to their own
Thanks for the compliments Steve. Original intercooler piping was unpainted alloy, but to be honest, the silver was just what came to hand. I'm not too pushed about what the innards look like beyond being tidy and well made.
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06-09-2015, 21:31   #73
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I've been lacking with updates as seems to be a theme with this write-up, but, thankfully not because no work has been going on!

I've been having (anticipated) trouble with rear axle ratios. When I test drove the car, the gearing was very low, as expected. in 6th at 35-40mph. I tried running on wheels/tyres with a 2 inch larger diameter, but even this didn't make a significant enough difference.

The original W108 axle has a 3.46:1 ratio. There are versions from the 6.3L 300SL that have a 2.82:1 ratio, I think. However, these are rare, and accordingly expensive. Also purchasing one over the internet comes with a lot of risk as they are probably all more than 40 years old at this point. I looked at the idea of just putting in new internals into my existing axle, but failed to find anything that would fit easily. It quickly came down to having to swap out the whole axle for something more readily available with an appropriate ratio.

I already had the rear diff and subframe assembly from the 1999 E300 (W210) car that donated its engine. That has a ratio of 2.88:1, however, some quick measuring tape work established that it wouldn't fit between my chassis rails on the W108. Some further googling uncovered a sketchy report that someone had fitted a subframe from a W203 and although I couldn't find a write-up on the job, the photos looked like it hadn't been too troublesome.

I found a complete W203 sub-frame from a 270CDI for 120Euro. It wasn't in awful condition, there were a couple of joints and bushes that needed replacing along with the brake backing plates and it needed cleaning up, but was structurally sound. Brake discs, callipers, CV boots, etc. all looked good. Most importantly, it had a suitable ratio in the diff of 2.65:1

The original W108 axle was removed, and the bracket attached to the car floor that was used to stabilise it laterally was cut off to make room. It became apparent early-on that 2 things weren't going to work out. The first was that the wheels would be too close together to clear the inner rear wheel arches. Nothing some appropriately sized wheel spacers wouldn't solve. The second issue was that the front-top suspension link was going to foul the chassis rail on each side. After much head scratching, it was decided to just remove these links until the whole thing was fitted and then cut and strengthen the chassis rails by the required amount. It's a pity to have to do this, but there should be great benefits from having the modern multi-link rear suspension rather than the old swinging axle setup.

There were some good points too. The subframe fits quite well into the existing floor pan without any chopping of the car required aside from the chassis rails mentioned above. The shocks looked like they'd line up with the original top mounts well, and there was room for the new spring seats to go in without anything being in their way.

Thinking about how to fix the subframe in place, the rear was relatively straight-forward, just a cross-member to add with two spuds sticking down from it. This was chopped from the W210 donor car. The front, however, was completely devoid of any siutable anchor points, and of space to add anything as the rear seat footwell interfered with anything that could be added. I have a great friend who's been helping out throughout this build and he came up with the idea of butchering the W210 subframe in order to take its front mounting points and add them to the front of this W203 one. That would make teh W203 subframe longer and enable us to fix it to the structural points where the original axle had been fixed.

So, two front "arms" were cut from the W210 subframe and welded to the W203 item with a lot of reinforcement being added to make sure they would stay put!

I've managed to delete all my photos of the process, so I've stolen an internet photo here to try to explain what went on with a picture. I'll upload a proper one when I have the subframe off the car again, but for now, this will have to do. This is not to scale or anything and there's loads of extra reinforcing gone into it, but this gives you the idea:


Two mount points were added to the car for these to bolt up to. An enormous amount of care and attention went into the location and alignment of these fittings so that the subframe would end up in the correct horizontal plane as well as being centred properly in the car at the same time as having the line between the two rear wheels perfectly perpendicular to the car's mid-line.

Once the two front mount points were done, we bolted the rear cross member to the subframe and bolted it up to the front mounts. This gave us positioning for the rear cross member which was duly welded up to the boot floor.

Now that all 4 subframe mounts were sorted, we could turn our attention to shock absorbers and springs. The position of the lower shock mounts meant that they couldn't be mounted up inside the existing shock turrets as we had hoped. They hit the edge at the bottom of the turrets. So, I bought some short shocks (VW Type 2 van itmes) and we made mounts for the tops of them that were fitted inside but near the bottom of the turrets. The bottom mounts just had to be drilled out from 10mm to 12mm. The upper spring seats were already part of the rear cross member section that had been removed from the W210, so that aspect actually worked out well!

As mentioned earlier, the upper front suspension links would hit the chassis rails when the suspension was compressed. So, now that the subframe was in place, we could figure out how bad it was and cut sections from the chassis rails to compensate. The chassis was cut, re-made and plated on both sides of each rail to add back the strength that had been removed. You can see in the photos below how much was chopped and why.
Before:


After:


The inside of the chassis rail looked in reasonable nick in this area which was encouraging:



Next we turned our attention to the prop shaft which needed to be shortened a little and be adapted to somehow attach it's 4 hole UJ flange to the 3 hole job on the new rear diff.

The hubs, new backing plates and callipers were all blasted and painted in the hopes of preserving them. They were then re-assembled with new bearings, bottom bushes and handbrake shoes and look like this:




I've struggled to write this update and keep interesting without making the work sound easy. Believe me, this was not a pleasant nor an easy job. We met problems everywhere. The mounting spuds on the W210 rear cross member didn't fit in the W203 subframe mounts and had to be chopped off, turned down on a lathe and re-attached. The outside of the W203 subframe had to be chopped to wihin an inch of its life to fit between the car's chassis rails. The W203 hubs needed their bearings and lower bush replaced. The two front suspension links on the subframe which are used for adjusting rear tracking were seized in place and had to be cut out. The new brake backing plates were too big for my original 14 inch wheels so had to be modified to fit. The drive shaft was too long for our lathe which made alignment a nightmare when welding it back together having shortened it. The drive shaft flange (which was attached to the rear universal joint) didn't match the input flange on the diff, so a custom adaptor job had to be made up. The newly made exhaust had to be re-designed to go around the subframe and the back box shortened by about 1o inches. The handbrake cables were too short and had the wrong fittings on the ends, so we had to modify the hubs to take the original W108 cables. One of the W203 callipers was badly seized so the W210 ones were used but these wouldn't fit inside the wheels so we took the angle grinder to the pad wear sensor mount point on the callipers. This meant using the W210 disks but these rubbed the backing plates so had to be adjusted slightly to fit.
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11-09-2015, 23:00   #74
pryantcc
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I took a photo tonight of the underneath. It needs a small bit of beautification and will get blasted and painted in due course:

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16-12-2015, 13:26   #75
tom_tarbucket
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How are things going since pryantcc?
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