New steering wheel for the W140

The steering wheel in my W140 looked like a sorry mess. Birds eye maple, but all the lacquer had large cracks in it. It felt nasty to hold.

From a little distance it looked ok:IMG_0316.jpg

But go a little closer and we see the mess that this steering wheel was:

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I have friends who have all sorts of stuff/crap/great parts just laying around, and one of them mentioned that he had a great birds eye steering wheel for sale. So, considering the fact that having a cracked steering wheel in the most comfortable car to ever be created in the nineties is kind of stupid, you have your hands wrapped around it the whole time when you are driving, I really did not have a choice.

So I documented the process of actually changing it over with some photos. First thing you need is a long torx bit to loosen the airbag. The screws are on the backside:

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This is with the airbag removed. Since the new steering wheel came without the wires, I loosened them from the wheel itself. The bolt that holds the wheel is a 10mm unbraco:

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Here the wheel is removed, only thing remaining are the wires:

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Mounting is visa versa, and here are a quick crap shot of how it looks today. Approximately 99% better to hold in your hands:

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W140 air condition unit bulb change

My W140 was missing some lights in the air condition control unit. The temperature dials and display was completely dark, making it impossible to control the temperature at night. This was what it looked like in the dark, the temperature dials are beside the “auto” buttons.

I bought 10 new bulbs on ebay and checked the procedure described in the official workshop documentation before I went to work.

First step is to remove the “Auto” button. It simply pops out, so gently pry it out with a flat bladed screwdriver or something similar.

You can see the white plastic cap, pry this one loose as well with a flat headed screw driver

And then the bulb is visible deep in the hole beneath the cap. Use a pair of tweezers to get it out

Put in a new bulb with the tweezers, put back the cap and the button, and you are finished. Looks a lot better in the dark now!

Next step is to replace the bulb for the fan dial, but to do that you must remove the wood trim first. I am going to do that another day, and buff and polish the wood when I have it removed from the car at the same time.

 

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New everyday car

My trusty 1999 S210 ended its life early in the spring due to rust. All trough the summer I have been driving the 1980 S123 300TDT as an everyday car and I have enjoyed every minute of it. But now autumn is here and soon winter, so I need something to drive that is not a collectors car.

My first idea was that I could get a 1995 S124 E220T Sportline that I bought for 3000,- NOK going, but standing still for 3 years outside had killed the car completely. Everything was stuck, even the gear shifter.

So that car was sold to a friend of mine and I decided that I wanted something that I have never had before and that I have wanted since I was 18, a W140 S-class.

First I thought long and hard on engine. Gasoline was out of the question, they use just too much fuel. So diesel was it. There are two diesel W140 versions. There is the 3.5L turbodiesel with 150hp and the newer 3.0L 177hp version.

The 3.0L version is too new and rare in Norway. There was no cars for sale at all. So I settled on the 3.5L version. An engine with a really bad reputation on the internet. So I checked around and found that the problem seemed to be restricted to USA. There was very little talk in Europe about these engines being supposedly bad,.

So the search started. And I found a car that fitted my bill perfectly. 280 000 km, 1993 S350 Turbodiesel. Just new enough to get the new model name, but old enough that it was still delivered with orange blinkers.

This is the car. I am happy with it. It drives fantastic. Extremely large both in and out, the noise level inside is fantastically low, and the comfort is second to none.

I will write more about it soon!

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Boge hydromat

Last year while visiting Retro Classics in Stuttgart, i bought a newly renovated Boge Hydromat. This unit is a hydraulic cylinder that sits in the middle of the rear axle on my W108. For a long time, these were impossible to get from the factory, and failed units were replaced with a spring instead. A set up you can find on a pagode from the factory. Luckily, ZF has started to refubish these old Boge Hydromats (Bogebein/hydro compensator) so it is finally possible to experience these cars like the factory meant them to be.

First step was to remove the spring. A friend with a specialist classic Mercedes shop did the work.

And then the Boge Hydromat was mounted.

A testdrive afterwards show the driving characteristics of the car to be quite different. After a bump, if feels stiffer, but not with less comfort. Turning into a corner, it feels more secure and not so loose in the rear end.

All in all a really good upgrade that everyone that has one of these cars needs to get!

 

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Fabricating new fuel rail brackets part IV

My never ending saga of drilling and tapping aluminium has yet another installment, but this time it is not yet another fail. Of course, you may think my fabricating skills is a big fail, but I am pleased with the results at least…

So I went ahead and bought some new taps and a counter sink.

The counter sink made the hole a lot nicer.

And this counter sinking made the tapping a lot simpler as well. So now the rails are finished. Looks like success to me!

Posted in 1983 Mercedes-Benz 280TE | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A real workhorse

The S123 300TDT was sold as a real workhorse when it was new. Awesome power from the turbo diesel and a really large storage compartment in the back. Combine that with a tow hitch, and you are prepared for all challenges as a house owner. Or war lord. Whatever.

It may be a little bit ridiculous to use a 35 year old rust free and nice 300TDT to tow a trailer full of crap to the land fill, but, hey, they are meant to be used. And a workhorse needs to be used as a workhorse.

So, this was just a long winded way of telling you that I have som pictures to show. I took five trips to the land fill today with crap from my garden, and I need to do at least five more.

 

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Fabricating new fuel rail brackets part III

First I cut the brackets roughly to shape with a grinder, then I marked where to drill the fuel rails. First hole is a small pilot hole. I put a piece of tape on the drill bit to know the depth I needed.

And then I drilled the final hole and started to use the M6x1 tap, buuuuut, as you can see, the tap did not last very long. The curse for not buying serious tools I guess…

So my goal of starting the motor today came to an halt, and I need to go out and get a new tap tomorrow. Fun times!

 

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