And Now, Even Longer

Really? It’s been 8 years? OMG!

So I still have all of the previously mentioned vehicles plus, my son’s 82 300D now. He stopped driving it after losing front brakes and skidding into a construction sign and wrinkling the passenger side quarter panel and bending the rear control arm (?) thus making the right rear wheel have massive positive camber. The bent one is mostly off now (only parking break cable is left) and I have a good junkyard donor part in hand. Pics to come soon. If you have this same sort of problem, stay tuned and ask questions.

I also now have a 1994 Chevy C3500 crewcab flatbed/stakebed for hauling parts (and other junk).

Been a long time

Sorry for the delay and subsequently, this side track.

The 300D project has been and will stay on hold, even though my eventual plans have not changed for the project.

I have since acquired:

A 1995 VW Jetta (2nd one to hold me over til I get #1 heater core changed out). It’s a rust bucket but it was cheap and for the most part has been reliable. Hey, I have a spare parts car at the ready.

A 1998 Chrysler Sebring convertible. Again, cheap. I drove it for a little while, then was commandeered by my step daughter, only to run out of coolant. I believe the battery died while it was trying to be restarted, then the after market remote start (without the remote)/alarm locked up. I was able to find manual and put it in valet mode and get it started. It will run, but there is a bad gasket somewhere under the intake manifold.

A 2001 Dodge Intrepid  R/T Motor Sport Edition. Also cheap. It ran at the tow lot where I bought it, but had a loud tapping noise from the engine on top of a dead battery, so I made it about a mile before I had to have it towed the rest of the way. It is awaiting valve cover removal to explore the noise. I believe whoever had it before, didn’t know what they had and for some reason swapped the original 17 inch wheels and tires out for 16s. I have 1 17 from the junkyard and will continue to look for the remaining 3.

A 1980 GMC K35 1 ton 4×4 regular cab truck with 350 4 speed and Meyer snow plow and dump bed. Cheap, cheap, cheap. Although it was advertised as running, it wouldn’t start when I arrived with cash in hand. On top of that, the dump bed was full of dirt and 2 of the rear tires were flat. I paid a friend to haul it home on his trailer. After changing the plugs (no start) and adding gas (surprise) it ran. I bought a new motor for the plow pump and rebuilt the pump and it works good now. Unfortunately, the front axle drive shaft was in the back seat and the dual wheel chains I bought are actually too close to the rear springs to use, so I had to plow on the slick. Until just last week, I was not able to get the dump to work. I tried it after hooking up the plow and charging the battery for the season and it worked. Need to change out the hydraulic oil for fresh cold weather stuff.

A 1998 Buick Regal LS. Cheap like the rest, but not cheap enough. Unlike the others, I gambled on this at lot auction. They said it ran, but must of just been residual fuel in the line and I couldn’t keep it running long enough to pull the jumper cables and close the hood to drive it off the lot. Had it towed to the other house and there it sits. I have ordered a new fuel pump and hope to get that changed and get it running and get rid of it asap.

And finally, a 1984 John Deere 310B backhoe. For what it is, relatively cheap. I had to go out of town for a week so it still needs to be picked up and hauled home. Like the GMC, this was bought out of necessity (yard and driveway need grading away from the house and If I had someone else do it, it probably would have been 4 times as much).

I will try to post some pictures later.

Primer pump leak

It’s been a long time since last post, but I’m still here.

So I still have not replaced the primer pump that I ordered and received a couple years ago. Johnny said that he had an issue with his Ford Power Stroke diesel engine where he had a leak and with that came a rough idle. So that made me think about my very rough idle and my leaking primer pump. Of course, now that I really want to change the pump, I can’t find it. Once I get back home, I’m going to give it another search to find the new pump before giving up and buying another one.

I did drive the car for a couple weeks while I changed the Jetta brakes and had the  distributor replaced . It now is awaiting master cylinder which I bought, but got the wrong one. So once that is exchanged and replaced, Jetta will be back to primary. Also, the Durango was having the radiator changed which is now done. Durango is solid runner now and just needs some work on rust remediation.

If anyone has any tips on changing the primer pump, I would be very grateful for any help. The problem I had when I first got the replacement pump and attempted to remove the old one, was I couldn’t get the two lines loose from either side of the pump handle. If I can get the idle back to normal and the power issue fixed, then it will be time to install the WVO kit and start filling my drums with oil.

New Radio

I also recently replaced all 4 speakers with Pyle 2 and 3 way speakers and an Alpine plane jane receiver/cd player.
The speakers in the back (5 1/4″) fit pretty good, although to get the screws to go through both sides of the clips, I had to notch the deck board about 1/4″ in the 4 corners where the attachment holes are. I could no longer get the original grills to fit, so I used the Pyle grills that came with the speakers.
As for the front, they fit good in the hole, but I had to break off one perforated corner mount on each speaker due to the way they hit the fwd curve of the dash just under the windshield. Also, up here, I am only able to get 1 screw through the mount hole to line up with the original dash mount hole. The original grills are flush mounted and integrated into the dashboard, so I’m attempting to modify them by shaving off a circular spot on the inside to clear the tweeter in order for them to lay flush like original.
As for the Radio, it went fairly well. When I spliced all the wires on the radio that came with the car (not original, but another CD player that no longer functions like it should), I just wired the fade through the stock Mercedes quasi fader switch in the console. I have now bypassed that switch and the new radio now has normal fade.
I still do not have reception, because I don’t have the antenna hooked up. I did get a new retractable antenna for my original motor, but it seems too thick and gets stuck right at the first roller inside the box. So I bought another one from the junk yard. The only problem is, the plugs are different. The last visit to the yard, I clipped the plug off another model that seemed to be the same as the antenna I bought last time, and need to match the wires and try it out.
CD, USB, and AUX all sound great.

New Front End

Not long after replacing the right upper control arm, the car started getting a vibration at 65 mph. I checked the linkage and one of the left tie rod ends was bad. For a temp fix, i swapped it out with Tom’s old one that was good. I believe vibration went away, but since Tom’s pair of tie rods was $50 and my control arm was $50, I decided to go ahead and buy the front end kit on eBay from the same guy I got the tie rods from for $257 total including shipping. I will have an extra control arm, but i could either keep that for Tom or relist it on eBay.

1984 Mercedes 300D Upper Control Arm Replacement

I knew (guessed) my upper control arm bushing was shot because whenever I would drive over speed bumps or potholes, the right side front end would make a clunking noise.

Upon inspection on the right side, the tie rod ends and ball joints looked good. However, high up in the wheel well and pinched by a cavity in the wheel well, I could see that a rubber bushing had popped out of what turns out to be the upper control rod.

Bad upper control arm bushing
Bad upper control arm bushing

1. After identifying the bushing is the issue, jack the right front wheel from the frame, either with the jack that came with the car (if able) or a hydraulic floor jack.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Right Wheel Well
Right Wheel Well

2. Remove the right front wheel.

3. You can now see the upper control arm attached to the torsion rod, the inner fender well, and the lower arm that is attached to the axle that holds the brake rotor.
  
upper bushing, ball joint seperation
upper bushing, ball joint seperation

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Remove the nut holding the lower arm to the Ball Joint on the bottom of the Control Arm.

5. Insert Pickle Fork between the lower arm and the upper control arm. Hammer the end of the fork until it stops bouncing back from the
rubber seal.
6. Push down on the pickle fork until the lower arm pops off of the ball joint. (CAUTION: get a good grip and watch your head!)
7. Now remove the bolt from the front side of the control arm that attaches it to the end of the torsion bar.
 
Control Arm Upper Mount Bolt
Control Arm Upper Mount Bolt

8. In the engine compartment, look for the bolt and nut holding the control arm to the fender well. Look on either side of the battery tray brace. The bolt head will most likely be on the battery side and the nut will be toward front of car. Remove nut and bolt. The bolt is about 4 inches long and wiring harness below battery may interfere with the bolt coming out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New vs old
New vs old

9. You should now be able to remove the control arm.

10. Once you have the old one out, compare it to the new one before attempting to install it. It might be tough to install the left control arm on the right side or a control arm for a different model.
 
 
Remove protective plastic cover from ball joint
Remove protective plastic cover from ball joint

11. Remove the protective cover from the ball joint end of the control arm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Align bushing with mount hole
Align bushing with mount hole

12. Install one of the torsion bar control arm bushings on the torsion bar.

13. Raise the control arm up to the gap in the inner fender well with the ball joint facing down and pointing out while aligning the large hole with the torsion bar.

14. Align the hole of the upper bushing with the mount hole in the engine compartment. If they are a bit off while holding the control arm in place, maneuver the bushing hole with a screw driver or punch until it looks close enough to push the bolt in place.

15. Even though the bolt was originally installed from the battery side, I reinstalled the bolt from the front and placed the nut on the back.

16. Snug the nut for now.

Push up on torsion bar with jack and extendion
Push up on torsion bar with jack and extension

17. Now, with the right frame of the car resting on a jackstand, use your jack with about a foot and a half 4×4 standing on the jack pad. This should be long enough to push up on the torsion bar to be aligned straight with the control arm/torsion bar rubber bushings. If you don’t do this, the forward bushing will most likely get pinched by the retaining washer.

18. Now place the forward torsion bar control arm bushing on the torsion bar. The control arm should now be sandwiched by the two rubber bushings.

19. Place the large bushing retainer, then the smaller washer (the smaller one should fit perfectly against the larger one) on the torsion bar and start threading the bolt in the end of the torsion bar. Again, just snug the bolt. We will make final torque on all bolts and nuts after we have them all started.

20. Now you can lower the jack. Try to aim the ball joint stud into the lower arm mount hole. It should drop down far enough to get the nut started. Go ahead and torque the nut on to the ball joint stud. It will look like it does not get tight enough or is missing a washer, but that is ok. This is normal as the stud is tapered. This is the reason you have to use the pickle fork to separate the ball joint and lower arm (and tie rod ends for that matter).

21. Make final torque on the torsion bar bolt and then the upper mount bolt and nut.

Finished
Finished

22. Reinstall the wheel and air cleaner and you are done.

I found that most parts were very competitively priced when buying from partsgeek.com. The greatest advantage to buying from them is when you buy several parts at the same time because the shipping is always $6.95.

 

 

 

 

 

Battery Trays and Control Arm

EBay seller with the battery trays said they would fit and he would discount shipping. So I bought 2. Very little surface rust and peeling paint. I attempted to bead blast with gravity gun and very small compressor, with very minimal results. I am now contemplating buying a larger compressor and pressure blaster.

I have a feeling the tray support arm is not quite as long as the support arm on our 300s. If not, I should be able to drill out the three spot welds on both, swap them and bolt them back together.

Tom still has not installed his new tierods. I may go help him this week.

I ordered a new right upper control arm because the upper bushing was warn and pushed out from the mount. At the same time, I ordered: replacement electric antenna mast, antenna seal, dome light door switch, and brake wear sensors. I can not get the antenna to feed into the motor correctly. I have taken it apart and now know how it works. The hold up seems to be a little metal roller that pinches the plastic toothed strip too tight and thus bogs the motor to a stop. I will have to take a look at toms and see if he has any of the antenna gear left inside his motor to see if the original was thinner than this replacement.

Yesterday It was excellent weather out so I decided to change the upper control arm and I will submit that as a separate entry with pics and all.

It turns out the battery trays do not fit. The fender support arm on these is shorter. I have now drilled, cut and ground the old battery tray away from the old support arm (1 down and 1 to go) and am ready to bolt it to the new tray.