Very Little

Got Tom his battery at Sam’s. Big goings on with Daughter in law graduation and my mom being here from out of town, so just time to drop it off with him. I also got him some locknuts for the air cleaner. I found the missing exhaust hanger and will have to get that to him the next time I see him. After that he should be ready for reinspection.

The guy with the battery trays on ebay will not respond to emails from me requesting info on combined shipping and fitment. As cheap as they are compared to new, I may just buy one to see and then if it fits, buy another.


I’m Back!

I have been gone awhile.  Almost 3 months worth of training which included 3 weeks in India. See my other blog here.

So I have now changed my oil and filter, power steering fuid and filter, and injector return lines. I’m having a heck of a time getting the primary hood latch to stay caught. I also sanded rust/bare spots and painted w/ugly white primer. Almost forgot, I bought 2 steering dampers since they were cheap and I knew Tom’s was broken. I also got rubber exhaust hangers for his. I changed my damper w/no problem. Oil filter housing lid oring got pinched and made a nice black stain on driveway. luckily I have 3 extra filters with orings i was able to rob. 2nd time was a charm.

We got Tom’s damper and 2 of 3 missing hangers installed. 2 of them broke and im trying to get them replaced. He has 2 batteries, 1 right size 1 wrong size and both dead. Battery tray needs replaced. I’m trying to find out if 240 will fit since there is a guy on ebay that has 3 for 25 each which includes shipping. new they are $69-99.

So next is battery for Tom and getting it reinspected.

About my trip to India. It was great. I love India. It is land of diesels. All of the “nicer” taxis are diesel minivans. New Delhi and Noida common taxis (autorickshaws or 3 wheel motorcycles) now run on compressed natural gas by order of the government. In Jaipur, they were diesel. I did see a few Royal Enfields, but none of them was diesel.  I would love to get ahold of an autorickshaw, have it fixed up there (labor rates are approx 1/3 of US in India) and import it here. Supposedly EPA standards for personal imports are waived for vehicles 21 yrs or older and for DOT standards, it’s 25 years. I believe motorcycles have less requirements in this regard.

Filters change

Late post.

Went to tom’s a couple weeks ago. We changed both fuel filters on both cars and oil and filter on his. Fuel filters went better than I thought they would. Not much fuel spillage on either. Tom’s fuel/air purge pump is the newer better type and worked great. Mine is the older type and was useless. Fuel leaked out everywhere. A couple pumps and I gave up. I just cranked for a little bit and it started right up.

Tom’s oil change went pretty smoothly. About overflowed the catch pan. When we went to pour it into empties, made a big mess. Luckily we poured out on the black drive instead of in the garage. His pan plug had 2 and remnants of 3rd plastic washers on it. We tossed those and got some copper washers. I believe the copper washers are not the right ones for this application, so need to see about getting that before I change my oil.

Next will be steering fluid and filters for both. Mine still needs oil change too.

In looking at my radiator overflow tank, there is a 1 inch diameter hose that comes off of the bottom and goes nowhere. Tom’s has a fitting at the bottom of the radiator which mine does not have. So I believe someone swapped out the radiator, possibly for an older one or one from a different model. This one has the cap on the radiator as opposed to Tom’s which only has cap on overflow tank. Also looks like aux fan hit the A/C radiator. Oil leaking either from oil cooler line or from the oil cooler itself.

I took the drivers side door panel off to check out the lock situation. It might be the master vacuum switch. I will be looking into that tonight on the web.

Parts Hunt II

Ok. I did order from which is the NAPA site. It is 10% off if you order $125 worth and 20% off if you order over $500. Might be great for a club or like the URL suggests, a fleet. So, I should have the order tomorrow. I ordered on 2/1, they acknowledged the order on 2/2, and didnt ship until 2/5. It’s hard to believe it took them that long to round up my measly order, but well worth the wait for the monies I saved.

The other site mentioned in previous post was . They had the power steering filter and also the rubber air cleaner housing mounts for cheapest of anybody, even with shipping. better deal if you order more than 1 because of the shipping. I ordered 2 of filter and 6 (2 cars worth) of the rubber mounts. No multiple shipping discounts between the two because they drop ship from 2 separate warehouses, but still the best deal.

I found cheapest power steering belt on-line at advance auto parts website. it listed it as $4.99 for the cheapo w/ 90 day warranty. when i went to the store, they charged $5.49. What a rip, but hated to take the time during lunch hour to argue. So, note to self, buy on-line and pick up at store. or better yet, call and compare prices and do whichever is cheapest.

So, to recap what I have done so far:

1. Bought ignition switch/tumbler/key/collar from dealer for astronomical price. on the good side, however, the key is the same as the doors still. Installed and works as advertised. still need the trim ring to fill the dash gap. Maybe I will find one in India!

2. Bought 4 new Michelin tires from Costco. Price close to Walmart cheapest no name brand because of the $70 off coupon for Costco. These replaced 2 spares and my front tires. I have moved my 2 rear wheels/tires to the front until i get the front end all fixed up.

3. Cleaned out the air filter housing/turbo intake tube and installed new rubber housing mounts. the old ones: one broke loose from housing, one broke loose from bracket, and the third missing. So now the air sucked into the turbo is filtered again and the housing doesn’t rattle.

4. Installed new power steering belt. it looked like the old one cut loose and wrapped itself around the fan hub and broke 2 of the fan blades off. i was able to free the old one from the fan and will have to get a new fan. I have seen them for $68 + shipping on the Internet, but will keep looking for now. I was able to install the belt fairly easily, although it will be much easier next time. Power steering seems to work ok.

5. Radio. After rerunning the extra wires the last guy added for power and re-splicing with heat shrink, I followed then into the engine compartment and 1 goes to fusebox (under the weatherproof cap) and the other to close to the battery. So, these must be the switched power and always on power. Unfortunately, after I was done splicing, i found other power wires under the pax side carpet. I will be checking to see if they are hot and using those if so. that way, i can pull the other wires that go to the engine compartment out.

6. Drove to have VIN inspected for out of state vehicle and then to the license bureau. We’re legal now.

If it’s nice after work tomorrow and if the package has arrived, I will at least replace the air filter. Oil, and ps will have to wait til weekend. When I swapped the wheels to the front, I thought the left side had all for lug bolts, but can’t seem to find one, so will need to research if local parts stores have those.

Parts Hunt

Looking into initial maintenance for the Mercedes’. I have found several sites that all offer lower priced filters. Napa has an online filter site that has outstanding prices and if you order certain amounts, you get 10-15% off of your order which at least pays for taxes and part of the shipping. There is another site, but it seems the only way I can find it is by searching for one of the filters specific to my Mercedes, and I don’t have the list with me at the moment. I will update this soon with the link.


Continuing on my search for conversion kit, I have recently been contemplating Frybrid. They seem to have the best quality aluminum tanks and in tank heat exchanger. Their kits are full blown and no skimping. Automatic switching which purges oil to oil tank and diesel to diesel tank. They sell an optional gauge mount for 300D ashtray compartment for $40. Their kits are twice as much as Greasecar, but like I said, this is top of the line. I figure at approximately 25 miles/gal and $2/gal for diesel, I would have to drive 12500 miles for the Greasecar to pay for itself and 25000 miles for the Frybrid. about 1 year and 2 years of driving. Their kit may have to wait for either a late model truck or VW. I don’t think it would be worth the money for either my rust bucket or Tom’s considering his lack of contribution (so far anyways).

By the way, we checked one of Tom’s front brakes and they look like mine, pads and rotors are both excellent. I bought 4 new Michelin’s to replace my 2 fronts and spare and Tom’s spare. I have moved the rear (warn snow) tires to the front and put the 2 new Michelin’s on the rear and will leave the other 2 as spares until I get my front end straightened out. Tom’s tires are ok for now. We trickle charged the battery while I was there and replaced the .5 amp in-line fuse for the stereo. The Jensen CD player with remote now works. Whoever installed it left the stock  Mercedes front/rear fader intact. He still needs to check out the CD player. The only thing that is odd about the power is when you go to turn the power to the car back on, the radio powers on initially, but then says “powering off” and does power off.

I now have all the ignition switch parts that I need to get it started with a key again. I’m still unable to get the old one dismantled even after seeing how the new one goes together. The new one came with a key and the old key fits too. I’m going to go have some spares made. Today would have been perfect to get it installed, but there is that small factor of work. Weather was 67 and unfortunately down from there thru the weekend. Once I get ignition switch installed, I may need to buy new battery. Next will be oil and filter change. For some reason, Walmart does not even have Mercedes in their filter book. Strange because, after looking online, they aren’t anything special. I have found Frams, and Wix online and they are available at all of the parts stores. Napa has an online bulk filter discount site that is pretty cheap for Wix.

Two is always better than one

Well after the bad news, I felt like I should take what I learned and put it to use. I watched CraigsList for a few days and after searching my normal Diesel and Diesel Mercedes under Autos and Trucks, I found a ’79 300D for $600 about 45 miles from here. After finding that and scheduling a visit with the owner, I revisited a listing from December for ’82 and ’84 300Ds that a guy had that were also about 45 miles north of here. They were listed as buy em both for $2500 and the ’82 '84 300Dwas listed as good and the ’84'84 300D as running but needs work or use for parts.So my son and I went to look at the 2 first since the guy with the ’79 wanted a definite time and we had agreed on 11. We got there at about 9:30 or 10. It was a mom and pop repair/sales business in a small farming community. The cars were in the back fenced lot with tons of other vehicles of which included about a ’54 pink Cadillac with huge fins and a ’49 Studebaker pickup with 49000 miles per the owner. He said it still ran great and has the original Studebaker key. Man I wanted that, but this trip was for diesel iron.So we looked at the ’82 first. Pretty decent shape considering the 250’000+ miles on it. He thought it would need a jump, but I started it right up. Damn, it was cold that day. We took it for a little spin down a fairly straight road. Tom took it for a little drive on the way back. He liked it, but I don’t know if it was because he figured anything free is good or if he really liked it.The ’84 had the ignition switch removed by the former owner, either because the key broke off or, most likely, because it was bad and they broke the key off trying to get it to work. He hot-wired it with a jump and it ran same as the other.I offerend the guy $2000 which is all I had brought on purpose. He accepted and by the time we had all the title work in order, it was probably 12 noon.

I was going to drive the ’82 to Tom’s house first, but we couldn’t get it started again, even after jumping. So, since the ’84 was still running, I decided to drive that all the way to my house first. When I drove it out from the back, the guy came out and said that it possibly was the neutral switch and to try wiggling the stick while holding the key in start position. That worked, but we drove on with the ’84 anyways.

Got that home and went back up and drove the ’82 to Tom’s house. Garage had some fridges and other boxes in the way, so after clearing that up, it fit almost perfect.

After following a tutorial at Diesel Giant website, I was still unable to get the ignition switch cylinder extracted from the column lock. I have now purchased the column lock/switch assembly, cylinder collar, and cylinder assembly from the dealer. I could have saved a little at Diesel Giant, but figured it really wasn’t much and the most would have been on the cylinder that would have had a key that did not match the door locks. So now just waiting for the dealer to call when the cylinder arrives.

Going to Tom’s this am to do some work on his. He has not been able to get it started, which may be a good thing since it is neither insured nor licenesed yet. He thinks the battery is dead, so I will bring charger. I’m also bringing a space heater since the best weather would have been yesterday. Hopefully all will go well.