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Author Topic: 1950 170S Project  (Read 91486 times)

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Offline Stoebel

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1950 170S Project
« on: November 18, 2012, 05:10:30 AM »
Hello guys,

As some of you might know I am going to restore a Mercedes 170S from 1950. The car has been restored x years ago.
+ not too much rust
- I don't think they really cared for keeping the care original.

In this topic I will add photos and steps going through the process. I will try to ask the technical questions in the right subforum and provide a link to them here.

Step 1: 17/11/2012 - moving the car

Time to finally move the car. It had been in a garage (with no lock on the garage door!) for over 8 years. As there was little to no place around the car I started looking for a location to start the restoration.

I've found a location 20kms from where I live where I'm going to work on the car with my nephew. Well actually my nephew is going to restore a Nissan Silvia from 1986. He's more into performance cars and the Silvia is becoming quite rare in our country. Not having to work all alone is just more fun and from time to time we can help each other.

I had made an appointment with a guy who could tow the car. Though John and Henry told me that moving the car without the originally key isn't the best decision (http://www.170220.org/index.php?topic=3743.0) I tried my luck because I had arranged everything with all people involved.

Ok, so we started pushing the car with 4 people but no luck, the car wouldn't move. Then we hooked it to my father's car and tried to tow it. The car moved but two (on the right side) wheels didn't spin. So , though carefully pulling it forward it made a movement to the right hitting the garage. At that moment I started feeling pretty nervous as pulling it even more would just scrape it along the garage.
We positioned my father's car to the opposite angle and were able to move the car a bit more (luckily away from the garage side). The damage to the fender wasn't very big, few!

But there I was: the car wouldn't move, the guy who would tow the car had to leave at 11.30 am and we had to transport my nephew's car too. So hoping that I would come up with a plan I asked my nephew to transport his car first and come back later. I knew that you guys were probably sleeping (because of the time difference :p) so I tried to google for something like "oldtimer wheels won't spin, wheels stuck".

There were two options hitting the drums with a hammer or getting a device to pull the cap from the drums. As I didn't have the device nor the time I went for the "hit it with a hammer real hard". Miraculously it worked! 10 minutes before my nephew returned I had all 4 wheels spinning (be it not very smooth).

So than we towed the car to it's new location. With quite some effort we got in the garage!

Now my first question (of many) to you guys:
Looking at the pictures what would be the first step you guys would take in the process of restoring it? (thank you)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 05:21:12 AM by Stoebel »

Offline John Ellis

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2012, 11:31:58 AM »
What a great project!!!!   The body looks to be in good shape and it appears that all of the body parts and trim are all there .... those items can be a large cost to a restoration project

The cosmetic "stuff" will be easier and sometimes is more fun, but I would start with the mechanical items.

Does the engine run?

  • Check to see that the engine is not seized by removing the spark plugs (no compression), placing the transmission in neutral, and rotate the engine with the fan blades.   You could also just engage the transmission and push the car forward, but you stated that your wheels were seized.  If the engine is free, hopefully, then the next steps will be far easier
  • Drain all fluids from the engine .... oil, radiator fluid and replace with new.
  • Drain all gasoline from the tank.  Being at least 8 years old, it will be no good.  The main gas tank and fuel piping may be filled with crud and filters clogged, and there is no reason to deal with this now.  Next construct a small temporary gas container to attach directly to the carburator which will bypass both tank and fuel pump.
  • Construct a simple wiring harness to start and run the engine and bypass all the existing electrical systems.  From the pictures, you will also need a 6 volt battery.  The electrical wiring in your car appears to have been tampered with and may be unsafe ..... and again you don't need to deal with this now.
  • Check to see that the distributor has points and a rotor
  • Inspect and re-install the spark plugs
  • Start it up and see where that leads

Concurrently, you can start by take an inventory of things that you notice that are missing, in need of repair, or just don't look right.  Get a parts manual for your car with part part numbers, look at pictures of your model to compare with yours, and start asking questions.  Missing or replacing damaged or incorrect parts is most economical by using good used parts.  Our members can help with some and eBay is also a good source but takes time to find listings for what you need.

Have fun!
John Ellis
1953 170Vb
1958 190
2007 Porsche Cayman

Offline John Ellis

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2012, 06:19:27 PM »
Forgot .... while the spark plugs are out put in a very little amount of penetrating oil or automatic transmission fluid in each cylinder, let stand and then rotate the crankshaft to pre-lubricate the cylinders.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 06:28:21 PM by John Ellis »
John Ellis
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1958 190
2007 Porsche Cayman

Offline Stoebel

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2012, 02:32:31 AM »
Thanks a lot John! Checking whether the engine runs looks like a good plan indeed. Again: I'll ask the technical questions in the right subforum and link back to them in this topic.

Offline Stoebel

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2012, 07:58:40 AM »
Step 2: 17/11/2012 - ....: Disassembling the car
So before following the advice John gave me I started to remove the sides, fenders, headlamps...
Disassembly of the parts at the passenger side didn't go as fluent as I hoped... a part of the chassis is rotten so I couldn't get all bolts out properly....


Offline Stoebel

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2012, 07:40:36 AM »
Step 2: Disassembling the car update 27/12/2012

Ok so the last weeks I removed the drums to have a look at the brakes. They are stuck so there is obviously something wrong.
I opened the drums using 3 8 mm bolts (great tip Thank you Henry: http://www.170220.org/index.php?topic=3810.0)
I then removed the spring so I could open the brake shoes and remove the cilinder.
The cilinder is completely rusted and I am afraid overhauling won't be easy...

I also drained the oil and clean the oil filter with some brake cleaner.

Offline Stoebel

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 03:40:24 PM »
step 3: repairing the brakes 11/02/2013
Questions and tips can be found in: http://www.170220.org/index.php?topic=3810.0
When transporting the car the wheels wouldn't spin. The car had been standing still for 8 years and the whole brake system was completely rusted.
I want to be able to move the car so that I can continue the restoration in other places other than the garage where I am working right now.

I wanted to repair the brake cylinders but they were - in my opinion - beyond repair. I purchased new but as advised by Henry I should have them relined in stainless steel. I still need to do that at this moment.

I sanded (by hand) the master brake cylinder and the brake drums. Then I sprayed them with epoxy primer, then black paint and finally a layer of vernis (veneer). The brake shoes were sand blasted and relined by a professional (very good job).
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 03:44:57 PM by Stoebel »

Offline John Ellis

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2013, 08:59:10 PM »
You have been busy.  Looks great!
John Ellis
1953 170Vb
1958 190
2007 Porsche Cayman

Offline CraigS

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 06:56:47 AM »
I priced having a Mercedes 190b brake system refurbished here in Australia recently. Costs were:

Brake drum check/machine  $30 each
Brake shoe reline  $80 per set of shoes (4) either front or rear
Wheel cylinder stainless sleeving  $65 each
Brake hoses  $30/set (from the guy in Argentina on eBay)
Master cylinder stainless steel sleeving  $135

Radius checking of the shoes/drum included as part of the cost. All up, it comes to around $700 plus labour and steel/cunifer lines to rebuild the brakes correctly.

Offline Stoebel

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 04:05:31 PM »
I payed 150 for one set (4) though.
I'll inform for the relining tomorrow.

Offline CraigS

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 04:31:09 PM »
For wheel cylinders ? I believe it is preferable to sleeve the originals, as the originals are cast and still subject to pitting (eventually), whereas the stainless lining will last forever.

Offline Henry Magno

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2013, 11:50:48 AM »
Just noticed your comment about re-sleeving your new cylinders. This is an expensive way to go. That's not what I was suggesting. The old cylinders can be done unless you have a broken casting. If you can get the old ones done, perhaps you could return the new ones.

Offline Stoebel

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2013, 01:40:20 PM »
but redoing the new ones would be a good option too (be it more expensive)?

Offline Stoebel

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2013, 12:54:59 PM »
step 3: repairing the brakes 17/02/2013

Though I have been home this week I couldn't do very much as I was ill :(. Each day is getting dark later so I'll soon find the courage to go the garage after work. Right now I'm working on parts, disassembled n the garage, at home

I have redone the hand brake lever. The rubbers aren't in the best shape but I think they are still good enough.
I also cleaned the front wheel plates and painted them in Epoxy primer. It probably wasn't the best idea to paint the thread of the bolts but I will see... I'm also not very pleased with the paint job of the wheel plates but  I am working with spray cans and that makes it all a bit more difficult.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 01:52:57 PM by Stoebel »

Offline Stoebel

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2013, 04:39:01 AM »
step 3: repairing the brakes 09/03/2013

I started rebuilding the front brakes. Looks good though some paint came off when mounting the drums.


Offline hansvdc

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2013, 03:56:42 AM »

Offline Stoebel

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2013, 04:59:37 PM »
just wanted to let you guys know that work is slowly progressing. I'll update this post soon :)

Offline Stoebel

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2013, 03:45:51 PM »
steo 4: check the engine  19/07/2013

Quick update: I've got it spinning after 8 years! I'm really happy.
I will make a longer post very soon but the Weather is too good to sit in front of my pc :)

Offline Stoebel

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2013, 03:06:52 PM »
I just wanted to give another quick update:

Works on the car have partly halted as I got married 28th september and I had obviously other things to do.

Together with my parents I decided to have some work done by someone else. Especially the body work is something I don't see myself doing.

So this or next month work will continue and I'll update from time to time!

Offline John Ellis

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Re: 1950 170S Project
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2013, 07:20:11 PM »
Congratulations Michael!  Good idea to have someone else do your body work ..... you now have new obligations that will consume your time.  A new and different life, but it is wonderful!  Take it from one that has been married for 40+ great years.
John Ellis
1953 170Vb
1958 190
2007 Porsche Cayman