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Author Topic: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)  (Read 23794 times)

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Offline Azryael

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1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« on: April 16, 2013, 10:07:11 PM »
Hello all, I'm the proud owner of a 1951 170S that I'm in the process of beginning a restoration on.

I purchased the car from the PO who's owned the vehicle since '78. It won an award at the Texas Tour in Kerrville, in '73. It's been sitting since '78 and the bulk of the rust is in the rear around the trunk where it was exposed to the elements, and somehow sustained some damage. Overall, everything else just has surface rust, and the floor boards are in very good shape.

The original motor and trans have been sold to someone else a few years back, so I purchased what remained about a year ago.

I've inquired with the Classic Center, and a replacement motor and trans is around $15,000 (used, of course).

It's for this reason I've considered doing something a little different, and source and E30 with a small I4 motor and the manual transmission for this car. I intend to keep the classic charm on the outside as well as in the interior, but under the hood there will be something more modern. This will help with prolonging the life of the car as parts are a lot more available, and I'm familiar with these motors.

I've hit a snag on the restoration because I haven't found a suitable motor/trans combo yet. The car is sitting in the shop of the PO, and I'd really like to get it moving so I can get it home and redo the interior there. Getting the car to run so I can get it home is at the top of my list. The PO works mainly on Mazda Miatas and other imports, and suggested a VG30D motor, but I'd rather keep the drivetrain German if at all possible.

Anyone who may be in the area is more than welcome to help out or throw suggestions my way!

I have the front fenders, they're just not on the car in the pictures I took. Enjoy!!

ETA: I'll say this now so one voices their concerns about it; I'm not intending on selling or trading this car, so decreased resale value due to the lack of originality of the drivetrain is NOT a concern for me.


IMG_2947 by VaiFanatic, on Flickr


IMG_2946 by VaiFanatic, on Flickr


IMG_2945 by VaiFanatic, on Flickr


IMG_2944 by VaiFanatic, on Flickr


IMG_2943 by VaiFanatic, on Flickr


IMG_2941 by VaiFanatic, on Flickr


IMG_2948 by VaiFanatic, on Flickr[/QUOTE]
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 10:28:50 PM by Azryael »

Offline CraigS

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Offline Azryael

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 11:30:54 PM »
I know it's not exactly what you had in mind, but maybe worth considering

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mercedes-170s-Complete-Engine-and-Transmission-W136-/370792615623?pt=Vintage_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item5654f64ec7&vxp=mtr

Looks like it needs a bit of a rebuild. I'm not to in-the-know on pricing, but for $5000, I'd hope I'd get something that was running.

Offline CraigS

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 02:20:36 AM »
It might be worth giving Sidney a call. He usually sells on consignment so the seller might accept a reasonable offer. Just check all your fingers and toes are there after talking to him.

Sidney Vallon
Owner
Palm Beach Classics, Inc.

(561)-762-6244

Offline Azryael

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 03:14:56 AM »
It might be worth giving Sidney a call. He usually sells on consignment so the seller might accept a reasonable offer. Just check all your fingers and toes are there after talking to him.

Sidney Vallon
Owner
Palm Beach Classics, Inc.

(561)-762-6244

Alright, I'll have a lot of questions for him though.

Offline Henry Magno

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2013, 11:51:46 AM »
These prices for used engines are high, $ 15,000?? I have some engines, mostly apart. I could build one with the best parts I have on hand. Contact me directly if you would like to discuss it.

Offline Azryael

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2013, 10:02:47 PM »
These prices for used engines are high, $ 15,000?? I have some engines, mostly apart. I could build one with the best parts I have on hand. Contact me directly if you would like to discuss it.

Been pre-occupied with my 500SE, but I'll send you a PM within the next 24-hours. Thanks!

Offline Azryael

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2013, 02:06:22 AM »
Just an update; really haven't done much as I've been traveling for work, but I'd really like to get this car moving under its own power again.

Whether it's the purist route with the correct motor and gearbox or a later motor and gearbox, I want to get this car out of the shop and home.

Offline CraigS

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 02:12:04 AM »
I located an engine head for a 170s for my local mechanic this week as the old head had been skimmed once too often, and it was also soft. The head cost $350 and needed welding, so I guess that gives some indication of the prices. The problem is that they are now 60+ years old and are starting to fail, and the availability of parts is declining.

Offline Azryael

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 06:17:51 PM »
I located an engine head for a 170s for my local mechanic this week as the old head had been skimmed once too often, and it was also soft. The head cost $350 and needed welding, so I guess that gives some indication of the prices. The problem is that they are now 60+ years old and are starting to fail, and the availability of parts is declining.

That's why I want something newer, more reliable, with a wider parts availability. Resale value is of no concern to me, as I'm not giving this car up.

Offline CraigS

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2013, 02:26:25 AM »
Probably one of the W124 4 cylinder motors would do the job and they are plentiful.

Offline Azryael

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2013, 02:23:41 PM »
Probably one of the W124 4 cylinder motors would do the job and they are plentiful.

And M102 would do the trick, but finding a manual gearbox for one here is nearly impossible. Ideally it would come together in a package.

What is the largest motor that would theoretically fit in the space provided? Someone actually tossed the M117 out there, but I've had enough with the M117, and unless I do lots of fab work, I'm forced to go auto.


Offline Azryael

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2013, 09:27:24 PM »
The only problem I have with some of those boxes is mating them up to the M102 or even and M103.

If I has a 170DS instead of an S, I'd probably go with an OM617, bulletproof diesel motor.

Offline Azryael

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2013, 03:34:36 AM »
An update:

I've really had no time to do anything with the car, or contact those who've suggested I reach out to them.

As much as I want to complete this car, I don't see myself getting around to it, and it's become a constant worry in the back of my mind as it sits up in the shop as I continue to pay for it to be there when nothing is getting done to it.

At this point, I'm looking at simply passing this on to someone else. My estimate is that it would take about $10,000-15,000 to make this vehicle run and somewhat presentable, and at this moment, finances are tied up in home improvement projects.

Hopefully something can change my mind, but as it stands, I don't have the time or finances to accumulate a motor, trans, gas tank, transmission tunnel, etc.

Offline CraigS

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2013, 05:01:45 AM »
I picked up a motor and gearbox for a 170 or 180 (same motor - different castings) last week for $200, so they are out there,. The motor came with a carb and starter motor.

Offline John Ellis

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2013, 09:44:31 AM »
That is a really great price.  The carb alone would cost you as much.
John Ellis
1953 170Vb
1958 190
2007 Porsche Cayman

Offline Azryael

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2013, 01:26:59 PM »
I picked up a motor and gearbox for a 170 or 180 (same motor - different castings) last week for $200, so they are out there,. The motor came with a carb and starter motor.

Wow! That's a helluva deal! If I could find that, I'd be happy! My issue with the original motor is the pretty much the availability of parts as well as the longevity of the whole power train. That's why I wanted to stray from the original setup. It would seem that after shopping around, no one is willing to part with anything without demanding top dollar. I'd really rather not have to rebuild anything if I don't have to, so ideally it'd be a running motor with no issues whatsoever.

You can see from the photos I still need a trunk handle, driver's side window, and other parts and pieces as well.

Offline Azryael

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2013, 08:17:20 PM »
Looking at going with an OM602 and a 5-speed from a W201. I'll likely be using the rear diff from the car I pull the motor and box from, so that won't be much of an issue.

That aside, where's the best place to get window seals, and what can I do to refurbish the windows I have? I'll need a driver's side window.

With regard to the gas tank, I'm pretty sure even a good cleaning out won't help, so what are my options for this? Especially since I'm going diesel with the car instead of gasoline.

Basically, I want to go ahead and clean up the body and get it sorted while I wait for finding the drivetrain parts I need.

Offline Henry Magno

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Re: 1951 170S Restoration (San Antonio, Texas)
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2013, 11:33:22 AM »
You seem to be torn about keeping this car. If you might want to sell it, why would it be worth the time doing a retrofit of a modern engine? You sound experienced with this sort of thing, so you must know that these kinds of modifications take a lot of effort to get everything working right and not looking like a complete mess. Even if you do a really slick job and it works well, it may be harder to sell and bring less money than a stock restoration.

I'm not a complete purist. If someone wants to build a street rod out of a 170 that's their choice. But that does not seem to be your goal. On the one hand, you say you don't want to rebuild an engine, but you are willing to engineer a transplant of the complete drivetrain including rear axle from another car which to me would be far more challenging than going stock. I realize the labor/cash factor comes into play, you may be able to put a ton of time into it but not the money for the stock engine and rebuild.

If you are willing to go Diesel with an original style engine, you might find a running OM 636, used in the 180D until 60-61?. You would have to change the oil pan and maybe some other parts, as well as converting the whole car to 12 Volt. Actually now that I think of it. I know of one that was set up and installed in a 170 that is available. It's in Canada, and I think it was running when removed.

By the way, on the gas tank, you can send it to a Gas Tank Renu franchise and there should no problem getting it cleaned and lined.