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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

MotoArigato Project Car Part 3: Springtime Prep



With the arrival of fair weather driving season in much of the country, you may be wondering what's new with our project car, the 1962 220SE W111 Coupe we purchased locally.
Aside from some general maintenance items we have recently updated the entire front end trim with all new, or nearly new parts, many of which are still available through the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine, CA.

Here's a quick list of what we replaced and where to get it.
Headlight doors (the main chrome bezel that surrounds the stacked lights): New from Classic Center
Headlight door triangle lenses: New from Classic Center
Bullet indicator lenses: Retired by Mercedes, new reproductions available online.
Bullet indicator rubber gasket seal: Retired, sourced from parts car.
Grille surround (the main chrome outer part): Retired, sourced from parts car.
Grille insert (the mesh inside piece): New from Classic Center
Grille chrome trim bars (vertical and horzontal bars): New from Classic Center
Grille trim bar clips: New from Classic Center
Grille badge: New from Classic Center
Headlight H4 halogen conversion (brighter and safer lighting): New available from Hella

Old sealed beam bulb on top left of photo, H4 conversion on top right. Courtesy MarrsCars.com

You can read a tutorial about replacing your old sealed beam headlights with upgraded modern H4 bulbs here at MarrsCars.

We also added a Pertronix coil and a new ballast resistor to replace the 51-year old Bosch originals after we happily discovered that the distributor unit had already been replaced with a Pertronix electronic ignition installed by the car's previous (and original) owner.  We also replaced the starter that was sticking in cold weather with a new unit, put in an electric fuel pump to replace the original mechanical one, and for peace of mind (and to prevent a frustrating stall we were encountering) we had the fuel tank screen replaced and took the opportunity to have the tank itself cleaned and fully resealed inside to prevent any further corrosion.

We now use Sta-bil Ethanol Treatment, which is different from their fuel stabilizer product in that it prevents the phase-separation that occurs in Ethanol fuel where the water eventually separates out from the fuel and often causes starting or running problems. We don't have cars that run on water... yet! By encapsulating the water that modern Ethanol-type (alcohol) fuel naturally absorbs, and thus allowing it to be burnt off by the normal combustion process, you no longer need to worry about your tank becoming contaminated with water and causing problems.


We are still unsure how much of the original patina we want to leave intact and how much "rolling restoration" we want to perform, but most likely we will be addressing some interior issues and eventually either touching up the flaws in the paint of our thankfully rust-free car, or giving it a full respray in the future. To date we have focused primarily on the mechanical elements of the car to ensure reliable travels as we take her out to local events and weekend touring. 

If you see us around town, give a wave!


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