Better Braking for Our Benz

As on any older car with unknown history, we start with the basic systems when executing a rolling restoration.
Turning brake rotors isn't as common as it once was, but it's an effective and cheap way to restore braking effectiveness.

For less than $300—the first real money we have spent on our fintail—we have a running, driving car.

An initial inspection of our 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230 S showed that the left front caliper was leaking badly and the rear shoes were worn nearly to the metal backing. The rear wheel cylinders were also weeping slightly. Clearly, our brakes needed work.

We struggled a bit to find a good source for rear brakes, but our buddy Rennie Bryant at Redline Performance quickly sourced some Repco Metal Master front pads and rebuilt calipers. We also replaced the front brake hoses. The rotors were still within spec, so our buddies at Andre’s Automotive turned them on a brake lathe. For less than $300—the first real money we have spent on our fintail—we have a running, driving car.

While we were at it, we replaced filthy fuel and air filters and greased the now clean chassis. We will also change the engine, trans and differential oils: We always do a complete service on any car that we don’t know the history of.

We still need to look at the carburetors and the shift linkage, and replace the studded snow tire that serves as a spare with something more appropriate to our subtropical climate. Solving these problems will get our car up to drivable status.

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