Jan 26, 2012 update to the Mercedes-Benz 230 S project car

Fighting Corrosion and Carelessness

New versus old engine mounts. Can you tell the difference?
Here's our new steering stabilizer in place.
Our battery box area is now repaired.

We could have faked this and left it and no one would have been the wiser, but we have a policy that whatever we fix, we do right, so this is now done permanently and well.

Our initial goal was to make the 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230 S safe and drivable for an upcoming SCCA Rallycross event. Once we had the brakes working, we had tie the battery down properly. The car came to us with the battery literally tied down: An old strap was wrapped around it. This was not safe and wouldn’t pass any SCCA tech inspection.

The original perimeter-type battery bracket was missing. We found diagrams of the original setup and copied it with some pieces we had laying in our junk drawer. A quick trip to our local auto parts store got us the threaded rod we needed to secure our bracket.

We had to fix a small rust spot underneath the tie down area and actually reconstruct a small part of the angle iron that holds the battery in place. We could have faked this and left it, but we have a policy that whatever we fix, we do right, so this is now done permanently and well.

Our engine mounts were also in pretty bad shape. They had deteriorated to the point that they were sagging and coming apart. We found a pair of new engine mounts for less than $50 and installed them in about an hour. While a bit hard to get to, the job was pretty straightforward.

The power steering was also leaking on our car. We cleaned it all up, looked it over and ordered a rebuild kit for the power steering pump. It looks like the pump itself is not the culprit. Tightening the return line seems to have solved the problem, but we will keep an eye on this over the next few weeks to see if we have secondary problems in this area.

While under the car, we noticed the Mercedes factory steering stabilizer was missing. We also noticed a new one came with the car piled with the parts in the trunk. Oddly, it was too long and wouldn’t fit the car. We ordered another one and it was exactly the same part. Okay, time for a little detective work.

It took only a couple minutes for our youngest team member, Tom Suddard, to notice the previous owner had recently installed a new tie rod assembly—backwards.

Turning this tie rod around made the steering stabilizer fit perfectly. Installing the missing cotter pins this time around—another mistake by the previous owner—made us feel a little safer as well. We always say this about previous owners: If you don’t know what you are doing, please do not work on your own car.

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