Prepping for a Family Trip

An alignment was necessary before our long road trip.
The speedometer/odometer assembly was a complicated little bugger. After three tries with some used gears, we figured it out and got it to work correctly.
We fabricated a mounting bracket to adapt the newer washer bottle to our old Mercedes sedan.

Our car was more or less finished: the rear discs are installed and the air conditioning blows cold. The only sensible thing to do next was go on a road trip. A sensible road trip would have been a long weekend, a drive of 200 to 300 miles. But no, that’s just not how we roll here at Classic Motorsports. Our inaugural trip would be from Florida to Michigan. That’s a 3500-mile round trip. By the end, we would really know if we had built something cool or not.

And to add to the test, we would bring the whole family: two teenage kids and all their luggage. But first, some sorting and prepping was in order.

We sort and test by making lists. We’ll take a 10-20 mile drive, write down everything that is wrong, and come back to the shop to fix everything we found wrong. Then we go on a 50-mile trip and do the same thing. Then we go on a 100-mile round trip and came back with another list.

Some things on the list were simple—like fixing minor water leaks—and some were not. We wrestled with the odometer and speedometer three separate times before we got them both to work consistently.

Another thing that plagued us was wind noise. We ended up rebuilding the windows with new wind lace sourced from Mercedes-Benz Classic Center. They had everything needed to do the job in stock for $400. The job turned out to be pretty simple once the door panels had been removed.

Anther problem we had was getting the washer bottle installed correctly and finding one that didn’t leak. Oddly enough, our local Pick And Pull junkyard towed in an old W111 and we found the pump and the bottle in that car for $12. We found a picture of the bottle mounting bracket on the internet and duplicated it. On a long trip, it is nice to be able to clean the bugs off the windshield.

A real good front end alignment was also needed before we set onto the highway. Our buddy Geoff Thompson set the toe at 0. He set camber to one degree negative up front and at 0 at the rear.

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