Welcome to part 4 of my ongoing series explaining what work I’ve done on my 1970 Mercedes Benz 250. The Hot Rod Power Tour is getting closer all the time and it’s been a flurry of activity around the Marwitz garage getting our 3 cars ready to participate in the long haul. My fathers 1970 Chevelle will be participating, along with my brothers 1964 Galaxie.
But back to the Benz, I had previously replaced the spark plugs, plug wires, distributor rotor, and distributor cap. Now this was before I really knew what the heck I was looking at, and this is my first carbureted car. So I went ahead and ordered some points and a condensor, to complete my overhaul of the ignition system. Well, when I once again took the distributor cap off, I discovered that the parts I was looking to replace weren’t even there.
It seems the previous owner had converted the ignition to an electronic setup, probably for the reliability aspect. Of course, I’d never even thought to look at it before buying parts, that would make too much sense. So, not knowing what I was looking at, I naturally began taking it apart.
I just kind of pulled everything apart and cleaned it up a bit. I figured it wouldn’t hurt, right? Well, come time to get everything working again I ended up replacing it incorrectly in the engine. So it took a bit of troubleshooting and an extra pair of hands to find TDC on the first cylinder and make sure everything was aligned and running right again (Thanks dad!) but I eventually figured out where the electronic mechanism (which is pretty neat!) had been set and got it running fine again.
So after that bit of fun, I decided to tackle the whole carburetor issue. Namely, I thought it would be a good idea to rebuild them. Now, the issue I was having was that my accelerator pumps were bad. So whenever I went to open the throttle any more than a nice linear pull, the car would die out because I wasn’t getting enough fuel. My solution? Rebuild all the things!
That meant, of course, that the carbs would have to come off the car. Easy enough, unbolt them from the intake/exhaust manifold. Wait, Mercedes-Benz arranged them in such a way that you have to take the valve cover off to reach 4 bolts? And even then you aren’t sure you’ll be able to reach them? Hm, take off the whole manifold? Alright, that should be easy, just remove the bolts in those little plates holding the exhaust together and it should pop right apart!
Wait, it’s rusted together? No hope of getting those apart you say? Maybe if we cut the exhaust and just pull it all?
Okay, so now we can… wait, those still aren’t coming apart? And this isn’t going to fit when we pull the whole manifold… so… maybe cut it a little further up so we can pull the manifold out and up? Should work.
Success! Wait, it just barely doesn’t fit? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? Fine. Alright. Just loosen the motor mount bolt and jack the engine up. That should give us enough room to pull the thing out at an angle.
Finally, now I can get to the actual work I wanted to be doing an hour ago. Well, maybe after I clean up the engine bay a little bit. We needed to unbolt the a/c bracket to get the manifold out, and since the a/c didn’t have a belt on it or any charge in the lines, we just decided to give it the heave ho. My brother likes to call it redneck racing, I’m going to say we were adhering to a proven fun car formula: simplify and add lightness.
As a bonus, without the a/c radiator we were able to move the horn up out of the bumper area. Now you can actually hear it, in all of it’s “I’m a cute little German car, here me honk” glory. It’s a thing of beauty.
And of course once that was out of the way, I decided it would be a good time to change the starter as everything else was out of the way. Little did I know, it was a bad battery that was giving me issues. But hey, it never hurts to have a new part in and a good old spare nearby.
This was actually a giant pain as you had to wedge hands and tools in places that barely had space for either. The progress was slow, and at one point I spent a few minutes backing out a screw. Until I found out it was a bolt. And on the other end of that bolt was the nut I needed to remove. So I sighed that well known “dude working on his car just can’t catch a break” sigh, and started over. But we eventually got everything taken off and then put back on.
So now I was finally ready to get started on those carbs. Except it was dark, and I was very done with cars for the day. So I gave it up for the night, set the carbs on the workbench, and headed in to clean up and enjoy what was left of the night.
That’s all for today, my next post will focus on the actual carburetor rebuild process and include a huge amount of pictures. See you then!