Thursday, December 19, 2013

Back to the Mercedes... finally

Sorry for the long delay between updates. Shortly after my last blog post, I had some time off work, which gave me about a week and a half to work on (and finish) the Volvo. It's been on the road for a few weeks now, and my wife is happy with it. I still need to chase down a few small nagging items, but the car is in daily service and we both enjoy driving it. Here's the short list of what I did to the car:

  • replaced the timing belt and timing belt idlers
  • replaced the water pump
  • replaced serpentine belt and idlers
  • replaced all cooling system hoses
  • replaced spark plugs, wires, cap, and rotor
  • replaced oil and filter
  • replaced coolant
  • replaced transmission fluid
  • replaced engine air filter
  • replaced cabin air filter
  • replaced rear brake calipers, pads, rotors, and all parking brake hardware
  • replaced front brake hoses and flushed fluid
  • replaced front struts and hardware
  • replaced front control arms
  • replaced steering rack boots
  • replaced tie rods and tie rod ends
  • replaced rear shock absorbers
After all that, the car more or less lives up to my hopes and expectations. Once we'd had it on the road for a week or so, I put up an ad to sell my wife's old Subaru Legacy. I really was hoping for more than a year and a half out of that car. I sold it at a big loss, but the car had problems. I might not have sold it at all, but a few weeks back, we had an unexpected Sunday morning ice storm which caused a lot of accidents locally. One driver (unfortunately) wrecked her E21 BMW. She walked away unhurt, but had to go out and buy a running car on a budget that same day, which brought her to the Legacy, which was still quite driveable, though it probably wouldn't pass inspection. I told the buyer, her father, and her boyfriend the unvarnished truth about the car, they made an offer, and that afternoon I had my driveway parking back.

After that, I was finally able to turn my attention back to the Mercedes. Now that winter is creeping in, I decided it would be a good time to start work in the (relatively) warm basement, rebuilding the seats. I'll be working on these until they're done, which is when I'll brave the cold and get back to metalwork.

As of now, I'm disassembling the driver's seat. I intend to replace the old horsehair padding with memory foam, stitch up the rips in the vinyl, repair the broken seat springs, and re-lube the seat track assembly.


  1. Very good information thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks. What part did you find most informative?

  2. Robert Spinner (aka. Robert DIY) said the parking brakes are notoriously bad on Volvos, not sure why. Smart move on replacing all the components.

    1. Either way, I had to. The parking brake on the V70 was metal-to-metal. There was nothing left. Replaced the parking brake shoes and hardware. Thankfully, the cables were OK.

    2. oh wow, that would be pretty scary if you tried to use it and it didn't do anything to hold the car. even though the car does have an automatic transmission still that's never a good thing when any type of brakes are metal-to-metal.

  3. The woman must have really been desperate to make the purchase despite you advertising all the car's faults. Anyway, your Mercedes project sure looks like a lot of work. At least you have something to do to pass the winter. I'm looking forward to seeing it finished. Keep us posted!

    Randee Colton @

    1. Pretty much. Unfortunately, she wrecked her old car on a patch of ice that morning and needed a cheap, running car immediately. Win-win all around. Well... except for her wrecked car.