Monday, November 2, 2015

...and all of a sudden, it was a car again...

As always, I apologize for the long delay between posts. It's been a very productive few months. I have been working almost nonstop since the last post, and the payoff has been huge.

When I last left off, I was preparing to replace the car's clutch - which I did.

When that was done, I reinstalled the transmission. While I still had plenty of room under the car, I replaced the brake lines - the rubber lines and the hard lines. I was reasonably sure the old hard lines would have been OK, but it was easy work and cheap insurance for my safety to do the extra work at this point.

Then I repainted the brake booster:

...and installed a new brake master cylinder as well as rebuilt calipers, new pads, and new rotors on all four corners:

Although I didn't get pictures, I also replaced the clutch hydraulics with new parts.

Around this time, the driveline also went back into the car. I put the driveshaft back in with fresh flex discs as well as a new center bearing and support. I also replaced the CV axles and repainted the differential:

Before buttoning-up the front end, I replaced the front shock absorbers, the steering damper, and the tie rods:

Before moving under the hood, I added a third brake light to the car and installed the long-absent trunk trim:

Finally, it was time to do some work under the hood. First, I popped off the valve cover to adjust the valvetrain and meanure timing chain stretch:

Then I removed the water pump and thermostat housing:

Then, it was off with the intake and exhaust manifolds to clean them up and replace the gasket:

Once that was done, the thermostat housing (with new thermostat) and new water pump went back on:

Pretty soon, the engine was buttoned-up again:

Then the new exhaust system went on:

At that point, I replaced the fuel primer pump and the underhood fuel lines:

...and before I knew it... THIS:

...became THIS:

The dust settled. What I'd begun three and a half years ago back in 2012 was done.

I actually got the car on the road two weeks ago. I've been driving it. As with any project of this length, it didn't come out perfect. I'm still finding and fixing little items along the way - nothing that's keeping the car off the road (not for long, anyway). But, I'm happy to be able to relax a bit now. It's been a very long few years, and I'm looking forward to enjoying this car.

For all of you who've read along, here's a test drive of the car:


  1. This blog makes me so happy - I had an '87 300D on which I performed minor repairs. Should have bought a W123 wagon, used. But I know a lot about these cars, and it is good to see an enthusiast bringing one back to life. I've driven a manual 240D - barbaric, but it gets you there. I love all of these cars. Steve in Manhattan @blogenfreude on twitter.

    1. I can't say I've driven a W124, but I wouldn't be opposed. I wouldn't call the 240D barbaric, but then again, I've been driving them for 20 years (got my first 240D in 1996) and my parents bought theirs brand new in 1980. So, I have a long history with them. Thanks for reading along.

  2. The W124 had one airbag and ABS - it was advanced for its time. I liked the W123 platform but spent too much ($34,800) for a W124 sedan. That 6-cylinder diesel turned to shit, and MB had to replace a lot of parts out of warranty. But they stepped up, so I can't fault them..

    1. $34,800? Have you owned your W124 since it was new?

    2. Bought new in December 1987, sold July 1992.