Back in 2010, the engine of my 180b (its original engine) started burning oil excessively leaving behind the car a blue/whitish cloud of smoke. Back then, I had a rebuilt 180b bloc that I have kept for years. I didn't know exactly how it was rebuilt but I knew it was ready to be installed. Quickly, I took out the original engine and replaced it with the rebuilt bloc keeping in the back of my mind the idea that this replacement is temporary until I find the right time to rebuild the original one. After Christmas and New Year vacation, and with 2014 announcing major changes in my life, I decided to take the opportunity and rebuild the original engine.
|Dismantling going on |
I faced the dilemma of which mechanic to choose for the job. It was either Bechara Ghsoub or Abdo El-Hage. Both are experienced mechanics who have more than 50 years of experience in Mercedes-Benz cars. Finally, I decided to opt for Abdo El Hage for mainly his free time (he is retired but has kept his garage), for his continuous enthusiasm and good speed of work.
|Abdo working hard on taking out the bloc|
The original engine did not need boring; the pistons (standard size) were fine and the cylinder walls too. Of course new rings and polishing were a must. Looking at the crankshaft, we noticed that it needed boring and that it was already bored 4 times! It hence needed replacement! Among the many parts I had, there was a crankshaft that was only bored two times! Perfect match! The head needed new valves, guides and seals, a few hours job with the availability of the parts. Finally, I had a completely rebuilt engine ready to be installed.
|New bloc installed|
|Assembling the head after valves, guides and seals change|
The installation process took few hours, the "new" engine quickly took its original place. Abdo, with his usual enthusiasm, and after saying few prayers, asked me to jump behind the wheel and start the car. Three cranks were enough to let the engine start! I was amazed by how smooth it appeared despite everything being new and hence still rough.
|Assembling at its final stages|
I took the car for its first ride. Nothing seemed unusual except its high idle which was left on purpose to smoother the engine. I drove around 100km, from Beirut to Batroun and back. I was happy no overheating was signaled and the oil pressure remained straight at its max.
|After a thorough cleaning|
When I finally arrived home, I noticed some oil dripping from the front crank seal; a deception after all the work performed. The seal I had installed was a NOS piece: I learned the hard way to never install NOS items when it comes to seals, joints and rubber pieces as these items tend to loose their elasticity and sealing properties with time. I ended up buying a new one from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center.
|The seal number 15 leaked oil|
With the new front seal installed, I started driving and enjoying more and more my car. The break in period has been completed now: An oil and filter change, greasing and an engine bay wash is all what is required.
The next project will involve the rebuilding of the heating system; I admit it is a big challenge.
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