- Post is under moderationHead South To Stop Staff Cars by Ben Allen
CURRENTLY WORKING ON #1984 #Mercedes-Benz-230E-W123 / #Mercedes-Benz-230E / #Mercedes-Benz / #Mercedes-Benz-W123 / #Mercedes
Having successfully evaded arrest and prosecution down in the land of the ‘free’ to get some brake calipers for my 1984 Mercedes 230E, I was back in the Great White North (Canada) ready at last to fit the damn things. Buying automobiles on the cheap from local yoofs has its problems: the main one in this case being embarrassingly neglected brakes. The issue was that the old pads were so far into the metal, the old caliper pistons had pushed all the way out, well and truly shagging the seals, and thus, the calipers. An easy job, completed before coffee and a croissant at 11am, had now turned into a month long epic. Fortunately, after much searching, I now had everything needed to fix the Benz. Being in Canada, far away from anyone I knew who had any idea of how to mess around with cars, I was on my own. I’m notoriously lazy at getting my own work done without relying on friends for assistance, but now I had no choice. Go it alone – or have the remains of a Mercedes stay forever on axle stands in the garage gathering dust. It reminded me of the time back in 2005 when I had 24 hours to change the gearbox on my 205 Mi16 before heading to the Nürburgring with PPC. Surprisingly everyone, including myself, I did the job, only to have a coming together with the Armco half-way around the circuit at Adenau Bridge on my second lap. Fortunately, the Pug survived. My dignity didn’t.
To my relief, changing the calipers was a simple job. New calipers cleaned up, I cracked the nuts off the old units and flung them into a corner of the garage. New calipers bolted on, chunky new pads sufficiently greased and slid into place in front of the non-seized pistons, I was ready for brake bleeding.
Online, I’d seen a simple one-person brake bleeder kit that could be made from an old drinks bottle and some plastic tubing. The idea being a loop over the highest point in the reservoir in the caliper would mean that all trapped air could be pushed out of the brake system without letting more in. Cheap and simple.
At this point, it was also a good time to clean up the bleed nipples on each caliper to ensure they remained free for next time. I’d had too many bleed nipples snap on me back in my own days of yoofing around with Pug 205 GTIs to not do this simple, preventative maintenance.
Calipers installed, pads sitting pretty, and brakes bled, I tentatively put the wheels back on Olivia and lowered her off the axle stands. With some luck, I’d be able to edge her out of the garage and stop without crashing into the neighbours’ brand new fence. I closed my eyes as I pressed the stop pedal. The car stopped. Bonus. I made my way around the neighbourhood, brake testing the old Benz. Success – brake job completed. I just have to wait for my replacement headlight lens to arrive from Latvia now and I’ll have a respectable car.
‘IF THE BRAKES DIDN’T WORK I’D DESTROY THE NEIGHBOUR’S NEW FENCE
Second-hand calipers came from the USA.
W123 Merc was bought as a runner with shagged brakes. But then with no MoT, Canada must be full of dangerous cars.
Salad bowl headlamp lens awaits Latvian replacement.
Old boys like Ben need to sit down when working on cars.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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