Saturday, August 17, 2013

Roof Repairs & Improvements to Our Cherished Classic Benz.

I'd forgotten to upload these pictures, which were taken earlier in April - before we left for NZ. Whilst the scaffolding was still up from having fitted the chimney we took the opportunity to replace the summit ridge with new 0.8mm copper sheet, suitably rolled into shape, before being sealed with heat-proof silicone & secured with self-drilling screws. The roof should now last a long time before needing any further maintenance, although I took the precaution of rigging a pulley system so that I could hoist a lightweight aluminium ladder up should the need ever arise to go back up there. Heights and slippery slopes aren't something I enjoy being mixed with though, it has to be said!

Meanwhile, our cherished old Mercedes continues to get better. The lower plastics have been replaced and I found a set of used Evo II wheels from an E500 Limited model, which grace the car well.

Recently after our return from New Zealand, during a long weekend I finally got around to fitting the sound system I'd been planning for a long time, with specially imported professional sound insulation materials and high level audio components I had squirelled away for when I'd get 3 days or so to fit them. It took this long because I wanted to make this is the best installation I'd ever completed. Every connection was as strongly attached as possible (In most cases soldered & shrink wrap was used where appropriate) and speakers installed where they wouldn't be seen. To most people it's not even apparent there's a sound system installed except for a head unit in the dashboard. I like discretion!

Now, at last there's no rattles from the interior (except squeaks from the old but comfortable leather chairs) & the sound quality is the best I've had from any car since I begun driving 25 years ago. Road noise is well insulated and I can use my i-phone by voice control, or tell the Parrot (Hifi) what music to choose from my phone whilst keeping both hands on the wheel. It's not without the occasional error in selection, but it's not too bad either. The Garmin Navi is a simple but effective solution and as a result I've developed a pet dislike for Japanese navi systems and their un-necessarily complicated installation requirements.

In addition, during the Obon break (Which is coming to an end as I write this) I fitted some new gauge faces, to bring the instrumentation up to date with Electro-Luminescent lighting.

It wafted us to Shodoshima on a single tank (700km!) of Diesel at an easy 120km/h most of the way and despite this having taken 8 hours of driving, we arrived with no aches or pains from having spent a night inside.

...Where we've been spending time relaxing with relatives.

This old piece of German engineering at it's best - strikes me as a more ecological solution to have a car that can cover large mileages, last 4 decades & if necessity were to arise in future - run on old cooking oil, than drive a Hybrid car that uses electricity made at distant power stations. With inefficient losses of energy along the way at best, never mind the difficulties associated with discarding hybrid batteries when a car like that is scrapped - I'm not sold on Hybrids really. Not even on electric cars, unless they're charged using solar power!

But really, I have to admit it. I just love this old classically engineered Benz! All being well, it should gracefully last another 20+ years. There are few cars one could expect to last that long, but this is one of the last Mercedes they built like a bank-vault, before their bean counters realised it was more profitable to build cars that would have an expected lifespan of 5-10 years - and that it would be beneficial to make them so complicated and electronically unreliable, few would want to keep them beyond their warranty covered lives!

1 comment:

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