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shotwell

Just finished a clutch job on my F250...

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...and I've never had a car fight so hard against being repaired since working on my SVT Contour!

 

Unbelievable that a clutch job would take TWO WHOLE DAYS but it did. I haven't even cleaned up from today's finale yet. Special thanks to Josh for helping me out! Some of you met him at the Contour meet at my place. He has the blue Focus ST. He also has a '96 F250 diesel, so he's well versed.

 

I probably shouldn't toot my horn yet. I've yet to take a test drive. I decided day time would be best for such an adventure.

 

The Dual Mass flywheel was chucked in favor of a solid unit. Also replaced the clutch master and slave cylinders. All of the parts were Luk. I also went with an upgraded clutch so if I decide to put a turbo on it I won't need to upgrade that...truck is a 1991 with the 7.3 IDI diesel motor and a 5 speed.

 

Some of the things that went wrong? Well...spent over an hour trying to get the starter off, only to give up and google it to find that YOU DIDN'T NEED TO take it off...grrr. Cross-member bolts were extremely stubborn. Decided not to separate the trans and the transfer case (yes, it's a 4X4) so the trans jack was off balance, prompting an extra jack on the tail shaft. Very clumsy! Old flywheel weighed 972 pounds. Seriously, it was heavy. Replacement wasn't much lighter! Broke a 3/8 socket torquing the pressure plate on, promptly rounding off the bolt head. Had lots of fun getting that out. Luckily we had new bolts with the clutch kit so we still had the old bolts for spares. New clutch fork fought for at least 15 minutes...it's just a damn clip on! Ugh. Mated the trans and engine back together only to find that we got insulation stuck in between so the top bolts wouldn't go in. Don't you just love taking things back apart so you can put them together again? U-Joints for the front drive line were an absolute bear to get back in. Ended up with a C-clamp to get the bearing caps in enough to fit between the notches. Roll pins attaching the clutch fluid line to the clutch master and slave cylinder were a joy too (NOT)! Ended up with a block of wood and a punch...in extremely awkward positions. Took over an hour to bleed the clutch too! It don't work like brakes, or Contour clutches. Unbelievably stupid design. Gravity always wins though...even when you don't want it to.

 

It is done though.

 

I have another Benz coming in the door to replace the one wrecked in September (a 1999 E55 AMG). It's a stopgap car until we get some insurance money from one of the two car accidents, but I have a feeling I'm going to want to keep it! We really want another E300 TurboDiesel though. Anyway, the E55 will get some maintenance and then (finally) I'm planning to tear into the '95 Contour! It's been a long time coming. The SVT heads I have to put on are going to really change things I think. Still thinking about headers too, but not sold yet.

 

Will keep you updated!

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Yesterday I got back under the truck to fix a small wiring mistake. The lights on the dash for 4X4 and Low Range were mixed up. I had the connector on backwards! All good now.

 

Also checked the glow plugs and found two bad. It was starting kind of hard, so I knew at least one wasn't up to snuff. Now it's working famously again...woohoo indeed!

 

There's still work to be done on it, but it can wait. I have bigger fish to fry.

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While I was on the mend, I missed out on what you were doing to mend your rigs.

And I know it's monsoon season with cold to hit, but me getting stuff off the parts car to make room for your MB fleet has to happen someday. 

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Yes - parts car - this needs to become a priority so Mike can shelter the MB fleet.

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I'm flirting with the idea of getting several floor jacks and putting the parts car in the shop so it can be properly disassembled. With the heat on and the shelter we won't have any excuse not to do it (well except all of our hectic schedules, ugh)

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Mike - you do this and I PROMISE I will make it there!!!! Shop and heat - doesn't get any better than this!!!

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Uh, Bill, it CAN get better: You bring a lift, Aussie brings a pizza, I bring donuts. OK, since Mike would insist, beer. 

 

Mike has to stay out of jail. With his "interim" Deutsch hot rod, he has to remember he's NOT on an autobahn, as his car will think it is.

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Well, the Deutsch hot rod came home with a $7500 repair bill today. It's absolutely unbelievable what even an independent Mercedes shop wants to charge to do work. Even more unbelievable the cost of some of the parts. A $2500 catalytic converter? Really?! Oh, right...it's ok because it's an AMG...Riiiight. For shame!

 

The reality is I need about $1000 in parts and 4 or 5 good solid days to work on the car. They don't even have to be in a row. 17 small issues do not need to equal 1 large issue. The car runs and drives fine. It just needs some serious maintenance. Catalytic converter "on its way out" be damned. I'll cross that bridge when I get there, and it won't be with genuine Mercedes parts!

 

A few pics of the monster. This thing is pretty fast in a straight line, but in the twisties it's no threat to even a regular Contour with nice rims and worn out struts.20151219_105447.jpg20151219_105543.jpg

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Speaking of a twisties-mobile, some SVT heads on that puppy behind the AMG, and it might work on those roads behind Mt. St Helens next spring...

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Not one to boast needlessly, but my '95 Zetec w/MTX-75 (aka Club Sport) should give any stock SVT a run for the money in the "twisties"!! Recall the suspension mods I have made - BAT suspension, full poly bushings everywhere, SVT E0 wheels with Falkins 235/50X15's and SVT rear sway bar (front is larger stock than the SVT). E0 front and rear disck brakes for those times when I need to reign in the 'Tour. Weighing in at just under 3k pds w/o driver, this is light weight!

Club Sport: From 1993 through 1995, Porsche offered a lighter-weight "Club Sport" version of the 968 designed for enthusiasts seeking increased track performance. Much of the 968's luxury-oriented equipment was removed or taken off the options list; less sound deadening material was used, electrical windows were replaced with crank-driven units, upgraded stereo systems, A/C and sunroof were still optional as on the standard Coupe and Convertible models. In addition, Porsche installed manually adjustable lightweight Recaro racing seats rather than the standard power-operated leather buckets (also manufactured by Recaro), a revised suspension system optimized and lowered by 20 mm for possible track use, 17-inch wheels (also slightly wider to accommodate wider tires) rather than the 16-inch as found on the Coupe and wider tires, 225 front and 255 rears rather than 205 and 225 respectively. The four-spoke airbag steering wheel was replaced with a thicker-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel with no airbag, heated washer jets were replaced with non heated, vanity covers in the engine bay were deleted, as was the rear wiper. The Club Sport has no rear seats, unlike the 2+2 Coupé.

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Well, the Deutsch hot rod came home with a $7500 repair bill today. It's absolutely unbelievable what even an independent Mercedes shop wants to charge to do work. Even more unbelievable the cost of some of the parts. A $2500 catalytic converter? Really?! Oh, right...it's ok because it's an AMG...Riiiight. For shame!

 

The reality is I need about $1000 in parts and 4 or 5 good solid days to work on the car. They don't even have to be in a row. 17 small issues do not need to equal 1 large issue. The car runs and drives fine. It just needs some serious maintenance. Catalytic converter "on its way out" be damned. I'll cross that bridge when I get there, and it won't be with genuine Mercedes parts!

 

A few pics of the monster. This thing is pretty fast in a straight line, but in the twisties it's no threat to even a regular Contour with nice rims and worn out struts.20151219_105447.jpg20151219_105543.jpg

BEAUTIFUL MONSTER!!! Such graceful and clean lines!!!

Mike - you didn't spend anything yet, on repairs? That independent shop just gave you an estimate?

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A monster indeed!

 

The shop was just an estimate, yes. I have already purchased a pile of parts have even installed some of them.

 

Front end is next. Lower control arm bushings, ball joints and wheel bearings, followed by an alignment of course. That should change the way she steers...which right now is rather frightening.

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