Project Retro Rally: Behind the Build (E2) | Mercedes-Benz Classic Car Restoration with Car Throttle

Project Retro Rally: Behind the Build (E2) | Mercedes-Benz Classic Car Restoration with Car Throttle

Previously on Project Retro Rally: I will be driving this car in the AvD-Histo-Monte. We are going to be turning this into a classic rally car. Just point and shoot? You can see how much work there is left to do! That is rough. Gearbox needs to come out… One gearbox removed! Concerning oil leak, it’s coming from the motor. So this will be changed, hopefully no more leak… Welcome back to Behind The Build, featuring Heinrich, our magnificent Mercedes-Benz 280 S that we’ll be transforming into a rally car over the next few weeks. And this week with work really progressing, we’re gonna be getting into the nitty-gritty build details that you won’t have seen on the Car Throttle channel. Speaking of, we took the gearbox out, had a fight with a bolt and removed the old radiator. And while we’ve been away, Swen and his team continued ice-blasting Heinrich’s belly. It’s time now for us to draw our attention to Heinrich’s engine, so I would now like to introduce to you a very special man, Karl-Heinz. Very nice to meet you. Hello! This is Karl-Heinz, he is a Mercedes-Benz mechanic and he’s gonna be showing me through the process. So the first thing that we need to do to Heinrich is have a look at the air filter. This means removing a breather pipe and two bolts, after which the air filter lid is lifted. It doesn’t look too bad! Doesn’t look bad at all… Yeah, it’s good. But we’re swapping it. Here’s the new, original one, which you can still get. Look at that, a thing of beauty! With the new filters snuggly installed, the air filter lid is replaced. So that’s the build, done! Well, not quite, because the next thing on our list is to check the spark plugs and test the engine’s compression. Here’s a nice little hack for you guys, when you’ve undone the spark plugs sufficiently, you get one of these rubber hoses on. Six spark plugs, out! So now stuff gets interesting because we are namely going to do a compression test on Heinrich’s heart. Go! – Go! Stop! – Stop! Full gas! – Full gas! – Go! Stop! – Stop! Go! Cylinder six… Stop! Alright, so I think Karl-Heinz is pretty impressed with Heinrich. Did I do well, too? You did very well! The compression picture, apparently, is very, very good, especially for the age of this car. You’re allowed a tolerance of about one bar and as you can see here, all six cylinders are pretty much on twelve here so that’s a really good reading, meaning that Heinrich is a very happy boy. Next step is to take the valve cover off, have a look at all the valve clearances – make sure everything’s good. Here we go, let’s have a look… Here we go, so now we’re gonna have a look at the valve clearances, using a feeler gauge on both the exhaust and intake side. .10 and .20 is what we’re looking for. With most of the valve clearances good and a few adjusted, I clean up the engine while Karl-Heinz fits a new valve cover gasket, before everything’s installed again. Next up, we turn our attention to restoring the distributor. And the cool thing is, you can get everything from Mercedes-Benz dealerships, including for cars like Heinrich. Everything for a classic Mercedes-Benz, you can still buy, which is pretty cool, which is where we got these parts from. The plan now is to check that the distributor cap is all working happily as it should, so I am going to start the car. So I’ve got to make a few tiny adjustments… I look good in here, right? I think this suits me… I think when I get back to the UK I’m gonna have to do a bit of research and maybe get a Heinrich of my very own… I can see myself cruising around London in one of these. The good thing is, as well, that you wouldn’t have to pay tax, or get an MOT. Start it, please! It’s good? 70. 42, that’d be good. Job done. Such a good noise! Right, so now it’s time to put the new spark plugs in. Let’s chuck ’em in! I say “chuck”, I mean “delicately place them”. Otherwise I’ll get shouted at… Right, so now I am being entrusted to put this hose back, using nothing but delicate touch. Not something I’m particularly known for, but it’s something that I think I’ve learnt now. So what I’ve gotta do is grab this and swing on it as hard as possible! No? Properly, like bwoaaa! No, very… nice and gentle… With things running smoothly, Heinrich decided to throw a spanner in the works, because what project car wouldn’t be complete without problems? And now it’s time to start Heinrich up and hope that everything works. We should be good! We should be good… It runs! – It runs. You need to give it a bit of gas. A bit of gas… Right, so it is now an hour later. The plan was to completely roll into the next scene, which would have been adjusting the timing. Unfortunately, Heinrich is refusing to start at the moment, so Karl-Heinz has been really busy scratching his head, pulling out the spark plugs, looking at the distributor cap again. And yeah, we don’t know what’s happening but all we know is that the engine hasn’t been getting any fuel. But Karl-Heinz asked me to start the car again because he’s put the spark plugs back in… And cleaned some stuff up. So yeah, I’m gonna try it and this is genuinely the first time, after many times of trying, that Heinrich will hopefully start? Well, this is… Well, I was gonna say this is actually a lot better than it was, but yeah, still having starting issues. Start it? – Yeah. Come on Heinrich! So yeah, Karl-Heinz is having a bad time. He’s just walked out the door… Probably just to shout at something, maybe a brick wall, I’m guessing… After a few minutes to get some parts, Karl-Heinz returned to tinker some more. Try now. Lumpy, but we’re running… So with Heinrich proving to be a massive pain in the… I’m gonna stop there. It’s up to Karl-Heinz to order a few new parts and hopefully get this old guy started in the next few days. Join us next time on Behind The Build for that, plus more wrenching, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Mercedes-Benz channel. Until then… See you next week. – See you next week! We’re going to go and drink some coffee now. OK! To subscribe, click here. And to watch another video, click here!

About the Author: Michael Flood


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  2. I think it's great you are showing the bad with the good. I made a car run like that once by not cleaning a new set of points before I installed them.

  3. Amazing how far behind in tech the americans where to us people in Europe, I mean Americans still use ohv instead of ohc.

  4. It's so frustrating when you take a car which is running well, treat it to a few service bits and gap everything to factory spec then find it's worse than it was when you started. 🤬. Great series!

  5. In a way it’s good to see the toils of rebuilds. So many car tv programs make it look far to smooth and easy. GL with the build guys. Enjoying the show.

  6. standard 12 year old keyboard mechanics about to say: "LS swap it yo"
    rob dahm about to say: "how about a rotary"

  7. After a compression test like that I would be gutted if it didn't run. At least you can be fairly sure the main big parts are good. All six within about half a bar at that age is a testament to solid engineering and servicing over the years. That's a seriously impressive engine.

  8. The rubber tube works great for reinstalling plugs too, if you start to cross thread one it’ll just slip instead of mangling the thread in the head

  9. This is so professional, this mechanic is so old school.
    Probably is driving an old Italian classic car. (Free experience points)

  10. The Heinrich, The Karl Heinz and the Englishman, with his adorable, but excellent german is the by far best combination, I have watched for a long time.

    Sincerely Jan, or how it would be translated, Johannes Heinrich Franke.

  11. They said you can buy everything at a dealer but i beg to differ, have a mbz 220Sb 1960 aka essentially the previous gen with inline 6 2.2L instead of this 2.8L looks like, and i need a cylinder head for it, not because it overheated but the waterjacket sleeves have erroded away, i doubt theyd have it at a dealer, and if they do they would wanna sell it to me for minimum a grand. I understand these guys struggles as ive been through the motions like them with the 2.2L engine lmao like i felt this video on a personal level

  12. Was super excited for this build but listening to you say the cars name is a bit tedious. So good luck but won't be watching for a bit

  13. Alex in this video looks like I do when I help my dad with car stuff. Just watching and passing tools, generally just getting in the way

  14. I’d double check the HT leads are in the correct order. I know it’s obvious but I have done it so many times on my old vw camper. The car was running ok before.

  15. Looks like Karl-Heinz has taken you under his wing. Apprentice classic Mercedes mechanic being your next career move?

  16. at 7:06 you should never use extensions with a torque wrenches as the torsional flex in the extensions throws off the torque value greatly. And especially not two extensions. You probably over torqued the crap out of those plugs.

  17. Mate every time you say order more parts for a merc i automatically think 100's if not 1000's of dollars they are so expensive in Australia

  18. One of the new parts must be a defect. It went in running. I hate that crap. Crack in the cap at the coil? But it is a benz

  19. 2:18 just unscrew the spark plugs and plug the loose plugs with the original plug cable and then you can also remove them.
    And the tool is instantilynt reach.
    Sorry for my bad english, hope you understand.

    The way you installed them is damn nice,
    Dont get me wrong no hte but to get them out its easier with the s-plug caps😉 the spark plugs just fall into them

  20. Small tip, turn the lights off when the engine is running/started. You might see some electric discharge flying around and pinpoint the problem there. Had it happen with some shitty sparkplug wires…

  21. I have worked on European cars for 27 years. Man I don’t miss the old stuff especially the mechanical injection. It was a nightmare and parts were expensive. That’s why you don’t see any BMW e21 on the road. They all had that injection and have bought many from fed up customers for a few hundred dollars. And they have been crushed years ago. Luckily you have carbs.

  22. Love this engine! My dad had a W114 with exactly this engine in the 130 hp variant. I passed my whole childhood on the back seat of this great car an slept listening to the sound of this machine. Later I helped my dad to restore and repair brakes shocks and also overhaul the cylinderhead including valve seats valve bushings, etc etc. Not mentioning the regular change of all ignition components. I could hear and feel when a new set of spark plugs or a new set of points where necessary… unfortunately the car got totalled due to an accident at the age of 22 and more than 220000 kms…. Sometimes i still miss it – even more than 30 years later. Was a great car and a great engine!

  23. pfff , drinking coffee after a long day …………….. most of them are more fond of a beer then a coffee m8 . lol

  24. Using a torque wrench with 2 long extensions and a universal joint is like a blind person measuring ingredients for a cake.
    But they are only spark plugs so whatever

  25. Brings back memories I used to work on these can't believe Karl can't figure it out it's running like 1 and 2 leads are mixed up but a condenser can do what it's doing too. Go Karl

  26. Mr. Mayer there is an old fella that looks like he can tear down the car and rebuild without ever touching a manual. He's the guy that's paid $50 an hour to swing a hammer for only 5 seconds of work. Paid for his knowledge.

  27. "ca't get the car to start" -> notification pops up at the top right of the video -> "buy your classic mercedes now!"


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