BIFL Car?

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Sclass
Posts: 2377
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: BIFL Car?

Post by Sclass »

@jacob I have too many cars. Generally while working on them I do not like to take them out of operation for more than a day. I have this fear I’ll drop dead and leave my wife with an unassembled heap to sell. The parts are interchangeable between my cars. They all use the OM617 turbo engine with a 722 transmission. The obvious advantage is I have a hoard of parts but also I am an expert on this particular setup. When I get deals on parts I hoard them. I don’t swap parts between cars because that’s kind of a waste of time - break one car temporarily to fix another.

I also have a number of service manuals that are shared between cars.

I use the lifetime brake pad warranty from Autozone for free brakes. I’ve mentioned it here. You register one car and buy brakes for it. Then you get free replacement brakes whenever you bring a worn out set in. I just have to remember to say it’s for a car in their database I no longer own. I haven’t paid for pads in years.

My feeling is getting the knowledge is kind of an investment. The first repair is hard but once you figure it all out you can reuse your skill again and again with decreasing effort. But you need a second car of the same type to capitalize on your skill. These can be acquired cheap from people who dump them. You acquire the skill and tools to treat a particular model’s disease. memorize the disease, symptom and cure. It’s a kind of dividend. If I got into another platform I’d have to start over again with learning, acquiring parts, gaining efficiency at repairs and collecting Benz specific tools.

I learned this trick off a friend who “standardized” in Crown Victoria police cars. He was really good at finding them, hoarding parts for the common fixes and maintenance, then efficiently fixing them because he had seen and done it all multiple times…on that particular car. At his funeral there must have been seven Crown Victorias lined up because his children, step children and in-laws had been given a retired cop car for free over the years. They were durable beasts once sorted out.

We’d go to auctions when he was alive and he’d find the gem that had an issue that he knew the $1 fix for and we’d drive it out of there for $500. After he sorted it out it’d be given away free to a relative because he’d seek the rush of pulling his trick again. So I kind of emulated the guy with Mercedes diesels. He astutely pointed out that we both chose to collect taxicabs. He’d refer to our practice as “standardizing” with its obvious advantages.

@Ego. All the parts for that van can be ordered from he Mercedes dealer. They may take awhile to come but you can get them. 88 is the cutoff right now where MB has just dropped the ball on stocking old parts. I drove a 207D in Russia a long time ago. Basically a panel van version of that camper. They share engines and transmissions with the sedans of the same vintage. Many items will be available at your local Junkyard but you’ll have to know the compatibility.

The good news is those vans are bulletproof. Once you sort them out you can drive them a long time without any issues. Getting parts in Russia back in the 1990s was almost impossible but all it needed was diesel fuel. It never broke. That thing was a tank.

My big fear of owning that camper is I’ll break down in a remote spot where there no mechanics willing to work on it.

Yeah I was curious how the scooter was shaping up.

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Stahlmann
Posts: 1036
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:05 pm

Re: BIFL Car?

Post by Stahlmann »

Hey uncle @Sclass,

I see this W124 (273k km on it, but how many times? :lol:) around my block, so it would be easy to tow this to my backyard and I have car inspection pit. I think I have simple mechanical jack for uplifting the car. Furthermore, I have many tools, not car specific, but more for house maintenance.

If I know nothing practical on cars, would it be "profitable" to pursuit the owner and convince him to get more details and just some base for BIFL endeavour?

https://geekpic.net/pm-U7HKI3.html
https://geekpic.net/pm-6THTBC.html

The interior was in acceptable condition (for cheapskate like me) and it meant somebody used it in "recent" past.

It's possible that's a project on hold for somebody, we're industrious as a nation. Hmm. Thinking about ethical way to leave my contact to the owner. In the past, I saw brothels/prostitutes putting shitty quality paper behind wind shields. That's bad karma.

It seems too unethical to open hood at night, to get more info. Are you master on it and could provide some info based on some photos? I think boils down to sounds and "easiness" of the ride to get proper info on car.

On the other hand, we have new neighbour. Bald and muscular. He has fleet of 4-6x new Mercedeses (I don't want to know model) and he repairs them and others for clients. He built another house ("a hotel") on the plot. There was once argument with his ex, the Police needed to intervene. "You stole cars in Germany!" - that's what she said :lol: . Moving to the point, I think I would ask him for help (for money), but I don't know how to talk ex-mafia members :lol: . I don't know what can I bring to the table, because he could consider my behaviour outright crazy (buying 40 years old car) and my 200-400 PLN could be laughable for him, but I think he likes money and selling 1h of his know-how (if it's beater worth effort or not) sounds good (at least for me :lol: ). What's possible solution space?

There's this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxQEr2Tjpzk
but it's 100h*X of talent and skills.

Sorry for pushing learning process to the teacher.

User avatar
Sclass
Posts: 2377
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: BIFL Car?

Post by Sclass »

No don’t do that. I’ve mentioned that I don’t recommend these cars on this forum.

M
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:34 pm

Re: BIFL Car?

Post by M »

I always have this intention with every car. The first car I bought out of high school was a small chevy economy car. I thought I would keep it forever...

In reality, the amount of time and money I spent repairing it kept going up every year. It kept burning more and more oil every year, and the frame had so much rust there were holes where I could fit two fingers into. The lower quarter panels completely rusted away, two different exhaust systems completely rusted away, and the bottom of the doors had rusted away (as in, they did not exist anymore). Around the time I thought about getting rid of it for safety reasons the transmission failed out of the blue. The car was only 13 years old.

I replaced this with another small car - Toyota yaris this time. It is now 15 years old. The exhaust system has rust holes in it, there is rust all over the sub frame, and some 1/2" inch bolts holding the sub frame together have rusted away somehow ( these were replaced...). I'm guessing it has another 5 years left before the rust takes it.

Where I live they spend half the year dumping salt on the road. The rust destroys everything eventually.

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