Evaluating my 420SEL parts car

Today I spent a bit more time evaluating the 420SEL parts car and the more I look at it the happier I am with my purchase.   It has too much wrong with it to make it a viable restoration project, but there are loads of good parts.    It didn’t come with a battery, so I hooked up a spare and most of the electrics seem to work.   I’ve started to keep a log of what is/isn’t working before I start properly dismantling the car.

I did not want to start the car, firstly because the fuel cap is missing so I have no idea what is in the tank.   In addition, the fuel injection system has been partially dismantled. I did want to see if the engine would turn over however. I removed the fuel pump relay and the engine turned over happily. At least I know it isn’t seized. I suspect it had a timing chain problem early in its life. The left valve cover is the older 450 style. The timing chain probably came through that cover and the car was repaired, but the earlier style cover used as a replacement.

Before I brought it inside, I had to give it a quick wash.   It has been sitting outside in the mud for the last 6-12 months and it was filthy.   I didn’t want to use my Bowdens car wash, so I just used dish washing soap. The car looks much better after a wash, especially after some of the flaky clear coat came off.

420SEL partsGetting the car inside was a major mission.   I did it mostly by myself and I shouldn’t have.   A neighbor helped me a little, but I found myself stuck with the car half in the garage door and half out, not able to move.   The front calipers are locked up, so the car is incredibly hard to push.   I have a set of dollies, but I find they take a lot of effort to push.   The little wheels also struggled to get over the small lip into the garage and then the hoist cable run.

In the end I had to lift the front of the car with a floor jack and gently pull it over the hoist cable run with the 450SLC.   I didn’t have a tow rope, but I did have a long picture hanging wire, so doubling that up allowed me to gently pull the car over the lip.   I was a bit worried about the wire breaking, flicking up and damaging the paint, but I could not leave the door open with a car stuck half in and half out.    Pushing it back out also wasn’t a solution as I couldn’t make it move that way either!

420SEL partsIn the end, I was able to get it in enough to make room for the other cars by about 10;30PM.   I’ll go back and position it properly another day.  A dead 420SEL with locked up brakes is very heavy.   The dollies are an ok solution, but there must be something better. I struggle to push the cars with them and I would be stronger than average.

420SEL parts

At least its in and I can start to properly dismantle it.    I’ve already had some interest in a few parts from some MBCNSW members which is great.    If I ever get another parts car, one that rolls easily would be nice!  Even better would be one that can move on its own.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>