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buzzboy Dork
8/21/20 8:15 p.m.

I have been compiling all my photos of this car. Unlike some of the builds on here she's not an engineering wonder, or an autocross cone smasher, or a 1/4 mile muncher. This is the story of the slowest racecar I've ever driven that still brings a smile to my face every time I drive it. This is the story of Planet Express.

My friend Ted and I learned about Lemons from Jalopnik(rip) in 2006 while we were in highschool. We didn't have money or friends to field a Lemons team but we sure wanted to. In 2012 we finally got out to a race at CMP to spectate. Ted already knew Volvoclearinghouse from the classic volvo community so we kinda hung around them while him and Tuna55(and the rest of the team) swapped the 400M in their LTD(oil well theme).

We made it to the next CMP race in spring 2013 but I brought along my college roommate for the weekend. After that fun weekend of watching racing, camping at CMP(no fireants?!) and meeting a bunch of fun Lemons teams with whom we're still very close: Knoxvegas Lowballers, Fairlylame and Escape Velocity to name a few we were hooked. My roommate decided after that weekend that he wanted in on the action. The three of us started trolling our friend groups and found two more guys interested in starting a Lemons team. Game on.

In the spring of 2013 Ted bought a cheap Volvo 960 wagon for parts for his V8olvo 960. He stripped enough parts off of the car that it was effectively free and he was willing to donate the running, gutted, vehicle to the race team. We stripped the car fully, did a preemptive timing belt service and Ted built an analog-electronic manual shifter for the aw30. We also had decided as a team, after much debate, to theme the car as the Planet Express. Our Swedish car team name was decided to be Flat Pack Racing. This was Veronica

She was going to be the first Volvo whiteblock raced in lemons. The redblock has been very successful in Lemons but the modular Volvos arn't know for their reliabiltiy in endurance racing. No worries, it blew a headgasket and milkshaked the oil before we did any more work to it. We ditched the idea of racing it so Ted removed everthing of value down to every inch of wiring and scrapped the shell.

Farewell Veronica.

buzzboy Dork
8/21/20 8:45 p.m.

At this point we were unsure of what we were going to do, but we wanted to debut a car at the South Fall 2013 block party. I told Ted to start looking for a car he always wanted. We began sharing craigslist listings in our team chat. Ted was really interested in buying a Mercedes W126. We gave him full responsibility for the car purchase. So one day he came home with this

A 1979 W116 300SD which is most decidedly not a W126. One of ~30000 made. The first turbo diesel car in the world(?). This was somebody's daily driver. The A/C had gone out and it was no longer worth it to them to fix it. Ted offered them $740 because he had only brought 20s. She had had front end damage at some point. The vin on the core support didn't match the rest of the car and the hood was not original. The interior was still in great condition thanks to MBTex but the seat springs were wore slam out. The shocks and springs were original with ~150k and she was boaty, especially with all 5 of us wedged in there for the first team test drives. Our new team name: Idle Clatter.

We had no idea what we were doing. Gut the car, get some weight out, theme it and race it. We started by just cutting weight. Those huge US spec bumpers had to go, as well as all the trim, carpet, seats, electronics and trunk junk. The car was caged in 120 wall DOM(left over from the Tunachuckers' LTD) by a dirt track guy we lovingly refer to as Robby Rattlesnake. Gutted and caged the car weighed 3250, down from the factory 4001(wikipedia curb weight). The only real race prep we did was moving the (massive) battery to the rear right and installing new brake pads. More important to us was the theme. We bought some single stage tractor paint and an HF HVLP gun. Total cost of that first paint job was sub $100.

Only thing left was to finish the theme. My family is in the surfboard building business. I have access to plenty of foam and resin. I shaped the wings out of the polyurethane foam from an old(dead) surfboard and glassed them with 6oz E cloth and polyester resin. The tail fin started with a metal frame that we coated in scraps of expanded polystyrene foam and GreatStuff. Being made of EPS we had to glass it with Epoxy resin. I made the executive decision to glass it with the chopper gun because it wasn't the easiest looking surface upon which to lay cloth. That was a bad choice. We used a LOT of bondo to make it right. We added some 59 cadillac taillights as turnsignals and a high mounted brake light. The turret on the roof and the rear rocket booster are both parts of a Webber grill we found on the side of the road. Somehow we got Dolly(the pibble) to pose with our new creation

Time to race!

jdogg Reader
8/21/20 8:51 p.m.

Awwwwww yeah that thing is going to be a riot I expect to see lots of coal rolled in its first race, use it like a smokescreen for cars behind you

buzzboy Dork
8/21/20 9:31 p.m.

Fall 2013 at Carolina Motorsports Park was our very first race. The car was fully dressed in our new vinyl, sporting the appropriate y3k number on the doors and hood. We had some beautiful homebrewed bribe beers ready and took off for the parade, BS and block party. Thankfully we recruited a few friends and family members to be our cast of extras.

Our first race was very interesting. Two of us bought our own race gear and the other 3 were sharing(grosss). We also weren't sure how the car would hold up to racing. We started off running 30 minute stints(including driver swaps) just to make sure everybody got to drive the car, just in case it exploded. I still remember that first stint vividly. My adrenaline was running so hard that my right foot was bouncing on the acellerator. What a rush! If I wasn't hooked before, I was now. I was racing a 3250lbs vehicle with 110bhp, factory brakes, factory shocks and factory springs. It was the second slowest thing on track and I didn't care. She wallowed through the turns, had brake fade through the later half of the track and couldn't outdrag anything on the straights. Stupid us even left the wings on!

Saturday went off without any problems for our team. Late into the day saturday though the race was red flagged. Another driver had gone off in turn 14 and hit the armco. After a long period of wonder the news came back, a driver had died at the wheel and continued on straight through the turn. Quite the sobering moment. It was a sad and quiet paddock saturday night after we lost Sid.

For safety reasons the track said we might not be able to continue the race the following day due to armco damage. Somebody came forward that he owned a guardrail company and that he'd have his crew there in 2 hours to fix the armco. His crew came up from Atlanta and fixed the guardrail over night so the race could continue on Sunday.

On Sunday the race kept on. We weren't even paying attention to our position. At your first race you're not there to win anything just to place. We had pushed our stint length out to 1 hour. Due to the 22 gallon tank and fuel sipping OM617 we only burned ~3.5gph so we didn't have to stop for fuel on sunday. Our final driver was out, 15 minutes before the checkered flag when he came into the penalty box. He had spun. He told us that the brakes were fading really badly. The judges noticed that we had also killed our tires. The 205/75r14 800tw Nankangs were dead. Turns out that high treadwear and low tire pressure don't work under racing conditions. Who knew?

While trying to swap tires in the 10 minutes before the checker we left the driver in the car and put an ice bag on the master cylinder to cool the brake fluid enough for the final laps. Sadly it wasn't enough.

When we dropped the car back down with new tires the driver put the car in reverse with the brake applied and it didn't keep the car stopped. The race was done, 5 minutes before the checkered flag. Quite dejected we loaded up the car on the trailer. Maybe we should have installed brake fluid newer than the original 1979 DOT3? We shuffled off to the award ceremony. Standing there we heard Jay and Phil name off all the class winners and silly trophy winners. A VW TDI swapped Fiat Spyder  of Smokey Unit being one of my favorites from that race the Kershaw County Mosquito Abatement Award. Jay finally got to the Index of Effluency. Highlights included "wallowy suspension," "a car that shouldn't be on a racetrack," and "I owned one of these pieces of E36 M3." But then he mentioned that the winning car had broken down 10 minutes before. Idle Clatter looked around at each other. Does that mean us?

So now we've got $601 in nickels and free entry to our next race. Here began the addiciton.

buzzboy Dork
8/22/20 12:02 p.m.
jdogg said:

Awwwwww yeah that thing is going to be a riot I expect to see lots of coal rolled in its first race, use it like a smokescreen for cars behind you

Nope, we've got the ALDA adjusted properly. There's a little puff of smoke on tip in and on the upshift. These old Benz diesels run very (visually) clean.

buzzboy Dork
8/22/20 2:02 p.m.

2014 was a busy year.

We started off with some important modifications to the car. Turns out that our exhaust had sheared off at the downpipe. Quick job with some flex pipe and exhaust tubing and we had a mediocre side pipe. Weight savings! We flushed out all that DOT3 and replaced it with RBF600. Also we cut the springs by 1.5 coils and installed some new KYB Gas-a-Just shocks. Lastly, we tried something new on the tires. We filled the tires to 50lbs hot and shaved them to 3/32nds. Finally we have a way to make tires last through an entire race.

She looks so much meaner with the lowered ride height! Still pretty wallowy but way better than before. Still an impressive amount of body roll, especially evident on some of the corners at Barber.

Our next mistake was buying a 2003 Ford E450 22passenger bus. With a tune, it towed the racecar on the trailer at 85mph at 8mpg. Tows like a DREAM. Too bad every time we drove it something broke. One race the alternator died and cooked a battery. Next race the CAS went out(common 7.3 issue). The next race an injector went out and sent it into limp mode... 8 hours from home. It was a great idea that didn't work.

We decided to take our ICBM(Idle Clatter Bus Mobile) down to Sebring for the only Lemons race to happen at Sebring. The only available date for us to race there was July 4th. Temperature was ~100°F and in central Florida it rains every day at 2pm. And I mean it rained HARD. During that storm a bolt actually struck the timing loop on the track and busted out a good chunk of concrete.

Only 27 cars showed up for the 2014 Humidi TT at Sebring. In our class we had the 64 Dart(225auto) and 64 Fairlane(289 3spd) as close competitors. The Dart had a transmission line issue and the Fairlane had a fuel pump problem. On sunday afternoon I was the last to get into the car and the team told me to drive for 30 minutes and we'd win. It was a pleasure. What an incredible track. Turn 17/17a is wild in the rain. The car bounces over every pavement square while you're turning. Wild feeling as the car bounces and rotates.

After Sebring Ted and I sent the rest of the team home driving the ICBM with an empty trailer and we took off in Planet Express. We took the old girl to Kennedy Space Center and then to Universal Studios. Sadly the racecar was fine coming home but the bus broke down(see previous paragraph). We cruised all the way from Daytona Beach to Spartanburg on one tank of fuel, averaging 27mpg. Only issue was the heat stuck on.

South Fall 2014 sparked another important milestone in racecar performance. Up until that point we were stuck with Bundt wheels which are 14x5 et22. Wheel fitment on this car is strange. At the fall race we were talking to a team(Zeigel Scheissehaus later the RC Spiders) who ran a 190e Cossie on CLK320 Lightweight wheels. The MB mechanic who ran that team thought that the Lightweights would fit on our car. They did. He sold us 4 wheels with ~25% Direzza ZIIs for $50 per corner. Now we've got a 13lbs 16x7 wheel with a 225/50r16 200tw tire. We're in business! My first lap with the new tires I was astounded what I could do. If you're familiar with CMP I was able to keep flat from turn 1-4, not braking until 5. We'd never been able to go flat over 3 before that.

buzzboy Dork
8/22/20 5:55 p.m.

During 2015 things stagnated for Planet Express. We had friends and family interested in driving with us in 2014 so we put together a second car. Planet Express got minimal regular maintenance and we spent our time body swapping a 1982 W123 300D chassis  with a 1979 Toyota Pickup SR5 body. After two races with two cars we only had our regular cast of miscreants for the spring 2015 race so we only brought our second car, the Toyocedes, currently themed as the invincible hilux from Top Gear.

During the race though we had loads of trouble with the car. We started off with super low power and overheating. The low power issue turned out to be an unconnected ALDA line so we had no fuel enrichment with boost. Only took us a few hours to figure that out. We were also fighting an overheating issue. Clogged radiator? Bad water pump? Stuck thermostat? We tried it all. We'd only turned a few laps all day saturday coming in frequently to work on the car. That night we asked the organizers if we could switch to our other car that was only 2 hours away but fully functional and ready to race. We borrowed my teammate's wife's ML500 to tow the Toyocedes home and pickup Planet Express. For E36 M3s and giggles we painted the Planet Express up to look like the toyocedes including a beautiful FJ60 grill.

It's amazing how many people came up and were sad that we had defiled the original paint job. In our eyes the old paint was not well applied and it was time for a repaint anyway. Plus, we had taken a pretty big hit at Barber 2015 that we needed to fix. An AE86 had gotten inside and early apexed while I was turning in to late apex. The sun was bad so I didn't see him in my mirrors. We had a little quarter panel damage and he popped his radiator and overheated his engine.


After that race we had a bit of body work to do. We wanted to do a better paint job. I bought a gallon of single stage Ford Calypso Green Metallic and a gallon of primer and a quart of bondo. We started off stripping the red Rustoleum which sucks. I'll never paint a car again with that garbage. It gums up even a 36grit disk on low speed. We had to use paint stripper in places.

Ted started on the rear quarter. Thankfully this old Benz has some strong sheet metal and it mostly popped back out. Took a little hammer and dolly work to get "acceptable" and we skimmed with bondo.

Then, parked in Ted's Parents' driveway we sprayed on marine grade primer and, that evening after dark, the full gallon of Calypso Green Metallic.

I made the mistake of buying a fast hardener for the paint. The paint was curing before it could self level so the paint job ended up rough. The color was a bit darker than Calypso is supposed to be but we were happy that it was straight and looked decent from 20 feet. Then there was a storm in Spartanburg. I swear fresh paint attracts storms. Ted laid blankets out to protect her from hail but blankets only do so much for trees.

So now we also had to install a new windshield before the fall 2015 race. Lovely. Somewhere in that time period I finally got around to dialing in some camber to the front end. She'd take -1.2° which wasn't as good as we'd like but better than nothing. Little did I know, the tie rods had developed some slop and there was another issue with our alignment. During the fall 2015 race at CMP the car came in on the tow truck with two flat tires. I wonder what caused that?

Yeouch! The fubar'd tie rod allowed a "little" bit of toe out, like 1.75" of tow out. The car had amazing turn in though... We finished the race and killed two more tires than usual. The rest of the team seemed more interested in working on the Toyocedes now, so Planet Express fell to the wayside after fall 2015. I still preferred wrenching on and driving this car, but it was a 1-7 vote against.

jdogg Reader
8/22/20 7:51 p.m.

Man, I have a complete over-the-top F-you build I'm doing on a Ford Probe GT and I've been putting off track time with it and here you guys are basically punting a stock Merc that in my day we would have converted to run on vegetable oil around prestigious tracks, man I suck. That thing looks like a riot

buzzboy Dork
8/23/20 2:54 p.m.

2016 was a weird year for Planet Express and Idle Clatter.

With focus shifted to the Toyocedes I brought Planet Express to my home so I could do some maintenance on it and prepare it for the fall 2016 race where we'd have enough racers for two cars again. It was really fun to have the racecar at home though so I could drive it. She was a welcome sight at our local Cars n Coffee. The number of people I saw taking photos of her around town almost worried me that I'd cause an accident. The car actually makes a really nice daily. Comfy, easy sight lines, good fuel economy. I love that car. I actually drove it up to volunteer at a race at NJMP and stopped to see friends along the way. Taking US301 up the east coast, skipping major cities, was absolutely beautiful.

We'd recruited two arrive-n-drivers from another diesel Mercedes team in Oregon to do a few laps with us at the fall race. We had our hands full with a pretty involved theme on the Toyocedes.

For the most part Planet Express has required zero mid-race maintenance outside of tire changes and once a brake light switch. That changed. Second driver out was our arrive and drive. I was waiting in the hot pits for her to come in after her hour and she pulled into the paddock instead of the hot pits and there was substantial steam about the car. She said the temp guage pegged on the back straight. Whoops! The guage was reading 230° and there was no water left in the radiator. The oil(Rotella T4 15w40) had also somehow changed texture. That's not good. We spent the day trying to diagnose and fix the issue. We did a full oil change first, just to be safe. We changed water pumps, changed thermostats, removed the thermostat and tried to flush and backflush the cooling system. After each attempt we'd take the car back out and it would begin to overheat. There was no milkshake so we were thinking the headgasket was fine, but we just can't be sure. 4500 race miles had finally caught up to something in the engine. I went off to beg a ride in somebody else's car just so I could get a few minutes on track that weekend. A friend had a sick driver on his team and let me take an entire 2.5 hour stint! My 80whp Mercedes breaks and I end up in a Euro 4.5L Porsche 928! That was a change.

After the race things got "interesting." Our team had spoken of the situation we were in, in that we had two race cars and only one trailer. The broken one goes on the trailer. Well... Ted's dad, who is the team captain of the Toyocedes, and owner of the trailer, wasn't super enthralled with the idea. So now I'm stuck in Kershaw SC with a broken racecar(which was angrily signed over to me minutes before). Thankfully a friend lived 90 miles from the track and I had 100 miles of free towing with AAA.

My friend's parents are thankfully car people and were okay with a new piece of yard art for a few days. It looked nice next to their 72 Monte Carlo and 70 GMC C10. They were telling all their friends that they had made the big times and bought themselves a Mercedes

Eventually I had time to rent a truck/trailer and pick up my stranded racecar. It was a dark time for Planet Express.

buzzboy Dork
8/23/20 3:41 p.m.

Planet Express went into a holding pattern. It still would start and run but getting it started was a chore. I finally solved the overheating by deep cleaning the radiator and installing a cooling fan. Somehow we'd been this far with no cooling fan of any sort. I had a nice storage unit where she lived and I started down the road of a different project car. My time and money went into building(and then scrapping) a Volvo B20 Miata. Live and learn. I also made a major life change, moving and switching to a seasonal job where I'm only on the east coast 6 months out of the year. Planet Express hung out getting driven ~25 miles a year for 3 years. I'd fire it up, warm it up, make a few laps around the block or go to a car meet, then park it. Kinda sad, but it is what it is. She was still a huge hit at Cars-n-Coffee.

This past January I get a message from the guy with whom I shared my storage unit. We would no longer be able to work on cars in the unit. No reason to rent a 1200sqft unit for all our cars and tools if we're not allowed to do anything there. Not to mention that I had been living 5 hours away from where the car and tools were stored. With help from my mother back on the east coast I found a storage unit 1 hour from home. After the Christmas rush at the ski resort I took 4 days off work. I flew from Reno to Wilmington on Tuesday. Wednesday I cleaned out my half of the storage unit and packed up all my stuff into my parents' truck who thankfully helped out. I gave my mom the option on Thursday, tow Planet Express 4 hours or drive my BMW 4 hours. She quickly chose to drive the BMW which still worried her because it's got a penchant for random overheating.

All my tools. Spare parts. Spare clothes. Volvo drivetrain. It's all in the pickup or the Mercedes. It was riding so low that the floorboards rubbed on the trailer loading it. That night we got to the new storage unit and the temperature had dropped to 40° and old diesels with weak batteries don't enjoy that very much. I've got a Mercedes with a dead(ish) battery and a frozen brake caliper stuck on a trailer next to my storage unit. It's night time, it's cold and the unit is uphill with no room to maneuver the trailer. When I tried to push the car off the trailer the janky side pipe fell off and got wedged under the trailer axle. Now I'm under the car removing the exhaust in the middle of the night in the cold while the car is wedged onto the trailer and I've got a flight out early the next morning back to Reno. I had to hire a towing company to come move the car into the storage unit. There was no way we were going to push it uphill with a frozen caliper. But it was in.

This spring, with my winter season cut short and a little spare time with no work, I was able to get a little done on the car thankfully. In my eyes the biggest thing I need to fix is the brakes so I can at least move the car easily again. I figured I might as well do all four corners. Most importantly though the passenger rear which was seized up.

And I might as well do the factory BBK since it costs the same. The facelift W126 front brakes bolt right up to the W116 hubs. Weird system where the rotor bolts to the hub which was kinda annoying to work on. The new rotors are HUGE though.

Now summer 2020 is winding down. Soon I'll have a little spare time and I've got money set aside for this project. I've got big dreams for this car. I'd like to clean up the cosmetics a bit, redo the failing tail fin, possibly engine swap it and most importantly install a manual transmission. Just a few more weeks of being frazzled and hopefully work will begin again on my beloved Sonderklasse.

buzzboy Dork
8/31/20 8:47 p.m.

I've had 3 years(4?) without really doing any work on the car. That is plenty of time to read build threads, read wikipedia pages about engines, search out transmission adapters and spend hours under the hood with a tape measure.

After all this, I have finally come up with a game plan. And I'm sticking to it!(I hope... don't let me get sidetracked again)

I am going to fix up the body work. Rebuild the tailfin. Repaint the car. Swap in a new OM617. Swap in a manual transmission. Maybe not in that order? Who knows.


The current tail fin has a 1x1 metal frame inside it. Over that we used EPS scraps and Great Stuff to make a fin shape that we then fiberglassed with epoxy resin. Then we smoothed it out with body filler. I want the new fin to have the same profile but be more symmetric and to be lighter. I would like to develop a better attachment to the car as well as creating a better attachment on the other end for the 59 caddy taillight. I've been reading up on homebuilt airplanes to decide where I want to go with this.


A lot of mistakes were made on the current paint. I have a few light rust spots beginning on the roof and the paint is really rough.  I was chatting about it with my old boss, who does great paint work, and he mentioned treating the bare metal before painting. I did not treat the bare metal. I stripped the car to metal and then primed it. He said I should have wiped the car down with an etchant like ospho before priming. First mistake. The rough paint is likely caused by me using the wrong speed of hardener(catalyst?). I also need to find a better paint match. Maybe I can find an OEM color that matches close. Toyman1 has the exact right color on his bus.


I've come down to installing a new(to me) better running OM617. My engine is really hard to start and has been abused.B uying a good running engine is cheaper and more likely to work than me trying to rebuild what I have. It's a kinda odd shaped engine bay with an aggressive front sump setup which limits engine choices. The things that fit are pretty pricey or heavy. I'm also NOT a fabricator and having an engine that bolts in to the factory mounts is convenient. All the coolant lines, wiring, vacuum plumbing, etc will line up with my car. This engine can be turned up too in the future if I so want. I would really like 100+whp.

I also really want to add a third pedal to this car. I don't mind driving an auto on track but I can't stand it on the street. There's an adapter to a Toyota V6, Jeep I6, SBC or SBF. As much as I love my AX15, the shifter is too close to the engine block and would put the shifter up under the dash. Also difficult to find in 2wd configuration. It has very similar dimensions to the Toyota W58 or R154(same trans). That leaves GM or FoMoCo transmissions. It's much easier to find a 5.0 Mustang T5 than an SBC T5. I'll want to convert it from a cable to a hydraulic linkage but that bridge has been crossed by many people so I won't have to reinvent any wheels.


I'm ready and excited to start doing ANYTHING on this project. I was hoping to have shop space here by September to start work but things are moving a bit slow.

buzzboy Dork
11/4/20 5:28 p.m.

My baby came home today. I'm leaving for my winter job in 11 days and I'm tired of paying rent. The new shop space isn't completed, but hopefully in the next 11 days I can at least get the car pushed inside to keep it dry until spring. Thankfully the BMW runs so it can easily be driven in later.

This was also a work trip so I loaded up my dad's truck with the dolly, 3 rescue paddle boards and 7 surfboards that I'd repaired and needed to be delivered an hour north.

We've now got a car that doesn't run and has no brakes and we have to get it out of a storage unit, on a slight hill, then up onto a trailer. We staggered the chalks a foot at a time, slowly walking it out of the unit.

It's a tight fit in that storage area. I didn't want to hit the fence that's a "little" too close.

After pushing it back and forth to line it up with the dolly we got help from a few other people to push it up the ramps. I'm tired of moving my stuff around every year or so. Ugggg

My spaceship finally landed back home next to the blue cars with gold wheels. Maybe I need to paint PE blue and find some gold mesh wheels. Hmmm

buzzboy Dork
11/12/20 4:16 p.m.

I leave for the winter job in 4 days. I have to get my non-waterproof car inside before I leave, especially with this Tropical remainder going by. 

Just for giggles I tried to fire it up. I wired 3 batteries in parallel and... she doesn't fire. Not surprising. 

My neighbor helped me tow it, VERY SLOWLY, because I don't have brakes. Got to pretend I was driving.

Then we hit some sand. We laid out planks and pushed and pushed and... nothing. 

My goal was to not call my neighbor the tow truck driver. We actually called my other neighbor (thankfully we're all friendly) who brought his lawn tractor. Just an old tire in the bucket and we pushed PE inside. 

It's inside. I left it in neutral and the key on so the steering won't lock. Told the crew to use it as a shelf if they want. I hate being in the way but as soon as they put up the garage doors it can be moved fully out of the way. And they're a "little" behind schedule. 

buzzboy Dork
12/10/20 11:30 a.m.

Kind of a racecar update, moreso a garage update.

golfduke Dork
12/10/20 1:50 p.m.

whoa.  Is that your... home?!  Amazing if so!


RevolverRob New Reader
12/10/20 2:29 p.m.

Love this.

So...after the rebuild, are you going to try to brew your own biodiesel? Make a container that looks like Nibbler and have your own dark matter source...surprise

buzzboy Dork
12/10/20 9:10 p.m.

In reply to golfduke :

It's my family's new garage and storage unit. The big one on the left belongs to the family, the other three are rental units. Upstairs is more storage space, behind the three rental units is a small office. Garage Journal Thread if you wish

In reply to RevolverRob :

I've briefly thought about BioD. There's a guy around town who once had a fleet of diesel MBs that he ran on BioD. He does heavy equipment work and was running all his equipment on fryer grease. Sadly his neighbors went to the county and got him shut down.

3/16/21 10:57 p.m.

Congrats on getting the 126 front brake upgrade I recommended back at the STD forum.

Did you upgrade to rear wagon calipers as well?


Be aware if you swap another OM617A from other than a W116 host, you will need to swap in the aluminium upper oil pan from a W116 OM617A engine.

I have two of the 1980 W116 upper oil pans, should the need arise.

03Panther SuperDork
3/16/21 11:38 p.m.

In reply to buzzboy :

Hey. I remember your post on decisions of storage, but did not catch the outcome. Glad to hear y'all got it going. I read the info from your link, but my work computer did not show any pictures. Sounds like y'all went with the for real Quonset building, not the corrugated A frame building most folks refer to as Quonset Huts!

I had not looked up where you were in NC before... I've been hanging out on the outer banks off and on since I was a toddler. Last time was about 16 years ago, after not being there for several years. Haven't been back since its been taken over. Way to many people, and the 'tude that comes with come-lately's.

I remember when Winks groceries was about the only local shopping... now I just saw there is a martini bar there!

I hope Hatteras is still backwards enough to be pleasant.

I also had not picked up on that the 116 had blown an engine. I have a friends 78 300SD that is trying to return to its elements and tin worm. Straight body, good glass and trim, good interor (blue leather). we never did apply for the title, but a bill of sale works fine for that age in AL. I know he'd take $1200 for the whole car, and would prolly part it out.

Anyway, I hope your winter job went well. What kinda work do you do for the summer months?

buzzboy Dork
5/5/21 5:09 p.m.

I feel bad that I have missed two replies! Shows how much thought I put into this car while in the winter home.

In reply to Alec300SD :

I didn't realize that was your recommendation from STD. Worked out great. I only did the fronts for now. I had forgotten about the wagon upgrade until reading this post today. I'm still very up in the air on engine choices. I have no idea what I want from this car so for now I am only doing work that doesn't affect any future choices. Thanks for the heads up though, I never would have known.

In reply to 03Panther:

Imgur and Garage Journal have decided they don't want to play together. I need to go back through and fix all the pictures. Ugg. She is a real quonset. We've had a 30x40 for 28 years now that came from SteelMaster. This 60x36 is also from them. It's coming along but there have been some slowdowns sadly. Waiting on flooring in the office, then the electrician will come back then we're in the home stretch. At least I can keep 2 of my 3 non-waterproof cars inside.

Things will have changed a bit on the OBX since your last visit. Nags head is starting to feel more and more like Myrtle Beach sadly. I try not to go up there too often. Down here on the island things are still much quieter, although last year was INSANE and we're worried this year will be too.

This one had the blue MBTex interior. It was a good looking albeit tired interior. Getting down to AL is a bit of a drive for me but if he's willing to part it there are two w116 things I'm looking for: front corner lights and the grill/shell.  Well, I'd also consider a clutch pedal, but finding a manual w116 in the US is near impossible.

I spend the summer repairing surfboards, helping build them and working in a surf shop.

buzzboy Dork
5/5/21 5:20 p.m.

I'm home with the car again! Still no power in the quonset but that can't stop me from wrenching. I began today removing and labeling all the hoses and wires attaching the engine to the car. I am feeling WAY over my head but I'm going to keep trucking, hopefully at least 30 minutes per day for the next 7 months. 

buzzboy Dork
5/6/21 6:48 p.m.

In 2013 I remember having trouble getting the positive lead off of the starter(and eventually giving up). Then I was coming up from the bottom. Now I'm dismantling the car from the top down and I finally got to the cable. Had to remove the starter to get it off due to the proximity of the heat shield. How did this not ground out? This is factory.


tester (Forum Supporter)
tester (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/6/21 8:01 p.m.

Hey, I'm the guy by the Tunachuckers "Standard Oil" LTD.  

I hate to hear that the NC beaches are getting built up.  I am old enough to remember Myrtle being a nice place when I was a kid. Later on, we stayed at Topsail and a few other lower NC islands. It was like going back in time. I am not a surfer, just a failed beach bum. 

buzzboy Dork
5/7/21 8:06 p.m.

In reply to tester (Forum Supporter) :

Some of the Carolina beaches are still small and non commercialized. For example, the only chain restaurant on my whole island(50 Miles long) is a subway. Even just outside of Myrtle Beach is still pretty old fashioned like Sunset Beach(the next island north). 

You're connected to the LTD right? The story is something like it was your grandmother's? I could also be mixing up stories from 8 years ago. 

buzzboy Dork
5/7/21 8:11 p.m.

I'm ready for an engine hoist! I removed the last of the hoses, disconnected the driveshaft, the trans linkages, radiator and power steering. The brown "water" coming out of the radiator was really scary. The trans mount and engine mounts are in the car but no longer bolted in. Now I need to buy/borrow a hoist. I've got a chain-fall but no gantry.


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