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Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UberDork
9/10/17 2:45 p.m.
BrokenYugo said:

Could you lock the timing (wire/zip tie the advance mechanism at full retard) and use the points as an ignition trigger? They should last approximately forever at the greatly reduced current and computer controlled spark is nice (and you get way hotter spark than a points setup can deliver).

Yugo, YOU are a GENIUS~! surprise

There HAS to be a way, and I know JUST the guy to ask.

Also, on that note:  I'll be honest.  I will miss this carburetor.  Even the points ignition.  When you really work at this stuff and you get it right it really is a good feeling. But not having the constant threat of the car and its passengers dieing at the same time in traffic would also be a good feeling.  

I think the results of what I find when all my tools get here will be the final deciding factor.  Who knows, I might be runnin no static ignition advance, or maybe I'm running 20-degrees (that's where my Impala was set when I got it).  Maybe the valve lash is set way to tight.  Or maybe just having my vacuum gauge will help...  

We'll see. wink

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UberDork
9/14/17 1:32 p.m.

Well i got the carb to a driveable medium.  I have the choke adjusted to where it catchest the lowest idle point on the fast idle cam.  That seems to be the sweet spot for restarts but the car still coughs ovcasionally in traffic or after long stop lights.


To get around that I've bumped the idle speed up from there.  My ear tach tells me I'm sitting near 1200-1300rpms in neutral with ac on.  I dont like to leave it in drive like that at long stops but when I do I'm near 1000rpms ish.  It aint how it's supposed to be, but it works.


Right now I'm in the worlds slowest cab.  I'm off to fetch the family.  See you guys in October!

BrokenYugo MegaDork
9/15/17 7:51 p.m.

Coughing in traffic, insulate the fuel line(s) in the engine bay. 

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UberDork
10/5/17 12:20 p.m.

^ I'm putting that in the "forehead slap" bid.  Will do, thanks :)

I've been back in town for about a week or so now but things have been too frantic to post.  There's been a little work to the car, a lot of school registration, the usual paperwork and running around needed for the dependent residency permits, and a few other things.  But man is it good to be back with the family.  I'll catch you guys up as soon as the dust settles ;)

Good times

BrokenYugo MegaDork
10/6/17 8:56 p.m.

The one I did we just used stuff from Home Depot racing, stick on foam pipe insulation tape covered with foil tape. Went from barely driveable on a hot (by Michigan standards) day to rock solid. Another thing you can do is add a return line (a controlled leak back to the tank) if it doesn't have one already, I think there's some smog car fuel filter that makes this easy but don't quote me on that. 

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UberDork
11/8/17 10:46 p.m.

It does have a return line and I've used that to my advantage on hot days at long lights.  I've noticed if I bump up the RPM's a bit in neutral I can rid myself of the stalling on acceleration.  I was waiting on the arrival of my household goods to do the fuel line work as I have some spare rubber hose to replace the old, cracked stuff currently under the hood.  I dont know what I was thinking because looking at my mess of a house now I can see I was obviously delusional as to when I would have access to that fuel line AFTER my stuff arrived.  Right now I cant see the floor, and only yesterday was I able to see the counter tops for the first time laugh


So yeah, once I get that replaced I'll be on my way to ace hardware (no home depot out here) to score some insulation tape and aluminum tape.  Which will be nice because dang was I having a hard time trying to swallow the cost of the fuel line insulation on jegs!

Good times

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UberDork
11/8/17 11:50 p.m.

< Catchup post >

Going back a bit, I left the country around mid-september to fly in to San Antonio to get the family.

Before I left, my rubber exhaust mounts broke:

I saw this car on the way to work:

I wasn't so worried that this can of Medames was "foul" but the fact that they were "extra grade foul" was too much for me:

The Quarter Pounder with cheese may be a "Royale with Cheese" in France, but here it's still a "Quarter Pounder"

Once in Texas we sold our beloved Saab 9-3 Aero to fellow forum member (and all around good guy) to M4ff3w

We also got to visit "Mela" and in true Alfa fashion she wouldnt stay running for more than two seconds.  We troubleshot this down to an alternator fan that ate some wiring but did not repair

Back in Kuwait we began doing family things with the kids, like exploring parks :)  This one is known as Pirate Park because of the pirate ship in the background.  Pictured is the Dread Pirate Alex.  There's also a LandRover Defender toy in this park (not pictured)

Saw these cars when I took a wrong turn:

This "Deer" is "Delux"

Candy bar shakes, some with protein...?

Pizza crust in explosive containers...



My favorite car mod  these days:


First day of Pre-School!  (we had to put the oldest in a pre-school to begin with because the big-kid schools wouldnt register a new student until he was in the country)

And then the e-brake cable slipped apart at that cable clamp I pictured all those days back.  I drove around with a brick for about 3 weeks until I could get under to fix it (I also couldnt put the car in park because of the aforementioned shifter bushing being missing.  the parking pin wouldnt reliably engage)

This guy is trying...

I should probably replace these:

They keep calling the robot that.  I do not think it means what they think it means.

During big-kid school registration a car "meowed" at us.  I reached under and pulled out our new kitten.  We had to bottle feed her for the first week (even though she had teeth), she started eating from there (the eldest named her "Meowthra", it fits)

The brake pedal was feeling really inconsistent so I thought I had air in the lines.  The eldest helped me with a brake bleed (refilled with DOT4):

There was sand in the reservoir


Moewthra didnt need her feeding syringes anymore, so I borrowed one to clean it out:


I figured out how the sand got in:


re-clamping the e-brake


New shifter bushing in! (now I don't have to overtravel the gear selection to get the car to shift where I want it to)


The kid did some work on his car:

Then Zsolt joined in the festivities

The kid gets all the girls...

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The car needed its annual inspection.  It failed for rear window tint being too dark (I call BS) and a tail light being out (loose connection).  I removed the tint and fixed the light in the parking lot.  It passed 10-minutes later:



new pink slip!

I saw this at work:

If the "Jeep guy" was trying, then this guy is REALLY trying...

Static wicks for your car???  How fast is your car, and how much EMI could you possibly be experiencing as a result???

While getting my rear window re-tinted (30% this time), this guy was having his tint removed.  From his FRONT windshield!  surprise

The brakes were still inconsistant and starting to make bad noises so we went in for an inspection (remember a while back I said there was a caliper that had "stuck piston" written all over it? wellllll.......)





For this I ordered a new caliper, two caliper rebuild kits, a new set of Bosch Blue rear brake pads, and new rotors.  To curb the current issue I installed my spare set of pads to hold it over until the parts get here.

Ever wonder what danger mouse looks like in arabic?


I'll be honest, I bought this only for the "rubber solution".  How could I possibly pass up a thumbs up like that?




Dale drives a ferrari?


The kid has really taken to the cat (and the cat has really taken to the kid)


Picking up the eldest from his first day at big kid school

Saw this when I took a wrong turn through the school's neighborhood

meanwhile in my neighborhood:


Well, this would definitely make my next breakdown much more enjoyable!  (did not buy, sorry)


the park outside our favorite souk:

The food inside the souk:

Chocolate milk and hot chocolate.  The kids get so much attention here they're starting to think they're celebrities


The security guard was kind of suspicious after this photo. 

The kid's first Kuwaiti haircut:


Sorry for the blurry shot.  This is Mrs.Hungary's new car.  It's a 2006 E350 wagon, and probably the only station wagon I've seen in the country in the 6 or so months I've been here (so of course she sees one the first time we go out looking). 


Our goods after our container was physically inspected twice...  (Long story, that one.  In the end we're just happy to be done with it)

Oh yeah, potty training.  The youngest has taken it upon himself to be a car enthusiast.  He will not go without his "auto"


More family stuff.  This is before our container made it from its inspection point at the port and to our house.  Mrs. Hungary is helping the eldest Hungarling with his math while the youngest....  Well...  He's the youngest.

New cat getting cozy with the old cat (we have three cats and three dogs now)

Wu-Tang Crown Vic (see license plate)

Our movers did an excellent job of packing our stuff in a way that would ensure nothing would be damaged.  The inspectors?  Not so much...

Our beloved cheese grater suffered the most damage.  All in all it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be.  Aside from a few dings 99% of our stuff made it through ok

That dent wasn't there when we left, but it popped right back out :)  The youngest Hungarling wouldnt leave that car for a week straight.  He even took his afternoon meals/snacks in it

Trunk or Treat.  The eldest is a Ninja but he forgot his mask.  He swears ninjas wear rain boots.  The youngest is a lumberjack (and he's ok)

Our house, post delivery.  New cheese grater pictured (bottom)  Our movers put all our hardware in one box so it was over a week before we could put together any sort of shelving, tables, beds, ets :P  Most of that still isn't put together yet :)

Moving sucks, but the boxes are fun

I sent Mrs. Hungary off to a local resort to relax for a weekend after spending all summer taking care of the boys, driving across the country, and moving across the ocean.  This was our friday night.  Lasagna, toys, and a movie


And that brings us up to present day!

Along the way I bought a few parts (CV boot repair kits, the brake stuff already mentioned, front swaybar bushings, and so on) but it'll probably be a bit before I can get to installing them.  Mrs. Hungary's car needs new dampers, an alignment, an oil change, and possibly new tires.  Her power steering pump is also making intermittent noises so we'll see there as well...  I also took a promotion from the lowest mechanic position in the office, to my very own desk as a Field Services Engineer (shameless bragging there).  I can now say I'm an Electrical Engineer :)

So yeah,

< / Catchup post >

and I'll do my best to keep updated from here.

Cheers guys, and sorry it took me so long.

java230 SuperDork
11/9/17 10:32 a.m.

Glad to see everyone is settling in! Your the crazy white animal people now cheeky

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UberDork
11/12/17 3:21 a.m.

Man, and it's only getting worse!  I saw a puppy on the way to get my haircut the other day and it took a rather stern warning from Mrs. Hungary to keep me from bringing it home cheeky

No real updates to the car to report.  I've been commuting to work with Zsolt, and the car seats have been moved to the wagon so my car hasn't been getting a lot of action lately.  I noticed the tires were looking a little low, and now that I have my little compressor (originally bought to air tires back up on my old 4-Runner after mountain runs) I decided to check it out.







All four were pretty low.  Mrs. Hungary's car was sitting around 20psi (cold) as well.  I blame the temperature drop.

Inside the house, the kids are still enjoying the unpacking



Good times wink


Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UberDork
11/12/17 3:23 a.m.

Goodbye Halloween, hello Christmas?


AngryCorvair UltimaDork
11/12/17 3:55 a.m.

Thanks for the update!  This is one of my favorite threads because it's about so much more than just the old Merc.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UberDork
11/14/17 10:40 a.m.

Thanks man! 

When I started this thread I felt so bad because it got such a warm reception, but then I couldn't work on the car yet so I had nothing to post about.  I really felt like I was letting you guys down by filling the lulls with friday market pictures and whatnot.  I'm glad you guys like it.  smiley


For car related sruff:  I'm hoping to work on that sticking rear caliper this weekend.  The eldest has his first parent/teacher conference on Thursday so I'm hoping to sneak out to the car after that.  We'll see how it goes.


Good times



Mezzanine Dork
11/14/17 10:57 a.m.

Like I said Bill, it's the story that makes it. While we love the car, the thing that sets your thread apart is the insight into life in a very foreign country.


Thanks for continuing to share these small details - I enjoy a glimpse of life in Kuwait, and what old car ownership is like there.


jfryjfry HalfDork
11/14/17 11:17 a.m.
Mezzanine said:

Like I said Bill, it's the story that makes it. While we love the car, the thing that sets your thread apart is the insight into life in a very foreign country.


Thanks for continuing to share these small details - I enjoy a glimpse of life in Kuwait, and what old car ownership is like there.


tbis.  So cool to read about life.  Even the cheese grater. 

Woody MegaDork
11/14/17 1:24 p.m.

Is that an umbrella in the corner or an American flag?

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UberDork
11/19/17 11:13 p.m.

Woody:  That is an American flag.  It'll probably be used about as much as an umbrella though laugh  It was supposed to stay with the house back in Tacoma, but I guess it got packed.  It was good for a laugh :P

Well, I'm definitely glad you guys dont mind the filler today because I did NOT do those brakes as planned.  Really it was just because of a lack of motivation, but I'm going to blame it on furniture construction and messy tool boxes wink

BUT on the bright side, I'm getting tools unpacked and the house put together :P

Well, worst case scenario I'll have some car stuff to report after the December 8th weekend.  There's a drift event coming up, and while it's not really my thing, how could I pass up our first car event in Kuwait (no, I don't think the Merc will be competing.  sorry.  I know... I know....  Maybe next year)

Good times.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UberDork
12/2/17 11:31 p.m.

I have a complaint:

I cant see the sunrise here (too much dust in the air): 

That's where I meet Zsolt when we commute.

So, I started my day of wrenching with an ambitious goal.  I'm going to fix those brakes in the back (the driver's rear has a piston that's sticking), and I'm going to put my 'ol Craftsman car 'puter under the hood and take some measurements.  In that box of goodies (below) are new rear pads, new rear discs, new rear driver's caliper, 2ea caliper rebuild kits, new rear brake lines, aaaaand some other bits and bobs.

I got my helper (also below) who looked super excited to be out there and we set to work!



I started with the passenger side.  The driver's disc is pretty chewed up from that sticking piston, so it only makes sense to start on the opposite end.  New disc, new pads, no prob.

(ooh, and look!  Internal drum parking brake!  I've never seen that in action before!  I wonder if those are the same pads it left the factory with?) 




Ta da!  (don't worry about that pin.  I got it knocked in there before buttoning everything up)

This is also about the time things stopped being easy, AND this is about the time I lost my helper...

The driver's side caliper I bought doesn't match the caliper that's in the car.  (I still need to look and see which place sent me the part and do some double checking.  Since the suppliers are all stateside I have to order parts for a 1969 Merc 220D.  I've been thinking I've been overdue for a parts mismatch).


The picture sucks, but you can see the brake line for the installed caliper comes in from directly overhead, where as on the new caliper it comes in at an angle from underneath...

That got me thinking, did I get a part for the wrong car, or the wrong side?

I was able to install it on the passenger side with minimal rerouting of the brake hard-line but then the bleeder was pointed 6 o-clock south so that was no good.  (insert a waste of about an hour here since the passenger side was 100% back together before I took it apart again)

I didn't want to keep using the chewed up rotor on the drivers side, so I took the used one from the passenger side and installed it there.  I had a spare set of partially used brake pads from the passenger side, so I put those in too (not wanting to chew up my brand new ones).  BUT this time, when I bought new pads, I got new hardware too, so I put that in.

All in all, the driver's side used to look like this:

And now it looks like this:

I was in a pretty "meh" mood after all that.  I really wanted to be passed the point of playing catchup on my car by now, especially since Mrs. Hungary's car could use some attention (you'll see in a second).  My helper came back out and we bled the brakes.  After that it was off for a quick 'round the block to bed in the new pads.

And that's when I noticed that the brakes were feeling a WHOLE lot more consistent! 

That got me thinking:  The old crappy hardware I was stuck using might have been intermittantly binding the pads to the rotors, causing the inconsistent feel in the brakes.  I'm going to put it on a month's watch (I'm driving to work myself this month) and take a pad measurement.  We'll go from there wink  Between now and then, I have plenty of time to work out what happened with the calipers and decide where to go from there.

So, short on time I had a headlight that's out.  I figured I'd pull the bulb, but there's no under-hood access, so I went in from the glass:



I pulled the bulb and meant to pick up a new one during our running about over the weekend buuuut it kind of slipped through the cracks.  I'm kind of nervous because ever since that tail light/inspection incident, I've been looking for spare bulbs, and I havent found any yet surprise

SO!  Mrs. Hungary's car:

She needs new dampers, that's a given, but Pelican parts list three different options available (some have wires, some look weird) I figured I'd pull off a tire and match part numbers.  What's when I noticed there's locking lug nuts on each wheel.  Damn,  I'll have to look for the key to that....  BUT!  What really caught my eye was this thing I saw wrapped in electrical tape, and hidden in the fuse box...


I worked with Zsolt (I think he might have the entire Mercedes parts database on his laptop) and we tracked it down to the "AC Compressor Control Solenoid". 

"BUT!" I said, "The AC blows cold.  It's been nice and cool this whole time"

Except when we went back outside to check... 

Good times.



Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UberDork
12/3/17 12:37 a.m.

(Going back a little) Thanksgiving, Kuwait:

Our boss turned his apartment into a community event center, bought three turkeys, hired catering, and even had a ham!   We were asked to bring a desert, so the eldest Hungarling and I made pies laugh


(The whole place looked like this, but it wasn't open enough to get a wide enough shot to catch it all)



Complete with screaming kids, newborn babies, politics, refreshing beverages, cigars, and even that one guy who drank way too much punch.  Just like home wink


Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UberDork
12/3/17 1:00 a.m.

Which brings us up to present day life:

We went Christmas tree shopping!

Yeah, we were thinking the same thing you're thinking right now (Don't worry, we're not completely crazy).  But there is this long chain of nurseries right off of one of the major roads near the Friday market so we thought we'd take a drive and explore.



I brought rope with us hoping that we'd be able to enjoy some "tree tied to the family truckster driving down the kuwaiti highway" awesomeness.  But alas, it fit in that dang station wagon...



And there ya go.  We actually found a live Christmas tree in Kuwait!  surprise

ok ok ok ok, so it wasn't quite THAT easy.  We walked the whole chain of nurseries and didn't find squat (of course).  We found one place that had TONS of fruit trees and thought it would be hilarious to decorate a lemon tree for the holiday but the only lemon trees bearing fruit would have required the hiring of a truck to get it home, and we weren't entirely sure we wouldn't kill it in a week...

More walking led to a discussion about a date or a fern palm tree, but same thing as the lemon tree (too big for our car, too expensive, we'd kill it, etc)

More walking led to a discussion about an indoor tree, like a ficus, but we really DO kill every plant we bring in the house.  And it wasn't really striking our fancy.

So we walked back to the car and paused where we were CERTAIN we had gone to far (we hadn't) looked around for the car a bit and that's when we spotted two pine trees in buckets, in nets.  I'm not sure if we bought one of the only two in the country, but if you're in the market I wouldn't waste your time getting out to the 4th ring road!  I'll send you the location for a small price.

Of course, it wasn't until we got it home that we realized we didn't have 220v tree lights to hang ON the tree.  So we went out to that Christmas display I posted a picture of just after Halloween and found some Christmas lights there.

Except that wasn't easy either.  Because of a"potty emergency" brought on by the youngest, it wasn't until we got home AGAIN that we realized we bought window lights that had those hanging strings of lights AND that half the lights we bought were white, while the other half were colored.

Ah well.  Christmas with kids, that's why it's fun... right?

Of course, while all this is going on the day before looked like this:


It's been non stop, sunny and 70-deg out.  We've been at the beach (one block away) almost every other day.  It's awesome!

Good times

Sparkydog New Reader
12/3/17 9:27 a.m.

Thank you so much for sharing your car and family stories with us! I really enjoy your posts.

Woody MegaDork
12/3/17 9:44 a.m.

This is the first time that I've seen the back end of this car. Those are probably my favorite vintage Mercedes tail lights.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill UberDork
12/6/17 1:17 a.m.

Thanks Sparky, seeing you guys get a kick out of this thread really makes this place and car a whole lot more enjoyable (really).

Woody (not Wally), this one's for you buddy:

Also:  I'm letting my imagination run wild with this next one.  What could have possibly happened in this parking lot that would have required the cutting of this mount...?


Good times wink

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth MegaDork
12/6/17 6:09 a.m.

I'm not sure how I missed the huge family arriving update, but I caught it this time and I have to say, it's one of my favorite thread updates of all time. Not just this thread, but any thread.

And tell Mrs. Hungary that her wagon is dope. I may be old but I still know my superlatives. laugh

java230 SuperDork
12/6/17 10:06 a.m.

Glad to see everyone is settling in well Bill! 

Cotton PowerDork
12/6/17 10:46 p.m.

Great thread,  I’ve been following since the beginning and really enjoy it.  Cute kitten!  We have four dogs and six cats,  so have you beat.  laugh

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