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mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
5/17/17 3:19 p.m.

If I have to pick something up (by myself) it's usually easier to do it on my back. In this case I was holding the driveshaft and exhaust up in place, wedging my knee/foot against them, and then inserting bolts. Holding things in place with my legs works great, but reaching up with a bolt and being five inches shy gets tiring. I'm using a socket on the end of a long extension and other tricks to make my arms longer, but my shoulders and abs are sore sitting in the car rider line. "My lift is at the wrong height for fixing my Mercedes" is about the most first world problem I can think of. Just ignore me.

going_west
going_west New Reader
5/17/17 3:43 p.m.

For every problem there is a solution...

Creeper too low, jack it up on big tires.

chuckha62
chuckha62 New Reader
5/17/17 3:45 p.m.

How long before you head North? How many miles do you want to try to put on it before you trust it for a longer trip? It would seem to me that a related failure would occur early, like in the first 100 miles or so.

Spinout007
Spinout007 GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/17/17 3:49 p.m.

I'm not cursing him with stories of my failures after "fixing" the car. Let's just say I was driving it for a few weeks when it decided to drop the valve out of the new head.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
5/17/17 4:06 p.m.

Whether it lives or dies, the plan is to not get stranded. Assuming it pulls out of the Grosh under it's own power, the plan is to stay very very local for 100 miles or so. Change the oil and have it tested. Work my way up from there. Stay within AAA range until I get a 100 mile and a 1000 mile clean oil report. Everyone has a plan and all that. We'll see. I would LOVE to get confidence in it by Christmas. That would be considered a complete success. Let's just see if it eats itself sitting still first.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/17/17 5:33 p.m.

In addition to a nifty little rolling mechanic's stool that my wife bought me for Christmas one year, I also picked up a nice sturdy used stainless rolling medical cart. I use it either alone or with some type of shim to act as an extra set of hands when I'm working under the lifted car.

 photo IMG_6754_zps0j2i1ebk.jpg

or...

<img src=" photo Miata PPF 004_zpsm5v963tr.jpg" />

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/17/17 5:46 p.m.

Get yourself one of the pneumatic adjustable rolling stools like this:

You may also want one of those souvenir baseball helmets that they sell at the ballparks. They won't do much if something falls on you, but they're nice and light and they keep the sharp pokey parts out of your scalp.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
5/17/17 5:48 p.m.

It's a nice feeling when all those bags of tagged bolts start to dwindle down, isn't it?

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
5/17/17 5:50 p.m.

In reply to Woody:

Ah... a "bump cap". In reality, a simple baseball cap does a pretty decent job of softening the blow when when bump your head into something. You'll still know you hit something, but at least it's less likely to draw blood. Also helps keep grease/oil out of your hair.

Cadman5
Cadman5
5/17/17 5:55 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce:

I have a MaxJax and also find the two heights aren't quite right a lot of the time. I've seen a lot of people post that they added one or two additional sets of holes. DanMar (the MaxJax mfr) even unofficially approves, stating that it won't affect the structural integrity. I will likely get scorched for suggesting modifying a lift, but if you have seen where the holes are for the stop bars, you would agree. Love your work Mazduece!

mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
5/17/17 6:19 p.m.
Ian F wrote: It's a nice feeling when all those bags of tagged bolts start to dwindle down, isn't it?

And boy howdy am I glad I used them. I sort of lost track of all the things that came off the car. I didn't even remember that there were that many conventional headed bolts after all the torx nonsense on the motor.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
5/17/17 6:21 p.m.

In reply to Cadman5:

The thought has crossed my mind. It's good to know that I can safely add holes and I don't have to try and hide it from you guys.

I do need to adopt the majority of the good advice Woody just provided too.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
5/17/17 6:21 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce:

Oh yeah... after three-plus years, I'm a bit scared about putting the TDI back together. I wasn't really planning it to take this long, so I didn't really tag anything.

759NRNG
759NRNG Reader
5/17/17 6:39 p.m.

In reply to Woody: since when is chief Wahoo an acceptable brain bucket protector? Sorry MazD for the hijack and woody methinks yur a cubbie fan....so sad. sorry Mazd.

759NRNG
759NRNG Reader
5/17/17 6:45 p.m.

Like I reiterated before, standing up beats half sitting down when navigating the underside ANY vehicle. MazD you owe it to SHWMBO and the chillrenz that daddy can and will be able to crawl/stand up from underneath the next UNICORN!!!....sans poop face like before..

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/17/17 8:38 p.m.
759NRNG wrote: In reply to Woody: since when is chief Wahoo an acceptable brain bucket protector? Sorry MazD for the hijack and woody methinks yur a cubbie fan....so sad. sorry Mazd.

I am not a Cubbie fan, I just think that Chief Wahoo is cool. And you need to stock up on Chief Wahoo stuff before you can't get it anymore.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/17/17 8:39 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: In reply to Cadman5: The thought has crossed my mind. It's good to know that I can safely add holes and I don't have to try and hide it from you guys. I do need to adopt the majority of the good advice Woody just provided too.

I have considered adding holes, but that's really thick steel and it's a lot easier to just order one of those adjustable rolling stools. Get a good one.

Spinout007
Spinout007 GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/17/17 9:25 p.m.

How about one of these?

Paintball bounce cap

Jaynen
Jaynen Dork
5/18/17 8:14 a.m.
mazdeuce wrote:
Jaynen wrote: Do you feel that way about this beast now that its going back together? Are you lifelong committed or more likely to cut and run once fixed?
It's hard to say that I'll still own it in 20 years, but I do plan to keep it around a while. Each of the kids has asked if it will be fixed in time to drive up north this summer. They were bummed when I said we were taking the truck. The R is a great car, and when it works it's perfect for my family. As I put it back together I worry less and less about future repairs. Not that I want to pull the motor again, because I don't, but I've taken the bulk of the mechanical bits apart now, I know how to get to things. Nothing is impossible, it just takes time, and the lift helps with that a LOT.

That's kind of how I feel. If it would not fall apart on me I would be happy to drive it for a couple hundred thousand miles. Super comfortable, electric style torque, good gas mileage, good looking, surprisingly nimble for a full size luxury sedan on a back road. If it can just stay as trouble free as the first year I owned it. And I felt like I got a steal on it when I got a 2011 with only 27k miles on it for 26k. We did get a good year and 30k miles out of it before any of this stuff reared its head.

759NRNG
759NRNG Reader
5/18/17 9:17 a.m.

In reply to Woody: being born in East Cleveland, trust me the extreme wahoo t and matching cap are in the wardrobe oh and check this out when you have no time...shelflifeclothing.com

pkingham
pkingham GRM+ Memberand New Reader
5/18/17 10:03 a.m.

I added two sets of holes to my MaxJax, one half way between the existing holes and one under the lower holes (for taking off Expedition wheels when I don't want to lift the damn things - they're heavy). Partly to reduce the impact on strength and partly because I already had the bit, the new holes are a little smaller than the original ones. I've put the 6000 lb Expedition up to the second hole (can't go higher because of the ceiling) a couple of times with no problems.

PT_SHO
PT_SHO New Reader
5/18/17 12:34 p.m.
Galane wrote: 3D printers are fun. Mine has paid for itself a few times already. I made some knobs for a car that was shown at Hershey, PA Councours d'Elegance. After finishing and painting, nobody would know they're urethane resin filled PLA. :) I baked them at 150F to finish cure the urethane so there's no danger of the PLA going gooey, not in a car that will never be allowed to fry in the sun with its windows all up. Latest car part is a test of a pair of gears for the vent windows for 1948-1954 Hudsons. I've been making them in cast Zamak but I think this plastic with 100% infill may be stronger.

It would be interesting to hear how that works, the problem is that window gears are left with a load on them and soft 3D printer materials may flow over time. Wish I had this tech 20 years ago. When I priced window regulators for a 47 Ford convertible, every word made it more expensive. "For a 47? 200 each. Oh, 2 door? 300 each. Oh, the convertible?? Different windows! That would be 450 each if we even could get them." I seriously considered commissioning a machinist to grind a custom broach to make the teeth on a new piece of metal. But that's why old cars often have power windows added to them.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
5/18/17 2:22 p.m.

Short day, but another milestone or two.
Exhaust tightened, wheels on (have we talked about how much I hate lug bolts?) And it's back on the ground for the first time in a while. Sort of. The front air bags are flat and that makes the car low enough that it can't get off the lift. The right front is on some wood to hold it up so I can get the lift arms out, remove the MaxJax on the passenger side, and open the doors all the way. I needed to do that so I could find the battery tucked away down here. Nice spot Mercedes, very convenient. And you CAN pull the battery with the seat in if you're lucky enough to have put he seat all the way forward, which I did. Thank God. Once I can move the seat to pull the front bolts I'll remove the seat to get this mess back together. I checked at the parts store and they actually have one of these in stock, which is weird. Two school programs tonight and elementary field day tomorrow. Not sure when I'll make it to the parts store, but it's there waiting for me.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
5/18/17 2:52 p.m.

An original Mercedes battery will last a lot longer but the cost will jeopardize the college education of at least one of your children.

ElGuapo
ElGuapo New Reader
5/18/17 3:34 p.m.

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