Mercedes Service Modification

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WGB

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I am a member of the M-100 site and have listed a thread about this and will if necessary e-mail the Classic Centre.

So far nobody else has heard about this modification for 116's - only earlier models. Nobody else has ever heard of any 116 chassis breakages either unlike earlier models.

One concern of mine, Styria, as well as Art Love's is what diameter bolts are used to bolt the plate to the box. Presumably they are slimmer than normal as the existing holes are already sleeved and this plate puts a sleeve within a sleeve.

Bill
 

CraigS

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I wonder if Craig in Turkey is a member?

Yes, he is ! I will see if Tom Hanson knows anything about it, and if he can find a service bulletin on it - that is the only way to know for sure if it was a factory authorised part.
 
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Styria

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Hi guys, subject to double checking later on today as far as the sleeving is concerned and I will, or should be able to, address the matter that concerns Arthur Love as far as the bolts and sleeves are concerned.

I know that the bracket as photographed and shown on "topklasse" is a genuine Mercedes part because:

1) When I removed the bracket from the 6.9, it still had the original Mercedes sticker with the part number thereon.

2) The bracket and sleeves are too well finished to be a 'backyard job'.

In fact, it was only after discovering the parts sticker and the quality of the bracket that I decided to contact the Spare Parts Manager of Marshalls to ascertain if he was familiar with the part, and I actually had hopes that there may have been some units floating about in Germany still that may have been available.

To the best of my knowledge at the moment, the bracket does NOT interfere with the existing sleeves that are already part of the chassis rail. The sleeves as shown are ADDITIONAL and the chassis rail is drilled to accept those. Hence, once fitted, you have six sleeves supporting the steering box, bracket and chassis rail. However, as I said, I will double check later on today. Regards Styria
 
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Styria

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Hi Bill, Art's concerns can now be put to rest. Double and Triple checking today confirms that the standard three sleeves are not interferred with in any way by the fitment of the bracket. The three spacing sleeves that are part of the bracket are an addition and one would then have six sleeves preventing the cross member from being crushed or distorted by overtightening of any of the bolts. Regards Styria
 

CraigS

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Response from the Classic Center regarding this part. Seems to confirm the existance of same.

"Hi Craig,
That was a nice trip down memory lane. I wish I had $100.00 for every W116 "frame modification" kit I sold. I could pay for a nice vacation in Australia. I checked availability and the parts are discontinued. You will need to fabricate something. At least you have photos to go by. A picture paints a thousand words!!
Best regards,
tom"
 
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Styria

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Thanks Craig - I always knew it was not a pipe dream, and apart from the 6.9 removal, Oscar's 350 is in fact fitted with that very same bracket - and judging by his pics, he has the genuine item as well. Regards Styria
 

oscar

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My dad recently handed me every receipt since he bought the car from Peel Valley Machinery in Tamworth an MB dealer in 1990. Not one receipt mentions the plate so it must have been added prior to that. Would be interesting to know when.
 

WGB

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I received a PM about the plate and was told that it was not required if the steering box remained properly torqued but that some boxes came loose and caused damage to the frame mounting.

The kit was to add strength to that point of the frame if damage had already occurred.

There are apparently two lengths of mounting bolt available - one for cars with kit and one without.

The message I received is to torque up your steering box mounts and if there is damage already from a loose box use the kit.

Apparently the frame is strong enough to not need modification so long as the box is adequately mounted.

Bill
 

Des

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Interesting point there Bill, if a car has been correctly maintained to MB's service intervals and checklists these bolts should be checked at point of service. I know my mechanic does it, and at various times notes that chassis and or steering bolts have been tightened on the printed report
 
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Styria

Styria

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Hi everyone, I had inadvertently removed the pic of this strengthening plate from my Photobucket album. I have had a request to relist them, so here goes:

gearboxmodelnumbers184.jpg

gearboxmodelnumbers183.jpg

These are the templates I am referring to. They may not have been shown previously.

gearboxmodelnumbers185.jpg

Regards Styria
 

SELfor50

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Hi everyone, I had inadvertently removed the pic of this strengthening plate from my Photobucket album. I have had a request to relist them, so here goes:

gearboxmodelnumbers184.jpg

gearboxmodelnumbers183.jpg

These are the templates I am referring to. They may not have been shown previously.

gearboxmodelnumbers185.jpg

Regards Styria

Hey Styria,

I need to discuss acquiring one of these in the coming month. I had put silver in to get the steering box looked at and reco'd but ended up replacing everything on the front end BUT the steering box. So in a month or so when the steering box get's replaced i'd like to add one of these too! :cool:

Cam2. :)
 
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John S

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Believe it or not, among other 116 spare parts for sale at the car boot sale on Sunday, there was one of these steering reinforcing plates also available!!
 
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Styria

Styria

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Hi JohnS, just goes to show what you can miss out on if you don't attend various functions. Do you know if anyone bought it, or do you have details of the seller ?

Despite what has been said, I really believe that this modification is highly desirable and I am certainly going to install a unit on Gleaming Beauty as soon as I get an opportunity.

Incidentally, I have previously quoted $280.00 for these parts, but it looks as though I may not be able to honour that price. That quote was given to me quite a while ago and the Engineering Shop is not keen on doing it at the originally quoted price. Regards Styria
 
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John S

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Styria, unfortunately I cannot remember who it was, but I shall check if someone managed to take a photo with the seller and let you know. There was also some burr wallnut 116 6.9 timber pieces in good condition on sale, tail lights, ball joints etc, but more parts were available for 126's than 116's.
 
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oscar

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Styria,

I found something interesting today which made me wonder if this stiffening modification, ie that plate, also involved a strengthening rod on the opposite side. As you know my 350 had the plate installed sometime before my ownership. It also sports a strengthening rod from cross yoke cam bolt to the intermediate arm's journal housing.

Looking closely at the two pics below, the top one is from a 280, the bottom from the 350. The extra piece in question is identified by the red arrow. Anyone seen these before.


 
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Styria

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Hi Ossie, again this makes interesting reading. Sort of going back through the whole thread, I would question the notion that this part was only fitted "once the chassis member was damaged'. I base this on the evidence of your stabilizing rod that you have just spotted on your 350- it is a professionally manufactured part that's been fitted to an area where one would not expect any "real stress" situations to become evident. Perhaps back then, the MB Technical Department may have felt that a V8 chassis such as your 350 "could be well served by the fitment of this chassis plate" - and don't forget, by 1975 or thereabouts 6.3s had already been on the market for a number years being used ' enthusiastically' and cracking of the inner guard chassis member may already have become evident. I remember my 300 Finnie that I used to own - it had steering box mounting problems as well, so MB would have known a thing or two about possible weaknesses in that area. Who knows !

If one casts their mind back to when the 6.9s were new, an owner could specify "heavy duty" struts, presumably to cope with varying road conditions or different owners' driving habits. I really can't see why the steering box stiffening bracket could not have been an option for those sorts of situations or circumstances. I still maintain that it has got to be a sound modification, especially given the fact that our cars are now getting on in years, and even metal fatigue could become an influencing factor in road and steering behaviour.

Seeing that we have our barbecue this coming Sunday, I might bring the bracket along for expert examination. Regards Styria
 
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Oversize

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This thread still begs the question: are the bolts that go with the plate a smaller diameter than the original ones without the plate? If they are, perhaps they're a higher grade steel?? I'll have to check my cars for the existence of these plates. I wonder if the modification could've avoided the chassis failure that occurred to one of our members recently? :rolleyes:

Thinking outside the square, if the modified bolts are a smaller diameter, how would they engage with the threads in the box? Unless the existence of the plates indicates that the box has been changed to a different type.....
 

SEL_69L

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Styria showed me the item pictured some time ago.

I have since seen similar stiffening plates on RHD conversion American cars.
make me wonder......why were these not fitted in the first place on the production line?
 
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Styria

Styria

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SEL69L, you say that you have seen pics of this installation in American cars - do you have further details on that, or where I could find those pics ?

Mark, there are three bolts that are the same size as the original ones that secure the steering box to the chassis member. The additional three bolts are drilled through the chassis member and are then secured on the inside (next to the steering box) by three lock nuts. Thus, once this plate is fitted, there are then six internal sleeves that hold the two assemblies without the likelihood of the chassis member being squashed or distorted. I mean, it's got to be an improvement and provide additional strengths.

Just a word on gusseting, plates, additional tubing, quality of steel etc. Many years ago, I went to the vintage bike races at Amaroo Park and met up with the importer of Montesa Motorcycles at the time. In those days, I had a Montesa 1974VR fitted with a non-standard 360 engine. Anyway, in the races that the two Montys competed, one was always in front, or close by, whereas the other kept onlanguishing mid field. Remember, two identical bikes, both 250cc, why the difference in speed etc. So I asked the guy, and he explained that one bike was running a normal steel frame, whereas the other had a chrome molybdenum steel frame, adding greater strength and stiffness, thereby the bike handled so much better ! I thought that was interesting. Nowadays, quite often you find stiffening struts under the bonnets of high performance sports cars, and those struts run from one side of the car across to the other side. In addition, many times, when a new car, or chassis are evaluated in tests or advertising blurbs, reference is made to increased stiffness of the body providing better handling. Thus I consider that this plate would certainly provide rigidity in an area that is under considerable stress at all times, considering the weight of engine and weight of the body. Just my opinion. Regards Styria
 

Oversize

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Now it makes sense, thanks Styria! I might be looking for one of these, so keep me in mind. I'll check if I have any first and see if I have a damn big drill bit!!! :D
 
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