The Reassembly of the Pick-Up

This section will detail the reassembly of the Pick-Up after the body works / paint job efforts, i. e. completing the car with all restored parts to a roadworthy street-legal car.

Pick-Up arrived / Axles ...

7 July 2021

After waiting two years for the car from Argentina, I had to wait another - more than - two years ... but the Pick-Up is back! It looks fantastic imho and Timo and Ano have done a superb job. Looking forward to conserving the car this week!

Started with the axles ...
Arrival on a truck ... happy Thomas ;-)
New home ...

Conservation started ...

8 July 2021

I could start the conservation by building a little "shower cabin"; as "usual" with me Fluid film everywhere and - second step - a transparent wax (Teroson). Works for me; I know that the different methods of conservation are like a religion ;-)

So today a very rare photo of me ... at work!

Me at work ;-)

Doors at home started ...

10 July 2021

Based on an idea of Timo's, I brought home one door already. I built a stand (out of the wooden bars for the chassis transport), added some cardboard and foam and together with my wife I could fix the door on the stand. Much easier to work at a table than with the door mounted to the car. So the idea is to complete both doors at home and then there's just four screws left to fix in the workshop!

Just a good idea of Timo's, I think ... so I thought I share it for the readers here ...

Stand for the doors ...
Door fixed ...

Noise damping in progress ...

12 July 2021

I started with the noise damping inside the cabin ... what a workload. The photo shows two full days including lame fingers and hands ;-) ... 80% done now.

Cabin inside ...
... and finished!

First time on wheels ...

14 July 2021

Hard working day for Juergen and me today: We finished the rear axle and put both axles into the car. All looks nice and tidy and it's a great feeling to see it on wheels for the first time.

The great work of Stefan pays off now ... to me it's just perfect!

Steering components will follow tomorrow and - maybe - motor and gearbox ... let's see!

Looks like a car ;-)
Rear axle ...
and the front ...

Motor / Gearbox is in!

15 July 2021

Today another big step: Wedding ("Hochzeit" as we say in German) ... the motor/gearbox is in! With a lot of preparation we managed to get it in without damage. First put the mainfolds (impossible to install when the motor is in), motor holder and starter on the motor. Then we got a 1962 motor crane (still working!) and slowly put it in. It was a permanent lowering / pushing / tilting for a while, but it is in! Not bad progress after 8 days of arrival ;-)

First few metres rolling ever!
Slowly, slowly ...
Preparation ...
Final result of today!

Harness / Aircon started ...

19 July 2021

I started with the harness with the false hope to do it in a day. The aircon unit had to go in first and all the stuff together needed three hours (!). Then I put the front harness in, quite narrow everywhere. One ingnition plug didn't fit through the hole, so I have to open that cable again and resolder it. The wooden board behind the glove compartment is a tad too big, so that has to be changed too ... it doesn't get boring ;-)

Aircon and harness "in" ...
Detail in the motor area ...

More bits and pieces ...

23 July 2021

So, five days of working at Mercedes in a week (!) ... pretty knackered ;-) ... progress got a bit better, but there's no "so much to see", when you do cables nicely or finish other bits and pieces. Harness is in, front and back, the radiator and some cooling hoses as well ... so it slowly works out. Important things like the horns are installed ;-) ... I do hope, that next week we complete the steering and can put in the drive shaft!

The horns (very important!) ;-) ...
The Plus terminal, some detail ...
Cables tidied up a bit ...
Harness in the rear area ...
Radiator in ...

More bits and pieces (II) ...

31 July 2021

Another full 5-day week at Mercedes. Lots and lots of work with little bits and pieces. For example, the interiour light ... takes an hour to fiddle the cable through the A-pillar, get it crimped and put in nicely. Regarding "bigger" pieces ... the tank is in as well as the drive shaft!

Condenser, fan, fuel pump, ABS unit and lots of other little things, e. g. proper ground connection. Steering column is started, but had to be taken out twice now ... and it was my fault ;-) ... but now I should have solved the gear shifting problem, so it can go back in on Monday.

Condenser and electric fan ...

ABS unit ...
Drive shaft ...
Fuel pump package ...
Brand new tank (82 litres) ...

Serious progress today ...

3 August 2021

What a difference having Juergen for a full day! Handbrake is in completely as is the exhaust system. Steering column finally fit (5th try!) and we could - also finally - get the column shift working. Rear diff oil is in as well as the power steering oil ... slowly slowly we're coming towards a first start.

Imho not bad, as today is exactly 4 weeks since the Pick-Up arrived!

Handbrake detail ...
Exhaust system installed ...
"Nearly" ready to start ;-)

V8-Ute is alive!!!

4 August 2021

On 4 August 2014 my friend Carlos from Argentina visited us, I showed him a picture of the W115 ute and asked him, if he knew these cars. That's when this whole thing started.

Today, exactly 7 years later, the V8-Ute came alive. I'm absolutely over the top, especially as the motor problems of 2018 (not running on one cylindre, right manifold spluttering) are solved now. Huge step!

V8-Ute First Start-Up

V8-Ute Sound

Centre Console Test - Cables...

4 August 2021

Today I did a lot of bits and pieces, but concentrated on the wiring inside. Finally put all the cables in place and tightened them with cable binders. To make sure everything fits, I put in the centre console and the - old - dashboard ... looks like a car inside ;-) ... especially - imho - you can see how the orange stitching will superbly match the car.

Wiring done properly ...
Centre console and - old - dashboard ...

One sleepless night ...

12 August 2021

Last night I didn't get a lot of sleep ... what happened? After the motor ran that well, the last "Unknown" was the aircon, which was never tested before (the modern restomod system adapted to Mercedes and its compressor). So we tested the vacuum (fine) and started filling. Compressor didn't switch on, so we bridged it. Compressor very loud and rattling, no cold air, nothing. Could have been the "modern aircon", which would have meant, that the whole sh... inside had to be dismantled or - worst case - "my" whole special concept wouldn't work.

So today we checked again and - stupid mistake - we mismatched the hoses at the compressor ... FUCK! Changed all this, vacuum, refilled and it worked with a rattling, loud compressor. But cold air came out, the modern aircon operated well.

However, the compressor is crap and I ordered a new one for a lot of money. Luckily - 2 hours work - we could get it out without removing the front axle or taking the motor out (1 special screw took 1 hour). So I'm pretty happy now, as the last "unknown" will be the ABS system, but that's more or less independent from finalisation of the rest of the car!

Filling the aircon ...
Motor area as of today ...

Fender test ...

16 August 2021

Well we're installing the fenders, motor hood and door today and tomorrow ... this photo in-between makes it look a little bit like a car already!

Fender (not finally installed)

Doors in place ...

17 August 2021

A full day of work for the motor hood, the fenders and the doors ... lot's of fiddling around, but the doors are in. There's still a small problem with the motor hood vs fenders, but we have an idea what to do ... not critical at the moment.

As the doors are in, it is a hugh change in my opinion, how the colour looks. Just some bars, chrome etc. and it changes. Cannot wait for the rest to be installed!

Motor hood installation ...
Doors in place ...

Completion continues ...

24 August 2021

As Juergen is on holidays I'm working on my own now. Completion continues, lots of little bits and pieces. Finished the wiring into the doors, windscreen washer hoses, air vents, loudspeakers, fuel pump cover and so on. Glued the sillbar covers etc etc.

My board for all the electric components behind the gloves compartment is nearly finished; my "letterbox locking system" works, i. e. two keys release the board, it falls down and is held by a little chain. I guess it's called easy maintenance ;-)

For the first time I put the - final - dashboard in today ... to check the ventilation hoses. Although it got bigger due to the leather, I got it in without cutting anything. Imho it looks really good and as soon as I finished with the electrics I will put it in.

Update: Rear lights are in as well as the clips for the softtop ...

Final dashboard in for the first time ...
Board for the electric stuff ...
Rear lights ...

Cargo door installed ...

27 August 2021

Today - if I may say that - I'm a bit proud of myself. Having never learned that, I got the cargo door installed myself ... and it even fits ;-) ... took a while, put the clips for the softtop on it and installed and wired the license plate lights. Monday I will tackle the chain that is holding the door and the rear bumper.

Completion progress ...

2 September 2021

Although there's not so much to see in the pictures, there's many A4 sheets of open points solved.

After rectifying something little in the front together with the panel beater, I could start completing the front now. Lights are in, ornamental bars installed etc. Both bumpers are installed now and I started with some heat insulation (actually from Mercedes) inside on top of the noise dampening. First electrical checks were successful, so I plan a full test tomorrow including the cluster and the aircon, so I can finally install the dashboard.

P. S.:  The Aussie stone guards are installed now too ...

Heat insulation inside started ...
Front status ;-)
Rear bumper ...
Stone guards installed ...

Completion progress cont'd ...

11 September 2021

Again, lots and lots of little bits and pieces. Last week I could solve some of the  last electrical problems, the ABS is working too now. Covers at the rear shocks and the cargo door inside are mounted as well as an additional water protection for the subwoofer. Hubcaps are tested, heat insulation inside is finished.

Just an example why it is just fantastic to have a whole workshop with experience "at hand". The tolerances within the car are quite "tolerant", so one of the two chains for the cargo door was longer than the other, i. e. they didn't hold the door together. I asked an old, temporary panel beater, if he could make a "small" link for the longer chain to equalise the tolerances. He looked at it and said: "you're doing it with love and you have time. Why don't you put every link into the vise and squeeze it a bit, this way the chain lengthens". Well 22 links, each 1/2 mm ... makes a cm too. Did that, then the shorter chain was too long ;-) ... so the same procedure with the other chain, every second link. Worked! Also the transparent shrinking hose solution works and looks good imho.

Also I drove the first few metres in the workshop: Holy moly, that Pick-Up has a pickup ... power enough and great sound (video's not good, as I was too careful taking care of the other cars there; old steering wheel has a contact problem with the horns)

First drive in the workshop

Little hand-made covers ...
Subwoofer water protection ...
Chains with shrinking hose protection ...
Hubcap test ...

Completion progress III ...

15 September 2021

So, after testing testing testing, I finally decided to start completing the car inside. Dashboard wasn't easy with the leather adding to the measurements. Dito the centre console. But it is in now and imho it looks good!

I also installed the chrome airfilter cover ... thanks to Stefan again for giving me this idea ... I got a lot of "wows" since then.

Music was tested too, all working and I started to install the seat belts ... slowly slowly it all falls into place!

Chrome art at its best!
Dashboard ...
Looks like a car now ;-)
Music working ... everyone could hear it!
And the seat belts ...

Windscreen / Alignment ...

17 September 2021

Again I have to emphasise the support of Autohaus Ebert here. Two people (in peak time 6!) worked to get the windscreen in ... what a work! So tricky with the sealing and the chrom frame. Now it looks fantastic.

Also the whole front axle is aligned now, all values good. They also helped me with the seat bench, it is installed now. Together with the dashboard and the centre console it is exactly how I envisaged it for a long time ... now it is reality. Pretty satisfying.

Getting the windscreen in ...
Front axle aligning ...
Just fantastic work there!

First drive outside ...

22 September 2021

After the final modifications (windscreen wipers etc.), we did a test drive outside on the road. Wow, what a pick-up this Pick-Up has! Definitely a powerful motor, great sound!

Still some optimisation in the drive train, but all in all it really looks good. We got up to 130km/h and the car is absolutely silent, no rattles etc.

Nice story: we drove by a school, where a lot of 16...19 year old kids were outside. When passing I heard a "boah is der geil" (boah, how cool is that) ;-) ;-)

First drive outside

Out into the real world ...
Looking not too bad ...

Another driving video ...

25 September 2021

Here's just another video of us driving, normal acceleration um to 120km/h (speedo is not correct, shows roughly 15km/h less; corrected now). Quiet and smooth!

V8-Ute driving

Visual Inspection TUEV / Cooling Optimisation ...

8 October 2021

Well, first of all the good news: The TUEV was here for a visual inspection (2 hrs): ZERO complaints, he was pretty impressed. Of course a lot of questions were asked, but as he knew the prototype already (he visited in 2018), it was like a "known" car, but in a much better state.

We also optimised the cooling system. I sourced an original W115 shroud to direct the air towards the motor block. This had to be modified quite a bit, e. g. depth too much, aircon compressor in the way, etc.). Furthermore we found out, that due to the fact that the fan is "outside", a lot of air gets lost between the radiator and the cross bracket. After ordering a sample, I found a rubber lip, that fits in perfectly ... another example of - I  hope - "looks like it's original Mercedes".

After a lot of good support by Derale (the US manufacturer of the fan), I relocated the temperature sensor and we did an initial test. At around 89°C on top of the radiator, the fan started and it kept the temperature at that spot at around 84/85°C. Final test (drive) still outstanding, but we hope to keep the motor cool!

Rubber lip ...
Modified W115 shroud ...
Overview ...

Motor area as of now ...

17 October 2021

As of now ...

Cargo area finished ...

19 October 2021

As I am coming to an end, I finally installed all the cargo panels. There's definitely "some" screws in them ;-) ... it looks good imho. Originally it was painted metal as in the photos, however the "luxury" of having just two panels for the whole area is an "upgrade". The smaller corners were permanently welded, so the area underneath not accessible. Furthermore, they used sheet metal screws, whereas in this car M6 rivets are installed.

Original Pick-Up in special quality ...
Original Binz photo

Interiour finished ...

18 November 2021

Well, the saddler - once again - did an amazing job: the interiour is finished. The following was done:

  • Carpet incl. floor mats
  • Ceiling
  • Door panels incl. handles and map pockets
  • Softtop on the cargo area (original softtop material)
  • Rubber mat for the cargo area
  • B-pillar in leather

Imho it all fits into the concept and looks great!

Rubber mat made-to-measure ...
Door panel
Floor mat left ...

Ceiling (like original)
Overview II

Floor mat right ...
Something special ;-)
Overview I
Softtop
Detail tonneau cover ...

TUEV final acceptance achieved!

24 November 2021

Nothing is left out in this project: 

Today's story is so unbelievable, I would not have been able to make it up:
Hired a tow truck yesterday, drove to the saddler and picked up the car. Started without problems. Arrived at the TUEV, offloading no problem. Started testing, exhaust, brakes, underneath, noise ... no problems at all, motor runs. So off we go for the test drive (remember, visual inspection took place already in October).

Believe it or not, we never had any problems with the motor since August, when it first started. The car just stalled during the test drive! Dead! Starter motor worked, sparks where there, +12V at the fuel pump ... so I assume it's the (new!) fuel pump. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? In that moment? It was a combination of heart attack and the ultimate rage to kick the fender!!!!

Luckily, I obviously built up such a trust relationship with this TUEV guy (he accompanies this project since 2015), that he gave me the papers anyway, i. e. roadworthiness and historical acceptance. Really fair; well he could drive it, although not to the extension it was planned. So tomorrow - hopefully - I a) find out what's wrong and b) will register the car and it will get its license plates!

Ready to go at the saddler ...
Ready to go for a test drive ...

Motor defect (unknown yet) ...

26 November 2021

This project just doesn't finish at all. After the breakdown at TUEV, we started to check ... fuel pump, ignition, etc. etc. .... motor didn't start.

Then we started to take the cylindre heads off ... right side ok, fits with the ignition. Left side off ... well the motor guy hasn't fastened the camshaft properly, it's nearly 1cm loose and if you turn the motor by hand, this camshaft does not turn. FUCK!

Camshaft loose

Motor taken out ...

30 November 2021

It somehow makes your heart bleed ... after so much effort in putting it all together nicely, you have to rip it apart again. Motor is out again and it will be shipped to a REAL specialist for inspection. Unfortunately, the valves on the left side don't look good. All that rubbish because of one moron who is too stupid to put a motor together properly!

Long procedure ... 1.5 days of work
Ready to go ...