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 Working on air bellows
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Art Love

Australia
6238 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2010 :  04:22:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought I would start a new thread on the work we are doing on replacing air bellows. It came up as part of Albert's thread on the front axle. Chris pointed out that the way Albert inserted the bellows into the retainer rings was not the best way. Here are some pictures of the work so far. This set will go onto the W112 300SE coupe and then the set from it will go under the LWB Finnie and so on.

The first picture is of the working plate that I had made 20 years ago from the pattern in the Workshop Manual. There are two sets of bolt holes to match the front and rear tanks. The plate at right angles goes into the jaws of the vice so that the complete unit can be worked on as per the Manual.





The steel tanks are stripped and repainted to match the original colour which is as near as anything to red oxide.





The new bags are pressed into the rezinced retaining rings. The first bags are A5 rear bags which are a bigger diameter than the A4 front bags, so easier to squeeze through the ring. With the strength of Justin's fingers and hands, he made short work of it. The bag was in within a minute. I struggled with my surgeon's hands. Justin applied a coat of rubber grease to the flange to help ease the job.

















With the two rear bags in their rings, it was time to do the A4 front bags. These are harder to push through. We also found another problem that we had not expected.

























You can't see it in the picture, but the bag did not seat into the ring at one point in particular, so we pulled it back out to see why. This shows why. There were a series of rubber extrusions on the rim of the bellows. These prevented the rubber ring from seating in the metal ring. They are a result of the manufacturing process, but I believe they should have been trimmed off, so we did.









There were similar extrusions on the other side of the rubber ring and we dealt with them in the same fashion.









Then the bag would fit properly. Here is another shot of the worst of the extrusions before it was cut off. You can see how it has deformed the rubber ring when we pushed it in the first time.





I'll continue the thread as we go along. I hope someone finds it helpful.
Art

Edited by - Art Love on 01/26/2010 01:28:26

mirafioriman

United Kingdom
193 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2010 :  16:07:34  Show Profile  Visit mirafioriman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Very useful thanks as this is one of the many jobs I have to do!

Mercedes W116 450 SEL 6.9, W109 300 SEL 6.3, W126 420 SEL, Fiat 131 Mirafiori (X4), Fiat Argenta and a Mk1 Ford Escort!
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Jack English

USA
1098 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2010 :  23:39:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Art: With these photos, this a perfect article for Lode Star!

Jack English
300SEL 6.3 #4768
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pjtigger

United Kingdom
153 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2010 :  13:08:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A great thread Art - it looks like i'm following on behind you by a couple of weeks


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Art Love

Australia
6238 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2010 :  00:06:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We did some more today.





Here is the right front air tank mounted to the tool which I started this thread with. The right angle plate is in the jaws of the vice. This gives you a stable work environment.





These are the bits you need. We have used the original screws because they were in good condition. The new ones that Tom supplied have full length threads: the originals have a part blank thread. They have been gold zinced as have the stiffener plates. We have new stiffener plates as well. We have used new lock washers and you will see why later.





Here is the diagram you need to position the bellows correctly. It shows where the drain holes go so that they are at the lowest point when installed in order to work properly.






First thing to do is install the screws into the steel ring from the bag side. This is obvious as the holes are countersunk.





Then put the bellows unit onto the steel air chamber ensuring the correct location of the two drain holes.





Then there is the fiddly bit. The following picture shows the nuts and the new lock washers and the next one why I suggested using new washers while they are still available.









Some antisieze on the threads seemed a good idea.









Next is to apply the stiffener plates over each of two of the bolts from below. I couldn't see that it mattered which two we chose. There is no mention of that detail in the Manual and no matter which two you select, one of the drain holes has a stiffener plate over it.





Now it gets fiddly. On the front setup, there are a couple of bolts that you can get to with your fingers, but the rest are cramped. You have to apply a lock washer and the thin nut to the end of the screw. The first picture shows one of the ones you can hold with your fingers. 15-20 years ago when I first did this, I decided to use a large flat screw driver to support the nut and washer as the only way to do it. The pictures show us doing that again with success. If any one else has a better method, please say so. The lock washer goes in with the right angle flange innermost so that the straight edges can be used for locking on the outside.

























Then it is a case of screwing them up firmly.









Then it comes off the mounting plate tool and is ready for pressure testing after which the lock tabs can be turned.





Next is a right rear showing the dual function of the mounting plate tool.





This is the rear bellows unit with the screws in.





As with putting the bellows in, the larger diameter gives more room for the screws to clear the bag. The unit then goes onto the steel air chamber just like the front one, again making absolutely sure where the drain holes go. In this right unit, they straddle the inlet air line fitting which I have screwed in a bit to highlight it. The rubber seal ring is not applied in this picture. The rear reinforcing plates are a larger radius than the front ones. You can't mix them up. The rest is the same as the front.





More to come as we go along.
Art

Edited by - Art Love on 01/26/2010 01:39:15
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Art Love

Australia
6238 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2010 :  04:58:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had some time this afternoon, so I have attached the rubber bellows to the left front and rear metal tanks. Here are two pictures showing the orientation of the drain holes. Next step will be the pressure test all 4 units and if OK, turn the locking tabs. Then I'll fit the seal washers to the air line attachments and then we'll get under the car and cover removal and installation of the units.
Art







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tom.hanson

USA
312 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2010 :  23:06:53  Show Profile  Visit tom.hanson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Putting these into a Fedex box and sending them on their way is as close as I'll ever get to putting them on a car.

Supervisor, Parts Ops
MB Classic Center USA
MBUSA, LLC
949 598-4842 direct
thomas.hanson@mbusa.com
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Ron B

Australia
11633 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2010 :  16:48:24  Show Profile  Visit Ron B's Homepage  Reply with Quote

That car must have been sitting for a very long time to get the bags looking that bad. I've seen some shockers but none as bad as that. reminds me of this..


quote:
12-14-2004, 11:49 PM #8
Tom Hanson
MBCA Member

What the heck, try to stuff a MB 6.9 liter V8 in it. What a machine that would be..
__________________
Tom Hanson
Orange County Section
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Art Love

Australia
6238 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2010 :  17:14:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jeeeeez Ron,
I sent you that photo of my father in confidence. On a more truthful note, I reckon there are cars currently being driven with bags that look like that.
Art
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Chris Johnson

USA
3751 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2010 :  17:18:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There are. I've seen guys put bags in that condition ON a car if they still held air.

Chris Johnson
If you aren't constantly impressed with your car, then it needs fixing.
100.012-12-000790
100.012-12-000867
www.300SE.org
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pjtigger

United Kingdom
153 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2010 :  17:37:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
They still held air ! , the car had been standing in a garage for about 5 years.
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Art Love

Australia
6238 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2010 :  03:02:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I got on and assembled the front units for Justin's #5810 today and proceeded with the pressure testing of these units. I'm waiting on the correct size seals to do the rears. The test pressure with the bags free is 3.5 atmospheres which is 3.5kpa or 50psi. First I took the opportunity to take pictures of where the rear tanks bolt into the car. There are 2 bolts under the rear seat on either side.





and one in the boot (trunk) right in each front corner of the floor.





We decided to use a Shrader valve in the front tanks to fill them to check the seal between the rubber bellows and metal tank. Here is the right front being inflated using a standard tyre inflation fitting to achieve 50psi.





The advantage of the Shrader valve is that once the unit is inflated, you can move it free of and compressor hose and fittings. The disadvantage is that it doesn't check the seal of the tank fitting. You can't use a Shrader valve in the rear tanks because the hole diameter is too big. I'll deal with this further later.





Then you fill the sink and submerge the unit.









Here is the left front tank with a Shrader valve where the usual fitting goes. Chris Johnson has said on this site that he uses this arrangement on stored cars to keep them up when the motor is out or not functioning. The valves are readilly available from Tom Hanson at the Classic Center and are the same unit that goes in the side of the main storage reservoir under the left front guard (fender). I used the same O ring at the base of the valve that is used for the usual fitting 002 997 85 45. I also mention Chris Johnson here for pointing out that the Parts Manual has this and the square O ring 112 997 04 40 that goes inside the fitting back to front.





Here is the usual fitting with 002 997 85 45 on the outside.





Here is 112 997 04 40 on the inside.





On the left in the picture following is the test line I had made up 20 years ago for doing this job without a Shrader valve and on the right is the cross connecting pipe that runs between the two rear tanks. By using this cross pipe from a donor car, I can use either my original test hose or a Shrader valve in the left tank and check both rear units. The other option would be to have a test hose made up with the larger diameter fitting from a donor. It's just a bit cumbersome having to handle both rear units at the same time. I'm waiting on seals to do that job and I'll post some pictures.





The next picture shows the difference in size between the standard fitting above and the rear tank cross pipe fitting below.





The next sequence of pictures show that I have fitted the rubber bellows to the left front tank and we are inflating. Pressure is increasing from under 20psi to 50 psi during the series

















And here it is in the tank.





It will be very straight forward to apply these units to Justin's #5810 front cross member because there is nothing else there in the road. The same applies to his rear bellows because the rear axle is still off the car. I'll post those pictures on the #5810 thread next week as well as a couple of these, but I'll use either the 300SE W112 coupe or sedan to continue this thread because they have intact axles. I'll be using the set of units that we assembled at the start of this thread.
Art

Edited by - Art Love on 02/06/2010 03:07:06
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Ron B

Australia
11633 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2010 :  16:01:29  Show Profile  Visit Ron B's Homepage  Reply with Quote

I thought i had seen this before...


Arts swimming pool was built for a reason i guess.

quote:
12-14-2004, 11:49 PM #8
Tom Hanson
MBCA Member

What the heck, try to stuff a MB 6.9 liter V8 in it. What a machine that would be..
__________________
Tom Hanson
Orange County Section
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Art Love

Australia
6238 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2010 :  19:51:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Ron,
I presume that is the centerfold for Lode Star #51. It gives "fold along the crease" meaning. It should also attract a lot more readers to this otherwise rather mundane thread.
Art
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paul-NL

Netherlands
4290 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2010 :  20:11:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Art,

beautifull answer,
but I think that is not BIG enough for a centerfold,

That needs at least 1 "Mega" .... bytes ..... (as far as I am told)

So, Ron has to search bigger ones ....

Greetings


In addition of that : This is what Ron means:

"What the heck, try to stuff 6.9 liter in it. What a machine that would be.."

he tells us EVERY posting

Edited by - paul-NL on 02/06/2010 20:16:13
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Ron B

Australia
11633 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2010 :  17:20:18  Show Profile  Visit Ron B's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You could have saved a lot of time by buying these attractive items on OZ ebay.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120527435509&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_500wt_975








quote:
12-14-2004, 11:49 PM #8
Tom Hanson
MBCA Member

What the heck, try to stuff a MB 6.9 liter V8 in it. What a machine that would be..
__________________
Tom Hanson
Orange County Section
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