Where to start! Taking her to our local mechanic to get belts replaced and tightened as necessary sorted out the loud squeals coming from the engine bay. While she was there he noticed that
the propshaft coupling was rather worn, so it was off to our local Mercedes dealer for a new one of those. While this was being fitted we had the brake lines replaced and while this was being done it was noticed that
the rear gearbox mount was showing signs of age!
A quick call to MB revealed that this small piece of rubber and metal was a little over £200! Hmm. Since this part does not get quite as much wear and tear as the propshaft coupling (and is nearly
£100 more!) we decided to get one second hand. We found one for £36 and reasoned that at that price we could buy several and have them fitted before we got to £200...
Bertha's bonnet mat was also pretty non-existent: at last - a job I feel capable of doing myself! I have written at length
about fitting a bonnet mat to my 300CE so I will leave it at that. I will just reiterate that
it is a dirty sticky job that is very rewarding once done!
New discs and pads on the front completed the fixing of the safety issues for now.
All of the outer window scraper seals were shot as well. The rear seals would prove to be problematic and are something we have only just sorted out! Door seals are easy - although I think the seals were
no longer available from MB a call to the SL Shop sorted the problem. The R129 seals have the same profile as the W123 seals and are a few inches longer. £6 per side and a quick trim and
we have new door window seals. No joy on the rear seals. MB said that they were £162 per side when they were available... We also bought new door seals and new seals that go over the whole
of the top of the side windows. This is quite a large moulding in view of the fact that Bertha is a pillarless coupé - and this is reflected in the price (which according to Silchester Garage
has gone up even further since)!
We are actually making good progress this year and have been able to take her out and about as well. We are now contemplating taking her abroad at New Year 2016 / 2017 and are working towards this.
We also had a great trip to a private collection where Bertha met a rather lovely W116:
One other thing that needed replacing was the windscreen wiper linkage. I ended up calling Mark Cosovitch to see if he had one - which he did. Excellent: and he quoted me a very reasonable price.
It arrived in good time to be fitted but there was no invoice and he hadn't taken any money from me when I agreed to buy them. I called to try to make a payment but Mark was very generous and
refused to take my money as I had bought a copy of his fantastic book Mercedes-Benz W123. Thank you Mark - that was very kind of you! And our trip abroad
would have been in jeopardy without the linkage...
The last expenditure of the year was to buy two new front wings as the current ones are in a terrible state - as can be seen in some of the pictures above.
Of course, we had to put the appropriate Christmas decoration on Bertha!
Bertha Abroad 1