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Restore of G-Wagen 1983 300GD SWB

GregB

New Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
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Location
South Africa
#1
Hello, I inherited my Dads 1983 300GD, and after watching this youtube clip (with great music) of a 300GD restoration, it started me thinking. I would love nothing more than to complete the restoration of my ''G''. But I'm scared. I have no time, or knowledge on how to do it. I have a cousin who is a guru and can help advise, but he's far away. I thought of contracting a diesel mechanic to do the restoration in my garage under my watchful (inexperienced) eye. Am I mad or onto something? Any idea, thumbsuck, what sort of cost would I be in for? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks. Greg
 

fig

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
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Lindequesdrif
#2
Welcome to G ownership Greg.

The answer is as long as a piece of string.

What condition is the car in? Does it drive? Engine and transmission? Bodywork? Steering and suspension? Interior and fittings? Are you prepared to roll up your sleeves and get dirty while you learn your way around your car?

A good way to attack a restoration as a novice is a rolling restoration. Get the car running and roadworthy first, then you'll be able to enjoy it while you target one repair job at a time. Get it safe and roadworthy first, aesthetic stuff can come later.

Too many projects are abandoned because the owner bit off more than they could chew and stripped the car down completely. Eventually they grow despondent with the endless work and costs, with little reward, and sell it off in parts for next to nothing. It's much easier to sustain you enthusiasm with a restoration if you can enjoy it while it's sucking all your energy and cash.

Good luck :cool:
 

GregB

New Member
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Feb 28, 2012
Messages
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Location
South Africa
#3
Welcome to G ownership Greg.

The answer is as long as a piece of string.

What condition is the car in? Does it drive? Engine and transmission? Bodywork? Steering and suspension? Interior and fittings? Are you prepared to roll up your sleeves and get dirty while you learn your way around your car?

A good way to attack a restoration as a novice is a rolling restoration. Get the car running and roadworthy first, then you'll be able to enjoy it while you target one repair job at a time. Get it safe and roadworthy first, aesthetic stuff can come later.

Too many projects are abandoned because the owner bit off more than they could chew and stripped the car down completely. Eventually they grow despondent with the endless work and costs, with little reward, and sell it off in parts for next to nothing. It's much easier to sustain you enthusiasm with a restoration if you can enjoy it while it's sucking all your energy and cash.

Good luck :cool:
Thank you for your very helpful advice. Here are some answers
What condition is the car in? Good, for a 39 year old.
Does it drive? Yes.
Engine and transmission? I just put in a new starter motor (imported from Germany)...but now she doesn't switch off. I've tried using the ''stop'' lever in the engine and that doesn't shut her off. So have to stall to stop. Not good.
Bodywork? Good...very little rust, a few dings and scrapes, but could do with a complete re-spray in time. Always lived in a closed garage. Engine insulation on the inside of the bonnet is sagging.
Steering and suspension? Good.
Interior and fittings? Re-did the seats a while back so interior is ok, but the sun visors are flabby.
Are you prepared to roll up your sleeves and get dirty while you learn your way around your car? Yes.
Thanks.
Greg
 

fig

G-Wagen Club SA
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Mar 7, 2013
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Lindequesdrif
#4
It sounds like the car's in a condition that you should be able to do most of the work yourself, with some guidance from a mechanic or experts on this forum. These are not difficult cars to work on, as the design is simple and most components are easily accessible. They're clearly designed for military requirement of easy field service.

Mercedes OM615/6/7 diesels are notorious for having weak vacuum pumps, making it difficult to shut the engine down. Try revving the engine and keeping your foot off the brake pedal when shutting down and see if the engine will stop as it should.
 

Andrew

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
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Brits
#5
Perhaps show us some pictures Greg - I am sure that would generate some useful commentary. I think Fig's comments are spot on.

To add to Fig: Hard brake pedal pressure indicates vacuum supply trouble and the engine will also not switch off. If brakes are ok then there is a little valve on the injector pump which dies from time to time or the little pipes that go to it are leaky.
 

fig

G-Wagen Club SA
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Mar 7, 2013
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Lindequesdrif
#6
Sweet looking G!

That would need a clean-up, more than a restoration. I would deal with the effects of sea air on the bodywork and tidy up the interior (after ensuring the car is safe and roadworthy) and then drive the hell out of it.
 

GregB

New Member
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Feb 28, 2012
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#8
Sweet looking G!

That would need a clean-up, more than a restoration. I would deal with the effects of sea air on the bodywork and tidy up the interior (after ensuring the car is safe and roadworthy) and then drive the hell out of it.
Thanks Fig,

With my gearbox problems - it jumps out of third when pulling uphill, clutch slipping and not turning off (better now that I rev before cut-off thanks!)
An alternative is to replace the motor and gearbox with a Lexus v8 engine which is apparently reliable.
The 'Power-plant' comes with fully major serviced components and renewable service parts with every build.
Custom engine and gearbox mountings are built.
New exhaust system, new radiator, new water pipes and, custom propshaft.
All electrical done in house.

Is this a possible option? Thanks.
 

Alan

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Oct 12, 2008
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Location
Pretoria
#9
Lexus conversion? :eek: on a nice G like this????:mad:
I hope you were joking. If not sell the G to someone that will appreciate it for what it is and get yourself something else.
Your G looks well looked after and with those minor repairs will give you lots of joy.
 

Gerhard van Rooyen

Staff member
G-Wagen Club SA
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Jan 21, 2009
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Empangeni/Durban
#10
Helo Greg,

That is a really nice looking G! still in good original condition.

There are a few recommended G-whisperers around who can help you get the basics sorted out efficiently. There should also be a few owners with good spares waiting for a new home. Just ask here and you should find good, cost effective answers and guidance. Where are you based? a suggestion is to maybe take the car to one of the owners in your area, or arrange a meeting for some tyre kicking and advice.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
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Location
Pretoria East
#11
Lexus conversion? :eek: on a nice G like this????:mad:
I hope you were joking. If not sell the G to someone that will appreciate it for what it is and get yourself something else.
Your G looks well looked after and with those minor repairs will give you lots of joy.
 

fig

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
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Location
Lindequesdrif
#13
Please don't do a Lexus conversion. Most that I've seen (on any car) are botched. Modification is opening a can of worms. You are messing not with components, but with a system. Any change sends ripples through the system.

You have a true classic 4x4 there. An engine change will only depreciate it.

Gearboxes are reapairable, and someone on here may even have a good, used one for sale.
 
Joined
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Sedgefield
#14
Sweet looking G!

That would need a clean-up, more than a restoration. I would deal with the effects of sea air on the bodywork and tidy up the interior (after ensuring the car is safe and roadworthy) and then drive the hell out of it.
Thanks Fig,

With my gearbox problems - it jumps out of third when pulling uphill, clutch slipping and not turning off (better now that I rev before cut-off thanks!)
An alternative is to replace the motor and gearbox with a Lexus v8 engine which is apparently reliable.
The 'Power-plant' comes with fully major serviced components and renewable service parts with every build.
Custom engine and gearbox mountings are built.
New exhaust system, new radiator, new water pipes and, custom propshaft.
All electrical done in house.

Is this a possible option? Thanks.
Oy vay, what a nightmare... Lexus conversion??? Please rather then sell this G to someone who will restore and cherish it and get a Toyota product to stick a Lexus in.

The G was built for the gearbox and engine it came with and when repaired will reward you with many years of service. Modifying will end up in a bottomless pit and tears.


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