Category: 300D (Page 1 of 3)

Advance bonus for wheels

Where was M last night? Oh, he was travelling interstate on an intrepid adventure. Supping oysters in Hobart in fact. Did we know, at the start of the week, that this would be the case? No we did not. We did not know this until Tuesday, when I booked him a $90 ticket to fly there to check out and hopefully snaffle a… A what?
A new catamaran?
An egglike caravan of wondrous dimensions?
Another black rabbit?
Or D, none of the above?

It was none of the above. The impending arrival of PartyPie on the scene had given us pause to think about whether we should resurrect our f@#king excellent $900 HiAce van that has done so well for us. It was going to cost more than $500 to try and fix its dead cylinder and although we had happily driven for years, shielded from the road by a thin veneer of paint held together by rust, we thought that PartyPie might be less than impressed with the arrangement. So.

While Vanee sits unused [sob] and still starting first go [sob sob] we have been using a combination of my mum’s car (she’s away for three months) and the Humber – which has a new carby, but really needs the good love of a Humber whisperer, as it’s running a bit fast. Vanee was really M’s set of wheels. A motorised mankfest of fibreglass dust, icecream wrappers, bits of dead safety glasses and the occasional stiff discarded sock. I thought this was just reserved for Vanee. I was wrong. It’s pretty much reserved for any car M drives. (Sorry mum. Can you feel him frowning as he reads this – everyone?) Mr H drove one of our current vehicles on the weekend and said, I quote, that it was ‘like driving an archaeological dig’.

This is going to change. (Well, actually, it already has. I cleaned out and vacuumed both cars yesterday as M was safely out of reach on the other side of Bass Strait. Lucky for HIM.) Because we have just got ourselves A BRAND NEW MOTOR!! I mean, in as far as it has never been ours before – because it’s not like we buy anything new!! Especially when old is better. M and I have both been musing on a Vanee replacement, and have been fixated on old diesel Mercedes’. We’ve watched them appear, and disappear, on ebay. We’ve spoken to a guy who was selling one in Queensland. We’ve ummed, and aaahed. The 300D was our model of choice.

Why? Because it’s known to be freakishly reliable, safe, simple to work on and best of all… it’s diesel! And we plan to run it on biofuel, with the eventual intention being to run it on SVO – straight vegie oil. But they are kind of hard to come by in Melbourne, and I wanted the older, more funky version. M, meanwhile, was starting to get so keen on the idea that he was starting not to care hugely about what it looked like, so LONG AS IT WAS DIESEL. I found the compromise in the trading post on Monday. It’s a station wagon (ideal for carrying surfboards, sleeping in the back of, rescuing Large Items from hard rubbish), it’s a Mercedes 300TD (the ‘t’ is for touring and the ‘d’ is for diesel) and… it cost marginally less than the baby bonus.

Ha! We didn’t care that it was in Tasmania. What’s the ferry for, after all, if not for bringing back things that won’t fit on a plane? We were lucky enough to have my dad give us an advance on the PartyPie Government Donation, and I booked all M’s travel arrangements on Tuesday with the power of t’internet. From all reports, the car is a winner. Somewhat short on ambience and cutting edge funkification, but it is going to be taking over from a HiAce van, so it’s not like we’re moving from a Humber to a Holden. It is, in fact, like we are moving from a HiAce to a longer, more German, lower roofed van… that looks like this:

This arrives on the Saturday morning ferry!

It arrived!

The new and the old

M arrived fresh off the boat in our new wheels this morning. A couple of people asked me if the car in the previous post was the one we bought – yes, they are one and the same. Here it is out the front of the trailer near our trusty HiAce. It sounds like a tractor, and drives like bubble with its lovely power steering. It seems to be in fantastic condition. From his travels so far, M has calculated that driving fast and furiously we get ten kilometres from a litre of diesel, and therefore roughly 700 kilometres from our 70 litre tank. Far more economical than the Datsun 280ZX we’ve been tooling around in. I’m not sure how it compares to the Humber.

Wheely excellent…

Secondhand 300TD Mercedes – $3,800*
Roadworthy assessment – $66
Tools and parts required – $500
M learning to be a Mercedes mechanic? PRICELESS.

M the Merc Mechanic

And, meet the favourite torque tool and the new brake rotor/disc he just fitted to the front right wheel:

The new rotor/disc thing

M has repacked the wheelbearings, replaced the rotors (brake discs) and replaced the brake pads and sensors. All this took him only two hours – the main time involved was the three or so hours spent going in and out of Cranbourne for parts, tools and (M says) coffees. (He didn’t mention all the time he had to spend on t’internet learning how to and how not not to do all this stuff – so I think I’ll add a good six hours of study in there too.) This is all part of our evil plan to never own a car that is too complicated to work on ourselves (note how I include myself in this, even though I am only mildly Humber savvy and until this week had never owned a car with power steering.)

Oh! And the wrecker had the kickplates that were missing which go on the car interior wall to the right of the accelerator (same on the passenger side) and the other panel that was missing from underneath the steering wheel, which is just to hide all the wiring etc. nicely. They are brown; but we have some black vinyl paint to do them over with so they match the rest.

*Note that I don’t add in the cost of travel to and from Tassie, which was actually about $350 purely because the Spirit of Tasmania spew boat is so goddamn EXORBITANT and only good for transferring your car or catering to your fear of flying.

Post-holiday malaise

We got home after midnight and were somewhat comforted by returning to our own bed, but very little else. Waking up in TrailerTown was a rather large letdown from our last nine days of lushly subtropical holidayesque lives.

For one thing, it seems to have been very hot in our absence, with most of the grass a depressing shade of brown. The other thing was the extreme windiness. I know I often complain that I live in Kansas, but today was beyond a joke. It was impossible to go outside, and fairly difficult to even think. We went and picked up the cats from the cattery, returned home and decided to spend the rest of this blighted day watching dvds. Not something that has ever happened before.

Of course, withering sun and sailbusting winds weren’t enough to convey that our holiday was well and truly over. No. We had to go with some biblical hail. Serious hail. The kind of hail that had M shrieking for blankets to embalm the new car and protect it from the wrath of the skies. He turned into BUCKETHEAD-MAN! Defender of his true love. The German Vehicle!

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