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Newsletter No.138

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Hello everyone, Merry Christmas! Yes it's that time of the year again. This newsletter has our Christmas trading details, new freight rate pricing and the monthly Facebook summary for those of you who are not on Facebook. Please remember that you do not need a Facebook account to view these links.

Christmas trading hours

Below are our Christmas trading hours. Other important dates to keep in mind are the final order dates to get parts delivered before the Christmas break.

For parts that need to come from Germany anything ordered after the 5pm the 8th of December will may not arrive in time. Each day after the 8th reduces the chances even further.

For parts ordered from Australian warehouses we would need the orders by the 18thof December. Our final shipping date will be the 23rdof December.

22nd Dec 8:00am - 5:00pm
23rd Dec 8:00am - 5:00pm
24th Dec 8:00am - 12 noon
25th Dec Closed
26th Dec Closed
27th Dec Closed
28th Dec Closed
29th Dec 8:00am - 5:00pm
30th Dec 8:00am - 5:00pm
31st Dec 8:00am - 12 noon
1st Jan Closed
2nd Jan 8:00am - 5:00pm

Our normal opening hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, we do not open weekends.

Facebook summary.

- The 20th Spanners and Sausages night was a great success, we documented it with its own special Facebook alum. You can check it out here. And read more details below.

- We serviced a CL63, what a car...

- One of the most popular posts was of the W115 Ute production line in Argentina.

- We added pictures of the exhaust and fuel tank on the Peking to Pariscar.

- Had a great before and after shot.

- We had a demonstration of just how good the passenger safety cell is on the W114/115 body.

- And yet another dodgy brake job discovered. You can see the other pictures on the series by clicking on the arrows to the left or right of the picture. For anyone who can't work out what is wrong here these rotors are 22mm thick when new and have a minimum thickness of 20mm, so 1mm per side wear and they are not safe. The discs in the picture have been machined to 16mm thick and then worn down further by the pads.

Spanners & Sausages.

The 20th year of Spanners and Sausages was great success with around 50 people attending. Sausages were eaten, refreshing beverages consumed and generally a great time had by all.

With so many people we did a self guided tour before our presentation on the last 20 years of MB Spares. For those of you who couldn't make it, here is the text from the self guided tour.

- Enter workshop side door.

- On your right is a W107 500SL, which is a very rare car here in Australia and W123 280E, both have been sold to different collectors in Queensland. MB Spares has sold cars into every state of Australia, New Zealand, Asia and even back to Germany.

- Turn left and you will see our reconditioned nuts and bolts department. With cadmium plating banned due to OH&S issues the next best thing is yellow zinc, however suppliers of nuts and bolts only do silver zinc. As MB Spares does many restorations back to original specifications we now have to save up all the old nuts, bolts and brackets, have them plated and then sort them all out.

- Down the staircase you will see John and Sandra's Motorhome, it is built on a 2001 Sprinter 413CDI chassis.

- Up the stairs is our obsolete parts section. This is our stock of parts collected over the years, much of it is no longer available from Mercedes-Benz.

- Under the Mezzanine are the following cars: 300CE-24 being stored for a good customer, 250SE sedan only 68000miles, 300b sedan which was John and Sandra's wedding car 26 years ago, W112 300SE cabriolet, someone's failed restoration and for which we are still collecting the parts to complete it, and a W112 300SE coupe donor car for the cabriolet

- Have a look in the engine bay of the W143 Type 230 cabriolet b and on the bench. Can you work out what happened here? The cylinder head was handmade in Germany for us as nearly all parts for this car have to be made, as replacement parts just are not available.

- Next car is a 380SEC, long story, but the short version was that it has had a small engine bay fire (see top of bonnet) and we brought it off the elderly owner. We have replaced a few parts like the leads and got it going. It is for sale as an easy project car for $5000.00

- Next up is a ML270 we are dismantling. As the press , bench grinder and drill press are here, we always try to park a wreck here.

- On the hoist is one of our current projects. We are building a car to run in the 2016 Peking to Paris rally. Those of you with a keen sense of history will realise what it looks like.

- Next up we have a chassis from a 1958 300d Adenauer sedan. It has just arrived having been separated from the body which is at the panel shop. We will carry out a full restoration on it before it is reunited with the body.

- The station wagon is an Ultra Rare Binz conversion that was commissioned by the Bishop for the Catholic Church in WA. It was used on the church missions in the Pilbara for many years before finding its way to the Central Highlands where we bought it. It has a perfect rust free body, but more dints and previous repairs that you would ever believe.

- On the Bench behind the Binz is the gearbox from the Sprinter. Another very long story, short version involves a previous repairer fitting the wrong style of flywheel causing potential damage to the gearbox.

- The other bench has the front suspension from a 1960 W128 220SE coupe that we are restoring. The body is currently at the panel shop. The engine on the floor is from the 220SE and the engine on the low trolley is from the 300d.

- The red box on the floor is our heater. It burns old engine and transmission oil, something we have plenty of.

- In the other corner you will our collection of Mercedes-Benz factory tools that we have acquired over the years.

- On the host is a 1963 220SE recently purchased by a customer here in Canberra. We are doing a full service including the valve clearance and various roadworthy repairs.

- Exiting the workshop you will see the Green family car. It is a 2007 R320CDI. Have a look at the picture on the bonnet and then at the wheels now. It has been fitted with ATE ceramic brake pads which are the ultimate solution to the black dust problems of regular brake pads. Whilst more expensive than regular pads they have a 50000km or 5 year warranty and you can see the difference here. The car has not been washed for the last 2000kms.

Enter the showroom door.

- On the front counter are the following: An example of why you should buy your parts from a professional parts interpreter, an example of how our headlamp restoration kits work and our new Rego reminder stickers.

- The clocks represent the time at various Mercedes-Benz factories around the world.

- On the counter against the wall is our server. It contains record for the 14293 stock lines that we have sold and the 12815 different customers that we have supplied since 2005.

- The far left door goes though to John and Sandra's offices. Have a look in John's office and have a read of the interesting invitation on your right as you enter.

- Go back out into the showroom, the red and blue shelve is for local orders waiting to be picked up. It can overflow on the day after one of our air freight shipments arrives.

- Turn right into the new parts room. This is our stock of regular fast moving stock. On the mezzanine level above is slower moving stock.

- Have a chat with Murray who can show you how parts interpreting works.

- The next desk along from Murray is the dispatch desk. We have an online system with Star Track with the alibility to ship almost anything to almost anywhere in Australia overnight.

- Though the opening you will see Chris's bench. The rack on the right with the blue tubs is for parts put aside for workshop jobs. On the left and straight ahead are orders awaiting other parts before being shipped.

- Exit back out towards the driveway, this is the dispatch bench. Here we pack everything from some wheel studs to enough panels to rebuild a car. Everyday around 4pm the Star Track truck arrives and picks up our daily freight for distribution across Australia. Today we had 20 parcels with at least 1 destined to every state, including the NT. Murray also took a couple to the post office, including one for a customer in Singapore.

- This bench is also used for inwards freight, including our weekly air freight shipments from Germany.

- MB Spares buys up "job lots" of parts from other workshops and wholesalers here in Australia. On the dispatch bench are two recent deliveries. Every few years we collate some of the more interesting parts and sell excess quantities back to German Classic parts specialists.

- On the floor is a reconditioned 220SEb short motor waiting for final payment before delivery.

- The racks with the cars on them are custom made to take the weight of the cars. We get them up there with our fork lift.

- Cars that we buy for dismantling come from many different sources. Most are from private individuals who are referred to us by various repairers. The cars with no obvious accident damage are economic mechanical write offs.

- Finally as you exit to the drive way look on your right at a 1955 220a that we have just purchased. It was the very first major job that MB Spares did. In 1994 we reconditioned the engine and detailed the engine bay. This car attended the MBCACT Concours's for most of the 1990's and then was left in a carport for 10 years due to the owners illness. We will be getting it going and then selling it as a project car. POA.

The Driveway.

- On your right as you walk down the driveway are the following vehicles

- White Sprinter 313CDI brought as a failed workshop job, yet another long story, found the clutch plate installed back to front.

- White C180, is being dismantled. We also use the wrecks as a bin to put our scrap steel in so it can be recycled.

- Blue 230GE, we import these from Japan, overhaul them and then sell them. This one is nearly ready, once finished and detailed up it will be on the market at $19990.00

Onto the Carpark in front of the workshop:

- Red 190E, being dismantled. Economic right off due to ongoing regular maintenance not being done. Changed hands and the new owner was hit with a monster quote for the roadworthy.

- Silver C180, written off. It was abandoned at a nearby panel Beaters yard.

- 230TE, just arrived. Worn out.

- Silver E320CDI wagon. Some of you may remember this from the Mercedes-Benz of Canberra workshop tour. It had the gearbox out and in pieces. We bought it and then sold it to one of our staff who has since repaired it. Very rare car here in Australia as the W210 wagon was never offered with a diesel engine.

- In front of the offices are a collection of vehicles waiting to be dismantled. The most notable is the Smoke Silver C200 Kompressor. It is a one owner vehicle with 159000kms on the odometer. It has had a major electrical failure and is an economic write off.

Freight costs.

Whilst we try our best to keep air freight rates down, rises are inevitable. Our preferred carrier is Star Track Express, here are our current rates for Air bags and Post bags:

Air bags all states except NT 1kg $12.00, 3kg $16.50, 5kg $21.50

$9.35 surcharge for delivery to PO Box (available to satchels only)

Air bags to the NT - 1kg - $23.00, 3kg - $37.00, 5kg - $56.00

POSTBAG RED 500G - $9.50

POSTBAG RED 3KG - $15.00

POSTBAG RED 5KG - $17.50

POSTBAG EXP 500G - $12.00

POSTBAG EXP 3KG - $16.50

POST CD BOX - $4.00

Signature on delivery - $2.95

Insurance $1.50 per $100 extra cover

Road freight rates are calculated on weight and dimensions, so each shipment needs to be individually calculated. You can contact our dispatch staff for more information. You will need to quote your postcode.

Cars for dismantling in this month:

C200 W202 1996 and a 1998

280SEL W126 1983, yes it is a SEL, quite rare here in Australia

C180 W203 2001 high mileage and hit front right

W140 300SE 1993 worn out

Cars for sale:

E280 W210 1998 Very neat low mileage example.

380SEC W126 1983 Project car.

420SEL W126 1989 Amazing original condition.

SLK200 W171 2005 Fun car, ready for the summer!

313CDI W903 2005 Sprinter mid wheel base fan

So that's it for this Newsletter, be good, drive safely over the Christmas break and look after your Benz.

John & Sandra Green.