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#makeovermonday - How to restore a Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Pagoda? - part 3.3

From the exterior and the interior to the special equipment: The process of the restoration takes different steps until we can deliver you a perfectly restored Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Pagoda. But what exactly does a classic car-restoration look like? We look forward to giving you an insight into our classic car manufactory and professional restoration. A look behind the scenes, at the craft of the passionate and experienced automobile lovers of our Arthur Bechtel Classic Motors Manufactory-team: this is what awaits you in our #makeovermonday series.



What would a vehicle be without its engine? Of course, the centerpiece plays a very special role in the restoration of our classic cars. We went into detail in last weeks article on the work on the centerpiece. Did you miss the last blog post? Read the post: hereIn addition to the engine, there are a few other elements that are being revised during the restoration of our Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Pagoda, such as the transmission. But what does this step of the classic car-restoration look like in detail?


The restoration work on the vehicle technology continues in the next step with the transmission. Our restoration object is a Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Pagoda with automatic transmission. The automatic transmission is first dismantled, all parts are cleaned and the housing and the housing cover (aluminum) are blasted with glass beads.

In the next move, all threads are re-cut, the bell housing is cleaned and blasted and the various steel attachments are blasted and galvanized. Then it goes to the oil pan, which is bulged and reworked in order to paint it later. The three-arm flange is blasted and painted, the oil return is reworked and reinstalled.

The planetary sets are then dismantled and the sleeves of the lamella piston are renewed. The outer disks are flat sanded and the inner disks (clutch disks) are renewed. The looseness of the clutches and the brake bands are adjusted and the centrifugal governor (stage pressure) is repaired.

In addition, the valve body assembly is overhauled and the automatic oil filter is replaced before the transmission is assembled with new seals and sleeves. The axial play of the planetary sets is adjusted, the modulating pressure lever is sealed on the double piston and the modulating pressure membrane is replaced and checked for leaks. In addition, the lubricating pressure ring (piston ring) on ​​the drive shaft is replaced. The primary pump is checked and sealed and the function of the oil pressure switch is checked. 

The oil pressure switch and the double solenoid are visually repaired, as well as the deflection on the double solenoid. This is also where the play is eliminated and the cable harness on the double solenoid is repaired. Then the cable for the oil pressure switch is made and installed.

The gearbox is then mounted on the test bench, connected, filled with oil and then put into operation. After warming up, the transmission is checked for leaks and the modulating pressure rod and the modulating pressure are set.

Converter (Automatic transmission)

The transmission overhaul includes a perfectly functioning converter, which is first dismantled and cleaned. In advance, we professionally remove the oil, rinse the train and prepare the converter for cleaning. Therefore, we blast the separation points to detect damages, remove the rivets and replace them with new rivets. Then the converter is clamped on our lathe, turned off, balanced, if necessary re-welded and finally pressed and checked for leaks. In the further course of the process, the converter is closed again, sandblasted, all threads are recut and painted accordingly. The converter is then inserted into the automatic transmission and screwed.


Preliminary result

The centerpiece of our Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Pagoda is now in the middle of the restoration process and the extensive work continues on the axles. We are pleased to present you next week (on September 27th, 2021) another intermediate step in the restoration of the Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Pagoda in our #makeovermonday series: "The heart - Part 4".

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Learn more on our in-house restoration in our shortmovie!