From the Archives: My 1982 Mercedes 300tdt. For the controls I built everything into the dash. In the first photo, notice the fuel gauge and the temp gauge just above the shifter, I built them into the ashtray. The fuel and electric heater switches are the silver ones above the climate control. I generally try not to "over beautify the neighborhood," but the interior of this car was really nice so I tried to make the new instruments match.

The second photo shows the engine compartment. I initially converted this car with some special clear tubing that cole-parmer said would hold up, I drove a couple miles, opened the hood and literally saw a tube balloon and then explode diesel all over my face. I got a tow back and replaced all the lines with high pressure fuel line. I used a Davco element fuel filter, a wort chiller (from beer brewing) for my stainless steel plate heat exchanger, injector heater lines from The scout, earlier in the blog, is my most recent conversion and some of these things are out of date as to what I would use in my next conversion. Wrapping the heater lines with pipe insulation foam made a huge difference. The oil temp would reach as high as 160 degrees f.

I had a 24 gallon tank in the way back area. There isn't any room under a mercedes for a tank, besides the stock fuel tank. However, if I did another Mercedes I would do a single tank with a electrically heated buffer tank up by the engine. It looks like a possible disaster in the back there, but actually it was a really clean setup. I used dry disconnects to separate the clean tubes from the dirty ones, which would be submerged in the grease vat. The dirty ones would then get coiled and put in that little tuperware box. I used a fill-rite pump, a spinner separator, and a diesel fuel pump element filter from Northern Tool. I put a marine deckplate on the tank for filling from other sources and to view the high of the oil as the tank is filled. It took about a minute per gallon and then element would last 70 gallons. I used a length of pex tubing inside the tank for heating. The fuel lines ran with the heater lines in an insulated tube along the side by your feet (see the first photo, that grey snake are the lines). I did it this way, not under the car, so that everything is serviceable without a lift.



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