W202 Modifications...

Spinal

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So after 6-months in the field, I've made a return to the forum!

I want to do a few modifications to my W202... maybe some are needs; but mostly they are wants... but I need some advice...

These mods are due to my intention to drive the car through the Sahara...

- Raise suspension. Differently from most people who want to lower the suspension, I want to raise it. I'm thinking a 1" spacer all round would be enough... does anyone know if the driveshaft has enough play to cope with this or are mods there needed as well?

- New wheels. What are the widest/thickest wheels I can fit on? I don't mind cutting into the wheel arches... speaking of which, which tyres would you recomend for sand driving? I doubt I will be able to fit my Insa Turbo Sahara offroad tyres on the 202...

- Sump-guard and other under-body metals... I want to protect the underbody from stones and outcroppings... I seriously doubt there is a ready-made solution out there... is there? As such, I plan on welding my own... where would you anchor the various bits?

- Bull bar. Again, I doubt there's someone out there that makes them for a W202... Can I just weld it straigt onto the bumper? advice here? I'm thinking of buying a cheap one on eBay from another car and adapting it... (it's more than just for bulls, camels and the occasional gate.... it's also to anchor a set of big, bright lights to)

- Weight... I can dump the rear seats... what else can you think of that I can throw out that will reduce weight?

- Grill: OEM grill suplemented with a fine-mesh metal webbing (stop stones piercing the radiator).

- Fan. How do I disable the viscous coupling so that the engine cooling fan is always on? Araldite should do it, right? If I wanted to add extra cooling, what would you recomend?

Anything else you can think of?

TIA,
M.
 

wemorgan

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- Weight... I can dump the rear seats... what else can you think of that I can throw out that will reduce weight?

spare wheel
carpet
trim
sunroof(?)
change windows to plastic
stereo & speakers
bonnet / engine sound-proofing
replace non-structural panels with carbon-fibre

add: fire extinguisher
 
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Spinal

Spinal

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As it's not a time-challenge, roll cage isn't critical... and adds a LOT of weight...

spare wheel... were planning on carrying 4 spare wheels :p Hot weather + Speed + Long driving + Spiky volcanic rocks = almost certain blowouts...

Carpet/Trim: Good idea! That's gone!

Sunroof: N/A

Stereo: Absolutely critical! There's no way I'm driving 36-hours straight without a stereo! In fact, I've already swapped the speakers with nicer ones :p

Sound-proofing: Another good idea!

Fire extinguisher: Forgot that! I'll move it over from hte Shogun along with the window hammer and seat-belt cutter.

Keep 'em coming ;)
 

wemorgan

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are steel wheels lighter than alloys?
 

Alps

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dont you think the 202 is the wrong car for this, underpowered, and also not sure it would stand up well to the dust? just my opinion!

surely something more torqey with a manual box?
 

renault12ts

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dont you think the 202 is the wrong car for this, underpowered, and also not sure it would stand up well to the dust? just my opinion!

surely something more torqey with a manual box?

Underpowered? What model is it?
 

Will

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dont you think the 202 is the wrong car for this, underpowered, and also not sure it would stand up well to the dust? just my opinion!

surely something more torqey with a manual box?

I must admit, that's what I was thinking. How well will the M111 engine stand up to extremes of heat/temperature etc - I think the cooling system, electrics etc can get a bit flakey - eg head gasket/water pump/radiator and perhaps the EFI/electronic ignition etc possible headaches if you're going to remote areas.

Not wanting to put a downer on anything but an old school 123/201 etc might be a bit simpler to fix if stuff gets tricky!

Will
 

Honey Bear

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Extended fuel tank
Might want to move the seats, wheel, console, ect... Back to level the weight distribution and add a bigger crash / crumple zone.
Remove the air con and other electrics as they weigh a ton.
Might want to mod the cooling system too, you'll be in a hotter environment you can't afford to have that plonk out on.


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A-AvantGarde

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- Sump-guard and other under-body metals... I want to protect the underbody from stones and outcroppings... I seriously doubt there is a ready-made solution out there... is there? As such, I plan on welding my own... where would you anchor the various bits?

There was an original factory option on most Mercs (assume the W202 was included). If I recall correctly it's called steel carter protection. It's essentially a metal plate that fits under the engine bay. Perhaps it's worth checking EPC either to purchase one or manufacture something yourself. knowing Mercedes there are probably some mounting points already there!
 
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Spinal

Spinal

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This W202 (a C180) has already made it to (and a few days in) the Western Sahara and back... the return journey was also made with a door pretty much duct-taped on... Long story (there's a forum post floating around, otherwise have a look at the site in my sig). Either way, I trust her with my life, and know she'll make it!

Extended fuel tank: we've got 5x20l Jerry cans - the advantage is we can filter the fuel before pouring it into the tank (big issue in more remote areas).

There's no air con... the air con is open windows and a fan :p

The cooling system is the only thing that concerns me... when we were stuck in traffic in Agadir during the last attempt the temperature gauge went up to around 95/100C which I was a bit worried about... only thing is, I'm not sure what to do!

Wheelwise, 4 alloy and 4 steel... 4 alloy because I already have them, and 4 steel because they are less prone to cracking... weight isn't really the issue, it's more that I can roughhandle them...
M.
 
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Will

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This W202 (a C180) has already made it to (and a few days in) the Western Sahara and back... the return journey was also made with a door pretty much duct-taped on... Long story (there's a forum post floating around, otherwise have a look at the site in my sig). Either way, I trust her with my life, and know she'll make it!

Extended fuel tank: we've got 5x20l Jerry cans - the advantage is we can filter the fuel before pouring it into the tank (big issue in more remote areas).

There's no air con... the air con is open windows and a fan :p

The cooling system is the only thing that concerns me... when we were stuck in traffic in Agadir during the last attempt the temperature gauge went up to around 95/100C which I was a bit worried about... only thing is, I'm not sure what to do!

Wheelwise, 4 alloy and 4 steel... 4 alloy because I already have them, and 4 steel because they are less prone to cracking... weight isn't really the issue, it's more that I can roughhandle them...
M.

Don't forget the wheel bolts for the steel wheels too ;)

Cooling system would definately be something I'd want to check and perhaps upgrade in places. IIRC, the early C180s don't even have a seperate expansion tank!?

Will
 

Seamster15

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Can you fit some sort of Kenlowe fan?
 

andy27168

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Hi,
Remove the engine coupled fan completely, and fit a couple of A/C rad mounted fans off an A/C equipped W202 and have them wired directly to a switch in the cabin, with no engine mounted fan it will give less drag on the engine and though negligable will increase the BHP, and with the fans fitted will improve the engine cooling.
Thought about improving the ground clearance by bringing the fuel tank inboard?
You could use the existing plastic undertray as a pattern to get an aluminium one made. Avoid excessive dust you could route the air intake away from the front of the car and possibly as high as possible. Replace the air filter with an easy clean item that can be easily changed on the hop. Might be worth fitting a transmission cooler for the auto box (if auto that is). Wire braiding over the lower coolant pipes, replace brake and clutch flexi's (if manual) with Goodridge items.
Mounting the front bull bar, remove bumper and mount on the front chassis rails with corresponding holes in the bumper for bull bar mounts to fit through.
 

bennesspipers

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Spinal, you're a nutter, but 20 years ago i'd have been asking if i could come too :doh:
 

C230kompressor

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a friend of mine did the plymouth dakar in a MK3 fiesta!
if he made it your merc should have one hell of a chance
 
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Spinal

Spinal

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So my shopping list now includes a set of a/c fans and a plastic under engine guard... My car doesn't have one, and I'll use it to bend a 6mm aluminium plate into shape.. (and by bend I mean use a mallet and a sandbag to shape it...)
 

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