The Mercedes-Benz 219 -57 blog
My newly restored Mercedes-Benz 219 -57 at Hornstull in Stockholm, Sweden, 13 October 2019
In this blog I will document the Ponton's "life after the restoration", i.e. trips, Mercedes-Benz club related activities we take part in as well as work on the car like improvements, repairs, adjustments etc. Stay tuned!
Meeting Classic Strider
I had for a long time thought about taking a trip with the Ponton to my mother’s roots in the province (landskap) Småland and the small village Fagerhult. Via Facebook I learnt that the Dutch (but living in New Zeeland) couple Elisabeth and Fred Smits, a.k.a Classic Strider, had planned to visit Sweden in July/August 2022.
Fred and Elisabeth Smits with their MB220S Ponton Abel from 1957
Voltage regulator woes
Bosch Spannungsregler, Bauart RS/UA (Dreielement-Knickregler), © Robert Bosch GmbH
What does a voltage regulator do?
In one sentence, “It regulates the power from the generator”. If you want it a bit more complicated you can say “It’s a relay, in principle, that opens or closes different contacts (up to 250 times per second!) when a certain charging power is reached or exceeded” This it does to achieve two important things:
- With the engine stopped, the battery would be completely discharged after a short time via the field windings and the windings of the armature in the generator. Hence, the regulator decouples the generator when the engine is not running.
- The amount of electricity supplied by the generator would be correct at medium speed, but too little or too much energy would be available at low or high speed (during the latter overcharging the battery and causing water loss due to electrolysis, i.e. “boiling”).
Are my Ponton condenser/capacitor and ignition coil OK?
Left side of Mercedes-Benz Ponton M180 engine with ignition coil, condenser and distributor
From the second I got my 219 on the road I asked myself “the engine runs like a sack of potatoes, is my ignition system working as it should or what is wrong?” The same question often turns up on forums.
This blog post obviously does not cover the whole issue/system, only the two parts that affect the ignition coil and the condenser/capacitor. The ignition system consists of more parts, and error sources. Whenever I get time, how it should happen I have no idea, I plan to document the rest of my experiences around those. See this as the first version of this write up.
The Ponton on wintry streets
This is a sight some other drivers in the Stockholm traffic get to experience, how something black with a stylish, chromed radiator, adorned with the well-known star, quickly approaches in the rear-view mirror. With a few quick flashes of the headlight, the black Mercedes is past them and disappears quickly in front of them.
During January we got some snow and rather soon (i.e. not that much salt on the roads yet and snow sludge hasn’t gotten time to build up) it started to be slightly cold, -10C, and sunny. That coldness for a couple of days makes the roads dry and very inviting for a Ponton trip.
Mercedes-Benz Ponton microfiche workshop manuals
Enjoying my new Mercedes Ponton microfiches
Some of you may remember the microfiches. Some of you may even have used them. I used those myself when I had a W123 two decades ago. I liked them a lot, quick access and the material didn’t get dirty (only the microfiche reader but it’s easy to clean). But yes, the reader is a bit bulky.