Engine and oil pump (01, 03, 05, 18)

The first round - more or less

The first picture in the gallery below shows you the "original" status of the engine. The red color comes from my fathers total restoration, a couple of 1000km before the dismantling of the car. It will be changed back to black, semi-gloss. The following three pictures shows you the first part of the restoration process, which started in February 2003 when there was no more to do on the chassis. After having had the engine stored separately for almost 10 years I had it "sitting" in oil for a couple of weeks in case anything started to rust.

Mercedes-Benz engine M 180 II, © Daimler AG

Mercedes-Benz 219 engine M 180 II - Type 219 six cylinder, 1956 - 1959, © Daimler AG

The sixth picture shows how I clean the cylinders before taking the pistons out. This was done in order not to damage the piston rings when I took the pistons out "upwards". The seventh picture gives you an alternative way to take out the intermediate gear for the timing chain. Then follows pictures of some chain stuff incl idler gear and chain tightener, polished, white cad'ed and/or painted if necessary. The intermediate plate as well as the side covers were yellow cad'ed. The side covers had some pitting but I decided to do nothing about them. Maybe stupid but so it is. The outside was primed and the painted with the paint the block will have (see below).

  • "Original" status of the M 180 II engine, dressed in red by my father
  • "Original" status of the M 180 II engine, dressed in red by my father
  • Dismantling of the Ponton engine is under way
  • The cylinders and pistons of the type 219 engine soaked in oil to prevent any damage during the dismantling
  • Oil pan removed and now the dismantling of crank shaft and oil pump starts
  • Carefully cleaning the cylinders from any edges before taking the pistons out
  • Homemade puller for the intermediate gear in the M 1800 II engine
  • Idler and intermediate gear with shaft and bushing out, cleaned and painted as necessary
  • The chain tensioner of the 219 engine cleaned and checked
  • Intermediate plate out, cleaned and yellow cad'ed before paint
  • Side covers cleaned, yellow cad'ed and primed before the final black paint

2003 the engine took a trip to Norrköping and Peter Nilsson. His pictures hopefully speaks for themselves. Peter started with cleaning the cylinder block from oil paint and dirt and checking crankshafts, connecting rods, pistons etc. It was then discovered that the cylinders were more worn than expected, although within permissible limits, and had some scratches.

Since the car will not be my daily driver, we decided to not to bore the cylinders. New, oversized Ponton pistons are rare and very expensive. One alternative route I was recommended, and obviously not that unusual, was to use pistons and rods from a 230.6 engine. That would give me a MB 219 2.3 with a better torque at low rpm’s, partly due to that the connecting rod is better placed in the piston; the rod itself is shorter and hence sits further down in the piston compared to the old one which makes the rod to start to go to the side earlier.

  • Cleaning the M 180 II block
  • Honing the Ponton engine's cylinders with 300 stone
  • The Ponton engine's cylinders are honed
  • Crankshaft checked
  • The six pistons were cleaned
  • New piston rings
  • New piston rings installed in the 219 engine

Instead, he honed the cylinders, as little as necessary, with 300 stone. It can probably be considered a slightly rough stone, but I know he had a good reason for the choice, unfortunately I do not remember what it was... (It can be noted that I 2020 have no problems with high oil consumption or low compression, nor do the blowby tests I’ve performed show anything than good values!) New piston rings were of course used.

New starter ring gear was put in place and the flywheel machined whereafter everything was balanced. Also new crankshaft and connecting rod bearings were installed and everything else in the engine was checked towards the specifications given by the Technical Data Manual and workshop manuals. And, last but not least, after a layer of Hagmans 2k primer the crank case got its correct colour, satin black (2k paint from Standox), back.

  • Cylinder block primed
  • Cylinder block painted semi-gloss black again
  • The flywheel was turned, assembled on the crankshaft together with a new starter ring gear and thereafter everything balanced.
  • Crankshaft installed with new bearings shells
  • Pistons installed with new piston rings and bearing shells
  • The old, but restored, oilpump installed. Only the oil pan is missing to make the Ponton cylinder block "complete"

The cylinder head had already been restored during 1995 by one of the "old" guys, Rulle, at Mercedes-Benz's distributor Philipson in Spånga, west of Stockholm. The head had been machined, leveled and repaired/welded, as well as being equipped with new valve seats, valves with guides and new sealings. This was now dismantled one last time, double checked, oiled, assembled and then put where it belongs. Some say that the small black cover on the chest of the block ought to be stripped of its black paint and only yellow cad'ed. I've seen it unpainted, don't know if yellow or white cad, and I've seen it black, as in the MB-picture above. The plan was actually to have it unpainted but unluckily it got a layer of semi-gloss black paint and so it will be...

  • Oil pan on
  • Painted Ponton side covers on
  • Painted M 180 II side covers on
  • Double checked Mercedes 219 cylinder head ready for installation
  • Ponton cylinder head and chain assembled
  • Restored M 180 II engine, front left side
  • Restored M 180 II engine, front left side

Oil pump and filter

In my case the pump itself was perfect, completely tight - I could pump white spirit with slow turns of the shaft. The problem I had was with the drive shafts. On the first three pictures (taken with my cellular phone Ericsson P800 in bad lighting conditions...) you can see that the connection between the oil pumps shaft and the helical gear, that also connects to the distributor, was worn. These parts are "quite" expensive and if you choose to change them I would also change the rest of the drive mechanism (which in my case was in perfect condition, almost no wear at all); the intermediate gear shaft in the cylinder head as well as the other gear in the oil pump (or the whole pump itself...). After a lot of discussions with technical people, my engine restorer, Ponton advisors etc I came to the conclusion that a repair of the shafts would be good enough for how I'm going to use the car. The end result of that can be seen in the fourth picture.

I also had the two housing parts slightly leveled/smoothened. After assembly of the housing I got a slight resistance when turning the shaft. I re-oiled and re-assembled a couple of times with no luck. Was the money spent on fixing the shafts useless? I handed it over to Peter and resigned said, "Do whatever you can, if it doesn't work, we buy a new pump etc...". Lucky me, the problem was easy to solve, just twist the two housing parts slightly until the resistance disappears. Another stupid mistake from my side...

One alternative would have been to choose a pump from a W114/115 with higher a flow. Would however meant some rebuilding and I don't intend to drive the car faster and harder than I did when I was 20 - and the pump seamed to work under those conditions too.

  • Opened Ponton oil pump, wear on shaft to be seen
  • Shaft wear on oil pump clearly visible
  • Wear on helical gear shaft
  • Repaired oil pump shaft and helical gear shaft
  • All parts of a Ponton oil pump restored and ready for assembly
  • Ponton oil pump assembled

This is the original status of the upper part of the oil filter housing...

  • This is the original status of the upper part of the oil filter housing

See "And again..." below for the final solution of this item! Probably this replacement was not necessary but now I have a brand new pump in the engine and the restored one is saved as a spare. Feels safer...

And again...

While preparing the engine for startup in a running engine stand, I - more or less by luck - discovered that the helical gear, the shaft that connects the oil pump with the distributor, couldn’t be taken out upwards as easily as it should. Something was wrong. Since I had reused the old intermediate gear shaft as well as helical gear and oil pump, the latter two with a reparation done (see above), I suspected that something had happened there. I ordered everything new and dismantled the whole chain mechanism and oil pan. It was then I realized that the engine restorer had assembled not only the topmost chain guide wrongly, but also the intermediate gear’s retaining washer and front bearing bushing. This caused the whole mechanism to not move as easily as it should and I assume it would also give the shaft worse lubrication since the holes for the oil was wrongly positioned.

Below front bearing bushing assembled wrongly by 90 degrees clockwise meaning that it could move back and forth, in its turn blocking the shaft turning freely in certain conditions. If you want to see the correct way to assemble it; see workshop manual!

  • Front bearing bushing assembled wrongly by 90 degrees clockwise
  • Chain guide too low
  • chain guide damaged due to too low chain guide
  • Damaged Ponton chain guide
  • New Ponton chain guide in correct, high, position

The chain guide was also set one hole too low, causing the chain to come in contact with the bottom part of the guide (see damage to the guide in the third and fourth picture above) and possible also not guiding the chain between the idling and camshaft gears as it should. Old pictures from before I took the engine apart myself, years ago, shows the guide in high position. But my father had restored the engine and he could have had assembled it wrong as well. And unfortunately, I didn’t have any pictures of the head after it was restored by Mercedes, before my engine restorer took it down (why he decided to do that I don't know). So, before daring to assemble the guide in the higher position it took me some time to verify the position by asking several forums and contacts as well as looking at several M180-pictures, before I was 99% (still not 100% but it feels logically correct to me so I took this 1% chance). There is actually no assembly instruction or clear photo of it in the workshop manual and neither the local Mercedes-Benz shop, nor MB Classic Centre could give me an answer. It seems as if the position is set low in the 4 cylinder engine and high in the 6 cylinder engines. Don’t ask me why.

This is how I removed the chain guide pins. Fix a screw in the pin and block it from turning, in my case with a allen wrench, and drag it out by “tightening” the nut. I didn’t want to use “hammering force” for taking them out. Note the home made tool for bending out the locking wire on the chain guide.

  • This is one way to remove chain guides in a Mercedes-Benz 219
  • Tool for bending out the locking wire on the chain guide
  • Chain guide tool at work

New and old helicoil gear, intermediate gear shaft and oil pump. I kept the old bushings in the block for the shafts since they were in a very good shape. Tested for play and could't feel anything.

  • An old Ponton oil pump
  • New M 180 II intermediate gear shaft and helical gear
  • A new Ponton oil pump
  • New oil pump in place in the engine

Homemade counter hold while taking off the cam shaft gear (also used when tightening the screw) and also while finally tightening the screw. Final picture shows an even simpler solution for counter hold for the idling gear bolt. There are no torques given by the Tabellenbuch or the workshop manual so I used the standard torques; for the cam shaft screw M14 x 1,5 it is 150Nm (to be honest, I tightened it only up to ~120Nm) and 25Nm for the idling gear screw (M8 x 1,25).

  • Home made counter hold for camshaft gear screw
  • Puller for camshaft gear
  • Counter hold for idling gear screw

Maybe I should have taken the engine apart totally in order to double check everything that the engine restorer had done. After consulting two other engine restorers we came to the conclusion that the engine is so basic so that the only things that could be wrong – well, more or less – were the parts that I had discovered. So after having gone through the rest of the engine visually I deemed it to be OK. After having put the chain etc back, bled the chain tensioner and aligned the camshaft with the distributor as per the manual, I put the oil pan back, hopefully with the correct amount of sealant.

  • Sealant on Ponton oil pan before assembly
  • The result, hopefully not too much sealant

How to rebuild your old type of oil hose

For a long time, I have been trying to find a new replacement for the rubber hose that goes from the oil filter to the oil pressure gauge. You can order 136 540 02 59 from Mercedes et al (around €30 2017) but you will get the new version of this hose. If your Ponton has that type it's of course not a problem (I don't know when they switched from the old style to the new style). But if you have the old type, like me, you probably want that one. But don't by NOS, New Old Stock. This is not an option when it's a part containing rubber... It ages. In such a case, you have to rebuild your own, old hose.

The following describes what I learnt. Hopefully the hose-related terms are correctly understood by me and that I haven't simplified the processes or parts descriptions too much. Note, the description is based on what I learnt during discussions with several companies in Stockholm, reality may look different at your location.

The old type of Mercedes Ponton oil hose at the top and new type, sold by Mercedes et al, below. Note that the new one is yellow cad'ed

This picture shows you the old type of hose at the top and new type, sold by Mercedes et al, below. Note that the new one is yellow "cad'ed"

Take the old hose apart, i.e cut off the crimp-on hose-ends/collars and drag the old hose off from the fittings. Keep the old hose and collars so that you have the dimensions and can show your hose builder what you want. Clean up the fittings and have them white "cad'ed". Go to your hose builder and tell them you want:

  • a mandrel built ("dornbyggd" in Swedish) rubber hose, and not an extruded ("sprutad" or "formpressad" in Swedish) rubber hose. The mandrel built hose has a matt black surface that looks as if it has been wrapped in gauze bandage. The extruded hose has a glossy black and even surface which doesn't look "nice" or correct. To find the mandrel built hose can be a bit tricky since the outer diameter of the fittings are approximately 4,5mm. As I understood it, this is an unusually small dimension for mandrel built hoses which are normally used for larger applications. The hose should be approximately 11mm in outer diameter
  • the collar should be white "cad'ed", not yellow. The hose builder I found having the mandrel built hose didn't have white collars so I had to go to another hose builder to buy a couple of those. In my case the collars had a diameter of 11mm, a 7,2mm hole for the fitting and a length of 21mm. If you can find ones that are 2-3mm longer it looks more like the original collar - the collar should be crimped-on by hand to get the shorter crimp markings on the collar. If they are machined crimped the crimp markings will go all along the collar (see pictures below).

If you're situated in Stockholm, the only hose builder I found that could build this hose was NBM Hydraulik AB. Hydroscand, Lundgrens or any of the other smaller companies a contacted/visited didn't have the tools or parts to do it, at least not summer 2017.

  • My first attempt to have this Ponton oil hose remade, the hose builder used an extruded hose and the collars are machine crimped-on
  • Detail picture of the machine vs hand crimped-on collars
  • Detail picture of the differences between the two hose types clearly, the extruded hose at the top and old mandrel built Ponton hose at the bottom

Above, the first picture shows my first attempt to have this oil hose remade; the hose builder used an extruded hose and the collars are machine crimped-on. The second picture is a detail picture of the machine vs hand crimped-on collars and in the third you can see the differences between the two hose types clearly, the old mandrel built at the bottom.

A rebuilt Ponton oil hose with mandrel built rubber hose and hand crimped-on collars

Above is the final result; original looking, white “cad’ed” collars and a matt black, mandrel built hose of the old type

If you can get the original company marking/logo etched onto the collar, even better :) I skipped that.

Next step

Before installing the engine, with its auxiliary systems mounted, I wanted to check that everything worked as it should, do necessary adjustments, re-tighten all screws and see to that I had no leaks, see Running the engine on test bed.