1973 Mercedes Benz 280SEL 4.5 Projects 9

The first task today was installing the ECU. Before I could mount the bracket, I had to install the various electrical components on the side of the bracket. With that done, the bracket was installed and the ECU mounted.

2-2-17 brain 62-2-17 brain2-2-17 brain 42-2-17 brain 22-2-17 brain 3

Next up was installing the fuse rack. After mounting the rack to the firewall, I mounted the fuse holders and then did the wiring. The other components were then added. I did not install the fuses. After looking at the manual and receiving a reply from Tomguy, I knew that the fuses that had been used were not necessarily the correct ones. The owners manual says there was only one 25 amp fuse but there were three being used on my car. While the manual tells me what sizes of fuses should be used, it does not tell me physically where they go. If anyone can post a photo of the engine bay fuses, I would be appreciative. Since the fuses are color coded, I would know where the fuses should be.

2-2-17 fuse rack 52-2-17 fuse rack 32-2-17 fuse rack
I was ready to install the battery tray. My earlier wrapping of the exposed wiring harness now caused a problem as the new wrapping was too bulky to allow the battery tray to fit. I removed the convoluted tubing from the larger wiring harness and wrapped it with electrical tape. That did the trick and the tray was installed.

2-2-17 wiring2-2-17 battery

I was now getting close to finishing up the engine bay. In went the battery and the new windshield washer reservoir as well as the air cleaner.

2-2-17 engine bay 92-2-17 engine bay 62-2-17 engine bay 42-2-17 engine bay 8

I still have to re-install the auxiliary fan bracket, the hood pad and some detail work. Getting closer to having this part of the project finished.

Before and after.

1-15-17-1973-mercedes-552-2-17 engine bay 7

Originally Posted by Tomguy View Post
Very nice progress! I thought you said you weren’t doing concours-level?

I have never been one to keep cars for a long time. Back when I was heavily involved in Porsche club events our local club had a concours each spring. Most of the people who entered had had their cars for a long time and entered the same car each year. I usually had a different car every year. So, during the long northern Indiana winters, I used to take my 911 engine out, remove bumpers and whatever else I could, take the seats out and clean everything. One year I had points subtracted because I sent the factory stainless steel muffler out to be polished. But it sure looked good!!


As you can see, this was pre-lift days around the mid-eighties. My wife was the one who encouraged me to get a lift as she was always concerned about the car falling on me. All of this work was really pointless as we usually had an autocross or track event the week after the concours. So the car was soon dirty. Amazing what one will do to keep busy during winters. This all happened back in the eighties when I was much, much younger!!

When late in the afternoon yesterday I was so close to seeing the engine bay complete, I skipped one step. That was to install a seal around the inside of the air cleaner cover. I took care of that this morning.
2-3-17 air cleaner2-3-17 air cleaner 2

Now it was time to put the auxiliary fan and horns back on the car. I had the bracket powder coated. After cleaning everything, the result was that the edges of the condenser looked like they were sandblasted. My wife is an artist and she gave me her hand me down small brushes which really come in handy for touch up work. I painted the edges of the condenser with one of the brushes which really helped the overall look.

2-3-17 fan 42-3-17 fan 5

1-15-17 1973 Mercedes 642-4-17 fan

2-3-17 engine bay 32-3-17 engine bay 2

After having so much apart, I was apprehensive about starting up the car. Turned the key and it immediately started. Hooray!!!

All that remains in the engine compartment is replacing the hood pad. My buddy is going to help with that. We have a cool front going through this weekend but next week it is supposed to be back in the sixties. Since the glue has such a strong odor, we want to do it when we can have the garage door, windows and man door open.


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