I’ve watched more Wheeler Dealers videos that is healthy for me, so if I tell you that I’ve found a favorite then it’s special. And here it is. In Season 13 Episode 1, they tackle a 1987 Mercedes Benz 560SL.
It has a 5 1/2 li V8 producing 227 hp, and is always sought after because not only is it a classic high end Mercedes, it’s also a convertible, which essentially doubles the price right there.
But what makes this particular video super interesting for me is that the amazing Edd China tackles one of the most mysterious components of the these cars for me, which is its fuel injection system, and in particular, the injectors themselves.
Here, after determining the performance wasn’t up to par, he checks the fuel and ignition system which both turn out okay. So he checks the injectors via a device which pushes fluid (not sure it its fuel) through it, and true enough they spew it out differently. Some produce a mist, which is preferred, and some produce an almost faucet like drip, which is awful as it probably consumes gas like a truck and needless to say causes the engine to perform unevenly.
The truth is he doesn’t even have to test them, as the correct thing to do is just replace them altogether along with all the seals and all the related rubber parts. Clearly he’s doing this for the clueless, and grateful, viewer, myself.
Later he also changes the timing chain, tensioner and guide, an essential change needed every 100,000 miles.
While doing so he teaches the important need to find top dead center, to mark the timing chain with some harmless white marker so he knows where to put it back together again, and puts a rag to keep any nut or pin from falling into the engine – a possibility that is akin to total disaster, as it would require lifting the engine off and tearing it apart just to get it back.
Later he fixes things in the interior and does a lot of work with the suspension, which are also interesting but fairly standard as far as wheeler dealer videos are concerned.
What’s interesting to me most about this video is that Edd is working on a big old fuel injected Mercedes V8.
You see, Mercedes is not only known for greatly engineered cars, but also because they have a reputation of requiring highly sought after specialists to maintain and run. Some of these specialists command fees akin to surgeons, and have a mysterious air about them, as if they were wizards trained in temples in the Himalayas.
So for Edd to show us all how it’s done in an HD video, with complete details and instructions as well, makes this very special. Suddenly trying to restore an old Mercedes isn’t the trek across the Sahara as it had seemed to be. With reasonable mechanic skills and the required tools (although he uses some specialized tools here), his message is that anyone is able to return an amazing 80’s iconic vehicle back to how it was when it was new.
And THAT, I think is supposed to be the point to Wheeler Dealers and similar shows. The addition of drama, such as the super common ‘make it a show car in two weeks’ gimmick that shows in the Velocity channel do DO NOT add to a car show and in fact makes me want to hurl the TV out the window.
What I, and I imagine most guys, want from car shows is to be taught how to work on these cars. These inspire or make us ‘dream’ of working on our own projects. Edd is an icon to guys like me because he brings that to us. Mike is just a guy that gets in the way of all this, and I skip nearly all the parts he’s in, with the exception of finding out how much of a profit he’s made. But I’m willing to skip even that, because really, Edd is the star of this show.
Here’s the full thing (at least until it’s removed, so if its still here by the time you see this, enjoy!):