The W123 Feeling at home in Albania
After that first trip to Turkey we found out that things could be done a bit different. I did want to lift the vehicle before the trip but I failed to do that.
It's wise to lift the vehicle as high as possible, but not too high as axles can break when the angle gets bigger and under tension they might break.
So, I installed heavy duty version coil springs. In the case of Mercedes you can still order them at the dealer. Mercedes sold these stronger coil springs for the W123's in countries with bad road conditions. When you install the stronger coil springs you actually need to install heavy duty shockers too. In my case I only installed the stronger shockers in the front. The rears are still original. But hey, they are still in good shape!
Then a strong imperial was installed so we could fix a tent on it, though this is not a car modification, it's very recommendable! You can sleep on the car and sleep anywhere you want, regardless of the underground (like in a stony environment).
Then one of the next most important things to check is your wheels. I tried several things and I know now what NOT to use. I might sound stupid but I thought mud and snow tyres would be the best for the trips with terrain, water, mud, sand and so on because of the profile pattern.
This didn't work very well, after 20000km in Africa the profile was falling off. I turns out the tyres are so soft that in this heat the tyres will wear much faster (
), I could have known that of course..
I also tried huge All Terrain tyres on bigger rims (15 inch instead of 14 inch), but they turned out to be too soft too. After a trip through Wadi Rum where I had the tyres deflated to 1,0 bar I broke the first one. These tyres were crap, or at least not usable for hot environments.
On my latest trip were the original tyres again. They were perfect but you get stuck much more easily. I'll try something different again on the next trip. More about that later..
A big imperial is also useful to put extra stuff on the roof which you can't fit into the car, like an alumimium box or an extra wheel or fuel can.
This results in the following setup.
As you can see the car is lifted quite a bit.
Another important item was the sump protection plate. I was lucky, Mercedes made these plates which could be ordered as an option. Sometimes you can find them on Ebay.
This plate protect your vulnerable oil sump and save you from huge problems. The year I installed it I bumped against a huge stone, even the plate was bent so much that it touched the engine and the whole car shook when idling. I had to remove it and bend it back.
The tent unfolded.
@ilesmark - I wasn't finished yet
I never got problems with filling the car up with vegetable oil.
Unfortunately it's more expensive than diesel these days.