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Big Mods! 1985 Mercedes 500SEL

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  • Big Mods! 1985 Mercedes 500SEL

    I've been wanting this car for three years and now I finally have my paws on it! It was sold to me in very good condition considering it's age for only $900. The 5 liter V-8 engine has 110k on the clock and it looked good from the outside. (it doesn't looks so good now that hurricane Katrina dropped bits of tree on it ) The interior was not in the best of shape but I'm planning to have it re-done anyways. Overall it was well-worth the $900 i paid.

    Currently the gas mileage sux. There is no radio. The a/c is in need of a re-charge. And the interior is in pieces because I am redesigning the entire electrical system.

    Plans for now:
    I am rebuilding the center console and dash to house two 8" lilliputs and a center channel speaker. Putting a SFF (small form factor) PC in the trunk along with three 2000 watt 4 channel amplifiers and an extra battery. I have created a serially-based circuit board that will interface my computer with various electrical aspects of my car. I will be able to control the lights, ingition, a/c, door locks, and windows just by touching buttons on the touchscreens. (I am planning, once it's done, to market these interfaces and hope to find people willing to test out the system in thier own crazilly modded cars eventually)
    And lastly the system will interface with the automatic transmission to select the park, drive, neutral etc. gears from the PC.

    Plans for later:
    Weld the front and back doors together and make them rise on tracks above the body of the car and out of the way when opening.
    Change out the guages in the dash with monitors displaying guages overlaying rear and side view cameras (tha side mirrors on this model and aweful for blind spots)
    Design a microprocessor-based engine management system with AI to directly control spark timing, fuel injection and automatic gear shifting using inputs such as octane rating of gas, air temperature, O2 sensors on all eight cylinders, internal engine and transmission temperatures and driving style.
    With the AI, the engine with be able to adapt to differing weathar, different types of fuel (gas, E85, hydrogen and propane) and it will give real-time information to the drive about the efficiency of the engine and how it is compensating between the different cylinders. The system will be very accurate and should significantly increase mileage, power and longevity of the engine.

    This is how the engine is now. Notice the 5L V8 and all of its classic glory!



    The interior is all apart and the center console is ready for my controler moduals to be soldered in.



    I know what almost every single wire there goes to and how I'm going to change it.



    Hopefully it will all come together as well in reality as it has in my head...
    If anyone has ideas as to what else I out to do while I've got it opened up, let me know
    Am I crazy? Good question...
    If I say no, would you believe me?

    2x 8" monitors, Athlon 3000+, 120gb HD, and 6K watts of 7.1 surround sound :) ...coming soon...

  • #2
    Holy cow! Sounds like it'll be a good project....I definitely wouldn't have the patience and would probably cry once I got to that part of where your interior is at.... so I applaude you! LOL

    Post some exterior shots as well.

    Good luck and looking forward to seeing how it turns out? Do you have rough timeline sort of planned out or just working on it as you have time?
    Nick
    '99 Ford Escort ZX2 CarPC <-- RIP Feb '07

    2006 Chevy Equinox LS (Current Project)

    **VIA EPIA PD 1ghz Mobo, OPUS 150, 7" LinITX LCD touchscreen, 512 Ram, 60Gig HD, DLink Bluetooth, Belkin 802.11g wireless,

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    • #3
      I should have some exterior shots but I've been putting all the time I have into the inside. The exterior got banged up by the hurricane and I put it on the back burner... Planning to bring the paint back to the factory silver so the engine bay will match again. And eventually bag it and add AMG Monoblock style II 18"s. Put in all clear headlights and turn signals and make my own LED rear lights. But all of that is low priority right now...
      Am I crazy? Good question...
      If I say no, would you believe me?

      2x 8" monitors, Athlon 3000+, 120gb HD, and 6K watts of 7.1 surround sound :) ...coming soon...

      Comment


      • #4
        Technically you can't controll these things thru your computer cause most of parts don't have an universal network. There may be a way to do it with programmable bluetooth buttons. Even you make it, you can't produce it since each car has unique structure. Installation may be extremely complicated or impossible for some cars (specially old cars). You need skilled men for both side of installation. Hardware and software. I wish you good luck anyway.
        ibus error
        GTA skin

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        • #5
          Luckly for me, The car's electrical system has no network at all! There is no data streaming anywhere in it. I have created a circuit board that you control on a serial link from the PC. It has 4 digital inputs, 3 of which can be used as 8-10 bit analog for 0-5 volt readings and 8 outputs going into 8 16Amp SPDT relays. On top of that, I made the boards so you can daisy chain them with telephone wires so you can literally have as many as you want! Sure instalation will be almost entirely different for diferent cars but I'm an electrical engineer and I know what I'm doing.

          Some people have a problem beliving mewhen I talk about the things I'm able to do. Especially when they see that I'm just a freshman in college and just turned 20 years old. My car is older than me for God's sake! But when i bring out proof of my experience, People belive me. And just FYI, I got it working...
          Am I crazy? Good question...
          If I say no, would you believe me?

          2x 8" monitors, Athlon 3000+, 120gb HD, and 6K watts of 7.1 surround sound :) ...coming soon...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mercD
            Luckly for me, The car's electrical system has no network at all!
            indeed lucky for you now you can build your own but a commercial version would be close to impossible and not worth the price. btw i appreciate your target and definately believe you can make it.
            ibus error
            GTA skin

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            • #7
              whoo hoo!!! i done changed my tranny fluid! which brings me to another possibility... Is it possible to create some kind of electrical circuit that would give real-time information regarding the remaining life of oils and fluids in the car? IE... A friend of mine says his truck can tell him how many miles you can get out of the oil in the engine before it needs to be changed. I thought it was just a countdown based on the odometer but when he put synthetic in, the readings changed entirely... would this circuit find the capacitance of the oil? maybe the flow rate through some kind of speed sensing hole at different viscosities? or even chemically smell the oil somehow to read it's "usedness"? hmmm... it would be something i'm sure quite a few of us would want...

              If you have any ideas for something like this... Or any ideas that you wish you could do to your car and can't and want someone else to do it first... let me know... It'd be phun!!!
              Am I crazy? Good question...
              If I say no, would you believe me?

              2x 8" monitors, Athlon 3000+, 120gb HD, and 6K watts of 7.1 surround sound :) ...coming soon...

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              • #8
                wow, you're like, a big deal. does everybody know?

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                • #9
                  My center console looked something like this when I first started but it was blue... This area will house one lilli 8" and the other will go above the a/c vents if I can make it look good...

                  It looked good for it's time... But there are NO CUPHOLDERS!!!!!

                  hopefully i'l manage to make some where the gear selector would have been had I not removed and automated it by then...

                  Even back in the day people had amazing mods they did to this car... The one below was actually made by mercedes and posted in Car and Driver magazine millenia ago.

                  Granted, there wasn't a computer in there... but there was a b/w tv!
                  If anyone has any idea what the rest of that stuff is... Speak up! Because I can't figure out what it all is... is that a joystick? I wonder if it could play Pong?!?!?!
                  Am I crazy? Good question...
                  If I say no, would you believe me?

                  2x 8" monitors, Athlon 3000+, 120gb HD, and 6K watts of 7.1 surround sound :) ...coming soon...

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                  • #10
                    loookin good
                    subscribed!
                    98 V6 Camry XLE
                    Status-Everything is working again!
                    No progress while I am in NYC
                    Ze Worklog

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mercD
                      is that a joystick? I wonder if it could play Pong?!?!?!
                      some of the older cars had a joystick to control the audio from back & front and left right.. it was a non center returning stick.
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                      • #12
                        The stuff in the upper part op the dash was back then the epithome of HiFi in the car

                        Imagine 4 Mono Amplifiers so each had his power supply and signal path, and the master was a preamp where the cassette and tuner connected to !!!

                        I think this was the only attempt at doing it this way in a car

                        Although in show cars, I've seen a couple in recent years (but then a mono amp not per channel but per output level HI/MID/BASS)

                        And the stuff was made by Clarion, if you look around you can still find some stuff scattered around in Europe

                        Gemballa was also a big fan of it back then but then in the console

                        A friend of mine must still have one build up for use in his workshop

                        Funny thing there was a VU meter on each of the amps

                        Anyway imagine this back then in the late 70's or early 80's, that was considered as major overkill back then

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                        • #13
                          I do like Overkill... If you couldn't tell... I'm not going to go for mono amp though, only because i'll be running too many channels and I haven't the space in the trunk for 8 amps... (well i do... but nah..)
                          Right now I am assembling a to-do list to present to my classmates.
                          Back about 2 months ago I started The robotics club at Florida Atlantic University (FauRobotics.com) and now that it's a fairly active club, I am going to see who would like to jump into this mess with me and move it along at a faster pace than I could do alone. It is a great oportunity for me to teach my classmates basic electronics and at the same time I could be getting help from them putting it all together. I hope at least a few of them decide to jump aboard s it will take much longer alone... Like wise, if anyone wants to stop by and have a look for yourself and share some advise, feel free to drop a PM and i'll invite you to my workshop here in Pompano Beach, FL...
                          Am I crazy? Good question...
                          If I say no, would you believe me?

                          2x 8" monitors, Athlon 3000+, 120gb HD, and 6K watts of 7.1 surround sound :) ...coming soon...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Moovinge right along...

                            the computer's in the trunk... it's running right off of the battery... it's hiding under a towel for protection from loose objects in the area...
                            the wiring is getting slightly more organized. I'm crimping and plugging and it's looking much better than before... When I have the time and weather permits, I work on the wiring. When the weather is not as good or it's too hot (florida summers make it uncomfortable sometimes...) I code up the programs that the computer will run and the program that the microcontrollers will run...
                            Currently though, I'm waiting for my 2 VGA and USB extentions, my slot loading dvd burner and my 7 port usb 2.0 hub to arrive from tiger...
                            Once I have all of that, I can start running the wires and have my computer connected to the two 8" lillis and the dvd burner. I am wondering how I'm going to put the top screen in so that it's not affected by glare. I have two options.
                            1. make a large hood out of fiberglass or something and put it above my center a/c vents... (i've tried it pictures below)
                            2. Make the hood lower and seperating the a/c vents and have one on either side of the screen... (not as easy but probably better for glare, looks and theft.
                            What are you suggestions?

                            This is how I planned to have the top monitor at first, but on building it, I think it looks like @$$...



                            yes The dash is outside the car... and yes I do still drive it like that when I need to... And YES people think I'm a nutcase when they see me driving it like that.

                            The SFF PC is in the trunk, straped down temporarily with bungees and a towel. This particular one has a 3000+ AMD 512MB DDR, plenty of USBs and Firewire ports, and most importantly DUAL VGA onboard! I can run both of my screens on this PC without even using my PCI or AGP slots... I do plan on running more than 2 eventually... But that's for later...



                            And these... are my interface boards... 4 inputs and 8 16A outputs... Around 5 of these will control my car's electrical system with or without my computer being on. as soon as I program them...



                            If anyone knows how to get rid of the 5 second delay from my OPUS 150 starting up or the 10 second delay shutting down, let everyone know or at least point me in the right direction. Any other suggestions are welcome as well...
                            Am I crazy? Good question...
                            If I say no, would you believe me?

                            2x 8" monitors, Athlon 3000+, 120gb HD, and 6K watts of 7.1 surround sound :) ...coming soon...

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                            • #15
                              Updates!!! Re-Did the dash

                              It looked crappy... really crappy... so I had to change it up some...

                              This time i made it from MDF and a layer of fiberglass... I think you will agree that it looks 1000 times better now...

                              the monitor fits... with a little room for the upholstery and all's well...



                              After a bit of fiberglass across the top... OK.... Alot....



                              Beautifully counter-sunk holes... Drilled out in one shot...




                              and here is the car as it sits... After the hurricanes...





                              Now I'll have all of my 1337 programming buddies come over and crack the whip as they setup the software interface... Muahahahahaa....


                              Anyone have an idle air/fuel distributor hose for this 117 engine?...
                              Am I crazy? Good question...
                              If I say no, would you believe me?

                              2x 8" monitors, Athlon 3000+, 120gb HD, and 6K watts of 7.1 surround sound :) ...coming soon...

                              Comment

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