A bump down under

The other day I was thinking it might be time for an oil change so I took a peek under the engine and saw…this! According to the drawings and photos on the internet of the engine the underside of the oil tray should be flat. Flat is not really the word that could describe this tray. How did this happen? Is the elephant ok? Could something on the inside have taken damage? I guess the tray will have to come off for an inspection. One of the things to be worried for is the oil suction pipe that could have got a hit.  On the other hand the oil gauge indicates full oil pressure. I don’t hear any strange noises either.

I also had a look from the top and all the vibration mounts for the cooler needs to be changed. The biggest question here is if I need to order these from Mercedes or if some kind of universal vibration mounts with the right dimensions exist.

Cage for roof rack

As you have seen earlier I have Thule roof racks (four of them and the fifth is an odd german one I came upon) mounted on the roof. While  they work well for short trips it would be more convenient for longer trips to have a “cage” on the roof that would make windsurfing kit and other things be more securely strapped down. The concept I have sketched is built on bolting L-shaped brackets on to the ends of the roof rack bars and then have pipes running through the holes located up and down on the brackets. 

On the sketch there are pipes just on one side. It will of course be on both sides and the upper and lower pipes will be joined together by u-shaped pipe sections in the front and back.

Here is a closer look at the bracket with pipes running through them. M6 bolts will be mounted through the small holes in the bracket. They serve as barriers for angular movement of the brackets.  The brackets have holes in their horizontal lowest surface so bolts can go vertically through them and the square bars (which will need to be drilled.)

And here is one of eight freshly made brackets! (there are benefits to beeing an engineer working at a manufacturing company) The next step is painting them black. Stay tuned!