Catalog Nr. 4 offers you the consumer, perhaps for the first time, a choice, in many cases, on the type of part needed. The parts conditions of new (N), new old stock (NOS, or just S), used (U), and replacement (E) are intended to provide the customer with a choice of whether the part is for a period restoration or just plain functionality. We are finding that in many cases Mercedes is no longer supporting some parts for the S404. In these instances, the ONLY alternative is a NOS (S) part or a replacement part. If neither of these choices are available, then you will need to find the part made of “unobtanium” or fabricate it yourself. We also offer a (R) parts category. This designation will include remanufactured as well as restored parts. Here you will find used parts cosmetically refurbished to a “new” condition; remanufactured for functionality, or both. The below description will add some clarification to all categories.
New (N) Parts
Are just that. Either Mercedes still manufactures, or they procure from many vendors, both OEM and those under contract for certain items. These vendors are represented by the many countries in the EU and elsewhere who produce at partially, for Daimler Benz. They include Hungary, Slovakia, Spain, France, Italy, Great Britian, etc. Some Bosch items they vend are coming from Indonesia. We cannot guarantee where your particular part is coming from when ordered, if it is a new, “factory fresh” Mercedes part.
NOS (S) parts
A word about NOS parts. Much has been said about them. Some vendors would have you believe they are to be avoided. Fact is, most NOS parts are totally serviceable, and perhaps superior in some cases to newly made items. When made, they were made to bolster military stocks when the production of the S404 was at its high point. In many instances, their quality surpasses current (and sometimes contract vendors outside of Germany) production. The most critical issue with NOS parts is the shelf life of the component or assembly when comprised of several component parts. Brake cylinders, air valves and compressors, rubber hoses, belts, etc. have been known for becoming “set” – with seals losing their pliability, etc. These need not necessarily be avoided, but to be sure, a simple tear down and rebuild of the component to assure its functionality may be warranted. It is for this reason that we do not sell NOS components of this nature without a thorough inspection and function test.
Corrosion too is a malady for NOS parts. Depending on the storage conditions, a “never-placed in service” part can often exhibit debilitating corrosion that an “in-service”, “used” part never has. In the case of the NOS part it can be frequently attributed to storage conditions, whether it has been opened, or simply the ingress of moisture over decades. Likewise, the used part may have been encrusted in grease and oil for the same period of time, exposing a pristine item after degreasing. It is for this reason we offer a wide selection of used parts, and inspect and repackage NOS parts prior to sale where the condition of the part may have been compromised by such conditions.
Restored (R) Parts
Restored, Refurbished, Remanufactured, Rebuilt. We use this classification to identify parts that have been both cosmetically renewed and/or remanufactured to “as new” specification. This too is a subjective classification, and as with all our products, your satisfaction is guaranteed. Mechanical assemblies have been either partially or totally disassembled, inspected, reassembled and tested. This pertains to starters, carburetors, transmissions and the like. Finishes may vary, from a “blank” (no) finish, to an anodized state, or painted state. Painted parts are either finished in a zinc chromate (yellowish to gray), or “red” oxide color. Where illustrated, painted finishes may also include the NATO colors most commonly found on parts including RAL 6014 (NATO olive) or the current RAL 6031 finish for the three color German army paint scheme.
Used (U) Parts
In addition to the comments above relevant to NOS versus used parts we offer this note. Over the years of production, Mercedes made production modifications, ostensibly “improvements”. The military embraced these without question. Older versions were deemed obsolete. For the restorer, this older version may be what is wanted for an authentic period restoration. We make the distinction, where appropriate, between the used part and otherwise. During the service life of the vehicle, numerous modifications may have been made, rendering “originality” a very subjective term. Whereas the military may have replaced the part or system, en-masse, there remains the intrinsic need for the restorer to have a period, unmodified vehicle in his possession. The French perhaps were masters at this practice. An “original” early French 404 may still have had wooden cargo bed details when released from service, yet the entire cab may have been replaced during an ordnance overhaul, thus rendering a first production series specimen an combination of styles.
Replacement (E) Parts
Where Mercedes no longer supports a component part of the S404, yet there is a suitable replacement on the market, we may offer this product. This includes such items as weatherstripping, oil seals, and in some cases even hard parts. Unipaser, and one other vendor we know of are currently procuring aftermarket machined parts to original specifications for such critical items as transmission bushings. We also offer an aftermarket fuel pump diaphragm and several gaskets of suitable or superior material and chemical resistance as the original. In these cases, the part has been tested and found reliable for the purpose intended. As time goes by, the number of aftermarket parts will only increase, to be sure.