Thanks for reply.
Unfortunately the car does not have a removable panel.
Think I will leave alone and hope it is ok.I have removed the water pump case as it is easy enough to change that seal.
Have you had your car for long and how have you found the experience of owning a Merak.
I am finding it quite a challenge as the car I have bought needs a lot of work to get it on the road .parts are very expensive with a limited amount of people knowing much about the car.
I've owned my Merak since June 2006 (I'm the fourth owner), and covered about 12,500 kilometers since then. The body and chassis are in very good condition (some welding work has been done recently). The paint is fine – certainly good enough for leaving it as is (it was repainted in the early 1980s) for the time being – but it's of course not in show condition. Mechanically, the car was okay when I bought it, but since major work hadn't been done on it for two decades I decided to go for a full engine rebuild, new clutch+++, new battery and plug cables, and replacing all hoses, lines, and fluids over the winter 2006-2007. All parts were available, mostly from MIE, Eurospares, and Bill McGrath, and included one new cam, two valves, new chains (upper and lower) and guides, new piston rings, new bearings, new water pump, etc. The engine work was done by Ferromek, a small workshop in Oslo that specializes in vintage Italian cars. Sigurd Amundsen, who runs the company, actually owned that particular car for twenty years, having imported it from Switzerland in 1981.
Yes, all that work was expensive and one might argue, on hindsight, that I should perhaps have searched for a car in even better condition. However, buying a car – even a purportedly “perfect” one – is always filled with uncertainties…
Living with the Merak? Well, one has to take care of the inevitable electrical issues, and fix the occasional small things that tend to happen with older cars: just to given an example; the cable operating the driver's side door handle snapped and had to be replaced (the fix was inexpensive (just a cable), but it took an hour or so to do it since the door panel had to came out). Otherwise, it has mostly been a tale of regular servicing (mainly, oil and oil filter change at least once a year), topping up fluids, and keeping the car fresh and clean inside and outside.
Last winter I did quite a lot of servicing; replaced the air filter, new plugs, changed gear oil, plus a new battery, new tyres (Michelin XWX, so quite expensive...). a new rubber boot on the steering rack (left side), new radiator cap... what else?! I did a thorough rustproofing of the car last winter, which involved the messy job of getting rid of the old undersealing first. Inevitably, I found a section of the floor that had to be replaced (that job I didn't do myself...).
Recently, I replaced the rear wheel bearings, which also provided the opportunity to clean and re-grease the various driveshaft parts. The wheel bearings are standard stuff and were easily obtained from a local supplier.
The car has been very reliable and great fun on the road. Just did some 1,200kilometers on a trip to the Maserati International Rally in Båstad, Sweden, which included some laps at the Ring Knutstorp race track. No issues whatsoever.
I’m very happy with the car – and so are my daughter (10 years) and son (9 years), who often come along for a drive!
Many many years ago, a client came in with his Merak, no start condition. We worked and worked, the engine was just STUCK. We removed the engine. Removed the oil pan. The crankshaft was in THREE PIECES. A replacement was nowhere on Gods Green Earth to be found. After looking for two years, we parted the car out. Sad but true.