BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Apr 2007
Location: Dallas TX USA
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Restoration results on myW220
I have been considering replacing my 2001 S430 (W220) (silver/light gray) w/89,000 miles with a used S550, but given the economy, decided to spend fewer dollars and restore my car and keep it for another 12-24 months. Here's what I did:
Steering Wheel/Shifter Knob:
I bought a used wood/leather steering wheel on eBay and had the leather replaced by DallasSteeringWheel.com with a flat black leather and had them stitch the seams with a gray baseball stitch. I had them do the same for the shifter knob. I think it turned out great and now I have a new car feel in my hands when I drive. Two day turnaround and they charged me $249 for the wheel and $75 for the knob.
I removed the wood trim on the doors by carefully prying off the wood pieces with a small screwdriver and then replacing the plastic anchors in the door with new ones ($2 each @ stealer). I removed the old metal clips (the new ones already have them inside the plastic anchors) from the wood backing and when I snapped the wood back in, it gave a very snug factory fit. I then polished all of the interior wood with Nufinish Scratch Doctor (nufinish.com). I can't say enough good things about this product. It polished my wood pieces back to a glassy, like new finish and removed all of the minor surface scratches.
I replaced the busted plastic seat cover on the door side of the drivers seat (very common problem) with a new piece from the stealer ($69). It is very easy to replace and took about 5 minutes.
I purchased some standard floor mats online for about $100 and discarded the old ones. Now the mats look fresh & clean and no longer have any of those micro "hairs" on the surging.
I then used the Scratch Doctor on my exterior. I was contemplating wet sanding, compounding & polishing the paint, but this seemed too risky for my skill level and would take too long. The Dr worked like a charm and, in my opinion, gave the car a wet sanded look without the extra risk/effort. It also worked great on the black plastic pieces (pillars?) between the doors. All surface scratches on them are gone.
I have AMG 5 spoke OEM hyper silver alloy wheels. Wheel Technologies in Dallas does a great job but, at $200 a wheel, $800 was more than I wanted to pay to repair the minor curb rashes edges. So I used a Dremel tool with a grinding stone to smooth the rash, applied some quick bondo, resanded the repaired area, then taped off the repair, primed and painted the repair. I swear you cannot see the repair unless you are specifically looking for it.
I cleaned my calipers with brake cleaner without removing them and then taped off and primed & painted the calipers bright red. Some $10 "AMG" stickers from ebay finished them off nicely.
I then cleaned my rotors using naval jelly to remove the rust and prep them for paint. I primed and painted (silver) the center of the rotors and the edges. The entire wheel/brake system now stands out like a new AMG model straight from the Stealer's lot.
Steering Wheel Buttons:
My became sticky on the touch surface over time (common problem). I tried to find just some buttons to replace online but to no avail. So, I held my breath and bought new ones from the Stealer ($210!).
Cabin Air Filters:
I replaced the filters (it had been some time and they were near black). The Stealer wanted $89 for the pair but I bought some TYC filters on bay for $17. It's a tedious but easy process to remove the entire glove box, open the filter box and replace them. About a 10 min job for the novice. (It might just be the 105 degree Texas heat, but I swear my A/C is cooler now that mote aur can pass through the filters).
Door Sill Plates:
Mine were weathered to a near dark gray, so I removed the sills from the door frame, and polished the aluminum using my Dremel with a polishing head and a good metal polish paste. I then put blue painters tape on the metal and used a razor blade to cut along the edge where the metal meets the plastic. I then used a satin finish black spray paint and painted the sills before replacing them in the door frame. I had to use some new clips to ensure a snug fit. They look like new.
I removed my bolt-on chrome exhaust tips, polished them using my Dremel and then painted the inside of them the same silver color as the wheels. Since the actual exhaust exits through the bottom port, the silver paint inside stays clean and makes the pipes look like a new car.
The last few things I need to do are:
A. Repair/replace the vacuum pump as my door locks & seat pumps won't work. I replaced a blown fuse, but now the pump runs and "clicks" until it times out.
Any suggestions? This looks like a $$$$ problem to fix as a new pump is $400ish without even knowing if that'll fix the problem (may be leaky hoses somewhere in the car).
B. Replace the glovebox button (surface is sticky). Probably another trip to the Stealer to replace the lock. I just hope I can swap out the lock cylinder and save a few $$$.
C. Clean the interior carpet.
All-in so far, I've spent about $900 for the restoration, so I figured I've saved $15-20,000 in the short term over upgrading to the S550 model.
I'll try and post some photos ASAP.
Last edited by twellborn; 08-20-2010 at 10:45 AM.