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Old 12-09-2004, 01:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How can I tell an AMG kit from a copy?

My body shop guy started putting together the AMG Sports body kit for my SL500 today, beginning with the front bumper. But he rang me this morning with a concern that the parts were not genuine.

He says he can tell because the genuine AMG foglights are a bad fit and need to be adapted, and the air dam sections beside them are also an ill fit. This makes him think the parts are not genuine.

So I went down to take a look.

The bumpers certainly have the MB part numbers on them, and are stamped "Made In Germany". They also seem to be made of a plastic rubber substance that is not a fiberglass copy. So it all adds up genuine to me. But my painter has had years of experience of fitting these kind of parts to other high end cars, and he has serious doubts.

How can I check? He says they will look just like brand new when he's finished, as the outer finish is a very high quality. But I guess he's annoyed at all the trouble it is taking to get exact fitting when he says most other high quality parts just click together. I'll pay more for his trouble too.

Any ideas or experience from AMG converters out there? How do I tell the parts are genuine?

On the positive side, it seems the bumpers will fit OK without needing the later (and expensive) support bars. I'm mighty relieved of course--it was a big hurdle till now.

Here's what my SL looks like with the front bumper removed at his shop:

<img src="http://www.kensilver.com/bumperoff.jpg" border=0>



Ken Silver
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~1993 SL500, glistening triple black, xenons, AMG facelift to 2002 style.
~1999 SLK 230 Kompressor, silver/black leather, CD, immaculate
~1999 Suzuki Grand Vitara. black & silver
~1991 Jaguar Daimler, shiny grey/grey leather, best in country!
~ex 350SL, 230E, 280E, MX5 and a lot of other makes not nearly as nice.

<img src="http://www.kensilver.com/SLsigsmall.jpg" border=0>



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Old 12-09-2004, 11:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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RE: How can I tell an AMG kit from a copy?

No answers yet? I'm just about to hop along to his shop with this photo of a 2001 AMG that also looks a bad fit. Must be quite common then.



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~1993 SL500, glistening triple black, xenons, AMG facelift to 2002 style.
~1999 SLK 230 Kompressor, silver/black leather, CD, immaculate
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Old 12-09-2004, 12:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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RE: How can I tell an AMG kit from a copy?

Yeah that's common. I'm surprised to know you don't need newer support bars. ... well good for you.
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Old 12-09-2004, 03:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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RE: How can I tell an AMG kit from a copy?

Here is a real thing. Sorry for the bad pic.
/HÃ¥kan
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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RE: How can I tell an AMG kit from a copy?

Quote:
lnguyenh - 12/10/2004 7:27 AM
...I'm surprised to know you don't need newer support bars. ... well good for you.
My paint shop guy had to do quite a bit of retrofitting to get around the lack of correct support bars, but the sums have come out quite well...

He's spent 8 hours total on this. Allowing for an hour that would normally be taken up with a standard fit, that's 7 hours at about NZ$50 (US$35)an hour. So for NZ$350 I probably got a good deal. Better than spending US$5000 per bumper to buy the 2000+ standard SL bumpers - just to get the support bars from them!

Ken Silver
--------------
~1993 SL500, glistening triple black, xenons, AMG facelift to 2002 style.
~1999 SLK 230 Kompressor, silver/black leather, CD, immaculate
~1999 Suzuki Grand Vitara. black & silver
~1991 Jaguar Daimler, shiny grey/grey leather, best in country!
~ex 350SL, 230E, 280E, MX5 and a lot of other makes not nearly as nice.

<img src="http://www.kensilver.com/SLsigsmall.jpg" border=0>
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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RE: How can I tell an AMG kit from a copy?

Quote:
SL60 ///AMG - 12/11/2004 10:39 AM
Here is a real thing. Sorry for the bad pic.
/HÃ¥kan
That's what I have too. It's good that they all look the same anyhow.

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Old 12-09-2004, 06:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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RE: How can I tell an AMG kit from a copy?

Update:
I heard back from the importer to say that these were definitely genuine parts, but that AMG are renowned for producing a bad fit like this. What!! Where's the traditional German quality gone to? My painter is more annoyed than me, because he has to work with it and I only see the end (exact and highly polished) result.

But it says a lot about the standards we're getting now.

Ken Silver
--------------
~1993 SL500, glistening triple black, xenons, AMG facelift to 2002 style.
~1999 SLK 230 Kompressor, silver/black leather, CD, immaculate
~1999 Suzuki Grand Vitara. black & silver
~1991 Jaguar Daimler, shiny grey/grey leather, best in country!
~ex 350SL, 230E, 280E, MX5 and a lot of other makes not nearly as nice.

<img src="http://www.kensilver.com/SLsigsmall.jpg" border=0>
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Old 12-10-2004, 10:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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RE: How can I tell an AMG kit from a copy?

Silver... quick question... did the shop say that the bumper was ill fit before it went to paint or after? If they tried to fit the bumper to the car before they did prep paint then yes i could just be a bad bumper but if they did not test fit it, sent painted it and then put it on the car, the body shop could be the reason for the bad fit.

Speaking from working at a body shop for 3 years (1 year painting cars) it is not to uncommon for this to happen. Bumpers are made of a rubber type composition and is a flexable part. The bumper gets most of its rigidity from the inserts that are behind it. Depending on how they "hung the bumper" during the bake cycle after they painted, the heat could have cause it to sag. The ovens get to about 135+ for 30-45 min's. Say if they painted it on standard paint stand the center section is supported but the sides are not... when the paint gets baked the heat can cause the sides to drop. I have seen it happen on Mercedes before and it has happend to me. Since I do not know how they did it I cannot say for sure that was the reason. Good luck with the rest of the retrofit.
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Old 12-10-2004, 08:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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RE: How can I tell an AMG kit from a copy?

Ken my AMG kit has an AMG part number stamped (not sure if that is different from MB) and is stamped "AMG". The fit is perfect and there are not gaps, even around the lights. I did pay the extra for the supports though. Perhaps they could check the part numbers?
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Old 12-11-2004, 08:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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RE: How can I tell an AMG kit from a copy?

Quote:
Black129 - 12/11/2004 5:38 AM
Silver... quick question... did the shop say that the bumper was ill fit before it went to paint or after?...
Before. The bumpers themselves fit nicely enough on the SL because they did this part first. They go for painting tomorrow.

It's just that the individual parts on the front bumper - like the left and right hand grill insert surrounds, and the AMG foglights - are a poor fit.

This picture shows a mismatch for the AMG foglight holes. My body shop guy had to drill new positioning holes in the bumper.



The following pic shows one of the grill inserts. While it's just sitting in place here for the photo, the fit is not that good at all, but better than the silver AMG bumper in the photo a few posts above.



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~1993 SL500, glistening triple black, xenons, AMG facelift to 2002 style.
~1999 SLK 230 Kompressor, silver/black leather, CD, immaculate
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