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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Where to start

I have probably just made a huge mistake buying this but I've always wanted one













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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 09:20 PM
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That car will cost more to put right than buying a good one
Price up just the sill repair and you will see what I mean
Good parts source thats about it Sorry to say
It is sweet looking though I love them when they have a natural patina going on


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 11:47 PM
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Yes, in that condition maybe better as a (don't tell I aid this) engine swap candidate for a custom job. Have fun with it, it would be too costly to make whole again. You can buy nice examples of these sedans very cheap, this seems like an impulse buy yes? Price running condition cars of this sort with little to no rust and you may be surprised, but don't give up hope, as said you do have a viable parts car.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DirectLA View Post
Yes, in that condition maybe better as a (don't tell I aid this) engine swap candidate for a custom job. Have fun with it, it would be too costly to make whole again. You can buy nice examples of these sedans very cheap, this seems like an impulse buy yes? Price running condition cars of this sort with little to no rust and you may be surprised, but don't give up hope, as said you do have a viable parts car.
Hi, you can't buy nice examples of these in the UK, good ones go for £20,000 - £30,000 My VW camper was as bad if not slightly worse than this when I started it.
My plans are to keep the body and interior as close to original spec as possible and to get a later car and strip it for engine box and brakes as I can get a running early 90's Merc for around £1000

Anyway it will keep me out of the pub for the next few years
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 10:45 AM
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Sorry didn't realize you were in the UK. It's easier to find cars with little to no rust here but you guys surely have experience with rust repair. Yes, swapping out the mechanicals will put you way ahead of trying to source and piece together an original car, which I thought was your original intent. Those little bits get very costly and add up quickly. Didn't intend to discourage you but some people buy cars with their heart and not a realistic idea of the true costs of little things. Since you're mechanically inclined this could be a fun project for you since you've let go the notion of a "restoration."

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 01:23 PM
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Hi, you can't buy nice examples of these in the UK, good ones go for £20,000 - £30,000 My VW camper was as bad if not slightly worse than this when I started it.
My plans are to keep the body and interior as close to original spec as possible and to get a later car and strip it for engine box and brakes as I can get a running early 90's Merc for around £1000

Anyway it will keep me out of the pub for the next few years
Ok if you are serious about spending some time and money and a re planing a late model drive train retrofit I would start with sorting the sills and go from there
The easyest donor swap would be an m110 from either a w116 (d-jet) or a w126 1st gen (k-jet)
Just beware when it comes to body work you get what you pay for and with the state of those sills you will need new inner and outer sills so before you spend a cent (pence,penny?)on that car price that work up
If not done properly there is no point in putting all that effort of a drive train swap into a bad foundation
Im sure you could find a car in the UK with far better bones for much less then 20k you could buy a minter overseas and import it for less than that you even have all the parts for a RHD conversion if you pick up LHD one from the continent
In NZ you can buy really nice examples for around the 10kNZD mark


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info on the donor swap, the W116 & 126's are about over here reasonably cheaply as they haven't yet acquired classic status. In the long run it would be easier to buy a reasonable fintail here, runners on the road are sometimes as low as about £6,000 but they will need work and I don't have 6K in a lump sum to splash out on a toy, so little by little over the next few years I can spend some time in the workshop and once the body work is rust free and straight I can swap the mechanicals over and hopefully for about 10-12K I can have a well sorted good looking driveable classic.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeSEC View Post
That car will cost more to put right than buying a good one
Price up just the sill repair and you will see what I mean
Good parts source thats about it Sorry to say
It is sweet looking though I love them when they have a natural patina going on
With great love to JoeSEC and with great respect, I say "OH HELL NO!!" Here's what I see:

Some structural rust
Some Surface Rust

Structural rust can be repaired by any shmoe with a grinder and rudimentary welding skills. Cost (and I'm speaking from experience here, because I had worse issues with previous Benz' I've owned):
-outer rocker: $400 from Adsitco.com (I paid twice that for two, and it included shipping)
-inner rocker (what the outer rocker welds to): $100 from a local fabricator who bent me a piece of same sized steel
-makita grinding/cutting tool: $50, with another $50 for the disks (at $5 per)
-welder: $400 for a refurbished one off eBay (less if you have someone just do the work for you perhaps, but a good welder can be a gold mine)

Fixing the surface rust involves cutting off the outer rocker with the makita and repairing/replacing any inner rocker bits that are beyond saving. Buy some hydrochloric acid and spread it on the rust that remains. It'll dissolve the stuff, and is neutralized with water. After drying, coat the all-hells of everything with a rust inhibitor and let it dry. Do it again, and let that dry. LIBERALLY coat the inner rocker with primer and let it dry. Repeat, let dry. Apply a third coat and let dry. Use Rustoleum (sp?) or some other similar epoxy-based spray paint and coat the inner rocker. It won't be seen, so aesthetics aren't important. Repeat for three coats total.

Do the same thing (prime and coat) with the inner portion of the outer rocker. Where the new outer rocker and the inner rocker meet, make sure there are bare metal portions, or the welds won't hold.

Weld the holy hell out of everything, and don't worry too much about crappy or ugly welds - you can grind them down after the fact with your makita, and make it all look good. Coat the welds with primer and a base coat of your other spray paint.

For the surface rust (and I'm thinking of the roof), you have a couple options - grind it all down to bare metal, apply the hydrochloric acid to eat what remains, and once neutralized/dried, add the rust inhibitor.

For surface rust on engine stuff (the brake booster for example), do a google search on how to eat rust with a battery charger and a bucket of soapy water. It's something like mixing some Tide washing detergent in a bucket, clamping the rusty bit with the positive terminal and some useless piece of metal in the solution, clamped to the negative bit. Or vise versa - I don't remember. By the morning, the rust will be on the useless metal bit and off the piece you want to keep. Again, you'll need to verify this with a general google search. I tried it once with rusted crescent wrenches and it worked like a charm.

The "expensive" part of these jobs is your time. Nothing on a car this old is a technological feat of "holy crap"ness, but it'll take your time, and in spades, to work the kinks out.

I am by no means an expert mechanic,but I did all this kind of work when I was in grad school in my spare time, while writing a thesis and studying for finals. It is NOT impossible, and it turns out to be fun.

I would disagree with peers/colleagues and tell you to keep the car, do the work on your own, and thoroughly enjoy the journey. There's no reason a car like this has to get done overnight, or in a month, or even a year. I have enormous pride and satisfaction in the job I did with mine, and except for the final paint job, I never paid anyone to take the restoration work over for me.

Regarding the interior: I saw no rips or tears, so you can scrub the seats and such down and see what comes of it. Dye is cheap and as long as the seats aren't covered in Armor-All, is easy to apply. Same thing with the head liner. The seat pads may be shot (they're horsehair glued into a specific form), and can be expensive to buy. Look for old or unused blankets, stitch them together for the padding you need, and put the seats back together. Once out of the car, taking the skins off the seats is a simple job.

For interior/floor rust, do the same thing. Grind/cut out and replace what goes all the way through, and dissolve the remaining surface stuff with acid. I did this and recoated the interior floor with truck bed coating, at something like $50 per quart. My car is very quiet as it goes down the road and water will never be an issue or problem in the interior. Replacement carpet from specialty shops can be expensive, but carpet bits from a carpet store will be inexpensive. All you do it cut the shape of the piece you pulled out and glue it back in with contact cement.

Your two best friends in all this: this forum, and google. Any of us are happy to advise/help. PM me at any time and I'd be happy to assist.

Don't part your car out - it looks rough but it's not as bad as you might think.

There are some that will say that anything not "original Mercedes" or anything not from the Stealership or Classic Center shouldn't go onto your car. Offer them unkind, 4-letter words, and do to your car what makes you happy or satisfied.

Good luck, and welcome to the world of Mercedes - I'm sure you'll enjoy your car!

Last edited by Grubeguy; 05-16-2012 at 05:05 PM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 04:59 PM
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I'd still say CONGRATULATIONS on the purchase. I won't deny it would take time (and money) to get that classic beauty look its former glory but what the heck, who says LOVE is free? Looking at it half full than empty, that'll keep you out of the pub.

Good luck on the restoration and keep us posted (with photos) in this thread.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 06:39 PM
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With great love to Grubeguy and with great respect lol
You are quite correct that some one with a few welding skills could patch up the ends of the sills hell I could do a great looking job with bog packed out with news paper
And thats fine if you just want to muck around or do a quick tart up for sale
I totally agree with most of what you say I did a few minor welds on my W108 when I got it
I diy everything
But the sills are also the jacking points and are structural and at that point of corrosion
it needs full inners and outers to repair in any fashion that will last
Also a car needs to have some merit in order to save it ie
The mechanicals are good or the body is good or it has sentimental or historical value
Given the plan is to run modern mechanicals It would make so much more sense to start with a car with crap mechanicals and a rust free body
Rebuilding any car in a derelict state is never a good decision financially, its an emotional decision with great rewards for those with the money to spend
If the Journey is more important to you than the finished product and funds injected then by all means tackle the job but if it is a financial decision to start with that car you may be biting off more than you can chew...


Last edited by joeSEC; 05-16-2012 at 06:58 PM.
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