'65 220SE - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Jul 2012
Vehicle: 1965 220SE Coupe
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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'65 220SE

Hey guys,

I'm new here, but a big fan of classic cars, particularly German made

So recently my aunt approached me about restoring her '65 220SE Coupe. It's in pretty good condition, no major dents or rust and most of the pieces are all there (including a becker radio in the dash). The interior needs a lot of work, especially the door panels and wooden dash (I don't know if it ever had the padding). I'm missing a headlight piece, tires are rotting, and some of the seals probably don't hold up any more (which sucks because I know that seal aluminum trim is a hassle to install). There's the nifty original owners manual in the glove box, along with some maintenance records (the most recent is from 2004, if I remember correctly). Looks like the cars spent its life in Los Angeles county.

Car doesn't run, but she says it still turns over so I'm thinking of changing all the fluids, plugs, and battery, and trying to fire her up. I think its been sitting for 6 or 7 yrs now

Before I get ahead of myself, though, I'm wondering if anyone knows of any good online resources for these cars (i.e. history, maintenance manuals, good forum threads, etc.) I've done a little research so far on my own, but anything is appreciated. I'm particularly interested in the maintenance manual (I'm certainly willing to buy one online)

I'm no professional, so I'd also like to find a mechanic for the car in the Los Angeles area, preferably somewhere close to Glendale and Burbank who I can rely on for the bulk of the mechanical work. If you guys have any recommendations, please let me know.

Finally, any tips on where I can get interior parts for this baby (including wooden dash restoration, headliner, door panels, floor mats) would be awesome.

Heres a link to a Photobucket album, filled with some pics of the car: PHOTOS

Again, I appreciate any help whatsoever. Keep in mind I don't want to make this a show winner, necessarily, just a classy cruiser for my aunt. Thank you
-1969beetle
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 05:15 AM
GGR
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Hi, and welcome.

The bad news is that parts are quite expensive (have a look at complete interiors and wood refinishing prices) and these cars are more expensive to restore than what nice examples are worth on the market (at least until they go up in value). So finacially speaking, it would make more sense to sell this one (around $3000 ?) and buy an already sorted one. The difference in price would certainly be enough to put that one back on the road and sort it out to a certain extent, but not as nicely as the ones you will be able to find on the market by adding the difference.

The good news is that if you want to proceed with the restoration, and judging by the pictures and by the fact it's a California car, it seems to be a rust free car with a straight body, with reasonably good chrome and is complete, which are BIG plusses. So among restorarion candidates, the car of your aunt is certainly a very interesting one and a good car to start with.

If you decide to proceed with the restauration then the workshop manual will be you best friend. It's called the Big Blue Book (BBB) and can be found on eBay or other sources on the net. Not cheap, but certainly a very good investment. Make sure the year and model are covered by the manual before buying it.

Your first thing would be to clean the gas circuit before you even try to start the car. Injection pumps are quite delicate and costly to restore, so you don't want to ruin it with junk and rust going through it (very common and costly mistake on these cars). So take the gas tank out and have it boiled at a radiator place. See if it needs relining with some products like the one sold by POR-15. Then clean all other elements of the fuel circuit.

good luck and keep us posted !
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 05:17 PM
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Hi,

I'm in Burbank and have woken up lots of these MFI cars. As GGR mentioned do not attempt to start it. You must clean out the fuel system completely of the old, bad rusty gas, check all the hoses , build up oil pressure in the engine, etc. before you crank it.

interior wise, all the trim and parts are available, but you need to set a budget for this resto, how much are you going to spend? and figure out what you want to end up with - a car to enjoy on sundays? a car to win shows? to sell and make money? If you're not doing the work yourself, and you are going to sell eventually anyway, do yourself a favor and sell it as is, and get one that is already in the condition you want. You'll save time and money and lots of hassle.

Check for rust under the floor pans, the rear subframe mounts, the front rockers and the front kickpanels, and bottoms of the front and rear fenders. Even lifelong CA 111 coupes will have some rust, but if it's rotted that can be a safety issue and very expensive to repair.

From the look of the interior someone has already redone the seats, and sanded off the veneer on the dash, a common mistake amateur 'restorers' make on the wood. That means to get the wood restored back to 'correct' will cost you several thousand dollars.

these are not that hard to work on but you need experience and the right tools and books. The fuel injection system is tricky and easily can self destruct if you do something wrong (injection pump rebuild= $1400+)

if you want to sell the coupe, i would be interested.

good luck!
Joe
burbank

Last edited by tcb323; 08-01-2012 at 05:21 PM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Jul 2012
Vehicle: 1965 220SE Coupe
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GGR:

Thanks for the response. Parts prices are a bit overwhelming, and fortunately this is a project of love for my aunt and cousin. That said, I need to sit down with them and really see how much they're willing to spend, and whether they'd rather just part ways with the car altogether.

The car is pretty solid, and I'm super grateful for it. I found a copy of the correct BBB service manual for the 220 SE and you werent joking, these books really do run an arm and a leg (loads more than the Bentley manual for my VW). But they also look extremely extensive, which is great.

I guess the first easy fix I can do is take off the tank and have it cleaned. Thanks.



tcb323

Thanks for the response. First thing I had planned was flushing out all the old fuel and cleaning up the tank.

To give you an idea, I asked my cousin and she says she basically wants a Sunday cruiser. Nothing too fancy (the interior can even stay the same if we run up the bill too high on the engine). No award winner, just something that runs safely. We have no plans on flipping the car for profit (and I don't see that even happening). Its all sentimental value. That said, depending on their budget (which I need to properly discuss with them), if things look too expensive we may just sell the car as is and part ways with it. I'll let you know if that happens.

Floor pans and front rockers looked clean when I last checked it. I think there was some very minor issues with rust on the bottom of the front driver fender, but I can't remember. I'll do a thorough sweep on Saturday when I see the car.

Are you a working mechanic, by the way. If so, would you be willing to give me an estimate on how much getting her to run would cost you? This is surely way too much for me to pick up from a manual, and I will definitely need a mechanic. If you know anyone, let me know.


----
Again, thanks for all the info, guys. I'll post updates a.s.a.p. but it may be a while. After hearing price estimates and researching parts, I'm a little more grounded in my expectations for this car. For better or for worse, the prospect of quitting while I'm ahead and selling early is sounding like the smart thing to do. But I'm stubborn, and I'd like to take the car to a mechanic first. Lets see what happens...
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 07:23 AM
GGR
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Well, a mechanic may be able to put it back on the road for a reasonable cost. But then, a lot of stuff will start needing atention: sticky calipers, play in the kingpins and bushings, etc. If you have it all done by a mechanic the car is going to end up costing you a fortune.

Very honestly, and depending on global condition and wear of the car (the fact that the interior was already redone at least once shows the car has been used extensively already), you may have a chance to get it back to a reasonably good sunday cruiser status for a reasonable budget given that you're doing all the work yourself, save as much parts as possible or replace them by good second hand ones. But if you have the work done by a mechanic, you'de better sell that car and buy an already well sorted one. You will be well ahead financially speaking, and i don't even mention time and energy you will also save.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 11:28 AM
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Well, here are my two cents: sell the engine and transmission. I'll bet you could get a couple thousand. I'll buy the shell and everyone will be happy (seriously). Thoughts?

Welcome to the forum, by the way!

You'll find two main schools of thought when it comes to repairs/restorations: do it "right" with original Mercedes parts (meaning dealerships and the Classic Center), and finding parts where you can to fix whatever issue you have. I'm an ardent fan of the latter.

Everything for your car is available in one place or another - eBay, Autozone, Peachparts.com, and many many more. As you dig into the car, dig into the forum as well - lots of knowledge is here.

For the interior, there are a couple options as well. Replace absolutely everything, for thousands and thousands, or find a suitable donor (junk yard perhaps?) and recolor as necessary. Leather/MBtex dyes are easy to find, cheap, and plentiful. Same thing for your headliner - stains can be covered over with white dye (or even paint). You'll need to find the leak that caused the issue in the first place though.

If you can do a lot of the work yourself, you'll be way way way ahead of your pocket book. My only fix-it constraint is finding someone who can work on these things (fine tuning my fuel system for example). The knowledge base is eroding (or being buried). Aside from the Big Blue Book, you can buy the manuals on eBay (I bought a Mercedes compendium knowledge DVD thing a few years back and go to it for chassis' other than mine all the time)(and it was cheap). For anyone who doesn't know how to tune your car, but may have the specialty tools, you can give them the procedures to have something done right. I did that with a shop in San Diego and got a big break in the cost of repairs.

If this is a labor of love, you'll spend much more in repairs than what it'll be worth in even 20 years. I have something like $30k tied up in my 108, but I doubt I could get $5000 for it.

Seriously, sell the engine and transmission and then sell me the remainder of the car. I'm in the market for a car like yours for a modern V6 engine swap...

Last edited by Grubeguy; 08-02-2012 at 11:31 AM.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 02:42 PM
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hi, send me a PM, i sent you an email ...

josef
burbank
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 06:36 PM
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This is the problem with the "vintage" car guys. We KNOW the proper answer is to sell the car and buy a better sorted one but dang if half of us don't want the pieces for the same kind of project we are trying to advise you against!

Vintage Benz's are as bad as crack and three times as expensive but we don't care! We know WE can make it work even though 3 or 4 others have tried and failed. No sirree, we can stop anytime!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Jul 2012
Vehicle: 1965 220SE Coupe
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Thanks for the advice everyone, I'm really soaking in all the advice and I'm a lot more apprehensive about taking this on now. Just sounds too expensive, honestly. I'll let you guys know what happens, and again I appreciate all the input. It's seriously helped a lot.

GGR:
Yeah, I don't think I could do enough of the work myself without breaking bank.

Grubeguy:
Haha, thanks for the words of wisdom. I have to ask my aunt what she wants to do: sell or not. If she wants to sell I'll give you guys an update.
Yeah, I know the story of spending lots of dough for a car sellable for much less. But that's love

tcb323:
Sorry, I didn't get your email/PM. Let me know where you sent it exactly.

Mike D:
Hahahaha, totally man. Thanks!

Last edited by 1969beetle; 08-03-2012 at 09:58 PM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 02:57 PM
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Hey 1969 Beetle,

trying to get in touch with you- give me a shout
tcb323@sbcglobal.net
josef
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