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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Sep 2012
Vehicle: 1972 Mercedes Benz 250
Location: Santa Fe, NM U.S.A.
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Need some advice!

Hey guys, my 250 was run into in a parking lot. I just recently settled with the drivers insurance company. I am keeping my car but it will have a salvage title. I don't care too much about the salvage title because I have never planned on selling it.

I found a parts car W115 for $500. I need the hood, the drivers side fender, the radiator support, the inner fender, battery tray, the head light and trim ring, etc. The doner car has a lot of what looks like battery corrosion. do you think this is too much corrosion to be usable? Should I keep looking for other parts/cars?

Whats the best way to work this out of the metal?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 03:39 PM
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Tough call. Sometime you might find you will spend more time searching for parts than it would take you to make those usable. Can you weld?

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 05:30 AM
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Sandblasting the the best way to remove rust. If you dont have the equipment, it is inexpensive to have someone do it. They only need to blast the rusty areas, then you could sand everything else yourself. Are you planning on doing most of the work yourself?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 05:45 AM
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Date registered: Aug 2009
Vehicle: '72 250C, '74 280C, '85 500SEL, '81 300CD.
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It looks as though most of the rust you are concerned with is on the battery tray and the hood, correct?

The battery tray is no big deal. If it isn't a complete pile of rust then you can wire brush, soak it in a rust removing agent (vinegar, molasses, phosphoric acid, muriatic acid, etc.) and coat with POR-15 or its ilk. It's not too difficult to fab up a tray in the worst case scenario.

Most of the front pieces unbolt and can be individually addressed.

If the hood hasn't corroded through to the other side then use the same technique as the battery tray. It is not a stress item so no worries about strength/impact issues.

Do take a very close look at the frame on your car regarding the steering gear mounting. This is a weak point on the W115 chassis and frontal impacts can cause cracking. It can be plated and repaired fairly easily especially since you will have the front wings and liners removed.

I've admired your guys' work and know you are capable enough to have her baby back on the road in all its glory soon.

Looking forward to seeing pictures of your progress.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 06:28 AM
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The front subframe from a 1986-89 560sl is an updated version of the subframe used on w114/115 cars (and all 1971-1985 r/c107). The earlier versions can be reinforced with "gussets" (sheets of metal bent at the bottom) from MB that were NLA last I checked. I was able to get a set of gussets for about $110 from another forum member. I've also collected a few 560sl subframes that I considered myself lucky to get for about $250 as I've seen them go for $500-900. Of course I have yet to use any of this stuff on my two r/c107 cars that both need at least reinforcement on the subframes of not replacement.

I know that's TMI, but it seems relevant to the post above. I'm not sure if he's saying the frame is prone to cracking, or the subframe. I suspect it's the subframe. The subframe has an open service campaign (not technically a recall) on the iron block v8 cars sold and residing in the US. The extra weight of the r/c107 iron v8 is apparently too much for the w114/115 design. Alloy block 380sl cars have been known to fail, and many w114/115 cars have had the failure. In the r/c107 world welding a crack isn't acceptable, but apparently in the less valuable w114/115 world it's been done more than a couple times.

Make sure you don't use a cracked or bent subframe.

Sorry for the long post.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Sep 2012
Vehicle: 1972 Mercedes Benz 250
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Thanks for the comments. I am going to do all of the work myself, although I am no welding expert, my basic welding skills should be adequate. Good call on inspecting the steering assembly, I am going to get it on some ramps and do a through inspection. I think your also right about wasting the time trying to find parts. I have already hit up several junk yards including the ones in Albuquerque and came up with nothing. There was a perfect donor car on craigslist for $400.00, as soon as I saw it I called and the guy told me it sold within an hour of posting it! I also think the rust on my potential donor car was caused by battery acid.

I will start to take photos and document the progress and keep you guys posted.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 07:13 AM
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Yup. That is a common rust area especially among the diesel cars of those years. The batteries out-gas and it collects there where the lip of the bonnet curves down and drips onto the front support. The piss-poor grounding mount doesn't help either. It corrodes, creates added resistance, drains the battery, the alternator works extra hard to restore the proper voltage level and heats up the electrolyte causing the vapors to rise.

They addressed the problem (sort of) in the 1973 model year when they moved the battery mount to the right side of the engine bay and made the mount a bolt in piece instead of welded.

I was referring to the steering box mounting to the frame rail but checking the sub-frames is a good idea.

If you have access to a decent air compressor you can buy/rent one of those small soda blaster outfits which do a good job of rust removal. The nice part about using the soda as opposed to other media is it is environmentally friendly and washes away using plain old hose water.

Last edited by Mike D; 08-11-2016 at 09:08 AM.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 10:01 AM
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Looks like a fair price but I would offer less. Maybe they will take it. I went back and looked at your accident photos again. Looks like you only need body work with no apparent sub frame or suspension work. They will have to be thoroughly inspected anyway. The only problem that I forsee is the inner fender. It is part of the body and is not removable. It might be worth considering removing the front sheetmetal and having the left front inner fender straightened on a professional body shop frame straightener. Minimal cost for maximum gain. You will then have no trouble fitting the Exterior sheet metal from the parts car. In the end you will have an intact complete parts car, minus front sheet metal of course. Good luck.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2016, 06:03 AM
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I'm glad to see you are going to fix the girl. I know I have done many things to my W108 which probably make "purists" cringe, but I don't intend to sell her so I'm making her mine (and for me that means reliable and comfortable).

Keep us updated on the progress....GOOD LUCK
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