How far can I go to restore a rotten body Mercedes? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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How far can I go to restore a rotten body Mercedes?

I want to restore my 1980 w123, the left half of the car and under the trunk as completely rusty. I am not sure about the results of restoration. I dont know if its going to be a good and solid car. I know It is unusual to restore a 123, the usually spend money on w113 and more expensive car. for axaple I one watched a video on Youtube restoring a 6.9 using pannels from another 2 w116 doners. please help me. Is kthere any limit that after that you vant resore a rotten body?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 11:39 AM
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W123? I'm pretty sure it is rarely ever worth doing any welding on a w123. Drive it into the ground while you find a better chassis.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 01:04 PM
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It depends what meaning the car has for you and what role it plays. I'm currently restoring a 220 D (W115), it's, as some call it, a "do-it-yourself car", maybe it's a similar story to yours.

It all depends if the amount of money you'll have to spend on all that work will be higher than the value of the car, and if yes, it then depends what meaning the car has for you and if you don't mind investing more than it's worth in it.

The W123 is for example very popular in Germany, it's one of the most registered old-timers (car that have more than 25 years I believe, or perhaps more than 35 years) and there's a zillion people who have done the work you are considering doing on their W 123s.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 03:11 PM
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There are three legs of the triangle of worthiness of a car. Interior/exterior/mechanical. It take two out of three to be worth driving or working on. If your car has a great interior and near perfect engine/drive train/systems, then I would drive it to death while looking for a good body donor car.

If you have access to a high quality body shop that in very inexpensive, then you could scrounge a back end that you can have welded on to replace the rusted area. You will probably spend over $2.000 to begin body work. A w123 can be found all week long at that price.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 05:54 PM
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I mirror Winegarden's statements. If the car is worth something to you (your grand dad's car, a car you were born in, the car your parents left on their honeymoon in, for example), then I say spare no expense. But if this is a car you wouldn't shed a tear over after it got t-boned, look for something with better bones.

That stated, your comfort level with rust may be different than others. Where is the rust? Is it surface rust? Fender rot? Structural? Do you have skills enough to do repairs yourself? My time is worth little to nothing to me, so I can spend it on any number of lost causes, but the same amount to a professional will start at $45 per hour, and end up emptying my wallet in no time flat. I also do my own painting, and for a car that large, you'll end up paying into four digits. I could paint that thing with a reputable brand paint and three coats of clear coat for $500 in materials only.

Before you take it to a professional body place, why don't you go into YouTube and look up car rust repair, and basic welding, and basic body work. I think you'll find that there are a lot of things even a beginner can do and master, with or without a garage.

Can you send some pictures, to give us a better idea of what you're facing?
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