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Old 03-14-2009, 07:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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replacing fender on w124 wagon

i recently purchased a 1994 w124 wagon - the first older car i have ever had, which i am looking forward to working on and learning from. the right front fender was scraped and subsequently repainted at some point before i bought it, and I am thinking about replacing it. some questions for you all:

> i have heard this is a relatively easy job given fenders are bolt-on. can anyone confirm?

> any instructions available, or will i have to guess my way through the process?

> i know i can get a pattern part on adsit, which i heard are relatively decent (?). i would prefer getting used oem, but the only ones i can find are on sedans. will the right front fender from a 94 e320 sedan fit on my 94 e320 wagon?

> am going to find a body shop to paint it. do i do that prior to or after installing fender on the vehicle? if i get a used part (rather than pattern part), am i better off bringing to shop to prime it first before I install it?

as you can tell i am new to all this. if there is an easy source for figuring this stuff out I would appreciate your guidance. in the meantime i appreciate your patience with what may be stupid questions.

thank you much.

Last edited by cyall8r; 03-23-2009 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, these fenders simply bolt-on, and are interchangeable between sedans and wagons. Check out the DIY sticky at the top of the 124 main page for a link to an online manual that can help you remove the fender. Since you're relatively new to all this, I'd leave the prep work to the pros, since that's the most important part of any bodywork task...it's also the most expensive, so you may want to research body prep, first.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What kind of experience have you had with bodywork in general. Mercedes cars do bolt up nicely and are a pleasure to work with but replacing a fender can be a bit daunting for the inexperienced DIY. The fender is physically glued onto the inner fender and is a bit of a bear to remove before the replacement can be fitted into place. You have to have a pretty good feel for sheet metal to get everything fit correctly and prepped to prime. Front fenders are usually pretty clean in junk yards and I would start there before buying a replacement aftermarket fender. You'll have some "waves" to work out irregardless but it seems used parts are a little heavier and less expensive to begin with. If you have a pick - n - pull yard take a small magnet with you and test for body filler towards the lower sections of the fenders till you find a clean one. You should be able to buy it for around 100, but like I said, cutting it loose from the inner fender can be a real bi*ch. You'll figure out how much of a job it is when you go about removing the existing fender from your car. There are panel bolts inside the edge of the door, under the bottom trim panel, inside edge of hood and around the headlight doors. Good luck and post questions if you have them, someone will always be able to help.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's quite easy to replace a front fender on the 124. As far as Cyberbach's "gluing" statement, I've never seen it (on a 124). On every early 124 I've worked on the fender is simply hung on the inner fender flange and then bolted in place. No glue/sealant. Maybe the 90-up are different?

Sedan fenders *are* the same as wagon fenders. As are the hood, front bumper, grill, headlamps, front doors, windshields, front seats, and lots of other stuff.

The procedure my be in the DIY section so do look there. Basically you loosen or remove about 7 front bumper cover bolts to reposition it. You remove the turn signal assembly, the headlamp wiper, and the headlamp assembly. Then you remove about 10 small bolts/capscrews to free the fender. You lift the fender off the inner fender and you're done. There is a plastic partial inner fender and a rubber sealing strip attached to that but you don't have to mess with those.

Try U-Pull-It yards for good used parts cheap. I paid $30 for the last one I bought and it was perfect with original paint. I think you're better off buying a used part since they are already treated with antirust stuff on the back side and will be better prepped and primed than any new replacement part will be.

If you're patient you have a fair chance of getting a part of the same color as your car (I did). Of course that depends on whether you hae a common color like white, black, smoke silver, etc. If you have pajet red metallic, minty green metallic, petrol blue green, or something like that expect to repaint what you find.
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Last edited by augapfel; 03-15-2009 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, I don't believe 124s use glue, but oh if they did, you'd rue the day you set out to undertake that job. I once dismantled an old rusty '78 W123 and I think it was the most frustrating automotive task I've ever encountered. The glue was thick and ever so stubborn. Heat, packs of razor blades and a whole lotta cussin'...never again.
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