HardwayMB's 1988 560SEC Repair Thread - Page 6 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #51 of 170 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 06:29 AM
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Here's what I'd do. Take this as you wish.

Personally, I'm not a fan at all of bare metal or bubbling paint because I know there's rust under there and rust does not stop unless it's made to.

Tape off/mask everything above the body line of the rear arch. Then, back mask right in the middle of the body line of the arch (more on that below).

With some 400 grit paper, sand away that damn rust. Then use some 600, then 1000 grit to get it smooth. Prime with some filler primer (to take care of any small pits) and allow to dry completely. Sand again with the 600 then 1000. Spray some rattle can paint of the same color as your car. Top coat with some two-part clear.

Where to get top coat paint and two-part clear? Most cities of size have a FinishMaster now. If not, find out where your local body shops get their paint and supplies. They can mix up paint matching your color code and put it in rattle cans. You'll probably need two cans get the job done and they are less expensive if you buy in multiples.

I do it that way because I have no paint gun. If you do and know how to use it, you're ahead of the game.

What you're trying to do is get your tape line somewhere that is not noticeable. That body roll right above the arch is about the only place.

Here is a video that does a pretty good job explaining back masking:


His is easier in the video because he's doing a straight line. You're working on an arch, which is harder, but it's pretty gradual and can be done.

Once you're finished and everything is cured (about a week if your climate's not to humid) you can hit the line with some 1500 grit if it's too noticeable for your tastes.

Hope that helps and good luck.
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post #52 of 170 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Even with my shop being air conditioned, it is not a good place to lay paint that really needs to look good in the end. For this kind of work, I would drop it off at a good shop. The passenger front fender needs some paint work too due to the previous owner dripping a little battery acid on the paint. Right now, its just not a priority. Got to get the AC blowing cold along with a few other things first.
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post #53 of 170 (permalink) Old 09-02-2018, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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I just updated my thread regarding the AC in the car.

A few weeks ago I dropped the 560SEC off with an indie mechanic I met at C&C in June. After some extensive trouble shooting he determined the mono-valve insert I had was bad even though it was a MB part and looked good. With power applied to it he could still move the plunger which he felt was not providing enough pressure to keep the hot coolant out of the AC box. Replacing this with the new MB unit I purchased made the biggest difference as it would now cool the cabin of the car. He also verified the temp control was working as well as all of the vac. pods. As many of you indicated he felt the system was not 100% full but we wanted to rule everything else out before simply adding more freon. After two failed cans of real R12 I gave the go-ahead to use some Enviro-Safe 12 to get the system to capacity. He indicated it did not take much and he felt the cooling effect was more pronounced once it was full. It was 87F on my drive home this morning and with the system set to normal, Auto activated, and the temp wheel set to MIN, the inside of the car got very cold. So cold in fact I had to turn the temp wheel up some. I did not have my vent temp gauge with me but I was very comfortable! So glad to have it working properly as now I can actually drive the car and enjoy it.

Next up is the seat belt extender gears. Still need to replace the rear hyrdo shocks and hoses along with installing the new Bilstein rear springs.
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post #54 of 170 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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It was an eventful September and I am just now getting a chance to post up the latest. As promised in my previous post I wanted to tackle the rear springs and hyd. rams in an effort to cure the rear end sag. Earlier this year I invested in a plate style spring compressor off Amazon for $62.00 as I knew this job was in my future. The first order of business was removing the rear seats. The bottom cushions are super easy, just push the red clips outward and the lift off. Everyone said the top cushions just slide up and pull out. They do... once you remove the clip at the bottom. I suggest wearing gloves to remove it as they are thin steel and can cut skin easily. They have to be swing to one side and they will release. Make sure the top cushion is pushed all way down otherwise getting the clip off will be a bear. If you have to pliers to hold and move it, be careful not to damage it. Below are some pictures of what it looks like so everyone has a reference. Once the clip is freed you can simply lift the top cushion up.
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post #55 of 170 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardwayMB View Post
It was an eventful September and I am just now getting a chance to post up the latest. As promised in my previous post I wanted to tackle the rear springs and hyd. rams in an effort to cure the rear end sag. Earlier this year I invested in a plate style spring compressor off Amazon for $62.00 as I knew this job was in my future. The first order of business was removing the rear seats. The bottom cushions are super easy, just push the red clips outward and the lift off. Everyone said the top cushions just slide up and pull out. They do... once you remove the clip at the bottom. I suggest wearing gloves to remove it as they are thin steel and can cut skin easily. They have to be swing to one side and they will release. Make sure the top cushion is pushed all way down otherwise getting the clip off will be a bear. If you have to pliers to hold and move it, be careful not to damage it. Below are some pictures of what it looks like so everyone has a reference. Once the clip is freed you can simply lift the top cushion up.
My clips have a sort of pushbutton attached to the clip. I push on it, pressing the clip toward the rear of the car, then slide the seat back up. Haven't tried sliding the clip sideways but it sounds like that works, too.

I would warn to be careful with the fabric that is sewn to the leather at the bottom of the seat back. Mine is very delicate after all these years and likes to tear easily.
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post #56 of 170 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Back under the car, attach a piece of hose to the bleeder screw on top of the SLS valve and run to a bottom. Using a proper line fitting wrench, crack open the bleeder valve and let the fluid push out. This will ensure the system is not under any pressure while you are working on it. Once you are done, close the bleeder valve.

With the seats out, the black sound deadening mat can be moved out of the way. You will have to remove the small speaker amplifier boxes to access the upper cover for the mounting nut. Its a simple affair, just lift one side up and the box will slide out of the other. The lower covers have a seal so it will take some muscle and patience to work them loose. The top covers have an indention. Take a moment to find it and use that as your pry point to remove them. With the covers off, removing the shocks is straight forward. With the car resting with its weight on the ground or on ramps, remove the 17mm nut holding the banjo fitting to the shock. The top mount nut can be remove with an open end wrench and a crescent wrench holding the flats while loosing the nut. If there is any rust, take a moment to put some penetrate on it. One the nut and washer is off, slide the rubber bushing off and set it aside.

As this point you will need to jack up the rear of it is on ramps, you can go about removing the bottom two bolts and the shock will slide out. Be careful not to let it drop out. Take a moment and work it out of the hole in the control arm. If you are replacing the hyd. lines like I was, now is the time to remove them from the accumulator spheres.
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post #57 of 170 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Next up was the springs and I must warn anyone reading this, if you have any doubt of your mechanical abilities, spend the money and let a shop do this. Suspension work can be very dangerous as the springs are under enormous pressure, especially when compressed for removal. Always keep your face and body out of the path of a spring. Serious injury and even death can occur should a tool fail or something go wrong. Follow all instructions and safety precautions.

Using the correct style tool is the only way to do this. I have read how others managed not to but based on my experience, the right tool for the right job gets the job done right. The plate compressor is fairly easy to use. Slip the top plate in place, it will have a smaller triangle hole in the center. The bottom plate has a larger circular hole. Lube the threads of the compressor with a generous amount of motor oil and never ever use an impact gun. With the plates in plate you insert the tool through the control arm and plates. With the top of the compressor clear of the top plate you turn it so the claws fall in to their corresponding notches. As you tighten the compressor the bottom collar will meet up with the bottom plate and start compressing the spring. I did not get a lot of photos of this but below is what the compressed spring looked like right after removing it from the car. Once out, slowly loosen the compressor and remove from the spring. Removing the compressed spring takes a little maneuvering to get it out of the bottom seat in the control arm and clear the top perch. I did not have to remove anything else to do this, not even the wheels.

A quick comparison of the old spring vs. the new Bilstein shows the new one being just a little taller but also with more coils. The diameter of the coils in the center of each spring gives a .78mm advantage to the new Bilstein. The side by side picture shows the springs upside down so they would sit level for the photo.
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post #58 of 170 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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I ordered new hyd. rams from MBOEMParts. They had the best price at $150/each and with the site's discount code for free shipping, I had them in a few days. They are made by SACHS and from what I can tell on one of the boxes, one was made in or just before April 2017. I ordered new hyd. lines from Autohaz and re-used the top spring cushion.

Before starting the installation, take time to clean out the hole where the spring sits in the control arm. There be years of debris built up that needs to be remove. I small wire brush and compressed air will make short order of this task. Installation is the reverse of removal. To help keep the top spring cushions in place I used some electrical tape. The new springs are a little heavier than the old ones and given how much manipulation that must be done to get them in to position while compressed. It was one of the best ideas I had all night. Once the spring is in place, make sure you rotate it and ensure the bottom of the coil is properly seated in the control arm against the coil stop. You will need to feel for this. Once you are sure you can start to slowly decompress the spring, keeping the top centered with the top perch.
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post #59 of 170 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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The new hyd. hoses attach to the respective accumulator and then the new hyd. rams can be installed from the bottom. Leave the protective cap on and make sure it is facing the front of the car. Once the lower bolts are attached and torqued, put the car back on the ground if needed and climb back in. You will have to work the ram up to get the top stud through the hole, get the bushing, washers, and nut back on. Once the top is secured, remove the red cap and look in it. If the black o-ring is not on the edge of the cap, look on the hyd. ram and remove it. Some might re-use the old copper crush washers but I purchased new ones from my local MB dealership. At $3.12/each they are not cheap but they might be the cheapest thing you can buy there. You need four, buy six so you have extras. With the hyd. hoses reattached, leave the covers off and have a friend or spouse start the car as you inspect the fittings. The system will take a few minutes to self bleed and you will need to add SLS fluid to make up for what was lost when de-pressurizing the system. I ended up taking the car for a test drive after I confirmed there were no leaks. Once home I put everything back together in the back seat.
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post #60 of 170 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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The new springs and hyd. rams certainly helped a little but not as much as I was hoping for. Below is a before and after picture for comparison. I still wish it sat a little higher in the rear but at least the car looks level with the ground now. My other option would be to cut a coil out of the front springs. Seeing that the lower ball joints will need to be replaced at some point, that would be the time to do it.
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