126 Paint job: Best practices - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Stutz View Post
I worked with my painter to lower the costs, and removed all the lights, door handles, rear window, mirrors, most chrome trim including the rear star, front and rear bumper etc. You get the idea. Not only did this reduce the price but made for a better job. In this way they did not have to tape things up. I am very satisfied and used the savings to do other things.
Were you able to go to their property indoors on your own time to do the work? I'm assuming the car wasn't driven there afterwards!
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 06:44 PM
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Actually I did drive the car there after I took the parts off. Took a real chance but it was only about 3\4 of a mike from my home and my son followed me in another car. I did put the rear lights back in temporarily for the drive. On this topic, besides saving money, I think I received a better job. Since they did not have to tape over things I got a coat of paint on where the lights go, the trunk lip where the trunk molding is, the door handle area and best, since the rear window was out, where the window molding was.

When the car was done I did not chance deiving it home and had a wrecker pick it up. Sorry to say, it was in a heated garage at the paint shop, and when I brought it out it was only 7 degrees outside. Well going up on the wrecker stressed things enough that the front window cracked some. I now have a 6” crack on the drivers side. Someday I will have to fix that. I think the car was trying to tell me it much rather likes California weather instead of Michigans.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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im curious of your clk solution..wonder if would benefit me with my e63
vdub, thanks for asking. I am going to share this in the W208 forum but hadn't yet got to it.

The idea was mine, but credit for the engineering and application of the specific solution was my body shop's. The owner figured out a simple but elegant and relatively inexpensive way to raise the (very) poorly-designed AMG appearance package bumper cowl enough so that it clears 6.25" at the center. In fact, as you can see from the pics, the way the cowl naturally flexes under compression at the center-point of the arc results in a nearly flat appearance across its length--a nice outcome.

As you might know, the unmodified cowl's arc is what causes the problem in the first place: It slides over a concrete wheel stop--which you don't hear from inside the car--but back out and you're tearing it apart. And catch it on an inch of rebar and the bumper cover is history. This solution removes what I estimate to be about 90% of the risk of doing damage. Thus far the only occasional scrape I get is if one of the screws happens to hit the top of the wheel stop, but even then it's very "gentle" scrape, and I figure that if one of the screws ever wears enough to fail, it's easily replaced. Another benefit: No nasty scrapes to scratch the hell out of the the cowl--at least thus far. See attached pics.

If you're interested in talking to the body shop in San Diego that did the work, let me know; I can put you in touch.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Any pictures of your current paint ? Some members have been able to restore the original paint with a color sanding and using a paint correction.
I could send some pix, but a couple of years ago I went to a professional auto detailer supply place and asked the guy to look at my paint. He came out with his little 10x magnifier and told me that the car had already been repainted in spots. That was correct, because my mother--from whom I inherited the car--was scraped by a tractor trailer that encroached upon her lane and skimmed the right side--took off the mirror and required that the right side of the car get re-shot. The car at the time was only about three years old. However, they did a crappy job; there's a couple of unacceptable drips that she never noticed, and they even painted the right rear door cladding to the same color as the sheet metal when anyone who has a 126 knows they're different shades. Lazy workmanship--and that at the dealer no less.

Anyway, the point is that the paint is beyond restoration simply because it doesn't all match exactly to begin with--though to the untrained eye it's not easy to tell in most light. The hood clearcoat is spidering the edges, and the trunk lid is also on its way. There's also a little bit of body work to be done just behind the left rear door. So the reality is that repainting only part of the car will make the rest of the car look that much worse, and so if I paint anything, it needs to be the whole car so that all the paint is even and the same color formula on all surfaces.The downside is that I know it's going to cost upwards of about $5,000.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Strassenkreuzer View Post
The idea was mine, but credit for the engineering and application of the specific solution was my body shop's.

Had the same problem with my black S500. Did basically the same but with 4 black zip ties. As President of the Bottom Feeders Club of America I couldn't justify spending a penny more.

Nice detailed pictures, btw.
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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On a related note, would anyone here be willing to venture a guesstimate on what it will cost me to do the job correctly? I'm not looking for a concours-quality paint job because I simply don't have that kind of cash and--like most of us here--we have to balance the street value/emotional investment/practicality/opportunity equation. But on a scale of 0-100, I am looking for 80 or so. I want the necessary trim properly removed so that the "crannies" can be properly painted (example: rear window seal), and I want all the tiny dings and sheet metal inequities smoothed. The cladding will get repainted as well, and same for the bumper covers. And I want the original colors (sheet metal and cladding/bumpers).

I assume this requires a little body work, sanding down to the existing color layer, shooting a layer or two of color, and then the clear. And then polishing for removal of any orange peel, etc. However, this is all assumption based on the little I know about car refinishing.

I'm in Southern California. Anyone feel comfortable giving me a price range and what to ask the shop? I have to assume there is a range of paint quality. Clear coat quality. Best practices as relates to approach, etc. I have less than zero interest in having a Mercedes dealer body shop do the work. House of Imports here in the L.A. area has proved time and again to be the worst choice for repairs and body work. Ridiculous prices and mediocre work (at best). Plus, dealers have no interest in working on classic Benzes anymore. Their business models are no longer designed for it...sadly.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 11:03 AM
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$10K minimum to do it right.
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 11:46 AM
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Wasn’t there a shop in the Lancaster area mentioned by Mclare, chadahar etc that was many great years Ago but was about $1500 and did a good job ? Marco or Mario or something ?
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 01:13 PM
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Maaco generally represents a good value for the dollar, however, since they are franchised, all bets are off when comparing one to the other. The paint they use is quality, but you simply arent going to get a ton of effort put into extensive prep, removing any orange peel afterwards via careful polish with rotary buffer, etc.
I used them a couple of years ago for an easy job: paint a brand new rear ebay bumper cover for a 5 series BMW. Year before that, same for the front one. Then had them respray a used bumper cover for a Lexus SUV. I'd rate them high on value to quality for those jobs. For the W126 last week? Had to have them re-do the front bumper cover due to very obvious runs in the corner where the chrome strip meets the actual bumper. And also a couple of small spots on the cladding had the "fisheyes" and other small defects. But since the issues were less than an inch and very low down (almost impossible to see when the pieces were installed) I let it go.
If you go with Maaco for a full car paint job, I'd suggest lowering your expectations to be commensurate with the price. I suspect they would do a complete respray of the W126 for under $5k, but thats just a guess. And its not going to be the quality (especially in corners, edges, near trim, etc) of a $10k job.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tusabes View Post
Wasn’t there a shop in the Lancaster area mentioned by Mclare, chadahar etc that was many great years Ago but was about $1500 and did a good job ? Marco or Mario or something ?
That was Mauricio's Body Repair in Lancaster, CA. There's a bunch of postings by @mclare when he had his car with AMG parts painted. When I spoke to Mauricio 2 years ago, he was asking for $4,200 to repaint an SEC, which included primer, 3 coats of paint and 3 clear coats.
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