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87 190d 2.5TD, 98 ML320, 09 CLS550
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ahh... since I have little else to do with my spare time other than sip whiskey and piddle with my cars.. I figured I would share a new project with everyone.

So just a little back-story here (all great projects have one, right?)..

I did a "so-so" restoration on this car a few years back. Here is a link to the original post: Complete Restore: 1987 190D 2.5 Turbo (Lots of pics!)

Well.. life happened. I run the wheels off the car (literally... twice, anyone with a 201, 124, etc knows the front ball joint fun) and finally.. the transmission gave up.

That was 2016.

Around October of 2016, I actually came across ANOTHER '87 2.5 Turbo - all original (in Seafoam Green). It had sat behinds somebody's home for around 12 years parked (never once moved) until they passed away. Son came in, found the car and sold it to me for $500. Ran and drove great. I actually put a hitch on that one and drove it w/ a trailer between middle Tennessee and Central Mexico (the country, NOT the state) for 2 years.

During the time I drove the GREEN 2.5td... I ended up using the other (GOLD) 2.5td as a "parts car". The car literally sat in the woods behind my friends repair shop... ON THE GROUND... in the dirt... under trees for over 2 years. Mice literally ate the damn seat belts!

Fast forward to 2019. I sold the running (GREEN) 190D for $2500 to a dude who wrecked it first week he had it. Ended up buying it BACK for $200. Not a bad deal eh?

So here I am: 2 factory '87 190D 2.5 Turbo cars. The gold one has a good engine, bad trans, and EXCELLENT body (except for a couple isolated rust spots). The green 190 is a running/driving car technically... but driver side is completely crushed in.. It has a SOLID engine, transmission - all interior parts work 100% and are in good-to-excellent condition.

So.. I figured: I am going to do the ULTIMATE 190D restoration. After all.. I have TWO of these cars - I should be able to put one really mint car together.

Ultimate as in: no expense spared. Is it worth it? Probably not.. But crazy as it sounds: I actually prefer driving these little 190's MORE than my 2009 CLS550. Just something about the "feel" of these little cars that really makes them a joy to drive.

Let's start with some pics of the car as it sat this past December....

(pics to follow next post)
 

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87 190d 2.5TD, 98 ML320, 09 CLS550
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Discussion Starter #3
Here is a shot of the other 190d 2.5t I have. This photo shows it just before I sold it:

2621018
 

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87 190d 2.5TD, 98 ML320, 09 CLS550
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Discussion Starter #4
I know what you are all thinking... YES.. I moved those hideous headlights over from the gold one. Those will NOT be going back on.

So before I share some of the progress I have done over the past week.. I am going to go over a list of what is going to happen to the gold one:

1) Complete strip-down
Since we are doing a color change (going black).. I want to ensure this looks like it left the factory in the new color. That means, boys and girls... removing nearly EVERYTHING. Doors, hood, glass, engine, transmission, suspension, completely stripping engine compartment.. ALL OF IT.

2) We need to address a few rust spots
This car does not have much.. but there are a few small isolated spots that will require proper repair. This gives me a good excuse to finally purchase a new C25 tank for my MIG. I will be completely cutting out rusted areas and welding in NEW sheet metal as-needed.

3) Rubberize the entire under-carriage
I am exploring the best product for this, but something similar to Herculiner or Monstaliner is going to completely cover the under-belly, wheel wells and other areas exposed to harsh conditions.

4) Additional sound deadening
This will likely include more rubberized coating in some key areas such as: trunk, inside the doors, underside of roof sheet metal, etc. Anything to help further deaden road noise, better insulate things and just plain give the car a more solid "feel" when you roll down a bumpy road or tap a body panel. Plus.. the first-aid kit is getting replaced with a single and well-placed free-air subwoofer, so having some additional sound-proofing in the trunk is going to be important.

5) Complete overhaul of engine and transmission.
When the engine and trans are set back in the chassis... it will look like new. Head gasket, all seals, may do the rings if they are out of spec, complete head overhaul, IP rebuild, etc. Trans will get an overhaul kit, too.

6) Overhaul of the wire harness
Oh dear god... I do not look forward to this one.. but the old harness is really crusty and needs some love. I will detail out this one when we get there.

7) Complete end-to-end color change: NEW PAINT
I am still contemplating Single-stage urethane vs 2-stage. Regardless of which I use, one thing is certain: this car will be piano black. And inspection of any crevice will yield zero clue that it was ever any other color unless the paint code badge is ever decoded.

8) Addressing all aged plastics, rubber, etc.
New hood insulation, door weatherstripping, addition of some insulation under trunk lid, etc. Some of the various rubber grommets for things like wiper motor mount, abs pump, etc will be refreshed if needed.

9) Complete HVAC overhaul
I already have a brand new dryer, expansion valve and compressor. Will be bringing the old flexible hoses over to Industrial Rubber and Gasket (IRG) to have them re-fabricate NEW hoses. When I finally charge the AC on this thing with R134, I expect ZERO leaks. Also going to replace the heater core (for good measure) as well as EVERY LAST VACUUM pod. Best do it now vs after the damn dash is back in the car.

10) Total suspension overhaul
Every bushing is getting replaced. Also replacing all the ball joints, struts, strut mounts.. all of it. Probably going to look into some really good poly bushings. Also would love to source a sway bar from an Evo. I read somewhere that sway bar was back in production and could be ordered from Germany. May play around with the springs a bit.. but I currently have cut springs from a 420E on the car (cut so it rides at factory level - see pic of green car). They are quite firm and ride rather well. Probably leave them be unless I can find a nice adjustable kit online of decent quality. I certainly do NOT want any BS low-riding garbage.

11) Complete restoration of all wood trim
I am either going to send all the trim off to Madera Concepts (in California) or will laminate them with some of the high-quality 3M DI NOC. Either way.. I am going with either a darker zebra wood or a dark burlwood. Gonna keep it classy - none of the carbon fiber stuff that is just waaaaay to played out now days.

12) New leather wrapped wheel
Got a leather wrapped wheel from a '90.. leather is not in the best shape, but gonna find someone to professionally re-wrap it.

13) New seat covering
This will likely be the most expensive part. I fully expect around $1500-$1800, but I want the seats to look GOOD. Still not sure if I will keep the Palomino color, or if I will spice things up in a way that keeps things classy.

14) Addition of the "Sacco Panels"
Already sourced an excellent set of the panels.. Only question is: will I do black on black, or should I stick with factory dark-grey (semi-gloss/satin) lower panel color? I will end up finding a good high-res photo of each and likely hold a poll here to see what everyone says.

15) Continue my glass sunroof?
Still trying to decide if I want to continue the glass sunroof project or not. As you all may or may not have seen in my previous posts.. I actually retrofitted a W202 glass sunroof (perfect fit, too!) into the 201. I never got around to fabricating the interior panels stuff.. but this will be something I still need to consider.

16) Re-build all the brake calipers
I got brakes and rotors from a 420E (124) car.. they are all fine.. but figured I should refresh the cylinders and rebuild all the wear parts while it is disassembled. I may powder-coat the things while I got em off. Something durable.

--------------------

Some other items to note:

I purchased a NEW radiator and expansion tank (from Germany) just 3 years ago.. Nearly $800 for both. They literally do NOT exist here in the US, so NOT going to be replacing them AGAIN.

I would like to consider retrofitting heated seats.. may do something fancy with custom heating pads and an arduino w/ a couple relays. I got a shift trim w/ the buttons.

I may opt to purchase an entire interior if someone here has one for a reasonable price. Still not sure which color I want to go, but we got time to decide.

Following: some pics of the strip-down that has begun
 

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87 190d 2.5TD, 98 ML320, 09 CLS550
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Discussion Starter #6
Will post some more later tonight. Going to get the rest of the ABS stuff out, heater box and some of the misc crap in my way of the engine bay
 

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87 190d 2.5TD, 98 ML320, 09 CLS550
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Last night was fairly productive.
  • Got all the brake lines and fuel lines removed (up to the rear)
  • Front driver side suspension removed
  • Sway bar removed
  • Steering box is out
  • Heater box removed
Given the rate of progress, I think "phase 1" (the initial tear-down) will be complete by end of this weekend.

Remaining:
  • Remove doors
  • Remove trunk lid
  • Remove glass
  • Remove rear subframe (I think I will make a dedicated restoration thread just for this)
  • Remove all trim
Phase 2 involves making the car mobile so it can be moved around, pressure washed and worked on - inside and outside the garage. I plan to fabricate two "wooden axles" - each axle will have a pair of 10 inch swivel wheels. I will then mount each wooden axle to the front and back of the car. Front axle will mount to the tie-downs on the underside of frame and rear axle will mount (via posts) to the same points as the subframe does. This way, I can roll the car in-and-out of the garage for washing, sanding, painting, etc as needed - yet they will not be in the way of any surfaces that I must work on.

Here is a link to the casters I think I will pick up this weekend:

Phase 3 is going to be the nitty-gritty: welding, bodywork, sanding, painting, etc. I will be sure to document this in good detail for others who want some good reference material that can guide them on their own restoration projects.

Anyway... some photos

A common issue is rusting/separating strut mounts, mine actually look rather good:
2621113


Heater box (interior side):
2621115


Heater Box (firewall side)
2621116


Engine compartment without the brake and fuel lines, steering box and heater box:
2621117
 

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87 190d 2.5TD, 98 ML320, 09 CLS550
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113 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
More tear down complete... also found more rust.

Rear subframe is out:
2621318


Also got all the fuel and brake lines removed:
2621319



Found a couple more rust spots as well.

While I can find brand new rocker panel panel replacements here:

It seems that is about it for aftermarket pre-fab panels.. So I will be making a trip to the pull-a-part (or buying another parts car) for some good panel parts to cut out.

Here is a shot of the floorpan under the rear seat where the door lock pump sits:
2621320


And the rear side well from the trunk is pretty bad:
2621321



This may be a good excuse for me to buy that new DeWalt 20V cordless grinder:

3 hours at the local pull-a-part with that bad boy and I should be able to source some good replacement "chunks" of all the rusted spots on mine. And the bonus: I get to buy a new tool!!

Looks like that does it for the mechanical side of the strip down... All I got at this point is doors, glass and trim. I think I will mostly leave the interior wiring alone for now. Except for a couple isolated areas around the floor where I will be welding, it does not seem to be in the way.

The real project will be this weekend: building the temporary "dolly axles".

I will share some pics of the door and glass removal once I tackle that.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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365 Posts
How hard was pulling the subframe? Everything back there is covered in rust on mine and wouldn't mind just dropping the whole thing and redoing everything next winter.
 

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87 190d 2.5TD, 98 ML320, 09 CLS550
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Discussion Starter #10
Not too bad, IMO. Then again.. I have removed my fair share of subframes.. not just from the W201's..

Here is a very specific guide to the procedure for a W201 - this guide is written assuming you are an average DIY guy doing this in the driveway or garage w/ concrete floor.
  1. Raise the car up good. You need about 18-24 inches of clearance to get the subframe out - so give yourself plenty of room. Get a floor jack under the rear diff and jack the car up as high as you can get it. Place jackstands under each of the rear jack points in the rear and rest the car down gently.
  2. Remove rear exhaust section (usually comes off w/ muffler). Couple 10 or 13mm bolt/nuts there the flanges meet and a couple rubber hangers.
  3. Unbolt the driveshaft. 3 bolts/nuts connect the driveshaft to the rear diff flange. You do NOT have to remove the driveshaft, just pull it out of the way. Un-bolting the center-carrier (middle of driveshaft, via two 13mm bolts) gives you even more flexibility to "swing" it outta the way.
  4. Either disconnect the rear brake lines or un-bolt the rear calipers from the rear hubs. I found it is easier to just unbolt the calipers and let them dangle by the brake lines. This way, you do not have to re-bleed the brakes or worry about fluid spilling out all over the place.
  5. Disconect the emergency brake cables. There is a cable that comes from each wheel hub and joins to the central cable around 2/3 of the way back under the floorpan. Disconnect each cable where it joins - this is the easiest method. Loosen a couple 10mm nuts and the cables readily disconnect - you will understand once you look under there and see it.
  6. Disconnect the rear speed sensor. The sensor plugs into the diff and the wire for it runs through the floor pan and connects into the car harness via a connector under the rear seat. Remove the lower seat pad and you will see the connector. Unplug it, and remove the 2 or 3 white clips that hold the cable to the floorpan (phillips screwdriver).
  7. Disconnect the rear shock absorbers from the upper mounts. Access these nuts through the trunk. All you gotta do is remote the nuts, the shocks can come down with the subframe assembly.
  8. Disconnect the rear sway bar from the links on each side. I think these are 17mm.. been a while, however.
  9. You are ready to lower the subframe. A little info regarding the subframe: it is rather well balanced and despite online guilds that show others supporting this thing with 3 and even 4 jacks.. all you need is ONE good floor jack with a pad large enough to cradle the differential. Get your floor jack back under the rear diff and bring it up until just a bit of pressure is against the rear diff.
  10. Remove the 4 (19mm?) nuts that hold the subframe to the chassis. Don't worry.. it ain't going anywhere. An impact is your friend here - them bolts can be a real pain in the backside to remove by hand. Often a bit corroded.
  11. Carefully ease the jack down, allowing the subframe to come down. Around the passenger side (but closer to the center) there is a hose about 3/4" that comes through the trunk and runs through the rear part of the subframe. This is just the drain hose for the gas overflow. Just carefully pull it through the subframe as you lower everything. Although you may get worried, don't be - the subframe is balanced enough that it will stay on the jack if you got it centered on the jack pad. Once you are all the way down, a little strong-arm work is needed to pull the jack out from under the subframe in order to slide the subframe out. If you jacked the car up high enough in step 1, you earned a bonus: you can easily slide the subframe out on the jack wheels by simply pulling the jack handle towards the rear.
  12. When sliding the subframe out, be sure the shock absorbers are pulled "outwards" as far as possible to ensure they do not catch on the underside of the car.
All in all, if this is your first time removing a subframe - give yourself 5-7 hours. I think book time is officially less than 2 hours (for removal OR installation). I have done a complete subframe swap in less than 6 hours (removed TWO subframes from TWO cars and installed the good one that had good bushings into ONE of the cars). That was with a lift.. but still not too bad a job.

Also worth noting: be prepared to either but a few tools for removal/installation of the various bushings OR expect to fabricate a few of your own. Some 1/2 all-thread and a few misc metal plates w/ drilled holes will go a long way if you are handy. I ended up fabricating a couple special plates that allowed me to brace around the subframe bushings while pulling them out w/ the all-thread. Basically a DIY puller. Normal off-the-shelf pullers WILL NOT FIT AROUND nor will they "grab" where needed to remove the subframe bushings on a W201 or 124. If you prefer to purchase the actual tool, you will need something like this:


Even with that tool - expect to replace the all-thread it comes with and augment it with a few large sockets or balljoint press sleeves (assuming you have a balljoint press). A much better kit can be found here:


But expect to pay upwards of $400-$600 for all the proper tools to "just work". If you are handy, it is not that hard to fab a couple special "cups" and drill a few holes in some small steel plates cut to proper size. Saves a lot unless you plan to work on several of these cars.

Also worth noting: you do NOT need the special spring compressor when removing the entire rear subframe. They naturally decompress as you lower the subframe and come down with the entire subframe assembly. Installation is the same: just ease the assembly (with springs) up and carefully guide everything into place - the springs will compress right into place. I own the spring compressor and NEVER use it on the rear.. just far simpler to lower the subframe or remove the rear control arm bolt and ease the control arm down w/ a jack.

I will likely post a detailed pictorial on the restoration of the subframe itself once I reach that point - including pics of the special fabricated tools I use (using all normal stuff you find at tractor supply).

Hope that helps!
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Definitely helpful, I have a local shop thats rents out their lifts, wondering if I can convince my mechanic to lend me a hand and we knock it all out with a lift.
 

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87 190d 2.5TD, 98 ML320, 09 CLS550
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Just keep in mind: While the R&R is less than a few hours (even with a lift).. The actual replacement of all the bushings is by itself several hours. Without the tool fabrication, assuming you had every speciality puller for each of the rubber bushings AND assuming you have the correct collar sized for the ball joints, etc.. you will easily spend 5-7 hours just on the refurbishment of the unit.

Also keep in mind: you may very well find that your rear CV boots are severely cracked and need replacement. So expect to service those as well while you are in there. That is another 2-4 hours. You may also very well do the Forest Gump and say "I figured I came this far, why stop?" and do the rear wheel bearings. That is another 2-5 hours depending on how bad they are in there.

All this comes down to one important fact: your buddy may end up with his lift tied up for 2-3 (or even more) days. Be sure they are aware of that!
 

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1987 190D Turbo
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You're better off WITHOUT the lift. If you use jackstands to support the car in front of the axle, then the axle can be levered down with a jack and rolled out from under. It's a pretty quick job, and if you've done it once, you'll wonder why you ever doubted.

Having been through this with the 190D, I'm happy to see that you're giving the car this attention. I had to throw in the wrench on my 190DT when I discovered that many key components were NLA...radiator and exhaust especially. The end came when my radiator became too plugged to completely boil out. One hot day it was struggling with temperature and the heater core blew out, giving my right foot a scalding hot bath. Radiator was completely unavailable, so that was it.
 

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87 190d 2.5TD, 98 ML320, 09 CLS550
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Discussion Starter #14
Radiator is still available, but only from Germany. I know, because I had just put one in the green car several months before selling it. Price was like $380 with my dealership account discount at MB of Cool Springs (west of Nashville).

I faced a similar issue with the expansion tank... That little bugger cost around $300+. Only from Germany via the dealer.

THAT was one of the main reasons I bought the green one back from the guy I sold it to after he wrecked it... Because the radiator and expansion tank in it are not even 2 years old but would cost upwards of $800 to purchase again. And they are BOTH original/OEM (Behr) quality components that will last another 20-30 years.

Interesting to note... My other radiator itself was actually fine, it was the trans cooler that was leaking internally... Coolant was finding its way into the trans fluid.

Also worth noting: I still got the original radiator from the gold car, which has no leaks. I have remained tight fisted with it just because of how hard it is to get one here in the US.

In retrospect, I probably could have had a new one completely custom fabricated from aluminum for $600-$800.
 

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1987 190D Turbo
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If it's ever a problem again, the expansion tank from a 500e gasser, pn 1245001549, is identical to the 190DT expansion tank, and readily available for a fraction of the price. For some reason, Mercedes designed the same thing over and over again, and many of those iterations were 100% compatible. Look:

 

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87 190d 2.5TD, 98 ML320, 09 CLS550
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Discussion Starter #16
Was pretty busy with some various things this weekend and did not get done as much as I wanted to with the car, but did make some progress.

So, I was thinking about the DIY-Chassis-Cart idea I originally had and realized.. I would be spending over $100 to fabricate something that - honestly - is a one-time-use item. Then I thought about placing jack stands on some furniture dollies.. but feared stability problems. Especially with the 1/4"-3/8" lip between the concrete of the driveway and the garage.. So I went poking around on Craigslist....

And there it was! For $150, I picked up one of the infamous Harbor Freight folding trailers. Even came with a clear title.

I spent a couple hours removing the old rotting wood from the frame and ran back over to the old Harbor Freight to pick up one of them Trailer Tow Dollies... so this is what I have ended up with:

2621741


2621742


The large pneumatic tires will make rolling everything across the lips and cracks very easy, the handle makes it easier AND.. In a pinch, I can even hitch the thing up and drive it down to the local carwash or elsewhere if needed. It makes the body completely mobile while under restoration.

The little trailer is only rated around 1,200 pounds but.. I figured:
  • Total curb weight soaking wet is around 2,500 pounds
  • Engine is around 400 pounds
  • Transmission is around 100 pounds
  • Rear subframe is easily another 200 pounds
  • Hood and various interior stuff took another 200-300 pounds out of the car..
  • Front suspension easily weights another 100-200 pounds all combined..
So I have easily removed around 800-1000 pounds from this car. It can not weigh more than 1,500 pounds at this point. And my bet is that the weight is closer to 900-1000 at the moment because I can (by myself) lift each end up off the jack stands.. easily. Long story short: I seriously doubt the weight will be an issue for this little trailer.

If it's ever a problem again, the expansion tank from a 500e gasser, pn 1245001549, is identical to the 190DT expansion tank, and readily available for a fraction of the price. For some reason, Mercedes designed the same thing over and over again, and many of those iterations were 100% compatible. Look:
mxfrank: This is great to know! Thanks a million for that. Strange how the part number never cross referenced anywhere though.. Oh well, gonna pick up an extra one (or two) now that I know that is the correct part - just to be safe. The 500e was a rather rare car as well, so... I am not going to hold my breath in the expectation that parts for THAT vehicle will be around a long time either.

Looking back.. I really wish I had just spent the extra few hundred bucks to have a custom aluminum radiator fabricated for it. Hell.. I may still do that and re-locate the trans cooler elsewhere.

-Dean
 

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87 190d 2.5TD, 98 ML320, 09 CLS550
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Discussion Starter #17
Looks like it is going to work out great. That little trailer creaks, and I doubt I would take it very far down the road, but....

2621816


And completely sitting on the rig:
2621817


It rolls surprisingly well across the cracks and lips.

So NOW... I am ready for the initial degreasing and cleansing.
 

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87 190d 2.5TD, 98 ML320, 09 CLS550
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Discussion Starter #18
Well.. it has been stupid cold the past 3 days, so progress has been slow.

I did get the engine bay cleaned up yesterday:
2622033


And the other side:

2622034


I got most the tunnel clean, too as well as wheel wells.

Will be cleaning the trunk out this evening.. I had the [non functioning] transmission sitting in the trunk, so it is full of trans fluid and grease.

And this next week comes my favorite part: I have a reason to buy new tools!

So once everything is super clean... the next step is moving on to the bodywork. And the first part of the bodywork will be all the rust repair. So this includes:
  • Some cheap wire wheels for my grinder
  • A couple good spot weld drill bits (for drilling out spot welds)
  • Buying an C25/Argon tank for the MIG welder
  • A portable grinder (looking at a Dewalt 20v) so I can cut out the needed body panel/parts from another 190 at the local junk yard
  • Some rust treatment gel for the lightly rusted areas
  • Cheap sandblaster and a couple bags of media
  • Bulk sandpaper
  • Some body panel seam sealer
The rust repair will be done in great detail so others can easily follow the process for themselves in the future. All rust reparations will be done as close to factory original quality as possible.

I am also going to look into a parts washer next week or two and may start on the engine tear-down on the side. The block and head are both going to a good local machine shop to be completely inspected, worked over if needed, and painted back to new condition. I may start a dedicated thread just for the engine.

So another update before I hop off: THE INTERIOR.

My original interior (the good one in the green car) was Palomino. It was decent.. not the best, but pretty damn good for 31+ years old. But.. I wanted better, I want LIKE-NEW. A few weeks back, I purchased ANOTHER 190e JUST FOR THE INTERIOR. I essentially stripped it out clean: door panels, dash, all of it.. except the carpet. The carpet was a bit tore up. Well, last week - I found yet another 190e at the local pull-a-part with PERFECT carpet (still had the plastic on it!).. SCORE!

The new interior will be beige cream. A bit lighter than the palomino.. I think it will look very elegant against the car once it is painted black. Items I still need to source for the interior:
  • A mint lower tunnel console
  • A mint (black - NOT brown) upper center console
  • A mint (NO PEELING) overhead console
If anyone has some of these, shoot me a PM - I may even have some parts that YOU need.

Oh.. and seats.. So you know how these 190's usually always are found with a near-mint passenger seat and a well-worn driver seat? Well.. I figured out LAST restoration that that is no problem. When sourcing good seat covers... just find two good passenger seats. The driver and passenger seat covers interchange - you simply have to add a hole to the passenger cover if you switch it to a driver seat. Local pull-a-part yards usually charge less than $5 for a "seat cover"... needless to say, I found 2 absolutely MINT passenger seat covers in beige cream this past couple weeks AND scored a completely perfect armrest. Plus.. I have a completely PERFECT rear seat set in the beige cream, so.. my interior is just about completely assembled/gathered.

-Dean
 

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87 190d 2.5TD, 98 ML320, 09 CLS550
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Discussion Starter #19
Slow progress, but progress...

Got the passenger doors off as well as the front and rear windshield.

Front windshield was rather tedious cleaning all the old adhesive from the frame:
2622374


Took a wire brush w/ mineral spirits to the frame in order to remove the residue, if not removed.. it will render sandpaper rather useless quickly:
2622375


All clean:

2622376


Also not shown.. got the front driver door removed and tore down. Only have the rear driver-side door to remove.

I will say: the bare unibody is LIGHT on this car. I can lift the entire front end up with one hand.. back-end with two. I seriously doubt the bare chassis weighs more than 700 pounds.

The entire car will be light enough that I will likely be able to practically pick up the front end and (with a couple 2x4 supports) stand the car on-end for the under-belly portion of the repair/restoration.
 

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87 190d 2.5TD, 98 ML320, 09 CLS550
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Discussion Starter #20
Been pretty busy past couple weeks. Progress is slow (as it likely will be), but progress nonetheless..

Got to the local pull-a-part and got 2 chunks of the body that were badly rusted.

I was too cheap to spend the $120 on the DeWalt cordless cutter/grinder I wanted, and improvised with a solution that actually proved much better:

2625601


Used my 1500 watt inverter hard-wired to a very powerful 35AH gel battery. I could have cut the damn car in half with this setup if needed.

Also with the help of the good-ol-sawsall:
2625603


Got the front/driver fender well (forward part). Mine was severely rusted out under the ABS bracket (including the ABS bracket itself) as well as headlight lower mount hole.

This one was in excellent shape:
2625604


I will separate the un-needed parts once home with everything.

And the other real bad part on mine that could not be purchased on-line (like rocker panels) or fixed with flat metal (like the 3 floor board spots) was a tiny section of the lower trunk well:

2625605


I will carefully cut out the cancerous section on mine and splice this one in so that it would never be known it had been fixed.
 
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