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1991 300CE "restoration" is complete!!!

31642 Views 63 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  Carlton
Well gentlemen,
this is the time to present to you my 1991 300CE.
I bought this car for $1,600. It was in great running order, with a no accidents body and a great interior. The body was a bit rough, the paint was faded and it has 157,000 miles.
I knew from the time I saw it, what I wanted to do to it to suit my taste.
I always have loved the looks of the coupe, but I never knew that they could be had for so little money.

When I got her home the first thing I knew I had to do was change the suspension parts as the parts were tired. I went with Eibach springs and Bilstein dampers. I rebuild all the suspension parts that looked tired, including bushes, steering dampers etc.
While the car was on jacks in my garage, I decided that car needed new 02 sensor as preventive maintenance, new transmission fluid, new engine oil and filter, new fuel filter and new differential oil. When the above were done, I took her of the jacks and did a tune up as well as parts replacement.
New cap and rotor, new plugs, new crankshaft position sensor, new air filter, new temp sensors, new vac hoses and a few cosmetics in the engine bay, like header high temp black paint and new valve cover high temp paint as the original was flacking. I also got new 17" rims and tires.

I drove the car to decide if she was worth a full make over and fell in love with her so I decided to go ahead.
I decided that the speakers were too old to give any decent performance so I swapped them. I added some more sound insulation on the door panels, removed all the carpeting and washed it thoroughly to remove 20 year old filth.
The original wood around the shifter was beyond help and IMHO would not match the future look of the car, so I decided to cover it with 3M dinoc carbon fiber.
I bypassed the fader switch and added in it's place an antenna up/down switch I acquired from a 300E from the bone yard.
I replace rear glass with a new one ($$$$) and all the surrounding gaskets and metal trim (it had faded to yellow chrome finish) and painted all the rest with automotive satin black paint. All the trim, I mean everything was removed and I prepped all pieces for paint.
I bought the AMG Gen II body kit from ebay, it is made by Extreme dimensions. I also got an OEM facelift hood from the dealer (all aftermarket ones were not up to par), DEPO headlights and side markers and facelift grill.
(you can follow this part in this link)

AMG aftermarket Body Kit by Extreme Dimensions (Duraflex) installation

and sent her of too paint. I decided on single stage paint because it can be polished and brought back to great shape easier than 2 stage down the road.

For now I have decided to not install the ducktail although it was painted and prepped as well. I do not know what I will do with it in the future. It requires permanent installation and I am not sure of it as of yet.

I lowered the car further with using the lowest spring pads on the rear (#1) and #2 in the front.

I was thinking of tinting the windows slightly, but decided against it. It does limit visibility slightly and I like the no tint look.

So with no further interruptions, I present to you My 300CE!!!
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I hope you enjoy this long winded thread and maybe you will enjoy the car as well.
I also hope that this helps future and current owners with their cars.
If any of you have any questions, please feel free to ask, I will do my best to answer any and all questions.

And I would like to thank everyone who has given me their input and has helped me along this wonderful journey!!!
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That`s looking very nice,you`ll need a set of the driving lights asap though
Thank you!
I wish I could find some. They are very expensive if one can find them. I am not willing to pay a few hundred for them. Not needed. The openings have black mesh for now and it actually looks good. If someone has C36 lamps, let me know!! Those are the only ones that will fit. Well, besides a set for SL500 with AMG package...
Wow that looks very nice.
Great Job ! Wasn't sold on the grill to start but as everything was revealed I have to say it goes with the rest quite nicely !
I would have been interested to see it with a bit of chrome on the grill (making it a little less whomp ass and more kick ass ! Hahahahahaha
Was the trunk lip one of the high AMG's one's as I agree leave it off.
I have been having the internal trauma of adding or not adding on my 88 CE and have settled for a minuscle Zender lip spoiler seeing as the rest of my bodykit is Zender. Love the interior - The carbon fibre dash looks great - very envious of it. I am not sold on woodgrain even though mine is in pretty good nick.

Congratulations and enjoy !

it's.....beautiful :bowdown:
I miss the wood though..
Looks like all of your decisions and hard work have paid off. Congratulations, it looks great.
Purty. I agree about the wood. Burlwood makes any interior classy.

How much did you end up investing in it?
No nit picking here. Very nicely done and my hat is off to you. The car looks great.

If you wouldn't mind, how much did the single stage black cost you? You can PM me also. Just wondering for the future of my 260E. The paint is fine now, but the phoenix sun can change that pretty quick, even if its just a few hours every day.
Thanks gentlemen!!

I am very happy with the car. With the looks, with the ride, with the mechanics, interior etc. I would not change a thing...for now at least.
No wood for me thanks. I love the CF look and the look of the car is more sporty than classy.
I am about to open up another restaurant (bar & grill) and time and money is going only into that and running my existing one.

The entire project from buying the car, registration, rims, paint, maintenance etc cost me around $6k. Remember, all work was done by me besides shooting and polishing the paint. That was done by a customer of mine who works in a body shop and he charged me $1,800. That included painting everything off the car as I had completely disassembled it. If I had time, I might have prepped it (sanded, cleaned etc) and have had Maaco shoot the single stage and then I would wet sand with 1500, then 2000 then polish with proper compound and polisher. The result would have been about the same, for half the price. Maaco uses Sherwin Williams paint which is great.
Any way, that requires a lot of labor though and caution not to burn through the paint.
Remember, a monkey can spray the paint, someone with Patience and knowledge is needed to prep and polish correctly.

This was a budget project, so nothing too high end on the car. It is my daily driver and sits outside most of the time. But it will and is well maintained.
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very cool. was doing the CF difficult? I have been considering it for my 260E since good wood is difficult to find and reconditioning is even more difficult to do.
Since yours is not a coupe and does not have the accordion style in between the rear seats, I would say it is easy.
The 3M dinoc material is very easy to work with. Using a heat gun or hair dryer makes it very soft and easy to curve etc.
The door inserts, the dash inserts and the center console took about 2-3 hours.
I did not remove the dash wood inserts since the hair dryer made the CF and the dash material soft, it was very easy to work with and tuck the CF behind. The material is also fairly cheap and does not seem to have any issues in the heat. I'm in SoCal and have had the CF on for about 3 +/- months now, the car sits outside in the heat and no lifting or issues. I highly recommend it. Not for the wood lovers, but I think it is a big improvement even over good wood...Ok, let's change subjects this is taking a funny turn.. too much wood talk...
All I can say is wow!

I'd love to have my car repainted... But can't afford that right now.
Apart from the scratches, I really love my car. One day I'll upgrade to a W202, but in the meanwhile I caress my baby!

Green with envy!
Lovely Sam, you must be very proud.
Sleek and sporty.

Boyd :)
I like my Mercedes stock - but this is the exception which proves the rule.

I love it!
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