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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey There,

Long time member here, had to re-register. I have a 1994 e320 Cabrio that was in storage fro many years. It was moved up here from Florida by a transportation company. It seems they damaged the oil pan. I was told there was a hole in it.
I have just recently took it to an independent mechanic. They had the car for over a month, until they decided that they didn't want to take on "any big jobs". They quoted me around $2000 for the oil pan, before they decided they didn't want to do it. So, I had it towed to are local, very large, Mercedes dealership. I thought that I would need someone with some certification to look at it.

The car will cost about $8000 to repair. This doesn't include Service-B, spark plugs, coolent, etc. Now, it's (and I'm rounding) $2000 for the oil pan leak, $1600 for rear main seal, $500 for transmission pan. $1000 for fuel line and bracket, $350 for shifter bushing, $1348 hydraulic motor mounts. And $1100 for brakes. The head gasket was replaced many years ago.

The car, being a Florida car, will need a new top, and the clear coat is peeling. So, this will need to refreshed also. I have no idea what this will cost. I realize that this isn't really a repair so much as a restoration.

The car has about 130,000 miles on it. The bottom line is, is the car worth repairing, or do I take it to the dump/try to find someone to buy/flatbed it.

Thanks!

2603134
 

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What did the transport co. do that caused the underbody damage and what is the full extent of the damage?

Many a time, insurance companies write off a car (even new ones) if underbody damage is involved.

Also, there is no such thing as a "service B" for a W124. These are pre FSS vehicles.

Based on the fact the clear is peeling requiring a full respray, and it needs a new top, is very likely to exceed the economic value of the car even if is a cabriolet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The car was transported a few years ago, and it wasn't like they told they damaged the car. It wasn't running then. The car wasn't insured at the time, and even if it was, I was unable to fix it due to money issues at that time.

I understand that technically there might not be "Service-B" for this vehicle, but I'm assuming that the dealer means: (from their email)
"It includes: oil change, tire rotation and balance, wiper blades, key batteries, cabin filter(s), brake fluid flush, clean and lubricate any hinges or moving mechanical parts of convertibles/sunroof/doors/etc. clean out any water drains and A/C drains, alignment check, and multiple other inspections and checks."

Thanks for your reply! I still might go ahead with the repairs, as I don't think this car deserves to be trashed.
 

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Rabbit hole.......find another more suitable cab. Peeling paint is the final nail on the coffin. No way out of this one unless you do the work yourself......the dealer is just hosing you.

Kevin
 

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If it is a one owner car (you) and you are willing and able to do all repairs in a slow fashion, it is perhaps worth keeping. If you are going to have to go to the dealer for all repairs that is a loosing proposition. I would get rid of it.
Even a high end Indy will cost a lot of money these days.
The repair cost of these cars are low as long as you do the repairs, otherwise they are astronomical.

The average life of the transmission on these cars is probably 150K-200K. A transmission install at a dealer will cost you $5K alone on top of all the other things you mentioned.

I lost my tranmission at 145K on my 1995 E320-sportline and had to let it go for $2600 and it was in near perfect cosmetic condition. It was in the family for the entire life of the car until I sold it 5 years ago.

Just giving you an example and being realistic about it....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I believe I am the second owner, and I was going to replace the hydraulic cylinders myself. However, I cannot do engine work, as I don't have that knowledge. Unfortunately, I am attached to the car. But, I also don't want to go broke. I'm not sure who would buy it in the condition that it's in.
 

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Take a photo of the engine from the bottom. I can't dream up the amount of sump damage that would cost $2000 for an Indy to repair unless there are broken castings or unless the hole in the crank case came from a piece of reciprocating mass that wanted badly to exit the engine. As for the $8000, you need to consider the dealer probably has no one on his staff who ever worked on these cars when they were in their prime. So he is already at a disadvantage and will make you pay for it. A shift bushing costs around $3.00. It takes a half hour (I'm being kind to the dealership stooge they will put on the job) to replace it. How do they get to $350? Answer: they have no idea. You need another Indy to look at this car. If you don't want to go this route................. let me know how much you want for it.

PS: The work described in your quotes above is a laugh. If this is the bulk of what they will be doing, you had better start running from that dealership. This is the kind of stuff they put a "new kid" on - someone who hasn't been to training yet. I must be missing something. Oh and by the way, any Indy up here in NY will pull your transmission, change the rear main seal, and reinstall it, for around $600. The dealer's numbers are just stupid - another example: engine mounts cost around $150 each if you had to buy them at the dealership. There are two. It takes an hour and a half to do both. Maybe their labor rate is $700 an hour?
 

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Before we delve into the mechanical, I think we need to hear from the OP if he has the budget for a complete vehicle respray and top repair.

A proper quality paint job (without top repair) is going to exceed 5K.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Strangely enough, the paint seems good, it's just the clear coat that's peeling. It's a Florida car. I have a good job, but the aesthetics of the car can wait awhile...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for your reply. The quote is outrageous, that's why I'm here. I've already contacted another independent today, just waiting back to hear.
 

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Just respraying the clear is not going to give you a factory paint look. The base has been contaminated due to the clear peeling.

And a ragged top on any cabriolet screams ghetto hooptie.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just respraying the clear is not going to give you a factory paint look. The base has been contaminated due to the clear peeling.

And a ragged top on any cabriolet screams ghetto hooptie.
Understandable. The German cloth replacement top is only about $400. Already looked into it. As for ghetto, I live outside Chicago, so I fit right in, lol.
 

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LOL. You just need to put some black duct tape around the rear window and a sticker that says "Sorry, radio has already been stolen" to complete the picture.

But on a serious note, it's the labor that could be the dealbreaker on the whole thing.

If I were you, I'd really think twice and add up how much the whole thing will cost from start to finish. You might find a nicer replacement without the issues for the same or even less money. And you could part out this one to recoup some of the costs.
 

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The paint can't be 'fixed'. For a respray to work it has to be sanded down, re-primed and sprayed. It looks like there ought to be some kinda easy fix because all you see is the clear peeling.......but I've been told by every shop there is not.

Don't get attached to these cars....too many on the road still. Instead, find a nice, sorted cab in a color you like and use that $8K you're gonna spend towards buying it. I jumped ship on my original, bought new TE and now it feeds parts into a similar car of the same yr. You couldn't have more sentimental attachment to yours than I did mine. I got over it, you'll get over it too....lol.

Point well taken on the present 'dealer' mechanics. They were not trained in 124/126's...most of those guys are retired by now and/or dead. The last thing a modern dealer wants to see come through his door is an aging 124....and his prices to you reflect that. Couple that with the fact that his mechanics may not even fix the car correctly and you've just fallen into the largest rabbit hole ever.

Kevin
 

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Getting attached to the car is a tough deal. I know- any sensible person would sell at least two of my five 25-30 year old Mercedes, but I just can't do it.....

Before the Chicago cold hits, at least slow the cosmetic damage. Paint- Mequiars #7 Glaze and then any good wax. Top- 303 or RaggTopp Convertible Care kit.

More issues to consider: is the engine harness original? Has the ETA been rebuilt? Both have the biodegradable wire covering which cracks. Does the AC work? If not, the evaporator might be leaking (galvanic corrosion between aluminum and copper). Eventually, all the rubber bushings and rubber vacuum hoses will need attention. Check the flex disks. If the car was stored outside all those years in Florida, under body corrosion from salty air?

And the ball joints- I can't remember if they can be replaced individually, or if the entire control arm has to be replaced (ball joints welded in). Either way, they are critical to be in good shape.

The Factory Service Manual is here up in the DIY Threads sticky. Good reading if you decide to do the many small things yourself!
 

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There is not doubt about the expense and difficulty of justifying painting this car to factory spec, I agree there is a break even point that you exceed quickly with a 25 year old car. But...

There IS merit to re-clear coating cars like this. If the car is not going to be a show car or resold with a $25,000 sale expectation, it is well worth it. Wetsand to prepare the paint and existing clearcoat for adherence and to feather the edge on the clear coat, the resulting finish will fool 100% of the people who see the car from ten feet and 90% of those who look closer. A re-clearcoat can last as long as the original finish too. I've done this to two of my 124s that had clear that was so badly checked it looked like someone had sanded the car instead of washing it. The results are amazing and they were done five years ago and have never seen a garage in all that time. All bets are off with a clearcoat that is peeling because some spray gun crack head did a sh*tty job of applying it. If some of the clear has lifted by itself, then the rest will come off later so don't bother wasting your time. Having said that, a clear coat that has burned off, or that has failed due to checking is going to benefit greatly.

Especially with a car like this, I would go down the re-clearcoat route rather than anything else. Of course, don't expect to take it to a body shop and have them do it or agree with you. Body shops paint cars all day, every day, the way they were taught to. Its not their fault, they were taught by PPG salespeople who have been driving the two part system down their throats for close to thirty years. To them, paint is part one, clear is part two. They have no ability to reason that you CAN do one without the other. Remember, these "EXPERTS" are the same people who swore water borne paint is better. Fat chance, but that's another discussion.

Since all you are applying is clear paint, any overspray is nearly invisible (but it still is well worth removing as many items as you can; Examples, roof and windshield mouldings, door handles, trunk trim items, mirrors, tail and headlight assemblies, and masking the window edges bumpers and cladding with care).

Would I do this to my 500e? Probably not. Would I do this to a car I didn't expect to ask top dollar for? In a minute. Errrr, more accurately, in about five hours. Don't knock it until you've tried it.
 

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There is not doubt about the expense and difficulty of justifying painting this car to factory spec, I agree there is a break even point that you exceed quickly with a 25 year old car. But...

There IS merit to re-clear coating cars like this. If the car is not going to be a show car or resold with a $25,000 sale expectation, it is well worth it. Wetsand to prepare the paint and existing clearcoat for adherence and to feather the edge on the clear coat, the resulting finish will fool 100% of the people who see the car from ten feet and 90% of those who look closer. A re-clearcoat can last as long as the original finish too. I've done this to two of my 124s that had clear that was so badly checked it looked like someone had sanded the car instead of washing it. The results are amazing and they were done five years ago and have never seen a garage in all that time. All bets are off with a clearcoat that is peeling because some spray gun crack head did a sh*tty job of applying it. If some of the clear has lifted by itself, then the rest will come off later so don't bother wasting your time. Having said that, a clear coat that has burned off, or that has failed due to checking is going to benefit greatly.

Especially with a car like this, I would go down the re-clearcoat route rather than anything else. Of course, don't expect to take it to a body shop and have them do it or agree with you. Body shops paint cars all day, every day, the way they were taught to. Its not their fault, they were taught by PPG salespeople who have been driving the two part system down their throats for close to thirty years. To them, paint is part one, clear is part two. They have no ability to reason that you CAN do one without the other. Remember, these "EXPERTS" are the same people who swore water borne paint is better. Fat chance, but that's another discussion.

Since all you are applying is clear paint, any overspray is nearly invisible (but it still is well worth removing as many items as you can; Examples, roof and windshield mouldings, door handles, trunk trim items, mirrors, and masking the window edges bumpers and cladding with care).

Would I do this to my 500e? Probably not. Would I do this to a car I didn't expect to ask top dollar for? In a minute. Errrr, more accurately, in about five hours. Don't knock it until you've tried it.

Honestly, you'd be better off to do all the prep work yourself and take the car to one of those like Earl Scheib places and let them shoot it in a booth. At least you're not gonna get robbed on some crazy quote.

Kevin
 

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OP; if you DO sell, first go down to a junkyard and source some stock W124 or W210 wheels, slap some beater tires on them, and swamp them out witht the monoblocks currently on there. Sell them seperate, and at least get about $800.00 for 'em. Do NOT send those to the junker!
 
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