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1975 450 SLC
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Discussion Starter #1
Well the other day I went to get the car checked out for a pre-registration check and came away a bit dissapointed but with a list of achievable jobs for the SLC.
To start at the front then, steering is still a bit too loose (after replacing the steering coupling). The rear right hand is loose and can be wobbled a bit too easily. Both of these will require more rubber and ball joints to be replaced (already done the front lower control arm bushes).
There is a little (OK, now I know a lot!) of rust here and there - the front foot well as per photos, a small spot on the drivers roof near gutter and one in the boot/trun) recess near the right hand strut, some questionable rust bubbles along the sill under the rubber protector strip and some boot/trunk rubber seal strip.
I should have been more patient in choosing the car!
Oh well I was hoping to get it registered first then tinker with it in the shed fixing and finding these issues. I have sort of learnt that the car must have been in a head on at one stage and the front has been replaced with I think an SLC500 imported front parts. Hence the dodgey repairs done on the floorwell and floor pan. I have only just started to have a poke about to see how bad the rust is. I think it is not too bad and can be cut out and replaced by me (somewhat of a novice at this).
What could go wrong?

Merc footwell under the floor.jpg Merc footwell.jpg Merc rust footwell upper cleaned up.jpg Merc rust footwell upper.jpg
 

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1983 380SL, 2000 S430, 1991 420SEL (retired) - RHD
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5,115 Posts
Have you checked that the geometry is all good before you do a lot more work? If you start with a" square" car you can repair almost anything.
 

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'79 450SL, '04 CLK200 convertible; former A124, W210, A209.
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The rot in the pics you posted is nothing unusual for a 107 chassis or any Benz of the era for that matter. Plenty good metal there so keep on, as Aussie recommend having made sure the car is straight like an arrow 👍
 

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1983 380SL, 2000 S430, 1991 420SEL (retired) - RHD
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5,115 Posts
Check out Race Diagnostics resto thread to see how he brought a car back from the dead.:)
 

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1975 450 SLC
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Discussion Starter #5
Good point Aussiemerc I will have a bit more research to do tonight on nightshift!
Miko as you said there is still a lot of metal left which has not yet oxidised away.

I have put the old easy peasy string around all wheels to get a rough alignment set up (12mm packer on the back wheels to get the wheel track the same all-round) I found that the rear LHS wheel was toeing in quite a bit. I am going to have to remove the rear and rebush etc and check it out for any damage or squashing of the back end.
I was hoping to get the new shed built first to work on it in a tidy and clean environment, but hey why not try out the dirt floor which has had half an inch of rainwater flooding in for the last few days (even found a few dead rabbits laying around the floor!) What could go wrong?
 

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'79 450SL, '04 CLK200 convertible; former A124, W210, A209.
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Hehe I hear you Martin - I can relate to that! I've got my R107 in July 2015, and likewise was planning to build a carport for it at some point in Sep-Oct. However, that July was the wettest ever in terms of rainfall and I was literally taking out pots and buckets from the R107 filled with water. Change of plans and I had the carport done by mid August :D So if it's a rainy season I'd prioritize getting some shelter first, R107 and rainfall just don't mix! ;)
 

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1975 450 SLC
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Discussion Starter #7
Miko That was likely to be our last heavy bit of rain now till June next year, its going to dry out now I hope. I have some days off work coming up now so hopefully will get back into cutting the bad repair and rust out. Then learn how to set up the welder for the panel repairs.
 

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'79 450SL, '04 CLK200 convertible; former A124, W210, A209.
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Very well Martin, keep us posted how it goes - it's good to talk! If you're interested have a look here where I documented my rust journey https://myalbum.com/album/A6iifCgFGNSy . All the black paint you see is POR15, I highly recommend it if you want eternal piece of mind, forever and ever :D
 

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1975 450 SLC
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Discussion Starter #9
Ha ha yes thanks for the POR15 recomendation. I have been lurking on this forum for a while now and have nearly seen everything that can possibly be done to these lovely cars (I think I will have to do most of it to mine). Although I hope my car is a lot less rusty than some of the US and Euro ones. I still have a lot to learn and do but time is always my demon as theer is a 3.5 acre garden to tend to along with the forecoming shed rebuild once permits are sorted.
I first have to purchase some tools to remove the rust and gunk off the car to make it easier to do. Oh and yes I am working off the ground at this stage but may see if I can squeeze a 4 post hoist in the shed to make it a bit easier for my poor old aching back.
I hope to have some great photos this week of what I have found so far, I am going to have to write a book about what the PO has done to my car. The passenger seat is an absolute scream! Photo's tomorrow for you, I am sure no one has seen this before.
 

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'79 450SL, '04 CLK200 convertible; former A124, W210, A209.
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Now Martin, you've piqued my interest! I look forward to the pics, though I'm sure most of us have horror stories to share :D Assuming the car is a hobby, then whatever you do just take your time and do it once but properly. I've been restoring mine since I've got it - primarily during winter / quiet season - and I already have plans until 2023 :D
 

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1975 450 SLC
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Discussion Starter #11
Here is my wonderful previous owner/mechanics fix for a worn or missing front seat slider. It sort of looks like some old trim cut down and cable tied together. No wonder that part does not work. I have even found plastic cable ties holding the exhaust hanger on at the rear. I think they must have gotten it repaired at "Cable Ties & Duct Tape" budget car restorations. IMG_4361.JPG
 

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firewall and floor pan is not big deal. front chassis rail rust is bound to be apparent, sill panels, possible, bottom of doors possible, under back windscreen, boot seal, under rear seats, under tailights... these are places I would start looking vert closely at.
If you have louvers that are fogged or paint peeling, you likely have rust under the seals there too, so out with those as well and re-do.
There's enough to keep you occupied for the next few years or until funds are depleted.
 

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'79 450SL, '04 CLK200 convertible; former A124, W210, A209.
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Heh Martin, sounds like the previous owner was way too deep into "hacks" - must have been MacGayver's fan 😂
 

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1975 450 SLC
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Discussion Starter #15
firewall and floor pan is not big deal. front chassis rail rust is bound to be apparent, sill panels, possible, bottom of doors possible, under back windscreen, boot seal, under rear seats, under tailights... these are places I would start looking vert closely at.
If you have louvers that are fogged or paint peeling, you likely have rust under the seals there too, so out with those as well and re-do.
There's enough to keep you occupied for the next few years or until funds are depleted.
I will try to get to have a look at those places today now that I have some time (lawns now mown). Thank you for the hints.
 

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1975 450 SLC
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Discussion Starter #16
A quick update it looks like the front chassis rails have been replaced so all of that is newer than the car.
There is some damage here and there such as slightly bent floor pan as per the attached photos. Some dodgy repairs pop riveted in with 8 Aluminium pop rivets! There is also some difficult rust repairs to be done of which I have not yet seen anyone document so am after some suggestions. I have bad photos of them so here is a bit of a description one is of the front LHS floor next to the sill you can just see the rust holes just below the green vacuum hose. The other is underneath this along the seem of the floor pan and the sill where rust has slipped along all the way nearly but not too bad I want to stop the rust and also clean it out etc. Would I have to cut all the way along and welded in a new bit? It seems like the best option for me that I can think of.
More wire brushing back today so I can get a better look at it.
IMG_4347.JPG IMG_4363 2.JPG IMG_4364 2.JPG
 

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1983 380SL, 2000 S430, 1991 420SEL (retired) - RHD
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Race Diagnostics is the master of that sort of stuff. You name it and he's done it. :)
 

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'79 450SL, '04 CLK200 convertible; former A124, W210, A209.
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My strong personal preference would be cut out all the rot that you see and weld in new metal, in particular where there are holes. If it's just surface rust that can be wirebrushed back to clean metal you'll get away with POR-15 - I've covered the entire chassis with it, not cheap and labor intensive but it's a once off effort.
 

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1975 450 SLC
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Discussion Starter #20
I got onto the RHS (drivers side) yesterday and even found old GT Falcon panels had been pop riveted in. Exciting that they used a classic old Aussie muscle car panels, I wonder if that increases the price of my car?
I have some big inner sill rust holes to cut out and weld in new metal. I even found a slab of fibre glass covering a big hole. I have so much more work to do now. All the seats are out, centre console is out, carpet is out and just wondering if I rip the dash out too? while I am at it. Gardening day today so no work on it today maybe tomorrow.
 
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