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1997 e320 2005 Harley 1200 custom
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys,

I have a 97 e320 with 130,000 miles. I bought it for two grand. It had the head gasket replaced at 117,000 miles along with front ball joints, also had a good oil change history, I fixed the ac blower via a thread on this site for 35 bucks. It has good tires and brakes, I am doing the tie rod ends, had a little play in them and after that the sway bar bushings

I love this car so far, drives great, feels good down the road, just drove from michigan to east coast and back again trouble free.

The only cosmetic issue is the rust, The front fenders are rusted, and the rear quarter panels and around the trunk lock. I was wondering if anyone else has had one in this condition and what I could be looking at to have a professional fix it. I have spoken to a few maccos and its tempting because of the price.

What do you guys think? Is it worth it to try and have this repaired or should I just drive it as is, the interior is in excellent condition and with the rust fixed it could be a real good looking car.

So just looking for feedback or anyone that has had experience with this.
 

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2006 E320 CDI
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386 Posts
Hi Guys,

I have a 97 e320 with 130,000 miles. I bought it for two grand. It had the head gasket replaced at 117,000 miles along with front ball joints, also had a good oil change history, I fixed the ac blower via a thread on this site for 35 bucks. It has good tires and brakes, I am doing the tie rod ends, had a little play in them and after that the sway bar bushings

I love this car so far, drives great, feels good down the road, just drove from michigan to east coast and back again trouble free.

The only cosmetic issue is the rust, The front fenders are rusted, and the rear quarter panels and around the trunk lock. I was wondering if anyone else has had one in this condition and what I could be looking at to have a professional fix it. I have spoken to a few maccos and its tempting because of the price.

What do you guys think? Is it worth it to try and have this repaired or should I just drive it as is, the interior is in excellent condition and with the rust fixed it could be a real good looking car.

So just looking for feedback or anyone that has had experience with this.
At a minimum I would get something to treat the rust so that it doesn't spread. A Macco job may look worst than what you have. I competent body shop will cost plenty and probably is not a good choice.
 

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1997 e320 2005 Harley 1200 custom
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
No Maccoo eh haha I have heard bad bad things, but have also seen some good things from them. I was thinking of pulling plastic in wheel wells and giving a good coating of por-15 or some equivalent of that. Then I could do like you said and try to treat surface rust to avoid it spreading. Such a beautiful car, its a shame to see all the rust coming through.
 

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Premium Member
2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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17,193 Posts
Well in their defense, they do offer a "good" job along with the "quickie" ones they do for someone selling a car soon and just to unload it. Since you only have $2000 in the car I'd ask one of the certified MB collision centers for a quote. That will be high but it will at least give you some idea what a quality repair will cost.
 

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1997 e320 2005 Harley 1200 custom
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Not a bad idea at all. There is a full service dealership within miles of my home, I am on vacation all week, maybe I will swing in there and see what I am looking at.
 

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2001 SLK 320(217K Miles), 2002 E320 Special Edition(183K Miles)
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3,467 Posts
O.K., I'll be sacrilegious. :D

You are talking about a 15 year old car. It will not become a classic in the near future. You got it cheap and it seems to be in a good mechanical condition. So why worry about getting the ultimate paint/repair job? To my mind the important thing is to stop/prevent the rust. With that in mind, I'll just take it to one of the chain shops and have it done at a reasonable price. For example my wife drives a real beater, a 1993 Dodge Shadow (K car), of which the Big-O special-price tires are probably worth more than the car. The paint was going real bad about 6 years ago, fortunately no rust. So I just took it to 1-day paint shop for a $450 repaint, the same metallic paint as before. Is the paint perfect? No, it's not concourse standard, but it still looks 1,000% better than before and probably nicer than 90% of cars two to 3 years old. And the paint still holds up after 6 years, better than the original.

So decide if you want to be a perfectionist or it good-enough good enough. :thumbsup:
 

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1997 e320 2005 Harley 1200 custom
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
@Kobus

Thanks for your input, thats sorta the direction I was leaning with it. I dont expect it to be perfect and at the price I paid I wouldnt feel so bad throwing some money into the body work. First I have to get these tie rod ends replaced. cant seem to get them out with the sledge so I will have to invest in a puller, thats what I was working on today, got a chance to inspect the spring perches also and they look good considering the other rust, looks like the sway bar bushings shouldnt be to bad either.
 

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Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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10,340 Posts
Well in their defense, they do offer a "good" job along with the "quickie" ones they do for someone selling a car soon and just to unload it. Since you only have $2000 in the car I'd ask one of the certified MB collision centers for a quote. That will be high but it will at least give you some idea what a quality repair will cost.
I had my 85 300D repainted by Maaco using their best quality paint system. It cost me about $3k including some rust repairs and installing new front fenders. That was about 6 years ago.

The finish was excellent, but the rust repairs were not done that well. Nevertheless, it was well worthwhile doing and allowed me to keep the car.

I have and expect to spend $500 or so every other year to keep the rust at bay. It's a lot cheaper than depreciation on a newer car! In Canada, we also get our winter driven cars rust sprayed by Krown or Rust-Check every year. Thats another $100+ a year, but it does help.

I would definitely get the W210 rust repaired! Probably no need to do complete car. Might be worthwhile removing the side trim - rust sometimes starts around the attachment holes. I did and coated the hidden areas with POR-15. Also painted inside edges of fenders with POR seeing that is another place rust starts. I had some rust around sunroof, side trim and one wheel well. Had those fixed for about $900. Perfect match on paint. Car looks pristine.

The trunk rust should have been fixed by MB. It was a known fault. Also check under rubber seals around windows and doors - another known fault rust area. And of course, if you haven't yet , check for rusted spring perches (a serious safety problem on these cars). This requires removal and replacement afterwards of sealant that covers welded areas.
 
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