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Banned
1992 W126 300 SE
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11,045 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello ladies and gents, how's it going?

I don't use 'Dirty gerty' much these days, but this little rust problem is getting very noticeably worse. it's coming up from underneath and spreading.



Questions:

Has anyone else experienced this particular problem on126s?

What are the options other than replacing the parts?

If replacement is the only option, how much has to be replaced, ie, do the upper chrome sections detach separately from the rest of the bumper?

Is it a nasty job-rusty nuts and bolts etc etc...?

If I leave it, will the bumper fall off?

It's a shame because the rest of the car is in great condition and she's just coming up to 88K miles.
 

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2,134 Posts
I've seen that on some cars, especially in damp/humid climates. The chrome can be replaced without replacing the rest of the bumper. Where are you located? Not sure I know where head in the clouds is....!
 

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Slightly creased
2015 ML 400 x 2
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16,613 Posts
Hey DR, long time no post!

Yes as mark says the chrome trim can be replaced after taking off the bumper.

Likely if that area has gotten rusty, the bolts holding the bumper on will have too - a bit of a blast with WD 40 should sort that.

Given the damp UK I am not sure how lucky you will be finding a rust free replacement in a wreckers - you can but try. Now, if you were over here...
 

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Banned
1992 W126 300 SE
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11,045 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Mark

^^^^^

Ah, that's good news-thanks!

I'm in London-does that make a difference? I doubt it's the sort of thing I would find at a breaker's yard is it?

Do you have any info on how the job is tackled?
 

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Banned
1992 W126 300 SE
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11,045 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hey DR, long time no post!

Yes as mark says the chrome trim can be replaced after taking off the bumper.

Likely if that area has gotten rusty, the bolts holding the bumper on will have too - a bit of a blast with WD 40 should sort that.

Given the damp UK I am not sure how lucky you will be finding a rust free replacement in a wreckers - you can but try. Now, if you were over here...
Hi Ross!

So the whole bumper has to come off? How many bolts?

There's a guy quite near me who specialises in breaking older Mercs- I got a wiper assembly from him.
So what would I do, buy a whole new bumper from him and swap my painted parts? I'm a bit unsure on how it all comes apart.

Anyone have a schematic?
 

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Slightly creased
2015 ML 400 x 2
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16,613 Posts
Very easy to remove, once the bumper is off I think it is about six clips that hold on the chrome (it has been ages since I did it), you will see it when off.

Either swap your plastic bit of the bumper or if it is good, the whole replacement bumper without taking out the chrome, depends on the bumper colour but if you can find one the same as yours...
 

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Premium Member
1987 560 sec impala metalflake over cream
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1,109 Posts
your talking to an expert! you take the bumper off by removing 6 bolts.2 on either side under the car. 1 on each side. from up top.you can see the ones up top through the space under the grill, and should be able to remove them without any trouble there is also a thred i started where other members gave advice & pics.( spray them with your fav." liquid wrench" rust will make it dificult, but will seem easy once you get the crome seperated from the bumper.lol you also have to unhook the fog/ running lights, which unhook from the signal light area, cut some plastic ties & thread them free.the crom & molde plastic piece are sandwiched onto the fiberglass form by 12 or 14 bolts that have butterfly nut, there is your problem, if they are rusty youl be pulling your hair out by the time your done! mine were in new condition & i considerd it a majour job. cuz they like to spin , so you have to aply downward presure while you unthread them a thread at a time. also take off the pumper guid pins, thers 2 more behind there, plus it goes without saying the light pods have to be removed. there thats about it, OH youl probably need new butterfly nuts ? me thinks if they are rusty they will get [email protected]#%&d up taking things apart, but dont know for shure, i know someone says 6 clips? well i did an sec bumper, maby they are diff.
 

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Banned
1992 W126 300 SE
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11,045 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Wow thanks Ross and Granit. I think beween you, the job is pretty well covered from start to finish.
Maybe I'll call at/to the breaker bloke later and see what he has in 126. Also, good tip, I will call the stealer to see how much the wing nuts are. Having said that, once they're off (Gator grip?) I dont see why I couldn't use stock stainless steel nyloc nuts in place.
How long do you guys estimate for the job from wheels up to finished?
 

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Slightly creased
2015 ML 400 x 2
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16,613 Posts
If everything was going smoothly, and you had someone who could help line things up when putting the bumper back on, a couple of hours max to remove, remove and replace chrome and reinstall, just doing a bumper swap would not even take 1 beer - however, with the rust shown in your picture, if you are taking out the chrome - who knows.
 

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Banned
1992 W126 300 SE
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11,045 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
^^^^^

Yeah that's what I was thinking, the rust is coming upwards! That's why I was seriously concerned that the rust started near the support brackets and the bloody thing was due to fall on the floor. Maybe I should still be worried! It felt a bit soft under the peely chrome. I don't really see how any difference in maintenance routine would make much difference to this problem. It hasn't been 'babied' by any means but the rest of it is very tidy for the age.
 

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Slightly creased
2015 ML 400 x 2
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16,613 Posts
Hmmm.... you may be surprised.

I would imagine that water has gotten between the chrome and plastic and started it's nasty rust. It would be strange (but not impossible) if the bumper which attaches to the car had rusted its mounts. It was a piece which would have had much better rust proofing given its much more frequent exposure to water.

But until you get under and look....
 

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Premium Member
1987 560 sec impala metalflake over cream
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1,109 Posts
Very easy to remove, once the bumper is off I think it is about six clips that hold on the chrome (it has been ages since I did it), you will see it when off.

Either swap your plastic bit of the bumper or if it is good, the whole replacement bumper without taking out the chrome, depends on the bumper colour but if you can find one the same as yours...
thats a comon pic, i would think of a euro bumper? it shows the 2 bolts under the car. & the other pic shows what i call the guid pins. min like i say was a U.S. version.
 

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Banned
1992 W126 300 SE
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11,045 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
thats a comon pic, i would think of a euro bumper? it shows the 2 bolts under the car. & the other pic shows what i call the guid pins. min like i say was a U.S. version.

Ah, so there are just 4 nuts altogether? Very un-Merc.
 

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What year is your 126? Your info shows 1992? I have gen1 euro chrome extra pieces, possibly gen2 as well but not positive on how much.
 

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Banned
1992 W126 300 SE
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11,045 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
What year is your 126? Your info shows 1992? I have gen1 euro chrome extra pieces, possibly gen2 as well but not positive on how much.
It was manufactured in 91 but since the 140 had already started to sell, my 126 wasn't first registered for use until I think May of 92, the stealership owner registered it, in order for to become a 'demo'. My dad thought he got a bargain!
 

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Banned
1992 W126 300 SE
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11,045 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Well I've been a bit tied-up recently, but I have located a whole bumper at a local breaker's yard and I'm going to try to take a look at it early next week.
The bloke wants £80 for it which sounds pretty reasonable to me if it's in good condition. (It's the same place where I got my wiper assembly for £40). He told me that MB charge £300 just for a chrome kit, but I haven't called them to verify this. Anyone know?

The other good thing is that I sold my beloved Moto Guzzi Spada to an old mate a couple of weeks ago (special price:() and he's so pleased that he's offered to come over and give me a hand with the bumper job when I'm ready.

I also noticed more rust on the rim of the passenger side front wheel arch so it could turn into one of those 'where do I stop' issues. It's not really worthwhile in terms of my time or money to re-do the whole front end.
 

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Premium Member
1990 SEC
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4,194 Posts
The bloke wants £80 for it which sounds pretty reasonable to me if it's in good condition. (It's the same place where I got my wiper assembly for £40). He told me that MB charge £300 just for a chrome kit, but I haven't called them to verify this. Anyone know?
Last time I checked, the chrome centerpiece (not including the corners) for the front Euro bumper was $560, so his estimate of 300 GBP ~ $600 sounds about right.

Yes, rust is a never ending concern on that dark, damp, rainy, wet, foggy island of yours. ;)
 

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Banned
1992 W126 300 SE
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11,045 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Last time I checked, the chrome centerpiece (not including the corners) for the front Euro bumper was $560, so his estimate of 300 GBP ~ $600 sounds about right.

Yes, rust is a never ending concern on that dark, damp, rainy, wet, foggy island of yours. ;)
Hmm, that's the thing, the centre of mine is perfect, but the rusty corners have got to the stage where they attract one's eye as the car is approached. Overall a good s/h complete bumper will probably be the least painful way to proceed. Or I might leave it for another year !:eek:

BTW- I live in London, and our corner of the island is warmish, mostly dry and almost fog-free. There don't even seem to be so many grey days as there were when I was a kid.
However, when I moved to New York I was expecting a better climate. Boy, did I get that wrong! Apart from a few weeks in spring and fall, I hated it.:surrender:
 

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Premium Member
1990 SEC
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4,194 Posts
BTW- I live in London, and our corner of the island is warmish, mostly dry and almost fog-free. There don't even seem to be so many grey days as there were when I was a kid.
However, when I moved to New York I was expecting a better climate. Boy, did I get that wrong! Apart from a few weeks in spring and fall, I hated it.:surrender:
I used to live in London, so you're not pulling the wool over my eyes. :D


....you hate New York?
Welcome to a very large club. Summers in New York are hot, humid and smelly. Winters are cold with plenty of snow and slush. What an appealing combination. :rolleyes:
 

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Banned
1992 W126 300 SE
Joined
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11,045 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
^^^^^

Haha, 83f in London today, clear blue skies, light enough to play tennis until 10pm and low humidity.:)

Where in London did you reside?

No, I loved living in NY, was just disappointed with the climate. I moved there from Los Angeles so I guess I'd been spoilt for a few years. Before I moved to NY, I think I visited 7 or 8 times on business but each occasion must have been spring or fall.
 
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