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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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Discussion Starter #1
In cleaning my car, I noticed some bubbling on what appears to be a plastic trim piece that runs just outside the door sills. This is on driver side.

I suspect that there may be rust starting under there.

Anyone know if that plastic piece is removable and how to get it off, so I can get at rust?
 

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2000 4Matic Estate E320S4 210.282
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1998 E320 sedan
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Door Sill trim

I have mine off right now to grind off the rust and prep the car for new paint. I used a paint can lid remover to remove the rubber piece. That works very well. The bubble you see is not from the rust. When you take it off you will notice that on the back side is a pin that slides to position the piece when attaching it to the sill. You may have a surprise underneath and there will also be rust at each of the holes in the sheet metal. Here are pictures of what mine looks like. Don't be afraid to pry it off. Its just plastic pins pressed into plastic inserts. See pictures. One picture is of the part off and on the hood of my car, another picture of the plastic inserts that are plugged in the sheet metal to attach the part/the tool I used to remove the piece in question, the last picture shows the rust that I do have underneath the part.
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Great Info - Thanks very much!

One question - Once the upper plastic piece is pried off, does the plastic plate Franasia mentioned come off too to expose the rust? Or is the plastic all one piece?
 

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1998 E320 sedan
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52 Posts
They would be separate pieces, I just had to remove the black plastic/rubbery part that runs the full length of each side (under both front and rear door). It bends easily so try not to bend it too severally and put a crease in it. There was no rust under the rest of the plastic which runs at the bottom of each door and wraps around to the inside of the car and tucks in the carpet.
 

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2004 clk500
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is it the same removal process for 2000-02 up e320. i was trying to figured how to take mine off and gave up after taking the screws off under the car.
 

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1998 E320 sedan
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Yes should be the same. The screws underneath (I believe you are talking about) are to remove the plastic that is on the underside of the car up against the rocker panel. I will be needing to remove all of that as well to repaint the rocker panel. I had lots of organic material up towards the front of the car which helped the rust develop. My rocker panel is in terrible shape after grinding out the rust I have holes in it with still more rust to remove.
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Yes should be the same. The screws underneath (I believe you are talking about) are to remove the plastic that is on the underside of the car up against the rocker panel. I will be needing to remove all of that as well to repaint the rocker panel. I had lots of organic material up towards the front of the car which helped the rust develop. My rocker panel is in terrible shape after grinding out the rust I have holes in it with still more rust to remove.
Just took off the long strip. I just lifted it slightly at rear and it pulls off by hand. Maybe I could have saved some clips if I knew exactly where they were and used a proper tool!

Anyway, I now see that that bubble is just a defect in the plastic strip, or perhaps the strip has a metal insert? Just checked, and sure enough, it is magnetic. That strip is steel with a plastic coating! I guess I could buy a new one if the bubble bothers me ;) (part #s 2106800174 & 2106800274)

Luckily, the rocker panel steel is not rusted - see attached pic of holes. (There was a lot of crud under there which I cleaned off!)

I have also attached pics of the fasteners. Are those a dealer only part or would NAPA or equivalent have them? Anyone know the MB part number for those fasteners?

Regarding another strip below rockers? My rockers appear to just be steel with stoneguard type coating. Maybe I didn't look hard enough!
 

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1998 E320 sedan
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Well now you have piece of mind that there is no rust. Looks really nice condition. I haven't figured out the part number for the plastic clips yet. Let me know if you get a number I will need to replace all mine and they seem to be used every where.

Yes regarding the rocker panel. The thick paint they use on that does appear at first to be a plastic but its just a paint they use. I am cleaning it all off to get to the rust then repaint with a black matte paint.
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Well now you have piece of mind that there is no rust. Looks really nice condition. I haven't figured out the part number for the plastic clips yet. Let me know if you get a number I will need to replace all mine and they seem to be used every where.

Yes regarding the rocker panel. The thick paint they use on that does appear at first to be a plastic but its just a paint they use. I am cleaning it all off to get to the rust then repaint with a black matte paint.
I think I found number for the fastener sockets:

MB 0019887681
Worldpac W0133-1852785

Looks like they are about 0$.75 aftermarket or $2.00 at dealer - Probably in Canada double that :( (Take that back - C$1.67 at dealer!)

Didn't look for or find the pins.
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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Discussion Starter #11
I think I found number for the fastener sockets:

MB 0019887681
Worldpac W0133-1852785

Looks like they are about 0$.75 aftermarket or $2.00 at dealer - Probably in Canada double that :(

Didn't look for or find the pins.
The second number is probably the manufacturer's number, not Worldpac. Manufacturer is EZ Mouldings.
 

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99 E430, 01 E430 Sport, 00 SL500
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I'd moved to different address years ago. I was at the dealer last week, upon entering the VIN of my 99 E430, the service person showed me that computer popped up a screen for 2 recalls. One recall was about the harmonic balancer, the other was with the door trim or seal to prevent rust. The second recall may be something related to what you're doing. Both recall fixes would be free. I just didn't have time to schedule an appointment.
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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Discussion Starter #13
I'd moved to different address years ago. I was at the dealer last week, upon entering the VIN of my 99 E430, the service person showed me that computer popped up a screen for 2 recalls. One recall was about the harmonic balancer, the other was with the door trim or seal to prevent rust. The second recall may be something related to what you're doing. Both recall fixes would be free. I just didn't have time to schedule an appointment.
Thanks - But, I think the door trim one is a different issue. It is rust that occurs under the rubber door seal. If you peel the rubber at the top of the door seal back, you will see where it attaches - That is where the rust occurs. It's worth getting it done!

I had both balancer and the door seals done under warranty some time back.
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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Discussion Starter #14
Picked up the new driver side trim piece at dealer. It actually came with a full set of fasteners (9) so I just picked up 6 of the sockets for use on the passenger side.

The trim is a good deal considering it included 9 sets of pins & sockets!
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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Discussion Starter #15
Just to close this off:

I cut a section through the old bubbling trim piece. There is a steel track embedded inside that accepts the bases of the pins. It is that track that had started to rust on my car. There must be pinholes in the vinyl extrusion that allows moisture or salt to enter.

Sprayed some Rust-Check rustproofing on rocker surface that is covered by these strips. Back on and good as new!

Thanks for the heads up on how easy it is to remove this trim.
 

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Thanks for checking into what exactly is causing the bubble for that part. Now I know I have more rust lol. I will probably replace that piece as well when I get the rocker panel repainted.
 
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