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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any ideas on how to fix this? Is it even repairable? The mats are 30 years old and in decent shape apart from the black rubbery material which, as you can see, is crumbling off the mat.

Would a rubber spray be a possible solution for filling in the eroded areas and sealing what remains of the original backing?

Rectangle Sleeve Denim Tints and shades Road surface
 

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'99 S420 124K
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I power washed the old material off of the mats and purchased mat clips to hold mine in place.
 
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Yeah, you're right, I should probably just finish the job that 30 years of drying out have done and get rid of the rest of the backing. As for mat clips, do you mean something like Eagle Klaw? https://www.amazon.com/Eagle-Klaw-Anti-Slip-Retainers-Without/dp/B06W2H8WYS?th=1
No, the clips I used were actually for MB mats. They may be no longer available, however. I was able to find them listed as Hummer mat clips. Close enough. I think they were $6-10 for 2 each.

The clip clamps onto the mat, and a 3-4 inch long (drapery)pin holds the clip to the underlayment carpet at the base of the seat, and on the foot rest carpeting under the forward end of the mat.

The rubber offered additional stiffness to the mat so it didn't collapse into the footwell. The clips stretch the mat to lay flat and stay in place quite securely. I used 4 clips per mat, 2 on each end spaced more toward the center of the mat.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No, the clips I used were actually for MB mats. They may be no longer available, however. I was able to find them listed as Hummer mat clips. Close enough. I think they were $6-10 for 2 each.

The clip clamps onto the mat, and a 3-4 inch long (drapery)pin holds the clip to the underlayment carpet at the base of the seat, and on the foot rest carpeting under the forward end of the mat.

The rubber offered additional stiffness to the mat so it didn't collapse into the footwell. The clips stretch the mat to lay flat and stay in place quite securely. I used 4 clips per mat, 2 on each end spaced more toward the center of the mat.
Love it. Gonna see if I can find them.
 

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No, the clips I used were actually for MB mats. They may be no longer available, however. I was able to find them listed as Hummer mat clips. Close enough. I think they were $6-10 for 2 each.

The clip clamps onto the mat, and a 3-4 inch long (drapery)pin holds the clip to the underlayment carpet at the base of the seat, and on the foot rest carpeting under the forward end of the mat.

The rubber offered additional stiffness to the mat so it didn't collapse into the footwell. The clips stretch the mat to lay flat and stay in place quite securely. I used 4 clips per mat, 2 on each end spaced more toward the center of the mat.
The Original Mercedes ones looks like these but were all metal. These from Amazon has 8% one star rating. I think the clips are made of plastic............so read description carefully!

 
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On a more recent-model (w219), I had the same issue with my driver's mat. The three others are perfect, so no reason to just throw out the whole set since only a full set is available. I purchased 1/16" EPDM from RubberCal. I went with the option for adhesive backing.

I scraped off what I could, revealing the grid-texture that seems to be intermolded with a burlap-pattern nylon threaded center. It was the most frustrating thing I ever worked with. I made a template, and with the stretch of the rubber sheeting, it still didn't lay down exactly as I intended--which led to it getting stuck on itself in several areas. Once it's stuck, it's stuck. If I had to do it over, I would order the material without the adhesive backing, practice laying it down multiple times, and spray high-temp headliner adhesive a little at a time.

At least it now adds extra heat and a solid feel to the mat, with no more chunks and debris coming off. I would imagine over time, it will probably deteriorate in future years.
 

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I would take off all the old foam, cut dynapad to shape and then affix it with appropriate glue. They won't move around and you'll have a marginally quieter vehicle.
 

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The Original Mercedes ones looks like these but were all metal. These from Amazon has 8% one star rating. I think the clips are made of plastic............so read description carefully!

I did purchase the all metal clips from Amazon or Ebay. Plastic would not be the quality you would want.
 

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The Original Mercedes ones looks like these but were all metal. These from Amazon has 8% one star rating. I think the clips are made of plastic............so read description carefully!

Man, I just always look at the headline number of stars on reviews. I didn't realize they broke down percentages of each number of stars for you. Good call.
 

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If I'm not mistaken, the backing foam is PU-based, you're lucky it lasted this long. While on the topic of PU, check your shoe cupboard for PU-soled shoes, if you don't wear them often the soles will crack and crumble just like these mats (hydrolysis).
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm so glad I found this community. Even though I can, practically speaking, implement only one of these solutions, it's great to know there are different ways to solve a problem even as minor as this. And along the way, I got learn about mat clips, dynapad, EPDM, staying away from plastic clips, the short lifespan of PU, and more!

Maybe it sounds silly to take so much pleasure from this kind of learning, but I hope not. Or if it does, I don't care. :)
 

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Oh, no I think you're dead on. Benzworld is by far the best forum I'm on. I've felt that way about it for over a decade.

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I'm so glad I found this community. Even though I can, practically speaking, implement only one of these solutions, it's great to know there are different ways to solve a problem even as minor as this. And along the way, I got learn about mat clips, dynapad, EPDM, staying away from plastic clips, the short lifespan of PU, and more!

Maybe it sounds silly to take so much pleasure from this kind of learning, but I hope not. Or if it does, I don't care. :)
If intelligence equates to resourcefulness, and I suggest it does, that may be where your pleasure originates. This is an extremely useful place to look for how to solve problem. Have similar issue and now realize a better solution than thought of using cheap headliner material in black and headliner adhesive after removing the crumbled backing. Will look into dynapad and 1/16" EPDM from RubberCal.
 

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Have similar issue and now realize a better solution than thought of using cheap headliner material in black and headliner adhesive after removing the crumbled backing. Will look into dynapad and 1/16" EPDM from RubberCal.
Beware of some headliner glue, I had mine replaced last September and still had the effects (headache, sinus pain, disorientation) when sitting in the car for longer than 45 minutes up to 9 months later, even though the car is parked with the windows slightly open to 'breathe'. Months later an odourless vapour continues to be released, affecting me negatively, but possibly not others, similar to only some people being able to smell cyanide. Looking at the spec sheet I'm stunned such a hazardous cocktail is even approved for this application, not to mention the affect it has on staff working with it on a daily basis.
 
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