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1993 S500 Coupe, 1982 500SL and 1986 190e 2.3-16 Cosworth
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104 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I am doing a mild restoration on my 1983 500SL and I've found some rust on the hard top on the rear lower edge.

I want to repair it as it is the matching roof for the car and the rest of it is in good condition so I was wondering if anyone had repaired this sort of damage and how best to do it?

As you can see there are a fair few holes and the metal is quite thin. :(
 

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34 Posts
Just finished up my 280sl top.
I would have it dipped in a metal cleaner. It will take paint and all off and bring down to bear metal. The problem is there are layers of metal and no way get at them from the inside unless you separated them. Then do the metal work to repair the damage.
It Will be a good investment. I have with new head liner, paint, dip and assembly
around 5k.
I do know where there is a real nice one in red the could be repainted for $1,200 + shipping.
If interested I can put it together for you.
 

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1984 380SL
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2,414 Posts
My advice? You might have better luck finding and shipping one from California to you. There are more hard tops than cars these days.
 

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1987 560SL
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49 Posts
On the other hand for $30...............

Looks like you have done a good job of cleaning up the outside (y) The area is not structural so the thickness is not of too much concern. Try and poke wire and thin bent sharp tools through the holes to loosen and or scrape any internal rust, a fiddly job but stay with it. Then using a shop vac and a thin flexible tube try and vac all the bits out, again stay with it. You may have to put the top the right way up on a bench or something and angle it both ways so you can poke bits out, this way gravity will help, vac again. If you have a hard top hoist it will be easier to do some of these tasks, just make sure your hoist is up to it.Yikes!

Buy a can of rust converter from your local parts shop and spray as much as you can through all the holes into the void until it drips out everywhere, this way you can be pretty sure it is coated thoroughly on the inside. Others might chime in with a better product. Spray the outside too where you have been grinding. Let it dry a day or two.

Now at this stage you could just prime and paint it if you don't mind what it looks like, after all it will not be visible, But but you could go further if you have the patience by poking small manageable pieces of resin pre-wetted fiberglass tape inside with wire tools best if this is done so gravity helps, in other words the right way up which means you will be working upside down looking up. Do tiny bits at a time and only mix tiny bits of resin it will be messy and tricky for sure.

When that is dry you should be able to fill the holes with filler and sand to a perfect finish, prime and paint.

I am not a fan of using fibreglass on cars but on the odd occasion you might have little or no choice.

Just a suggestion.
 

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1993 S500 Coupe, 1982 500SL and 1986 190e 2.3-16 Cosworth
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104 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks All. I would like to stick with the original hardtop so will persevere with a repair. I might be able to get some new metal shaped and bonded in as I'll need good holes to hold the clips for the rubber seal.

Good suggestion on getting the void cleaned out and rust converter (and then wax) sprayed in.

Cheers
 
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