Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've done enough research to (I think) ask the right questions here and normally would try to do more before asking questions but I want to make a decision on a car this week and want to make sure there aren't any major flaws with my plans for the car once I get it.

Was originally looking for a 1989 or newer 420 or 560 SEL just because I like the look of the seats and door cards in those. But ... someone within reasonable driving distance has an 86 420 that I like a lot. He's already done some of the tweaks I'd planned to do and the car looks fantastic in the pictures. Has a great one owner carfax/service history (prior to him owning it) and since he's owned it has put a good amount of $$$ into the car dealing with most of the major parts that can be problematic with these, at this age, to make it a solid daily driver and I'll be getting the documentation/receipts for all of the work. It's black (first preference) with the Palomino interior (not my first choice but think I'm warming up to it).

I've also spent some time on the phone talking with the owner and like him so if it checks out on the PPI and we can come to terms want to pull the trigger this week.

So my plan would be to track down an 89 or newer donor car with the same color interior and swap out the seats and door cards. Pull out some of the other bits and pieces for spares and then sell off what's left and hopefully recoup some of the cost for the donor.

I know there are some differences in the pieces but want to make sure the fitment is basically the same. I'm reasonably good at DIY for things like this after doing the proper research ... and I don't mind if there need to be some minor tweaks to make it work. But don't want to really hack things up to make it happen.

Originally thought I might be looking for the 560 as a donor because I think the idea of reclining rear seats is pretty cool. But this won't be my daily driver, just something fun to work on, and rarely will have anyone in the back seats so probably not worth the effort. Plus I think I like the look of the non-reclining seats a little better. More of sculpted look (for lack of a better word).

Any help would be most appreciated. I really like the 89 and up interior so the feasibility of swapping those pieces is probably going to be the decider for me.

Thanks!
Rob
 

·
SuperModerator
Joined
·
13,270 Posts
Yes it all fits straight in. Seat electric plugs may be different but not difficult. Otherwise easy stuff if both are SEL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
Yes, welcome RBeam6 and I have done the same thing. In my case, my coupe is an '87 and they changed the door card center panel from vinyl to pleated leather, and the updated seat pleating style in '89. By sheer happenstance I caught it at the right time years ago on eBay where a low-mileage '90 coupe in LA had been rear-ended and totaled, and the complete interior (minus dash) was for sale. Believe it or not, they shipped it all, including those heavy-ass bucket seats, by UPS. The seats had barely been used, just the armrest has multiple cracks (which I filled with Leather Masters filler glue and will have dyed to match the interior). Also, the late Gen 2 has a coin tray/knee bolster under the passenger side dash under the airbag, sort of instead of the glovebox--but often comes with a wooden tambor console storage box, which are getting rarer and priced accordingly. So, if your dash is fine (which has some differences for dual airbags and ductwork), the seats and door cards are interchangeable, with speakers in the bottom of the front doors in late Gen 2 that you may want to wire up. Or, you could carefully take the center pleated leather portion out and exchange it in place of the vinyl one while keeping the existing door card. It may be a little safer to just do a complete swap unless you don't like the late Gen 2 door speakers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Actually having the option of using those speaker locations in the Gen 2 panels was another reason I want to do it. Initially I'm just going to swap out the head unit in the car but ultimately want to upgrade the other pieces as well. But phase II will happen after I've done some more research on what fits and at the same time I'm changing out the interior pieces.

The current interior is in nice condition. Dash looks good and even all the wood pieces seem to be in very good condition.

Even though it's obviously a much bigger job I'm leaning more and more towards doing a full swap to a different color. I really like the light grey, think it would work better with the black paint and seems like there are a lot more with the grey interiors out there.

So if I leave the current dash (wood trim area and above) as-is would the plastic pieces below that be a more or less straight swap?

There's a guy up the road that has a 91 with a bad engine but only 80k miles on the car. Interior looks really, really good in the pictures but he hasn't replied to text or email even though he still hasn't taken the ad down ... which is driving me a little nuts.

Now that I'm getting closer to pulling the trigger on the 86 might bug him a few more time .... at least until he tells me to stop.
 

·
SuperModerator
Joined
·
13,270 Posts
Ah, I think you guys have that lower part of the dash coloured to match the interior don't you. Meaning the part just below the wood. That means dash change I'm afraid. Not the end of the world, but paint by SEM is another option and seems to work well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
Yes, and what's interesting is that with the whole dash out, in exchange for one with the grey lower vinyl just below the wood, side by side the "black" may actually appear slightly different on the palomino anyway--some have a brownish tint that is not initially apparent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
Also, you may have already investigated, but the glovebox and passenger side airbag are not a direct swap, and the ductwork is a little different.
 

·
SuperModerator
Joined
·
13,270 Posts
Yes, and what's interesting is that with the whole dash out, in exchange for one with the grey lower vinyl just below the wood, side by side the "black" may actually appear slightly different on the palomino anyway--some have a brownish tint that is not initially apparent.
Yes it's true, there are different 'blacks' depending on year/interior colour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,061 Posts
I absolutely love the Gen 1 door cards. I thought for sure I'd want to update my 500SEC's doors to the 89-91 look, but hell no, not gonna do it. The older Gen I look is beastly. Love it! I wouldn't change it now that I have a Gen I SEC. Getting a mechanically sorted SEC is the most important aspect of ownership. The cosmetics can be handled later.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top