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1983 300SD
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Discussion Starter #43
I've been meaning to post this since I realized I had both. Proof of sale and repurchase! 2012-2014 was a dark W126-less time in my life. And apparently I got her in 05, not 03. Which makes sense given my Benzworld joined date

If I've screwed up and left identifying information in here (other than initials and good chunk of the VIN) could someone let me know?

2625167
 

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1983 300SD
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905 Posts
Discussion Starter #45
Crazy story. I looked up the chop shop from street view and can see that its the same shop shown in your picture
What is left?
You mean what remains of the chop shop or what's to the left of it?

It's in a small industrial plaza. Google maps is showing it's a tire warehouse. IIRC it's not marked very well. I couldn't tell what it was in person.

I'm not sure what's happened to the chop shop at this point. As of a couple months ago there were apparently still coming into the paint shop I found them through and still paying with cash. But much less frequently. I have to imagine it was for legitimate business given that they were under such scrutiny. I'll drop by the paint shop to get some gossip after everything has cleared up. Assuming they're still in business (fingers crossed)
 

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1983 300SD
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Discussion Starter #47
Whats left of your build, not the chop shop lol. You have the mechanical work to do now?

Haha. Yes, that makes vastly more sense. In two words, A LOT.

This is part of my excel doc for my plan of attack on phase 1. Phase one is bust a** to get the car to a point where I'd want to drive it and it can be registered. Phase 2 is slowly restore everything else while enjoying her as a weekend vehicle.

I've omitted the estimated hours field because it's anxiety inducing and sad. Two months if I work really hard. Realistically, three.

Green means the order is flexible. Generally speaking it's a pretty set order because there are a lot of constraints. "Desmell" should be "de-smell" as in chlorine bomb and leave an ozone generator running for a few days. A/C is early so I can determine if I need a new evap coil and absolutely have to take out the HVAC box. Really trying to avoid that. After having a conversation with the building manager I need to keep the car technically driveable at all times. All my neighbors think I'm entertaining working on this so the building is humoring me. But a non-operable vehicle is a hard line.

I've run WAY over on cost. I think the restoration is now going to clear 30k including getting her out to CO. I was initially shooting for 15k. I'm in the mid 20s atm. By the end of phase 2 I have no idea. Not a sane amount.


2626086
 

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1983 300SD
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Discussion Starter #48
And I just noticed "window switches" should be seat switches. It's shortly before door cards due to having to solder them in which I'm assuming will be a whole thing.
 

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1990 300SEL, 2005 SL500
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84 Posts
She's back!

This great work is Jim's Restoration in Englewood CO. The pictures don't do his work justice. She looks better than when I first fell in love 17 years ago.

View attachment 2624682
This paint job looks good.(y)
Did you do all the prep work yourself? If yes, than how long it took?
How about the engine bay, was it done as well?
Would you mind sharing the cost of the job?
I’m so on the fence about the stone chips on the front of my car. Wonder how well could the paint be matched if had that corrected/re-sprayed? Posts like yours encourage me.
 

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1983 300SD
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Discussion Starter #52
Thanks! I'm really happy with it.

Did you do all the prep work yourself? If yes, than how long it took?

I basically took most things off the car other than side cladding. I can't say in hours, but actually a decent amount of time. Mostly in the window trim. It would be more on a car that isn't a full restoration because you have to take stuff off to get to that aluminum trim. If you go that route DEFINITELY take a peek at my writeup on it and if possible try on a JY car first. It is very, very easy to mess that stuff up. And I'm finding out it's tricky to put back on. Do not try to take off the rear upper/c-pillar trim without releasing the smaller window and pulling forward. You'll twist it up real bad. And don't bother with the trim on the back glass. The whole thing needs to come out and you have to take off a good bit inside to do that. I didn't do it and I'm going freaking nuts on this project.

How much prep you can do depends on where you go. These restoration shops want you to leave on anything they have to paint because they want to take it off to understand how it goes back on. And it doesn't make sense to take the existing paint off yourself since they're going to media blast and will do a much better job stripping anyway. If you can find a body shop and not restoration they'll let you do whatever.

How about the engine bay, was it done as well?
Engine most definitely did not come out! lol. Engine bay is still grody in terms of detail too. I'm going to leave some of that to my housekeeper who I like to give as much work to as possible. She grew up with her dad driving old MBs so she really likes the project. But the parts she doesn't do are in phase 2.

Would you mind sharing the cost of the job?
It was about 15k. Well more than the car will ever be worth. Basically all labor. 174 hours. After the chop shop experience I decided just to go with a restoration shop recommended to me by a trusted colleague. The estimate hurt, but it was lower than what other restoration shops wanted. I called around a lot. The thing to keep in mind is that this was a full stripping of the old paint and then re-paint. Normal body shops don't like to do full re-sprays (collision is more lucrative) but I found one that reluctantly said they would do it for about 7k. They didn't inspire great confidence for what I'm shooting for on this project and IME painting over what's already there can work out poorly. If you see the screwed up paint on the hood in the before pictures that's because many years ago I had the hood painted and they went over the old stuff. The black vinyl was my cheap temporary solution to small peeling that started on the side. Racing stripe!

FWIW, I priced out MAACO for my Jeep. They'll do it for about 2k. I would suggest doing as much prep as possible because they just want to turn stuff out. There will be overspray so tape it off even. Also see if you can find the paint yourself and bring it in to them. But my assessment was that for my Jeep it would have been more than satisfactory. The finished cars I saw were pretty good. The only reason I didn't do it is because the truck takes trail damage and it would get messed up anyway.

I’m so on the fence about the stone chips on the front of my car. Wonder how well could the paint be matched if had that corrected/re-sprayed? Posts like yours encourage me.
Thanks again. This one is a labor of love. And I'm hoping the minor little things I come across and devise solutions to might be helpful to others who want to keep the cars we love on the road. I've been trying to post things I wasn't able to find info on (though surely many others have found better solutions).

Matching is straightforward for a full respray. There's a paint code under the hood (though the cladding is a bear). However, if you only want a partial paint job on your hood you have to keep in mind that your paint has changed with age. Getting it the same color depends on the skill of the shop. IMO, whether you should do it depends on your vision for the car. If I just wanted to make mine a DD I most definitely would not have gone to this extent. Paint is ultimately crazy expensive. But if you found a body shop that would play ball, took off all the paint yourself so the prep was minimal they would probably do it for like 5k.

Or if you just want a ten foot car I honestly think MAACO's two stage package is a great option. People rag on them, but what I saw genuinely did look pretty solid. It's not going to be a show car but you'll be happy with the results.
 

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1983 300SD
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Discussion Starter #53
Normally I've been waiting until finishing a job before posting but this one's killing me. And while there's definitely information out there on this, it's not really in one place. So that's how I'm rationalizing the early post to blow off steam.

Dynamat...

First, the painted panels on the floor that fall apart are asphalt. So if they don't come up cleanly there's tar all over your floorpan. I didn't connect the obvious dots and tried a bunch of stupid things. The best way to get it off I've found is with goof off + metal paint scraper. Then if you want to get crazy a metal bristle wheel attached to a cordless drill. VERY CAREFULLY. Because if you're overzealous you take off the paint underneath. Then you need to wait for Amazon to deliver more POR-15 because you don't have enough for the driver floorpan + tranny tunnel and it's a long wait because there's a pandemic going on and it throws you off schedule. Just generalizing on that last sentence. I'm sure it applies to everyone who reads this in the future. A nylon bristle attachment for the drill (conical toilet cleaner shaped) will even out the last bits of asphalt crud so it's more of a coating.

The quickest way is to be super duper extra special careful pulling up the asphalt panels in the first place. Still more prep after, but much less. No matter what it would have taken me a good chunk of time and attention to detail.

Asphalt panels under the front seats and on the rear passenger floor were in good shape on my car. So I'm just putting MLV directly over them. And probably frost king under that just because I have it, it's cheap and why not. If you have to take those up I'd say just use a metal bristle attachment and paint everything. May god have mercy on your soul.

I also learned Dynamat will absolutely slice your hand if you're not careful. But blood colored soundproofing is cool I guess.

I've had enough issues inside the doors I'm just yanking up what I can and layering over every area I can get to. I think it should be at least 25% coverage. At least the B pillars are easy though.

Last, (at least on Gen 1s) there's a panel the sunroof goes into that's going to need to come down. Doesn't look like a huge deal but more time I didn't expect.

Overall, huge pain. This thing better be dang quiet.
 
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