Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
1994 Mercedes E320 wagons (2)
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, my 1994 Mercedes E320 wagon was so much damaged due to flex disc failures that caused a chain reaction of other nearby parts to be replace and/or repair that I had to tow the wagon to a reputable Mercedes Repair center in Nashville.

After diagnosing the issues, the shop foreman recommended to a mercedes certified body shop repair to replace the transmission tunnel or any other name by welding. I never heard of this transmission tunnel replacement. This is way out of my league when it comes to knowledge and skill level. I tried to research this issue and so far nothing really stands out. Does anyone out there knows about this kind of thing? What kind of steps does this involve? What is the approximate total cost of this particular repair and replace the transmission tunnel? Comments, feedback, advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks to all for reading.
 

·
Registered
1995 e320ce. 1993 230 TE. 1987 Kit car with 260e running gear.
Joined
·
636 Posts
Might be best to go to a junk yard with a battery grinder and cut out the section you need from a picked clean car.
Any decent body shop should then be able to splice it in.
Not sure though how this would affect the integrity of the shell?
 

·
Premium Member
1993 300CE Cabriolet (mine) ; 1994 E320 Wagon (wife's) ; 1990 Benz 300E 2.6 (son's)
Joined
·
6,829 Posts
i've only seen that sort of work done on completely stripped chassis, with all running gear and interior removed, prior to a full chassis paint, inside and out.
 

·
Registered
1995 E220
Joined
·
513 Posts
+1, You need to clear the damaged area on both interior and exterior and identify or mark the damaged panel/s to be removed. Now identify the spot weld points for each panel, drill it out and remove the panels. Order replacement panels and spot weld it back. If you have donor car, process remains same to remove those panels.
 

·
Premium Member
1993 300CE Cabriolet (mine) ; 1994 E320 Wagon (wife's) ; 1990 Benz 300E 2.6 (son's)
Joined
·
6,829 Posts
if you drill out the spot welds, how will you re-spotweld it, as there will now be holes where there were welds ?
 

·
Registered
W124
Joined
·
4,740 Posts
I guess the question is what was so wrong with the transmission tunnel that it has to be replaced? The only thing it does is provide a place for the interior parts to be mounted such as the console and the shifter. Is it so out of whack that you can't get the shifter in place?

To replace that panel, the seats, console, carpets, electrical modules, etc that are in proximity to the tunnel need to come out. You are looking at thousands of dollars to do this right. Time to re-evaluate if it makes sense to keep trying to get this car fixed. I know you have a lot of time and money in it but there comes a time to cut your losses.
 

·
Registered
1994 Mercedes E320 wagons (2)
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
boyd waugh, LeftCoastGeek, Phantom Lord, and tuttebenne, thank you all of the excellent comments, advice and feedback. I appreciated it.

I wanted to get to the bottom of the issue with a clear cut understanding and exactly what is going on. So I was abled to contact the shop foreman and asked him explain specifically and tell me exactly what needs to be done on the transmission tunnel repair? His response was the tunnel above the transmission at the end of the tail shaft above where the front drive shaft attaches to the transmission. The tunnel can be replaced separately, the backing of the carpet is visible through the grooves cut in the tunnel. It does also house the muffler hanger support as well, with the tunnel being damaged to the point of being able to see the backing of the carpet it needs to be replaced. It can be cut out and a new one welded in.

In addition, I asked for further details on the subject matter. His response to that was the transmission tunnel is a separate piece that can be cut out and the new one welded in, the part number for the tunnel is 124 610 06 71. The tunnel covers the entire area over the transmission from the bulk head (fire wall) to right where the drive shaft attaches to the transmission output shaft yoke.

Does this above explanation of the issue make any sense at all?

Any comments, feedback and/or advice on the latest development is greatly appreciated. Thanks to all for reading.
 

·
Premium Member
1993 300CE Cabriolet (mine) ; 1994 E320 Wagon (wife's) ; 1990 Benz 300E 2.6 (son's)
Joined
·
6,829 Posts
at a minimum, you're going to have to remove both front seats, the rear seat bottom, the center console, and and the entire carpet (and any hardware required to do so), then get any wiring completely clear of the damaged section of the tunnel before letting the sheet metal guys have at it. hopefully the damage is at least a foot forward of the electronics under the back seat...

if the shop does that prep work figure a few more hours at $100+/hour.
 

·
Premium Member
1993 300CE Cabriolet (mine) ; 1994 E320 Wagon (wife's) ; 1990 Benz 300E 2.6 (son's)
Joined
·
6,829 Posts
oh wait, all the way up to the firewall? EEEEK, then the center DASHBOARD piece (ashtray, stereo, hvac controls) has to come out too, and I'd be worried about the electronics under the passenger kickboard and there's a TON of wiring behind that center dashboard piece. I was thinking they'd cut out a piece from a junkyard car and use it as a patch rather than replace the whole OE tunnel.

the tunnel is piece 20 here,..

 

·
Registered
1995 e320ce. 1993 230 TE. 1987 Kit car with 260e running gear.
Joined
·
636 Posts
Yes, like I said, junk yard piece, just 10mm larger all round than the damage. Just as you would do with body sections, rear quarters etc.
No point in replacing the whole thing.
Think can of worms (very expensive ones).
 

·
Premium Member
1993 300CE Cabriolet (mine) ; 1994 E320 Wagon (wife's) ; 1990 Benz 300E 2.6 (son's)
Joined
·
6,829 Posts
i'd show up at the junkyard with a lithium battery powered 5" angle grinder with a couple cutoff disks, and cut at least 3-4 inches more on all sides from the donor than you think you need. it can always be trimmed before installing. those angle grinders will go through steel like a hot knife through butter. be sure to wear heavy gauntled gloves, and a face mask.

 

·
Registered
1994 Mercedes E320 wagons (2)
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
LeftCoastGeek and boyd waugh, thank you for latest comments.
I got some bad news. The Service Manager got in touch with me.

He basically said it looks like they have hit a dead end on repairs. They were not able to locate the transmission tunnel replacement part for the body shop to replace and he heard from them this afternoon that they are not able to locate the part either. All sources say the part is either no longer available or on backorder with no ETA. Without the availability of the part to weld into place, the car is not structurally sound and can not be repaired. Even if the part was available, the cost to repair was going to well exceed the value of the car deeming the repair not advisable.

I am exploring what available options I have now.

Sell individual parts and junk the car?

Hang on the car and do little by little doing the work myself?

At least, the service manager also indicated the repairs alone will exceed the value of the Mercedes. Basically, this mercedes is a money pit. Putting more money into mercedes is more than its worth.

I do have another Mercedes e320 wagon same year model that is fully functional but needs body paint and interior restoration.

Any other ideas out there now that I know where I stand on this situation? Anyone out there need parts or suggestions as to what for me to do as advise? Thanks to all for reading.
 

·
Premium Member
1993 300CE Cabriolet (mine) ; 1994 E320 Wagon (wife's) ; 1990 Benz 300E 2.6 (son's)
Joined
·
6,829 Posts
find a decent body welder, strip the interior as I described, remove the driveshaft too, and hammer out the tunnel to some semblence of its original shape, and have the welder cut and weld in some patches out of whatever scrap sheet steel he deems appropriate.

that or scrap it, your call.
 

·
Registered
W124
Joined
·
4,740 Posts
If the car needs the rear section of the tunnel replaced due to damage, then Boyd's suggestion is a good one. Its unclear how much of this you can do yourself and how much you need to farm out, so you will figure out if this all makes sense or not. But the front and rear seats need to come out so you can fully remove the carpet. This involves removing the sill plates on all four doors, the console, seat belts, etc. If you can do all the labor, all you need is someone to do the patch welding. You'll need maybe $100-150 of a welder's time to get this done if you can do everything else.
 

·
Registered
1987 300TD - 1994 E320 Wagon
Joined
·
136 Posts
Sounds to me like you have a decent parts car for your other wagon!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
1994 Mercedes E320 wagons (2)
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
LeftCoastGeek, tuttebenne, JHinSC, thanks for your latest posts. Much appreciated.

I had the Mercedes towed back to my home again without any repairs at this time. Still exploring my options as to what to do next.

I spent some time on searching the transmission tunnel replacement part. Quite a few websites have the transmission tunnel available for sale. The problem is not available in real time for sale and, only to find out some of the websites don't have the transmission tunnel part. Why the websites advertise transmission tunnel for sale when it is not there and/or discontinued? These mercedes parts websites needs to be updated on parts availability or not.

Anyway, I submitted a wanted part on this forum to see if I can get any response. I am going to leave it at that for now.

JHinSC, you are correct about your post "Sounds to me like you have a decent parts car for your other wagon!". I could swap seats and carpet replacement transfer to the other wagon, and make it much prettier.

I just need to explore and pursue choices/options are available that is right for me. Thanks to all for reading.
 

·
Premium Member
1993 300CE Cabriolet (mine) ; 1994 E320 Wagon (wife's) ; 1990 Benz 300E 2.6 (son's)
Joined
·
6,829 Posts
the way the parts systems work, MBZ doesn't automatically notify every reseller every time something goes NLA... Only when the resellers try and order the part do they find out its NLA, and hopefully update their sites.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top