Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mercedes 240D - start of body work

I got sidelined with a week and a half of travel for Thanksgiving, but I was able to spend a little time with the Mercedes this weekend. That's AFTER swapping snow tires on to the daily drivers for a snow storm that didn't happen and an unplanned wheel bearing replacement.

Now, I'm just barely starting to get into body work. Right now, I'm still taking up the old floor coating. This stuff can hide a lot of rust. I want to make this car as solid as possible. This is how I left off before Thanksgiving:

I'd already removed the much thinner coating from the passenger's side rear floor and had gotten partially through the much more tenacious front floor coating. On Sunday, I finally got the rest of it up:

Underneath it, you can see the rivets from the previous owner's repairs. I also confirmed that none of the old rusty metal had been ground off. So I definitely need to remove the old repair plates and grind off the rust s I can seal off the metal. I also found that the the seam connecting the rocker to the floor rusted out (I've seen that happen before), so I need to fix that too.

They key to HOW I do the repairs is whether or not I can clean all the oily crud out of the rockers. If I can, then I'll likely weld. If not, then once I grind and seal everything off, I'll be back to riveted repairs.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Work continues on the Mercedes

...and the project continues. I actually finished cleaning under the car last weekend, but didn't have time to post an update. It's clean enough now for me to see where the car needs repairs and where it's solid:

This past weekend, I cleaned out the trunk:

I scrubbed it out with degreaser, a brush, and a hose. I even cleaned out the rain channel by the trunk seal:

...and then, I finally got inside the car to start peeling back the floor insulation:

So far, I've only touched the passenger side. The rear coating came off in a few minutes with the help of a heat gun. The front is a much stickier coating, is about 1/4" thick and is spongy and porous, despite what looks like a high tar content:

In the end, I found the above rust-through spot (not too bad, and repairable, as well as this one on the transmission tunnel:
I still need to remove the rest of the floor coating. I'll need more time out there with my heat gun and scraper. Incidentally, neither of these rust-through spots were visible from under the car. The factory floor coatings don't 100% prevent rust after 30 years, but BOY do these coatings HIDE rust.

Also, I recently acquired some more parts. Here's some Jeep doors, stored with some BMW E46 panels. I helped someone I know repair some superficial crash damage to two of his cars. He gave me the scrap panels. I plan to cut them up for the steel I need to patch up the Mercedes.

I also found another Craigslister - this time in town - with Mercedes parts. These came off a 240D that was stripped down to run in a 4 cylinder enduro race. Some of the parts show a lot of wear, and I didn't actually NEED any of it, but it was good to pick up some spares for the future. Some of this stuff was filthy. Here's a pair of armrests, before and AFTER I cleaned them:

A piece of carpet for the center console - once again before, and AFTER a very HEAVY wash and scrubbing:

The flash exaggerates the amount of staining. Bottom line, it is clean now.

I forgot to snap pictures, but I also got fog lights, tail lights, side mirrors, and various other interior pieces. None of them are the correct color (these pieces are the more rare red interior) for my car, but in addition to the parts that were officially for sale, the seller let me pick through his scrap pile for other items I deemed worthy of saving.