How to get the 280CE approved for the road? Change the rear trailing arm since it is rusted. Not allowed to weld this critical part. So it is obviously number one priority. One can say that Christmas this year came early. I have been searching for a good used one as this for a long time and this particular one I got quite cheap compared to a new one! It even came with a good wheel bearing and the handbrake shoes with the cable. New trailing arms for the W123 from a Mercedes dealer can cost up to 3000$ and I was not up for using this amount of money when there are alternatives.
It weird that this one rusted and the other one is completely fine, also it rusted on a smooth curve and not on a edge.
Like new this one! I painted it and changed the rubber bushings as well, however needed a workshop to put the new bushings on. I don’t have a hydraulic press in my basic workshop.
Why get new ones when you can use 30hours trying to fix the old ones?!?!
I wanted to weld the front fenders rather than replacing them, even though I have two replacement fenders. Why is that?
Stubborned idiot like myself
Keeping the car more original
No need for respraying fenders since the other ones are blue
Replacement fenders have hole for antenna, and my antenna is in the trunk
So I got on with that, but I might replace them in the future if I’m not satisfied with the result.
So on to the cutting, and trying to recreate the corner, was quite painfully difficult actually.
So then I welded and this was the result:
It looks better than it was, turned out when i fit it on the car I needed to do a massive job with the filler, but after the result was quite nice. Good enough for now, might change the fenders in the future when doing a complete respray though, but then I will get completely new ones without old paint and stupid holes for antennas.
I realized that the car have had a small repair on the lower section under the left side rear quarter window due to a parking ding or something in the past. How do i know that? The lower panel had no water drain holes! How is this possible to be so sloppy when fixing a repair? They must have known it would start rusting immediately when the water has nowhere to go every time it rains.
The outer car window seals are never completely rainproof since the windows are made to be lowered. Especially when the windows are lowered when they are wet they drag lots of water into the panels. This is fine since the water can escape through drains through the lower panel. However here there were no such thing like on the right side. Idiots… The result are massive amount of rust in this area, both on the inner canal panel and the outer body panel. Thankfully the welding was quite easy since it involved straight large panels. The big part was removing the panels in the interior and working in tight areas.
Lets get to work, start tearing those inner panels off, hopefully without damaging them and breaking clips.
Do you see that hole behind the seat belt puller? Obviously there was no hole before, no drains remember… But after removing the the rusted metal a huge hole was left, maybe a bit too much? To get access to the inside I had to remove even the window mechanism.
The hole left was huge, all that lower panel had top be cut off and even the inner panel is rusted out and needed to be removed.
After cutting the inner panel and welding in a new one it looked like this. I got access through the other hole in channel to paint it, there is a large rubber plug one can open. Needed to recreate the corner there as well, a bit tricky, but very satisfied with the result.
What remained was to weld the outside panel, paint it, make drain holes and side trim fastener holes. Obviously paint it on the inside as wheel since all the water is going there from the window. Don’t want it to rust again.
Now on to the wheel well, It had some rust holes spread out, and the worst part was at the point where the rubber end stop was (if the car bottoms out this will prevent the wheel hitting the upper part). I had to make a new bracket from scratch.
The metal bracket holding the rubber on the left side of the car was so rusted I threw it out. This is a part that is welded to the car and cannot be replaced. So I made a new one, I think my design is even better and more strongly built than the old one. The rubber can be replaced and I changed them too. In the picture under you can see the original bracket for the right side, and creation of a new bracket for the left side. They are mirrored since they are on different sides of the car.
I also made a new mount on the car out of 2mm steel plate which is super solid. The end result is under
Started welding on the rear right wheel arch today, I hope to finish it tomorrow. It is hard to shape the metal to the smooth round shape of the wheel arch. Much easier if I had a replacement part, but these parts are rare and expensive since it’s a coupe and the rear section differs from the station wagon and sedan models. A part from an old wreck are hard to come by and would had the same rust problem in 99% of the cases. So better off doing it the hard way.
Obviously I had to make a huge hole and remove the old crappy metal.
Cutting panels and shaping it is an art, and I’m not an artist, just a simple engineer.
Welding along the seam needs patience, the metal here is very thin.
Also have to make the inner weld which I didn’t take pictures of.
This last part is a tricky one though. How will I be able to replicate the smooth shape?
Making the car water proof once again.
Welding done! Think I have swung the hammer more times today than any other day in my life! An exact reshape of the arch was not possible from my side. Will need some filler to make up the last touches.
Painting the metal and then applying filler.
I was quite pleased with the result, but is not as perfect as a replacement arch, will look into that in the future…maybe. So fast forward in time, here is the end result. Not bad for an amateur like myself!
You can see the slight difference in color where the old and the new paint meet. I also think the shape of the arch is nice.