There is nothing like a new mirror smell in the mornings
The right mirror has been fucked, it was broken while parked in the street and is just hanging on with some tape. It is actually not that obvious, however when traveling at highway speeds the mirror is vibrating by the wind. The angle of the mirror is not right when closely inspected either.
Used electrical right mirrors for coupes are quite hard to find actually, and new ones are very expensive at a Mercedes Benz dealer. So with this in mind I have tried to find a good used one. It is nearly impossible to find those kind of used coupe parts in Norway, too small market I guess, much easier too find used parts for sedans and wagons. Anyway I have been trawling the Internet for a used right side electrically operated mirrors for my coupe, all it took was some great patience and a will for not throwing in the towel and go directly to a Mercedes dealer.
Who would have thought that I found it on ebay in Germany while I studied in Thüringen? Only 130€, or anyway a lot cheaper than new of the shelf by an amount of 300€.
This was by far the easiest fix on this car so far, it took me only 5 minutes!
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.
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.
The sheet metal on the canals around the jack points seen as the four holes at under the doors were quite rusted out. Actually I had to weld three out of the four.
The jack points themselves were rust free when removing the sheet metal in the canals around the jack holes. They are made out of very thick steel and also have the protection of having the canals as protection. The canal sheet metal on the other hand didn’t cope so well with the road salt and it is especially exposed at the corner where it meets the wheel wall. Here a lot of dirt and salt can accumulate behind the plastic inner fender and it also is exposed from the engine and roof water drains. At the picture under you can see a hole straight into the coupe where it is next to the engine water drain.
When welding it is very important to treat both sides of the weld with anti rust paint to keep it from rusting again, and also do this soon after the welding before the rust can attack the weld seam.
The rear right jack point also had to be welded as can be seen on the picture below. This is also the point where I got a new camera, so there is a huge difference in picture quality.
When seeing how thin the canals are and the rigid thick structure of the jack points, one can see how extremely import it is to never jack up the car outside the designated areas (you might end up with the jacks going straight through the car).
I didn’t bother taking pictures of the third one since it was much less of a hole and not so spectacular as these two.