Replacing the right side Mirror

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€.

Old mirror hold togehter by tape
Old mirror hold in place by tape
plastic trim for mirror
Just flipping off the plastic trim to get to the mount
W123 mirror mount
Mirror is mounted by a couple of scres and the electric wire
Old and new mirror compared
Comparing the broken mirror, mechanism hold together with copper wire
Mirror 280CE
New mirror, good as new!

This was by far the easiest fix on this car so far, it took me only 5 minutes!

Rear Trailing Arm

Rusty trailing arm = death wish

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.

Rusted rear trailing arm
Rusted old rear trailing arm due to road salt

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.

New trailing arm for W123
New trailing arm

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.

Welding the rear quarter wheel arch

Wheel arches mania

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.

rusted right rear wheel arch
Rusted right rear wheel arch

Obviously I had to make a huge hole and remove the old crappy metal.

Welding metal into the wheel arch
Making some wheel arch

Cutting panels and shaping it is an art, and I’m not an artist, just a simple engineer.

Welding wheel arch
Welding first seam

Welding along the seam needs patience, the metal here is very thin.

Welding wheel arch
Welding continues

Also have to make the inner weld which I didn’t take pictures of.

Welding wheel arch
Adding lower part

This last part is a tricky one though. How will I be able to replicate the smooth shape?

Welding inner wheel arch
Welding the inner sides

Making the car water proof once again.

Wheel arch welded tight
Final polish before paint

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.

Wheel arch painted
Wheel arch painted but not done

Painting the metal and then applying filler.

Wheel arch finishing touches
Finishing the touches with some body filler to get the smooth shape, harder than I thought. Used a filler that is easy to sand.

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!

Result after welding wheel arch
Wheel arch after painting

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.

Welding the Jack Points

Welding all the things

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.

right front jack point
The right front jack point

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.

front right jack point
Jack point welded shut
front right jack point after repainting
After repainting it looks like new

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.

Rear right jack point before weld
Rear right jack point before welding, as can be seen, the jack point structure itself is unaffected

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).

jrear right jack point after welding
Rear right jack point after welding

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.