The car is welded, put together again and finished! Who would believe that? I am super proud of my own work. I managed to strip downm weld and then assemble the car on a tight schedule. In the process I learned how to weld body panels. I in fact learned so much through this project that I know tons of new stuff about W123s. This job was the inspiration to create this very site.
The project included the tricky disassembly of the whole rear sub frame and drive train with following refurbish. This has been almost two years of work, although with large gaps between quite intensive working periods.
Which areas did I end up welding? I couldn’t cover all of them in the blog.
Front and left wall in the front seat foot area, the part that let water into the floor.
Sounds like a lot, the issue was that it had many places with small holes, and with welding the job is just as long when it involves small or large areas. You still have to remove old metal, remove paint and body protector coating, maybe interior parts, cut out new metal piece and shape it, weld it in place, grind it, polish it and paint it. Same process over and over again.
What mechanical areas did I fix? The car was from before very mechanical sound and basically I just replaced rubber wearing parts.
New flex disks for drive-shaft
New center bearing and hanger for drive-shaft
New upper control arms and sway bar bushings at the front suspension
New shock absorbers, Bilstein original extra stiff for flatter cornering
New fuel hard lines and rubber hoses
New sway bar bushings and links rear
New subframe rubber mounts
New brake rotors and pads
Basically all the lower sides and front needs repaint, these are areas not so visible, none the less I got some paint with the right color code (172).
So what is the result? Well a car that looks really good and drives like like a new Mercedes. Super smooth and fast!
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!
Always some parts that needs to be replaced on these old things, this as with the case of the side mirror, the left rear bumper corner needs to be replaced. It is so through-rusted that I will just throw it. Getting hold of chrome parts for the coupe specific version of W123s are in fact quite difficult, especially those bumper parts. These are all chrome that were just for the coupe and the 280E versions on the sedan and wagons. They look so good that people are crazy about them.
I had the task of finding a replacement part with nice chrome. I’m not even sure if this can be obtained from a Mercedes dealer since it is not a wear part.
I found a private Mercedes older car parts dealer in Argentina… across the other side of the world of course. Bought it through eBay and got it the week after! It was not cheap though, was around 230$ for the bumper corner. However the part is in mint condition, not even a scratch in the chrome and the original paint inside in pristine condition. Very happy with the deal and the seller was very professional.
I have to do some rust removal of the other bumper parts, and then I will remove surface rust respray the inner sides for better rust protection.
The rubber parts, essential to Mercedes comfort and also can be a serious threat of safety when they break. Of course I am changing them now the car is in a hundred pieces, much easier!
The Front flex disk of the drive-shaft connected to the transmission is of a special kind and different of the back one. It is complex where each mount is in a softer rubber than the rest of the disk. I actually broke the old one when I was taking off the drive-shaft since it was stuck. This part was very expensive for its size and was hard to find in other shops than a Mercedes dealer, but I managed to find one. A secret is that I always order parts from the US, saves me tons of money. The front flex disk was around 130$ while the simpler rear flex disk was only around 40$. The other rubber mounts was not expensive compared. I am also planning to replace the differential rubber hanger at some point too, but I forgot to order the part last time.
To get the old bearing off the drive-shaft I needed to use a bearing puller, a tool which I have only used for this job, stupid special tools…, but it prevents you for fucking up your drive-shaft column. To drive the new bearing on I used a metal tube which has the same diameter as the inner ring and tapped it carefully on. The car will run smooth now with much less vibration. The old center rubber mount was very cracked and it was a good time to replace it.