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Old 08-23-2012, 10:47 PM
Chief Village Id10t
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 355
Any advice on W123 lower body trim pieces?


How do you handle the lower body trim pieces when you repaint the car? It seems like they should be removed, paint applied and then the pieces re-installed. But every one of these pieces that I've removed is not re-installable; the metal pieces tear from the rubber; things just seem to self-destruct.

So what do people do? Can you buy new pieces? If they self-destruct when I pull them from my car then I assume that they do the same thing at a P-N-P.

Is there a way to remove these without destroying them?
Mike Frederick
1986 300SDL, 240K+ miles
1985 300D KaliKar, 270K+ miles
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:22 PM
Stretch's Avatar a shield of steel
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Somewhere in the Netherlands
Posts: 14,453
The pieces on the front doors have a 8mm head nut on them - so don't forget about that.

I've not had any trouble removing my trim - but then I guess it was taken on and off several times before I got the car!
1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

I'm here to chat about cars and to help others - I'm not here "to always be right" like an internet warrior

Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:34 AM
jmk jmk is offline
Former Paint Maker
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 346
From my experience with removing these types of parts, the plastic fasteners tend to fall apart. I've never been to successfully remove and reuse them.

Anyways, I would replace them with new to make sure that they are tight. You do not want to lose your panels!

The other issue I've had is when bodywork was done, and the guage of the metal or repair was to thick for the fasteners to work. They tend to hold by expanding past the sheetmetal, and if the material is too thick then they easily pop out.

hope that this helps.
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'93 500 SEL
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'01 Chevy Prism
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:38 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Carolina
Posts: 1,376
They're more like rubber than plastic so they're pretty sturdy. Just pry carefully and you should be fine.
Current fleet
1992 300D "IceBerg"
1984 300D "Blues Mobile"

1978 300CD "El Toro" Gone on to be born again
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