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  #1  
Old 02-11-2013, 08:44 AM
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123 front fender - Repair or replace ?

Folks, I'm looking for a collective opinion from the vast knowledge of people who have faced this before me. I have a 123 which is my beta restoration car to test out procedures and learning the art of body work.
This is an 82 240D and the front fenders around the turn-signal indicators have 2 rust spots. The first is in front of the chrome trim strip going towards the door, the other towards the top of the fender but also at the turn-signal light. The quarter panels behind the front wheel on both sides need to be replaced also. Since this is an 82, it appears that the dreaded gluing of the fenders was done, for 82 240D does not have the plastic liner which appears on my 83 123.
I can add pic's if this would help.

Greg

Last edited by steeleygreg; 02-11-2013 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:26 AM
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Since you're doing this to teach yourself the masochistic art of body work I'd suggest replacing the fender and keeping the old one to use for your test subject. It's a lot easier to work a fender on the bench and you'll get a better feel for what all is involved.

The glue is no big deal. A bit of work with a heat gun softens it up.

Be sure to use some seam sealer to replace the original. 3M makes some good replacement products and there are plenty of other companies in the same market.

You do NOT want to use the "hardening" type if you can avoid it.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:32 AM
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^ agreed - take the wing off of the car - so much easier to fix it then.

The glue isn't that difficult to remove but you do need to find your inner Chi or whatever and not get pissed off and start the old Kung Fu fighting in total frustration...
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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 02-11-2013, 11:16 AM
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Ok. I agree that to pull the fender and work with it on a bench makes all the difference in the world. The seam sealer which I've used in the front hinge pocket drains was 3M101, to re-coat original chipped out seam sealer. This is elastic and non-hardening, yet can be removed. Won't use 3M 5200. If I did, to remove the fender would require a jack-hammer.
Stretch, love your sence of humor. I know this could be frustrating, and I don't loose it the easily, but I have a 13 year old who is getting ready for his 2nd degree black belt test in taekwondo! If I do loose it, I'll just get him to do some spinning side kick and knock the fender off the car. Now, what shape it may land on the ground is is another story......

As for heat, I do have a few options. I have an electic heat gun, a propane tank and can get a large torch which I've seen used for this purpose at harbor frieght. Also have an acetylene setup for other projects, but is probably to much heat for this.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:45 PM
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I've used a blow torch (plumbers' grade equipment - Butane self blown nozzle - nothing special screw on disposable canisters type of thing) to remove the dreaded W123 under coating before. If you want the paint on the other side of the panel to stay good don't use one of these! It is too hot. (There was no inner Chi with me on that day)
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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 02-11-2013, 03:38 PM
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I guess I am a lazy bumm ... LOL. I would rather find a perfect fender at the yard for $25 bucks. No rust, no dings, no scratches, et cet. You got a 50-50 shot of finding one on a W123 at the Pull-A-Part. For the less than one hour to pull one, I would rather do that. The special bonus is finding the same color vs. riding around in the skittles car ... meet the rainbow.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:34 PM
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greazzer, sounds like your talking from experience. Yes, I agree. I may have to drive around for a few weeks with a skittle car. Luckily, I take the train into DC everyday. Nobody care's what you park in the lot.
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2013, 09:46 AM
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My .02 cents is that I would rather get a "Perfect" donor fender and invest $25 for the stripper and spend about one hour stripping it down to the E-Coat. I prefer "Jasco" from Lowes. (Comes in gold and red can). Put down a sheet of 6mil heavey plastic and about 2 coats of the goo and it will strip it perfectly. After that, you are ready for final coating. No delays, no special skills, no surprises, and just the "mechancial' application of nothing special in pulling one fender and then stripping it for painting.

Ahhh ... the MARC train or AMTRAK ? I don't miss those days at all. Used to pick up the MARC train in Perryville, MD. Used to do the AMTRAK from Wilmington, but prefer MARC ... never late in 12 months !

Good luck.
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