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Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum > Do It Yourself Links & Resources > Bodywork - Repair, Paint, Tools, Tips & Tricks

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  #1  
Old 08-08-2003, 07:00 PM
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Paint and Body work

Well the 450SEL was the victim of a parking lot hit and run. Left passenger and driver doors were creased pretty good.

Initial estimate from my insurance company's preferred repair shop is about a $1000 (2 new door skins, paint, blending etc), lifetime guarantee blah blah blah.

Paint is a metallic gold (champagne). When asked about the paint (2 vs single stage) they stated that they use a single stage Dupont product.

The 1980 450 SEL is not a collector but it is our daily driver. Interior is almost new looking and she's in great mechanical condition (154k miles). It's been 13 years since I've had any body work done. So I've got a few questions:

- Single vs 2 stage paints. Everything i've read to date sez 2 stage (clear coat last of course) is preferred especially as it relates to standing up to the elements, UV etc. The hood was done single stage 13 years ago, has deterioted and left and I'm sure I'm now contributing to global warming. I take pretty good care of the paint. rest of the paint looks brand new.

- Blending. How the heck do they blend single stage paint against the rest of the factory paint? We've all seen the results of a hack metallic paint job where its obvious. 13 years ago the dealer had to reshoot the hood 4 times.

- Door skins. Should I insist on Branded door skins (Benz) or OEM. vice "cheap" ones. Maybe Benz doesn't make door skins so it's time for a day trip to Potomac German Auto for two doors.

- I am seriously considering just having the dealer do it. THoughts here too.

- Any great questions I should ask of the body shops? Not trying to tick them off. Just trying to let them I know I have certain expectations.

Thanks all.

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Paint and Body work-accident.jpg  
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S, J.R. Brown
2000 G500 LWB Obsedian Black
2005 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab Off Road Sport
1993 Volvo 240 Sedan Anthracite
1980 450SEL Champange (owned it for 15 years. Great car)
1986 280GE LWB Anthracite (Sold it and kinda wish I hadn't)
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  #2  
Old 08-08-2003, 07:32 PM
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This is what I say.

Get the 2 stage paint job. Any one stage paintjob will have you very dissatisfied. There is no way they can blend the paint to match using only one stage. Get more estimates for this job. If the insurance company gives you the check, take your car to another shop that will do the work how you want it. I worked in a body shop and trust me, if you get a single stage paint job, the results will not be good. Base coat/clear coat paint enables better blending.
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Old 08-08-2003, 07:54 PM
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Ouch! my condolences.

From my experiences, clear coat over color is the only way to go. In fact, in appropriate circumstances, color is computer-matched and then applied only to the damaged region, feathered away from the damage by practiced (artful) control of the sprayer to blend into the existing color, and then the whole panel is clear coated. This clear coat is then flattened with an ultra fine grit polish, especially on vertical panels. Think I'd look into another shop.

Sounds like a good opportunity to respray the hood with same.

Hard to say for sure from the pics, but the damage doesn't seem so bad (deep) that a good shop couldn't restore the original contour, either with a little fill or perhaps using PDR tools. Are the doors, windows, seals still in good alignment?

Can't touch new door panels for $1000 job total, I'm pretty sure. I'd prefer to retain the originals if possible. Then you also avoid problems with improper reassembly of the interior door components (glass, seals, locks, etc.).

my 0.02
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Old 08-09-2003, 11:21 AM
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From your pictures it does not look too bad -- I can not believe that the door would need to be skined -- I found that it is often better to get a used unit from a yard when working on an old car. You can often get the whole door for less than a new skin! -- make sure they remove the side mlds -- replace the red plugs!

Also I would think that the hood problem is the clear coat starting to fail - the only fix is to respray -- the hood is often the first to show this, followed by the roof and trunk and the tops of the fenders.
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  #5  
Old 08-09-2003, 11:32 AM
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Don't skin the doors repair them they aren't too bad and use two stage paint. Also look for another body shop any shop that would paint a MB with single stage paint is not too good in my book.
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  #6  
Old 08-09-2003, 05:12 PM
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Thanks everybody. I'll visit a couple of Benz dealers (Annapolis and Arlington) here in the D.C Area.

Thoughts anyone? Looking for body shop pros in the D.C. area. I'm stationed in Southern Maryland. (PAX River area)
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2000 G500 LWB Obsedian Black
2005 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab Off Road Sport
1993 Volvo 240 Sedan Anthracite
1980 450SEL Champange (owned it for 15 years. Great car)
1986 280GE LWB Anthracite (Sold it and kinda wish I hadn't)
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  #7  
Old 08-09-2003, 09:41 PM
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good!

as soon as i saw those doors iwas surprised that you said you were going to reskin.i also thoght they could be worked.ditto the hood respray and use the search for shops in your area.there is a post in here for exactly that-'what's the best shop in...'
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  #8  
Old 08-11-2003, 09:35 PM
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Dummy me. I reread the estimate and it is all body work. No door skins or door shells. So that is good news. Dealer sez they quit making skins several years ago.

Paint wise I spoke to a Mercedes dealership whose body shop only does Benz's. They use 2 stage and the whole bit. Very interesting discussion. The manager has had too many bad experiences with Benz owners who place a value on their car that is not supportable by car value guides such as CPI. What was happening was that they found themselves working on cars that were "beyond economical repair" (e.g. car value < repair) and customers being too demanding. Each party's expectations were not the same. Not a good place to be. Bottom line is they don't touch those types of cars.

Mine got about a 1/3 of the way there so I'm okay. I'll visit with those folks later this week after my insurance company sez whether or not they'll accept their rates. We'll see. I might be out more than my deductable, but a bit more for better quality might be worth it.

As an aside, I pulled the paper work on the hood paint job and have written a letter to Mercedes Benz NA. The paint job had a lifetime warranty for workmanship from the benz dealer some 2000 miles away and no longer in business. I don't hold out much hope but we'll see.

Thanks all for the thoughts and advice.

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S, J.R. Brown
2000 G500 LWB Obsedian Black
2005 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab Off Road Sport
1993 Volvo 240 Sedan Anthracite
1980 450SEL Champange (owned it for 15 years. Great car)
1986 280GE LWB Anthracite (Sold it and kinda wish I hadn't)
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