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  #1  
Old 10-05-2002, 06:28 PM
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Location: Evansville, Indiana
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W108 wood trim refinishing

Started on the wood today. I was fishing about in the dash getting the broken heater lever out (I'm not the first one in here, there were two washers under one side of the heater lever trim plate and non under the other....), so I decided to go ahead and remove the windshield trim and clean it up.

The finish was cracked and bubbled something terrible. Nasty stuff, nitrocelluose laquer. The Formby's Paint Remover I had handy didn't work very well -- the laquer turns into a sticky, slimy mess, made much worse by the thick gunk in the stripper. Cleaned off all I could and went out and bought some regular Formby's stripper and some stripping pads (foam with green scotchbrite on one side). Worked somewhat better, but the pads hold the laquer after it dissoves in the methylene choride, so I was just spreading it around.

After what seemed like forever, I finally let it dry. Still had some shiny spots that were tacky, so I got out the laquer thinner and some 0000 steel wool. That did the trick -- got rid of the remains of the laquer.

Needless to say, I was doing this in the back yard -- no way I will EVERY use that much solvent inside.

The wood was very bleached from the sun -- dark reddish where the trim covered it, so I got out some water soluble aniline Cherry stain. Three coats of that darkened it up nicely, probably not the original color, but very close to the new one Hans has.

Both ends of the trim have water damage -- one end will need to be re-glued and some of the veneer is torn, but I'm not going to try to make it look original, just refinish it. There are "spider web" marks from where the orignial finished cracked -- the wood itself is scared and there is some dirt embedded too, but I only took off what would come out with stripper. I'm afraid to sand it (wasn't even too sure about using the scotchbrite) since the veneer isn't much thicker than a piece of heavy paper. It was nice and smooth, amazingly, so I left it as is. I'd rather have water stains, etc with a nice finish than the mess that was in there, and I can always go whole hog someday and replace the veneer.

One thing to watch out for with this stuff -- it appears that it's laid up "plywood", laid with hide glue. That means it can be repaired fairly easily by steaming it apart (I will simply steam the original veneer off and re-veneer with new French Walnut -- or American walnut, or Cherry, or whatever) if I want to later. However, warm water will cause the entire assembly to delaminate -- the condition of most of the trim bits I've seen in junkyards. Hot weather and a thunderstorm with the windows open is really bad news for this stuff!

Ill let you know how it goes, will also try to post pics -- didn't think of that today until I was finished staining it.

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!

Last edited by psfred; 10-05-2002 at 06:34 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2002, 09:47 PM
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I looked at the new windshield trim Hans has, didn't get mine dark enough, but hey, it isn't flat, either.

I'm on the fourth coat of Spar varnish -- wet sanded it today, so should have it almost smooth after this coat. Going to have to make a block with the correct contour to get it all perfectly flat (except the ends, too warped). Beginning to look pretty good.

Rest of the trim will wait until later.

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #3  
Old 10-10-2002, 12:23 AM
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My windshield bow (or is it a dash bow???) will be in a mail to you shortly!!!!
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Last edited by MikeTangas; 10-10-2002 at 12:47 AM.
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  #4  
Old 10-10-2002, 08:44 PM
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Mike:

What condition is your windshield trim in?

If it has only bubbled and cracked laquer with no delamination, it is easy to fix. Water damage (loose or wrinkled veneer) is harder, and that is what I skipped on mine. I can provide instructions.

I'm going junk yard shopping this weekend, hoping to find another one of these lovely beasts close for a dome light, a bit of wood trim (top piece on passenger front) and a spare MAP sensor, maybe some other bits. If I find a spare windshield trim piece, I may try to do the veneer replacement.

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #5  
Old 10-11-2002, 01:13 AM
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My bow has seen better days. Cracking on the passenger side, delaminating on the driver's. Fortunately the windshield rubber has been replaced and all I have to do is locate a fully laminated replacement bow. I've yet to locate a slavage yard bow suitable for refinishing, mostly because there aren't too many complete 108's to be found anymore. When I do I'll try your refinishing method.

I will try to match the color to the sun fade on my walnut. Under the heater bezel I could see that the dash was originally a deep chocolate brown, but 30 years of sunshine have mellowed the color to a dark maple tone.
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Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2002, 07:06 PM
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Mike:

New may still be available, but unless you are serious about showroom condition I'd skip it. Probably cost $500 or more (Hans bought one 8 years ago for $400).

You will need to repair the delamination before removing it unless you take it out when you have the windsheild out -- I damaged my some -- tore the veneer -- getting it out because you have to bow it to get it around the A pillar with the windshield in.

A slaver of hot hide glue (made up from "beads" of animal hide extract and hot water) into the delaminated part and compression between two scraps of wood held together with a C-clamp for a couple of hours (put waxed paper between the scraps and the trim) will hold it together well enough to get it out without damage. I will be doing this next time......

The wood on any trim exposed to full sun will be bleached almost white by now. Color can be restored with a combination of walnut and cherry aniline stains -- I strongly recommend these as they are the most light resistant, easy to use (they dissolve in a mixture of alcohol and water), and best, they can be used to "touch up" spots you sand through when putting varnish on.

I suppose you could get nuts and use the factory catalyzed laquer if you wanted to and had a spray gun, but I prefer the warmer look my wood has now, and the thinner finish. The factory trim has so much finish on it it looks like fake wood.

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #7  
Old 10-23-2002, 07:20 PM
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Location: Evansville, Indiana
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Windshield trim is done and installed. Sure looks nice in there!

I ended up putting about 12 coats of varnish on, had to thin the stuff to get it to flow out properly. Details on my other post.

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #8  
Old 04-05-2008, 01:29 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Michigan City, In
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Hi, Im seeking information on how to remove the window trim so that I can refinish it. Has anyone successfully removed this piece without braking it, is it glued in screwed in or what?...I'm working on a 1972 300sel 4.5, a beautyful car in need of a little care. there's a picture on my profile. thanks
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  #9  
Old 04-05-2008, 10:48 AM
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Location: near Scranton, PA
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Are you referring to the dash bow or to the window pieces? The pieces on the window should be screwed in and the chrome screws should be easy to spot.
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