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  #1  
Old 01-31-2008, 04:34 PM
imagesinthewind's Avatar
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W116 jack hole gave way, how bad?

My husband and I are debating on whether or not to do much more to his (79 300SD) car.
We bought it for $1500. Vacumm problems make the engine not stop unless the driver's door is locked from the inside and the engine allowed to die. None of the locks work from the outside. The servo is shot and bypassed for heat. Electric is really bad. Had it into the shop and the power disty module was replaced. It ran for one week. Now it won't even jump start.
The worst is the rust. There are several places when the rust has given us holes 1.5 to 2 inches diameter. Most near the bottom of the doors. Also in other places.
We were jacking up the car to trade out wheels and the jack hole crunched. Not completely but it will never again be able to be jacked there.
Just to make you sicker to your stomach, we've put about $3000 in it since we bought it including full front brakes.

MY car is a 78 300SD (as if you didn't know) and I'd probably take the brakes, the interior (nice and black) and several other things for my car if we decide to part it out or junk it.

I can get pics later today when I'm home and it's light to give you more info. I'm between a rock and hard place. $4500 is a lot to junk, but we could spend another $4500 and still have a car that give us a lot of problems.

Advice? be nice. He bought the car without me there to say no.

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  #2  
Old 01-31-2008, 05:27 PM
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Dieselsüchtiger
 
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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Our 1983 300SD had the front driver jack area completely crumble and break apart a while back (almost 2 years ago).....so we called up the great Roy Hunter (here on the forum) and he welded it all back together for us all nice...can lift the car with no worries there now.


Stuff like that can be fixed....I'd not give up on it just yet. Try to see if you can find a good welder to repair the jack area....just have them cut that area out and re-weld it back together with the jacking-tube in the proper place and supported properly....and it will be good as new.
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'15 GLK250 Bluetec 90k - mine - (OC-91,200)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 18k - wifes (OC-25k)
'01 E320 Wagon - 161k - mine (OC-165,000)
'01 E320 - 180k - dad's (OC-182,500)
'07 E350 Wagon - 134k - dad's (OC-139,500)
'01 SL500 - 56k - dad's (OC-59,000)
'16 E400 4matic Sedan - 81k - Brothers (OC-88,000)
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2008, 05:49 PM
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If you really want to get into it, you might be better off spending your money on a 135amp or so 110V mig welder, and learning how to weld. It will take more time, but might cost about the same or less than paying someone else to do it, and afterwards you have a great skill and a very useful machine.
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2008, 07:19 PM
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If you are crunching a jack point, chances are you have some pretty severe rust issues in many other places.

Time to step back and realistically assess what it would take to make the car sound. Might be ahead to source a southern car, and use this one as a parts donor to upgrade the other two.

Don't throw good money after bad.

Rust is cancer, it's insidious, and never sleeps.

Jim
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2008, 07:26 PM
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I'd buy a really nice w116 to replace it and keep this one for parts.
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"What could possibly go wrong?"

~Michael S.~ -
1986 M-B 300SDL, retired due to rust and electrical problems. Donated engine to:
1987 M-B 300SDL, odo dead. New project.
1982 M-B 240D, odo stopped at 308,000
1982 M-B 300SD, 175,000
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2008, 07:35 PM
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Ginny,

Rust is not an easy problem to deal with and as I've learned, what you see is just the tip of the iceberg. My rust ran along the entire left side of my 87 300DT. If you want to see how I've gone about repairing it, read my blog at biodieselbob.blogspot.com. If you want any advice, please feel free to do so. As for the door rust, that's probably an easier one to take care of. If you have rust near the jackholes, your inner rocker area has probably more rust than you are actually seeing. My jack holes were rusted at the mounts and had eaten away one of them. Probably what happened to yours too.

Quote:
Stuff like that can be fixed....I'd not give up on it just yet. Try to see if you can find a good welder to repair the jack area....just have them cut that area out and re-weld it back together with the jacking-tube in the proper place and supported properly....and it will be good as new.
it's actually not as easy as described. at the top and bottom of the jackholes are two mounts that are spot welded to the rocker interior. if those are eaten away, you have to actually get inside the rocker to clean out the rusted stuff, clean the base (top and bottom) and then find a donor piece to weld in. not to mention, your rocker is probalby rotting too.

Greasy is right: if you want to save the car, buy a 110V welder which is more than enough to repair it. you'll also need some shop tools which i can go over with you. or better yet, just read my blog and see how i'm approaching it.

But Jim Freeh is also right too: you have to determine whether or not the car is worth saving. It will take time and money. if you have both, go for it. i've had my fits with my repair, but i really have enjoyed the process. i'm learning a ton about unibody cars and sheet metal welding, that's for sure

let me know how i can help,
bob
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2008, 08:29 PM
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http://imagesinthewind.homestead.com/TomsCar.html

Here are a few pics of the car.
I have more if needed. Sadly.
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  #8  
Old 01-31-2008, 08:30 PM
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If all the rust is just on the rockers (sometimes it is) you could cut those off and weld on new ones.
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'15 GLK250 Bluetec 90k - mine - (OC-91,200)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 18k - wifes (OC-25k)
'01 E320 Wagon - 161k - mine (OC-165,000)
'01 E320 - 180k - dad's (OC-182,500)
'07 E350 Wagon - 134k - dad's (OC-139,500)
'01 SL500 - 56k - dad's (OC-59,000)
'16 E400 4matic Sedan - 81k - Brothers (OC-88,000)
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2008, 09:02 PM
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Damn!

And I thought my rust was bad...
Nowhere near what you see in these pictures.
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1979 300SD Black/Black MBtex239000mi
1983 300TD euro-NA. White/Olive Cloth-MBtex 201000mi. Fleet car of the USA embassy in Morocco
1983 240D Labrador Blue/Blue MBtex 161000mi
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2008, 10:24 PM
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That looks about like my 80....
These cars are well known for their excellent durable undercoating....which remains in place even when the metal no longer is. You need to do some good prodding around under the car with a screwdriver and see where the soft spots and poke-thru spots are, with rust like that there's bound to be more hidden.

After that, look at what it's going to cost to fix it right, compare that to the value of the car, and also consider what you could find if you look around a little for a good solid car say with a bad engine, which could be grabbed on the cheap, that you could swap your good parts into. It's not exactly like theres sentimental value in it because it was his grandma's first car, its just an old car he picked up.

My car has a big hole like that in it, rust bubbles oozing out of the doors and door frames, under the body the suspension parts are all heavily pitted, soft and cracked looking spots in the undercoat, and every visible welded seam has bubbling around it with that familiar orange stain oozing out. I'm not even going to try fixing that, it's a lost cause and financial moneypit on a car that simply is not worth that much any more even in excellent shape. I went and found another identical good car with a very well preserved body inside and out, and dead transmission, for $100....
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  #11  
Old 01-31-2008, 10:45 PM
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Was the $3000 due mostly to parts cost or to labor cost?
If I was not doing the work on my car myself I could not afford to keep it. In fact if it was not for the internet and being able to source out good deals on parts/tools I would not be able to keep my car.
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  #12  
Old 01-31-2008, 11:46 PM
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Parts car at best now......
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Gone:
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2008, 12:21 AM
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ok, the damage looks similar to mine. i can almost guarantee you that your rocker is toast. if you want to do it the right way to make 100% sure, how far it has spread, remove the back seat, the seat where that damage exists, take off the interior carpet and mastic and look.

this is what I did: i went to the junkyard, asked them to saw a mercedes w124 in half. just the sheetmetal. then of course, you need to have it stored where you can pull of pieces. youll need to do your own demo of the rocker and the pieces you need from the donor car.

its all in my blog. did you read it yet?
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2008, 01:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bustedbenz View Post
I'd buy a really nice w116 to replace it and keep this one for parts.
Judging by signature line thats exactly what they've go now:
__________
Ginny in Denver-ish
78 300SD, 240K (mine)
79 300SD 175K (beater boy, his)
___________

Ginny - the engine vac shutoff can be "fixed" by plugging yellow vac lines at firewall with golf tees thus bypassing central locking system. Y'all can get heat bypassing the servo unit with T-valve and straight hose under the hood. AC at Denver am guessing y'all dont need. And 116 rust becomes truly fatal (makin the car unsafe) *only* where suspension components meet unibody: shock mounts, swaybar mounts for example rusting to smitherines.

And y'all oughta get decent scissors jack to replace the crappy jackpoint/socket MB hand crank jack anyhow. The MB jack's a tippy canoe notorious for falling over and dropping cars on any sorta incline. Personally I'd never crawl under an MB held up with factory jack alone, its that crummy.

My advice is absolutely keep the 175k mile backup 'mobile parts car' 300SD on the road as daily driver. Especially as yours at 240k miles might need cyl head valve train work in another couple years at about 290-320k. Then ye can bone the beater 116 for engine swap to git another 100k at least from the better car.

Dont let '"rust phobia" bother you unless it's effecting suspension/unibody integrity says me. Rocker panels, floorboards and whatnot just aint that load bearing to worry about.
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  #15  
Old 02-01-2008, 07:20 AM
Admiral-Third World Fleet
 
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I am only guessing, but I doubt that your "beater" W116 has approached the point of being unsafe (can't tell without pix of the suspension areas). In my mind it has passed the point of being unsightly. If you want to try return it to having a semblance of its intended beauty with some expensive bodywork, it would be a fool's errand, IMO. Better to put money in another car if you want something that will end up looking good or last more than 5-10 years.

If you still want a W116, they can still be found in great condition for little money generally out west or in Texas. They may have mechanical issues (like "no reverse" ) that need to be addressed, but those are a lot more curable than cancer.

Rick

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