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View Poll Results: Is this rust terminal?
Keep it! I've fixed worse... 2 20.00%
Retirement time 8 80.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 06-30-2008, 02:56 PM
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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...now with [explicit] pictures!

So, as some of you might know, I've been getting ready for my first brake job. No big deal, right?

Well...I've been having some quirky problems with the rear suspension. On the highway the rear is a bit 'squirrel-ey' when I go over a bump. Especially when going around a corner. I was planning on redoing a lot of the bushings, mounts, and probably the shocks.

However...today, I was greeted with an interesting sound (I drove a lap around my school). It would jingle every time I would go over any bump. Great...

So, I stop and take a look. Funny, it looks like the rear is sagging a bit more than usual. What the... Hmm.



Is that my shock! OMG.

Soo, apparently...the bottom end of the rear right shock is sticking out from under my car. It looks like it pushed itself through the trailing arm (?) mount. It's got some bits of rusted metal attached to the bolt. Eeek.

Great.

Suggestions? Any options I should look into?

I'll have pictures most likely tomorrow.

-One slightly stressed Nate

EDIT: HIDE YOUR EYES. EXPLICIT PICTURES.



Passenger side rear shock poking through the trailing arm.

It's hard to focus or get a good angle. I see rust...

The following pictures are to help you determine how bad the rust is overall. This isn't everything, but most of the places where it is blantantly obvious.


Passenger side rear jack point


Passenger side front jack point


Driver side rear jack point


Driver side front jack point


Passenger rear door


Passenger front door, visible from outside...


Drivers side rear door


Drivers door


Underneath front bumper


Closeup of underneath front bumper


Front wheel well, drivers side. Partially "repaired" by previous owner.


Passenger side front wheel well, looking forward. I broke a chunk off with little effort.


Small rust bubble


Oh, look...more rust

Some happier pictures

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Last edited by Crazy_Nate; 07-02-2008 at 09:11 PM. Reason: Added pictures
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2008, 03:17 PM
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Pictures would help, but you will need to replace the trailing arm if it is that rusty.

You may want to check out the rest of the body for rust problems and re-evaluate before you go too much farther.
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  #3  
Old 06-30-2008, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgkast View Post
Pictures would help, but you will need to replace the trailing arm if it is that rusty.

You may want to check out the rest of the body for rust problems and re-evaluate before you go too much farther.
The jack points are looking kinda scary. All 4 doors have rust at the bottom. There is surface rust appearing on the front doors.

I know the car needs a bit of work. I'll try to borrow a friends camera tomorrow and take bunches of pictures.

I'm working off of my graduate student stipend. So, I really have a limited budget. I was planning on tackling the larger stuff this summer (starting with a brake job)...but recent happenings have left me asking myself questions.

If it comes down to it, I may have to resort to selling the vehicle as a running parts car . The pictures will help you guys see what I'm talking about.
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  #4  
Old 06-30-2008, 03:30 PM
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It sounds like it may be nearing parts-car status. You could just drive it until the wheels fall off, but it sounds like that might not be too far away.
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  #5  
Old 06-30-2008, 04:25 PM
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If there is one thing I have learnt over time it is how different rust developes in different areas of north america. Then there is a kind of subdivision of the type of rust followed by how localised it is.

I have seen nice cars with rust issues confined exclusivley to only one area but advanced there. As well as cars with rust all over the place but not too advanced.

You have to get the car up on a hoist and check it to really tell. If you were extremely lucky that rear shock was frozen by the five years sitting and just punched through the lower mount. Rust need not be a large factor for something like that. So the first check is to see if the shock is frozen.
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  #6  
Old 06-30-2008, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barry123400 View Post
You have to get the car up on a hoist and check it to really tell. If you were extremely lucky that rear shock was frozen by the five years sitting and just punched through the lower mount. Rust need not be a large factor for something like that. So the first check is to see if the shock is frozen.
Barry,
How does one check for a frozen shock? Would it basically be stuck in one position? I should be able to compress it without too much force, right?
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  #7  
Old 06-30-2008, 07:44 PM
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If a shock is frozen you just cannot move it. Simular to if it was just a steel rod. Common problem of cars sitting too long.

Gets expensive on newer vehicles when its the front struts. A combination of the spring and shock absorber. It pays to individually bounce each fender on a car that has been sitting a long time. You will instantly find any frozen shock.
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  #8  
Old 06-30-2008, 09:06 PM
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I jumped up and down on all 4 corners when I was looking at the vehicle. It felt pretty similar all around. Nothing too odd. Would this be something that would just happen all of a sudden?

Thanks,
Nate
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  #9  
Old 06-30-2008, 09:28 PM
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Not usually. Even here in rustbelt central something like this usually is not good. For your own well being check the car overall on a hoist.
Occasionally there are isolated problems. As I stated all rust patterns on cars are not the same. You have to check all chassis item supports. Mercedes can rust very bad sometimes. Your top body does not look all that bad. So there is hope.
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  #10  
Old 06-30-2008, 10:42 PM
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hey barry, the edit button is much neater than the back button for fixing posts...

anyway. if you are in MD, you might wanna drive down to NC and look at the cars I have... I can probably get you a 126 with TONS less rust than you appear to have... then all you'd have to do is swap in your drivetrain...
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  #11  
Old 06-30-2008, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vstech View Post
hey barry, the edit button is much neater than the back button for fixing posts...

anyway. if you are in MD, you might wanna drive down to NC and look at the cars I have... I can probably get you a 126 with TONS less rust than you appear to have... then all you'd have to do is swap in your drivetrain...
I really appreciate your offer. It put a smile on my face. More reason why this forum is so damn awesome, the people.

I'd love to take one of those cars off your hands and put it to good use, but, sadly, I've driven back to school (Amherst, MA).

I should have pictures tomorrow...and then I'll decide if I really need a car at this point in my life (I might just save some money, and if a good one comes around, well ). I'm not quite there yet, we still have to determine if the rust is terminal.
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W124.133 - 603.960, 722.317 - Smoke Silver Metallic / Medium Red (702/177), acquired 8/15/2009
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2008, 07:32 PM
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Ok, pictures are up. I tried to get most of the big obvious spots, however, rust has a way of hiding from you.

Here's what I think the car needs (the question here, is is this worth it...)
  1. New glowplugs (it's about time, and I have a reamer for the job)
  2. Injectors cleaned, possibly new nozzles, and balancing. (slight idle vibration when warm)
  3. Suspension...bushings, shocks, probably new coil spring in the rear (they sag), and obviously a new trailing arm (or at least one from the junkyard)
  4. Brakes in the near future (not absolutely necessary yet, however, I was just about to do them) - discs + pads + flush, at least
  5. Transmission fluid change
  6. Coolant flush / change
  7. New belts (have 'em already)

So, there you have it. Basically lots of symptoms of postponed maintenance...but, lots of little things that add up.
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W124.133 - 603.960, 722.317 - Smoke Silver Metallic / Medium Red (702/177), acquired 8/15/2009
262,715 and counting
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  #13  
Old 07-02-2008, 11:01 PM
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I think Barry's theory about the shock locking up is what happened.

I got underneath the car and pushed on the shock as much as I could with that little amount of leverage... The shock didn't budge before the car did (I had to push and push and...well, you get the point).

I did see some rust by where the shock would have mounted. That couldn't have helped.
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W124.133 - 603.960, 722.317 - Smoke Silver Metallic / Medium Red (702/177), acquired 8/15/2009
262,715 and counting
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  #14  
Old 07-03-2008, 12:51 AM
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On the highway the rear is a bit 'squirrel-ey' when I go over a bump. Especially when going around a corner.

About 10 years ago, I was driving a running parts car home and the car fishtailed a bit like u might be describing. While driving on the side streets, the car completely locked up, it was really foolish to be driving the car in retrospect.

Looking at your car, that cracking by the rear jack point looks really bad. Could the car be unstable on a lift if the frame is rusted? If so, I would not sink any more $$$ into that car. Personally I'd like to get a snapshot of it from underneath while it's in the air, provided there is no worry about the car dropping on me.
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  #15  
Old 07-03-2008, 06:26 AM
ForcedInduction
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I voted retirement time based on the pictures.

But, I'd make new shock mount brackets, weld them to that trailing arm and drive it till it dies.

Last edited by ForcedInduction; 07-03-2008 at 09:10 AM.
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