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  #1  
Old 08-06-2009, 04:32 PM
BodhiBenz1987's Avatar
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Unhappy Sad ... I think Chase is beyond salvation

I never thought I'd say this, but I think my 78 240D in beyond salvation. I never would have imagined when I bought it that it would be this bad, but even then I liked to think I could tackle the problems and save it anyway. I don't care if it's cost-effective or crazy. That said, I think it's reached the point where I just can't do anything. The rust is end-stage. I'm almost done the work on the front of the fenders and I think they are going to look awesome with a topcoat ... but then I moved on to tackle some of the rot on the rocker panels and the car just crumbles apart in my hands. Underneath the car seems (seems) solid, but once you get out toward the rockers it's a nightmare ... there isn't even anything to work with. I can't even tell if the floorpans are OK ... they look solid and feel solid, but I don't see how they can be given the condition of the rocker that butts up aside them. There's rot on the doors, there's rot in the trunk, all the seals obviously are bad, the carpets are rotted. From what I can see, the frame and structural elements look OK, but what do I know? I really don't want to give up on the car, and I'm not afraid of hard work or learning. But I don't even know where to begin, and don't have any confidence that I can fix any of this. My dad thinks I can do it if I want to, that almost anything can be fixed as long as you don't mind losing money. I'd like to think he's right, but I don't even have a garage or shelter to put this car in, so I can't very well strip it down to seriously address the rust. I don't have the heart to part this car out, or sell it to someone who will, right now, so I'm just going to finish up my fenders and leave it for a while. Maybe I can wedge it into my parents' garage so it won't get worse. I know I was a fool to buy this car, and it didn't turn out like I'd hoped, but even in just seven months of owning it I've become very attached to it. It's a friend.
So ... I guess I just wanted to vent; it's not really like there's any advice to give. I'm really sad about it, and none of my friends would even begin to understand.
Sad pictures:
Under rear of fender:


Rocker under rear door:

Floorboard (the brown stuff is dirt except that one tiny crack near the plastic guard at right/bottom:

Inside the rear, you can see through to the driveway on the edge:


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1987 300D, arctic white/palomino--314,000 miles
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  #2  
Old 08-06-2009, 04:37 PM
rrgrassi's Avatar
mmmmmm Diesel...
 
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Your Dad is right. You can do it. If it was me, I would not attempt it though, as I am not very good at body work. If I had a welder and knew how to use it, then I would attempt it.
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  #3  
Old 08-06-2009, 04:46 PM
pawoSD's Avatar
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In MI that is just surface rust! I'd fix it.
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  #4  
Old 08-06-2009, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BodhiBenz1987 View Post
My dad thinks I can do it if I want to, that almost anything can be fixed as long as you don't mind losing money.
Of course your Dad is correct.

But, why would you want to spend a small fortune on an old 240 that you just purchased and have no attachment towards?

Furthermore, your capabilities are limited due to your lack of suitable workspace.

Finally, to have a professional due the bodywork is absolutely cost prohibitive based upon any reasonably economic decision.

My advice is to cut your losses and, if you really want a 240D, find a better example. You'll spend $3K getting this one to a condition that matches another rust free 240D...........for the same money.
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  #5  
Old 08-06-2009, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carlton View Post

My advice is to cut your losses and, if you really want a 240D, find a better example. You'll spend $3K getting this one to a condition that matches another rust free 240D...........for the same money.
I'd have to concur, sadly. If you have the space, you could keep Chase and he could live on as a donor car! At least save some little piece to install in your next W123 so you've got a little piece of Chase.
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  #6  
Old 08-06-2009, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carlton View Post



My advice is to cut your losses and, if you really want a 240D, find a better example. You'll spend $3K getting this one to a condition that matches another rust free 240D...........for the same money.

Find a car in the Southeast that just needs an engine or tranny--then use chase as a donor car. You will be very happy with a southern, rust-free body and they are not hard to find.
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  #7  
Old 08-06-2009, 05:43 PM
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Drive it until you are sick of driving it or until something major goes wrong, then part it out. I hate rust, it is really a PITA to cut out panels and replace them. Collision damage is one thing, rust is just nasty unforgiving stuff. It takes a great deal of experience to repair rust like that correctly, along with a rust free donor car usually.

Think of all the work, frustration and money-consider the value of the car VS. simply driving the snott out of it until you find a screaming deal on a better one. Maybe another solid shell with a blown motor/trans and swap out your motor/trans/interior. You should be able to part that car out fairly nicely and allow its spirit to live on through the act of helping others keep their cars in better repair (and monitary gain to if you want to look at it like that hehe)
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  #8  
Old 08-06-2009, 06:05 PM
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Hmm? What rust? Look at my thread under body work Don't Tell Me What I Can't Do-with Photographs. I'm archiving all my body work. That being said, however, I have a garage space, lots of property, and plenty of time on my hands (although no money). Looks like your jack point is alright (mine wasn't), and if it's not to expansive (although it looks like it is), you could maybe just get away with fiberglass patches (consult some forum experts first). Start by tearing up all the floorpan insulation and cleaning off the rust with a knotted wire brush on an angle grinder. It is possible to fix, but it would probably be balls in your situation. Where are you on the east coast?
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2009, 06:09 PM
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For what it's worth, in Wisconsin I had a car with equally bad rockers on my 300SD and the floors were totally solid. I think it is because the rubber coating around the jackpoints peels/chips away and the metal corrodes easily when left open to the elements. The floor pans stay coated pretty well, from my experience anyway.

In Wisconsin people would say to me that my car looked pretty nice for being 25 years old. I was conscious of the rust, but no one else really cared. There were MUCH worse looking cars on the road

If you don't want to fix it, I would just drive it until it becomes unsafe and enjoy it for the time being.
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  #10  
Old 08-06-2009, 06:11 PM
LUVMBDiesels's Avatar
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POR-15 it, fiberglass the crap out of it and use him as the winter beater car until he breaks in two.
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  #11  
Old 08-06-2009, 07:17 PM
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Looks pretty bad to me, but are these just a few examples or is this pretty much all of it? There are still lots and lots of decent southern cars going for a song. The engine, gearbox and euro bits on Chase are worth saving and you can attach them to any W123 you can find.

Rick
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  #12  
Old 08-06-2009, 08:46 PM
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you should take the fender off, is it worse than this?

the tiny hole is just a gap in the stock sound material, i was able to leave most of it there and just take out the rust which is a much bigger hole.
that took me a while and tons of different pieces, but it was all patched with metal.

and thats not even the battery tray side of my car

i bet you classic center has just the rocker piece you need
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  #13  
Old 08-06-2009, 09:31 PM
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Thanks for all the different perspectives and thoughts. It's nice to know that it's possible to do, and I guess there's not any rush for me to decide what to do. It's not like it's worth a lot in parts, and it's not my daily driver so it won't really hurt to have it just sit there for a while as I decide (other than the brand news brakes I put on getting rusted ... although I can drive it around a bit once I get the front put back together).
I'm not sure it would be worth the effort to put the engine in another car ... it has quite a bit of blow-by. That said, other than starting a little awkwardly on cold days, it runs smoothly, doesn't smoke and, as far as I can tell, doesn't burn or leak oil. The 4-speed is definitely a keeper.
To clarify, the pics I posted were by far the worst of it, but not all of it. The rusted fenders I was able to patch up with a lot of hard work ... I will post some pics of that whenever I get the topcoat done. The other rust is much more surface, as in I can scrap off the loose stuff, POR15, putty and paint ... i.e., it isn't holes. I guess it doesn't hurt to keep working on those parts as practice ... doesn't cost much and I can apply the technique to Bodhi or other cars.
JEBalles, looks like we have the same type of rust battle, although I don't have anywhere near that floorpan rust ... I wonder why that is?

One question: I can't get the fenders off ... am I missing something? I took out all the bolts but it still seems to stick along the top, as if glued. Assessing this would be much easier without the fenders on ...
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1987 300D, arctic white/palomino--314,000 miles
1978 240D 4-speed, Euro Delivery, light ivory/bamboo--370,000 miles
2005 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited, light khaki/slate--140,000 miles
2018 Chevy Cruze diesel, 6-speed manual, satin steel metallic/kalahari--19,000 miles
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  #14  
Old 08-06-2009, 09:56 PM
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Not really glued, but they sprayed that industrial strength undercoating along the top of the fenders. The FSM tells you to torch them off- you may be able to do it with a heat gun. I don't think anyone here has cut them apart. I tried it on a W116 in a boneyard once and gave up after an hour. Heat is the only way.

Rick
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  #15  
Old 08-06-2009, 10:52 PM
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Oh man I should take a picture of the left side of my trunk...looks a lot like the jack point on Chase. Anyway, I would use it as a learning opportunity. If you went to learn how to do body work and practice with it, this is a good excuse to do so. Not really cost effective, but you'll know what to do if you come across it again.

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