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Old 05-03-2011, 03:33 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chester Springs, PA
Posts: 1
Is there hope for my rusty benz?

81 300d with some rust issues. Been sitting in my garage for several years cause I don't even know where to start with this. Drivers side rear corner is through the floor along with the rocker issues on both sides. But the car starts right up, runs great and everything from the floor up is pretty good. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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Old 05-03-2011, 03:42 PM
Chad300tdt's Avatar
Benzless Scoutmaster
Join Date: May 2007
Location: North Wales, PA
Posts: 4,001
I enjoy doing bodywork, but that's a bit too gone for my tastes. I'd either look into finding a donor car with a good body so you can swap the good stuff from your car or just start over with a new w123 all together.
2006 Nissan Pathfinder LE
1998 Acura 3.0 CL
"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." - Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

1985 300TD - Red Dragon
1986 300SDL - Coda
1991 - 300TE
1995 - E320
1985 300CD - Gladys
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:48 PM
okyoureabeast's Avatar
Rogue T Tolerant
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: North America
Posts: 1,675
I love your user name by the way

Fixing rust on my car is exhausting. Body work is an art and requires so much skill. My repairs I did a year ago look pretty bad.
-Typos courtesy of my mobile phone.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:08 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.
Posts: 6,510
Too far gone and I live in the rustbelt. Donar car to move the running gear over from yours the easiest approach by far. You will need a southern car though.

I am pretty familiar with rust by the way and yours appears potentially structually advanced. Posting the pictures was an excellant ideal.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:14 PM
gatorblue92's Avatar
Save the manuals!
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Delaware
Posts: 3,399
looks pretty bad to me... it does look like a great parts car though
1977 MB 240D 4 speed 145K - Nearly Perfect
1995 MB E420 197K - Weekend Toy
2020 Subaru Ascent 13k - Wife's DD
2020 Ford F150 3.5 EcoBoost 0K - My DD

1979 MB 280E 90K - Sold
1983 MB 240D 238K - Scrapped
1984 MB 300D 347K? - Sold
1984 MB 300TD Wagon - 188k - Sold
1987 MB 300E 5 speed 258K - Scrapped
1991 MB 300TE 5 speed 276K - Sold
1993 MB 400E 218K - Sold
1993 MB 400E 130K - Sold
1995 MB E320 Wagon 190k - Sold
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:16 PM
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Not so amused
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: West Quebec
Posts: 4,025
Unfortunately, a w123 from the Northeast can still look great from 10 feet away, but be a complete loss underneath.

The good news? What you show us isn't looking good, but the outer sills (apart from the jacking points) are cosmetic, not structural in any way.

The bad news, however, is that usually once it's reached that point in the sills the floors are shot too.

You need to take a big breath then get under the car (eye protection is a good idea) and see if you have any floors left.

Even if it looks like it's there, take a flat screwdriver or chisel and start poking around. The rule is that you will have to cut a MINIMUM of four inches back from any SOFT metal you find, to properly repair rust.

On my w116 300 SD, when I took it in for the driver's floor to be done, I had two holes. One was about 8 inches by 2 inches; the other was 4 x 3 maybe. When I went back to check on progress, the shop had ended up replacing just about the entire driver's floor, to get away from the soft areas.

If you find floor rot, show us some pics.

2002 e320 4matic estate│1985 300d│1980 300td
Previous: 1979 & 1982 & 1983 300sd │ 1982 240d

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Old 05-03-2011, 07:21 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Carson City, NV
Posts: 3,790
Unless you just want to teach yourself bodywork and make a "fun" project out of it, that is a parts car. My 240D was not nearly that bad when I yanked the tranny to put in my 300D and sold the leftovers for 200 bucks.
Whoever said there's nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes never had a cheap Jaguar.

83 300D Turbo with manual conversion, early W126 vented front rotors and H4 headlights 367,xxx miles
08 Triumph Street Triple 30,xxx miles, lowered 10mm in front, Pirelli Angel GT tires, EBC HH brake pads, otherwise stock.
88 Jaguar XJS V12 93,xxx miles. I should be in the garage now.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:30 PM
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Location: Elavil, Ga.
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Man, that is a shame It looks like you're close to the rear subframe mount. I imagine that's getting close to some structural stuff...
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1980 300SD
1980 300SD
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:34 PM
1985 190d
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: canadian border vermont
Posts: 511
I replaced both outer rockers on my last 190d. They were cheap to buy but it was a lot of work. As noted above, in my model at least the outer rockers are not crucial.

But in your case it looks pretty bad. There will be more rust showing up somewhere else. Its hard to keep up with it. In my case the rear wheel wells went south. That kind of thing is a great deal harder for the amateur.

I ended up finding the same model with a good body and blown transmission, and ended up with a good car from the two.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:48 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Palm Springs, CA.
Posts: 2,670

The car you have is not at all a classic in the sense that it is one of many produced and still on the road. You should seek out a good body that has a bad engine...Robert

Did you just pass my 740 at 200 kmh in a 300SD?????

1978 300SD 'Phil' - 1,315,853 Miles And Counting - 1, 317,885 as of 12/27/2012 - 1,333,000 as of 05/10/2013, 1,337,850 as of July 15, 2013, 1,339,000 as of August 13, 2013

100,000 miles since June 2005 Overhaul - Sold January 25th, 2014 After 1,344,246 Miles & 20 Years of Ownership
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