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  #1  
Old 12-03-2019, 09:39 AM
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Location: Middle TN
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Torn between painting and trashing 85SD

I had a guy start down the path of painting my SD. He did a decent job of repairing the rust under the rear window gasket, mostly stripped the exterior, sanded to the point where I don't want to put it back together and just drive it then quit. The car is covered with tarps sitting in the weather and I'll decide within the next few weeks.


This car was bumped in the back hard enough that the rear panel under the trunk lid needs to be replaced and the entire exterior needs paint. I have a parts car of the same Anthracite Grey so sourcing the panel isn't an issue. Regular body shops don't want this because they prefer the quick turn around of doing insurance work.


The car has been in the family since new so there is sentimental value. I'd like to keep it unless it were to be crashed sometime in the future. The drive train is working fine and I have an extra engine if ever needed. Good remanned trannys can be bought within my budget. Brakes are new, front suspension is refurbed. Climate works except for AC which I'll buy parts and convert it properly if I keep it. Seats need repair but I and I have a set from an 89 that would be more comfortable but they need recovering too.


Would any of you suck down $5,000 to $6,000 to have a new looking new driving 85SD assuming the missing cash doesn't affect your life style? Car is not worth much as it sits perhaps $1,000 to someone who wanted the parts. It seems suspension parts were $500. Then there are the brake calipers, rotors, ceramic pads, master cylinder, bluetooth receiver, engine etc all in good working order.

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85SD 240K & stopped counting. 84SD 180,000. Thinking of painting both.
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2019, 09:59 AM
Shadetree
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Back in SC upstate
Posts: 1,490
I'm stressing a bit with a similar situation over my project car. I'm 67 and don't expect to make 70 so I'm wondering if anyone cares about this car enough to care for it properly after I'm gone. If I didn't love working on it I'd have already given up.

Imo, if you look forward to enjoying the car you should follow your heart and fix it. If or when you get tired of fooling with it sell it. It's OK if your decision is emotional. It's our time in life to enjoy. Lord knows we let economics rule for decades.

BTW, if I had access to a space to paint I would paint mine. I do not trust body people to do what I want done the way I want it done.
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2019, 10:30 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
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Seems like it deserves for the paint to be finished...if you can afford it.
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #4  
Old 12-03-2019, 10:36 AM
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If you're thinking of flipping or selling the car, it doesn't make a lot of sense to paint it, you'll never get your money back out of it.

If you're painting the car because you want to fix it up and keep driving it, it makes a lot more sense to do it. I have a POS BMW station wagon that's pretty rough and I'm on the fence of whether to paint it or just keep driving it as-is. It isn't a show car, I'm not planning on flipping it, it's just a daily driver for me. Would sure look good painted though. So I understand the struggle. If the money were available and it's just for me, I'd do it no question.
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'11 Honda Accord EX - "The Daily" 69K
'83 500SL Euro - "The Money Pit" 116K
'91 350SD - "Diseasel Jr." 173K
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2019, 11:03 AM
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I sent the guy the paint code yesterday so that he could get a materials list. He wants to do an hourly deal at $40/hr. I've seen his work and the paint looks great but I've never painted so can't tell about underlying prep work.

My thoughts are to authorize work in segments. First task is to replace rear panel. That will have the project to a more simple "paint only" situation. If I'm happy with that, we'll continue.

We bought a 2015 Volvo V60 wagon last year to have something that I don't work on. It's a decent car but I don't love it. It's more of a utilitarian vehicle. It's still under warranty and the dealership gives me a loaner when I take it in for discounted oil changes.

I'd rather drive the SD with the top back. I'll drive and not flip the SD as long as I can.
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85SD 240K & stopped counting. 84SD 180,000. Thinking of painting both.
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2019, 11:40 AM
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In the broad scheme of things. The car seems to have more value to you than just utilitarian. What is his overall labor estimate in your mind and material costs? If he can get it done in a reasonable fashion say for around two thousand. You may regret not going that route.


We have the same problem here in Canada with high auto body shop costs.I wish we had low cost sources in Canada for body shop materials and paint like exist in America. It is very difficult for Canadians to import them.
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  #7  
Old 12-03-2019, 03:54 PM
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I would say paint it and enjoy driving it. Have hardly ever seen a post where someone has replaced one of these classics with a "new" car and liked the new car better.
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  #8  
Old 12-03-2019, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barry12345 View Post
In the broad scheme of things. The car seems to have more value to you than just utilitarian. What is his overall labor estimate in your mind and material costs? If he can get it done in a reasonable fashion say for around two thousand. You may regret not going that route.


We have the same problem here in Canada with high auto body shop costs.I wish we had low cost sources in Canada for body shop materials and paint like exist in America. It is very difficult for Canadians to import them.

It's the new Volvo that is utilitarian. Even the guy who quit wanted more than $2,000. He quit because it "wasn't worth his time". That saga is closed with hard feelings and I wouldn't urinate on him were he dying of thirst - but I might just to wet his thirst not enough to quench it.


My best estimate of what the entire project would cost is $6,000. I'm thinking I'd pay that if I could find a car that I knew was in the shape this one will be when finished. I haven't seen any cars where the mechanicals were finished and the cosmetics looked as good. Admittedly only someone who wanted the car would pay that much but the days of finding comparable cars for $2k seem to be gone. I've only seen ragged out cars that need all of the things I've done to this one.


The final decision will depend on whether we can work a deal where I'm confident that he will keep his end of the bargain. Writing a check is the easy part. Fixing as agreed takes work.
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85SD 240K & stopped counting. 84SD 180,000. Thinking of painting both.
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  #9  
Old 12-03-2019, 09:17 PM
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Location: South Florida
Posts: 264
I've a similar dilemma.

Lots of worn off clear coat, some damaged base coat. Yet the remaining good parts, about 70%, retain that deep Mercedes factory luster which still reflects the $95,000 (in 2019 dollars) people paid back in 1985 for this model from one of the world's leading luxury marques.

The dilemma being that not even a concourse paint job would bring that unique look back to the entire car...
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  #10  
Old 12-03-2019, 09:40 PM
Shadetree
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Back in SC upstate
Posts: 1,490
I think MB used a single stage paint until 1986. The quality of that paint is no longer being produced. If you can get someone to really prep a car right and shoot a sufficient high quality basecoat on it then a top shelf clear you can reproduce that but it will take a cut and buff of the clear to get it as smooth and orange peel free as the original.
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  #11  
Old 12-03-2019, 09:56 PM
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Is there no longer a good quality single stage acylic enamel paint available in America? It is no longer in Canada.
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  #12  
Old 12-03-2019, 10:38 PM
vwnate1's Avatar
Diesel Dandy
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sunny So. Cal. !
Posts: 4,782
Thumbs up Re Spray

I hope you're looking closely at the shop's finished jobs.....

I got hosed on my 1980 300CD, thy did so bad (painted the perfectly operating sunroof & brake every plastic light on the car for starters) I couldn't deal with it and sold it at a deal loss .

If you find a good and honest shop I'd say do this ~ I'm keen to have both my 300CD and 240D re sprayed as they're original paint and chips every where, scrapes on the coupe etc. but I'm afraid of ruining the cars....

Nothing drives quite like a car you know and love and have up fixed .

Keep us posted, anyone in So. California knows a trustworthy place please post it here .

TIA,
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-Nate
1982 240D creampuff 370,000 miles
1978 300CD back from the dead&1980 300CD ~ SOLD
1984 300CD KEEPER ! 478,XXX miles
1984 Euro 300TD Fully optioned SWMBO's
1974 350SLC 4 speed stickshift SOLD & missed
Krazy Kommie Ural Motos (3)
BMW Moto R60/6 Barn Find, 8,000miles
1959 VW #113 Deuxe Beetle, 36hp engine, stock
Junk, Rust, Arthritis, Crushed Spine,Broken Neck&Back
Memories, Peace Of Mind
facts & reality don't change because you can't handle them
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  #13  
Old 12-04-2019, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemson88 View Post
I think MB used a single stage paint until 1986. The quality of that paint is no longer being produced. If you can get someone to really prep a car right and shoot a sufficient high quality basecoat on it then a top shelf clear you can reproduce that but it will take a cut and buff of the clear to get it as smooth and orange peel free as the original.
They used clear-coat on the metallics before that. Here's a German site that sells 1637 Mercedes colors since the 50's in spray-cans and markers: https://www.lackstift24.de/MERCEDES-Spraydosen
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You are entitled to your own opinions, you are not entitled to your own facts.

Last edited by WDBCB20; 12-04-2019 at 01:19 AM.
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  #14  
Old 12-04-2019, 01:14 AM
vwnate1's Avatar
Diesel Dandy
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sunny So. Cal. !
Posts: 4,782
Post Single Stage Paints

FWIW, they're still available if illegal to paint vehicles with in California at least .
__________________
-Nate
1982 240D creampuff 370,000 miles
1978 300CD back from the dead&1980 300CD ~ SOLD
1984 300CD KEEPER ! 478,XXX miles
1984 Euro 300TD Fully optioned SWMBO's
1974 350SLC 4 speed stickshift SOLD & missed
Krazy Kommie Ural Motos (3)
BMW Moto R60/6 Barn Find, 8,000miles
1959 VW #113 Deuxe Beetle, 36hp engine, stock
Junk, Rust, Arthritis, Crushed Spine,Broken Neck&Back
Memories, Peace Of Mind
facts & reality don't change because you can't handle them
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  #15  
Old 12-04-2019, 01:18 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: South Florida
Posts: 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by vwnate1 View Post
I hope you're looking closely at the shop's finished jobs.....

I got hosed on my 1980 300CD, thy did so bad (painted the perfectly operating sunroof & brake every plastic light on the car for starters) I couldn't deal with it and sold it at a deal loss .

If you find a good and honest shop I'd say do this ~ I'm keen to have both my 300CD and 240D re sprayed as they're original paint and chips every where, scrapes on the coupe etc. but I'm afraid of ruining the cars....

Nothing drives quite like a car you know and love and have up fixed .

Keep us posted, anyone in So. California knows a trustworthy place please post it here .

TIA,
Since you're in So. Ca. Mexico may be an option. Here's a 5 part story of a guy who had his car done in Tijuana:

Why You Should (or Should Not) Get Your Car Painted in Mexico, Part 1 - LIVE THE VAN LIFE

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