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  #1  
Old 12-14-2006, 02:56 PM
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HELP! W124 Hit Curb at 40+MPH! [56K Warning]

To make a long story short, I was cut off by some ricer in a black Prelude coming FAST off an exit ramp. I was going about 60 mph and had to "swerve" into a turn-in. By the time I nailed the brakes and had the ABS kick in, I estimate I was going about 40 mph or so. I nailed a high curb (they are quite high and square down here in TX). I hit it on the driver's side at about a 45 degree angle. Plowed through a garden bed and emerged on the other side into a empty parking lot.

I was on my way to a business lunch and was pretty shaken as I have never had an accident before. I'm not sure if this counts. My associates thought the car looked great considering the damage to the curb I left behind. They felt confident their new rental Cadillac would have been toast. Anyway, on to the important stuff...

Somehow nothing critical to the operation of the engine was compromised. Condensor, Radiator, and mounts all appear OK. I was able to drive the car 30 miles home (on back roads of course). A/C still blows cold. The steering wheel is severely cocked and the car wanders if you let it. In very tight turns, there is rubbing in the driver's side wheel well. Also, there is a very pronounced squeaking noise coming from the area of the cowl or A-pillar. I suspect this is simply the infamous W124 fender squeak exacerbated by sharp impact, but I will have to check further to be sure. The shocks are tight and still respond wonderfully, so I have no reason to suspect they are damaged. I will of course inspect the mounts.

I have done a preliminary survey of the damage and need help determining how much this is going to cost me. I self-insure, so this is coming out of my pocket. With the exception of final alignment, I will be doing all work myself, so labor is assumed free. Here is what I have observed so far:

- 2 new wheels
- 2 new tires
- new sway bar, mounts, and bushings
- new control arms (maybe just driver side?)
- new bumper
- paint
- new belly pan and gasket (the old one is in the trunk)
- 4-wheel alignment

My unstudied estimate is $1000 to $1500 ballpark. Does that sound about right? Here are my questions/concerns:

1. Obviously the front driver wheel took the bulk of the impact as evidenced by the bent control arm. Is it absolutely necessary to replace the passenger side control arm as well? It doesn't appear to be bent, but how can I be sure? Are there any body guys here who can give me some guideline measurements? Or should I just wait to see what they tell me when it's on the Hunter rack?

2. Should I just do tie rods for good measure? They're next to free anyway...

3. I'm assuming the spindles and races should be OK. Am I hopelessly optimistic?

4. The driver side wheel is cracked, and I would replace both front wheels as a safety precaution. Ditto for the tires. But the rear set should still be good, right? I'm assuming the initial sharp impact from the front wheels would have slowed the vehicle down enough that the integrity of the rear wheels/tires were not compromised?

5. Look at the pics of the driver side fender. It looks like it got rolled by the wheel. Any tips on straigtening this? I could of course leave it, but that 1/4 inch deviation is gonna bug me every time I look at it.

6. I will be renting the spring compressors here. Any tips?

7. Am I missing anything obvious?

THANKS IN ADVANCE!





















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  #2  
Old 12-14-2006, 03:14 PM
Zeus's Avatar
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Glad you weren't hurt! These W124s are tough beasts, I don't think many modern cars would be able to sustain a direct hit like that and still drive home.

You seem to have most of the bases covered, glad you're not attempting a DIY alignment! I would definitely replace tie rods at the same time. I would also take a good look at the steering linkage arms, etc.

This just a guess - but oil pan gasket?

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2006, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeus View Post
Glad you weren't hurt! These W124s are tough beasts, I don't think many modern cars would be able to sustain a direct hit like that and still drive home.

You seem to have most of the bases covered, glad you're not attempting a DIY alignment! I would definitely replace tie rods at the same time. I would also take a good look at the steering linkage arms, etc.

This just a guess - but oil pan gasket?

Good luck!
Thanks for the comments and tips.

Oil pan did not make contact, I believe. The dampness is from a leaky valve cover gasket and oil cap seal which were replaced only recently.
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97 W210 E320
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86 W126 560SEL
85 W126 380SE Silver
85 W126 380SE Cranberry
79 W123 250
78 W123 280E
75 W114 280
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2006, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercoleza View Post
The dampness is from a leaky valve cover gasket and oil cap seal which were replaced only recently.
Ah, should have recognized it.
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2007 E550 4Matic - 61,000 Km - Iridium Silver, black leather, Sport package, Premium 2 package
2007 GL450 4Matic - 62,000 Km - Obsidian Black Metallic, black leather, all options
1998 E430 - sold
1989 300E - 333,000 Km - sold
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"And a frign hat. They gave me a hat at the annual benefits meeting. I said. how does this benefit me. I dont have anything from the company.. So they gave me a hat." - TheDon
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2006, 03:56 PM
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OK, here is my estimate so far:

212 2 new wheels (justtires.com)
203 2 new tires kumho PS758 195/65R15 (ebay)
045 pair tie rods (ebay)
019 new sway bar end links (ebay)
042 sway bar frame brackets (fastlane)
005 sway bar control arm brackets (fastlane)
033 sway bar bushing kit (fastlane)
115 1 new control arm (ebay)
150 new bumper (ebay)
075 paint (estimate)
000 belly pan and gasket (not replacing for now, nonessential)
080 4-wheel alignment
---
979
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85 W126 380SE Silver
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75 W114 280

Last edited by gmercoleza; 12-14-2006 at 04:20 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2006, 05:00 PM
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The bumper and the undertrays look like they can be repaired easily, I wouldn't bother replacing them and it would save on your out of pocket costs.

Just use fibreglass to patch up the undertray, paint it dark gray nobody will ever notice. Do the same with the bumper, fibreglass on the back of it to hold it together, ask the guys on the detailing forum for finishing tips.
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2006, 05:19 PM
david s poole
 
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looks to me as though the left lower control arm bore the brunt of this one.
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2006, 05:37 PM
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man this just goes to show how well these cars were built, my buddy took my 124 into a curb at a 45 degree angle but the speed was much lower, about 10 to 15 mph. no damage that wasnt aligned out except for the wheel that i had recently bought from him!! good luck getting everything repaired and way to go on doing it yourself!
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2006, 12:31 AM
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Why that punk... doesn't he know better than that? With other cars/pedestrians around? He could have killed ya. Luckily you did not hit a tree or something.

Hopefully the damage is not that severe. I imagine that the car jolted severely. Hopefully the interior kept its integrity - meaning no squeaks or rattles in there.

What about insurance? Will it cover it? Too bad you did not get the punks license plate numbers.

Keep us posted.
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Last edited by 86560SEL; 12-15-2006 at 12:39 AM.
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  #10  
Old 12-15-2006, 06:54 PM
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Ditto to bumper REPAIR.

Haved owned a '94 E320 wagon (previously) and a '95 E320 sedan (currently), I can swear by the W124 safety. The '94 wagon, traveling at 50 MPH, nailed a Jeep Cherokee running a stop sign. The wagon's was not totaled, its doors easily opened, and everyone walked away miraculously.

Anyway, the '95 sedan's bumper got pulled off accidently when my grandmother got stuck in the snow. Some people offered to help, but they attached a cord to the bumper...the rest is self-explanatory. I purchased a new bumper for $300+ new, but the paint was close to $250 as well. Since you still have the pieces attached, I would attempt a repair. Other than that, parts look pretty comprehensive.
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  #11  
Old 12-15-2006, 08:24 PM
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With that kind of blow to the wheel I would think the spindle could be a problem but not that hard to do it later if it proves to be. They are available for $50 to $100 at salvage yards and no need to do both sides.
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  #12  
Old 01-31-2007, 11:23 AM
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Repairs are progressing quickly. I have replaced the lower control arm as documented in this thread: Possible to Remove W124 Lower Control Arm Without Spring Compressor?

The sway bar and related assemblies appear fine. I'm just waiting on my tie rods which should be delivered Friday. I will pop them in and install the full-size spare which carries the same size tire. Then I will take it for an alignment Saturday.

Since I will need 2 wheels and tires, I have decided this would be a good opportunity to upgrade the wheels to 8-hole alloys from the later E class and C class.

I will run without a belly pan for now and will just wait to get a replacement from a junkyard. Upon closer inspection, the cracked bumper can definitely be repaired and refinished which should save some money.

Here is my revised estimate:

400 4 new 8-hole wheels (justtires.com)
203 2 new tires kumho PS758 195/65R15 (ebay)
045 pair tie rods (ebay)
089 new lower control arm (ebay)
080 bumper repair and refinish supplies
080 4-wheel alignment
---
897
__________________
08 W251 R350
97 W210 E320
91 W124 300E
86 W126 560SEL
85 W126 380SE Silver
85 W126 380SE Cranberry
79 W123 250
78 W123 280E
75 W114 280
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  #13  
Old 01-31-2007, 11:41 AM
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the prelude would have been a softer target than the curb.
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  #14  
Old 01-31-2007, 11:51 AM
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When you get it all back together you should bring it to a dealer and see if they can align the front and rear. It might also not be a bad idea to have them inspect the front end to double check everything. I know our local dealer is offering a free inspection, they just sent me a coupon in the mail. Alignment's are $109 plus 10% off with one of there coupons.

Glad your ok, to bad you didn't get the Honda's plate.
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  #15  
Old 01-31-2007, 12:17 PM
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I have an appointment Monday with Autoscope in Plano for a $139 alignment. They are supposedly a very reputable indy and have been highly recommended by a few members of this board. I already talked to one of the service writers, Paul. I told him what happened and what I have done to repair the car. He said everything should be fine. He even gave me a little insight into tightening the LCA eccentric bolts with the suspension fully loaded so as to not put undue stress on the bushings (something I remember reading here). Seems to be a very knowledgeable guy. I also asked about the spreader bar, and he said they do not align without it.

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08 W251 R350
97 W210 E320
91 W124 300E
86 W126 560SEL
85 W126 380SE Silver
85 W126 380SE Cranberry
79 W123 250
78 W123 280E
75 W114 280
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