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  #1  
Old 06-13-2001, 04:48 PM
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Hi all,
I took my 84 500SEL into the dealer yesterday to get alignment and brakes done. I was noticing it wandering a bit in the front. I got a call this morning, they told me that the frame was starting to rot away and that the tie rods were siezed as well as the idler arm(?) and that's what was causing my problem. They say they can probably "fix" it for about $3000-$4000CDN, my question is, is it really worth fixing? The car has about 192,000Km on it and still seems to be running great engine wise. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.



Mike Hudson
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  #2  
Old 06-13-2001, 05:28 PM
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Sounds like a trip to bullsh#t park to me.

Is your car subject to harsh salt environments? I might agree with worn suspension components, but I thought the technology used to rust proof undercarriage components pretty much proved successful in the 80's!

My 73 Bug spent most of it's life in Illinois, and at least the first 15 years of that were daily driven, including salt laden winter driving! When I turned it show-worthy, the only bad rust areas were the body surfaces, and the rocker panels. The frame had some slight surface rust.

I would have them SHOW you the rust on the frame, then take the car somewhere else!
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  #3  
Old 06-13-2001, 05:39 PM
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Well, judging from the reciepts and history that came with the car, it spent most of its time before I got it in Quebec, and then Toronto. The body seems to be in pretty good condition, a paint chip here and there, but no out and out rust to speak of, that's whats confusing me. Would there not be more body rust if the undercarriage was that far gone?
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Old 06-13-2001, 05:54 PM
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Not necessarily. If the body was kept clean, but the undercarriage was unchecked, the body would be spared the corrosion that would be allowed to settle on the undercarriage components.

Still. Frame components are treated for corrosion, simply because they suffer the most exposure (and subsequent neglect).

I would believe that since MB touts the safety aspects of their vehicles, that they would design critical undercarriage components to be fairly bulletproof and those parts most suseptible to corrosion to have been treated likewise at the factory.

After all, these cars come from Germany, where the weather conditions during winter are not like LA.
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  #5  
Old 06-13-2001, 06:37 PM
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Did they say how they were going to repair the rotted frame? Last time I checked, if the frame was rusted out, the car was pretty much a gonner depending on its value. If tie-rods and idler arm were seized, how do you steer?
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  #6  
Old 06-13-2001, 06:51 PM
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I have found that underbody rust can occur without the main body rusting badly. The quantity of underbody rust seems to depend on the frequency of snow and salting. Most winters in Montreal and Toronto (I have spent many in both), the roads spend a lot of time dry, in spite of the quantity of snow we get. This past winter, however, it snowed most days for a couple of months. As a result, the roads were constantly wet with salty water. This is what kills the underbody. In 1995, I moved to a little resort town north of Vancouver. I took with me a car I had owned since new. It was a 1988, and before I left, I rebuilt EVERYTHING on it, including re-rustproofing the underbody after a thorough cleaning. It was in perfect condition. Well, in that particular resort town, it snows almost every day in the winter. In 1997, I moved to Vancouver and sold the car for peanuts. The underbody was gone. Completely rusted out. The rear crossmember needed major work just to keep it on the car. The main body was still quite presentable, and the engine had only 30,000km on it since I rebuilt it. I just didnt have the heart to do any more work on it.
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  #7  
Old 06-14-2001, 12:55 AM
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I would take the car to an auto restoration shop that deals with this kind of problem every day and get a second opinion and price of repair. there are usually several shops that do this type work in any lager town especialy here in the West....
William Rogers........
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2001, 09:12 AM
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Salted roads during the winter months don't do much kind things to the undercarriage.

I would have a second opinion. All in all, most frames are built solid and I wouldn't think of it rusting to the extent of it going rottten.
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  #9  
Old 06-14-2001, 01:57 PM
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Thanks everyone for all of your advice
I'll definitely go get a second opinion and post the results back here. I just love this car way too much to even think of getting rid of it
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