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  #1  
Old 06-05-2000, 11:15 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Charleston, West Virginia, USA
Posts: 110
Hello Friends:

This weekend I re-learned some valuable lessons. I want to share.

#1. Never drive your beautiful 16yr old Benz with its clean and damage free paint work immediately after detailing it. Other cars/objects must know and be jealous.
- This caused me to get a nasty door ding on the rear passenger door Sunday afternoon when the girlfiend said "Honey, can you run down to the store and get some Brown Sugar and Cake Flour, Pleeeeeeeease." I ran to the store and came home with a horrible, "down to the metal" door ding.

#2. The car knows when someone else is driving.
- Later last night, my girlfriend managed to get rid of that door ding when she (and she was only driving because I had one lousy margarita - 32oz, mind you) scraped the side of my 190E into the corner of a brick wall.
The result: Long scrape/gash from front passenger door all the way to gas filler cap. The scrape is about 4 inches high in a nice taper, front to back. The door ding was neatly removed as the scrape runs down to bare metal in the middle. The rear quarter panel is slightly crumpled in the gash (can it be _slightly_ crumpled?) and looks damned nasty.

#3. All Females (car and girlfriend included) are problematic at best...troublesome, at worst.

So, I am taking the car to the most trusty local "I am going to need a small loan to afford you" paint and body shop in town. Any advice from you guys on believing the estimate when it comes back. I know I can get a 1/4 panel for about $200...I just suppose it is the paintwork that is going to kill me. Should I consider repainting the whole car or should these guys be good enough to do the affected areas and have it blend effectively. I am not made of money - I just refuse to drive a car that looks like a POS and I want it to look ok when the paint guys are through.

Advice? Commiseration? Sympathy?

Thanks,

John

------------------
John J. Meadows
'85 190E 2.3L 99k mi.
My first M-B, not my last.
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2000, 12:05 PM
PaulC
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How long do you plan to keep this car? A high quality total repaint would cost a significant portion of the current value of your car in undamaged condition. As you probably realize, color matching 16 year-old paint will be a challenge, particularly if it is metallic paint. Assuming the color match is perfect, no mean feat, a difference in gloss is a strong possibility. Owner's pride argues full repaint, economics argues attempting to blend old paint with new. A possible approach: Attempt to determine the true value of your 190 in its current state ("A"), add the estimated cost of repair/repaint ("B")and compare to the cost of another 190 in excellent condition ("C"). If A+B>C, start shopping. Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2000, 01:36 PM
Harvey Sutlive
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A careless person scraped up the side of our 83 240 last year. Our insurance covered replacing the front right fender and front passenger door and repainting that side of the car. The local dealer did the work. They have a guy there with 30 years experience and he did a first class job matching the old paint job.
But - the quality of the paint itself and the primer coat just isn't the same. And I'm not sure you can get to the original level of paint quality and craftmanship at a dealer or a paint shop.
The manager of the body shop at the local Mercedes place told us they don't formulate the paint the same way they did ten or fifteen years ago, because the old stuff was great on cards but too hard on the guys in the spray booths. This may or may not be true but I'm sure the guy believed it was true.
Whatever course you decide on you might want to discuss paint and primer quality and the paint type the shop uses before the work is done. Ask how many coats they spray on, and how they prep the car, and what prep they do, if any, inbetween coats.
Different types of paint require different techniques.
Good luck
Harvey Sutlive
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  #4  
Old 06-05-2000, 02:47 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Charleston, West Virginia, USA
Posts: 110
Interesting option that has come my way...before I know how much this repair will cost.

I can purchase a donor car, of the same year and color. Do you guys think I am crazy? The donor runs but is not in as good shape. I would probably part it out and try to recoup most of my cost, cannibalizing as I need.

Just how differently will paint fade in different parts of the country?

I feel crazy.
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2000, 03:32 PM
Brian16V
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quote:
Originally posted by PaulC:
How long do you plan to keep this car? A high quality total repaint would cost a significant portion of the current value of your car in undamaged condition. As you probably realize, color matching 16 year-old paint will be a challenge, particularly if it is metallic paint. Assuming the color match is perfect, no mean feat, a difference in gloss is a strong possibility. Owner's pride argues full repaint, economics argues attempting to blend old paint with new. A possible approach: Attempt to determine the true value of your 190 in its current state ("A"), add the estimated cost of repair/repaint ("B")and compare to the cost of another 190 in excellent condition ("C"). If A+B>C, start shopping. Good luck!


Paul:

You forgot ("G") -- cost of getting rid of girlfriend, thus A+B+G>>>C. Any way you look at it pal (darius), it's gonna cost you

Best bet -- total repaint (only if car is in excellent mechanical condition), keep it around long enough to enjoy it (and healing from the pain), then sell.

Brian

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  #6  
Old 06-05-2000, 04:05 PM
csp475230
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I feel your pain. I have put alot of work into my 1975 230 sedan. It is running like new. Original paint and it shines.
I was driving down the freeway on Friday and someone though something at my car from the side of the freeway.
BIG dent in my rear passenger door. thank God for insurance. Thats what happens when you drive on California freeways.
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  #7  
Old 06-05-2000, 04:23 PM
PaulC
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John: Given that it appears you have made a connection to your car, Brian's advice is probably the best way to go. I suggest you wait until you have some hard numbers to work with before committing to any particular approach to this matter. But remember this is not a 300SL gullwing. The value of most 1985 2v 190E's are not likely to exceed four figures for the rest of this decade, if ever. Replacement 190's are not hard to come by, so don't bury yourself too deeply.
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  #8  
Old 06-05-2000, 04:40 PM
DuckMuck's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Chandler, Arizona, USA
Posts: 804
Hey darius,

You should tell your girlfriend to chip in on the paint job =)

------------------
-= 1995 Mercedes-Benz E420 (W124 - Black Pearl/Black) =-
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  #9  
Old 06-05-2000, 08:42 PM
metalman
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Darius,

I've been a m-b owner for only a couple of months, but i still feel your pain. My suggestion, take 2 margarita's (32 oz), bite
the bullet and get the complete paint job.
You'll be glad you did. Cheers......

metalman
300e
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  #10  
Old 06-06-2000, 10:57 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Charleston, West Virginia, USA
Posts: 110
Re: Cost of keeping Girlfriend...I mean M-B.

Well, guys, it appears that I have become relatively lucky. When the accident occurred on Sunday night, most of the gash/rip appeared to me more extensive than it actually was, since the whole area was covered in brick dust and grime from the brick wall. Also, there had been some chrome fender trim on the car from the 17yr old son of the PO who thought (incorrectly) that he was going to inherit the car before his dad sold her to me. The fender trim, though gaudy, I had left on since I wanted to make sure none of the installation holes used to put it in were possible rust-magnets. The fender trim was badly scraped all along the side of the car, which protected the actual fender edges and structure of the car on the whole front quarterpanel. Heh. So, I got rid of the trim I was not happy with and saved myself any front fender damage with it.

Yesterday, I got my estimate from the most expensive, most thorough shop in this area. I actually had the pleasure of having the owner do the estimate personally. I have recommended at least 10-15 friends here and this is the first visit I have met the owner. After his estimate, which is still less than $1k, I am going with his suggestion - which is not to repaint the whole car. He was, in fact, very opposed to my repainting the whole car (even though he knew I would want his shop to do the repaint).
We had a loooong discussion about depth of paint and lead content and how many coats he will do before the clearcoat, etc. He wants it for 7 days, allowing for lots of drying and re-prep time between applications and blending.
So, today he gets the car and I get to worry for a few days. In terms of how long I plan to keep the car...I do plan to keep it as long as I can. I cannot afford to buy a new MB for the next 3 years...some law school plans in the near future...but when all that is complete, I plan to buy a newer E class.
I have bonded with this car, but more so I have bonded with the quality build construction and attention to detail that MB uses. I love their engineering and I love driving these cars.

I'll let you know how it looks in a week.

Regards,

John

------------------
John J. Meadows
'85 190E 2.3L 99k mi.
My first M-B, not my last.
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  #11  
Old 06-06-2000, 01:59 PM
Brian16V
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John:

Good luck and let us know how the paint job comes out. Also, I think your girlfriend owes you a bit o' "compassion" these next 7 days .

Brian
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  #12  
Old 06-06-2000, 05:14 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Charleston, West Virginia, USA
Posts: 110
I can buy a lot of "compassion" in Nevada for $1000.

Ok, ok...just joking. Yeah, she has been great. She was so terribly upset and freaked out. It was her first accident driving a car. I was more calm (acted so) than she probably thought possible - especially considering my babying the damned little door ding only hours before.

I'll see if I can't get a camera to get some pics when the job is complete (and if it looks ok).

- John
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  #13  
Old 06-07-2000, 03:40 AM
skioff
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i had an accident myself a few months before. my foot slipped on the gas when i was in reverse and hit a elcipse in the parking lot. well my car wasnt damanged, but the pos eclipse was messed up, a brand new eclipse v. my 10 year old benz, that shows quality, well anyway, i drove around with the small dent (the size of half of a dollar bill, give or take)

then my friend one day took a hammer and a metal rod and pounded the bad boy out. i scraped the rest of the paint and body filler, and sanded the rust off. good thing i live in arizona, which prevented much rust.

then i went to the local hardware store and bought a bottle of bondo, or some **** like that. i applied a little, then sanded it down, and applied a little more, and so on.

then i primed it, got a some paint, and it looks like i never hit anything. and the great thing is that i did it all myself, by the way i am 17 years old. i learned alot about my car. it was a good experiance.

sorry for the long response

mike

------------------
1990 300 e
clear corners
limo tint
2 10's
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  #14  
Old 06-07-2000, 10:21 PM
MikeTangas's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
skioff,

You learn alot as a kid. I started driving at 12, began to learn body work and mechanics shortly after that, hehehe. Been driving 28+ years now, still doing mechanic work, but a whole lot less body work. It's a skill that will stay with you forever.

------------------
Mike Tangas
73 280 SEL 4.5

[This message has been edited by MikeTangas (edited 06-07-2000).]
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  #15  
Old 06-21-2000, 05:40 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Charleston, West Virginia, USA
Posts: 110
Hi All,

I just wanted to post a follow-up on this saga, since it was requested.
Car is back...I kept telling the paint and body guy "Take the time you need...don't rush." His receptionist thought I was a nut.
He fixed the scraped/bashed area...several other minor scuffs nearby, an older keymark, a tiny bit (less than 1 sq cm) rust on the edge of the gas filler cap, and cleaned up the TINY scratch on the alloy rims. We had only negotiated a price for the affected area, which is all he asked me to pay. The rest came just for leaving the car there and giving him time to play. It looks great, by the way...and I have no paint imperfections on the car at all, that I can locate.

Thanks for all the advice, now on to the new member of the family...the 300D that I get to pick up in about 25 minutes.

John


------------------
John J. Meadows
'83 300D 260k mi.
'85 190E 2.3L 99k mi.
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