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  #1  
Old 12-16-2003, 03:25 AM
wielder of thor's hammer
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
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painting panels under headlights upon euro conversion w124

well, I just got the hole-less panels to replace the existing panels when I do a euro light conversion (my wipers don't work anyway). I am just curious what everyone's opinion is on my next step. I have three choices:

1. send panels to body shop and get original factory paint put on(most $)

2. get paint mixed into aerosol can and spray myself (less $)

3. buy can of spray paint from auto zone and spray myself (least $)

Now, my car is plain solid white, and as far as I can tell, a can from auto zone would match just fine. I do have a bit of experience painting automobiles, but I'm not even close to an expert at it. Another thing I have to consider is that I will be painting my grill insert black soon, too. The grill I am more inclined to take to a body shop because I can't seem to find plastic spray paint in a matte finish, and I want the grill to have some sort of chip protection mixed in with the paint (chipping is the reason I am replacing it), which I can't seem to find for sale anywhere. Maybe I can get a discount if the shop does the grill and panels all at once.

What would the forum do? As always, I greatly appreciate any responses.
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  #2  
Old 12-16-2003, 07:41 AM
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Your local dealer can order small spray cans of paint in the correct color of your car. Unsure of the cost but just another option.
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  #3  
Old 12-16-2003, 01:29 PM
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White can be tougher to color match than you might think. On a 124 you would have either artic white (147) or polor white (149) - it should be on your data plate. Artic white was a single stage urethane while polor white, on later cars, was a basecoat / clearcoat. Any air dryed paint, that is from a spray can, is going to be significantly more susceptable to stone chips. It just never gets very hard. Only with a catalzyed urethane will it be very tough. A flex agent additive will make it even more chip resistant. But all this - paint, reducer, catalyst, flex agent - is probably going to set you back at least $50 to $75 even for the smallest quantities. A Preval spray bottle, another $5, and a little wet sanding should get you a smooth finish. Touch up spray cans are usually laquer, the least durable of all auto paints. If you decide on a spray can put it on thin, with white primer - thin is less prone to chip. Another alternative is to drop them off at a shop that does a lot of Mercedes and have them sprayed next time they have your color already in the gun - for artic white this should be pretty regularly.
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Old 12-16-2003, 02:30 PM
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www.paintscratch.com
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Old 12-17-2003, 01:23 AM
wielder of thor's hammer
 
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Thanks for the link Ken300D, that site seems to be pretty good. Have you ever ordered from them?

I discovered that my paint is artic white 147, but I have clearcoat too since it is an 87.

I think I will order this paint and spray myself, but I have never dealt with a separate clear coat before. Anyone have advice?
i.e. how many coats of primer? how many paint coats? How long do I wait before applying clear coat? Will my car's white be faded enough to notice a difference when I put the panels on? (the car has been garaged most of it's life, and does not look faded at all, but I would imagine it is pretty hard to tell with white)

Thanks for the replies everyone
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Old 12-17-2003, 05:17 AM
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How about just leaving the original panel in there with the wipers. ? Mine's a 260E which never had the wipers so it was never an issue. but in the 300, does the euro conversion hinder the wiper assembly in any way ?
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Old 12-17-2003, 05:53 PM
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If it's clearcoated it must be a repaint. Some body shops will do this just because it's less work. Generally clear coat has to go one right away, can be a problem if you wait too long - but the main rule is follow the manufacturer's / dealer's directions. I doubt if you're going to have a fading problem - it's not that noticeable a panel. If you do you might be able to blend it around the corner. As mentioned I think you are better to go thin. If you go thick with air dryed paint on the front of the car like that you will have a half dozen rock chips on both sides within a year, assuming you do some highway driving. It won't even take a rock to chip it - a hardheaded bug will do.

Last edited by deanyel; 12-17-2003 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 12-18-2003, 12:03 AM
wielder of thor's hammer
 
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A repaint? I got the impression it was a
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2003, 04:11 AM
wielder of thor's hammer
 
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whoops! sorry about that, having computer trouble.

Anyway,

deanyel: I got the impression my car has a factory clear coat from the paintscratch.com website, because it is an 87. They may very well be wrong, but the real important question is, will it matter if my panels are clear coated and the car is not? will there be a visual difference?

Also, that site advised against painting below 50 degrees fahrenheit, which will be difficult for me to do until about april, so I may be going to a shop after all, but I'm still not positive.

Thanks for the input deanyel


Benz300: I have surmised from previous posts on the subject that the U.S. wipers are incompatible with the euro lights unless altered significantly, plus my old panels are quite chipped, thus the decision to go with the hole-less panels.
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Old 12-18-2003, 11:42 PM
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I went to paintscratch and saw under Paint Types where they say that most 87+ cars are basecoat/clearcoat. I'm sure that's true but Mercedes has some of the exceptions. Of course all metallics are clearcoated but Mercedes has had several non-metallics since then that were single stage, including Artic White. I think 040 black is still a single stage, I know it was through year 2000. The new Sprinter vans are single stage. I think single stage urethane is as good as it gets in auto paint, the popularity of clearcoat being largely an environmental compromise. The problem is that urethane has to be catalyzed and nobody has yet figured out how to catalyze a aerosel spray can. So in a spray can you're stuck with either laquer or enamel. I would go with enamel, which actually can be buffed a little if you let it dry for a few weeks, or maybe months in a NY winter. I don't think you'll need clearcoat - not to match the gloss on 17 year old paint. Paintscratch is probably a great company but I would guess that there's a number of auto paint stores on LI that will put color matched paint into a can, and offer more advice and assistance. Both PPG and Sherwin Williams offer the product - that is spray cans with thinner to which the dealer adds the paint. You do have to heed the instructions including those on temperature.
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  #11  
Old 12-19-2003, 04:37 PM
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In answer to a prior post in this thread, yes, the wiper assembly can't be reinstalled once the Euros are stuck in there. Not easily anyway. You might do a search. In the recesses of my feeble mind I recall someone having had some success retaining them, but with some work involved. Might not have been a 124, either.
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