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  #1  
Old 12-30-2009, 10:23 PM
JiveTurkey's Avatar
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It Has Begun (250CE restoration Thread.)

Hello Peaches!
Proving that I'm an idiot, I decided that it was time to start my restoration on the 250CE once the weather dropped below 30*F. In three days I've gotten Wilma (250CE) almost disassembled to the level I'm aiming for. I'm bound to have questions in the coming months.

I havent had too many suprises yet (except for taking off the fuel level sender cover only to find the top of the gas tank- SUPRISE! or when I tapped at four different small rust bubbles only to punch a sizeable hole through both sides of the rear lower quarters- SUPRISE!) I'm going to go ahead and post some pictures on here. Here's a link to the whole set of restoration photos via facebook.
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=11429&id=329600945&ref=nf

Here's a list of items I (think) I need. Any help is apreciated.

-Complete red interior (willing to swap my brown set or buy the red one outright.)
-Virtually every rubber weather seal (the car was in saudi arabia for 30ish years.)
-sunroof switch (the little rectangle one on the center console.) found (Thanks CTH!!)
-both of the center console window switches found (CTH to the rescue again)
-one rear power window switch found
-sanity
-more beer
-possibly a wiring harness (probably not anymore)
-vicodin (anyone a Dr. ?)
-more band aids
-a way to play my vinyl collection (250 LP's and counting!) at my grandad's garage where I'm working on Wilma without having to bring my records there and back every day, not to mention the turntable, speakers, amp, tuner. If you suggest an Ipod I might hit you. You've been warned.
-New radiator (and most hoses)(might try to recore mine)
-fuel pump (needs to be correct for 250CE with D-jet, obviously)
-a new medium gasket scraper (I actually used one up taking off all the trim. None of it's actually bent thank you very much.)
-Help understanding the self leveling rear suspension, deciding if that strange little box in the back really is an SLS, then fix it.
-sanity
-White steering wheel (maybe)
-A way to sand an entire car without wanting to kick my own ass for taking the car apart
-fuel filter

Here's a list of services / shops I might need help finding.
-Someone local to eastern tennessee (scary though, but thats where I'm living right now) to get the heat / AC working. I'm thinking of trailering the car over to Rick at Benz Doctors as I've dealt with him in the past.
-Someone to overhaul the instrument panel.
-Possibly a local body shop to deal with the four rusty areas. I suck at welding, so I'm not really eager to try this myself.
Pic of Rust on left rear.





And finally...

"Mexican Americans don't like to just get into gang fights, they like flowers and music and white girls named Debbie too." -Cheech
Seriously though, this picture shows how delusional I was at the end of day three.


Clarifications, advice, and questions
-To those of you who pointed out "a complete red interior" might clash with the icon gold metallic, I'm painting the car silver. Any suggestions on how to convert a chocolate brown interior to a red one are welcome.
-How do I get the door handles off? I know swearing and getting cut on stuff is involved, but thats as far as I've gotten. Ditto the drivers wing mirror.
-Do people who do a ****ty job of putting bondo on cars many decades ago go to heaven? I hope not.
-When I said "overhaul the instrument cluster" I was referring to my speedometer which makes the blender noise of death.
Link to video of blender noise of death
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1ZhD6T0yVw
-Do I really have to use an 8mm plug type socket to get the tailights off? #&%*ing german engineering. (Hunting one of those *****es down where I live wasn't easy.)


Last edited by JiveTurkey; 01-04-2010 at 09:13 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2009, 10:51 PM
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Been there done that. Rear rocker patches are available from Sherman Auto for $6.
http://www.shermanparts.com/

Check your rocker panels closely, especially near the front. They love to rust.
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  #3  
Old 12-30-2009, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorsen View Post
Been there done that. Rear rocker patches are available from Sherman Auto for $6.
http://www.shermanparts.com/

Check your rocker panels closely, especially near the front. They love to rust.
I love you, seriously, love you long time. Now i get to practice my bodywork! Anyone who helps me out here wins five official internet points redeemable about the same time social security runs out.
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  #4  
Old 12-31-2009, 06:15 PM
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every picture of you has you holding a beer lol
if I remember correctly the door handles have a screw on the door panel and one on the side of the door. then you have to "undo" the connection to the striker. The mirror shoud have an access hole on the door, you should see the mounting hardware
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2009, 06:20 PM
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Yeah, the beer helps when it's 20 degrees out. Now about that brick of hash... Thanks for the door handle / mirror advice Panda, they're now out thanks to your help.

Removed Today
-Sanded down drivers front quarter panel (omfg so many layers of paint!)
-Popped out uber-dent under passenger rear window (the "bondo" brand dent puller from advance autoparts for $9.99 actually did a perfect job.)
-Cut out rust on drivers rear quarter
-shopped around for a gas welding set
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2010, 11:00 AM
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Many moons ago, I bought four complete sets of rocker panels for a W114 sedan thinking I was going to cut them up to fix my '76 280C. It was easier in the long run to sell the car for $500. The frame "rails" that run along the underside of the car were made of Bondo, milk cartons and foil tape. The rockers were just tape and Bondo.

If the taillights have that big black plastic knob, it should just unscrew with your fingers.

The door handle does have two screws. Take the one in the jamb out and loosen the one inside the door and slide the handle forward. I don't remember taking any linkage apart but that was 8 or 9 years ago.

Michael
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2010, 12:01 AM
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Didn't really get much done today.

-Took out both tail lights (you don't want to know where I had to go to get a deep well 8mm socket. I did some things I'm not proud of, but the lights are out.)
-Took off the remaining pieces of brightwork above the side windows (at some point someone decided to paint them in place rather than use masking tape.)
-Cut out a couple more pieces of rust, swore a lot because my air compressor sucks.
-Wasted too much time trying to track down some decent sandpaper.

Basically I just have a ****load of sanding ahead of me now. Once thats done I'll finish up any bodywork and chase down a few malfunctioning components while I have the car apart. I'll paint it next, and then she'll be back together. Some of the steps have been cut out for simplicity's sake... like finding the 93,693,650,286,529,652 different little pieces of black rubber I'm going to need.

Anyone know a good source for lots of the strange gaskets/rubber? Like the rubber for the trim spears down the side, and the rubber that goes behind the grill, or the tail-light gaskets?
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:01 PM
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That radiator is an oddball size, no other mercedes I have found has the same set of dimensions. I just happen to have one here in the back yard.

The oil cooler is wider than the later style, W123 sedans. However it's the same width as the euro 280SE (W116). The combined width of the radiator and oil cooler is about 1 inch narrower than the W116 280SE or 300SD sedans (as luck would have it, all three of those radiators sitting next to the 250CE one).

The short answer is to get your unit recored. The one I have here needs it desperately. The only reason I saved it from the recycler was its scarceness as a base for recoring.

-CTH
PS. On your to-do list is a double dose of sanity. Careful now; if you do that first, you might discover that all the other stuff is not worth it.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:29 PM
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Heh, today was lots of fun. I was hoping the radiator would be a somewhat normal size... Bummer. The one I have is probably a good candidate for recoring. The cooling fins are a little beat up, but it doesn't leak (much.) The oil cooler is actually in fantastic shape, so I'll keep the one I have.

Today I sanded the hood, hammered out a few more dents (I swear to god they're breeding.) and did some "precision sanding" on the cut lines aka, sanded down a couple of them so much that I'm going to have a fun time with filler later reshaping them.

Question concerning sanding... Right now I have all the trim off the body, and I made sure to give her a good clay barring to make sure I didn't sand in a bunch of grime. Do I need to take her down to bare metal? Should I sand down to the factory primer coat? Or is it ok to have patches of color amongst the factory primer (the color thats there has absolutely ZERO shine to it.)
I am going to change the color from gold metallic to something else. I'm planning to do all the sanding myself, and then have the car painted by a trusted body shop. I'm open to any suggestions on sanding, prepping, etc.
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:21 AM
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A question: How, and why, did it get from Saudi to here?
Good luck with it, they're neat cars.
Ned
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JiveTurkey View Post
Question concerning sanding... Right now I have all the trim off the body, and I made sure to give her a good clay barring to make sure I didn't sand in a bunch of grime. Do I need to take her down to bare metal? Should I sand down to the factory primer coat? Or is it ok to have patches of color amongst the factory primer (the color thats there has absolutely ZERO shine to it.)
No need to take it down to bare metal, as long as you have zero shine, then you've cut enough of a tooth to put a new coat of paint on. Make sure you apply primer sealer over any filler and put a few coats on so that you can sand it back again without going back to the filler. Filler will suck up paint and show through if your not careful.
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:35 AM
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Lettin' you know, I'm following your thread, don't ditch it. Not that I think you will...best of luck...
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by neds380sl View Post
A question: How, and why, did it get from Saudi to here?
Good luck with it, they're neat cars.
Ned
Old Wilma has a pretty long history. The only thing the previous owner did right was to hang on to lots of paperwork. From what I can piece together, she was sold to someone in Italy and driven there for about 65,000km, thats when the service stamps from the original dealership run out. Then she was owned by an American Serviceman in Saudi Arabia. There's a few stickers and insurance cards from Saudi.

The same guy left the military and took a job with the DoD and brought the car with him to Germany in the 90's. I found some reciepts and insurance cards leading up 'till about 2002. Then the Merc was brought with the DoD/ex-air force guy back to Tucson Arizona in '06. I bought her totally sight unseen from the Autotrader Classics (formerly "Old Car Trader") for $3,600 bucks in june last year. I had the owner's promise that it was safe to drive her from Tucson to Tennessee. I shipped the old beast out here instead.

I actually have lots of original paperwork, most of it in Italian, the service book has lots of stamps. The original warranty card is filled out, and I have the card from the salesman who sold the car. It was attached to one of the service books. If any of you want pictures of any of the original paperwork let me know.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by alabbasi View Post
No need to take it down to bare metal, as long as you have zero shine, then you've cut enough of a tooth to put a new coat of paint on. Make sure you apply primer sealer over any filler and put a few coats on so that you can sand it back again without going back to the filler. Filler will suck up paint and show through if your not careful.
Thats exactly what I needed to know and exactly what I wanted to hear. Gracias Al!
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Joseph_Conrad View Post
Lettin' you know, I'm following your thread, don't ditch it. Not that I think you will...best of luck...
Heh, Wilma's one of the few things in my life thats keeping me sane right now. I guess only other car nuts can understand how a massive restoration project can bring peace into someone's life. It's just sublime being out in the garage, listening to tunes from the 60's and 70's drinking a beer while bringing a car back to life.

This is actually the first car I've ever done totally solo though. I became an unlikely gearhead. My dad was a deadbeat, and I never had anyone teach me how to work on cars, so I'm self taught (peachparts assisted LOTS!!) Ever since I was about fifteen though I've been crazy about cars (pretty much anything from Europe, and american cars about 1977 or older.

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