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  #1  
Old 02-21-2012, 04:45 PM
Total moron
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rumford, RI
Posts: 3
New to W108, a few questions.

Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum and a new mercedes owner. My name is Joe and I have been working on cars professionally for about seven years now.

I was just rewarded a '71 Mercedes 280 SEL 4.5 in return for some extensive motorcycle work on a friend's '90 Goldwing. Tow truck just plopped her in the driveway (180 dollar tow, guess I can't complain if the car was free), and it is quite the machine. Paint is matte blue (i'm sure it was shiny years ago..), with a decent blue interior. I will post pictures soon. It does not run due to a bad ballast resistor, which I will likely bypass with a pertronix unit.

The car apparently sat in an old woman's garage for a few years, then in my friend's driveway for a year. The trim is in excellent shape, the body is dent free, but here are my concerns:

The underside of the vehicle has seen better days. The rocker panels are rotted and will need replacing. The floor pans are rotting as well as the aero pans that apparently cover the floor pans. I am also worried about the trunk as one corner is starting to rust. I have the feeling the project will be a large one. I would like the restore the car to running, driving condition with a respectable, but not concourse body.

That said, I can not seem to find body panels available in the aftermarket. I have checked this site extensively and many others but see no mention of in depth body work on the W108/109s. Can anyone suggest a starting point for body info? How about common problems to look for? I'm sure it will be easier to suggest where to start when I snaps some photos.

-Joe
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2012, 05:03 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 591
Body panels are much more difficult to get for these than for the 114/115 etc models. I resorted to ordering some body panels from Mercedes Benz (floor, mudshields - still to be installed). Another source is K&K manufacturing, but they are more expensive than MB (at least on their website). Get a subscription on the EPC and find the part numbers for the panels and check prices. You can get lucky on Ebay if you know what you are looking for. I got a complete floor for $25 once (plus shipping). European vendors seem to have more patch panels available for the older MBs, but shipping drives the cost up. My front rocker noses are also toast and I think I may try to have a replacement patch panel made locally (simple u-shape).

Bert
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2012, 08:30 PM
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Location: Cicero, Hamilton County, Indiana about 30 miles north of downtown Indianapolis
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Sorry, but you seem to have a badly rusted 280 SEL 4.5. Great car, I really admire that model. But with the rust on it that you listed, (and there is likely more), I would say, "Get rid of it". Very hard to come out on top with one like that.
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2012, 11:01 PM
Total moron
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rumford, RI
Posts: 3
Thanks you for the suggestions Bert. Junque, are you saying get rid of it because of the labor involved, or cost and availability of parts versus overall value of the car?
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2012, 05:17 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: brisbane,Qld.Australia
Posts: 2,042
It's not that difficult to replace panels on the W108. major rust occurs in the rockers at each end and the front floors. Rust in doors is normal and the boxes at the rear of trunk rust. If the car is rusted up in the cowl or below the rear window,consider getting a better body shell.
On ebay a guy sells a copy of the W111 body repair book from Daimler benz and it has most of the nfo you will need to repair most rust of crash damage.
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2012, 01:58 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: near Scranton, PA
Posts: 5,096
I'd add in the frame rails to that, but that should be obvious. Any rust on the frame rails = bad. Your rust doesn't sound too bad, in fact it sounds like it's less than what many people drive around with on their 108s daily! Frame rails, steering gear box mount, shock mounts, spring perches, and any other point where something major connects to the frame or chassis (like the trailing arms) and B pillars are pretty much the major structural rust points, then you have other hard-to-reach areas that can cause issues like the cowl, windshield &rear window surrounds; the rest isn't anything too bad - several members here have made "Weekend wrenching" projects of turning complete rustbuckets into beautifully repaired trustworthy drivers!
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  #7  
Old 02-23-2012, 03:12 PM
Total moron
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rumford, RI
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Hah, just what I wanted to hear! Maybe it's a bad thing that you guys are encouraging, I have a feeling this car is going to eat away what little extra time I have...
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:32 PM
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With all the 108/109 cars being junked for minimal, non-structural rust & other issues, a little encouragement is sometimes needed to save good cars from the scrap heap!
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