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Old 11th March 2010, 21:52   #1
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Exclamation Step by step guide to restoration

Hi All

I just got a W123 300D, which needs restoration. Bodyline & body per se are in good shape considering that this is sitting in a commercial parking lot. But there are missing parts like the front grille, the Merc emblem from the steering wheel, couple of switches from the center console.

What I want to ask the experts is the "step by step" restoration process.

This thread can be an ongoing thread & shall benifit many of us, who have been bitten by the restoration bug recently

Any help shall be sincerely appreciated.




Cheers

Last edited by Ricky_63 : 11th March 2010 at 21:53.
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Old 12th March 2010, 12:28   #2
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Couple of tips from my limited experience:

- The mechanic / garage you choose is MOST important. Priority no.1. Choose one that has experience in your vehicle. Example : Just as I roped in a full-blown Jeep workshop to restore my Jeep, you need a Merc specialist for your 123.

- Further to the previous point, be ready to pay premium $$$ for experience, high quality of worksmanship and honest management.

- Before starting the restoration work, plan out a strategy on parts sourcing. It will either be online (recommended for the 123), authorised / official channels (expensive), the after-market (lots of support for Mercs) or Jugaad.

- Prepare a detailed budget in conjunction with your restorer. Eventually, you will exceed this budget. Guaranteed.

- Prepare a detailed time-frame in conjunction with your restorer. Eventually, you will exceed this deadline. Guaranteed.

- Your personal investment will not only be in terms of $$$, but also time and effort. You will have to personally overlook the restoration process and offer feedback.

The restoration process is not for the faint-hearted. Yet, the satisfaction one derives from a successful restoration is unmatched. It's like watching a child grow .

Good luck.
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Old 12th March 2010, 13:11   #3
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To Add to what GTO said,

I would say you can look at getting parts locally first, as most of the scrap parts dealers in delhi Jama Masjid area can be of help. Getting newer parts to restore a car is almost impossible and the restoration cost will go more higher than buy a fully restored prestine car of similar vintage.

If availability of parts are a problem then go the hotrod way.

Restoration a car is a nevr ending affair. it keeps of happening as in when time progress.

As per the checklist, try reusing most of the parts even if they are rusted and bad. Repair most of the parts and only replace the things need to do so.

I have no experience what so ever in restoring a vehicle but what ever i read so far form other restoration thread is to have patience and to keep the money flow restricted as most of these projects handled by mechanics are once in a life time oppertunity to get a lot of money.

What GTO mentioned by selecting autherised is the no nonsense way of doing things, But also keep in mind there are many such projects which gets shelved mid way because of high costs involved. a W123 is not a rare car and is still not a classic, so thinking the value will appritiate over time is not a wise thought.

If i were you i would not go to a flashy work shop but to a workshop who know his job well.

Pramod
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Old 12th March 2010, 16:03   #4
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Thank you GTO & Pramod for your advise. Like I said the car is totally complete, except minor stuff like wiper arms, one front indicator light, broken tail lamps, Merc emblem, the 300D emblem, endcan.

The engine is totally complete & may even start, which we are going to try doing once the car is in my posession this Sunday. Side beadings, all the glass is intact.

So hope to start by getting the mechanicals checked & then strip the car for repair. Fortunately this car is not rusted much, just a small patch here & there (fingers crossed), it still has original paint.

Will keep updating as we go along. Wish me luck.


Cheers
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Old 12th March 2010, 16:13   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky_63 View Post
Thank you GTO & Pramod for your advise. Like I said the car is totally complete, except minor stuff like wiper arms, one front indicator light, broken tail lamps, Merc emblem, the 300D emblem, endcan.

The engine is totally complete & may even start, which we are going to try doing once the car is in my posession this Sunday. Side beadings, all the glass is intact.

So hope to start by getting the mechanicals checked & then strip the car for repair. Fortunately this car is not rusted much, just a small patch here & there (fingers crossed), it still has original paint.

Will keep updating as we go along. Wish me luck.


Cheers
Your lancer restoration thread is something i followed very religiously , I hope you have some good take aways from that experience. It all depends on who does the job for you, if you find the right guy more than half of your battle is already won. Getting parts will not be a difficult task afterall.

OT: Is this the same project which you were planning to take up and left midway because the over all cost quoted was obscenely high than the value of the car. I do not know much about mercs and trust me i am as good, if not bad as my wife who cannot tell the differnce between an alto and a zen.

Pramod

Last edited by pramodkumar : 12th March 2010 at 16:14.
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Old 13th March 2010, 10:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pramodkumar View Post
the restoration cost will go more higher than buy a fully restored prestine car of similar vintage.
Quote:
But also keep in mind there are many such projects which gets shelved mid way because of high costs involved.
Advice worth its weight in gold. I've heard of plenty of restoration projects where the cost ran multiple times of the value of the car. No surprise then, that some were abandoned mid-way.

It's clearly a heart over head sorta thing and comes down to "how badly you want your car back on the road".
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Old 13th March 2010, 11:17   #7
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The reason I'm getting into this is, because cars of similar vintage with smaller engines (240D) are being sold for high numbers here & their condition is such I would not want to be seen driving it dead !!! Rust oozing out from under patchy paintwork, running boards filled with putty instead of replacement of sheet metal, mismatched headlamps & they call it pristine.

I was horrified when I saw such examples in plenty.

This particular car is physically in good shape, bodyline is fine, no accidental damage, engine complete to the "T", working or not - we shall find out, the only thing that has taken a beating is the bonnet !! Seems like the local kids have been jumping on it off & on :-(

Anyway, thanks for all the inputs. I am also looking at W124's & am seeing 2 today a petrol & a diesel. May buy another & keep this restoration job going at it's pace & finally decide which one to keep at the end of it or maybe both who knows !!


Cheers
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Old 14th March 2010, 21:24   #8
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Some pictures of the W123 300D as I found it ! The body shell , the bodyline, the engine bay, the interior (could only open the door so much), the front (toothless smile)

So this is how I found it - WIP pictures shall follow, needless to say I may ask the assistance of experienced restorers for missing parts !!


Thanks
Attached Images
       

Last edited by Ricky_63 : 14th March 2010 at 21:26.
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Old 15th March 2010, 00:35   #9
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Welcome to the pains (and relative gains) of restoration. Unless you got this car free or almost, else its not worth restoring as the expense incolved will be many times more than getting a similar running car in great condition.

To add to what Gto and the others have rightly advised;

Check why the car has been left like that. Presuming the papers must be in order, no one would just leave a car to rot like this. It must have had some major expense involving more than just missing beadings or suspension. Cant see if its an auto or a manual. IF an auto check the gearbox, even if manual, check it. Before all this it is very important to check if there is any problem in the engine. A full engine rebuild (quality) with all new parts and labour should cost max 70-75K. The gearbox if busted, should be in the vicinity of 35K. I can see the interiors are really dirty. Maybe its just dust. Pre0-owned grilles, dash, steering wheel etc of the W123 is very easily available in Bombay. Let me know what you nee din case you cant source it in Delhi. New parts are available a plenty in Delhi too. Just make sure you get the original stuff.

Would be glad to help you out in any way i can

All the best.
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Old 15th March 2010, 10:56   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky_63 View Post
Some pictures of the W123 300D as I found it ! The body shell , the bodyline, the engine bay, the interior (could only open the door so much), the front (toothless smile)

So this is how I found it - WIP pictures shall follow, needless to say I may ask the assistance of experienced restorers for missing parts !!


Thanks
Ricky In my honest openion, this car looks bad, The car requires a lot of body work and it can be seen pic there is a lot of rust in various areas. Getting this back in shape will get you a lot of sleepless nights, More over that you have to personally follow the tinkerers work to ensure that he attends to each tiny spec of rust.

Getting the parts would not be a problem, Take the metro and head to Jama masjid area, take a nice stroll in the junk market and enquire the price for each item of your interest. This would give you an idea of what kind of overall expenses to look at interms of the cheap route to getting parts for restoration. This might serve as a small motivation as well .

Keep us posted.


Pramod
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Old 15th March 2010, 15:22   #11
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@V-16
Thanks for the advice & the offer to help. Will surely take it up if the need arises.

@Pramod
Thanks for the advice. Will keep updating this thread, as & when there is something of consequense



Cheers
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Old 18th March 2010, 21:34   #12
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I now it is a bit early to ask or ponder till the bodywork is complete, but what would a GOOD paintjob cost ?? Atleast OE spec if not better. I have quotes ranging from 35k to close to 85K. I was thinking a dark blue (Navy) or a darkish Maroon.

They both look regal to my mind. What say ??


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Last edited by Ricky_63 : 18th March 2010 at 21:35.
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Old 18th March 2010, 22:18   #13
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Ricky, Pramod might be right.

But until she is washed thoroughly, you couldn't estimate a better opinion. I think you can give her a good wash thoroughly & check her out before you start with any negotiations. Looks like it has been parked in a garage parking, shouldn't be a problem for a quick wash & inspection.

About painting, a good paint job with all the niggles of overcoming rusting issues & minor tinkering jobs should cost you somewhere around 40-45k. Don't cross that limit, else they will rip you wallet until you run when you see such stalled beauties.

With the mechanicals, I am not sure about the pricing much. But you should get it done under close observation in getting jobs such as lathe works & sourcing the spares almost all by yourself & not relying on the mechanic or anybody else.

The body line looks impressive on the outer surface. But check extensively around the crevices like bonnet/fender, firewall/bonnet, flooring/running-board, mudguard/flooring, mudguard/quarter-panels after a thorough wash. These are the most vulnerable areas of rusting after it is has parked for a longer time / badly maintained. I think you should see Pavan_Kadam's merc. It was in the worst state to restore. But he has taken it out well.

Be prepared with the worse, but expect the best.

Best of luck with the project!

Last edited by tantragna : 18th March 2010 at 22:24.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 10:18   #14
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The car has reached the garage. From the looks of it we may be able to start the engine - keeping my fingers crossed.

As for the colour - this is close to the colour I had in mind. But definately deeper..What do you guys think ??
Attached Images
 

Last edited by Ricky_63 : 22nd March 2010 at 10:21.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 21:12   #15
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Anyone got pointers to where one can have the car sandblasted here in gurgaon / delhi - it surely seems worth the while. Paint removers don't always get to the root or do they ?


Cheers
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