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Old 9th December 2013, 22:24   #1
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Default Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124

I always wanted a W124, from the day I first saw it outside my college gates something about that boxy design always made me feel high; but for obvious reasons I could never afford one. Many years later i decided might as well own one. After a of lot searching I found this car two years back and picked it up; I had only two non negotiable requirements

1. Clear Papers, Green Tax and everything paid
2. Good Interiors with nothing broken or shabby [This was difficult as mostly it was cloth or worn out leathers]


I did check the car for obvious rust, but could never find any; now is different story as in 2 years I now know every nook and corner of a W124 and there is nothing about this car that does not scare me.

After Buying the car the first thing I did was just get it sprayed Black for cheap, as I did not want a white car

After keeping for a year with no major trouble I reached a point where I had to make a decision whether I should restore it or not; And I made that decision early this year.

I split the restoration in two key parts
1. Mechanical
2. Cosmetic

In the Mechanical End I replaced the following
- Entire Front Suspension
- LCA, Bushes
- Track Roads
- Rear Control Arms
- Rear Suspension
- Steering damper
- Basically all and any rubbers under the car
- Clutch
- Master Cylinder
- Fuel Pump
- All belts
- And many more bits


I mean the above replacements were not repairs; just change to get it to as close to factory fresh as possible, at this time lot of friends and family questioned why I would spend over 6 figures on a car that was old. Well that feeling stuck with me for a while, till last month when I decided that, I should complete my dream and put it through the cosmetic restoration

This thread will cover the entire cosmetic transformation of my car

The basic objective of this restoration is to deliver the following
1. Flawless Paint [paint booth, color of choice]
2. Go with a microscope and open everything and treat even surface rust
3. The finish needs to be show room equivalent, and it does not only mean paint, but also all and any rubber parts, clips etc to factory fresh
4. Interior no change, barring replacing my non OEM carpets to as close to OEM I can get

************************************************** ****************************


So let the story start

WagenWerkz will be doing the restoration under the ever detail oriented eye of Jatin


So This is the Pictures of the Car before cosmetic restoration, just a day prior
Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149648.jpg


Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149649.jpg




Lets the stripping begin...

Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149650.jpg

Do you see the Original White Paint, the previous painter didn't bother to open these panel, Thank God for that as he would have broken clips..lol

Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149651.jpg

Thats Jatin's Car in the background.. I love her


Panels removed with utmost care to ensure that clips arent broken

Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149652.jpg


Interiors stripped, and Dashboard protected from any unwanted harm; Do you see the Non OEM carpets... I hate them

Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149653.jpg

Interior Stripped of everything that can be, barring dashboard

Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149654.jpg

End of installment one...

Next to come all the rust we discovered, need to upload those pictures..

Last edited by DeepakMenon : 12th December 2013 at 16:17. Reason: Using TBHP Upload System
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Old 10th December 2013, 02:21   #2
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Default re: Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124

Wish you luck man!
Its a dream to own one! Any specific color decided? The car already looks pretty decent in its current state.. Eager to know how it turns up!
Glue'd to this thread now!
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Old 10th December 2013, 14:54   #3
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Default re: Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124

Thanks Na sh

Deciding the color was one of the most difficult of the task, I shortlisted the following colors, tried to keep it period from MB

I wanted the car to have a black feel in the dark, and a bit of different color in sun

MB Code : 040 [Black]
MB Code : 768 [Midnight Blue]
MB Code : 2025 [Azuire Blue]
MB Code : 154 [Carbon Black]


After sitting with sample shade cards painted in the above colors for weeks, I decided on 154 Carbon Black

Shade below
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Old 10th December 2013, 15:10   #4
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Default re: Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124

I will be closely following the updates.

Major challenge would be to have the factory "fit" - all nuts/bolts/fasteners/screws/clips in place and properly tightened with MB specific tools, all panels properly aligned.
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Old 10th December 2013, 15:27   #5
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Default re: Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravindra M View Post
I will be closely following the updates.

Major challenge would be to have the factory "fit" - all nuts/bolts/fasteners/screws/clips in place and properly tightened with MB specific tools, all panels properly aligned.

ya that's one of the challenge; hence my shopping list includes all new panel clips; fastners, new external trims, all clips to re-revited etc, wait till I share what i have bought for a ton of money..

Awaiting parts to be delivered

The only thing that is still worrying me is the carpet :(
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Old 10th December 2013, 15:42   #6
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Default re: Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124

Restoration is always something special and unique. After all it doesn't involve the same thing (read car) unlike the case of buying a new car.
Most of the new car buyers have same starting point this model, that variant, but a restorer always has a unique car (often emotionally attached) to start with. It's like while buying a Smart Phone many have the same make and model, there is really no difference (except IMEI number!). As the time passes every one has unique memories linked to it different desktops, photos, apps, ringtones, themes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepakMenon View Post
I did check the car for obvious rust, but could never find any; now is different story as in 2 years I now know every nook and corner of a W124 and there is nothing about this car that does not scare me.
By reading this, I was expecting to see an antique, rusty car but she looks in pretty good shape from those pictures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepakMenon View Post
Next to come all the rust we discovered, need to upload those pictures..
So there seems some surprises, waiting for the second installment!
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Old 10th December 2013, 17:59   #7
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Default re: Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124

Second Installment..


Well one thing that is good and scary with the W124 is that it does not show any rust in any obvious places, it is a well built car and has its more than fare share of cavity wax in all applicable areas which protects it from all elements

However if it does fail, it is hard to spot and since the car being a Mumbai car and for obvious reason not really taken care before me I wanted to be sure that there is no rust hiding under those splendid looking plastic lower cladding

So off comes the cladding
Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149655.jpg

The Rust hole in detail

Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149656.jpg





Causes of this rust
- Clogged left drain pipe near windscreen, I had just got it cleant for its first time this monsoon and it looked like in its life it has never been cleant


When this pipe gets blocked, the water not only overflows to battery area, but also from the side of the inner fender and get held in this part, no amount of MB protection can save it

SO clean your drains, every 6 months..


The same panel on the drivers side, not so bad, because this pipe was much better when i bought the car two years back
Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149657.jpg



So in summary the right side; has about a 2-3 inch piece missing; which was behind the lower cladding and can never been seen


So next step was to open the fenders as I was sure that the water will be unnaturally overflowing from inside


Right fender [You can see the damage by the water overflowing through this seam]
Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-kszb.jpg


Driver side inner fender [Surface Rust] still will be treated chemically
Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149658.jpg


Tiny rust on edge of front left door under panel
Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149659.jpg



So in summary a W124 though is a well built car; it falls into such despair due to lack of basic maintenance and such things are never known unless you remove the cladding



Next installment Rear End as one of the area i am sure of rust is the cabe on either side of the boot and it has been repaired badly before...

Last edited by DeepakMenon : 12th December 2013 at 16:22. Reason: Using TBHP Upload System
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Old 10th December 2013, 21:34   #8
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Default re: Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124

A small bit of advice, Please keep all those side panel plastic clips in safe place before tinkering work starts. Mark the clips where they have to go back. Make sure all vacuum pipes are removed & marked. In the process of patch work they get spoiled. All the best for smooth progress.
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Old 10th December 2013, 21:39   #9
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Default re: Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124

Thanks for this nice thread. As W123 goes, this one isn't too bad rust wise. But you're doing a great job of picking the bits apart where you will find rust.

I own a W123 and although I would agree to the fact that these older Mercedes are built like the proverbial tank, when it comes to rust they're not particular well put together at all. Although I do believe that the W124 scores better than the W123 which had a few more water traps built in.

Still, I find that my 1982 Mercedes W123 had considerable more rust than my 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider and that is saying something.

I get all my classic treated with Dinitrol and once that stuff is on, rust has been a thing of the past. (Touch wood!)

Looking forward to the rest of this restoration

Jeroen
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Old 10th December 2013, 22:53   #10
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Default re: Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124

Quote:
Originally Posted by narendra.vw View Post
A small bit of advice, Please keep all those side panel plastic clips in safe place before tinkering work starts. Mark the clips where they have to go back. Make sure all vacuum pipes are removed & marked. In the process of patch work they get spoiled. All the best for smooth progress.

You are right all the clips which passed my scrutiny to be eligible to be reused is safely kept; rest all I have ordered new; so I am quite confident with the panel going back perfectly

All vacuum pipes, electrical connections are marked, but I do expect some surprises when the car will be put together, but not really scared of that.


Jeroen, You are quite right on the water traps, in my mind W124 does not have many water traps, its just basic maintenance that is not done. Anyway on the rust my product of choice is POR-15; Once the rust is taken off and new pieces welded it; it will be given couple of quotes of this chemical before primer and paint. In my years of restoring bikes, I have never come across anything that is so bullet-proof as this.


Specially in the under fender area, post the POR-15, I will also have to reseal the seams with body seal to avoid it trapping any water in future as most of the OEM body seam seal is already flaked, Also to avoid future problems, the side A pillar seal are getting replaced so that water does not find it way from there and end up here instead of going through the drain pipe


I intend not to rush rust repair, Wanna do it as prefect as I can afford both in time and money, as I dont intend to worry about this ever
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Old 11th December 2013, 09:51   #11
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Default re: Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepakMenon View Post
Anyway on the rust my product of choice is POR-15
Hello Deepak

That is a beautiful car you have there and a very detailed restoration you have planned. My best wishes to you and your car. I just completed a year-long motorcycle restoration. Took a lot of time, effort, money and moments of despair. But in the end, I am enjoying the result.

Me and my friend have been trying to source POR-15 for a while now for rust-proofing the fuel tanks of all our bikes. Could you let me know how and from where you could source this? Will be of great help. Thanks!

Regards
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Old 11th December 2013, 13:48   #12
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Default re: Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viju View Post
Hello Deepak

That is a beautiful car you have there and a very detailed restoration you have planned. My best wishes to you and your car. I just completed a year-long motorcycle restoration. Took a lot of time, effort, money and moments of despair. But in the end, I am enjoying the result.

Me and my friend have been trying to source POR-15 for a while now for rust-proofing the fuel tanks of all our bikes. Could you let me know how and from where you could source this? Will be of great help. Thanks!

Regards
Viju


Below is the website for POR-15 dealer in India and contact email

Approx cost is 2.5K per liter



http://www.sdprgroup.com/por-15.html
zrustom_d@yahoo.com

Last edited by DeepakMenon : 11th December 2013 at 13:48. Reason: Email added
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Old 11th December 2013, 15:48   #13
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Default re: Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124

All the very best Deepak.
Please share all minute details of the work ( along with parts sourcing and prices) and your thread will become an encyclopedia for future w124 restoration projects.

Where is this being done, Mumbai or Pune?

Last edited by vikramvicky1984 : 11th December 2013 at 15:49.
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Old 11th December 2013, 16:07   #14
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Default re: Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124

Quote:
Originally Posted by vikramvicky1984 View Post
All the very best Deepak.
Please share all minute details of the work ( along with parts sourcing and prices) and your thread will become an encyclopedia for future w124 restoration projects.

Where is this being done, Mumbai or Pune?

Its getting done by WagenWorkz in Mumbai, I am handling all the spares myself


I will post all the spares & cost, don't worry
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Old 11th December 2013, 16:38   #15
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Default re: Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124

Part 3 : Rear End


So with front opened and thoroughly checked, it is time to move the attention to the rear end of the car; few things I always knew about my car is that there is some rust inside the boot, mostly due to

1. Old Boot Seal
2. The cave on either side of the boot; getting damp due to the seal


So whatever I saw was not at all a surprise, To me it was actually reconfirming that I had it right all this time


Earlier bad weld job; with thinner gauge metal with no rust treatment
Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149662.jpg



Boot from Inside
Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149663.jpg




Bottom of the Driver Side C-Pillar; once the reveal molding and windscreen in out
Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149664.jpg

Why this has happened, sometime in the past the windscreen has been changed, and for obvious reason, that area was never coated or even primered before applying sealant. This leads to rust and you will never know it

Also there are two type of windscreen sealent available, the cheaper local one tends to react with water and cause metal damage, So use only 3M or any good brands; and always ensure that if a windscreen is getting changed; the lips is painted or at least rust proofed



View of C-Pillar from Inside [Not big rust, but rust nevertheless]
Let the Restoration Begin - Mercedes W124-149665.jpg






This has been so much a experience for me; No W124 looks rusty unless you really check the right places; and not that these are bad rust.. Just that not what i want in my car.. I hope I don't have a medical condition like OCD or something


Still to Come; What we found on the Left C-Pillar

History : The roof had developed a bubbles right where the water deflector is there;


Last edited by DeepakMenon : 12th December 2013 at 16:25. Reason: Using TBHP Upload System
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