W108 Mercedes 280SE diesel conversion project

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pryantcc
Posts: 289
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:35 pm

Re: W108 Mercedes 280SE diesel conversion project

#121 Post by pryantcc » Fri Sep 09, 2016 3:23 pm

Things have slowed down over the Summer but the wife's Summer job has come to an end and hopefully I'll have a little more time now to put into it, things are already starting to move again.

The focus at the moment is on the bodywork. There is a bit of a combination of replacing previous bodging as well as chopping out virgin rot and replacing with good steel. Having the car on the spit is absolutely fantastic, a huge help and makes things far more convenient, particularly for the underneath.

So, work started on the passenger side sill area. You can see plenty of metal was chopped out, most of it previous mess:
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This is the back end:
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And some detail. There is good metal in there, you just have to dig a bit to get to it!
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Some patches going in:
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Then, once these were done, we wheeled the whole setup outside and blasted the inside of the sill and everything we could get at, painted it all with epoxy and coated all of that with cavity wax. I should say that the jacking points have been intentionally deleted. I didn't like having holes in the sills for them and I can just carry a little bottle jack for changing wheels and jack off some more robust areas. I've no photos of the blasting process, I'm afraid but just imagine lots of dirty lookin stuff, then dust, then nice painted stuff, then this:
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It's nice to know the upper sections of the sills are well protected by applying all the goop with the car upside down.


Then to buttoning it all up:
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The inside of the sills will be given more cavity wax with the car the right way up to coat the inside of the sill bottoms, and when the whole bottom side of the car is done, the exterior will all be blasted and coated with epoxy primer.

pryantcc
Posts: 289
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:35 pm

Re: W108 Mercedes 280SE diesel conversion project

#122 Post by pryantcc » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:06 pm

Hi,
There has been activity but it's not the most interesting stuff. Activity at the moment involves attacking small-ish areas of the car one at a time and working through the following process:
1. Blast off all old paint, filler and rust
2. Chop out rust and previous crappy repairs
3. Cut and form patches from new steel
4. Paint and rust proof any accessible bits that aren't going to interfere with welding in the patch.
5. Weld in the new patch
6. Pretty it up by flattening as far as possible so that the minimum amount of filling will be required at painting stage.
7. Eventually the whole repaired car will be blasted and primed before going for painting.

We started on the passenger side and worked around the car front wheel well, sills, rear wheel well, both rear quarter panels, driver's side rear wheel well and sill are pretty much done. Need to clean, protect and then weld up driver's side sill and move on to front wheel arch. A couple of floor patches have gone in too.


Rear wheeel arch/sill repairs:
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Driver's side rear sill rust and previous repairs removed.
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Another part of the work was to tidy up the area where we welded in the subframe from the E300 W210 car into this one.
Before:
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Then it was blasted and painted where possible in the places that were to be covered to try and get some basic protection in there. Wax will also be injected later.
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2 large panels were made to cover the front and the back and make it look more like it belongs. Then we dribbled runny paint everywhere to try and get it to run along the seems. I think it turned out great and will look even better when the whole underneath is cleaned and coated.
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pryantcc
Posts: 289
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:35 pm

Re: W108 Mercedes 280SE diesel conversion project

#123 Post by pryantcc » Mon May 01, 2017 10:30 pm

Would you believe there's more chopping and welding still going on?! Anyway, I've also been very slowly working on the interior. I'm coming to the end of the work on the door cards so I thought I'd put together all the photos of the process.

My main reason for starting into the door cards at all was because some tool had stuck great big speaker holes in the two front doors as you can see in this photo:

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However, when I started to investigate, I found that the original door cards were all disintegrating along the bottom where they were being damaged by water. they had also warped significantly with the damp.
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So, I un-picked all the staples that were fixing the covers onto the backing board and removed the vinyl covers.
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I then got hold of some stuff called Foamex. It's a foam board (mine is 3mm thick) that has a kind of plastic skin on either side of it. It's a little more flexible than the original door card material but plenty stiff enough with all the fixing points involved. The best part for me is that it doesn't care about moisture so should stay flat forever more! It's intended use is for printing modern signs onto for advertising, exhibitions, etc. I bought mine from a graphics printing place, only about 30 Euro for an 8X4 sheet. I traced around the warped old door cards as best I could and cut out new Foamex versions. I made holes where there should be holes, all done with normal drill bits/hole saws and a Stanley knife. Very easy stuff to work with.

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The next step was to stick a sheet of spongy stuff over the Foamex board. I did this because the original "stuffing" if you could call it that seemed pretty tired. It's very weird stuff, a little like a finer version of horse-hair, or the fuzz off a coconut which is bonded to the back of the vinyl door card covers. I figured the sponge would fill things out a little and maybe add to the luxury look once the fittings and stuff go back on. There were some little metal clips had to go on at this point also. They secure the electric window switches for the two rear doors.

I used contact adhesive for everything. Spread it onto both surfaces and wait until it is tacky, then slap the two sides together.
The door card:
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The sponge sheet:
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And then the two together:
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Once that's had a chance to dry, I trim the edges of the foam, clean up the edges of the vinyl cover with a rag and thinners and start to fix it to the new card one side at a time.
Glue on:
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And clipped in place:
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I've been building in a bit of pre-load into them so that when they are flattened out against the door, they stretch the vinyl a bit. It looks extreme but even warming the vinyl out in the sunshine is enough to allow it to stretch nicely and flatten out the card.
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This is a finished one. It needs a bit of a clean but I'm pleased with how they came out:
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User avatar
Luxobarge
Posts: 1780
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:12 pm
Location: Horne, Surreyshire

Re: W108 Mercedes 280SE diesel conversion project

#124 Post by Luxobarge » Tue May 02, 2017 7:49 am

Top quality work there, I'm really enjoying this thread - thanks.

Putting pre-load on the vinyl cover of the door cards - genius!

Keep the updates coming,

Cheers! :D
Some people are like Slinkies - they serve no useful purpose, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them downstairs.

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