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Schaefft's Bargain Barge Extravaganza - New Parts Everywhere

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On 6/11/2020 at 11:05 AM, Schaefft said:

You might be able to, Im fairly sure I cant as I cant even get quotes for my '92 S-Class, which sucks as most of these cars would be dirt cheap to insure. Might be because of my German drivers license, who knows. I'll have to check again when the time for an MOT comes closer.

£82 with Performance Direct for a 500 SEC for me, not even a classic policy, no usable NCB but I am old and clean so to speak. I went with them because they were the cheapest Confused dragged up outside Whitley Bay P.O. when I was getting it legal to drive home. I will have to go classic next time, it deserves better. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The key for the Merc finally arrived this week. Turns out it had been on the dealers desk for what must have been weeks, as I called them up a week ago only to hear that someone wanted to call me when it arrived, but didn't. We then scheduled a call for Monday, which also didnt happen, until I called them on Tuesday for someone to finally come around and take a photo of the VIN to make sure Im not actually stealing someone else's car. At least the guy was impressed by seeing a Senator B AND Toyota Celsior on one and the same driveway.?


Anyway, with the key here (its actually just a key blade oddly enough, I guess the price was too good to be true...) I managed to open the car and retrieve the actual key, and maneuver the 2 ton paper weight out of the way to move the Audi onto the drive. As you can see, the drive is just wide enough to fit a big body S-Class and move a bin past it. Perfect!


I did replace the S8's fuel door last week as you can see below, I didn't want to do major work on the street though so I could only start doing bigger jobs on it now. The trunk lid was first, and what a difference it makes! I've transferred every component from my old lid to the new one and with so much electronics going on in it, there were quite a few things to disassemble. Wanting to do the job properly, I chose hard mode and even kept the factory clip in zip-ties intact...

Corrosion and FILTH:


Things used to change that. No sponsors I promise.


Done and so much better:



Work was commencing on Thursday to rectify the trunk issue:


That sure is a lot of stuff to move over to the new lid...


The first casualty. This bulb holder was so corroded that the wiring loom just took the contacts with it. Need to order one from a breaker.


Trunk lid off. The S8 is now a Ute!


With the new trunk lid on comes the challenge of putting everything back together properly. The wiring loom was the biggest issue as it was routed through a fairly small hole through a very narrow section of reinforcement structure. 


In the end I decided to use the sunroof drain cleaning tool I remembered I had which was made to get through narrow passages. I attached one end of the wiring loom to it and just pulled it back through the internals of the lid, it really worked perfectly for that job.


And voila, the fruits of my labor, with the previous paint situation on the left. The terrible paint on the back was the biggest letdown of the car's appearance, and for just 45 quid (before selling the old trunk lid, someones might buy it for 20 quid, who knows) and a few hours of work, you really couldn't ask for more. Perfect paint match, perfect fit (although I spent at least an hour trying to match the shutlines on each side, and its still not 100% there). The rest did fit perfectly though...


The next big job will be replacing one of the front wings which suffers from the same clearcoat issues, I believe most of the frontend needs to come off for that. I'll use the chance and polish the headlights at the same time. Once thats done the car should only be a wash away from being very much presentable. I'll also start ordering all service items once I have confirmed that they havent been done by the previous owner.

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Waiting for calls from MB dealer stores seems to be a regular thing, Stockton branch have taken my number and not called several times including after being told parts were needed ASAP. At least I just took pics of VINs and showed them the phone when I needed a keys.

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Thanks guys, wish the weather was nicer, progress would be a little quicker. Its just too windy today to work on the cars. I did however spend a bit of time after work recently to clean up the Senator before swapping its space with the Audi. And boy did it make a difference! I've never really went as far as detailing a car properly although I had most products here. As I don't have a polisher I did stick to the products that can be applied by hand, and if the results of those efforts are any indication, I can really make most of the paint on my cars look like new again. I only took shitty pictures but I can honestly say that a proper wash, claybar and polish/wax made a different like night and day. I think I might need to get a proper polisher now.

Some before and after shots:







Its amazing what a bit of time and effort can do. The results arent perfect, especially with some of the clearcoat issues the car has, but its a huge improvement and will protect the paint for a little while.




Link to the stuff I've used. I've chosen it because it was well reviewed, and it really is good stuff. Just make sure your paint is properly cleaned before applying it.


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Some more progress on the S8 has been made! It now has a new(er) shiny front fender with much improved paint, and its headlights are looking much clearer again. I've also found out that the car must have been in a minor collision bsometime around 2010/2011 as the passenger side headlight and all foglights are much newer than the rest of the car. I think that might explain the bad clearcoat issues this car had on its front bumper, fender and hood (and trunk lid for some reason), some of these panels might have had a respray in the past which simply didnt hold up as well as the rest of the car. I've also used the chance to check the timing belt, which is very conveniently located behind two easily removable panels, and from what I can tell, things look pretty good there and dont need any urgent attention:




Most of the front end had to come off to remove the fender. Interestingly enough, Audi made it very easy to remove the front bumper which is only held in by two easily accessible bolts. Remove those and it slides out. The problem is that the bolts are steel, the threaded blocks they thread into seem to be aluminium. Two different metals and enough time will cause issues as you can see below.


Yes, the bolts was seized enough to strip part of the thread. I honestly expected it to snap any moment while undoing it, and only did so because I had no alternative, unlike on the other side where nothing blocked the impact absorber of the bumper from sliding out.

The headlights would normally come out very easily too. But once again rusty bolts meant that removing them took absolute ages, partially due to accessibility issues. The drill bits I bought to drill out problematic screws were borderline useless. I was about to just rip the headlights out when I realized that they too are attached via some kind of rail, and the bolts didnt necessarily had to come off in this particular case.


Once the headlights were out I was able to access another set of bolts to remove the bumper completely. The fender removal did require some further disassembly but there wasn't really anything too tricky there.


The replacement fender went on without too many issues although the old washer marks do not line up with where the fender needs to sit now, Im not sure whats up with that. The bumper doesn't quite want to line up with it either (fender lines up with everything else despite the washer marks), something that wasnt the case before, but that issues can be dealt with at another time when it needs to be painted or replaced.


I used the chance to clean, polish and reseal the headlights, although the newer one of the two didnt require much polishing action at all, so I left it. I'll put them back in the car tomorrow after work, hopefully thatll be the last time for a little while I'll have to deal with things up front.



Here's a comparison between the two after the polish. Still not quite perfect but much better than before.


I've also ordered new spark plugs, oil and filters. Both the plugs and filter were OEM items and needed replacing. I can't imagine these being original so someone must have spent some money at the dealer in the past to have the car serviced.


Also, have some better Senator shots, I really need to clean up these side skirts now that I'm looking at these photos. Also I still need new rear doors...



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
On 7/14/2020 at 10:37 AM, sdkrc said:

I went to view a unit near Glasgow last night and the guy was breaking a ming blue 3.7 sport if that's any use. He's got some other interesting shite too

I've actually found him on Ebay and was going to get the panels I needed from him, only for him to realize that his breaker wasn't Ming blue, his daily driver was. Unfortunately he wouldn't sell me parts of that...

On 7/14/2020 at 11:30 AM, dollywobbler said:

Great stuff. That Senator is an absolute stunner. Wonderful colour.

It really is a beautiful car and I'd love to drive it more. Still open for you having a go in it, it would be a good incentive to get it MOT'd to be honest.


Anyway, there are some great news! Not only has the S8 been reassembled weeks ago now (Im actually running out of things to do, as you can see below I can now play Gran Turismo inside the car!), the Corona is back from the dead (somewhat appropriate to the current developments...). I was planning to order the coolant outlet through Amayama, only to find out that they couldn't source it in Japan either. Instead I only received a gasket and thermostat I ordered at the same time, but not without paying ridiculous shipping, VAT and customs charges for them. At least I have a genuine JDM cardboard box now.

Through a ton of back and forth and parts number cross-referencing I finally figured out that the first couple of years of the Rav4 did use a very similar part, with the biggest difference being a missing hole for the coolant temp gauge sensor. There is a hole that is currently sealed by a blanking plug, but the thread diameters of that and the sensor are different, the sensor thread is significantly smaller.


Any help or suggestion would be welcome, Im not sure if we have any fabricators within our rows?



Considering how long its been off the road, the car really drove amazingly well. Everything inside worked, I was quite surprised to see that this car even came with a factory in-dash CD player, back in 1989! My high spec Toyota Celsior didn't even have that. I'm going to order more parts for it soon just to get the basics done. Hopefully we can get it through an MOT soon, I'd love to be able to take it home and properly clean it up.

And as promised, GT2 in the Audi. A 360hp 4.2l V8 should be sufficient to power a PS1.



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1 hour ago, Schaefft said:

There is a hole that is currently sealed by a blanking plug, but the thread diameters of that and the sensor are different, the sensor thread is significantly smaller.

If you are able to identify the two threads (most likely metric or metric fine) then any half-decent machine shop should be able to turn you up a small brass bushing to go in there.   You might even find that you can just drill and tap the plug that is fitted and turn it into an adaptor bushing.

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23 hours ago, Talbot said:

If you are able to identify the two threads (most likely metric or metric fine) then any half-decent machine shop should be able to turn you up a small brass bushing to go in there.   You might even find that you can just drill and tap the plug that is fitted and turn it into an adaptor bushing.

Im more worried that it might just not be worth their time!

Started to work a little more on the S-Class today. Im currently in the process of replacing the rusty passenger side wing with one I picked up last year (the other side was replaced a year ago). The replacement needed a few repairs itself, this was the first time I've done any actual body work "repairs" where I had to replace missing metal. The damaged attachment points were replaced /reinforced using fibreglass, another first for me. Even bought a proper respirator which was long overdue. The result is very sturdy and will hopefully last a long time.


Rust cleaned, Kurust and zinc primer applied:



I still need to give it a proper polish to make the clear coat shine again, but I'm quite happy with the result. The base coat could be more even as I ended up painting a much larger area than initially planned. I will call it a job done though as the difference in shading is not too noticeable from most angles. Definitely not in this photo.


Also naturally, there was more rust underneath, particularly around the spots the clips for the wheel arch liner are stuck into the body. I'm planning to have the front bumper professionally welded soon, I will ask them to patch the hole in the passenger side apron and hopefully replace the missing bumper bracket on the drive side. Unfortunately it cannot be ordered from Mercedes separately....

Crusty bumper bracket on the passenger side in the lower left corner. That one should be savable.


Its still odd to me how localized some of this corrosion is. It really seems like some areas just werent designed well for longevity when it comes to corrosion, while other areas still look brand new.

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  • 1 month later...

And once again 1.5 months have passed without positing an update (apart from my latest collection thread here). Which doesn't mean nothing has happened, quite the opposite!

The front wing went back on the Merc without any issues, With a final polish it turned out pretty well although there is a spot in an area I cant even remember painting that looks like it has some internal clearcoat issues now. If anything this confirmed that I won't  be doing any painting of larger surfaces in the future lol.



The car has also been booked in for having the front bumper professionally resprayed now. The front bumper mounts will be replaced at the same time. Most of the parts needed were available from Mercedes, some of them I am still waiting to receive from a Dutch breaker, hopefully they'll be here soon. I'm trying to save some labour costs by doing most of the disassembly/reassembly myself, fortunately its incredibly easy to take the whole frontend apart, the bumper is held on by 4 easily accessible bolts. It just reconfirms the feeling I got much earlier that this car was designed to be maintained and worked on, everything just feels so well thought out.

While in Germany I've also bought a few bits for the BMW and Audi. I replaced the busted bootlid lock and bulb holder on the S8, something that I planned to do for a long time, it just didn't happen as I couldn't find a breaker here in the UK who was actually capable of taking my money and sending me the parts. Got it all sorted now. Also, ordered many months ago and collected from my parents, I have finally have THIS:


Yes, its a fantastically preserved Nokia 3610i, the newest phone that was compatible with the phone mount installed by Audi. These phones apparently were also factory fitted in Mercedes cars from around that time. It wasn't easy to find a 3610i in decent condition that didnt have Mercedes branding on it, how funny would that have been...

I've also fixed my folding mirrors by replacing the relay, its the second one I've found damaged in the passenger side footwell, not even by corrosion either. Im starting to wonder what happened to that relay holder in its previous life. Have a look inside, it more of control module than a simple relay.


The E39 has received some (completely unnecessary) goodies, too. I've installed the floor mats I ordered when I was stuck at  Düsseldorf central station and they make a huge difference. Super nice quality and so clean that I don't wanna step into the car anymore. I've also replaced the gauge cluster bezel which has been scratched up and had broken mounts, it cost me over 40 Euros but makes a huge difference.



All scratches up, but also with broken tabs, most likely from someone trying to remove it without removing the screws first.


The dial switches for head- and foglights were all broken up internally as well, with bits rattling around. A bit of glue and they are perfect again:


All sorted, hopefully this has solved all the rattles coming from the instrument binnacle, too. Its another great example of a previous' owners screw-ups having long lasting effects on the quality of the car, not the actual production quality of the car itself.


After 6.5 years Ive also finally replaced the last bit of "customization" that was left from the previous owners (typically, everything was covered in M-Logos before). I wanted to replace the handbrake lever boot for ages but kept forgetting about it, naturally its different from RHD E39s. Much better now:



Last but not least, I finally replaced my Depo aftermarket taillights with genuine Hella Facelift ones today and it really makes a difference. Despite their similar design the quality difference, especially when lit, is like night and day. Retrofitting FL taillights isnt easy on the E39 if you want to do it properly. Hella offered a Retrofit kit (including LED ballasts) back in the day, the problem being that you usually can't tell those lights apart from the actual BMW FL lights which are wired differently. You also have to drill new mounting holes and literally bash your car's body with a hammer (where you can't see it fortunately) to make them fit. Lovely.

Dirty and pre-hammer bashing:


Clean and post hammer bashing:


Depo aftermarket on the left, Hella retrofit kit on the right. Bootlid and rearbumper replacements are waiting to be installed at the right time.


So much better looking. It took me years to finally get to this point, glad its finally done. Gaskets were all replaced as well.


Oh, and I fixed this ancient rust caused by a fender bender before I bought the car, Surprisingly, it never got worse. I used some bumper putty to fill the dent, I'm curious to see how well it'll last. If it works on flexible bumpers it should work here, too. The jacking points need welding eventually, I'll have it all properly fixed at that point.




Professional spray booth:


Fuel filler bonus bit.




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  • Schaefft changed the title to Schaefft's Bargain Barge Extravaganza - New Parts Everywhere
  • 2 weeks later...

Only two weeks this time, not too much progress so far.

I've started taking the front end of the BMW apart to replace the hood latches and release cables. I took the headlights out at the same time to finally deal with the lose trim pieces right underneath which were bothering me for ages. Somehow I fell into a rabbit hole and started to fix a few rust spots in the engine bay which there were plenty of. Turns out the car might have been in a larger collision than initially expected as I found bodyfiller on the wheel housing covering up dents. Oddly enough there were tiny rust holes in areas where you'd never expect to find them as well, especially on a car that has been relatively decent rust wise with exception of the jacking points more recently. I've checked the chassis rails and they look perfectly fine, I knew it was in a minor front end collision before but a dented wheel housing would indicate a much larger bang. Really odd!



Also finally replace this hose. Almost 40 Euros for a replacement, and that was by far the cheapest price you could get for it.


I've finally received my bumper mounts for the Mercedes from Holland which will finally get worked on next Monday, apparently the guy working on it had to quarantine. The car was already arriving a week late because I had to quarantine myself.


 It took me about 2 hours to drill out the spot welds and get rid of all the junk metal that the seller just left on them. Despite the extra cuts left in them by the seller these should do perfectly fine once welded on and rust proved.


On top of the work above I had the garage check on the parking brake as there was pretty much zero engagement. They've found a broken coil spring in the process which I had suspected for a long time. They also told me the car needs new parking brake shoes (which is true) and new pads (possibly) and discs. Now Im really not sure about the latter, the discs look fine to me and compared to a set of brand new ones, theres no indication that they might be worn down. Or am I mistaken there? What do you guys think? You can find a photo of brand new discs at the bottom.



Also, dont do this, it hurts a little.


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There should be a min thickness on the discs, can you measure them?

If these have handbrake shoes in the middle then the inside could also be worn, I guess you could measure that too if there are specs available.

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I've only got these photos from the garage so no idea. I will probably do this job myself so I'll check it myself another time. I just dont want to spend 150 quid on rear discs if they will make it another year or two easily. To me they look like they do.

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Planned to reassemble everything today. Well, turns out my Ebay hood latch doesn't have any threads in the bolt holes, grinding all progress to a halt. Lovely.



Instead, have a look at my painted brackets. Also lovely.



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Received a refund from the Ebay seller, bought a thread tapping set instead. This is the first time I've used it, and it worked surprisingly well!




Reassembled everything, put the headlights back in, cleaned the hood latch mechanism and things are all bueno again.


Bonus Mark VIII puddle light action. They work surprisingly well, even without puddles!


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