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Mercedes Benz - W123 230E & W124 200E - All fixed!


Peter C
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  • Peter C changed the title to Mercedes Benz - W123 230E & W124 200E - Overdue update

Buying and selling the Ford StreetKa and now acquisition of my R53 Cooper S has left me with less time to play with the old Mercs.

Last week I took the 200E to Ace Cafe for the classic car night. It was well received.

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And this afternoon I dropped it off at a Mercedes specialist in Princess Risborough to have the front wishbones replaced. Depending on how easily the old ones come out, the 200E might even be ready for collection tomorrow.

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The 230E is going for an MoT tomorrow. In preparation, I got all four wheels off the ground.

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The brakes pulled a little to the left. I removed the offside front caliper, stripped it and gave it a good clean and grease up (copper grease).

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With the caliper reassembled and brakes bled, the brakes feel better. Let's see what happens tomorrow.

The MoT tester is a nice chap but he is fussy about rusty springs. The 230E's springs didn't look great.

Front.

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Rear.

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I gave them a clean and squirt of Hammerite. They look better and should keep the tester happy.

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Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

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Fingers crossed for a clean pass with no annoying niggling advisories.

Having just fallen face first, unexpectedly into W123 ownership and being in the same general area as you hopefully you don't mind me asking who you'd recommend for parts and any specialist garages? 

I'm a bit old fashioned I guess these days in that I'd happily pay a few more quid to support a good specialist than just automatically buying bits from AutoDoc etc...

Can absolutely see why these cars have such a following though!

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  • Peter C changed the title to Mercedes Benz - W123 230E & W124 200E - Today was a good day

The 230E passed the MoT with flying colours.

The tester didn't even notice the aged driveshaft boot! @junkyarddog

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And I got the 200E back with two new front wishbones fitted. It drives much better now, there's no knocking from the front end and the steering and suspension feel tighter. All being well I will take the 200E to London on Friday, a good run on the M40 will reveal whether the adverse  reaction to road camber problem has been solved.

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13 minutes ago, Peter C said:

The 230E passed the MoT with flying colours.

The tester didn't even notice the aged driveshaft boot! @junkyarddog

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And I got the 200E back with two new front wishbones fitted. It drives much better now, there's no knocking from the front end and the steering and suspension feel tighter. All being well I will take the 200E to London on Friday, a good run on the M40 will reveal whether the adverse  reaction to road camber problem has been solved.

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My W124 had a wishbone replaced at the same garage and it drives lovely.

They also tacked my heater that is stuck on hot, but the repair only lasted a few months.

 

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7 minutes ago, Six-cylinder said:

My W124 had a wishbone replaced at the same garage and it drives lovely.

They also tacked my heater that is stuck on hot, but the repair only lasted a few months.

 

I like Chris, the garage owner, only met him once but he seems an honest fella.

Are you about one day next week? Or perhaps an evening? I’ve got a pair of W124 wings in the garage that are getting in my way.

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19 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

Fingers crossed for a clean pass with no annoying niggling advisories.

Having just fallen face first, unexpectedly into W123 ownership and being in the same general area as you hopefully you don't mind me asking who you'd recommend for parts and any specialist garages? 

I'm a bit old fashioned I guess these days in that I'd happily pay a few more quid to support a good specialist than just automatically buying bits from AutoDoc etc...

Can absolutely see why these cars have such a following though!

Parts - AutoDoc or ECP for service items, Hughes of Beaconsfield (main dealer) for other parts.

Labour - I do a fair bit myself, I trust a mechanic based in west London who I’ve known for almost thirty years or the chap in Princess Risborough that replaced the wishbones on my 200E.

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  • Peter C changed the title to Mercedes Benz - W123 230E & W124 200E - 200E meets Six-cylinder's 200TE
On 7/21/2021 at 6:15 PM, Snake Charmer said:

Is that any good now? Last time I went, there were hoards of muppets parked opposite having a sound off in their Bam Trams.

If you mean the Ace Cafe, then yes, it's pretty cool, however you still get the odd dickhead thrashing his 125cc bike out in the road whilst the big boys are talking cars.

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  • Peter C changed the title to Mercedes Benz - W123 230E & W124 200E - Blessing in disguise - RUST CONTENT!

I haven't updated this post for a while simply because both Mercs have been behaving themselves and haven't needed any repairs or improvements.

A few weeks ago, I removed the JBL subwoofer and Sony amp from the 200E and installed them in the back of my Mini Cooper. The plan was to install the Mutant sub and amp combo that Jim posted to me (guy who I bought the Cooper from) in the back of the Mini, however that went tits up when I discovered that the amp was knackered. The four (upgraded) speakers in the 200E were not enough to provide satisfactory quantities of bass, so I set about having the Mutant sub repaired. I ended up paying £45 to have some bits re-soldered and now it works. However, having installed it, it sounds crap and last weekend there was a guy at my local car boot sale selling the same combo, all in working order, for £25.

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Last week whilst driving the 200E along the M40, something hit the windscreen and caused a chip, right in the centre, which was very annoying. The AutoGlass man came out this afternoon and advised that the chip cannot be repaired because there are two small cracks too close to each other... The windscreen needs replacement. As it will take AutoGlass a week to source a new one, I asked matey to remove the existing windscreen today, to give me a chance to tidy up the metalwork around the frame. He obliged and I found this.

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It looks worse than it is. The majority of the rust is just on the surface and only one area on the nearside post is bad, where the rust had gone right through the metal. I got to work straightaway. I started by wire brushing off all the crud and corrosion.

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Then I applied three coats of Kurust to all corroded areas.

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And finally, I filled the large corroded hole with chemical metal. 

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Tomorrow I will give the metalwork another clean up and paint it with white Hammerite. The paint should harden within a week, leaving the frame ready to receive a new screen.

Whilst this may seem like bad news, I suspected that rust was hiding behind the screen and this is the cheapest and simplest way of sorting out the problem. A blessing in disguise. 

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Can’t argue that welding is better, however:

1. I can’t weld.

2. I have wob.

3. Not welding up a small hole in a windscreen post is not the end of the world.

4. I have already spent too much money on this car, getting someone out to weld the hole will cost £££.

5. A wob + Hammerite repair will be good for as long as this car will live.

6. Welding will damage adjoining paintwork, wob will not.

That’s enough, I’ve convinced myself that I’ve done the right thing.

 

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No fellow member off here live close enough, in order to make a solid 'Welded' repair ?

The rest of the car is in such great condition, be a shame to bodge this wee bit up.

BUT obviously your car, so if its a repair you're happy with, then crack on sir 😎 ... but do post more Mercedes related pictures, as they're both bloody lovely looking things.

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23 minutes ago, Minimad5 said:

No fellow member off here live close enough, in order to make a solid 'Welded' repair ?

The rest of the car is in such great condition, be a shame to bodge this wee bit up.

BUT obviously your car, so if its a repair you're happy with, then crack on sir 😎 ... but do post more Mercedes related pictures, as they're both bloody lovely looking things.

Holes in bodywork = superleggera

It’s a small bodge that I can live with. Until yesterday, I didn’t even know that the windscreen frame was that corroded. Bit of wob, Kurust and Hammerite and the old girl will be as good as new. 

If you look closely, the 200E is not that mint. It’s not bad but it’s far from perfect.

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  • Peter C changed the title to Mercedes Benz - W123 230E & W124 200E - Quality* repair completed

I've given the inside of the windscreen frame two coats of Hammerite. It now has five days to dry before the new windscreen is fitted. Unfortunately, surface rust has spread to paintwork that will not be concealed by the side trims. Never mind, a bit of exposed brush on paint makes for good patina.

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I would be more worried about the Hammerite curing before the screen goes in than the wee bit of wob! 😁 Unfortunately, Hammerite is not the paint it used to be, Smooth or Hammer finish. Is the screen bonded in or on a rubber seal?

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5 hours ago, Snake Charmer said:

I would be more worried about the Hammerite curing before the screen goes in than the wee bit of wob! 😁 Unfortunately, Hammerite is not the paint it used to be, Smooth or Hammer finish. Is the screen bonded in or on a rubber seal?

Last time I checked the status of the paint was yesterday (Sunday) morning. It had completely dried. The new screen, which is bonded with sealant, is not being fitted until Wednesday afternoon.

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4 hours ago, Snake Charmer said:

There's a drying time then a curing time, I cannot find any mention of it in the instructions. 

Are we still talking about two coats of paint or have we moved on to concrete slabs?

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On 9/8/2021 at 10:20 AM, Peter C said:

Can’t argue that welding is better, however:

1. I can’t weld.

2. I have wob.

3. Not welding up a small hole in a windscreen post is not the end of the world.

4. I have already spent too much money on this car, getting someone out to weld the hole will cost £££.

5. A wob + Hammerite repair will be good for as long as this car will live.

6. Welding will damage adjoining paintwork, wob will not.

That’s enough, I’ve convinced myself that I’ve done the right thing.

 

 

On 9/8/2021 at 10:54 AM, Peter C said:

I’m sure they are but a 12mm rust hole filled with wob is not going to affect the structural integrity of the car.

 

On 9/8/2021 at 11:40 AM, Peter C said:

Holes in bodywork = superleggera

It’s a small bodge that I can live with. Until yesterday, I didn’t even know that the windscreen frame was that corroded. Bit of wob, Kurust and Hammerite and the old girl will be as good as new. 

If you look closely, the 200E is not that mint. It’s not bad but it’s far from perfect.

Did you read my Huggy thread last year?  And you still show non-welded repairs?  On a unitary-construction car?  You're braver than I am!

And btw: I happen to think the work you've done is excellent and I agree, it probably will last the life of the car.  You didn't know it was there until you had to expose it; I understand that.  Once exposed, you had to do something.  I get that too.  I'm with you.

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3 hours ago, eddyramrod said:

Did you read my Huggy thread last year?  And you still show non-welded repairs?  On a unitary-construction car?  You're braver than I am!

 

Sorry old boy, I missed your post. Did you get much stick for your actions?

 

3 hours ago, eddyramrod said:

And btw: I happen to think the work you've done is excellent and I agree, it probably will last the life of the car.  You didn't know it was there until you had to expose it; I understand that.  Once exposed, you had to do something.  I get that too.  I'm with you.

Thank you for your understanding!

Since when has Autoshite become a forum about concours d'elegance? I though we like to discuss old bangers and how to keep them going at the lowest cost possible, bangernomics and all that, which is what I am doing. I have hitherto spent hundreds of pounds on having rust properly welded in structural areas and I am happy that my 200E is as strong as it needs to be. These repairs were essential to maintain the integrity of the car and to keep the MoT man happy. A well concealed small hole in a windscreen post is nothing to worry about. I have removed as much of the corrosion as possible, treated the surrounding metal with three coats of Kurust, filled it with a bit of wob and painted it with two coats of Hammerite. Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

 

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Seems fine to me. The amount of disturbance needed to prep and weld in that area for such minor benefit would surely outweigh any advantage.

The W124 is an intrinsically sound auto - and if you have never driven one a superb bit of kit. Except in the most extreme circumstances all body deformities in an accident in a 124 are designed to take place below the beltline. The B-pillars are in event substantial on these cars

I'm about to take mine on a 5000 mile European trip without a qualm. (I may blog here).

In the meantime enjoy some W124 crash test porn.

 

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  • Peter C changed the title to Mercedes Benz - W123 230E & W124 200E - All fixed!

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      First some background:
      I was brought up with no car interest, a car was transport and nothing more which resulted in a selection of poor cheap cars being the cars of my youth.
       
      Fast forward many years (just over 9 years ago) and I have a wonderful* Vauxhall Vectra estate to carry us about. Unfortunately it is crap and throws fault codes at us with nothing being there when it is checked (even at Vauxhall)
       
      As Mrs T is the main pilot of this chariot with the two little miss T's on board, it has to go.
      The hunt is on for the new steed to safely and comfortably carry the family around. I have a company car at the time so big journeys are not an issue.
       
      ebay is my weapon of choice to find the new family car. It has to be good value cheap for no other reason than I am tight.
       
      Weeks of research with lots of cars that are too expensive and too far away for easy collection end up in my watch list.
      Finally a possible is spotted in Fife. I go and have a look and find a poor looking but solid car. One previous owner and lots of history.
       
      The auction was to end on the Saturday at midday, we were going to be out! I decided on how much I was willing to gamble on it and on the Saturday morning I put in my max bid but straight away it went to my max bid, I was winning but it had three hours to go with no room for me to go up! We went out anyway.
       
      I spent the next three hours kicking myself for not bidding more while we were out as it was the first car I had seen that fitted my criteria. Fate was in charge.

      On returning home I go straight on ebay to find 'Congratulations.............'
      For the grand total of £500 I had just won this fine vehicle!
       

       
      It has 5 months MOT and after fitting seat belts in the rear for the girls car seats it is pushed into daily service.
      My gamble and subsequent use results in a perfectly reliable car that actually does what it is supposed to do.
       
      Even more importantly Mrs T loves it so a win all round.
       
      All my cars have names (most are earned over a bit of time) and this one is called 'Gwendolen' ( G reg car and from Wales originally. I hate the name but I am not going to argue)
       
      That sums up part one, more will be along later (probably much later)
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