For the last few weeks i have been making and welding into place the required repairs on this 280CE,but most of the work has been concentrated on the Right side front floor and sill structure.
As more rust has been uncovered ,the rockers have to be fixed before any more rust removal can be addressed,once again to prevent the car collapsing.
Inside it is the usual story,lots of foreign ‘stuff’ used to hold things together .Fortunately there isn’t much rust in the rest of the panel.
I found one reason why the car didn’t run very well . the two Lines in the pic,the white and Black ones,are vacuum lines for the central locking. the engine was sucking a lot of air at idle throwing the engine tune right out. An electric central locking had been fitted.
The Seat mount was held in place with a pair of roofing screws and two pieces of rubber which had been glued to the floor. One of the screws had missed and most of the floor and inner sill section was gone completely.
Most of the floor here was rusted away and once all the various substances stuck on it to prevent feet falling through were removed it became clear where the rust began and could be trimmed up.
The rust in the low middle of the picture runs right across the car ,so the only option is to remove the diff so it can be reached easily.
Because there is insufficient places to support the car while the back end is removed,I have it sitting up on blocks of wood.
More rust uncovered….
Further to this ,the boot seal was removed and the lower edge was rusted completely under some poorly applied filler.
The spot welds holding the panel on are drilled out then the skin is removed. The Lower section (on the right of the picture was rusted and covered in filler to disguise the damage. The holwe is for the forward bumper bolt.
Here ,besides lot of rust holes and attempts to disguise it with filler is a large dent ,the dark area. The filler is very thick here.
Some time ago I rebuilt this engine but during the running in process it had a rattle, which would only come at a particular rev range ,but was otherwise smooth. Once the sump was off ,the bottom of the oil pan was inspected and odd tiny peices of metal which looked like bearing metal . The rod caps were removed and the bearing,although not completely destroyed are scuffed really badly. Why?
My initial thoughts were to pull the oil pump off as this is an obvious oil supply problem .Although the pump was inspected atc when the engine was rebuilt I decided to strip it right down and two things popped right out . First, the round wear mark in the pump shaft housing . and that square hole . It’s actually a fault in the pump housing as far as i can figure .It would appear that this hole has allowed the oil ,once hot to lose a fair amount of the pump vacuum as it sucks the oil up from the sump . So,once the car got up to temperature and at highway speeds the oil volume would fall away although the gauge would still be indicating full pressure at engine speeds above idle speed.
Next step will be to replace the oil pump and bearings and inspect the oil pressure relief valve ,then reassemble the engine and install it back into the car.
The new engine and trans are installed with a new oil pan ,rear and front crank seals. New injectors with new intake manifold gaskets,timing chain and rails should see a nice reliable tow car for the owner 🙂 .New fuel hoses and clamps will connect the fuel system together .
The floor sections are badly rusted but that is not as serious as the rust in the bottom of the B pillars which are now disconnected from the upper structure seriously weakening the cars body. All can be fixed but it appears this job is going to take longer than anticipated.
Engine and general mechanical check over and Rust Repair
This car was booked in some time back for a mechanical tune up but the owner had found signs of rust ,which he asked me to provide an estimate of costs to sort it all out.
A price was agreed to and a start has been made. Although the car looks great it is in dire strait sand appears to have been sitting somewhere for a very long time in long grass or possibly on it’s belly.
Firstly a set of new sills and floor panels were ordered but thanks to the virus this took far too long for the parts to arrive (never use the Pitney bowes global shipping program,) while the wait was happening the interior has been removed to get reupholstered ,
it was necessary to start here as it was suspected that the rust was really extensive.
Most of the sills are composed of polyester body filler.
The Left side is proving to be very problematic because the guard appears to have been welded to the sill. it will have to bwe cut off to get access to the worst rust.
The floor will have to bwe rebuilt completely before the rotted out sills are removed,the car will collapse otherwise.
To remove the seats it was simply a matter of lifting them up and out,the mounts were so rusted they came apart.
The underside of the car has yet to be stripped of all the tar etc but it has been deemed easier to replaced the rusted sections first,to save time.
to be continued now that the materials to build all the replacements for the rear floor section has been ordered.
his W114 is a low mileage example which is unfortunately show a bit of rust in the fresh air plenum in the cowl .
Picture on the left is the right hand corner ,the insulation pad has been pulled aside to get a look at the damage. the right picture shows the inside with the hand brake mech on the side where rust has come through there too.
The Right side front guard has been removed to get access to the rust on the cowl. the hole at the top was caused by moisture getting into the weld seam over the last 50 years.
The whole rustyb part was cut out,revealing more rust inside the plenum which can only be accessed from the engine compartment. New steel is welded into place ,etch primed then zinc primed .This will be painted body colour and then wax treated.
The sound and heat insulating pad has been removed to expose the rust.
A bit hard to see here but the front panel on the cowl has been removed to expose the inside of the plenum. the grey is factory primer ,which was removed and replaced with etch primer then zinc primer ,to be coated with body colour and wax coated to prevent rust in the future .The Shiney grill is the fresh air intake and it allows water to get into the plenum when it rains. This has been removed to gain access to the entire plenum and repair spot rusting.
This is an engine bought to me recently for a rebuild. It had been rebuilt in the past but over heated due to a leaking and corroded cylinder head. Unfortunately the head has been planed too much ,so the only option the owner felt he had was to get the bottom end rebuilt with the block surface machined flat. The engine had already been rebored to 87.5 mm ,the maximum so a good used block was sourced which had already been bored in the past to a 1st repair size. this allowed the block to be bored to 2nd repair size using the pistons from the other block. these are in like new condition . The conrods have been rebushed which is necessary on all of these six cylinder engines.
A nice 1959 190SL which the owner said was pulling badly to the right has come in for some work, but needed a full set of wheel cylinders to make safe.
The Brakes weren’t releasing properly and the home made push rod was too long .a heavier version imitating an original ajustable push rod was fabricated. The device in the right picture is the fuel tank sender which had rusted up, along with a half a tank of very old fuel
A bit difficult to see but there are spots on the exhaust manifold…it’s petrol dripping from the carbs. Not Good…..
An example of what i found in the brakes . This was the right rear hub, the small round thing is a push point on the brake shoes, there is supposed to be a forked rod pushing on this when the hand brake is applied. It was behind the shoe,so no hand brake. the larger round part is one of four self adjustors on the rear brakes. i had to strip those and rebuild them as the thrust washers were broken. Everything is working as it should now. Carb over haul is next.
This is a 1973 W114 Coupe, a 280E which has had some horrific rust repairs in the past. The Owner has asked me to replace the rust damaged floors which will require me to cut out the old ones to be replaced with new ones.
the pic on the left shows the type of repair, tape covered in black tar ,which has to be removed.
Center pic shows another mess covered in black stuff while the right hand pic from another car demonstrates what it is supposed to look like.
Rear Floor Next to hand brake mechanism , which shows a paper clip being used to hold the link pin in place.
Another part of the floor showing a rust hole full of expanding foam .
Another Veiw under anther W114 showing what the Drivers side floor and handbrake cable pocket should look like .Note the rust free jack point. on the Blue car this has rusted badly.
Left side jack point and what they are supposed to look like. right is NOT what we want.
This is what the left side rocker panel end and floor will look like when repairs are finished.
How the sills and floor should meet .this has largely disappeared on the blue car.
together in the shop.
The Sad remains of the floor … Skilfully hidden by covering with bits of rubber, lots of Polyfilla and tar.
A sample of the debris removed from one floor section.
The battery has been leaking onto the passenger side (Left) inner fender and rusted out the floor. In this picture the rusty part of the footwell,next to the firewall has been removed.
This is the peice from a donor wreck used to replace the rusted part. As can be seen all of this has to be inserted to replaced the parts damaged by leaking battery acid.
This is the part that was removed, as can be seen it involved a lot of work with much panel damage covered up by previous repairers .
With the rusted part removed including the sill and jack point the damage doesn’t look so bad.
The replacement section in Place
The Circle illustrates a gap,this was where a peice madein the same shape as the Sill Section but 1.5 mm smaller has been placed inside ,then used to weld the two parts together and add strength.
So the next part is to replace the right rear quarter . this had been “repaired” in the past but wasn’t the correct shape and was full of body filler . The spot welds have been drilled out ,’unpicked’ . The center peice below the rear screen has to be removed to fix rust,but that comes later.
In this shot, the arrow points to a wrinkle in the B pillar where it’s been bent in the past in an accident . The outer skin has now been removed making this repair easier.
The wheel house has damamge which has to be straightened before the new skin can be fitted .
In this picture,it shows how the old skin was startng to rust on the inside because the window trim was leaking. Below, the area is indicated by the orange arrow .the yellow arrow indicates where holes were punched into the panel In the past, in an attempt to pull a dent out . this did more damage ,requiring the replacement of this part.
The wheel house has lots of dents made when the previous attempt at repair was made.
A customer has engaged us to rebuild his 1974 450SLC. This car has been rebuilt and maintained throughout it’s life including some time off the road in Storage. the paint is tired and flaking off so it will stripped back to bare metal,rust repaired and repainted before reassembly. it’s also rather special in that it will be four speed manual.
The car has been stripped to the bare shell in preparation for Stripping to bare steel .
The shell is very dusty after being in another shop for two weeks.