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Thread: 190SL Project (I have no idea what I'm doing!!!!)

  1. #1
    Stu Wilkinson piscola90's Avatar
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    Talking 190SL Project (I have no idea what I'm doing!!!!)

    Welcome to my thread on my 190SL (non purist) restoration.

    With no prior restoration experience, or knowledge of 190SL/Classics all the work pictured below is testament to the group members here, and the help of a good friend.

    I hope you enjoy it
    Last edited by piscola90; 07-19-2011 at 05:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Stu Wilkinson piscola90's Avatar
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    The arrival and Stripping:
    Preping for paint:

    http://i33.tinypic.com/149ower.jpg

    http://i38.tinypic.com/15oarty.jpg

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    http://i38.tinypic.com/2cr0wsi.jpg
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    Last edited by piscola90; 03-08-2011 at 07:13 AM.

  3. #3
    Registered User Harold's Avatar
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    Welcome to the 190sl world. I hope you have mega bucks to bring this car back to life. You need to acquaint yourself with the following sites:
    http://www.190slgroup.com/tech/pic_part/num/pic_part.htm
    http://www.190slgroup.com/tech/tech.htm
    You can get parts from our sponsors:
    http://www.190slgroup.com/sponsors.htm
    I would also suggest you purchase a copy of the club Book. It contains the information you will need to restore your car. If it is not in the book, you can get the information from the forum.
    The best way to obtain info is to use the search feature on the forum.
    http://www.190slgroup.com/store/shop/shop/item.asp?itemid=2
    This info should get you started in the right direction.

    Also notify Ed Bertrand of the #’s on your data plates.
    http://www.190slgroup.com/tech/data.htm


    Good luck on your project.
    Last edited by Harold; 10-19-2009 at 05:36 PM.
    Harold Hodnett
    Peachtree Concours d'Elegance 2014 Best In Class
    Peachtree Concours d'Elegance 2014 Peoples Choice

    "Is a restoration ever finished?"
    1955 190SL, Chassis #01247 - restored 2009 DB350/1068
    See Article In News Letter Nov-Dec 2004 Rarer Than Rare
    1965 Mustang Convertible - restored 2008
    1966 Mustang Coupe - In process of restoration
    1946 Chevy P U - In process of restoration
    1953 MG TD - In process of restoration
    Mem: MB Club of America & Peachtree Section

  4. #4
    of the West Walter's Avatar
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    I trust you are fitting the various parts to match your body work as you go, right? These are basically hand built cars. Yours has been tweaked in the nose, it needs extra special attention, especially in the fit department. Basically you must bolt everything that goes to the body before you apply too much material.

    (PS: That nose looks like an overlap job. Did you cut it open and butt weld it so it will not rust again?????)

    I urge you to get the club books and video to get a better idea of what to worry about with these cars.

    Are you having fun????
    Walt in the West says: Don't ask: "Use the SEARCH Luke"
    1959 190SL DB050 with 333 leather blue ("It's Alive!" - 653 miles) Chassis 14445
    1961 300SL Roadster DB608 with red - fresh brakes and rebuilt engine hung in - more work coming!

  5. #5
    Registered User Harold's Avatar
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    Where are you located?
    What year is your car?

    p.s - can you get images to display on without need for clicking to open????
    In the post reply section,
    Go to: Manage Attachments
    Click on Browse to locate your photo
    You can post 10 photo's at a time
    After your selection(s) are made, click UPLOAD
    NOTE: You cannot exceed the file sizes (per item) shown in the chart.
    After upload is complete You will be told.
    close window and then click submit.
    Here is my car (before & after). It is a 1955.
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    Harold Hodnett
    Peachtree Concours d'Elegance 2014 Best In Class
    Peachtree Concours d'Elegance 2014 Peoples Choice

    "Is a restoration ever finished?"
    1955 190SL, Chassis #01247 - restored 2009 DB350/1068
    See Article In News Letter Nov-Dec 2004 Rarer Than Rare
    1965 Mustang Convertible - restored 2008
    1966 Mustang Coupe - In process of restoration
    1946 Chevy P U - In process of restoration
    1953 MG TD - In process of restoration
    Mem: MB Club of America & Peachtree Section

  6. #6
    Graham Keene
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    Stu, you are about to face many decisions that will no doubt weigh heavily on your mind. As you now own the car and have taken her down to the gunnels, you are about to ride the slippery slope of the seemingly never ending expense of restoring this car. There is unfortunately no way around it. A shabby job, cheaply done with little knowlwdge of the car will render you with disappointment and little value in the end. Tight budget and Mercedes are not even in the same vocabulary. You have a beautiful car that with the right level of knowlege, patience and money can bring you a lot of happiness. As you learn more about the level of detail that is required to do it right you will begin to appreciate what I am saying. I do not wish to discourage you but rather caution you to not be in a hurry and if need be make it a multi year project that allows you to fund the project as needed. This how most of us have done it.

    You will find this group to be most helpful in guiding you through the maze. Use the search function first to answer your questions but don't be afraid to ask if you can't find what you are looking for. You will find documented step by step restoration threads with every picture you could imagine. This is definately the place to be to help you through. Good luck.

    Oh, and one more thing...everyone has an opinion and thinks it is right.
    Graham Keene
    61 190Sl
    57 220S Cabriolet

  7. #7
    Stu Wilkinson piscola90's Avatar
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    For Sale: 190SL, partly restored. One scared owner. Needs attention.

  8. #8
    Stu Wilkinson piscola90's Avatar
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    No i'm joking of course. Well you guys have definatley put the fear into me!!!

    Harold, thank your for all those links! I'll be looking at those in my free evenings. Thats a big help. The car is located at a unit near gatwick (are any of you close?). It was imported from California and I was told that the papers show it to be a 1963-4 car, but that it may have been build in 1958. I'm not sure why 1958, or what proof they have? The owner died from old age and left the car to the widow, how sold it to the importer I purchased it from for £18k.

    Walter, I'm not sure about the nose!!?? the nose and drivers wing are clearly 'repairs' and were spot/tac welded on (edge to edge). As you spotted there was rust on one of these joins. The repaired parts where never removed, but the welds and seams were cleaned, and then seam welded. The heat from seam welding pulled the meeting panels in to form a small dip. This dip is the reason for large areas of filler on the front wings. I've not re-fitted any parts!!? worrying!!? however, the car had every part on it before I started, so I assumed that ever part will go back on? Can the shell change shape!?

    Graham K, What do you think will be the big costs? I'm worried that I have overlooked some major costs. I'm going to be honest, I never researched the cost of SL parts (head in the sand tactic). The car has every single bit on it (or in the boot), all the bushes and rubbers need changing, and the front screen is cracked. The heater box is cardboard and very very tired... the interia is also very very tired and will be re-done. The boot floor needs repair/replacing along with the battery box and pedal panels. I'm guestimating that these parts will cost me around £2500 or less, but I've only looked at the metal parts for the shell? All fitting and man hours will be £0.

    Questions:
    the boot had been collecting water. The spare wheel wells are badly pitted and have holes in. The boot floor is bady pitted on some areas but fine in others. Are ther removing one spare wheel well there was a lot of rust visable in the join (where the media blasting didnt get to). It looks like a massive job to remove the boot floor (which could be filled and repaired). Would you advise to remove this now, or repair, treat and paint, assuming that sealed rust in joins would be contained?

    I've been tearing my hair out as I've put too much money into this project and its been getting worse and worse, but to see things being repaired and restored has been fantastic, its starting to become more rewarding and i can't wait to see paint on the car.

    Thanks again for all the help so far.


    Stu
    Last edited by piscola90; 07-19-2011 at 05:59 AM.

  9. #9
    Registered User Harold's Avatar
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    Stu,
    I forgot to mention in my previous post that you can go into the Parts Wanted section of the Forum and place your needs there. You never know what will pop up. Also, keep an eye on the Parts For Sale Section.
    Harold Hodnett
    Peachtree Concours d'Elegance 2014 Best In Class
    Peachtree Concours d'Elegance 2014 Peoples Choice

    "Is a restoration ever finished?"
    1955 190SL, Chassis #01247 - restored 2009 DB350/1068
    See Article In News Letter Nov-Dec 2004 Rarer Than Rare
    1965 Mustang Convertible - restored 2008
    1966 Mustang Coupe - In process of restoration
    1946 Chevy P U - In process of restoration
    1953 MG TD - In process of restoration
    Mem: MB Club of America & Peachtree Section

  10. #10
    Stu Wilkinson piscola90's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Stu,
    I forgot to mention in my previous post that you can go into the Parts Wanted section of the Forum and place your needs there. You never know what will pop up. Also, keep an eye on the Parts For Sale Section.
    Thanks Harold,

    Yes I have had some very useful help on the boot floor parts from the 'wanted' section. I'm yet to research the the bushes and rubbers though. is there a 'full rubbers' kit/deal anywhere to your knowledge?

    Stu
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    Last edited by piscola90; 07-19-2011 at 05:58 AM.

  11. #11
    of the West Walter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by piscola90 View Post
    Walter, I'm not sure about the nose!!??
    Neither am I!

    Quote Originally Posted by piscola90 View Post
    The heat from seam welding pulled the meeting panels in to form a small dip. This dip is the reason for large areas of filler on the front wings.
    Fine. As long as filler was not just smeared on with out any work. I might have opted for lead there if more than 3mm of filler was needed. But on a budget it will be fine for many many years.

    Quote Originally Posted by piscola90 View Post
    I've not re-fitted any parts!!? worrying!!? however, the car had every part on it before I started, so I assumed that ever part will go back on? Can the shell change shape!?
    In your case the shell will likely not twisted much. But I specifically want you to fit the bonnet (front lid or hood in American) to assure the gaps are good. Next I would put the head lamp assemblies and chrome trim rings on to verify correct fit. (later nose panels need leading to have good trim ring fit as the dies wore out.) Fit the bumpers too. Bascially you should put all the big pieces on to be sure they fit right. It takes little time and makes most of us feel better.

    I noticed you may not have removed the rocker panels. Most of us typically remove them to clean and rust proof. This is a task you can do your self, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by piscola90 View Post
    Questions:
    the boot had been collecting water. The spare wheel wells are badly pitted and have holes in. The boot floor is bady pitted on some areas but fine in others. Are ther removing one spare wheel well there was a lot of rust visable in the join (where the media blasting didnt get to). It looks like a massive job to remove the boot floor (which could be filled and repaired). Would you advise to remove this now, or repair, treat and paint, assuming that sealed rust in joins would be contained?
    Don't panic. This is an area you can patch. You hardly see it. Mine is thin in places too. Nothing structural to worry about.

    BUT BUT BUT, here is where communal tribal knowledge comes into place. Did you inspect the rear axle trailing arm areas for structural integrity?

    It is the frame of the car we worry must about.

    There are lots of things you can do to help your self and be down right cheap about it also. That is why I suggest reading the club books and viewing the video. Also, as others have mentioned, read the website here to find out things too.

    "Keep having fun!"
    Walt in the West says: Don't ask: "Use the SEARCH Luke"
    1959 190SL DB050 with 333 leather blue ("It's Alive!" - 653 miles) Chassis 14445
    1961 300SL Roadster DB608 with red - fresh brakes and rebuilt engine hung in - more work coming!

  12. #12
    Ainsworth
    Guest
    Hi Stu,
    Looks like a fun project. I would agree with the rest of the group, the club books are a great investment – especially where you're at in the resto process.

    Another link to look at is John L's complete restoration thread. Probably take you several days to get through, covers pretty much every aspect.
    Best of luck, Bill

  13. #13
    Registered User
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    You can buy most of the rubbers direct from MB and they're not always expensive.
    Contact Mervyn at Jacksons of Bournmouth.
    Judging from the pictures you have an excellent base for a nice car, but as Walt says, trial fit as much as you can now before you do any painting.
    One thing I found on mine was that, although the door striker adjustment was fine before dissasembly, the right door wouldn't shut flush with the wing after re-assembly, and the striker was on full adjustment.
    I had to remove some of the very expensive trim, cut open the inner panel and remove the striker mounting plate and grind it in order to get the correct result.
    I did not like having to do it ater the car was practically finished!
    Also, you do know to get some etch primer on exposed metal ASAP don't you?
    It doesn't matter that you might have to take it off again to work an area.

  14. #14
    Graham Keene
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    Stu please don't be discouraged. This can be a wonderful experience if you learn as much as you can and decide what level of restoration you are planning to shoot for. I am not sure that there is a half way job in my mind, others may disagree. The cost of an interior alone, seeing that you asked, will start at $5000, and that is just for the material. Installation extra. What you spend will be dictated simply by how nice you want the car to be. Do you refurbish a part or leave it be. Is a little pittting in the chrome Ok or is it not. Do you paint your steering wheel or replace it for $650? These are only a few of the many decisions that I was referring to in my last post. What do you want to have this car be at the end of the road. I know cars where the owners have spend over $150K on a restoration. They have very nice cars. I also know 190sl owners that have spent little as they are quite happy with what they have. It is the owner's choice. From what I have seen from your pictures you are definately going in full bull. There is just no point in sugar coating the cost of doing one of these cars...they are expensive. I recently received a catalogue from a well known MG parts house in the US. The MG parts are less than half the price of the mercedes equivalent. I only wish it was different. If you are on a tight budget it ain't the car to do.

    I am looking forward to more pictures and your progress. Remember there are lots of great people willing to help.
    Graham Keene
    61 190Sl
    57 220S Cabriolet

  15. #15
    Club Member Derek's Avatar
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    Stu

    Like many cars of the 50’s & 60’s, Mercedes had the notion of “if you can’t see it, why paint it”, consequently many cars rusted from the inside out, also much of that tar covered sound deadening in places held water.

    On the upside, your pictures show your car to be in far better condition than mine was after media blasting (and I was told mine was better than many others!!) I ended up replacing all four wings (inner & outer), nose section and the tail section as well as the complete floor pan. Here’s the link to my restoration details.

    Many have given you excellent advice which I can only reiterate – Don’t rush the job…. Pre-fit trim and chrome items (particularly if you’ve had them re-chromed)….. If you replace panels, drill any holes (aerial, mirrors, holes for eyebrow trim self tappers etc etc) BEFORE YOU PAINT! As others have said, your best investment will be the club books and DVD’s

    Decide early on what quality of finish you want – there is a great article in the book all about “the slippery slope” (I’ve slipped up a few times!) An example, when I dismantled the car I sorted all the items that needed re-chroming and cleaned & polished the items that I thought didn’t, wrapped them up and stored them. Now I’m refitting them I looked at my smart new paint job and the chrome that was acceptable three years ago but now…. Hmmmm – so I’ve just had all the rest re-chromed – I could have negotiated a better price for all items together.

    Ebay is also a good source for ‘bits’ but here in the UK there isn’t that much available, so you’ll need to expand the search to cover ‘European Union’ or ‘Worldwide’ (There’s lots available in the US, but remember shipping AND Customs Duty
    Most important though, "Keep having fun!" and keep us posted with your progress and pictures.

    Derek
    1961 190SL (DB180 Silbergrau metallic / Blue interior 121040-20-020378)
    1992 300SL (R129 LHD) (Now down in her 'new home' in sunny Spain)
    2005 SL55 AMG (The play thing)
    1936 MG-TA (the current project)
    2004 Jaguar XJR (The daily driver)

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