Welding

When the chassis was totally stripped from all parts, including the rear axle, cleaned and primed, it was time for some welding. During priming I marked all rust spots with a white marker, also writing down "exactly" what I wanted the welder to do and check for. This turned out to be a good idea, since the cleaning process covered over two years and it's easy to forget things! My 219 had all the typical rust spots, maybe not as bad as they can be but still there...

Me working side by side with the welder in Kisa on my Mercedes Ponton, 2001

Me working side by side with the welder in Kisa, 2001

The following pictures show the C-pillars, brand new! After that I cleaned and primed the wheel arc pan and marked where the welder ought to continue his work. The last picture of the right side was taken when the sliding roof frame had been installed. I've painfully learnt that the more thoroughly you clean the car, the more money the welder makes... ;-)  Then I had to add a picture of me as well as of the welding wizard, Mikael. Hanging on the wall you can see the rear mudguards as well as the trunk lid to the left, behind him.

  • Rust issues on the left inner fender of a Ponton
  • Rust issues on the right inner fender of a MB219
  • Right inner fender cleaned and cut
  • Another pic of cleaned Ponton right inner fender
  • The repair plate in place
  • Right inner fender repaired and primed
  • Me during the cleaning of the Mercedes' underside
  • Mikael, the wizard, during work

And here we have:

- rear side members

  • The rear, side member of the car is cut off from the MB219-chassis
  • More cleaning of the rear, side member being done on the Ponton
  • The innerside of the rear, side member being cleaned

- spare wheel recess

  • Left spare wheel recess being repaired
  • Right spare wheel recess being repaired
  • Outside of right spare wheel recess being repaired

- and finally, the centerpiece

  • The centerpiece under the trunk cut of for repairs
  • Rust attacks at the end of right, inner fender of the MB219
  • Rust attacks at the end of left, inner fender of the Ponton
  • Home made rust repair panels for my Merce
  • Rebuild of the centerpiece of my Ponton progressing
  • Repair of right, rear innner fender having been cleaned up
  • Repair of left, rear innner fender having been cleaned up
  • Repair of W105 centerpiece having been cleaned up

Here is Mikael with a new centerpiece, sandblasted and primed, ready for the chassis.

  • Straightened, repaired, sanded and primed centerpiece of a Ponton. With the pro, Mikael

These photos shows the previous status of the spring support and brackets that supports the thrust rod and cross arm respectively.

  • Here the work on MB 219 left spring support and thrust rod support begins. The thrust rod support already removed. This is typical for a Ponton
  • New support for left thrust rod in place, typical must-do repair on Ponton.
  • Rusty spring and cross arm support
  • New support for left thrust rod in place, typical must-do repair on Ponton.
  • Rusty cross arm support.

And, what can be done with chock absorber cups? Maybe this;

  • First the rusty area was cleaned before repair for visibility of what to do...
  • Then the bad parts were cut off from the underside of the Ponton.
  • Home made, new repair panels hold in place for welding
  • The spring support and chock absorber cup new as when the Mercedes 219 left the factory in Stuttgart.

Both B-pillar bottoms as well as some of the car jack supports have been repaired. We also replaced some old welding and emptied the side members of a couple of liters of Tectyl. These, as well as everything else, will be re-filled.

  • Both bottoms of the C-pillars were repaired as well as some of the car jack supports

Both A-pillars were restored with new angle plates and reinforcements. Repair panels from Mercedes was used. Below you can see the cut open left A-pillar as well as the repaired left and right A-pillar.

  • Left A-pillar cut open. Typical Ponton rust area.
  • Left A-pillar repaired on a Mercedes 219 W105.
  • Right A-pillar repaired and primed. Typical Ponton problem solved.

A surprise was the bad shape of the fork member, you can see the hole that we cut in order to inspect it. The reason for this rust attack is that the speedometer cable goes right through the fork with no protection. Even though my father had cut a hole into the fork from the cabin side, cleaned it and filled it with Tectyl and thereafter sealed the cable holes, the fork was almost gone. We found the leftovers of some kind of reinforcement inside the fork but we were never been able to identify it or get a new one. The reinforcement in the spare parts list is not similar to the rests found in the car. See fig 37 in the scan from the list below and compare with the two other drawings as well as photos below. So Mikael did a new one, with the rests as master. You can see the whole process (incl a minor thing on the floor) below. This repair is today totally invisible, fantastic!

  • Fork member reinforcement as per the Spare parts list, edition C for MB 219.
  • Fork member reinforcement, how it looks on a Ponton.
  • Fork member reinforcement, where it is situated in the right fork member.
  • A photo showing where the fork member reinforcement is situated in a Ponton
  • The fork member cut open, showing the reinforcement
  • This is the part that Mikael decided to cut out from the fork member and replace
  • The fork member inside was cleaned up
  • New reinforcements were made and welded in place.
  • Ponton fork member and reinforcement primed
  • The cut out part of the 219-fork member was remade. Here's the bottom of it.
  • The cut out part of the 219-fork member was remade. Here's from above
  • The repair panel is put in place, covering the fresh and nice looking reinforcement
  • Fork member ready for a layer of primer.

The following pictures show you the repair of another typical rust attack on a Ponton; the reinforcement on the front part of the wheel arc pans.

  • New reinforcement hold in place
  • New reinforcement in Ponton front wheel arc primed
  • New reinforcement welded

The right scoop was cut off in order to clean both the scoop and the plate underneath. The left scoop was too rusty, as well as the plate underneath (see below). The right one was thoroughly cleaned and a new left one was ordered.

Well, what happened? My welder and I waited and waited for the shipment. Nothing happened even though my supplier had sent it out over a week earlier. We all got a little bit upset, me for not having my car finished on time and my supplier for not getting his money. Suddenly the parcel showed up at my welder, in his basement (yes, he lives in a small town where you obviously don't have the need for locked doors), without any notice from the post office. Strange!! Naja, back to the car and the welding. Eeehhh, this isn't the needed left scoop, it's the right scoop. Dang, phone call to Germany for a free replacement. As a matter of fact, with a fair price offered by my supplier I decided to keep the wrong scoop. It's always nice with new, shiny scoops on both sides, isn't it?!

A 219 Ponton awaiting in the garage to be assembled

A Ponton awaiting in the garage to be assembled

And then the waiting started all over again. This time it took two weeks. We checked with the Swedish post and they found out that the parcel hadn't crossed the German border for well over one week after shipment from the supplier! And now, was it the correct scoop? Nope, it was a right scoop again. German Ordnung muß nicht immer sein, and yes; the supplier was embarrassed ;-).

After a couple of weeks (!), the correct scoop, the left one, arrived... No harm done to my welder however, luckily a car also have some doors that you can repair.

My impression of the German post, ehemaliger Deutsche Bundespost? I don't think I can publish here. The Swedish post also found out that the first shipment had been shipped and received by someone (the post didn't know who!) in a town ~80km north of my welder. The story how the parcel came to my welder and his basement is still not known.

  • Left 219 heating and ventialation scoop removed and sheet metal underneathe repaired
  • Left Ponton heating scoop removed, frontal pic
  • Right 219 heating and ventialation scoop removed and sheet metal underneathed replaced

This is the right scoop, the one that was supposed to be used again, therefore thoroughly cleaned. But since I got a brand new one, it was never used which I think was very good...

  • Right 219 heating and ventialation scoop removed, cleaned and repaired however never used since I got a new one. Good!

First, the front, waiting for its scoops and thereafter the left one in place and thereafter primed.

  • Mercedes W105 awaiting heating and ventilation scoop
  • The Ponton's left heating and ventilation scoope in place
  • MB 219 heating and ventilation scoope in place
  • Repair done, scoop in place and primed

As mentioned above, the firewall needed to be repaired - or more precisely - totally renewed. The surface will be puttied with tin. I will thereafter use the original plate to drill all holes needed in their correct position. I'm thinking about publishing my sketch of the holes, for what they are used and so forth, if anyone may find that interesting?!

The first picture show you the new firewall from the engine side and the other one from the inside (obvious?!!).

  • Firewall in Mercedes 219 replaced, seen from rear
  • Firewall in

Sliding roof

Mid 80:ies I bought a complete 190 Ponton roof with a Webasto sliding roof in it, in condition like new, almost... The locking bow didn't belong to this 190-roof but another car, so to speak, and was in an extremely bad condition. As I've learnt later, my locking bow was "famous" in Sweden. I wasn't the only [looser] who had owned it. Many before me had bought a sunroof with it and later realized that it was impossible to restore it. Then they bought a second sliding roof with a fresh locking bow where after they sold the spare roof together with the nightmare.

Now, it can rest in peace. Sometime someone has to have some luck; I had it. The summer of 2001 I happened to ask a guy from Germany (I've asked hundreds of Swedes, Germans etc the last decade) if he had parts for a sliding roof. "Well, no I don't think so..." was the answer, "...I might however have a lonely locking bow which no one have shown interest in". 1 second later I made my final decision, let's install a sliding roof in my car! See the article Webasto sliding roof and the sub article about the old roof. There you can see more about its status...

These pictures show you the final result of Mikael work. This time we're not speaking about welding (with the exception of the reinforcements) but of gluing. The reasons for this where:

  • Some people cut the cars A-,B- and C-pillars and weld the sliding roof (with some length of the pillars left) on top of it. I didn't dare to go through that process, what if the chassis would have flexed or you cut the pillars in the wrong length or ...
  • With the first version ruled out we have two more (at least). The second is to drill out the roof along the window and door lists. This may be possible but the drawback is that this involves a lot of work and that you will end up with a joint on the A- and C-pillars. Especially the joint on the C-pillar will be very difficult to hide.
  • The third method is to cut out a hole in the roof, tailor made for the sliding roof frame from the donor car. The problem we have to solve here is that the heat from welding will cause stress/strain (=problems) in the sheet metal which will be very difficult to do something about/hide. Instead you can make a fold in the roof of the car or in the sliding roof and then glue it. The joint only have to be sealed and not necessarily hidden since it will be covered by the aluminium cover rails. This was what we did.

Below you can see two versions of the third method. Actually I thought we went for the first alternative but we didn't. The method we use has one advantage; the cover rails press the frame up against the roof. As Mikael has contacts with Volvo (sic!), he used the same glue as they use in today's car production; 3M's two component chassis glue.

  • When installing a Webasto sunroof frame into a Mercedes Ponton you can do it in different ways, this is our alternative 1, not used
  • When installing a Webasto sunroof frame into a Ponton you can do it in different ways, this is our alternative 2, the used one

The first picture doesn't show Mikael's feelings. He has said to me that he was horrified. I can imagine, had he done something wrong there... The third picture shows a Ponton hedgehog, ~50 grips holding the frame in place.

  • Cutting the first hole in a nice Ponton roof
  • Done. There's a hole in the Ponton roof, now a sunroof.
  • The donor Webasto frame from a 180/190 in place in my 219.
  • The donor Webasto frame from a 180/190 in place in my 219.
  • Side and rear of Webasto frame from the underside
  • Side and rear of Webasto frame from the underside
  • Rear part of Webasto frame
  • Reinforcements of the Webasto sunroof frame in my Ponton
  • Side and front of Webasto frame in a Benz, seen from the underside
  • Side and front of Webasto frame in a Mercedes, seen from the underside
  • The Webasto sunroof frame in my Merc 219 seen from above

And now it was time to put it all together...