Doors (72, 73)

Restored Mercedes Ponton deflector window

One of the restored deflector windows

Door shells

They were carefully blasted (be careful if you blast the door skin, it can easily be misformed) and grinded as well as cleaned from old glue used to attach the door sealing frame. After that I tried the new sealings and formed the door edges so that they were nicely wrapped around the sealing (second and third picture respectively). After some serious de-greasing the doors were primed and painted with the black, final, 2K paint on the insides and sides. This was done in a small "paint box", built in the garage I rent. The outside of the shells was of course taken care of by the painter, at a later stage in the process.

  • Sandblasting driver's door
  • Sandblasting driver's door
  • Testing sealing in cleaned and sanded driver's door
  • Testing rubber sealing in cleaned slots
  • Primed door shell
  • Primed inside of door shell
  • Primed inside of door shell
  • Ponton door with final paint on inside

In the article Putting it all together, you can see how I put everything in place to test how it fitted. That took some time and patience and also some tools.

When my father filled the car with Tectyl he did so also with the doors. Unfortunately, he forgot that there are small draining holes close to the door "skin". For me that meant that all doors had to be repaired in the bottom. One of the front doors also had a very strange rust attack, in the seam on the middle of the door, under the door sealing. This one was therefore replaced with a "new" one from a 190. This meant that I had to drill holes for the ornamental bars under the side window.

  • Rear Ponton door with sound insulation as well as a lot of old Tectyl
  • Repaired rear door

Here's how all doors were prepared by me before the final paint. I wanted to restore and paint all areas that is not going to be visible by myself in order to save money. The visible areas I hand over to a professional painter.

Hinges

First picture shows you the welded door, hinges and door brakes still in place. When trying to get doors etc back on the chassis with the perfect Mercedes fit you don't want to have too many variables to adjust. Removing the doors/hinges from the chassis is one thing, but also removing them from the door is something that I've been strongly advised not to do. I could understand that - and I still do. Don't do it if not absolutely necessary.

Most of the hinges hadn't been removed from the doors. Some had been removed by the welder during his work but then re-installed before he put everything together on the chassis to check that everything fitted. So I knew that their positions on the doors would be good - at least something to start with. Hence, I wanted to get them back in that position. So before I removed them from the doors I drilled two 3mm holes in each, each hole as far away from the other as possible and in diametrical position (second picture). These hole will be filled and sanded before the final paint. The third picture only shows you the threaded plate on the backside. This one is the lower one so you don't see the door stop which I'll cover later.

My work horse, the Mercedes-Benz 200

My work horse during my house restoration, the Mercedes-Benz W123, model 200 from -85

The hinges were then cleaned. See the red markings on each hinge, if they were put there after that the screws had been tightened or after greased, I don't know. But I'd vote for the previous. At this stage they were also leveled, whereafter I protected the moving parts and the grease fittings and glass beaded them. Before paint a short grinding took the small rests of old paint and dirt away.

During 2001 - 2003 I was the project manager for a large software project at one of the largest insurance companies in the Nordic market. Among other consultants in the project was Gökhan Sevik from our Turkish office. Being not only a superb software and business consultant, he was also one of the best door and hinge grinders/painters I've met. He stayed here in Sweden a couple of weeks at a time during late summer/autumn 2002. Most of the evenings and weekends he spent in front of his computer. But he also realized (he said at least ;-) ) that working in the garage from time to time, clears your mind and is as good as any Japanese spa. Thanks a lot for your help Gökhan!

  • Complete, old but welded Ponton driver's door
  • Door hinge with hole to simplify alignment during assembly
  • Threaded plate for door hinge
  • Door hinges being cleaned. See red dots
  • MB219 door hinges cleaned
  • Hinges ready for glass beading
  • Hinges painted
  • Temporary help by Gokhan Sevik, thanks :)!

Door brakes

On the threaded plates that holds the top hinges there's is also the mechanism that is to stop the door in a smooth way when you fully open the door - the door brakes. They were sandblasted, grinded and yellow plated before painting. The square shaped rubber buffer that softens the opening of the door, positioned at the end of the retaining strap was easy to buy as new part. What caused me some trouble was the so called Gummifeder or rubber spring.

In the third picture you can see two variants of this part. The top one is my original 219 plate and the lower one from the 190 door. Inside the box on the threaded plate, there is a metal "bowl" that is pressed towards the retaining strap with the help of a frame and a screw (see second picture). This bowl contains a rubber part, the spring, that gives you the ability to control the feeling of the opening/closing of the door - if it's going to be very easy or if you have to use some amount of force. This spring is not available any more. You can buy the whole threaded plate (was it 80USD each) but then the rubber will certainly be old and dry. So I bought some rubber from Kuntze here in Stockholm (be sure to buy rubber that is resistant against oil etc) and made them myself. The last picture shows you the finished piece of art, ready with Moly grease on the retaining strap.

  • A door brake, picture from another car
  • Door brakes off
  • Door brakes cleaned
  • Drawing of Ponton rubber spring for door brake
  • Home made Ponton rubber springs for door brakes
  • Complete set of restored parts for Ponton door brake
  • Assembled Mercedes 219 door brake

Deflector windows

Since the chrome was so good on my original deflector windows, and the glass had some original, Swedish stickers, I had planned to repair the existing deflector window. But when I removed the glass with its frame, I realized that the shaft was in too bad shape (rust where it goes through its mounting/seat) for being repaired. Ok, maybe I at least could re-use the glass with their stickers in other frames. As I removed the glass from the frame I realized to things, it’s extremely easy to damage the (soft) frame when you remove the glass, and the risk for breaking the glass is probably high as well. Ok, what about buying totally new deflector windows in order to save some time? When checking the prices on NOS windows I quickly realized that they were “too” expensive.

Note, the pictures below come from the disassembly of several windows, not only from my deflector windows, in order to show different aspects of the windows.

  • Lower shaft and seat of deflector window before dismantling
  • Picture showing the  tape on the deflector window's outer frame
  • Picture showing the  tape on the deflector window's outer frame
  • Lower shaft of MB Ponton deflector window and its washers and nuts before dismantling
  • Outer frame of deflector window
  • The latch of a MB W105's deflector window and its wave washers
  • Dismantled glass frame of a MBPonton's deflector window with the rubber sealings around latch bracket
  • Glass from a MBPonton's deflector window
  • Profile of the rubber around the glass of a Mercedes 219 deflector windows
  • Soft sealant under the latch of the deflector window
  • Soft sealant under the latch of a deflector window

So, instead I went for restoring good parts from different deflector windows. I had a pair of spare windows from which I thought I could re-use frames etc but while dismantling them it turned out they were in too bad shape as well. I bought another pair from T Hanna in Germany for a very good price which had a lot of good parts. Unfortunately also here, the shaft of the glass frame were not good enough for me :-). Beside of that, all parts were restorable, including the outer frames, the ones that holds the large rubber sealings. Karasch where able to provide me with NOS glass with frames for a smaller fortune, still cheaper than complete windows though.

Unrestored, original Mercedes Ponton deflector glass with original, Swedish sticker

My unrestored, original deflector glass with its original, Swedish sticker. Note the typical rust on the the lower shaft…

I took my three pairs of deflectors windows completely apart and cleaned up, straightened out, sandblasted, polished, re-chromed, re-plated, painted etc all parts – those that were salvageable - as appropriate. Polishing the old stops for the window latches took its time… Remember, be verrrry careful when you work with the vertical aluminum pieces, use only wooden or plastic tools. In Sweden you cannot “re-chrome” aluminum any longer and as I’ve understood it, the same applies to many other countries.

  • Glass frames being prepared for re-chrome
  • Different parts of Ponton deflector windows ready for the chrome shop
  • Outer frame of deflector window sandblasted and screws polished, ready for plating
  • Outer frame, screws, washers etc for MB Ponton re-plated

When re-assembling the windows I used sunk-head aluminum DIN661 rivets to fasten the vertical aluminum pieces to the plated and painted outer window frame. For the re-chromed stops, I used the same type of rivet for the vertical rivet, with their 4mm shafts 9mm long. The two horizontal rivets for the stops are DIN660 button-head aluminum rivets 4x8mm, with their heads filed to 1mm height.

Don’t forget to grease the two shafts on the glass frame before assembling them. Adjust the glass frame in the large sealing frame before you tighten the lower seat. Remember that final adjustments of the glass position will most certainly have to be made when you have mounted the whole deflector window in the door.

  • All parts for a Ponton deflector window restored and ready for assembly
  • Deflector glass and latch for a Mercedes, ready for assembly
  • Vertical rivet for stop in place
  • Horizontal rivets for stop on outer Ponton deflector window frame in place
  • Stop for MB 180/190/219/220 deflector window riveted
  • Vertical chrome piece and its lower rivets on a Mercedes 180/190/219/220 deflector window
  • Vertical chrome piece and its upper rivets on a Mercedes 180/190/219/220 deflector window
  • Vertical chrome piece and its upper rivets on a Mercedes Ponton deflector window
  • Complete, restored Ponton deflecotr window, still without its large rubber frame
  • Use only wooden or plastic tools when you work with the chromed aluminium pieces on the Ponton deflector window
  • Gluing the rubber frame for a Mercedes 180/190/219/220 deflector window
  • Glue on Ponton deflector window hardening

The window frames I then covered with tape as the original. I suppose for vibration/sound dampening purposes. The tape I used was Tesa® 51026 PET, “cloth tape for cable trees, high abrasion protection”. Glue the large rubber sealing against the window frame carefully, otherwise it will move when you open and close the window. The sealing sits tight against the glass frame.

If you have taken the deflector window totally apart as I did, you will probably have to test and adjust the assembled window a couple of times, incl testing it in the door, before it works as it should. It’s not easy to get it to work perfectly and I succeeded only to 99%. We’ll see if it will self-adjust to 100% perfection after some time of usage.

  • Finished top of restored Mercedes-Benz deflector window
  • Restored latch, stop and lower glass frame shaft of deflector window of MB Ponton
  • Completely restored Ponton deflector window, ready for installation in door

One interesting thing occurred which may be of importance also to you. One of the glasses I bought from Karasch came with an extra latch/turnbuckle as a replacement for the old, NOS that was slightly damaged. So, I replaced the old one with the new but then I couldn’t close the window. After careful examination I saw that the new latch had a slightly different shape than the old salvaged/re-chromed ones from my three pairs of deflector windows. The new latch hit the curvature of the stop and hence stopped the movement prematurely, before it was in fully closed position. The switch was quick and then the window worked as it should. So, have a look there if you have a similar problem.

  • Difference between deflector window latches on MB Ponton
  • Where wrong deflector window latch on Ponton touches the stop

We’ll see if I have the energy to make another, almost as new, pair of deflector windows out of my spare parts bin.