Doors (72, 73)

My work horse, the Mercedes-Benz 200

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

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.

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