Doors (72, 73)
One of the restored deflector windows
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’ll see if I have the energy to make another, almost as new, pair of deflector windows out of my spare parts bin.
The door handles were taken apart, cleaned and polished. The handles themselves didn’t need to be re-chromed, only polished. In the pictures below, you can still see my father’s intense rust protection with Tectyl that protected everything from the Swedish salty roads (see “How the Benz got rust protection” in article “Why it became a Mercedes Ponton“. During winter time all chrome, including the door handles, were “painted” with Tectyl and then it was washed off in the spring.
As you can see, all handles are marked “Ymos” On top of that, the drivers’ doors with “N01/N015” and the rear doors with “N015”. At the time of writing I don’t know what this stands for. In the fifth picture you can clearly see that one of the button bases, the right one, was bent. You can also see how the button based should be orientated.
Removing the push buttons is easy. It’s just to remove the square snap ring and then everything will come out. Plastic rings and pressure springs were replaced as well as the square snap rings. The 5th picture shows you the push buttons of the rear doors with their “simple” button bases. The later pictures show the push buttons from the two driver’s doors with their more intricate button base. With the help of the teeth of those, you move the locking lever in the double wedge lock (see drawing below). In my case the chrome of the push buttons was in decent condition, especially on the parts that are visible, outside the door handle so I didn’t feel the need to re-chrome them.
With the push button I found two problems:
1. One button base was bent
2. Why were the button bases’ teeth machined/filed (see last picture below)?
The first issue was solved by buying new button bases. By that I also thought I had solved the second “problem”, but it did however have a reason, see the assembly section (not done yet done though, so stay tuned!).
With the push buttons, or lock cylinders, I found one problem, the driver’s door key turned 180 degrees (or was it 90?!) and the passenger side key could rotate 360 degrees. I would have to take the tumbler out to see what was wrong. That is done by removing the small tab that can be seen on the outside of the push button, under the plastic ring, in order to remove the tumbler. See the drawing below and the first picture in the gallery below.
This can be a rather complicated/risky process especially when it comes to assemble it again. I suppose you should be able to drag them out. I was not. You can then either drill them out or make a cut with a Dremel just above the tab. The latter was suggested by mr Greene, in a thread on the Ponton mailing list in January 2018. Mr Greene also provided me with the informativ drawing below. Many thanks for that! In either way you risk leaving markings in the button housing. And afterwards, how do you fixate it, except with the plastic ring only? [Laser]welding the zink housing? Glue? Buying a new was expensive and I would probably also have the issue with a separate key for that door. I didn’t want to go for a used one. Instead I planned to solve it when the car was finished, i.e. during a winter when I could take the push button out and send it for repair in Germany, which would take 3-5 months.
One example on how you can remove tabs on push button
But I was lucky, it turned out that it wasn’t necessary, due to two reasons. The most important reason was that it doesn’t matter that the key can rotate 360 degrees. As it later turned out during the assembly of the door handles, the excess rotation is blocked by the locking lever’s and button base’s movement/function (see pictures below and drawing for the double wedge lock below).
The other reason was that it turned out that I could remove the tumbler without touching any tabs; when I removed the button base from the passenger push button, the tumbler came out by itself. The locking washer and nut held it in position. Obviously, my father had had problems with that lock, disassembled, “repaired” and assembled it in some way. Don’t ask me why or how. Why this tumbler could turn 360 degrees and the other one not, I didn’t investigate. The left lock worked and looked fine and I didn’t want to take the risk to disassemble it only for this. In the second picture below, you can see parts of a broken “spring”. There is a spot on the tumbler where the sides are machined flat; the spring goes around the flat sides so that they are pushed outward and give a momentary resistance when the lock is turned.
Disassembled or not, everything was cleaned and greased together with everything else. By Mercedes-Benz Classic I was told to grease the moving parts with the modern variety of “Universalfett Calypsol WJA”, with Mercedes’ „Sprühfett“, article number A0029890651/09.
The new button bases were mounted following the measures I had done before disassembly. But note, you must make the final adjustments when everything is in the car. For the driver’s door this is even more crucial since the position of the crow foot affects the locking mechanism and it must be precis.
Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the final result.
Double wedge lock
The locks were taken apart, cleaned and their “outside” carefully polished, not over-doing it. All rubber rings, and some of the caps they are sitting in, were replaced. Pictures below doesn’t show the final result, only the disassembly. Note the adjustment screw in the fourth picture.
Everything thereafter greased with Mercedes’ „Sprühfett“, mentioned above.
The eyebolts were dismantled, cleaned and carefully polished. I didn’t do any re-plating (except the mounting screws) or re-chroming. I did however replace the rubber core and the surrounding adjusting ring (the new ones are not shown in the pictures below). Regarding the screws can be said that you should aim for keeping your old, original M6 DIN7987-screws since they have the original 16mm head and not the new 14mm. The old head fill out the screw seat in the eyebolt’s backplate, the new one does not.
How the double wedge lock on driver’s door work
With the door closed you can lock and unlock the door. But with the door open you don't want to risk that you lock the door, forget the key inside the car and close the door - be locked out. The adjustment of this must of course be done when the double wedge lock and the handle with lock mounted in the car.
The locking function of the driver’s door’s double wedge lock
In regards to the keys and locks, I recommend reading the following two articles on the Mercedes-Benz Ponton pages:
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 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!
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.