The first steps

The chassis has been cleaned down to the primer, or when necessary also down to the metal. Most of the rust was known but of course some "new" attacks were found. There has also been quit a lot of work cleaning up old repairs, done by my father and Mercedes-Benz in Stockholm. Some of the rust attacks have only been stopped by my father; that is, not repaired only covered with metal plates and/or puttied up.

These repairs were done during the late 60ies and during the 70ies and was done to get the car back in traffic as fast as possible. This was however not enough for my purposes and was re-made. Luckily he also filled the car with Tectyl of different shapes, which have effectively stopped more aggressive rust attacks. Due to that, the welding costs will not be as high as normal for a Ponton which has over 300.000km on partly salty roads behind it. 

Mercedes-Benz Ponton Rahmen-Bodenanlage, frame, 220a, © Daimler AG

Mercedes-Benz Ponton Rahmen-Bodenanlage, frame, 220a, © Daimler AG

Engine compartment

The first stop was the engine compartment. Here you can see that the fire wall needed repairs, as well as the left scoop for heating and ventilation. The radiator mounting is bent at this time but is now fixed. For a long time we thought that the front tube beneath it was OK. That was unfortunately wrong and was thoroughly repaired.

  • Here I have cleaned the engine compartment of my Ponton

Chassis

Next, I rolled the car over and cleaned the underside of the car. During this cleaning I found most of the unknown rust. 

  • While cleaning the underside of the 219 I found most of the unknown rust

Coupe

When the engine compartment and chassis were cleaned I spent ~1 week in the coupe. The floor was almost perfect. The most aggressive rust attacks had hit the fire wall and therefore the glove box. I hope you'll never have to clean that box yourselves!

  • Cleaned rear before priming
  • Most of the rust in the MB219 was found was around the firewall and glovebox
  • Here is the rear part of the coupe cleaned and primed
  • Picture of the rear interior of a Mercedes 219 primed
  • The front of the coupe is cleaned and primed, reaady for repairs
  • Frame of the Ponton cleaned and primed as well

Boot

This is how a totally cleaned and primed boot can look like. Beautiful isn't it? The spare wheel recess was in pretty good shape but some of the welding recess/boot floor was remade. The centerpiece was replaced due to rust and loose exhaust pipes!

  • The boot cleaned, primed and ready for some repairs

And then came the Welding...

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...

Note, do also see article Fenders and entrance sills (88) for the reparations that were done to the fenders!!

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 "hanging" and being in a very bad shape.
  • 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 "Bullmerca" (Swedish for Ponton Mercedes) replaced and primed, seen from rear

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...

Chassis (Group 38, 39, 40)

First read the text below as a starter and then continue reading the three sub-articles about the basic work, the welding and then the assembly. Their links you find in the sub-menus under Chassis. Enjoy everything!

Paint thoughts

While waiting for a suitable garage in 2002 I asked around on how to deal with the coating of the chassis and subsequent rust protection. I came to the conclusion that depending on who or what company you asked, you got different answers. I decided to go for solutions recommended by persons I trusted. Right or wrong way. No idea. But at least I followed one, and only one path, in order not to mix things up and to be able to improve from a known baseline if something didn’t work. For the metal preparation and primer I chose the suggestions of my welder, Mikael Lindell. In his world the only valid brands were (are?) Hagmans and Teroson as sealants. When it came to paint I turned to the painter I had terrorized with other, more modern cars during a few years, Tillbergs Billackering in Upplands Väsby. There it was Spies Hecker. I was assured that the product families were compatible. 

Note that I’m only talking about the priming and painting of the “hidden” areas, like coupe, engine compartment etc as well as the underside of the chassis and fenders. The “outside” paint process is something different. 

Steps

The chassis and most of the other parts are not sand blasted but hand grinded. You can always discuss if it is a good idea to grind or not (if you really clean or just hide the rust etc). But in my opinion you have a better control of the cleaning and - above all - the car will not bleed sand for the rest of its life. It did of course take much longer time. I suppose you can imagine the time I've spent cleaning all corners of the chassis, behind girders, in tubes and so forth. I estimate that I've spent something like six to eight weeks (8-10 hours shifts) on the chassis alone! But, and this is important and annoying, a couple of years after doing this, a new method came out on the market; dry ice-blasting. This is the way to go in order to get everything clean while being less destructive to the underlying material than sandblasting and not risking covering small, rust spots.

Produktpalette, MB Omnibus O 321H, MB Lkw L312, MB Pkw Typ W180/128, © Daimler AG

Werbeanzeigen Pkw 1950 Daimler-Benz AG: "Omnibus - Lkw - Pkw", Produktpalette, Mercedes-Benz Omnibus O 321 H, Mercedes-Benz Lkw L 312, Mercedes-Benz Pkw Typ W 180/128, © Daimler AG

After sanding and new degreasing of the primer I sprayed a second layer of CA-primer and sanded if necessary in order to get a decent looking base for hidden areas like underside of chassis and fender. When it came to visible areas like engine compartment, trunk I sprayed with Hagmans acrylic filler where necessary. The acrylic fillers obviously have a tendency to absorb moisture if applied incorrectly or sits unprotected in cold, moist garages. But, according to Hagmans, using a primer you not only get the best adhesion, avoiding blisters but it also protects the underlying metal if the filler “get moist”. Anyway, put a base coat on top of the filler as soon as possible. 

According to Hagmans, the type of subsequent paint made no difference as long as it was a 2-component paint in order to achieve the best durability and performance. Spies Hecker would absolutely work with Hagmans’ products. 

Together with Hagmans the following work schedule was made: 

  1. Existing hand brushed layer with CA-primer was sanded to get the best adhesion to the next, sprayed layer of CA. Ideally, you wet-sand the primer in order to get the best result. The primer can also be perceived as “rubbery” if you dry-sand it. Deionized water is said to be achieve the best results. Never tried it though... If you don't want to sand the final layer of primer you shouldn’t wait more than 12h for the next layer of acryl paint – or 4h for alkyd paint – in order to get the best adhesion.
  2. When necessary I added a layer of Spray putty 900 and sanded after 2h hardening. Was recommended Hagmans acrylic Maxifiller, but it apparently had been delisted. 900 is sprayed with overlying cup and 2,0-2,3mm nozzle with relatively low pressure. A relatively thick layer is applied. If putty is not applied and sanded, a less glossy surface will be the result. 
  3. Joints were sealed with Teroson Terostat 9320 (black) or filled out with Terostat 1k-Pur.
  4. Base coat is applied within 36h, but preferably between 20min and 8h (i.e. the primer i still wet). I used Spies Hecker 5180 2-component transparent base coat
  5. In the engine compartment I sprayed a glossy, black lacquer from Spies Hecker, series 257, AG202 (2 parts paint, 1 part hardener 3333 and if necessary 5-10% thinner without cellulose). This paint was also used on the undercarriage etc. Note, this is a base color and not exactly mixed as DB040 Schwarz but it cut the paint cost with 50% which made it justifiable (note that I had the engine compartment repainted by my painter later on…).
  6. In the trunk (among other things) I used DB7164 Tiefdunkelgrau, satin, Spies Hecker series 257, recipes 73310. Mixed as described above. Note, as I’ve understood it the recipes says 20% matting additive. In my opinion it is a little bit too glossy. See for example my trunk painted with such a DB7164, it's more glossy than I think it should be (remember that the photos have given the paint even more "shine"). Instead I found that 55% of matting additive gave a good match. This is what I've used for black paint on the engine and on the aggregates in the engine compartment (heater boxes etc). Of course the lustre also depends on the underlying surface, primer and 100 other things I don't know about since I'm not a professional painter, but most of the time I'm very satisfied with that addition of matting additive.
  7. When it came to the interior I had some problems finding a color that looked like mine (sample from clean areas that had been protected from sun, dirt etc plus that I had a look at a couple of other, unrestored cars). Several people I spoke with had been using DB124. However, I believe that it is far too light. Since I couldn’t find any other, appropriate Mercedes-color/recipes I started to look elsewhere and found PC714 from Standox. It wasn’t possible to distinguish it from my samples. Since Tillbergs Billackering didn’t have Standox we chose instead an Opel/Vauxhall-lacquer from Spies Hecker (A-0158 L109 89383 Braun) who has an almost equally perfect conformity with regard to color and luster. Mixed according to above, 2:1.

Some of the original joint sealants and sound absorbing surfaces seemed to have been applied after top coat. This was mimicked be me with Teroson Terostat 9320.

Mercedes Typ 219 Ponton, 1956-59. Titelseite eines Prospekts, © Daimler AG

Mercedes Typ 219 "Ponton", 1956 - 1959. Titelseite eines Prospekts von 1957. © Daimler AG

Rust protection

Until recently (summer 2015) I hadn’t been able to find a drawing on how Mercedes-Benz thought the Ponton ought to be protected from rust. Now I know (you can find gems at flee markets...) and you can see it under Rust protection!

Below you can see my plan on what stuff to use. 

In terms of rust protection, the only thing I’ve done so far is to have the company Rostskyddsmetoder to drill holes in the frame and flush them with 130C hot water/steam. How many liters of my father’s Tectyl we got out, only heaven knows. Hopefully it will all be out there so that it doesn't lock into water somewhere. 

We’ll see if I go with Hagmans’ products (named below), Dinol, Fertan, linseed oil, or… 

  1. The paint has to harden 2 weeks before starting (not a problem…)
  2. All joints are excessively filled with Hagmans Body Kit. To be on the safe side, spray a thin layer of Hagmans anti-rust TO3 (as Dinol ML) on top. Consumption of TO3 is between 0,5-1 dl/m² depending on layer thickness. Do not apply TO3 before kit, no adhesion will be the result... 
  3. Let TO3 harden approximately 3 days
  4. Spray Hagmans F40. Consumption between 2-5dl/m ² depending on layer thickness
  5. Let F40 “settle in”, dependent on temperature and layer thickness, ~12-24h
  6. Apply Hagmans Undercoating with a brush where you expect wear and where you find “valleys” where dirt may accumulate and give rise to new rust attacks.

Mercedes-Benz 219, das leistungsstarke und sportliche 6-Zylinder Fahrzeug, © Daimler AG

Ausstellungen und Messen, 38. Internationale Automobil- Ausstellung, Frankfurt, Mercedes-Benz 219, das leistungsstarke und sportliche 6-Zylinder Fahrzeug. Ansicht von vorne seitlich © Daimler AG

If I go the Hagmans way of doing this I’ll use Hagmans’ spray gun 220 with spray gun set 221 or equivalent.

We’ll see if I’ll do the frame myself or if I let Rostskyddsmetoder do it. Possible products as per above.

Sound proofing the hood

For the sound proofing on the underside of the hood (my father has assured me 10+ times that it is original and that he has done nothing there), Hagmans recommended me to spray their Body elastic and within 60 minutes cover it with 2 component, black paint. The structure of the sound proofing I’ll have to find out myself by varying the air pressure and spraying distance.  But after some search I found the perfect solution (I hope, and given that I can handle it myself…), Teroson 9320 black and Teroson's “Air pressure gun SN”. That one may today have been replaced by “Multi press telescopic air pressure gun”. I bought the first one and a box of cartridges 10 years ago. Then “normal life interrupted” and now I have had to throw all the cartridges away. I hope new cartridges work in the old gun…

  • Teroson 9320 for sealing and sound proofing
  • The Teroson Gun SN for spraying sealant and sound proofing material

Putting it all together

Mercedes-Benz 219, Spare parts list, Edition C, invaluable when you assemble the car

Mercedes-Benz Type 219, Spare parts list, Edition C, invaluable when you assemble the car. To much to keep track of yourselves :)!

Part I

With everything welded it was time to see to that everything fits as it should. This first photograph is my welders from when he tripled checked his work. Thereafter everything was taken off and stored, awaiting a garage where I could continue this work more in detail. As you for example can see, I have to drill new holes for the ornamental bars in the bottom of the doors. They "disappeared" when new metal sheet replaced the rust in the bottom of the doors.

  • When everything is put together, does it look like a Ponton from 1957?
  • The 219's left side looks good, everything matches
  • The 219's right side looks good too, everything matches

Part II - The first wash in ages

In July 2002 it was driven 250km north, from Rimforsa to its new, temporary home, in Spånga (Stockholm). A couple of days later I re-loaded it on the trailer and drove to Rostskyddsmetoder. Rostskyddsmetoder is - as the name says - specializing in rust protection. As a compliment to Micke, the welder, they were purely amazed by the chassis. They couldn't find any of the repairs done by him and they knew where to search and have seen a couple of cars from the underside. The manager is also interested in Pontons and owns one himself.

After drilling some new holes on strategic places in the frame, Rostskyddsmetoder blew all the frame clean from dirt, rust and Tectyl with 130C water/steam. The interesting thing is that nothing came out from the holes - at first. After a few seconds the hot water running out from the holes was completely clean. However, they continued just to be sure. Thanks a lot for that! Because after pumping steam for 10-15 minutes into the same hole there suddenly came a small drop of something brown and gooey. And then another drop, and then a bigger drop, and then... After three hours the chassis was clean and I drove it back to the garage for drying up before the next step. I did however found more of it in the side members under the trunk when I later drilled new drainage holes. We'll see if I'll let them blow that out too. I and Rostskyddsmetoder decided that they weren't going to rust protect the car at this stage. The risk that their oily anti-rust fluids would fly around and stick to areas which are going to be painted was to big. And getting that off the before paint was nothing that I wanted to do. Since the car is in an (almost) dry garage I don't think that rust will start to make big holes in the metal before new rust protection is applied when car is done. 

  • Cleaned from Tectyl

Part III - spraying the invisible areas

In order to save some money I decided to spray all the invisible areas like underside, engine bay, trunk, under fender etc myself. In my mind I thought it wouldn't take such a long time. 

During the search for a garage I asked around how this should be done. I soon realized that I had as many answers as I had asked people/companies. There was obviously many thoughts floating around. So I decided to follow Mickes suggestions. At his place Hagmans and Teroson are the only valid choices. Regarding top coat I turned to a car painter I've been terrorizing with my newer cars - Tillbergs Billackering in Upplands Väsby. They use Spies Heckers assortment.

If we go back to the beginning you may remember that everything has been grinded, blasted and if necessary welded. After removing residues, grease and dirt everything has been painted by hand to really get the primer into every scratch and corner. I've used Hagmans 2K etching CA-primer (in the beginning their green primer). My experience of the product has been very good. Since it's etching it has been very hard to remove when necessary, for example when some surfaces have had to be re-done. The latter due to the time this restoration has taken. It has had its drawbacks, but also its advantage; with this bright yellow primer it has been very clear where I haven't been careful enough cleaning the surface from rust - new brown spots. Now there can't be any rust left! Sorry, just joking - you can't stop it...

First I built a little house of plastic sheets in the garage I rented, to stop paint dust to spread in the garage and to my landlord above. Then the chassis was turned on its side again. The steps thereafter where almost the same for everything: 

  • clean it from eventual dirt
  • sand the old layer of primer
  • new layer of primer (Hagmans CA Gul)
  • all seams sealed with Loctite/Teroson 9320. I tried to follow how it was done originally, that is some seams was sprayed with Teroson's "Telescope Pistol Multi-Press air assisted spray pistol". From the length of the name you can imagine what it cost. You can see it on the second picture below. Other seams where smeared out with a brush. The color to use here is of course black. That was however hard to find so for some seams which was to be sprayed I used the grey alternative. If you go to Restoration-How to dismantle a car you can see that originally the sealant had been put on top of the paint. I chose not to do that.
  • a couple of layers of top coat 

Shiny, freshly painted Ponton parts; doors, fenders, trunk lid and hood

Shiny, freshly painted Ponton parts; doors, fenders, trunk lid and hood

The car will be painted with Mercedes-Benz color code DB040, that is black. This is a special mixture which is rather expensive. In order to save some money I used a base color instead, a pure 2K black paint from Spies Hecker (series 257, AG202, 2 parts mixed with one part hardener 3333 and 5-10% thinner). In the trunk (and its hinges etc) I sprayed with DB7164 Tiefdunkelgrau, seidenmatt (Spies Hecker series 257, recipe 73310, mixed as the black paint). For the interior (as well as on the inside of the rims) I've been trying some alternatives. Some persons use DB124 which I think is too light. I had samples from my car which I could compare with. Tillbergs Billackering found a paint for Opel/Vauxhall (A-0158 L109 89383 brown) which perfectly matches the samples from my car, also the luster is correct.

On the pictures below the interior seems to be much too bright but is due to the camera flash, it's darker in reality. The trunk and the engine compartment do also look better in real life than on these pictures. The DB7164 isn't as grey as it looks in this light either. But one problem I have with my DB7164 is that it actually got a little bit too glossy when applied in this way. On the rear axle, for example, it has the perfect luster (sandblasted, primed and a thin layer of top coat). But here in the trunk (as well as on the lid) it's too glossy. I suppose it has to do with the preparations I've done, it's probably too good (!) compared to the original application. Now the surface has been sanded, primed, sanded, painted, sanded, painted and so on and so on until I got the almost perfect surface, too perfect obviously. Note the black glove compartment (see How to dismantle a Ponton).

  • The underside of the MB219 sanded again
  • The I sealed all joints and put another 2-3 layers of primer
  • Then the underside of the 219 was painted black
  • Innerfenders and engine compartment of the 219 painted black
  • Coupe primed again. All holes towards the compartment for the 219 engine sealed. Didn't help though...
  • Now the floor is sealed before primer and top coat
  • Rear floor of the Ponton is sealed before primer and top coat
  • The trunk of the 219 in semi gloss DB7164
  • The top coat of the interior in place, it is not DB124 that some suggests. Note black glove compartment
  • The rear of the coupe as good looking as the front
  • 219 engine bay to be repainted. Again...

After painting the underside and engine bay as well as the trunk I went for the interior. I probably spent a day masking all holes and passage from the interior to the other, newly painted areas. Not enough. The yellow primer was everywhere so I had to sand and repaint both the engine bay and trunk. There I lost ~3 days of my vacation. So be very careful if you do this type of job. For example, don't forget to mask the small defroster nozzle under the windscreen that goes out into the engine bay :-)...

Part IV - Putting it all together again

In December 2002 I invited friends and relatives to Hjulafton (a play with words, hjul=wheel, afton=eve, jul=christmas, julafton=Christmas Eve). It was supposed to be like a topping-out party, the turning point in the project when the chassis got its wheels back. The front axle was of course no problem and everyone was happy, drinking beer, coffee and stuff. The rear axle was a pain in the ... It took us the whole evening/night to get the rear axle support through the whole in the chassis and secure the nut that holds it in place. The rear springs I took later that week by myself.

  • While trying to get the rear-axle back in its place I discovered that it's tight under a Mercedes-Benz 219
  • Me sitting and thinking, trying to find a solution
  • Rear-axle out again and after some thinking we're lowering the Ponton chassie over it again
  • In this picture I'm trying to guide the vertical pin on the rear axle to go smoothly into the hole in the chassis
  • Another pic of the pin and our effort to get it in correctly into the Ponton.

When the chassis was done I went for the doors, fenders etc, see article Restoration - Sheet metal. And when that was done I wanted to see that everything still fitted, but this time in more detail. I also tested some of the chrome, the aluminium ornamental bars. This exercise was also used by me to see how it should be done, which screws to use where, how to fit sealings and so on. This took me some months (calender time of course, not working hours - but almost) actually, but it was worth every minute. I think I put everything together and then dismantled it again 4-5 times, taking some paint and threads with me each time. It was much better to do it at this stage, before the final paint...

One thing that I was told was that all MBs had a perfect match between doors, fenders, trunk etc It should be a 4.2 mm gap around everything. My memory of the car was that the fit was perfect on my 219 (if not better than 4.2 mm!). However, after the excersice described above my opinion is that this may hold true for the newer MBs like Pagoda and onwards, but on a Ponton I doubt it. After the first couples of weeks in the garage, trying to reach this perfection I gave up. Almost nothing matched. Instead I went to see some other Pontons together with a measuring tape, sliding caliper and feeler gauges. These cars are supposed to be untouched and I think that's correct. The gaps between the doors etc differed not one, but several millimeters and that on for example the same door compared to the same fender. The interesting thing is that the cars had the same "problems" as mine. It would be interesting to see if all Pontons have the same errors... I cannot recall everything as I write this but here are some examples:

  • trunk is bulged in the lower corners compared to the center piece below it
  • the "shelf" outside/below the rear window is not equally bent on left and right side - problems getting the fenders looking good
  • the shape of one of the rear doors (I don't remember which side) has a very bad fit compared to its rear fender
  • the left dog leg (rear fender under door) is too far out (picture one). In my case, the dog leg had been welded which probably added a millimeter or two to the bad fit
  • fit between front fenders and hood

Well, after all this work, testing different shims (see picture with open door and A-pillar visible) to get correct gaps and fit for doors, trunk and hood compared to the fenders I finally said, "this is OK, I don't care any more". I still didn't need a sliding caliper to measure the different gaps, absolutely not feeler gauges, a measuring tape was more appropriate. But taking a step or two backwards it actually looked damn good. I assume I reached a level that these cars had from the beginning.

Below you also see two pictures in which you'll find some very good tools if you want to do this yourself. And don't save money on these tools, especially not the screw drivers for the doors. It's very easy to damage screws and threads. Original screws are hard to find (the old screws heads have a larger diameter than new ones) and I can assure you that you don't want to damage the threaded plates inside the A- and B-pillars.

  • 10 mm combination wrench of course
  • 10 mm ratchet ring wrench
  • a small ratchet wrench with suitable sockets and stuff
  • feeler gauges (naja, rather not forget sliding caliper and measuring tape)
  • angle screwdriver Ph4
  • screwdriver Ph4
  • a "thing" that's used to compare shapes
  • an electrical screw driver with suitable bits and sockets, adjustable torque is also preferable
  • a ruler
  • a rivet plier

The rivet plier is not for pop rivets but for threaded rivets, very usable for example if you need to make new "nuts" in the scoop as well as in the reinforcement frame for the radiator and elsewhere.

  • Tools for assembling the sheet metal, doors, fenders, hood etc, on a Ponton
  • A rivet plier for making new "nuts" on different parts of the car
  • Ponton doors and fenders in line
  • Also the trunk lid and the fenders in line
  • The 219-door not really in line as wanted,probably due to a not perfectly welded dog leg
  • Adjusting Ponton door hinges

Be very careful when you set the doors up. The threaded plates in the A- and B-pillar is not always secured enough. In my case the welder had obviously bent the "holders" a little bit too much. And when I mounted the doors for the x time one of them broke - pling. Can you feel the chilly feeling going from your throat down into the stomach? I still remember the sound when the plate hit the bottom of the pillar. Well three large holes in the A-pillar and a magnetic pen and a couple of hours later that was fixed. The holes will of course be extra rust protected and welded. My threads in these plates were fortunately in good shape, actually new since my welder had repaired them when he fixed both the A-pillars.

Part V - And away for paint we go!

In march 2003 the chassis was taken to the painter. I had hoped that the snow was going to be away but after a perfect summer we had of course to get the perfect winter... Anyway, the roads were dry and it was transported 250km south without problems. On the pictures you can see my father and a former colleague from my work, Peter Lundqvist. He lived 1 km away from the garage. Even though I'm a nice guy he soon got to know that it had some disadvantages to live so close to my garage... The photographer is Günter Lenhardt, also a previous colleague of mine. Thanks a lot for your help guys!

  • Peter L and my father help me getting the Ponton out of the garage
  • The 219 being secured on the trailer
  • The old 219 covered for a 250km long trip on winter roads to the painter
  • The Ponton after having been dragged another 250km, now having come to temporary rest at the painter

Unfortunately, the paint job was quite delayed. The plan was to have the chassis back in my garage before the summer and start the funny work - assembly - during my vacations. Still after six months nothing had happened. On one hand it really slowed the total project progress down. On the other hand I had a lot of stuff in all the boxes in the garage that needed to be taken care of. But, in August 2003 (incl my birthday) I went to the painter and started with the sanding. Call it the pre-sanding, this was muuuuch harder and dirtier than I thought. And now I do understand why the car painters have problems finding and keeping their workforce. I now do understand why not everyone likes to paint old cars. I now do understand that there cannot be any money in preparing and painting old cars. While I stood there, sanding old - hence immensely hard - original paint for hours, there was a continuous, perfect flow of newer cars and parts. I now do understand why having a car painted is expensive, and even more expensive if you want the 110% perfect finish. To summarize; it was well spent 5 days - it was very informative. 

I concentrated on doing the "invisible" areas around the doors and in the engine bay. Engine bay? Again? Yes, I know but I thought it could be a good idea to have that part perfect as well. My garage paint was OK but could of course be much better. And that is what the painter did! On fenders, doors, trunk lid etc I only sanded through the top most layer, the hardest part. I leave to the professionals to level the surfaces etc. We didn't go down to bare metal if not necessary. If the original paint sticks to the metal (which mine does) it's the best foundation you can get.

Another Håkan, made some adjustments, for example to the protruding, left dog leg (see above why this was done) as well as lowering one of the brackets that hold the left entrance sill. And finally you can see me and my father bring the shiny, old, black lady back to its garage in 2014. After 45 years the Ponton had a new layer of shiny black DB040 paint.

  • The preparation of the fenders has started
  • One more time the engine bay for the 219's M180 engine was sanded and painted
  • Preparing the front fenders
  • Preparing the front fenders and engine bay
  • Fixing the left dog leg
  • The left dog leg, welded according to correct adjustments
  • Here we have lowered one of the brackets that hold the left entrance sill
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  • My father talking about his old 219, here standing in a fresh new paint, with the painter Kent Lindroth
  • The Ponton ready for the trip back to the garage