Sheet metal (72, 73, 75, 88, 89)
My Mercedes-Benz 219 photographed in Eskilstuna, along the river Eskilstunaån
These pages will show you the work on the Ponton "sheet metal", i.e. doors, fenders etc. As usual I won't cover the whole process and all the parts here, mainly those that shows what I did on a general level as well where I had problems or where I think my ideas and pictures can be of any help to others.
The restoration of the different parts of the sheet metal can be found in the sub menus under Sheet metal. Enjoy everything!
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.
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.
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.
Ponton Mercedes-Benz 220a with fitted luggage, © Daimler AG
In the beginning I thought that the bumpers would be in such a good shape that I only had to polish them. The first inspection in probably 20 years revealed that it was not the case. The chrome was not only in a rather bad shape, the bumpers and bumperettes were also scratched and had dents. I was responsible for one or two things but obviously the usage over so many kilometers and years, partly on salty, Swedish roads, had left its marks.
First step was of course to disassembled them. Thanks to my father’s Tectyl treatment everything loosened nice and fine. However good the Tectyl had been for the bumpers, the chroming company wanted the parts cleaned from it as well as paint and rust.
I degreased and sandblasted them. The rust under the bracket holders was however too severe for my equipment so I had to take them to a sandblasting company together with the brackets.
As usual all screws, plates, washers etc was cleaned, sandblasted and plated. In some of the pictures you can see additional parts for the braking system as well as the pins etc for the spare wheel.
The brackets were powder coated. To be honest I did this by mistake and under stress, by recommendation from the sandblasting company. My opinion of powder coating is that it looks very good, is not as brittle as paint and hence can stand chipping etc better. But, if the rust gets its grip under the coating you may have problems discovering it since the rust can lurk underneath it. Well, now it is done.
The rust free bumper parts were handed in. The company was responsible for fixing dents, scratches and everything. I also told them to fix the holes for the “under-the-bumper-daylight-lights” in the side parts of the front bumpers (popular/mandatory extra equipment in Sweden during the 70 & 80ies). Unfortunately, I forgot to verify that this instruction was written down in the work statement. I discovered that when I did the check before the last part of the process, putting the chrome on. As you can see in the pictures everything has the last copper plating and are polished to perfection. I decided I didn’t want to pay for another round of work on the front bumpers, so I will have to live with these two holes. Won’t be visible, but annoying to know they are there.
The inspection revealed that one rear, side part had to be adjusted before the chroming as well as to wheel covers, one had a dent and one “dust particles” in the copper (I did the wheel covers on the same time as the bumpers, see article Wheels).
After the necessary fine tuning, the parts were chromed and the result was perfect!
Chromed Ponton bumpers and sheet metal
Painting the rear side
The chrome on the Ponton (and possibly other MB’s as well) is painted on the backside with DB158 "Weissgrau" (White-Gray). I used Spies Hecker’s 2k paint with 55% matting additive to get the correct semi-gloss finish. The DB158 was sprayed over a layer of Hagmans yellow CA-primer. During this work I made two short-cuts. We’ll see if I’ll get a problem with that in the future or not:
- During the chroming process “difficult areas” are covered with a lacquer in order not to be affected by certain parts of the process, if I remember correctly primarily the final chroming. It was explained to me exactly why this was done but unfortunately, I didn’t write it down. But it has to do with how the electric current flows in the bath and through the parts being chromed and that you want to prevent unwanted build-up, “burns” etc. In the pictures you can see where the lacquer is and then you’ll understand it better. In my case “#57002 Abdecklack-OCKER” (in Swedish “290415 Gul maskeringslack”) from Schlötter was used. It is based on ethyl acetate (ethanol in acetic acid) as solvent. The plating company said I should leave the lacquer where it was, “everyone does”. I talked to Schlötter in Sweden who said that it is “normally” taken off. I tried to peel it off, but except from some obvious loose parts it was more or less impossible and would require many, many hours of work and would probably involve heating/freezing the parts/lacquer and a lot of thinner. So, I decided to let it be where it was but carefully covered it with primer and paint. If it starts to fall off, I will take the bumpers down, clean them from all the lacquer and redo the paint.
- Chrome and paint don’t go very well together. It’s difficult to get the paint to stick. I talked to the plating guy and involved paint companies as well as some other guys. There was no one who could offer a paint/primer that they can promise will stick to shiny chrome (or the lacquer mentioned above). The best thing to do is to sand the chrome and thereafter paint but “normally” people tend to just paint the chrome and hope for the best. That is what I did. I did however also make several checks and the primer/paint seem to stick very well. If the paint starts to flake, I will take the bumpers down, clean them and redo the work.
It can also be noted that also the edges of my original chrome were painted with DB158. In the pictures the DB158 looks more glossy than it actually is (blame the photographer, sunlight and the not yet dried paint).
Fenders and entrance sills (88)
My work place for a couple of years, the Mercedes-Benz W124, model 250d
The entrance sill as well as the cover plate in the front are in almost perfect condition. There are however, some dents in the entrance sills, smaller rust attacks where they meet the mudguards as well as around the B-pillar that will have to be fixed. The cover plate has a minor rust damage around the hole for the right, extra light (fog light).
The front fenders had the normal rust spots in the lamp pots as well as the pipes from these. These were repaired/replaced. The left front fender also had a rust hole on the top as well as along the chassis/motor compartment. The rear fenders were in a good condition, except in the pot for the fuel "hoses" and belonging flap. The pot was taken off, repaired and put back in place and the seams fixed. The flap had to be replaced.
When repaired, everything was checked and adjusted more than a couple of times against the welded chassis.
Then they were painted according to chapter "Step" in the article Chassis. Note the sealant on the front fender as well as entrance sill.
Do also visit Welding for other parts of the chassis reparation.
Hood and trunk lid (75, 88, 89)
Ponton Mercedes-Benz 220a, 1954 to 1956, © Daimler AG
The first two photos below are showing the coating under the hood. I spent some hours cleaning the hood, in vain. Later it turned out that it had some minor dents that would be difficult/expensive to fix in combination with rust in the front. Therefore I've invested in a "new", almost perfect one. The other two pictures show the locking mechanism of the hood, before restoration.
In order to mimic the original coating under the hood I turned to my beloved Teroson's "Telescope Pistol Multi-Press air assisted spray pistol" which previously had been used for sealing the seams before painting the chassis. I used Teroson’s MS 9320 SF which is supposed to be good sound and vibration dampener and can also stand the heat from the engine as well as oil etc. By adjusting the front nozzle, amount of sealant sprayed and air pressure you can get a lot of different patterns. If I opened the nozzle 0,5 turns, set material flow to fully open minus 0,5 turn and around 5 bar air pressure I got [almost] the desired structure. I probably should have lessened the material flow a bit in order to get the structure a little bit finer. If I remember correctly, I used 4, maybe 5, cartridges of 9320 in order to achieve the desired material thickness of 2-3mm. I’m very happy with the result and hope it will give a more silent ride.
Bowden cable for the hood, so far only two pictures of dirty screws...
Sound and vibration dampening of hood
In order to mimic the original coating under the hood (see pictures in gallery above) I turned to my beloved Teroson's "Telescope Pistol Multi-Press air assisted spray pistol" which previously had been used for sealing the seams before painting the chassis. I used Teroson’s MS 9320 SF which is supposed to be good sound and vibration dampener and can also stand the heat from the engine as well as oil etc. By adjusting the front nozzle, amount of sealant sprayed and air pressure you can get a lot of different patterns. If I opened the nozzle 0,5 turns, set material flow to fully open minus 0,5 turn and around 5 bar air pressure I got [almost] the desired structure. I probably should have lessened the material flow a bit in order to get the structure a little bit finer. If I remember correctly, I used 4, maybe 5, cartridges of 9320 in order to achieve the desired material thickness of 2-3mm. I’m very happy with the result and hope it will give a more silent ride.
This is the first pictures of the restoration of the trunk lid. As I've mentioned under Putting it all together - Part III - spraying the invisible areas, also the trunk lid's DB7164 got a little bit too glossy. It's not as bad as it looks on the photo (taken with flash and in day light).