Bodywork repair

We removed front crossmember providing access to the floor pan. It was necessary to replace destroyed lover third of the front crosmember.

  All damaged floor panels were removed. In the debris trapped between floor panels there was discovered since long missing accelerator pedal lower attachment panel. Unfortunately it was too rusted to qualify for installation on the new floor panel. All additionally opened cavities were cleaned in sand blast camera before further restoration.

Front protection panel had been damaged in some accident and repaired just welding additional patch plate over the damage. Doorsteps in the area between two floor levels were damaged. On opposite side even over the floor level there were discovered holes.

We removed edges of the rear wheel arches. At the very front we discovered some three repair patch levels serving as corrosion source.

And wheel arches along the whole length of edges had been repaired just adding metal again and again. Similar situation was also at the rearmost end of wheel arches - just wider gaps were filled with tar.

Previously repaired frame sections under the rear seats were opened to check condition of the internal structure. These joints on the both sides had to be redone as long as no any rust cleaning had been done during repair and intermediate rusted crossmember palate had been restored to work as construction stiffener.

Doorstep outer plates were cut off to get access to the damaged doorstep internal structure. Exceptionally poor condition of the doorsteps was at the very front and very rear of the structures.

Doorstep condition was similar on the both sides of the body - applications over the doorstep holes did not stop penetration of the water into doorstep structure and further pull-down of the metal.
All rusty remnants were cut away preparing place for fresh substitutes.

Rear longerons had been repaired, but we had to open them as there were suspicions about poor work quality. This repair also had to be completely redone.

Rear edge of the trunk lid had been previously improperly repaired leaving corrosion source untouched. We cut away damaged areas of the trunk lid shell and frame to use those pieces as prototypes for our self made replacement panels.

  First sending of body parts arrived providing us with replacement panels for external rear wings repair. LHS front longeron parts were received as well.

Most valuable piece among parts in this sending was complete rear panel.

Delayed parts delivery unfortunately interrupted fluent course of the project. While waiting for still missing sheet metal parts required for body welding we ordered doorstep inner profiles (those are not available as spare parts) at machine shop. Due to the size and metal thickness it is not gainful to produce such parts manually.

We received valuable inner wing replacement panels as well as floor front protection plates.

Upper floor panels were delivered. Front floor bottom panel original replacements were received.

Arrived trunk floor rear section and trunk floor cross member which were needed for restoration of the rear end of the body.

Long awaited doorstep outer profiles were received. Both front crossmember halves were received to substitute present bent parts.  

We restored shape of the thick engine tunnel which had been damaged by broken propshaft during some accident.

Bottom parts of the rear wings were cut away to provide access to the rusted hidden cavities of the area. Just jack adapter tubes at the rear jack brackets were survived. The rest of the structures were lost.

Rusted bottom parts of the rear door pillars were reconstructed using tailored parts from fresh metal.

Front jack supports were incorporated into new self made inner doorstep front sections.

Specific inner doorstep rear sections were produced to replace destroyed inner doorsteps at the rear end of the structure. New jack support brackets were fabricated to accommodate original jack pivot capture tubes.

Assessed hidden outlasted body areas before further welding operations got additional surface sand blast treatment.

After some accident front of the body had been recently repaired, so we had to take away reinforcement profile to gain access to the previously hidden damaged and unrepaired surfaces. Welded on repair panel still was in decent condition so we could reuse it after small repair of the defaced top flange.

Under front reinforcement profiles on both sides we found large areas of the front longerons destroyed by corrosion. Discovered surfaces were cleaned and rusted areas were cut off. Replacement patches for longerons from corresponding material were produced.

 Opened structures under the rear seats were cleaned in blasting camera. Lost parts of the rear cross member structure under the rear seats were reconstructed.

Missing parts of the rear longerons were tailored to suit construction. Corrosion almost completely had been destroyed hollows for rear braking system arm traces so we had to reconstruct these items completely. Reconstructed sections of the rear longerons and our self produced hollows were precisely fitted into dedicated places.

Rusted through rear side window frame edges were reconstructed in detail.

Virtually any piece from this scrap metal pile has been reconstructed in detail using fresh metal.

First lower parts of the door pillars were reconstructed. Restored doorstep inner profile front and rear ends comprising jack mortises were welded into the place.

Now it was time to put into place new doorstep outer profiles.

  We continued our work on contiguous to the doorsteps structural areas of the body. Rear longeron inner front part adjacent to the inner doorstep profile was reconstructed. This part of structure after welding into place of the doorstep inner profile is forming closed cavity so all surfaces were covered by protective primer.

Inner doorstep profile was welded into place completing restoration of the rear longeron front end. As welding into place of the outer doorstep profile was resulting in one more closed cavity whole inner surface of the doorstep got a protective coat.

There were several rusted through areas on the inner wings. Through those rust spots water was invariably penetrating into closed cavities located in the luggage compartment. Cut-outs of damaged areas were made and protective coating applied on the inner structures discovered. As restoration of adjacent closed cavities was finished fresh plates were fixed into place.

Like on all experienced cabriolets dints on the body plate under the rear seat were rusted through. These formations are important for safety as those are used for the attachment of the hand brake cable brackets from underneath of the body. Damaged areas of the rear seat panel were cut out and replaced by self fabricated precisely shaped copies. As welding was finished all seams were grinded.

New inner wing outer panels were adapted to suit existing construction of the doorstep and remains of inner wing.

Inner wing outer panels are connected also to the damaged spare wheel recesses of the luggage compartment formed by bottom plates, striker panels and rearmost sections of the rear longerons, so all those components were cut away giving a way for the fresh replacement parts. Partly rear panel, luggage compartment floor, rear crossmember and bottom edge of the rear wing were removed. Now we could see that our assumptions about the body rear panel structure condition were right - here now we can see severe corrosion damages hidden by overlay welded patches.

Rear panel as well as rear part of the damaged luggage compartment floor and rear crossmember were cut off. On the left side even luggage compartment floor front section in front of the crossmember under the softtop box had large-scale passing-through corrosion damages, so restoration of the rear of the body end we had to start fabricating and replacing this panel first.

We finished restoration of destroyed by rust sections of the rear longitudinal members - both were self-fabricated as complete assembly units. New longitudinal members were welded to the doorsteps, diagonal members and remains of the rear longerons thus forming complete rear carrying structure of the body.

Protective primer was applied on all further closed cavities.

Inner surface of the self-tailored outer plates of the restored longitudinal members were covered by protective primer - just surfaces to weld were left without coating. Seams of the new outer plates of the rear longitudinal members were grinded after welding.

Now it was turn to tailor into place new outer sections of the rear wheel wells.

Unfortunately bottom parts of the rear longerons (longitudinal members) under the luggage compartment appeared corrosion damaged requiring complete restoration. Some 20 centimetres from the bottom of the rear inner wings were also cut off as it consisted of several layers of overlay threadbare mixed with some kilograms of filler.

Cleaned inner surfaces of the remaining rear longeron sections were coated by protective primer. New rear longeron (longitudinal member) profiles which were not available as spare parts were self fabricated. Internal surfaces were covered by protective primer before welding.

New rear part of the body was built around new floor of the luggage compartment. New part of the luggage compartment front floor section was welded into the place.

Rear luggage compartment floor panel, rear longerons, both spare wheel recesses and rear panel were forming one assembly unit. All those parts first were temporarily assembled together to check interplay and correlation with all other body components - lamps, mouldings, trunk lid, bumper brackets, etc.    

As usually even original replacement panel quality was far from satisfactory. Punched holes somehow were 7 mm asymmetric and shape of the rear panel was different from original so there were gaps of some 5 mm between both of rear lamps and panel surface. Rear panel was re-shaped to achieve fit to the original lamps and ensuring even gap around restored luggage compartment lid.

New rear part of the body was matched to the remains of the rear wings.

One by one we started to weld together all components of the body rear end structure.

Exhaust pipe brackets had severe corrosion damages and were not available as spare parts. All brackets of the body rear part were restored to previous shape.

To detect condition of the floor covers all those were cleaned first manually from the pitchy coating. Floor covers were finally prepared for painting by blasting.

Trimming spring brackets were cleaned by glass pellets and sent to galvanizing.

Unavailable as spare part left spare wheel recess bottom was self fabricated. Missing fuel pump installation reinforcement plate and fuel pump protection shroud was self fabricated.

Firewall reinforcement rusted through ribs and remaining in place left side front inner wing was restored.

Rusted through area of the left side front inner wing panel was cut out and corresponding replacement patch was prepared. Exact copy of damaged area was welded into place.

 Doorstep inner profiles were prepared for welding of the outer counterparts. Restoration of the left and right side doorsteps was completed.

Restoration of the doorstep front junctions to the front longerons was completed. New front reinforcement guard plates were tailored accordingly.

Remaining parts of the rear inner wings were prepared for the welding of new outer sections. Outer sections of the new inner wings were welded into place.

Junctions between rear inner wings and doorsteps were reconstructed.

Rusted through sections of the firewall were replaced by fresh patches.

Closed cavities of the central longerons under the floor pan were covered by protective coat before floor panels were welded into place.

Destroyed by rust reinforcement ribs hidden in the closed box construction under the rear seat first were reconstructed and then coated with protective primer before floor panels were welded into place.

New floor panels restoring joints to doorsteps, front longerons, engine tunnel, firewall and reinforcement structure behind B-pillars were welded into place.

Before front and floor reinforcement plates were welded into place respective henceforward hidden surfaces were coated by protective primer.

Front floor reinforcement plate was welded under the floor pan and connected to the longerons.

New front reinforcement plates were welded into place.

As welding spots were grinded restoration of the floor pan was completed.

New outer panels of wheel arches were reshaped to ensure smooth butt joint with existing body panels.

New rear wing valances were tailored to suit remains of the rear wings.

Lost inner wing surfaces were reconstructed and mated to the new trunk floor panels.

Front part of the car during previous repair had been borrowed from another car and later again damaged, so we had to cut away bent front crossmember.

As crossmember was removed we got access required for front longeron repair. Rusted through areas of the front longerons were cut out. Corresponding thickness patches were welded into place and surfaces were grinded.

Geometry of the previously damaged front part of the car was reconstructed before welding of new front wing components was started. New front crossmember was temporarily attached to the place to verify body measurements.

We checked compatibility of both received new front RHS wheel housing - both parts unfortunately did not fit together. Reinforcement panel had inappropriate curvature in several areas.

Received LHS reinforcement panel had completely inappropriate shape, so we had to restore old panel instead using correct segments taken from new panel.

Wrong shape of the reinforcement panel was corrected rolling incorrect surfaces manually until correct fit between adjacent panels is reached. There was a lack of metal in some areas of the pressed reinforcement panel - we made a cut outs and added metal to achieve correct shape of the panel.

There were not available RHS front wheel housing panels for RHS steering wheel location, so we had to leave and restore old existing panel areas, which were different on this new panel. We cut and removed all damaged areas of the front wheel housing panel.

Compatibility of old and new components was checked before welding was started. New prepared panel was welded to the remains of the old panel.

All further hidden cavities before welding were coated by protective primer prior to welding.

Prepared in advance reinforcement profile was welded into place. Welding seams were grinded finishing works on this RHS panel.

LHS front wheel housing reinforcement panel was restored using old restored profile supplementing it by usable sections from new part. As usual, all further hidden cavities before closing were protected by protective primer.

Restored reinforcement panel was welded into place.

Front wings were installed to check compatibility of all parts forming new front part of the body.

Damaged areas of the firewall and reinforcement profile were cut off and protective treatment applied to the cleaned internal surfaces of the box-shaped profile. New sections were fabricated to replace damaged metal of the firewall and reinforcement profile.

Replacement patches were welded into place and seams grinded.

Removed crossmember under the front seats was restored replacing all destroyed by corrosion flanges. Protective primer was applied on internal surface of the restored crossmember.

Similarly further hidden areas of the floor panels got at protective layer. Crossmember was welded into place and weld seams grinded.

New nuts for gearbox reinforcement pan attachment were manufactured to substitute old nuts with damaged thread. Damaged nuts were removed and new replacements were welded into place on the central tunnel.

Damaged by corrosion areas of the front panel were cut off, closed cavities cleaned and primed. Exact copies of the removed front panel sections were fabricated and primed prior to welding. New patches were welded into place completing restoration of the front panel behind the dashboard.

Rusted through areas of the panel below the windshield and around the wiper arm attachments were reconstructed.

Cracks on inner wall panels at the front door pillars on the both sides of the body were welded and grinded.

Since it was requested to restore car in original condition we borrowed heater unit and radio from another car to reconstruct all destroyed by previous owner attachment points.

 All components of the front part were installed to check compatibility of the restored front part of the body. Before final welds are done on the rear part of the body compatibility of the body with chromed decorations was carried out, so first all removable body components were installed and precisely adjusted.

Doorstep chromed mouldings and bottom part of the body were adjusted together. We checked compatibility and adjusted fit of all wheel arch decorations and wing flanges.

Wing repair patches did not match exactly to W112 model chromed decorations, so we tailored those panels to suit our needs. Welding seams of the new wing panels were grinded as correct shape was achieved.

All body decorations were installed to ensure perfect fit.

Adjacent to doorsill chromed decoration profiles doorstep cover plates were reconstructed replacing rusted through areas with fresh metal patches. Restored doorstep cover plates were installed and fitted to the chromed decoration profiles.

  Chromed brass decoration profiles were straightened; cracks and unnecessary holes were plugged by brass welding. Dimples were hammered out achieving original shape of the profiles. Damaged areas of the wheel opening decorations were re-shaped; cracks and unnecessary holes were repaired by brass welding.

Floors of the luggage compartment were welded into place.

All unnecessary body holes were plugged by brass welding.

Damaged air filter housing was restored.

 Inner surfaces behind rear wings were covered by protective primer before prepared rear wing edges were welded into place. Similarly protective primer was applied on the body panels which were later easy inaccessible from the inside of the body.

New bottom parts of the side panels were fabricated and attached to the body to check compatibility with decorations. Wheel arch patches were fixed to the body before welding.

New rearmost rear wing bottom parts were fabricated and tailored to suit remains and fresh panels of the body. All components were temporarily fixed together before welding to achieve correct shape of the body before welding.

Inner surface of the front longerons was prepared before front crossmember welding. Both front crossmember parts were welded together before installation on the body.

Finally new front crossmember was fixed into the place.

Fresh metal patch was welded to restore rear edge of the luggage compartment lid.

Front wings before were taken from another car so we had to modify attachment flanges to achieve acceptable fit. To achieve correct and even gaps between doors and front wings we had to apply brass soldering on the door edges.

As last was cut out and welded damaged area at the rear wing junction with rear window opening frame. After repair tin loading was applied to the rear wing restored area.

Tin loading was applied along all body shell outer panels repair seams.

Body was disassembled and all repaired areas were cleaned by sandblasting. All temporary paints from spare parts were removed during sand blasting.

Body was assembled before moving to the paintshop.

At the paintshop all body inner surfaces got a specific chemical treatment before primer was applied. As inner surfaces were prepared works were continued on the outer panels.

Body was completely primed and putty was over sprayed. Surfaces were sanded until necessary surface quality was achieved.

Removed body components were processed separately. Before final paint application whole body again was assembled to check compatibility.

  Seam mastic was applied along all interior welding seams. Seam mastic was applied along all weld seams in the luggage compartment. All weld seams underneath the body received protective treatment.

Body interior surfaces were painted according to Mercedes paint scheme.

Restored car body was delivered from the paintshop for further assembling actions.

Protective layer was applied underneath the body. Further hidden body surfaces got additional rust protection treatment.

to top