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Thread: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

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    Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Folks,

    This is a saga that started, in effect, on October 23, 2016. This thread will chronicle the process. Let me start with a bit of background.

    Background
    The morning of October 23, 2016 was a sunny, warmish Sunday morning, about 8:30 AM. Being a rare weekend when I was actually in Houston, and not traveling, I woke up and decided to head out to the wrecking yards to try my luck with the Mercedes automotive gods. I was in search of cool parts and perhaps a few things I could sell to help out some fellow owners.

    I had just gotten off of West Loop I-610 South, which is south of downtown Houston, heading to the LKQ Hiram Clarke wrecking yard. I was a couple of miles from the yard, and was stopped at a traffic light & intersection.

    The road was a one-way "feeder" road, parallel to the I-610 Loop. The one-way road consisted of four lanes:
    1. Left lane - a dedicated U-turn lane that went under the I-610 overpass
    2. Second to left lane - a combination left-turn or straight-ahead lane
    3. Second to right lane - a dedicated straight-ahead lane
    4. Right lane - a dedicated right-turn lane

    I was second in line behind a pickup truck in the "second to left lane" as above. I was planning to go straight ahead through the intersection. A semi tractor/trailer was to my right, in the dedicated straight-ahead lane.

    The light turned green, and the pickup in front of me turned left to go under the underpass. I continued straight ahead, planning to turn left at the NEXT stoplight on the feeder road, about a 1/4 mile down the road.

    I got about halfway through the intersection, and suddenly felt a sharp jolt to the car. The semi truck to my right, and slightly behind me, assumed that I was going to turn left, and that he was also going to turn left as well, from his dedicated straight-ahead lane. The jolt I felt was the front left fender of the truck turning into the rear quarter-panel of my car, and glancing back off.

    After the initial shock/surprise of this, I continued straight through the intersection and (now in the left lane of the feeder road, past the intersection) and pulled my 560SEC up onto the left-hand median. The tractor-trailer pulled into the left lane directly ahead of my car, and put on his flashers.

    I got out of the vehicle, and found what you see in the following photos. The right rear quarter panel was heavily damaged, the right rear tire was popped and the Lorinser DS-90 wheel was shot, and the rear part of the passenger-side door was dented in pretty severely. The short lower-cladding piece between the rear wheel arch and the rear of the passenger door was laying, mangled, in the middle of the intersection.

    I called the Houston Police non-emergency number, and took my information and despatched a police cruiser, which arrived after about 15 minutes. After about 10 minutes sitting in the truck, the truck driver got out, inspected the front of his truck, and very tentatively came back to talk to me. He observed and took a few photos of the damage to my car. I asked him why he turned left (into me) from a dedicated straight-ahead lane, and he muttered something about believing it was a left-turn lane. Other than that, he said nothing to me.

    The female police officer arrived and took my information, and also my story as to what happened. Then she did the same with the truck driver and his information, and exchanged the forms so that we had each others' information. She also confirmed that the truck driver was clearly at fault for the accident (he was not fluent in English), and she indicated that she was issuing him several citations for his failure to yield.

    I have been driving since late 1982. This is the very first time in 34+ years that I have EVER been involved in any type of accident or collision. I was extremely bummed, but thankful that it wasn't my fault. And even more thankful that I wasn't hurt.

    I have been driving since late 1982. This is the second time in 34+ years that I have EVER been involved in any type of accident or collision. The first accident I had when back in the last 1980s, when I ran a friend's car into a curb at moderate speed, cracking two of his alloy wheels and damaging his suspension. With this accident involving my Mercedes coupe, I was extremely bummed, but thankful that it wasn't my fault. And even more thankful that I wasn't hurt.

    Here are some photos of the damage to the car, taken at the scene of the accident.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    The car appeared to be driveable, despite the damage. While the police officer was speaking with the truck driver, I removed the spare wheel and jack from the vehicle (thankfully I had a set of the stock "long" lug bolts for the factory spare tire). Then I changed the bent/broken wheel and replaced it with the spare, putting the broken Lorinser in the trunk. I was able to continue along my way, as I was so close to the wrecking yard (and a good 45-50 minute drive from home), and went to the yard and scored a BUNCH of good parts !!

    The trucking company had insurance, thankfully. The next week, they sent out an adjuster who looked over my car. A few days later, they indicated that they would pay for the damage and NOT total the car, indicating the assessed value of my car was $23,000. They issued me an absurdly low check for just over $6,000 (more about this in a minute).

    From there, I began contacting a couple of body shops in the Houston area, finally settling on the best, premier body shop that is MB, Audi and BMW factory certified for paint and repair. After an initial visit and discussion with the owner, he agreed to take my car and repair it. He felt the $6,000 sent to me by the trucking company's insurance agency was very low, but said he would fight them directly for the remainder for the total repair.

    As we viewed the car, he indicated that at minimum, the entire side of the car would need to be painted, and blended up to the rain channel on the roof. And, of course, re-pinstriped. The car had originally been hand-pinstriped when new by a very famous East Coast pin-striper who was very well-known for doing high-end vehicles. This pin-striper's trademark was a "Hang Ten" logo that he put on the back of the trunk of all cars he striped (see attached photos).

    At this time, I also started checking my options as far as sourcing replacement parts, because I had decided to fix the car. This SEC has been with me since August, 2002, and I was not about to sell it or scrap it now. Too much history with this car, and I know it intimately. Mechanically, the car operates excellently.

    Some back-and-forth with Tom Hanson indicated that the rear quarter-panel sheet metal is NLA from Mercedes-Benz. The door is available either as a complete door assembly, or as an outer door skin, although the parts must be shipped from Germany. The lower cladding pieces are also NLA from MB, although the chrome strips on them are available.

    Louis (nocfn) was able to source a spare piece of the short cladding for me through his own sources, and I also sourced a second piece of short cladding and a door cladding piece from Germany, which is due to arrive to me this week.

    Discussing the options with the body shop owner, he said that the damage was too severe to pound out the panel, and it wasn't realistic to "Bondo" it (although he strongly felt that the door denting was fixable.

    The only option available to me was to source a spare quarter-panel from a wrecked or parts coupe. Luckily, I was able to source a rear quarter-section from a coupe here in Houston at a wrecking yard, for the price of $600. This came from a 1991 maroon coupe.

    Also, fortunately, I had an exact spare of a Lorinser DS-90 wheel of the proper size in my spare parts stock, as well. I had obtained this a couple or three years ago and had intended to buy a new tire for it and put it in the vehicle the next time I purchased a new set of rear tires for the car (I had last purchased new Conti DWs during the summer of 2014). So, I had the cladding and wheel issues taken care of, as well as the quarter-panel.

    Big Whew.

    I dropped the car off at the body shop on December 14th, right before I took off to New York City for a long business trip. Here are some photos of the car as I dropped it off at the body shop on December 14th.

    For reference, I also took some close-up photos of the hand-painted pinstriping.
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    At the time I dropped off the car, I told the body shop owner to just go ahead and paint the entire car. The car is still wearing its original, 28-year-old paint and it was quite tired, though still holding up after all these years. This would guarantee that the car would emerge looking its very best from this debacle.

    I also told the body shop that I wanted to paint both bumpers on the car. The bumpers (particularly the bottom and sides of the front spoiler) were very gouged up and scraped from many years of hitting parking curbs and the like, parking lot scrapes, and so forth. So, it just made sense to make the decision to paint the entire car.

    One of my biggest concerns was about the rear quarter-window: after the accident, it only went down about 2/3 of the way behind the rear quarter-panel, due to a lack of clearance because of the mashed-in rear fender.

    Obviously, the extra paint work and bumper painting would come at my own cost, which would be in addition to the costs incurred by the body shop for the accident repair (which they would be battling the insurance company to cover in its entirety).

    I stopped by the body shop today (January 11) to check on the progress of the car. They had just started the initial removal and prep work just after the New Year.

    Fortunately, the window regulator mechanism, upon close inspection, was unaffected by the accident and not bent. There is very tight clearance behind the fender for the window, and I was very worried that the regular was damaged in the accident. Fortunately, everything was OK with this.

    Here are some photos of the beginning of the repair. You can see that the damaged section of the rear quarter-panel was cut out. A new section from the maroon car's rear quarter will be welded into the same position, and the door panel and rear wheel arch lip will be massaged and repaired.
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    ohhhh noooooo...thats not nice..but i guess the guys at the body shop knows what they are doing?

    lovely car by the way.really love the c126"s.

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Had the same thing happen to my black 2.6 190e. Got sideswiped by an idiot driver just like that.

    I hope it turns out well. I wasn't happy with the body shop work and hope you don't go thru the same garbage.
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation


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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    If I know Honch, he will secure $3.500 as technical advisor to the shop. They do fantastic work.
    Gerry, since the excitement of the events have subsided somewhat, on your next visit lube your window regulator and also the safety inspection is due in 45 days.
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    The car is due to be out of the body shop hopefully by the end of February. I'll get the annual $13.00 safety-only inspection (the car is exempted from emissions testing) before the end of the month, and then send to Austin for the registration sticker.

    The body shop owner was marveling at the quality of the steel - he said it's a "real joy" to work on the C126 because "they're made of real metal - thick gauge steel. Not this thin stuff that you see on MBs, BMWs, and the like today. Japanese cars always had that thin steel, but Mercedes and its competitors got cheap during the 1990s."

    He also believes that the 126 is the "last great generation" of Mercedes build quality, materials, and engineering. It's amazing how unified the opinions are of professionals who know Mercedes are, with regard to the over-built quality of engines, components and materials in the W/C126 models, M117, etc.

    After this job is over, I'm going to remove all of the wood and send it to Madera Concepts to be redone. With a thorough detailing inside and out, that should really make the car pop.

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    The body shop owner was marveling at the quality of the steel - he said it's a "real joy" to work on the C126 because "they're made of real metal - thick gauge steel...
    I'm sure he is not too fond of Alfa Romeo's then. No B.S. Jeff's car has about the cheapest / thinnest body steel I have ever seen on an automobile. I don't think he could even drive it in the rain (assuming it ever ran) for fear what it would look like it went through a hail storm. It is truly comical to see and feel the roof and deck lid pop in and out at the slightest touch....




    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    ...After this job is over, I'm going to remove all of the wood and send it to Madera Concepts to be redone. With a thorough detailing inside and out, that should really make the car pop.

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    I was holding my breath until I saw that they did not try to remove the whole quarter panel. Doing a full quarter is quite the job and is rarely done right. TIG or gas welding a section is probably better (MIG can create too much heat and make metal become hard , making it hard to metal work).

    I have a 1990 560SEL that I purchased from an insurance auction about a year ago. Aside from the damage, the car looks almost brand new. It was blasted in the rear and will need at least a quarter panel and the rear panel replaced.
    The car belonged to a friend of mine here in Dallas before it was totaled. He bought it from a fellow in Houston who kept meticulous records.
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    When i cut up my 86 Euro 420SEC parts car into 3 sections and cut the roof off (LHD and of no use to me) i was amazed at how solid the W126's are actually built.
    No use of any thin gauge metal at all and the cabin area is well braced in design to take impact.
    Within the A pillars (which are already pretty sturdy in construction) runs thick gauge steel tubing for extra bracing in case of a rollover/roof impact.
    No wonder they were considered the safest car in the world at the time with the very extensive crash testing MB punished them with in the R&D phase.
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    The car is due to be out of the body shop hopefully by the end of February. I'll get the annual $13.00 safety-only inspection (the car is exempted from emissions testing) before the end of the month, and then send to Austin for the registration sticker.

    The body shop owner was marveling at the quality of the steel - he said it's a "real joy" to work on the C126 because "they're made of real metal - thick gauge steel. Not this thin stuff that you see on MBs, BMWs, and the like today. Japanese cars always had that thin steel, but Mercedes and its competitors got cheap during the 1990s."

    He also believes that the 126 is the "last great generation" of Mercedes build quality, materials, and engineering. It's amazing how unified the opinions are of professionals who know Mercedes are, with regard to the over-built quality of engines, components and materials in the W/C126 models, M117, etc.

    After this job is over, I'm going to remove all of the wood and send it to Madera Concepts to be redone. With a thorough detailing inside and out, that should really make the car pop.
    A few years ago, I had a paintless dent repair guy fix a dent in the A124 cabrio I had at the time. I could see that something was bothering him so I asked if there was something wrong which would prevent him from fixing the dent. He said that no, he could fix it, but it would be a hard and long job for him because the steel of older MBs is so much thicker than in modern cars that it takes a lot more time and hard pushing to move the steel back into place. After quite a long time, he never got it completely straight and said that's the best it would get.

    I read somewhere that one of the ways Lexus, when the brand was introduced, managed to sell cars that were "equivalent" to MBs, at least on paper, was that MB spent money on things like higher quality steel that drove the cost of the car up. That's one of those things that isn't immediately apparent to most consumers so they spend their $ on the cars that have the same options but cost a lot less. A company can't stay in business charging more for features that customers don't want to pay for, so eventually all cars get thinner steel.

    Going back to my old cabrio, one of the features I loved about it was the complex engineering of the trunk hinges. A lot of work went into making sure they took up as little of the already small trunk space as possible. But it's something a car shopper might not realize when buying a car. I wonder what the new cabrio trunk hinges are like.

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Here is a 2014 A207 for ya, not much to them. Same MB THUD!
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    good luck with repairs

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Seems to be getting ok with you car, Gerry.

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Thanks...we'll see how things turn out. I'll know much more in a month or so...
    The best thing about all this is that it prompted me to get my car painted...and to (soon) get the wood re-done.

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Sorry to hear about your 560, Gerry. I'm sure in the end, you'll be pleased with the results. What shop did you use, if you don't mind disclosing. I live by River oaks paint and body, where I see a bunch of Wrecked MBs and BMWs, but I figure you are probably using someone in the north side of town. Roy

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Quote Originally Posted by hobbsm3 View Post
    Sorry to hear about your 560, Gerry. I'm sure in the end, you'll be pleased with the results. What shop did you use, if you don't mind disclosing. I live by River oaks paint and body, where I see a bunch of Wrecked MBs and BMWs, but I figure you are probably using someone in the north side of town. Roy
    The body shop owner asked me at this point not to disclose in my post who I'm using, so I'll honor his wishes at this point in time. River Oaks Paint & Body was my #2 choice, and I actually made an appointment to and visit them, but after visiting the shop I went with, I felt quite rapidly I didn't need to go further.

    The shop I went with is just west of I-45 and just south of the I-610 Loop, so actually inside the North Loop, aye.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    I smell an MBCA - Houston event in February....
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    I wouldn't know - I'm a member of the MBCA North Texas section.

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    Thanks...we'll see how things turn out. I'll know much more in a month or so...
    The best thing about all this is that it prompted me to get my car painted...and to (soon) get the wood re-done.
    Wishing you the very best of luck. I saw the picture of your interior taken apart and the panels strewn about the interior, resting on the wood, etc .... this is my #1 pet peeve of bodyshops .... they might be masters at their metal/paint craft, but interior disassembly/reassembly I find is something Im too picky about to let anyone do other than myself.....I find it a bit like finish carpentry.

    You will love the wood redone by madera. Mine is now so glossy and brilliant that Im reluctant to even touch it lest I get fingerprints on it.
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Sorry to see your car got hit – that sucks. You were lucky having the one spare wheel to match the set! I think you are making the right choice having the whole car painted – nothing more gratifying than a freshly painted Benz!
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Gerry,

    Glad to see the body shop and you are getting the car fixed! I have read many times the old body book- "how to bump metal" which was published by fairmount body tools. Excellent and yes that door should be quite easy. I met a guy in my 20's whom was 15 years older and could do most of that stuff well. On sectioning a panel, he would spend a lot of time making sure they fit together(new and old) perfectly. Then, with a gas torch he would heat rapidly the metal and hammer with someone holding a backup dolly very quickly. Do little sections at a time and fuse the metal together with no filler. The door dent is looks like classic oil can. They should simply straighten the crease and then there will be little or no filler needed. If the metal is wonderful and thick as talked about, they can run a body fill over the repair area, work the highs and lows with hammer and dolly. Old days- pre body fillers.

    What painting system do they use? Hope it turns out excellent as it will help them get more work in the future.

    Michael

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation



    I stopped by the body shop this morning to drop off the rear quarter-panel and passenger door lower cladding pieces that I received from my friend Thomas Grevel in Germany. He shipped these pieces to me via the "slow boat" in late November, and I received them in mid-January, right before I had to go to New York City and the East Coast on a business trip.

    So, thought I'd drop in and get an update on the car's progress.

    Needless to say, I was very pleasantly surprised to see the work done over the past three weeks. The car is almost ready for paint.

    A few status updates, as you peruse the photos:

    • The car's body rubber has been removed (except the rear window/seal, which I replaced with new factory rubber about 10 years ago in Portland, OR). It will receive all new factory body rubber, and a new sunroof seal.
    • The car's replacement hood is in the process of being prepped. This was a proper "Gen 2" coupe hood that I acquired some time back from 281lxm (aka nocfn), which he got from a 560SEC parts car he dismantled. The hood on my coupe was from a "Gen 1" coupe, and although it fit the car perfectly, it did not have the proper channels for the heated windshield washer wiring, so I took this opportunity to swap out the replacement/proper hood for the Gen 1 hood. If anyone needs a Gen 1 hood, please let me know as mine will be for sale.
    • You can see that the welded-in panel has been fitted and is in final stages of body work. Same with the passenger side door repair.
    • The body shop filled all of the dings and small imperfections on the body that the car has accumulated over its 240,000 mile, 28-year lifetime.

    Enjoy the photos. I'm planning to stop back by the body shop next week and for the next couple of weeks to continue to document progress.

    I'm excited that the car is coming together, slowly but surely. And I'm glad that I made the decision to "save" it rather than just cop out and get another coupe. I expect that the car will be all done by the end of February.

    Cheers,
    Gerry
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Loveeeelyyy
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    .... i can see the parts i send to you
    ....keep your feed to the ground, and keep reaching for the stars!!!

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Pretty cool when you think the number of lives who have touched this car from ownership, to the donor parts from Texas via Beverly Hills for the hood and Germany and South
    Carolina for cladding pieces. Don't forget the quarter panel from the yard. Pretty darn awesome.
    1994 E500
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    This coupe and I have been through a lot over the past 14.5 years. It truly deserves the "refresh" that it's receiving (and will continue to receive).

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Looks great, the envy of many men getting a full repaint!
    Can't wait to read and see more

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Any progress to share?

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    I've been traveling, but should have more progress to share in the next week or so. The car is nearing completion.

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    I got word today from the body shop that the body paint is all done, and all that remains is the bumper and lower cladding paint, which will be done next week. Unfortunately, the long piece of door cladding that I had received from Germany is from a driver's side rather than the needed passenger side, introducing a minor issue. Fortunately 281lxmnocfn was able to source a piece from a friend, which will be sent to the body shop for the final painting.

    I'll definitely be picking up the car in the next few weeks, after I return from my latest round of travels.

    Next week, I'll take and post some photos of the body paintwork, as I'm back in Houston for a few days before leaving again.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    That source was the board's own member 7delta.
    1994 E500
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    1991 560 SEC
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    All boxed up, will go out ASAP tomorrow via FedEx.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
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    92 300D 282k and counting.
    E5E .... at some point.

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Cladding received and the bumpers and cladding were painted on Friday, I am told. Serious thanks to 7delta for providing the cladding pieces with expedited shipping, to help keep the project on track per the body shop's timeline.

    I am told that the car has been completely painted and is almost ready for pickup. I won't be back in Houston until around the 27th of March to get it, but will update the thread with the final images when I do so. Hopefully I can also get some additional "in process" photographs to post from the owner of the body shop.

    Happened to be looking in the EPC today, and found the following terminology used for the color of my SEC upholstery on the car's data card....

    Shroom.JPG




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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    Happened to be looking in the EPC today, and found the following

    C220, Canada Special Edition? Huh.


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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Very rarely would I do this, but I'm going to award myself a

    Any mushroom-related post that garners a gsxr rejoinder, is generally an automatic yoink award.

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation


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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Happy to help. Looking forward to seeing the finished product!

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    92 300D 282k and counting.
    E5E .... at some point.

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    I stopped by the body shop today briefly to check progress on the car. It's coming along but still a bit of a way from being done. I am expecting things to be wrapped up by mid-April, which is fine because I'm out of town until that time frame.

    Before I post the photos, here's what's been done in recent weeks:

    • Front and rear glass out
    • Sunroof out and refinished/repainted
    • All windows and associated trim out
    • All cladding removed and painted
    • All logos removed from trunk bodywork
    • Bumpers removed and painted
    • Gen 1 coupe hood removed and replaced with proper (Gen 2) hood, repaired and painted
    • Door jambs painted

    The car is now fully painted, front and rear windscreen glass has been replaced, and the shop is just now beginning to re-install all trim, cladding and logos.

    The car is a bit dusty because it was outside, and we just finished the annual Houston "pollen deluge" of green pollen. So, don't judge the paint by the dust and pollen that is on it. The paint will go through final finish and prep and I should have delivery of it by mid-April.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

    Click on the photos to enlarge images.

    2017-03-28 12.46.36.jpg 2017-03-28 12.46.42.jpg 2017-03-28 12.46.49.jpg 2017-03-28 12.47.13.jpg 2017-03-28 12.47.25.jpg 2017-03-28 12.47.47.jpg 2017-03-28 12.47.55-1.jpg 2017-03-28 12.47.58-1.jpg 2017-03-28 12.48.17.jpg 2017-03-28 12.48.23.jpg 2017-03-28 12.48.31-1.jpg 2017-03-28 12.48.45-1.jpg 2017-03-28 12.49.01-1.jpg 2017-03-28 12.49.17-1.jpg 2017-03-28 12.49.26.jpg 2017-03-28 12.49.33.jpg

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  73. #41
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    A true frankenbenz. The work looks great, that quarter and door are very well done. Looking forward to centerville.....
    1994 E500
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    1991 560 SEC
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  74. #42
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Looking like it's coming along. My head would have exploded if a shop left my car outside with the windows down.

    1992 500E
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Looking good Gerry. Is it setting out to cure the paint? It should look really great when completed.

    Makes me nervous seeing the windows open. I hope they cover it at night or at least the windows. I know they will clean up the interior and it will look great on the surface but you know us car nuts will have to go thru everything again with toothbrushes.
    Terry

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Coming along nicely!


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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    I'm not stressed out over the car being outside with the windows down/removed. Several of the windows and the sunroof have been removed from the car for painting (and the bodywork required). The car is moved inside (and is worked on inside) most of the time, and certainly it is moved inside at night. There's dust everywhere - inside a body shop (from sanding and various work) as well as outside, so I'm not too concerned about the dust level from being outside on an 85F spring Houston day. When the windscreens and windows are removed, it's simply difficult to keep dust from inside the vehicle given the need for access inside. As you can see, the interior (door cards, C-pillar interior covers, etc) have largely been removed to facilitate the work being done.

    I looked very carefully at the body lines and areas where the car was welded and could not find a single imperfection. This shop has the best reputation of any shop in Houston, so I have a high level of confidence in their work and that I will have an excellent finished product.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Looks great. Any thoughts regarding replacing US bumpers with Euros?

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ingvar View Post
    Looks great. Any thoughts regarding replacing US bumpers with Euros?
    I've thought about it many times over the years (actually I had a used 126 Euro bumper that I gave away some time back). Honestly, it hasn't been too much of a priority. When I come across a good set of SEC bumpers (I know of a nice set right now in Belgium) I may pull the trigger on it in in the future. It's certainly an easy "upgrade."

    The only issue is the length of the US muffler tips - they would stick out too far to the rear if Euro bumpers were installed. So, perhaps when it comes time to replace my rear can, it would be time to replace the bumper, too.

    I'll be visiting my friend in Belgium in early May, so perhaps I'll pull the pin and buy them at that point.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Very exciting Gerry. I hope you get it back on the road soon.
    Patrick
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    As they say in England, you're in tall cotton!

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Looking good!!!
    Top quality work - very satisfying to see it all coming together nicely
    1987 White Euro "ECE" 197kw 500SEC
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Gerry, the body shop was able to remove the front windshield without breaking it?

    Al

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Quote Originally Posted by AMG5PT4 View Post
    Gerry, the body shop was able to remove the front windshield without breaking it?

    Al
    Yes Sir.


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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    AFAIK, the front windshield can usually be removed intact. It's the rear glass that has a high breakage rate during removal...


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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    AFAIK, the front windshield can usually be removed intact. It's the rear glass that has a high breakage rate during removal...

    I also had the rear glass removed when I lived in Portland, OR, say about 2006. I had the rear glass removed by a glass shop in my neighborhood to have the factory seal replaced. At the time, they told me that there was a significant chance that the glass could break, and that if it did they would not be liable for it.

    I also spoke to the local Portland "Stealer" at the time, Don Rasmussen Mercedes-Benz, and they refused to do the job because they felt that the rear glass would break.

    The glass shop did a stellar job with no problems, and the rear glass has been fine on the coupe ever since.

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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Good progress! I guess the windshield is glued, but how about the rear glass?

    And yes, I would definately go for the euro bumpers. Especially when I am not used to US-look, all the extended bumpers on 80's and 90's European US-market cars really stand out, and not in a good way.
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    The oem install and by the book windscreen has copper leads in the butyl rubber that must be hooked up to a 12v source, heating the wire and thus breaking the seal. I broke 2 with this method and gave up. The back glass floats on rubber and removed 5 installed 1, no issues on the back glass. Once you cut that thick rubber it is a breeze, even solo.
    1994 E500
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Quote Originally Posted by nocfn View Post
    The oem install and by the book windscreen has copper leads in the butyl rubber that must be hooked up to a 12v source, heating the wire and thus breaking the seal. I broke 2 with this method and gave up. The back glass floats on rubber and removed 5 installed 1, no issues on the back glass. Once you cut that thick rubber it is a breeze, even solo.
    All true, Louie! Now,to split hairs, the heater wire is actually contained in the OEM butyl strip that comes in the factory 126 window installation kit. I didn't want somebody to reject a windshield for not having a strip or heating element.
    Putting the fun in dysfunction...

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  104. #58
    E500E Guru nocfn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Kingwood TX
    Posts
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Ahh, that was compulsory in my view. A dead giveaway is a screen without it, done by Jim&Sons glass repair
    1994 E500
    249/275 - 8F19 or 8F32 or 8320

    1991 560 SEC
    199/268
    2014 E350 Cab 799/264

  105. #59
    Site Honcho
    Klugscheisser
    Ich bekenne mich
    nicht schuldig.
    gerryvz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Annapolis, MD
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    Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    I was in the neighborhood today and dropped into the body shop to check on my car. They are putting final touches on it. Spent some time with the owner and he updated me on things. They are letting the paint cure in the sun and then working the tiny imperfections out.

    As you can see all of the bumpers and cladding have been painted, everything is back on the car, and the interior has been fully detailed twice.

    I'll give another report when I go to pick it up. At that point, the wood will come off and go to Madeira for refinishing.

    The last thing I will do in the short term is to order new fabric for recovering the rear deck. I can do that myself.

    In any case, enjoy the photos and know I'll be getting the car back very soon. They have had her since Dec. 14th !!!

    Cheers,
    Gerry








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  106. The Following 18 Users Say Thank You to gerryvz For This Useful Post:

    500AMM (05-23-2017), 600Eric (05-19-2017), 7delta (05-19-2017), DarkStar (06-05-2017), doolar (05-19-2017), Glen (05-19-2017), gsxr (05-19-2017), JC220 (05-19-2017), Kip (05-19-2017), makemann (05-19-2017), maw1124 (05-19-2017), Melville (05-19-2017), nocfn (05-19-2017), Roma_500E (08-08-2017), sheward (05-19-2017), skikrazey (05-20-2017), TerryA (05-20-2017), Trae (05-19-2017)

  107. #60
    E500E Guru maw1124's Avatar
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    May 2011
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    FL & MI, USA
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    Re: Project GVZ SEC: The Tale of a Coupe Repair & Rejuvenation

    Looking good, GVZ. You must be happy, as well as patient.

    maw

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