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Thread: 560SEC Hood Star Preservation

  1. #1
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    560SEC Hood Star Preservation

    One thing that has LONG been a problem for C126 coupes, has been the lower quality of the hood star, which leads to fading and eventually complete washout of the star's color, to the silver aluminum color.

    Recent versions of this hood star have been PARTICULARLY bad, with fading of 50-80% happening in as little as six months. I had replaced my SEC's hood star with a new one just one year ago when I had the car repainted, and it is already around 60-70% faded with the color gone.

    At $40 list price ($30 discounted), these stars do not come cheaply, leading one to take steps to try to preserve the color and condition initially upon acquisition.

    I recently purchased a new hood star (proper MB part number is 107 880 00 88; DO NOT use the plastic hood star that is now superseded to the SECs, which is used with the R170 and other models, and DOES NOT fit the C126 hood holes correctly). I also purchased three of the small plastic grommets which the star uses on its long pin to fit into the SEC's bottom-most hood hole.

    Before putting the hood star on the car, I applied six thin but cumulative coats of clear acrylic from a spray can (obtainable at any Home Depot or Lowe's) in an attempt to try to protect the hood star from fading and the weather. I let it dry for approximately one week on the work-bench, and then installed it onto the car today.

    You can see photos attached of the star on my desk after the acrylic was dry, and installed on the car.

    I will report back in a few months to see how things are wearing.

    Cheers,
    Gerry
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  3. #2
    E500E Guru Ntrepid's Avatar
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    Re: 560SEC Hood Star Preservation

    Gerry -

    You may also want to experiment with periodic cleaning with 303 Aerospace Protectant. I'm thinking that while direct sun may lighten it, UV probably contributes heavily to this fading.

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    Re: 560SEC Hood Star Preservation

    I think it is definitely a UV thing, having to do with the blue paint. The older stars' blue seemed to be more resilient and thicker, of a different material that didn't flake like the thin blue stuff in the stars you get today. I'll take some photos of some of the older stars that I have in my collection (the faded ones) so you can see the differences. Need to go out and dig them up.

  6. #4
    Senior Member jaymanek's Avatar
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    Re: 560SEC Hood Star Preservation

    These dont like car polish and any harmful car cleaning solutions...

    The blue comes right off with regular car polish.

    Its just another example of rubbish parts that we get now... Like W124 door seals, most trim parts etc etc...

  7. #5
    Senior Member LWB250's Avatar
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    Re: 560SEC Hood Star Preservation

    I've seen the same issues with the "flat" hood stars used on the facelift R129s. The finish appears to be thinner than it was on the originals, and it is quite prone to fading, which is an issue in my part of the world (Florida).

    I kept my original hood star and plan on repainting it and sealing with MinWax (clear) Spray Spar Varnish. It has a UV blocking component in it that works well.

    Dan

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    Re: 560SEC Hood Star Preservation

    That's what I used for sealing, LWB. Exact same stuff.

    I just located the baggie of "old" hood stars of various vintages, down in my parts stash in the basement. I'll take some photos tonight for comparison and post them here. I have older ones and newer ones, and a plastic one or two (utter rubbish on a C126). Hopefully the spray varnish will help keep the blue in place and from flaking off in hunks, like it does.

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    Re: 560SEC Hood Star Preservation

    Spray a couple sample Stars with different product, and leave them out in the sun for a year or two... see what they all look like!


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    Re: 560SEC Hood Star Preservation

    Here is a photo of my partial collection of faded aluminum 107/560SEC hood badges, along with a couple of examples of new plastic ones that are incorrect, but spec'd for the 560SEC.

    As you can see with the older ones, the blue paint fades, but does not CHIP OFF like the newly purchased ones do. These will likely be the subject of a careful restoration project in the future to see if I can recreate the blue paint that will be more durable.

    Was deep in my parts hoard this morning, and came across these badges in the collection. The plastic ones are junk, but appropriate for newer cars such as the SLKs and SLs.

    Cheers,
    Gerry
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