Correctly Unbending a Bent Benz.

Hit Counter

A really gorgeous '90 300SEL.  Start to finish.


Pics are thumbnailed.  Click on 'em for a large view.


226836a.jpg (85408 bytes)  226836e.jpg (84842 bytes)  226836c.jpg (83419 bytes)  226836d.jpg (83133 bytes)

01/25/02  Fresh off the hauler.  Hard hit, no doubt....but a NICE car, clean title, less than 100K, all books/service records, Florida winters, etc.  Even still had the window sticker neatly folded up in the glovebox.  57K in 1990.  Gawd.

300lf1.jpg (108048 bytes)  300lf2.jpg (100773 bytes)  300lf4.jpg (87125 bytes)  300lf5.jpg (110953 bytes)  300lf6.jpg (81728 bytes)

Amazing what a "come-along" and a car-hauler winch can do...  No substitute for a frame rack, but sure helps getting it taken apart without further butchery.

300lf3.jpg (110615 bytes)  300lf7.jpg (100868 bytes)  Note the LF tire.....hated to put that on.  The original spare had never been outta' the trunk....

01/29/02 It's hard to be humble when you're good with a hammer and dolly.  Note the right rear door....

226836c.jpg (83419 bytes)  300rtrdoor2.jpg (60664 bytes)  300rtrdoor3.jpg (58885 bytes)  300rtrdoor4.jpg (56587 bytes)  It's nice working on "real" steel, instead of the (typical) domestic throw-away stuff that has the structural rigidity of a Budweiser can.

Mangled half of the core support removed.  Ready to go to the frame shop.

300rffs1.jpg (108053 bytes)  300rffs2.jpg (121863 bytes)  300rffs4.jpg (76446 bytes)  300rffs3.jpg (59426 bytes)  Note that some (idiot) wrecker operator hooked the "J" hooks around the tie rods instead of the lower control arms.  If he'd paid a little attention the front wheels would not point in opposite directions....

02/03/02  Finished out and painted the abovementioned rear door.

300rdrprimer1.jpg (65797 bytes)  300rdrready.jpg (65884 bytes)  300rdrpainted1.jpg (64687 bytes)  300rdrpainted2.jpg (52279 bytes)

02/10/02  (Re!) Painted the @#%&$ door.  No matter what I used from my bag of tricks....tinting, flattening, cussing, obsessing....I could not get the color and "depth" right using (modern!) in desperation I mixed old-fashioned (single-stage) acrylic enamel.  Dead nuts match.  Go figure.  Welcome to the Stone Age.

repaintdoor.jpg (189296 bytes)  300rf2-21.jpg (108146 bytes)

02/12/02  Pic of the "net" damage outdoors in good light.

300lf2-21.jpg (117997 bytes) 

Here's the donor "front cut"  donorfrtcut.jpg (68580 bytes) 

And here's all I'm going to use of it.  Drilled out all the OEM spot welds so it'll look "right" when it's done.  There will be one *unauthorized* seam in the apron behind the ABS pump under the diagnostic plug....but you'll never see it..preparedcut1.jpg (76889 bytes)  preparedcut2.jpg (87660 bytes)  300apron1.jpg (89919 bytes)  300apron2.jpg (93910 bytes)This will be positioned/fit/welded on a frame rack with computerized measuring eq. so everything fits.  Painted the "apron cut" to match, saving the OEM'll get scarred up by the time it's welded on, but it'll be a much nicer job touching it up rather than getting overspray all over my nice pristine engine, etc.

Donor hood is not so nice.  Dinged and jammed all over.....and at least two layers of paint..  Grrrr.  beathoodb4.jpg (71076 bytes)

Update 02/21...."at least two layers of paint" turned into FOUR (mumble/grumble/bitch/whine....) once I started standing/repairing.  Sanded all that crap off.


02/20/02  Hood & fender is "cut in" and ready to screw on.  Shouldn't have had to spend a day straightening them out....

300fendercitin.jpg (75337 bytes)  300hoodcutin.jpg (47705 bytes)

shopforeman.jpg (106150 bytes)  Here's the Shop Foreman/Central Alarm System/Leftover Food Recycling Unit.  The only thing he knows about Mercedes-Benz cars is that they provide his he likes 'em....  Whoever said a dog's life was bad wasn't my dog.  Looks like a good gig.


02/21/02  Got brave, stupid, or bored.....and painted the replacement sheetmetal before installing it.....*we'll see....*....

300hdfndrpntd.jpg (72526 bytes)  300hoodpntd.jpg (59816 bytes)  300rffndrpntd.jpg (68590 bytes)  Still grates me to be using old-style acrylic enamel....

Update 03/05.....somehow, I got lucky and managed to "hang" ALL of the sheetmetal with no chips....including installing the hood alone.


02/27/02  In and out of the frame shop in ONE day.  Nice to have a friend in the business....

Jack.jpg (52882 bytes)  This is Jack....of Jack's Frame Repair in Carson City MI.....He's forgot more than any of us mere mortals are ever gonna' know about this stuff....and his equipment is nothing less than state of the art.

300onrklr.jpg (65141 bytes)  300onrkrr.jpg (75883 bytes)  300onrkf.jpg (97491 bytes)  300onrklf.jpg (87034 bytes)  300onrklf2.jpg (98684 bytes)  300onrkrf.jpg (100817 bytes) 


03/01/02  Apron cut is tacked in securely, sheetmetal is fit, and it generally is beginning to re-assume it's former grandeur.

300frt0301a.jpg (65889 bytes)  300frt0301b.jpg (78836 bytes)  300frt0301c.jpg (59499 bytes)

Next step will be finish welding the apron cut in, seam seal & sound deadener of repairs, then touch then engine compartment up.  After that, final assembly/fitment.


03/05/02  It's fit, welded and sealed, stoneguard/undercarriage coating is restored....lights and grille are installed, and it's all re-assembled under the hood.  Now.....if the bumper ever gets here, I can finish it.

300frtEurlts1.jpg (78132 bytes) European headlights and clear corner lights.....

 300lfundrhd1.jpg (105391 bytes)  300lfundrhd2.jpg (110411 bytes)  Scroll back up to the top and look what this corner started as...

300undrhd3.jpg (102071 bytes)  Core support looks official.  Still waiting on the (correct) electric cooling fans.


03/10/02  Pretty well done.  Needs an alignment, and a windshield......and the a/c evcauated and recharged (given the current weather THIS is not a priority...).

300SEL310a.jpg (74101 bytes)  300SEL310c.jpg (73480 bytes) 


03/11/02  A/C's charged (R-12 still.....glad I stashed a bunch...) 48 degree's outta' the center dash outlet in my 72 degree shop....  Front end's aligned (and my "string job" was frighteningly close)......took it out and drove/flogged it half the afternoon.  Nice piece of machinery.

An equally pristine '92 300E.


About 10 days, start-to-finish....

bent300e1.jpg (69334 bytes)  bent300e3.jpg (74593 bytes)  bent300e2.jpg (80486 bytes) Hit in the rear at a stoplight.  Couldn't have been fun watching this event unfold in the mirror...  Trunk lid, rt. rear quarter, taillight panel & lights, and rear bumper are all "history".

300e71901a.jpg (77837 bytes)  300e70901b.jpg (68093 bytes)  Couple more pics of the "gross" damage....after installing a "straight" trunk lid and hinges.  The trunk lid is setting where it's "supposed" to be.

car-parts6-3b.jpg (66788 bytes)  Here's how it's getting fixed.  The whole rear section of an (equally mint) 300D.  300eclip1.jpg (89286 bytes)  Here's the same "clip" with the section I used removed.  The car was cut/seamed in the same manner allowing proper panel overlaps.

300371401a.jpg (88458 bytes)  Ready to roll into the spray booth.

300e71501a2.jpg (89632 bytes) Good as new. 300e71501.jpg (103431 bytes)


Back to the Services page

Main Page