Author Topic: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9  (Read 17940 times)

Casey

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,735
  • Location: Maryland, USA
Re: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9
« Reply #30 on: 12 April 2013, 05:46 AM »
I expect you will be doing most of this yourself?  Have you considered the budget yet?

Yes, and I have a lot of parts and tools already as well as another 6.9 I can borrow parts from coming soon. I intend to invest in a welder though not for this car - as mentioned this one is pretty much rust-free (I had a Mercedes mechanic in the area familiar with 6.9's check it out for me). I intend to do the painting and mechanical work myself, surely with some aid from this forum... :)

Is it worth my time, considering I'm much slower than an experienced mechanic? Probably not, but I'm in it for the learning and adventure. No budget - I hope to spend as much time and money as it takes to reach an end result I'm happy with. No interest in a show car, but I do want it in tip top shape.

alabbasi

  • Vintage
  • ***
  • Posts: 583
  • Location: Dallas, TX
Re: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9
« Reply #31 on: 12 April 2013, 06:05 AM »
I don't think that anyone here is being critical. We're just stating the obvious.  When you see obvious rust such as in the floor, rockers etc. You should expect that all of the box sections behind those panels are also rusted through. In order to get to them and address the rust properly, a complete tear down is required.

Then you can flip the body over cut away the sections that are obviously rusty, sand blast and repair.

The scope so far will get you as far as you would have gotten if you found a 6.9 that's lived all of its life in Arizona or some other dry state, which is why everyone has stated that finding a nice one for $12-15k is a better bet.

Of course , if you're going this far, then you may as well replace every piece of rubber that you pulled off, paint all the suspension pieces and plate all the bolts and build a show car because that's not where the majority of your expense is. 

Euro 6.9's are nice for what they are, but unlike your w107 500sl or w126 500sel's and sec's that came to this country in the hey day of the gray market  imports,  99.9% of euro 6.9's spent a few years outside the US before they were imported. Therefore 99.9% of them are going to be rusty and if they don't look rusty, they're hiding it.

That particular car looks a lot like the one that I just bought when I bought it. Being that it's sitting on its belly, it's very tough to asses how rusty it is. Mine did not look that bad but boy you should see the amount of cutting and welding that we're doing right now.

I get where you're coming from, for me it's also about the journey and not so much the destination. But i'm now starting to lean towards cars that have been crashed instead of being left abandoned. If you're going to replace 1/2 the sheet metal, at least you know it ran before it was hit.

With best regards

Al
Dallas, TX USA.

Casey

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,735
  • Location: Maryland, USA
Re: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9
« Reply #32 on: 12 April 2013, 06:15 AM »
When you see obvious rust such as in the floor, rockers etc. You should expect that all of the box sections behind those panels are also rusted through. In order to get to them and address the rust properly, a complete tear down is required.

Then you can flip the body over cut away the sections that are obviously rusty, sand blast and repair.

The scope so far will get you as far as you would have gotten if you found a 6.9 that's lived all of its life in Arizona or some other dry state, which is why everyone has stated that finding a nice one for $12-15k is a better bet.

The rockers and floorboards are not rusty as far I'm aware, and it HAS spent it's life in a dry state. Mechanic checked out the underneath, not rusty there either. Some rust could be hiding but don't see any reason to suspect that.  I don't know how long it was in Switzerland before California, but it has been stateside for quite a while.  Not sure how they got away with not converting the bumpers and headlights but I'm surely not complaining.
« Last Edit: 12 April 2013, 08:29 AM by Casey »

s class

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 4,160
  • I'll keep the 116's, the rest can go
  • Location: Squeezing 3 W116's into a double garage
Re: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9
« Reply #33 on: 12 April 2013, 06:22 AM »
I keep forgetting how much body shops and mechanics get paid these days.  I certainly didn't make much when I was in that business.....

The cost of out-work is debatable - depends on who you use.  I was just trying to illustrate how the costs can escalate, based on a real-world example that I'm in the middle of right now.  The costs I listed are based on 'doing it right' using some of the best artisans, and replacing everything that should be replaced. 

I'm not going to criticise the OP for wanting to sort out this euro.  I'm in the same boat myself - I've got a '76 ex-Finland euro 6.9 that is my own personal project ticking over on the side.  Its rusty, and has had a bad hit on the LR at some point decades ago.  I do my own welding and all my own mechanical work, and trust me, it is hundreds of hours to completely strip and reassemble a 6.9. 

'76 6.9 Euro, '78 6.9 AMG, '80 280SE, '74 350SE, '82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro , '81 500SL

arcijack

  • Classic
  • **
  • Posts: 115
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: meridian, mississippi
Re: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9
« Reply #34 on: 12 April 2013, 08:24 AM »
since everyone is chimig in, i thought i would add my 2 cents, i recently bought a 1977 euro from Austin unseen and in the pictures it looked ok, but when i start looking around , it was a total mess, started to send it to the strap pile, but decided to keep it, already tearing it down and welding metal, only paid 500.00 dollars for the car, came with a  set of suspension blocks and some xtra fuches wheels in the trunk which i sold. so go for it man, do what make you happy, people say 'm crazy but i have a son who is an expert welder and we are rocking,,, got faith in you brother, happy returns.

Casey

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,735
  • Location: Maryland, USA
Re: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9
« Reply #35 on: 12 April 2013, 08:36 AM »
If it is rubbish, at least I'll have that rear seat I've always wanted.  I'll just plug it in to a 12v power source, occasionally sit in it, and move it forward and back repeatedly with a huge smile on my face...

I'm pretty hopeful though because the mechanic who knows classic Mercedes well gave it a pretty good once over and said he thought I got a pretty good car.

I am however also familiar with how these cars can hide rust.  For example the floorboards can look perfectly fine but then rust is hiding there underneath the painted sound deadening layer, as in my '73:

« Last Edit: 12 April 2013, 11:50 AM by Casey »

ZCarFan

  • Classic
  • **
  • Posts: 213
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: NW GA USA
Re: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9
« Reply #36 on: 12 April 2013, 11:21 AM »
I keep forgetting how much body shops and mechanics get paid these days.  I certainly didn't make much when I was in that business.....

The cost of out-work is debatable - depends on who you use.  I was just trying to illustrate how the costs can escalate, based on a real-world example that I'm in the middle of right now.  The costs I listed are based on 'doing it right' using some of the best artisans, and replacing everything that should be replaced. 

I'm not going to criticise the OP for wanting to sort out this euro.  I'm in the same boat myself - I've got a '76 ex-Finland euro 6.9 that is my own personal project ticking over on the side.  Its rusty, and has had a bad hit on the LR at some point decades ago.  I do my own welding and all my own mechanical work, and trust me, it is hundreds of hours to completely strip and reassemble a 6.9.

The subject of to cost of restorations and the various levels of detail and scope would make a good discussion for the "Auto Torque" forum.  It just amazes me every time the numbers come out.  For example, with the housing market crash still in effect my house is only worth about $50k so the idea of spending that on a restoration is a bit hard. ;)

I think it is still valid to "restore" a car back to a good driveable condition for a lower cost but maybe this is better applied to a more plentiful model rather than a 6.9?

alabbasi

  • Vintage
  • ***
  • Posts: 583
  • Location: Dallas, TX
Re: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9
« Reply #37 on: 12 April 2013, 11:50 AM »
Ultimately it depends on what you're trying to achieve what what you're working with. The problem with rust is that it's hard to determine how bad the car is until you start stripping it down and the more you cut away, the more you tend to find. If you remove that factor by finding a rust free car then your scope narrows considerably.

I'm currently restoring a rusty pagoda. It's probably going to cost me a fair amount more then it would cost for me to buy a driver. Why am I doing it?
I can afford to restore a car slowly but I could not afford one if i had to lay out money to buy it all at once, and I don't want to borrow money so that I can own a toy.
I personally know and have used unscrupulous vendors who who do an incredible job of hiding a messed up car and making it almost impossible to tell how bad it is (Part of my huge expense is redo because of this).

I know that when my car is done, the body is going to be pretty close to perfect and I have no intentions of doing it again.

After I get done with my 6.3, 6.9, pagoda , Jensen Interceptor and Jaguar XJ12C, I'm done with rusty cars :)

With best regards

Al
Dallas, TX USA.

Squiggle Dog

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,059
  • MBCA Member
  • Location: Surprise, AZ, USA
Re: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9
« Reply #38 on: 12 April 2013, 06:00 PM »
It's all in the details. If you want a 6.9 with a reclining rear seat (which almost never come up for sale, I'm sure) you have to jump on the first one you can get.

It's similar to my 300SD; I wanted one in Walnut Brown with a sunroof. As I'm aware, the only year for Walnut Brown on a W116 was 1980. In 1980, almost no USA W116s (at least not 300SDs) had a sunroof. Finding a Walnut Brown W116 with a sunroof that is also a 300SD is next to impossible. That's why I bought mine, even though it has horrible paint and everything on it was worn out and broken. Even though it had been painted black, I can go back to the original color when I can afford it.

For a few hundred dollars more I could have bought a decent driver with respectable paint, but they weren't exactly what I wanted. Over the years I've collected for mine different parts to make it just the way I want it. I now have it running reliably (daily driver) and it looks decent except for the horrible paint.

It was the same thing with my 1967 Mercedes fintail station wagon. The 1960s Mercedes wagons are my ultimate dream car, but only a very few were converted into wagons at a coachbuilder. Because of this, they are extremely difficult to find and prohibitively expensive to purchase. I happened to find one on craigslist for $1,000.

I received a lot of criticism for it because it's super rusty and about ready to fold in half. I looked at it as, this is my only chance to ever get a fintail station wagon. And it's true. I'd never be able to afford a nice one. I plan to get a rust-free sunroof sedan and cut the wagon-specific sheet metal off of it and graft it onto the sedan. It will be a lot of work, but it's on the backburner and I will tinker with it here and there as I am able, as I'm sure you'll be doing with your 6.9. In the meantime, I have a nice driver to use (except for the paint). Also, I've installed an engine from a 300SD, which drives the purists nuts, but at least I'm modifying one that has been deemed too rusty to restore, instead of buying a nice one and then hacking it up.

We all have our reasons for doing things, and if you've thought about it and have a plan, good for you. There's a difference between that and being impulsive. If your 6.9 ends up being non-rusty after all, then you've done really well.

While it is true that you won't get a ticket if you don't speed, certain car colors like red can attract more attention. A policeman may be more willing to forgive a white Kia for speeding than a red Ferarri.

It will be nice to read up on the progress of the 6.9. It will be unique, and not easily duplicated. I'm glad to be able to help with parts.
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://challenge22.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

Depa77450sel

  • Enthusiast
  • *
  • Posts: 47
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: melbourne victoria
Re: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9
« Reply #39 on: 12 April 2013, 06:51 PM »
If it is rubbish, at least I'll have that rear seat I've always wanted.  I'll just plug it in to a 12v power source, occasionally sit in it, and move it forward and back repeatedly with a huge smile on my face...

Nothing wrong with having all that you've wanted, I'm sure this car is gonna be a whole lot of fun for you to work on. :)
1977 450SEL ZMQ642 (SOLD)
1979 450SEL
2003 C180 KOMPRESSOR (WRITTEN OFF )
2005 C200 KOMPRESSOR

alabbasi

  • Vintage
  • ***
  • Posts: 583
  • Location: Dallas, TX
Re: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9
« Reply #40 on: 12 April 2013, 06:57 PM »
It's similar to my 300SD; I wanted one in Walnut Brown with a sunroof.  :)
That's why I bought mine, even though it has horrible paint and everything on it was worn out and broken.  :(
Even though it had been painted black.......  :o
For a few hundred dollars more I could have bought a decent driver with respectable paint..... ???

Dude seriously?
« Last Edit: 12 April 2013, 07:00 PM by alabbasi »
With best regards

Al
Dallas, TX USA.

Squiggle Dog

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,059
  • MBCA Member
  • Location: Surprise, AZ, USA
Re: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9
« Reply #41 on: 12 April 2013, 08:48 PM »
Dude seriously?

Yep, I wanted a Walnut Brown W116 300SD with a sunroof. They are "rare as hen's teeth" as they put it. So far I've only seen maybe two for sale; mine and one on eBay that was way out of my price range ($6,000). All the other Walnut Brown ones I have seen did not have a sunroof, and were all from the 1980 model year.

I actually gave up on finding a Walnut Brown 300SD and started looking for black ones because I could change the color without the old color coming back to haunt me too badly. I had the seller of my car email me the VIN number, and I discovered from that, that it was originally a Walnut Brown car, and sure enough, the engine compartment and insides of the doors are still brown (they painted the door jambs black, though).

So, I jumped on it. It was actually highly misrepresented and the seller lied about almost everything he advertised ("new" tires were actually mismatched and threadbare, "new" brake master cylinder was rusty and leaking brake fluid, "new $6,000 rear differential and axle shafts" were old and the boots were cracked, "good" transmission was actually bad, "good" interior was actually totally sunbaked and completely trashed, rear seat was out of a blue W123, "just had alignment done" and the steering was extremely sloppy, "working" CD player did not work, and the seller had the nerve to say it had good paint even though the clearcoat was peeling in sheets... and so forth).

But, when you want a specific model and color of car that happens to be rare, you're stuck with whatever you can find unless you are in no hurry and maybe have a good amount of savings. Fortunately, my car has hardly any rust and the engine runs strong; even with 316,000 miles it doesn't smoke and has no blow-by. I've rebuilt almost everything mechanical, mostly from amazing wrecking yard and eBay finds, almost with 100% genuine Mercedes parts. I've replaced almost the entire interior, and now short of the bad paint, you'd think it was a car that's been well-taken-care-of from the day it was new. It's been rather fun.

Yes, for a few hundred dollars more I could have got a not-too-badly neglected, driveable W116 with decent paint. And it would have made a fine car, but I dislike getting rid of cars after putting lots of money into them, and if I had the opportunity to buy a Walnut Brown one down the road, I would have wanted to sell whatever color car it was to get the Walnut Brown one, then I would have lost all the time and money I put into the first car and would have to put more time and money into the new car anyway.

Just as well mine was worn out, because most of these cars are on their last legs, anyway, and with all these new parts I feel confident that I can get in it and drive coast-to-coast if I have to (a few months back I did a 3,000 mile round trip and essentially used it as a moving truck going from Arizona to Washington and back).

I plan to keep this car for life, or at least until my fintail wagon is completed (at which point that will become my daily driver), though I'll probably still keep the 300SD as a backup car. Since this car is exactly what I want and my only drivable vehicle, I can justify every cent I put into it. I know that I won't be selling it at a loss in the future.

I've found that getting something that is exactly what you want and then sticking with it is a better plan than buying whatever is a "good deal" or convenient, investing money into it, then getting bored with it and selling it at a loss, only to invest in something else. If buying, selling, and trading cars is your hobby, though, I suppose that's different if you get enjoyment out of it or are able to make a profit. I want something I can keep my whole life, have great experiences with, and fond memories of.

When I think of my dream car, I get ideas in my head and set out to build exactly the car I have envisioned. I'm sure Casey is the same way. It may be difficult to get to the end result, but it's well worth it.
« Last Edit: 12 April 2013, 08:54 PM by Squiggle Dog »
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://challenge22.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

W116-M117

  • Enthusiast
  • *
  • Posts: 48
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: Italy - Turin
Re: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9
« Reply #42 on: 13 April 2013, 09:59 AM »
Great project, Casey!

I understand your point, not far from the mine when I bought the 450SE on 1999. I was not searching for a 450SE, indeed neither a Mercedes-Benz nor a historic car... only, a friend of mine (he has a car workshop) informed me about that car. I pay it 4.5 MLit (more or less, 2300 Euro) and of course another 2.5 MLit of expense for next 3 years taxes (in Italy, we pay y'ly a tax even if the car is parked in a box...  :-\ ... and only after 30 years from first matriculation taxes drop down to a small 30 Euro) before the Merc gain the 30th birthday. Nevetheless, after a check, I told to myself that it was a pity that such a car (with only 125k km - 78k miles!) would finish its days in a scrapyard... a new paint would necessary (no rust, but the final coat was like "grained", due to the last 3 years spent outside) and a small wears on the velour seating (the sun did like a burn on the top side front seating and on the top rear back). Nowadays I still need to get a new paintwork, but I found a velour seating set, provisionally mounted (I bought the velour in Steenbuck, Hamburg-Germany since years), powertrain is working good after few check-up during these 13 years.

As a conclusion, of course I will pay more money than the car value (in Italy you can sell a 116 with large difficulties, 4-5k Euro if you're lucky, a bit more in Germany... just the 6.9 would rise to > 10K Euro), but working on it, after some check-up and small repairs, I learned something... just something  ;) ... but I enjoy myself a lot!  :D

TJ 450

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 4,173
  • Location: Rockingham, Western Australia
    • Tim's Insulators Downunder
Re: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9
« Reply #43 on: 13 April 2013, 10:12 AM »
My 6.9 cost me about $10,000 to get the mechanical side of things sorted, and that was parts alone. Looking at the car now, it's hard to see how that many parts were replaced, but a lot was done.

I'm very satisfied with how the car performs, and I have made quite a few improvements along the way, and let me tell you; it makes all the difference in the end. It's also very reliable as well.

If I wasn't as stubborn as I am, the car would have practically destroyed me. It was pretty frustrating though, but I took it one step at a time not thinking too much of the bigger picture, which can be rather overwhelming at times. 

I bought mine because I wanted a 6.9, the condition being that it was to be relatively rust free, and I just happened upon the right car at the right time.

I would get the mechanical side of things sorted, once you establish how sound the body is. It sounds like an ideal project to me.

I would try cutting back the paint for sure... You may be surprised how it shines up, unless it has a clear coat.

The best thing is, that if you successfully get the car sorted, it is a great achievement if you have done it yourself.

Tim
1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500

oversize

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,329
  • W116 Nut
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Casey's 1978 Euro 6.9
« Reply #44 on: 13 April 2013, 11:56 PM »
Don't speed and you won't get a ticket!

True enough, but nonetheless, my driving habits haven't changed, only the color of my car has.  And at least my last two tickets, I was in traffic doing the exact same speed as people in front of me; the same speed that I see people driving or exceeding every day.  So shiny red paint and chrome seems to indeed attract more attention.  At the same time while I leave a lot of distance in front of me, use turn signals, and drive courteously, lots of people tailgate, never signal, swerve around dangerously, and I never see anybody getting pulled over for that... :/

I'm also on the road for 2 hours a day at least, so there's simply a lot of exposure time.

You're more likely to get pulled over if your car looks rough; colour has nothing to do with it.  You should change your habits; just because others speed doesn't make it ok and it's likely they'll get pulled over one day too.  The police can only pull over one car at a time
« Last Edit: 13 April 2013, 11:59 PM by oversize »
1979 6.9 #5541 (Red Bull)
1978 6.9 #4248 (Skye)
1979 6.9 #3686 (Moby Dick)
1978 6.9 #1776 (Dora)
1977 450SEL #7010 white -P
1975 450SEL #8414 gold -P