R129 Sway bar rust

Discussion in 'Bodywork' started by boeken, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. boeken

    boeken Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I recently spend some time under my r129 and noticed the sway bar is pretty corroded.

    [​IMG]

    Can you media blast and powder coat these things or is it better to replace or is there another way to clean up the corrosion and protect it?

    Both front wishbones/lower control arms are also corroded. Same question can you media blast it and powder coat it?

    It seems that mb replacements are expensive (if still available) and other replacement options don’t seem to be great.

    I think I will replace the springs at the same time as they work fine but don’t look good and will have a good look at the shock absorbers. May as well replace those too while I am at it.

    Thanks



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  2. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    Not sure what you expect the underside of a 23 year old Mercedes subject to the ravages of UK winters to look like, but this would be fairly typical I imagine. If the components are structurally sound and the car drives well I would be inclined to leave well alone and deal with problems only as and when they occur. Its all too easy, indeed may prove necessary in the event, to transition from "cosmetic tidy up" to wallet emptying "full restoration mode" with cars of this age. That said its your car and your wallet!
     
  3. Doodle

    Doodle Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You won't be able to powdercoat the lower arms with the bushes/ball joint in situ, and removing them is not really an option (or not at all if your car has the fixed ball joints). Given current road conditions, the joints/bushes will give out long before corrosion weakens the arm, but if you're really concerned attack them with a wire brush and some Hammerite.

    The sway bar can be done, and is probably cheaper than replacement but make sure the coating isn't too thick otherwise it will cause problems for the mounting bushes.
     
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  4. daveenty

    daveenty Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It's a slippery slope you're embarking upon as one job tends to lead to another. I didn't powder coat mine, just black paint which had the desired effect.

    Sway (Anti-Roll) Bar: -

    Before: -

    ARB B4.jpg

    During: -

    ARB During.jpg

    After: -

    ARB Painted.jpg

    This was prepared by using strip and clean discs on a small air sander which gave me a surface ready to paint with Hammerite Smooth Black from a rattle can.

    I did the wishbones (bottom arms) the same way as they already had new ball joints pressed in them, but these were a poor finish compared to the ARB. I since did them again by stripping them off the car and getting the springs out of the way. I also blasted and painted the springs.

    With ARB.jpg
     
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  5. optimusprime

    optimusprime Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Get a wire brush on the item in question .Clean it up and cote the part in rust inhibitor . Re paint with Hmerite. Looking at the last picture i will be doing mine asap .I was looking at the rubber bushes last week on Ebay . But not sure the part number i need for my W124 m103
     
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  6. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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  7. Doodle

    Doodle Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Ah yes, mission creep. I know that one well, before you know it the entire front end is off!
     
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  8. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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  9. noogieman

    noogieman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    That's how a car looks like underneath without waxoil undercoating.
    This should be addressed on time when the car is new and undamaged.
    After that it's too late.:eek:
     
  10. OP
    OP
    boeken

    boeken Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks all

    For 23 years rust is as expected but given parts are becoming harder to get by each years I am happy to spend a bit of time to keep the corrosion under control and the sway bar seems an easy fix and from the pictures it looks really good once done

    I will remove some of the other rust without taking the whole front suspension off and will try and avoid mission creep although the springs do irritate me each time I swap my summer / winter tyres :)


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  11. optimusprime

    optimusprime Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Grober thanks i was about to ask if you knew it was a 260e W124 but you got it before i did .
     
  12. alabbasi

    alabbasi Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It depends where you live. Here in Texas, every nut and bolt, caliper or exhaust bracket under my 98 SL500 or 84 500SL for that matter looks brand spanking new. Just sand it and paint it with an oil based paint or POR 15. It will make it last a few years longer.
     
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  13. optimusprime

    optimusprime Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    As we speak its raining out side, been like this for 3 weeks on and off . Talk about flaming June . I have more water in containers than the super market .Only my water butts ran out some time ago,, and i have used every container i can find to collect rain water . I am thinking now we wont DSC04077.JPG get any sun to get the tomatoes and broad beans going . The cars been wet more this last month than all the winter months put together ..
     
  14. OP
    OP
    boeken

    boeken Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    This is what it looked like when I removed it earlier today

    [​IMG]

    Bushes seem to be okay but ordered some replacements [​IMG]

    I have attacked with wire brushes and chipped off most of the rust (particularly bad under the inner bushes. It looked like the paint had expanded due to all the rust underneath

    Anyway cleaned off as much as I could but it is one pitted piece of metal and just applied the first coat of por15. Will do another coat this evening and try and fit it tomorrow.





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  15. Petrol Pete

    Petrol Pete Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Is it my eyes , the photo or does that coil spring look to be bent towards the bottom ?
     
  16. Doodle

    Doodle Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yes, it will be. A result of the spring being so far inboard on the lower arm.
     
  17. adityaroy8744

    adityaroy8744 New Member

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  18. OP
    OP
    boeken

    boeken Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    All done but sway bar is not in a great state.

    [​IMG]

    And how difficult is it to get back on. Managed 3 of the fixings in no time but the 4th one took me forever. It looked like it was to high for the mounting arm (inner one on driver side) and pulling at it with all my weight while simultaneously trying to fit the bracket and nuts and bolts proved to be very difficult. What is the trick here?

    But it is looking better and hopefully will not deteriorate any further. Without a bridge to work under this may be a bridge too far for me :) and will leave it to the friendly body shop down the road in future.

    Anyway


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  19. Petrol Pete

    Petrol Pete Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    The more I look at that spring the more I think it is not seated properly in the rubber pad at the top which in turn will make it misaligned with the spring land indent in the lower arm.

    Or are all R129's like this ?
     
  20. Flyinspanner

    Flyinspanner Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Isn’t it just because it’s up in the air, the lower arms are drooping all the way down, and therefore the spring base moves inboard in relation to its usual position due to the arm pivoting.
    Mentally move the lower arm level (car on ground) and the spring will look fine. (IMHO)
     

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