Things are getting done. 1998 SLK 230K. - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

General Modifications R170 Details that make your car different

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#1 Old 07-26-2017
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Things are getting done. 1998 SLK 230K.

My wife and I have had "Lucy" for a couple of months now. After having it flatbedded home, I replaced the auto trans plate and fluid. It worked out well. I was able to get a fellow to come to my house on a Saturday to reprogram it and ckear the codes. She has 93k miles.

The interior needed some major help. She had a blue interior. The windows are tinted and it was too dark on the inside. Several of the dash and console pieces were loose, crooked and broken. It was a case of butcher repair-sad. We were interested in lightening up the interior colors and putting things right and usable again. I got a woodgrain later model steering wheel and shift knob from a R171. They were installed after recoloring the interior. I inquired about repairing the loose drivers seat lower cover at a trim shop. He suggested that I paint the seats myself. I thought okay, I will. Since I couldn't re-attach the lower seat cover to the frame completely, I decided to improvise a little with some washer head screws. You don't notice it unless I point it out. I repaired and replaced the dash and console parts to straighten things up. Looks a lot better now and not only usable, but acceptable. My grand son is hoping I still have Lucy for him to use at his prom next year.

The car is white with no rust or damage. I haven't been able to take a good picture of her yet, but I will. I went with a light tan and light gray colors for the interior. I was hoping to get a darker color tan, but couldn't at the time. I hope it looks okay. It served the purpose and my wifey likes Lucy now.

Things were going pretty well with her until last weekend when the top would not open. After doing a fair amount of research on this and other sites, I have ordered the ebay seal kit and fluid. Today at lunch time (2 hours), I was able to remove the trunk trim panels. So far, I've found one leaking cylinder and noticed the reservoir was pretty low on fluid. The work seems to have been pretty well documented for these procedures and I haven't taken any pictures yet because I wasn't sure how far I would get. I didn't want to post too many pictures right now.

I'd like to say that I have obtained more help on this site than I ever imagined! The knowledge and expertise that is so willingly shared here cannot be thanked enough. The age of the information doesn't matter and stays relevant. Thanks so much to you all!

Jim D.
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#2 Old 07-26-2017
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Your seats look awesome - please share what paint, how applied, etc!
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#3 Old 07-26-2017
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Looks fantastic.

Did you remove the seat covers to retrim and paint?
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#4 Old 07-28-2017
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Lucy's seats

I used SEM Classic Coat spray paint on the seats and part of the door panels. After I got the seats out, I took the driver's seat to a local trim shop to see if he could repair the loose seat cover and color them in a suitable shade of tan. I really like tha saddle tan color used in the new Camaros and Corvetts called Kalahari. The trim guy said it would be three to four weeks before he would be able to get it done. He said he would sew a new cardboard stiffening trim on the bottom of the seat cover after he removed it from the seat, then we could pick out a color. I didn't want to wait that long, so he suggested I paint them myself. I would have to find a way to reattach the loose outer, lower edge of the leather trim. I had repainted seats and trim before in a few of the Miatas that I've had. The tan color that I used for them, my wife didn't like-too much orange.

I liked the way the R171 models did a two tone effect on the door panels. Since mine were coming unglued and loose-and I was going to recolor them anyway, I sort of copied that trim idea. I thought it was kind of an update. I tried to tie part of the color to the lower dash color and part to the seat color. If I was going to do it again, I would definitely go with a darker tan color. I chose SEM paints because I have used them before and they wear well. Their color selection is pretty good, although they didn't offer the exact shade of saddle tan I wanted. I actually did find a source on a Corvette site, but found that they made it in house. It was between Colorbond or SEM. They are both very good. It would have taken longer to get the Colorbond brand with a higher price, plus shipping. I didn't want to spend $100 just fot the paint. I didn't know how well it would cover the dark blue and black seat covers.

I used SEM 17063 Prairie Tan for the seat color and 17073 Medium Dark Graphite for the dash and console parts. A primer is not needed to get the color to work. With leather, you have to scrub the material with a gray scrub pad and soap, but light on the soap-not too wet. After they look clean enough, with them off a couple of times with a damp towel and water. Let dry. I taped off the seats so I could paint the backs black. I used SEM plastic and leather prep for cleqnibg the surfaces and Duplicolor vinyl and trim paint in black. instead of blue. After taking the door panels apart for re gluing, I painted the inner sections the same. On vinyl, you must use SEM 39863 Plastic adhesion promoter. That helps the paint stick after using the plastic and leather prep for cleaning. I left the head sests black and the black portions of the door panels were not painted. It's a nice project. I hope this helps some.

Jim D.
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#5 Old 07-28-2017
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Lucy's seats

I used SEM Classic Coat spray paint on the seats and part of the door panels. After I got the seats out, I took the driver's seat to a local trim shop to see if he could repair the loose seat cover and color them in a suitable shade of tan. I really like tha saddle tan color used in the new Camaros and Corvetts called Kalahari. The trim guy said it would be three to four weeks before he would be able to get it done. He said he would sew a new cardboard stiffening trim on the bottom of the seat cover after he removed it from the seat, then we could pick out a color. I didn't want to wait that long, so he suggested I paint them myself. I would have to find a way to reattach the loose outer, lower edge of the leather trim. I had repainted seats and trim before in a few of the Miatas that I've had. The tan color that I used for them, my wife didn't like-too much orange.

I liked the way the R171 models did a two tone effect on the door panels. Since mine were coming unglued and loose-and I was going to recolor them anyway, I sort of copied that trim idea. I thought it was kind of an update. I tried to tie part of the color to the lower dash color and part to the seat color. If I was going to do it again, I would definitely go with a darker tan color. I chose SEM paints because I have used them before and they wear well. Their color selection is pretty good, although they didn't offer the exact shade of saddle tan I wanted. I actually did find a source on a Corvette site, but found that they made it in house. It was between Colorbond or SEM. They are both very good. It would have taken longer to get the Colorbond brand with a higher price, plus shipping. I didn't want to spend $100 just fot the paint. I didn't know how well it would cover the dark blue and black seat covers.

I used SEM 17063 Prairie Tan for the seat color and 17073 Medium Dark Graphite for the dash and console parts. A primer is not needed to get the color to work. With leather, you have to scrub the material with a gray scrub pad and soap, but light on the soap-not too wet. After they look clean enough, with them off a couple of times with a damp towel and water. Let dry. I taped off the seats so I could paint the backs black. I used SEM plastic and leather prep for cleqnibg the surfaces and Duplicolor vinyl and trim paint in black. instead of blue. After taking the door panels apart for re gluing, I painted the inner sections the same. On vinyl, you must use SEM 39863 Plastic adhesion promoter. That helps the paint stick after using the plastic and leather prep for cleaning. I left the head rests black and the black portions of the door panels were not painted. It's a nice project. I hope this helps some.

Jim D.
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#6 Old 07-28-2017
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Wish they'd done a white 170 in the UK! For years it was considered a no no. Now, in some showrooms, white is an optional, chargeable extra!

In Hot countries white is the 'cheap' option!

Ah! The wiles of marketing!
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#7 Old 07-28-2017
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Sorry the pictures are turned. I corrected that in "my pictures". I thought it would carry over. The colors are a little darker than the pictures show. What ever color you choose, the actual finished color will be lighter for some reason. I would go a shade or two darker than what I was looking at. Just my observations. The color are looking good. we are getting to like the lighter colored interior now. All the work and the two months it took to repair and repaint was worth it big time. I have less than $100 in the whole job with the exception of the cost of replacement parts-about $650. About $750 total. We are happy.

Jim D.
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