Join Date: May 2009
Vehicle: SLK230 2002 Silver/Marlin
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@Wooly. Yes they did cut through the harness though I am assured this is not a problem and the join will be both clean and undetectable. I'm not sure but I think the electrician lays out the old harness and the 2 newer parts then joins them together, checking the end to end connections as he go's along. A time consuming process but given that labor is about $3 an hour it's not a big problem.
@curro101. An interesting point. Cars don't rust here, even with the annual rainfall and high humidity they seem impervious to the tin worm. Rust proofing agent is understandably quite hard to find therefore. Though I take your comment to heart and will be looking closely at the body shell to see it has been thoroughly cleaned. Underneath there is a bit of surface rust on some parts but I'm told this is of no concern and all affected parts will be cleaned up as necessary. I have lots of spares too!
@Bradley61496. Maybe. Not quite sure what I'm going to do with all the bits as yet Though selling off some parts is highly probable but until the guy is all done I don't want to go mucking about taking stuff away. keep tabs on the progress here though and parts may well be available in due course. Be warned though. Shipping parts from South East Asia is not cheap and typically for sending to the US it has to go Fedex or such as the Post Office will no longer accept anything over 2kg.
For the uninitiated car prices in Thailand can often seem outrageous, that's because they truly are! Import adds 157% to the base price of any vehicle and even locally produced cars only need to be sold for a little less than that to appear cheap, relatively. I don't know what a current new SLK costs elsewhere but here it comes out at about US$160,000. A basic C200 runs about US$95,000. Second hand car prices are even more mind boggling. When you consider that culturally anything previously owned by someone else may have some element of bad karma attached to it there is a real lack of interest in previously owned vehicles. It therefore seems strange that second hand car prices are much higher relatively than other places. An 8 year old SLK will fetch around US$70-80,000. For this reason rebuild is a real option and simple replacement with another similar car here is very expensive and yes they are somewhat harder to find. You can offset the above in the knowledge that gasoline is around US$1 a litre and as stated before labor costs are rock bottom. Lifetime costs may not approach those of other countries but they are not quite as bad as the initial purchase price can sometimes suggest.
I will be at the restorer's shop again tomorrow, poking my nose in, and will try to take some better pictures.