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Registered 2001 SLK320
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41 Posts
My Turn

My SLK320's interior wasn't as bad as some I have seen, but a touch up or patch job was not going to ever look good. Besides, the paint wasn't just chipped or worn off; it was gummy. So...

I decided to tackle the job of refinishing my interior last week after reading everything I could find. My original color was a dark gray over the black plastic. Since the rest of my interior was black, and the car is a contrasting white I decided to paint everything black.

I removed the rear portion of the center console, glove box, and instrument cluster plastics. I decided against removing the forward section of the center console and the piece below the instrument cluster. I stripped and painted those in place. I was careful to tape off and cover any area/parts that could be damaged during the stripping and painting.

This plan worked out very well. It required much less dis-assembly and was still easily painted in place.

I picked up the paint remover at Home Depot.



I applied it with a paint brush, and just let it do its work. There were a few places where I put on a second application. This product did an excellent job of paint removal.

I would thoroughly clean and rinse the parts after using the paint stripper. I also gave all the parts a final cleaning with isopropyl rubbing alcohol. I then painted the parts with this paint which is readily available in big box or hardware stores:



This particular paint product is good for the job since the paint will spray the same no matter the position of the can. This was helpful when painting the parts I left in place on the car.

Sorry, I neglected to take any before pictures, and the after ones aren't the best. My camera seems to be unable to deal with the light on the different surfaces, but you can get the idea. The seats and console/dash are all the same dark black unlike in the pictures where the seats look like they could be grayish.





 

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Registered 2001 SLK320
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41 Posts
Looks good. How did you go about taking the center console out? I haven't checked yet..I also need to figure out how to take out the shifter piece to get to the sensor soon
There are a few threads that show various parts of the procedure. I deleted those bookmarks, but a quick google search for "SLK center console removal" will give you some help...like this:

http://www.slkworld.com/slk-r170-class-diy/28910-rear-center-console-removal.html

You might also want to check YouTube.
 

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47 Posts
Dear,

Here a few links, hope its what your look for


Paint http://volico.de/webshop/

Disassembly.
http://ryououki.no-ip.com/r170/


Car from a friend, we did his interior a few month ago, scroll way down on page 20. Did this job in one day with my friend.
http://www.autoweek.nl/forum/read.php?18,4953555,page=20

This is my car did interior begin 2015, page 1+2
http://www.autoweek.nl/forum/read.php?18,4953555,page=20

The last two links are in Dutch, hope the pictures tells the story if not, Google translate.

Hope its any help
 

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A lot of info on paint peeling interior.
tips that worked well of the paint removal:
1. Brake fluid and stiff brush. Then while your wife is out, run the parts through the dishwasher with just a little dishwasher detergent to get rid of the brake fluid.
2. In my case I had to do a lot of plastic repair on attachment areas. A product called QuickSteel (steel reinforced Epoxy putty) worked great. Available at may Automotive and hardware stores. Sets quick and ready to file or drill as needed. Dremlel tool was my friend for small detail work.

Good luck and don't be in a hurry. You'll be happy with the results.
 

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Registered 2001 SLK230
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61 Posts
I made a new post with photos showing how I did it, but instead of chemicals I used a pressure washer and a quick wipe with paint thinner afterwards. In my case I then uses spray contact cement to affix leather, but if you want to paint, first use plastic primer (from a specialty auto paint store that supplies panel beaters / body shops) and then a two-part epoxy. The epoxy will last forever.
 

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Appreciate it!!

That's the company no got my paint from..they sent a tiny bottle..not the aerosol though.
YouTube had instructions with a sponge applicator..I'll try and tackle it this week hopefully.

I tried to post pics but I'm using mobile. They sent me paint,some gloves and some candy!!!!
I thought that was pretty awesome lol. Fat kid problems!!
Got some tasty habrio soda gummies and licorices lol
 

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Registered 1998 SLK230
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23 Posts
Last week, after some experimenting with different liquids, I ended up using Krud Kutter concentrate spray for grease removal. I tried using just a rag with the Krud Kutter, but that wasn't easy. So, I used '0000' steel wool (I used an entire bag of steel wool), sprayed with the Krud Kutter. The peeling "paint"/"dye" came off very easily.

After about 3 hours, I was finished with everything but the instrument cluster, which is planned for a cool morning. Image 3057 (upper right) below shows the black plastic underneath the charcoal "paint" around the driver's side air vent. Your mileage may vary, so try this on the kick panel underneath the driver's side dash.

When finished, I wiped down the whole interior with clean water and wiped it off. The little balls of paint get everywhere, so a thorough vacuuming of the interior took care of that mess.

If you are anal, you can do the inside of the glovebox (glove boot) as well, as they sprayed that area with the same "paint". Sigh.

As you may/may not be able to tell, I still need to perform some detailing work to finish the very small edges at the carbon fiber/plastic pieces. I've sampled the process of carefully using an Xacto knife after using a rag to soak the edges in Krud Kutter. It works, but so does a thin blade screwdriver over some '0000' steel wool.

When I'm finished, I will thoroughly use the 303 automotive trim protectant, but any good vinyl/plastic trim protectant (NOT AmorAll) will suffice, I am sure. I will not be painting or dying anything to the charcoal color. Black is fine with us and looks quite natural. (Benz should have just used the proper color in the dyes when molding the plastic and dying any vinyl parts. Hindsight...)

The only area to show some reluctance to using the Krud Kutter are the door grab bars (I've not photographed these.)
It just takes patience and a lot of elbow grease. Be careful when working around the carbon fiber/plastic pieces even though the '0000' steel wool won't scratch it.

Finally, as you may be able to see in the 3054 (bottom left) photo, the little storage compartment fell down. Looks like I'll have to remove the console anyways and reattach that piece. If necessary, I will epoxy it into place. Ugh.

I am curious about the instrument cluster facia removal... some folks recommend removing the air bag in the steering wheel. Huh? the facia should just easily come out after removing the bottom kick panel and the 2 screws on either side of the steering wheel and unclipping the top section from the dash. Anyone have some experience to advise???
 

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Registered 1998 SLK230
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23 Posts
Well, I finished the work. Even used 303 Automotive protectant on all vinyl. Looks great. It was hot work, but it's finished.

I never removed the instrument cluster bezel. On removing the screws next to the steering column, the plastic tabs broke. I was able to fix another one, for the cover to the fuses. Seems the top locking tab had been broken and was hanging on by a thread. I used trim adhesive and glued it back in-place and it is now solidly held together. I also had to reinforce the single screw under the adjuster for the steering column as the tab on the piece which was removed was breaking. I glued a metal washer to the back of it.

For the broken tabs on the mounting points next to the steering column, I plan on getting in there when we have a cooler day, and see how I can attach something on the inside to hold a nut or something to insert the screw into. Dash panels are very expensive and anything used is likely to also have brittle plastic tabs.

Anyone ever come up with a solution if this occurred to you? I'd be interested to know how you solved it. I'll try to post some photos next week. In a bit of a rush right now.

Have a great weekend and keep the shiny side UP! :)
 

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I was not too into buying a tiny bottle of paint from Germany for $50, so I went to Home Depot and for $3.48 they sold me a sample size (8 fl-oz / 237 ml) satin sheen custom matched to the panel under my steering wheel. Interior/Exterior.

I cleaned the surface with Windex, dried it with a cotton towel, then used a 69 cent foam painting brush to apply it with no removal of panels or masking.




https://s3.postimg.org/stk5rdm5v/IMG_5563.jpg[img]
[img]https://s3.postimg.org/tx4a3c6sz/IMG_5568.jpg
 

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Registered 1998 SLK230
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23 Posts
Well, the interior is mostly finished. Plastic tabs on the various console pieces which needed to be stripped of the peeling paint, broke. Even the tabs for holding the little door on the door side of the panel which hides the fuses, had broken. Seems the plastic is incredibly brittle and was breaking before I even got into the job. I kluged a repair using an epoxy product which comes in a tube and you mold it into a shape and where you need it. I used metal washers, the epoxy stuff, and even a longer screw to hold the tabs on the door side of the driver's side, under the fuse door. The plastic was either bad before it was painted to look and feel like vinyl (very bad decision, Mercedes), or the "paint" affected the plastic and seems to eat away at it, making it weak and brittle.

Even the exterior piece on the fuse door side that is just to the rear of the door, cracked. I used a 3M interior trim glue and then used the epoxy stuff on the inside, plus using a crack filler on the remaining visible crack. Next step is to sand down the filler and use black dye. I once purchased black dye, filler, prepping agent, their leather "oil" and their leather cleaner from a place called Leatherique. I used it on my first Benz, an 86 300SDL which had a cracked black dash.

I've used 303 Automotive protectant on the plastic parts and will be using the Leatherique products on the leather and vinyl pieces once again. Once a year.

My last stripping job will be the kick panel under the driver's side dash. I tried to remove it and discovered the many cracked and broken tabs. Sigh. I will now strip it in-place as I could not get it out completely without seriously damaging it from everything which was broken or cracked.

BTW, my car has never been wrecked. It spent its life in GA,a around Atlanta, where we bought it last Labor Day. It now resides in Ohio.

I am wondering if any paint used to restore the original color (in my case, Charcoal Grey) will ever really stick to the plastic and not peel away once again in the future. We like the black look and while it's not a luxurious look as would leather or vinyl, it looks very clean and your arm or hands don't have little bits of Charcoal paint sticking onto you in little balls.

I've looked into replacement parts but those are incredibly expensive and will likely have the same issues... unless they can be had in black plastic as new parts. I've also thought of having a car upholsterer do those pieces in charcoal leather. Talk about $$$.

So, in the end, I may someday need to get the lower driver's side dash panel and the piece which surrounds the instruments. It will not be a cheap purchase, but I've put in-place a stop-gap measure until that day arrives, if it arrives. (Who knows? Maybe my fix will be the permanent solution?)

I will post photos once the crack is completely dyed black.

BTW... anyone know how to fix the little sliding door compartment in the center console? Mine seems to have broken from its mounts. I suspect I may have to remove the center console (the rear portion only). The biggest headache seems to be the parking brake grip which needs to be removed. I'm guessing that simple epoxying may not work well. I am thinking of using something to fill the gap on the sides and then just epoxy the whole assembly together. Or, using a wooden block underneath it to hold it up in place as an added precaution to any other process used to affix the little compartment in-place.
 

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Registered 1998 SLK230/2000 SLK230/2012 SLK250
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160 Posts
Hi,

I've worked with that old ABS, broken tabs, cracks, pieces, etc. It's a real pain. First, getting the console off is not that difficult. The handbrake cover is a pain, but it can be muscled off in 30 minutes or less. Once that's off, the next issue is taking up the console interior material pads so you can get at the two nuts that keep the console piece fastened. Use wax paper to store them when you peel them back.

The rest is easy-peasy.

There are little tabs on the piece you're talking about. Heat works well to rejoin them, assuming you'll find the tabs that have broken off. I sacrificed a soldering iron lead and have used that to repair many ABS parts. I think I had to rejoin one of those myself.

Sometimes, you can weld the pieces back together, sometimes you have to add ABS (think molten Lego pieces) to get it to work. It doesn't have to look pretty if it is hidden.
 

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I know this is an old thread....I just use LVP brand spray paint anthracite color .......masked off what I did not want to paint.....used a scotch Brite pad to sand off the flakes....and did two coats of this paint...perfect match....can says does not peel or crack....$20.00 total for it shipped from a seller in NY on eBay took less than 45 min to complete the job
 

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Registered 1998 SLK230
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23 Posts
New info

(This is a longish post, so read on if you've the time.)

Well, I finally decided it was time to go out and buy new panels for the cracked instrument cover bezel and the driver side knee bolster under the dash. If you remember, these parts actually cracked. Seems the ABS plastic became very brittle and easily cracked, which was hidden by the charcoal dye/paint from the factory. Once I removed the charcoal color with the 0000 steel wool and spray degreaser, the cracks became visible. The tabs holding it all together are almost gone and I was able to cobble it up and make them stay in-place through the use of some malleable clay-like stuff which sets up solid.

I've looked far and wide on eBay and elsewhere for suitable charcoal panels at a decent price. I compared these parts and prices to those I found new from various dealer sources who advertise online with discounts. I ended up paying just under $400 for the 2 panels and the under-the-steering-wheel part. Of course, they are coated with the same charcoal color stuff which peels off. I have been debating with myself as to whether or not to strip them out of the car or leave them alone.

Here's the source of the parts: INSTRUMENT PANEL for 1998 Mercedes-Benz SLK230 | OEMMercedes
genuinemercedesparts.com,
345 Mcfarland Pkwy
Alpharetta, Georgia, 30004
USA
[email protected]

And, now that I've read about using some Behr paint or something else from online, I am wondering if I should just leave them alone and get Home Depot to color match the new parts and then remove the 303 protectant with Dawn or degreaser on the rest of the dash and console parts so I can have it all look the same? Decisions, decisions.

Oh yeah, for those of you who've had the little retractable door on the console get damaged and have the tabs break off (or the roof and mirror control panel just in front of the compartment), once the rear console is out, you can easily replace the parts (not expensive new, either). I made sure that anyone leaning on the console would never break the parts again, as I glued a piece of wood and foam to the tunnel which snugly touches the parts from underneath. I had to experiment with different items and sizes before finding the correct pieces. I used foam so I could have a flexible cushion for the parts to rest upon.

And, if you've ever had cracks in any dash panels or the dash itself, on any car, Leatherique sells the putty and can color match with a dye paint that is fantastic. Look them up online.

Finally, I've tried to remove the door panels, but the first step seems to be the toughest... the removal of the door pull/arm rest. I just can't seem to pry the top section off. I may just take it to a buddy at a body shop and have them pry them off. I've got new panel clips and will need to secure both leather panels as well. While I'm in the doors, I will try to better secure some parts as the doors make a rattling sound when inside when they are closed. If I'm outside, the doors sound solid.

Lastly, the little flexible cover on a part of the roof hinge mechanism on the driver side came off again inside. The little rod which holds it to an elastic piece of nylon, or whatever, fabric seems to back itself out. So, I will be looking at replacing the tiny rod with a similar sized screw and nut with Locktite on the end so it won't back off. Wish me luck. Hint: the top has to be partially up and you need long needle nose pliers or remove a part of the plastic cover, which is a PITA.
 

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Premium Member 2001 SLK320
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1,032 Posts
To remove door pull cover start at lower edge - rear.
See Pelican Parts
Look very closely for location of the snaplock tab. You have to push it up without breaking it, and pull lower edge of cover out at same time. After I broke the first one I knew exactly what to do!
Easy once you know how and have exactly the right size tools/blades.
Door trims need everything reglued . Make sure to get right glue for each interface, vinyl to plastic, fibreboard to plastic , plastic to plastic. Leather to vinyl. Most of mine stayed glued, a couple of areas need attention.
plastic securing clips all were unglued, but left some witness marks to enable exact location for reglueing.
Search! Plenty of threads on this topic.
 

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Premium Member 2001 SLK320
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1,032 Posts
NDGough,
After striping the latex paint off dash, did you get an even Gloss level on all the bare plastic parts?

Second question. Was it High Gloss, glossy, or towards Satin?

The photos make it look quite glossy.

Thanks
 

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Registered 1998 SLK230
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23 Posts
It is a more glossy appearance. Not exactly what I like, but that's what it is. I am still trying to determine if I want to do one of the following:

1. Leave the glossy appearance and install the new parts as is with the charcoal color and possible future peeling of paint. Not that much of a contrast to leave them as is.

2. Strip the new parts and treat them with 303 to have the same appearance as the surrounding pieces.

3. Strip the new parts and use SEM paint on all interior plastic parts which I've stripped with their paint adhesive primer, color coat, and a minimal-glossy clear coat. Or something else.

One thing I've discovered is that someone recommends just soaking the plastic parts, after removal from the car, for 24 hours in water. Seems the color coat just peels off very easily with a rag or air gun. Then, after a light scrubbing with a 3M scrubby, the SEM process with the paint adhesive, color coat and minimal-glossy clear coat is (allegedly) better than OEM. Intriguing process which could be a nice Summer project. Here is the process I discovered online... Mercedes-Benz SLK: Painting Interior Plastics - The Hog Ring | Auto Upholstery Community
 

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Registered 2008 SLK55 AMG
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3 Posts
Just noting that I did a vinyl wrap on the interior (plastics around the shifter and all of the dash components) on my 2005 SLK 350 and I wasn't happy at all with the results. Painting seems like the way to go - thanks for this thread! I know I'm going to have this need at some point again on my current 171. I call the paint deterioration around the dash and console "The Cup Holder Location Curse".

Thanks for this thread and paving the DIY way for us.. :)
 

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Premium Member 1999 SLK230 Kompressor
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437 Posts
My my my, all that time, effort, and money and I just bought the paint from Germany left everything in place and voila!
574015
 
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