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*Premium Member
1998 SLK230
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know many have failing paint but Aussie sun has taken its toll on mine and all the plastic is extremely brittle. The rear console I pulled out and all the screw holes at the front are shattered, there are multiple cracks and loose pieces and a good chunk of the dashboard was in the pocket of the door.

I’m still coming up with ideas on repairs or replacement. Replacements are available but second hand would still need a lot of work and replacing all plastic would cost a fortune.

An idea I am considering is 3D modelling perfect parts by scanning what I have and cleaning up the models then using a CNC to carve the parts from planks of tassie oak laminated into large chunks. Then perhaps vacuum impregnating resin into the wood to waterproof and solidify the shape.

anybody seen fibreglass interior parts or similar ?
 

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*Registered
2002 SLK32 (x1), 2003 SLK230 (x2)
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341 Posts
Suggestions and shared experience:

Some of the parts are discontinued, some are expensive, be careful buying used as many used parts are on edge of usability. Have to pick your shots on case by case basis. Not one solution. Hopefully not have to resort to fabricating from scratch, as that would be very time intensive.

Might have to pony up for new on one part, repair another, maybe find a used part or two.

The shattered front section of rear console I have seen before. This can be from regular driving on very rough roads (chassis flex can actually be felt at this point by putting a finger on the joint while you drive), and/or a third person riding in car either sitting on console or squeezing two people in passenger seat which presses laterally on console. It shouldn't break, but it will.... Epoxy, new or eBay.

I have had 5 R170 cars over a 10 year span, and currently have 3. We have put well over 200,000 collective miles on them. The only major interior part that broke on one car was the lower half of dash under drivers side, broke near top joint near where ignition key recess is located on LHD car. Bought new from Mercedes about $300.
The small panel in center console where mirror and roof control switches are located has broken attachment at rear on 2 cars. This can be reattached by putting a strip of 3m adhesive tape under it. 3m tape that is used for attaching side molding to body panels, this stuff sticks like crazy.
Had to disassemble and reglue both interior door panels on 2 cars, like new now.

In my experience the issues are not that bad for a 20 year old car in general and manageable for a DIY person. Some comment how terrible they are and ditch the car over it. These folks are either not DIY capable or not into owning really old cars, as all old cars have their quirks (or really hard on their cars).

Happy top down spirited driving, refurbished
R
 

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*Premium Member
1998 SLK230
Joined
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I might have to fracture a piece somewhere and see just how robust it is, perhaps it is just weak areas, you nailed the broken parts pretty well. If it is not in fact falling apart at the lightest touch then reinforcing the broken areas would be the best way to go especially since a repaint is required anyway.
I added a rear console (in the UK) on ebay to my watch list and received an offer from the seller the next day for 5% off, pfft, its still $150 or so and it is also cracked, just not in chunks. I reckon he just wants to get rid of it. I'm not that desperate.

Took this photo a few days ago for 3d modelling purposes, have since drawn all over the paint with a texta to give the modelling softwars something to grab hold of. You can see the cracked areas at thr front where I glued some back in, the screwholes are still on another couple of pieces of plastic.

I love old cars and DIY, so dont worry about putting me off. I'm not giving up over some cracked plastic.
 

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*Premium Member
1998 SLK230
Joined
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have been thinking about my plastic and the best solution. Since this is a project and I'm in no rush I have decided to upgrade the look, significantly I hope.
Instead of repainting it and patching up the cracked pieces my idea is try something new to me and add wood laminate to all of the plastic parts and probably reinforce the rear with fibreglass as required.
Still researching the wood method and I will start with the console rear which is the largest and I suspect most difficult part to do given the curves. current search terms are for veneer, veneer softeners, urea resin formaldehyde adhesives, vacuum veneering,
The veneer itself is quite cheap, $100 or so would do all of the plastic. Not sure what the ideal top surface finish is yet, likely a top layer of 2 pack clear polished to a high sheen would look good and survive the rough life of a car interior.
Work in progress..
Hood Motor vehicle Car Vehicle Automotive design
Car Steering part Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design
Hand Finger Wood Tool Thumb
 

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*Registered
2003 SLK230
Joined
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381 Posts
Interior plastics can be welded and backed , i prefer fibreglas strips and JB Weld black. Second hand car breakers would be my next option , if you can get parts sent from europe , why not try the NZ breakers . 3D parts sounds like an entertaining time in the manshed with a lemon squash or 2
 

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*Premium Member
1998 SLK230
Joined
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah I figure if the plastic has weakened then adding wood to the front will hold it together. Just bought veneer, thought I might try the olive burr on the dashboard, gear surround and glovebox and the brush box on console and door trims.
These are the pieces I bought, so cheap I reckon. Excited to try something new.


Brown Product Rectangle Font Screenshot





Brown Product Rectangle Wood Screenshot
6
 

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**Premium Member '02 R170 SLK V8 5.0 & '00 SLK320
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8,685 Posts

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*Premium Member
1998 SLK230
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@Stonemull , I know you've bought veneer but thought you might be interested in this company's products. I know nothing about them or their quality.
absolutely interested, cheers. Looks awesome and would save me dozens of hours. I’ll have a crack at veneer first but that’s a great back up option if I fail or get lazy.

(y) (y) (y)

That would be my first option ;)
I bought this car from a Mercedes’ spare parts shop, they have no parts and they know of one slk230 in Australia being wrecked at the moment on the other side of the country. I got this car pretty cheap, because of the plastic, they can’t get it.
just buying the dash parts alone would probably cost more than what i paid for the entire car. In fact they asked if I wanted to sell the diff, drivers side mirror and front and rear bumpers for more than I paid for the car.
Australia does not have hundreds of dead SLK’s laying around and ones that are will almost certainly have the same plastic cancer issues this one does.
i don’t want to replace crap plastic with more overpriced crap plastic.
 

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*Premium Member
1997 SLK230K
Joined
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931 Posts
absolutely interested, cheers. Looks awesome and would save me dozens of hours. I’ll have a crack at veneer first but that’s a great back up option if I fail or get lazy.



I bought this car from a Mercedes’ spare parts shop, they have no parts and they know of one slk230 in Australia being wrecked at the moment on the other side of the country. I got this car pretty cheap, because of the plastic, they can’t get it.
just buying the dash parts alone would probably cost more than what i paid for the entire car. In fact they asked if I wanted to sell the diff, drivers side mirror and front and rear bumpers for more than I paid for the car.
Australia does not have hundreds of dead SLK’s laying around and ones that are will almost certainly have the same plastic cancer issues this one does.
i don’t want to replace crap plastic with more overpriced crap plastic.
In that case you might like this as well. Can't copy the link for some reason. Put the following into eBay search 2001-2004 Mercedes Benz SLK R170 Real Brushed Aluminum Interior Dash Trim Kit
 

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*Premium Member
2001 SLK200K/2001 SLK320
Joined
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3,704 Posts
In that case you might like this as well. Can't copy the link for some reason. Put the following into eBay search 2001-2004 Mercedes Benz SLK R170 Real Brushed Aluminum Interior Dash Trim Kit
Problem @Rofa - those dash trim kits all have the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car :p
 

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*Premium Member
2001 SLK200K/2001 SLK320
Joined
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3,704 Posts
@Stonemull

I've never seen a dash that badly busted up :oops:

I could tell you that there's at least a dozen R170's being broken on UK eBay. All parts available, ask for prices, etc. etc. blah, blah ..
My guess would be a waste of time you shopping here because the the killer would be the postage as it cost me £7 to send a Chrimbo Card to Gold Coast 3yrs ago :eek: Moonpig is so much cheaper :cool:

Good luck in trying to achieve cost effective repairs and hop into Wensley's and tell him that I told you that you can have some free pies :ROFLMAO:
 

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*Premium Member
1998 SLK230
Joined
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
@Stonemull

I've never seen a dash that badly busted up :oops:

..and hop into Wensley's and tell him that I told you that you can have some free pies :ROFLMAO:
It’s quite fragile for some reason. Probably UV related.

I’m also a fan of E39 BMW’s and own a couple, as soon as I bought my first one you start to notice them everywhere.
Thought the same would happen with SLK’s, but no. I have not seen a single one driving around yet let alone an older model.
Not so much a fan yet since first drive had me towing it up my driveway but I’m sure I’ll forgive it when I drive it :)

I haven’t been to Wensleys before, I do like a pork pie. Are you related ?
 
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