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Discussion Starter #1
A while back I posted on here asking for information on locating the various electronic units used in the slk230. Well things have moved on a bit since then and progress is being made, I think.

In short many may know that Thailand suffered very severe flooding last year, our own residential estate saw about 8 feet of water for almost 2 months and even though our house is raised above street level we still had about 18 inches of water in the property and my 230 in the driveway saw almost total submersion.

I could have just given up and gone shopping for something else though to be honest that sounds far to defeatist for someone used to real pain and so the re-build began. The car passed between a couple of established re-build houses until we settled on one who seems up to the job. The engine out mechanical overhaul went smoothly enough until we needed electronics, all of which were essentially a total loss. Various avenues were explored as to how this situation might be resolved but in time it became clear that the best solution would be a suitable donor car. An essentially identical model was located in Japan and shipped to Thailand, cost about $7k US but now I have a complete vehicle that has suffered only light accident damage and of course to comply with Thai import regulations has been cut into 3 pieces and comes minus wheels and brake calipers.

The gutting and refit is under way including everything down to the wiring harness. All being well this will see my car back on the road in due course and me with a large supply of spare parts, complete second engine, gearbox etc.

Given that a nice 2002 SLK230 can still fetch something like $45k US here this is a not inexpensive but hopefully worthwhile pursuit.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good luck with the re-build and hope you'll be enjoying the car soon !

Thanks,

I just figured I can post pictures here, so here are a couple of the donor car before stripping.

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This last one shows the interior of my car ready for re-fit. Wonder iof I should add anything prior to the install

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Good luck with the rebuild. Looks like a fun project. Please keep us posted with pics of your progress.

When they chopped the donor car in 3, did they chop through the wiring looms also?
 

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" This last one shows the interior of my car ready for re-fit. Wonder iof I should add anything prior to the install "

After what it's been through I would say a good rust proofing !! Jeje .

If you don't already have it you might want to run cables for speakers behind the seats ??
 

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Want to sell me your taillights? :D Wouldn't have been a easier way out just to buy a used slk there? or are they really rare? do you need those bumpers?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@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.


Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here's an update following a brief visit to the rebuild shop.

Today I saw the car start up and move under it's own steam for the first time in 12 months. There is still a long way to go as the pictures tell but we have already come a significant distance Major remaining tasks are the roof hydraulics, vacuum system and electrical debugging. Everything else is pretty much cosmetic. Much of the original car has been replaced, including the fuel tank wiring harness air conditioning system etc. About all that is original is the body, engine, transmission and drivetrain. Pictures below.


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Idle is smooth and engine responsive. Engine is original but many ancillaries from the donor car.

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Rev counter shows engine idling. No gas or no guage at least!

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Roof hydraulics all needs replacing.

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Starting to look its oldd self. Grille is from donor car and I think an after market unit.

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Interior coming together. Still some work to be done here.

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LED rear lights from the donor car

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Everything lights up. Just need to make all the lights go out now.

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Some of the interior removed from the original car

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Donor car all but stripped out


Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #10
let me know, stay in touch :) they are the facelift taillights right?

My car is a 2002 model with the the hidden trunk lock 5 speed auto with sequential shift etc. I believe this is the facelift model. The donor car is essentially the same though I believe a 2001 model. The rear lights have been swapped as the donor car has LED lights. I will probably keep the originals until I decide which I like best.

Martin
 

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Great thread! It's fun to watch.
Water doesn't necessarily rust out a car. It's primarily the salt used on the roads in winter or saltwater in a coastal flood that causes major steel corrosion.
 

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MrG, your point about the water is interesting. Our climate here runs from about 25C mid winter to around 35C peak summer it is quite humid though and the monsoon rain can dump a lot of water in a very short space of time though it usually clears quickly too. cars do last very well here and it's not unusual to see 50 year old cars looking like new. When I started to recover the car I noticed 2 or three areas with tiny bubbles in the paintwork. Each area not much more than about 4 inches in diameter. The rest of the car, top, bottom and inside is remarkably free of any ill effects, or so it seems. I will have the affected areas treated at our local bump and knock shop, they do a good job so I have no fear.

Looking at the vehicle option list I note that it had option 524-Paintwork Preservation at build time. What does that entail? Might it have helped given the extreme state my car found itself in?

It's interesting to remember that the flood waters were pretty nasty containing a mix of just about everything bad you can imagine. The Honda factory, Western Digital factory and a thousand other businesses who all use who knows what were totally inundated. these are all about 10 miles north of us and much of the flooding we saw was not water you would want to put your hands in!

I have a few post flood pictures, they are pretty sickening. Can post if anyone wants to see what the car looked like when I started.

Martin
 

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MrG, your point about the water is interesting. Our climate here runs from about 25C mid winter to around 35C peak summer it is quite humid though and the monsoon rain can dump a lot of water in a very short space of time though it usually clears quickly too.

Martin
That sounds like heaven to me. While it ices up a few times every winter here, the municipalities use sand on the roads instead of salt. We get our share of rain also but there are barely any rust issues with Texas cars.
 

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That sounds like heaven to me. While it ices up a few times every winter here, the municipalities use sand on the roads instead of salt. We get our share of rain also but there are barely any rust issues with Texas cars.
However instead of rust, down there in Texas you get the cars with sun blisters on them, in other words, the sun literally eats away at the clear coat unless it stays in the shade. You also get cars with cracked dashes and dry-rotted parts too :(
 

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Discussion Starter #17
great Job, How much time did it took ?

So far almost 10 months :( but there have been a few hiccups along the way. The first guy who was recommended turned out to be less than ideal so we lost a few months there. Then after the engine rebuild we hit a big delay with the electronics. Initially was told somebody would fix them but as it turned out this was impossible. then of course there have been the inevitable money shortages what with having to find an additional $50k for house refit and the like so all in all it has been longer than ideal but I would rather that than it be rushed.

I'm hopeful of having the car on the raod and back home again before the end of the year though there will be jobs still to be done they will hopefully be cosmetic and/or minor. Total cost to date is about $11k which though a lot is less than 20% of the car replacement cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
However instead of rust, down there in Texas you get the cars with sun blisters on them, in other words, the sun literally eats away at the clear coat unless it stays in the shade. You also get cars with cracked dashes and dry-rotted parts too :(

This is a good point and is an issue in this climate, or can be. MB cars seem less prone though, maybe better quality paint and plastics?
 

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Wishing you all the best for the rebuild!! Quite a task but you seem well on the way and I am sure that you will enjoy this car tremendously once back on the road with all the hard work and efforts in it.

I share your agony regarding car prices. Here in Denmark we are subjected to 180% tax on cars - after income tax of 55% :tazz:

Raindog
 
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