The early body coaches (1973-4-5-6) used a 2 1/4″ stainless steel strip with a rubber insert screwed over the joint where the upper aluminum and lower SMC plastic panels come together. A similar sealing issue to the upper seam where the aluminum roof panel meets the upper aluminum side panel. These front to back seams on this “flexible” body structure are a problem when you consider the movement possible in these seams.
The late model bodies (half year 1976, 7 and 8) employ an “H” mold where the top and bottom side panels are epoxy glued into its channel. Epoxy sticks to aluminum or plastic so this new frame/ body structure was a big improvement. In the early systems, the attaching rivets to the panels would not hold sealed the lower plastic panels. Sealent gaps and you had water seeping in front the open seams under that 2 1/4″ body mold.
Rats….I feel like that Geiko lizard with the flat tire……somebody help me…I have a flat tire! This #:;*€μ¬¡Г¬¤ΩθฯΩ phone will only post pics slow….come back for them later!
The late style being a much stronger and more waterproof a bond is a good thing for those coaches…..for the early coaches, we panel bond and rerivet the seam then seal with “bond-n-seal” from Wurth we cover the surface with a 1/8 x 2″ flatstock aluminum bar which will now accept the later style stick-on vinyl body molding. Stronger and sealed the new look is new and new body molding can replace those “Unobtanium” pieces/parts of the early molding system.
This is the process we are doing to “Orphan Anne” , a 1973 coach.
<<<<<< Rats, no pics yet, come back >>>>>>
Here you will see a pic with the old SS molding off getting ready to secure and seal the panels before the new mold strip is put on.
I will say I have seen many early coaches still sporting the SS strip that look good…. Hey keep it If you like just remember you may be getting water inside behind the inner side panels. Whenever we refinish an exterior we repair this area and convert the system to the look alike late system…..our body molding can be replaced. Any old part you reuse will always look old! Come back tomorrow and I’ll show you the finished product.
On to other finished products, revealing the side window frames to the body also involves refinishing the satin black window frames. Taping them off also allows us to clean then refinish the black self etching paint of the frames .Here the frames are bagged off, the frames are sanded and painter with trim black spray can paint..Then the black RTV sealant is applied on the crack between the window frame and body….pull the tape and there ya go. on other stuff, it’s like Ruby is in a brothel all the love she’s getting. Front row center all the parts/ purses we’ve been doing behind the scenes are coming together. .The plank floor is in waiting for the 1 pound sheet good coming in today to sound insulate for that monster turbo-diesel motor .Stay tuned for more……
.So the question was why did we weld the front frames clip from a GMC to where the trunk was on this 1976 Mercedes 450sl? With this tool we can fully test our a fresh motor and transmission BEFORE the 30 hour installation…….literally drive it around before it’s installation.Ok, it will turn heads on the road……but I get to really check out our drive trains…….”Certified driven to Daytona” ….I like it. .. see ya tomorrow