Weather makes a big difference to the life of a car, especially if it has been exposed to the elements and not used. I don’t know how often my Mercedes W123 had been left unused when I bought it. So from when I had last driven it the car had sat under a cover all winter. As the weather was getting better I decided to replace the nearside front wing as it had rusted significantly along the line of the mounting bolts.
Luckily the wing came off really easily but the inner wing looked in pretty poor condition. When I took the front bumper off it was also exposing lots more rust.
On first inspection I thought there would be some grinding and welding in a few patches but on closer inspection I could see that the wing had been held in position by the under seal and there was no supporting steel left. The inner wing needed to be replaced!
A new panel was ordered and took a week to arrive. I was a little disappointed at the quality of the replacement panel. But that is the way it is with non original equipment. It would just take a little more effort to sort it.
So, angle grinder in hand, goggles and ear defenders on, I set to with the cutting disc.
I tried to keep as much of the original steel as possible as it is much thicker than new. There was also a significant amount of rot behind the headlight. I intentionally left some of the rusty headlight surround in place for reference. I will deal with the rusty surround later. I then cleaned up the edges back to bare metal to weld to. The new panel was cut down quite significantly, then bent and hammered into shape so it would fit. It took a good two hours to get the new panel to fit properly.
Big job but well worth the time. All ready and waiting for the new wing. New steel stitched into place. Long operation but will live to drive another day.