Main.TrailIndexPage | Chassis and Body | Fender Creases

Fender Creases

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I have been wondering about the originality of my front fenders as most people say that they are big rust buckets in that area. In a book (maybe Meredith's) there is a mention of a short crease originating from the headlight chrome trim near the grille. This was supposed to "mirror" the body line running down the outside of the fender that originates at the headlight chrome. Mine has no small crease on the inside part of the fender, but I do see a crease in the chrome that suggests the body should have something there.

The original fender should have that crease in it (but it could've been covered up in a previous restoration, of course). One pretty good indicator about originality for fenders is to look for the spot welds that should be all around the inner lip of the engine compartment. While you're at it, run your hand all along that lip (carefully). If there's rust in the inner fenders, you're bound to feel it.

My 230 SL also doesn't have these creases... That probably means accident or rust repair at some point - even though I could not find evidence of bondo or filler.

Will Samples says: All the 113's had the small crease you mention. Since the headlight rims are interchangeable, the car would look strange without the crease on the inside. The crease is on the outside in the form of the start of the body line. The crease should be there, if it is not, then it means the bodyshop that last worked on the front did not do their job.

I just replaced the upper grill surround on my 113. It's a little bit of a task to do right. The part also has an inner, upper reinforcement that carries a hole (about 5 or 6 20mm holes). The original replacement part is cheap and has the holes, as does the original. I wouldn't doubt that they may have been omitted on some parts or it may be a reproduction. Don't forget the little body creases where the front support joins both fenders.

Someone with a lot of knowledge told me that one can always (just about) find out if a W113 has been resprayed by looking at it from the front. Apparently there is a little mark in the body on each fender on the grill side. This must line up with the little step in the chrome surround of the lamp. It is a small V mark. Apparently when the SL is resprayed, panelbeaters seem to think that these marks are just a little scratch and almost always fill them up. I have to say that my SL does not show any marks there but then again, I know it has been resprayed. Can anybody substantiate this perhaps or even post a photo?

What you are referring to is a small detail that the designers at mercedes used on the fenders. Since the headlight doors are interchangable for the right or left sides, they put a slight protrusion on the inner side of the fender to match the chrome of the headlight door. The protrusion is to mimic the protrusion on the outer side which is formed by the design line running from the front of the fender. Body shop people who are not familiar with the 113 always cover it over.

Could one of you guys tell me what these alignment marks are made of? I am asuming that they are not part of the orignal panel and are added on later. How do they come up missing?Are they being ground off when someone is prepairing the car for repainting? I am repainting my car this winter and would like to make sure I do it right.

New fenders don't have them, and when you strip your car, you'll probably lose the ones you have (if you still have them). I often hear them referred to as eyelashes. The body guy will have to form new ones using a bit of filler.

I thought I read where a skilled body shop person could tap the metal out from the inside with an edge tool to make the small ridge stand up, thus duplicating the factory look. Is that wrong?

Don Czapski says: the marks are originally added on to the fender using lead.

So these marks are indentations not points. Yes these marks would be easy to replicate. I used to be one of those panel beaters everyone is talking about(we used to call ourselves metal finishers by the way). That was back when we repaired a panel instead of replacing it. Now I need to see one in person before I do mine.

Having recently replaced the front panel on my 113 I know that the crease on the inside of the fender is exactly at the point where the fender and the front panel are welded together. This is approximately at the ten (or two) o'clock position. I presume that this joint was leaded at the factory as other joints were. Then the crease was filed in by skilled workers to mimic the head lamps as Don said. From much research on original vehicles I concluded that the crease is about 12- 15 mm long and no more than 1mm deep, but this information would not be specific enough in order to make the crease. It took some time to get it right and equal on both sides. It's amazing that someone cranked several of these out every day.

Joe Alexander: as far a I know the raised accent marks on the front fenders are stamped into the sheetmetal. They are so slight that they can be accidentally sanded smooth or filled.
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