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Old 05-07-2011, 09:29 PM   #1
michaelrking
 
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Default Converting Dodge to Mercedes Grill P1

I got tired of waiting to finish the conversion of my Dodge 07 Long/High to Mercedes Badging, so I ordered the parts and started the journey. I tried to record the pertinent bits as I went along.

First pic is the previous configuration, in hunting camp.
First step is to remove the chrome trim from the hood. There are no screws, the chrome piece just clips on the front of the hood, and is held on by double stick tape. Grip the top of the chrome trim and peel it toward you. I don't know if heating the underside of the hood with a heat gun would have helped or not. I didn't have a memory card in my camera for this step. Once the top trim comes off, you have the tape mess left. A combination of heat, Windex, Goo Gone, popsicle sticks, fingernails, and much language learned in the 7th Fleet eventually got it off. The Goo Gone appears to have softened the paint to the point that my thumbnail took part of the top coat off to the primer underneath, but the engineer in me says I can't prove that.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Grill1.jpg (103.3 KB, 1063 views)
File Type: jpg Grill2.jpg (57.4 KB, 985 views)
File Type: jpg Grill3.jpg (71.3 KB, 999 views)
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07 Long/High top, slowly morphing into weekend toy hauler
99 e320 wagon, "My other car is a Mercedes"
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:38 PM   #2
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Default Converting Dodge to Mercedes Grill P2

Once the top trim is off, remove the Dodge grill. There are 4 screws on the top edge, 2 bayonette mounts, and several clips at the bottom.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Grill5.jpg (99.3 KB, 858 views)
File Type: jpg Grill6.jpg (61.0 KB, 782 views)
File Type: jpg grill7.jpg (55.2 KB, 740 views)
File Type: jpg Grill10.jpg (92.6 KB, 748 views)
File Type: jpg Grill11.jpg (97.6 KB, 802 views)
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:55 PM   #3
michaelrking
 
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Default Converting Dodge to Mercedes Grill P3

Once you have the grill out, you need to remove the front trim pieces. These are held in by 2 screws and a couple of tabs. If you don't already own a 1/4 inch socket set with a set of Torx attachments, your life with a Sprinter will be simpler with them. I used a flex extension and a straight extension to get at the bottom screws. Once out, there are a couple of tabs on the bumper, and the ends are held by 2 tabs. See pics.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Grill13.jpg (85.8 KB, 773 views)
File Type: jpg Grill14.jpg (60.7 KB, 711 views)
File Type: jpg Grill15.jpg (56.8 KB, 722 views)
File Type: jpg Grill16.jpg (56.7 KB, 770 views)
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:14 PM   #4
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Default Converting Dodge to Mercedes Grill P4

Once the front trim pieces are off, reinstall the new trim, which is a different shape than the Dodge pieces. I ordered the trim, grill and 5 grommets from Mercedes of Chandler. I probably could have gotten them a bit cheaper by mail, but was leery of getting the wrong parts. Even M of C got the wrong trip piece, it had the headlight washer ports. They reordered it and had it in the next day. I took it to the body shop to get painted, that was the single most expensive part of the project. After 4 trips to the shop when they promised it would be ready, I finally got it home.

The trim piece goes on at both ends like the old pieces, and the same 4 screws. The rubber grommets go in the slots, and you are ready for the new grill.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Grill19.jpg (78.3 KB, 782 views)
File Type: jpg Grill20.jpg (48.9 KB, 719 views)
File Type: jpg Grill21.jpg (66.0 KB, 730 views)
File Type: jpg Grill23.jpg (80.4 KB, 720 views)
File Type: jpg Grill24.jpg (79.2 KB, 777 views)
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:18 PM   #5
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Default Converting Dodge to Mercedes Grill P4

Insert the grill in the 5 grommeted slots in the trim piece. There are 2 hooks on the ends of the grill that go over a couple of tabs on trim piece. Install the 4 screws in the top edge and you are done! Now I just have to decide if I will repaint the hood, cover it with Lizardskin, or just live with it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Grill25.jpg (91.9 KB, 765 views)
File Type: jpg Grill26.jpg (59.9 KB, 712 views)
File Type: jpg Grill27.jpg (75.4 KB, 705 views)
File Type: jpg Grill28.jpg (70.4 KB, 732 views)
File Type: jpg Grill30.jpg (78.8 KB, 844 views)
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Old 05-14-2011, 02:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Converting Dodge to Mercedes Grill P1

Thanks for the time and effort you went to in posting this process. I have been searching for a video for months and apparently there are none available. Your posting is the next best thing. Some of the earlier post mentioned that 3M Adheasive Remover was best for getting off the stick tape goop. Guess I will try that because I don't want to have to repaint the hood. Your finished product looks great on your Van. You didn't mentioned your final cost other than you thought it was expensive. I would be interested in knowing as I am planning to go to my local MB Sprinter dealer and order the parts next week. Your posting gave me the confidence to take the plunge and do it. I will also be ordering the badge for the back door which you did not mentioned doing to yours. Thanks again.
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Converting Dodge to Mercedes Grill P1

I did the back badge some time ago, it's pretty easy and intuative, so I didn't document it, two screws as I remember.

The grill was ~$80, the front trim was ~$130, the grommets 5 at about $5 ea. The painting process ended up at $100 (you can get things good, fast or cheap, pick 2), but the first quote was $175.

Since this is my daily driver, and adventure-mobile, it is accumulating the inevitable little insulsts. The hood is not so bad that I am going to have it repainted, it's not noticeable beyond 10 feet. I suspect that in a few more years, I will need to get the whole thing freshened up anyway.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Converting Dodge to Mercedes Grill P1

The wheel covers are $16 a set at Wally World, I just scrubbed the steel wheels really well with detergernt and a stiff brush, roughed it up with steel wool, then 4 coats of Krylon industrial flat black. I lost one wheel cover on my 6K road trip last summer, I saw it start cracking the day before. Stopped in Walmart in El Paso, they had another box of the same covers, so now I have 3 spares. Not as nice as the proper aluminum wheels, but for $1500 vs $25, I can live with it!
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Converting Dodge to Mercedes Grill P1

I ordered the parts last week from a nearby Mercedes/Sprinter dealer and got a much better deal than some of the packaged prices we see online. It was a big help having the part #'s that I got from this forum. I got the grill (incl star), grill valence, 5 grommets, hood badge,rear door star, and left and right rear door surround for $255.24 including tax. The parts guy first came up with a higher price and said if you want me to order them I will cut you a "deal". I told him I wanted to order the parts so he knocked off almost $40. Didn't realize you could negotiate with the parts department. I have 3 quotes on painting the valence from $75 to $125 and they all said they could get to it quickly. We'll see - also the price may go up when they actually see the part. I just described it over the phone. Hope to get everything next week and then use the pictures in michaelrking's thread to tackle the job. I have an idea on removing the chrome strip that I will be trying using 3M adhesive remover and a long piece of fishing line with two sticks tied to the end that a buddy and I will slowly pull down behind the chrome piece to "saw" it off. We will know quickly if this will work or if we will have to resort to fingers and plastic spatula. I am excited to get started and will share any new ideas (or mistakes) I come up with.

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Old 05-22-2011, 09:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Converting Dodge to Mercedes Grill P1

nice post. when i did mine, i heated the underside of teh hood and got most of the sticky stuff to stay on the trim. for removing the other badges i used dental floss to cut the sticky stuff.

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