Removing Glued on 123 Chassis Front Fenders

Tough job and you will need heat! Also applies to 107, 114, 115, and 116 chassis

All front fenders on 1977 to 1985 123 chassis U.S. sedans, coupes and wagons are the same. European models differ only slightly different where the bumper rubber bolts on to the lower front section. Removal procedures are the same. As I mentioned in my video, dealing with the factory glue is the biggest challenge you will face. Of course, if either front fender has been replaced in the past, most body shops do not glue it back on. So if your fender comes right off after removing all the bolts and fasteners, consider yourself lucky.

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Problem & Solution

Common among these chassis:

R107
W114
W115
W116
W123

Preparation: To remove a front fender you must first remove the front bumper, the complete headlight assembly, and the turn signal marker. At that point you can begin removing the fasteners.

1. Pop off the rear lower fender trim piece. Reach underneath and pry up and pull out on it at the same time. There are two #3 phillips head screws under this trim piece that must be removed

2. Open the door and look in the gap between the back of the fender and front of door. You will see some 10 mm head bolts that need to be removed. Use a long extension on your ratchet wrench to get to these bolts. A wobble extension works the best. (see below)

3. Remove the 3 hold down screws at the front inside edge of the fender.  One is on the inside of the under headlight trim and the other is underneath the headlight trim  section right above where the bumper bolts onto the frame (image lower left). Then, lower down you must remove the screw that connects the lower fender arm to the center valence under the front bumper (image lower right). 

4. Remove the 10 mm head bolt in behind the turn signal lens.                      5. Remove all bolts along top of fender.

6. With fasteners removed you can start heating the glue joint.  The fender is glued along the ENTIRE top edge and heavily glued in the forward area right behind the turn signal lens cutout. Use a torch to burn the glue loose.  Work outside in the wind. Have a fire extinguisher standing by. Keep heating/burning the full length of the glue joint as you pull up on the front edge of the fender.  When the glue starts to loosen and break loose you will feel the fender start to move. Keep pulling hard upwards until the fender comes loose from the car. 

See my video on using heat to remove this fender.