What to expect - Merc 280E 1984 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-09-2005, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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What to expect - Merc 280E 1984

I would like to know a little more about a 280E 1984 that's done 35K miles and is a one owner. In pristine 'classic' order. An asking price of £4000 which appears rather high but, the dealers would like my Rolls-Royce Shadow 2 1980 and this is all that you would expect to see in a classic RR SS2. I'm asking three times the amount than the Mercedes.
The things that interest me are the lousy points and gremlins, the MPG, parts availability, handling, performance, quietness and ease of 'home' maintenance etc. I'm UK based. Kindest regards to all.


PS I'm a newby ! Extra PS I'm in my mid 70's but a qualified mechanical and electrical engineer, ex race driver (Saloons) now a Land Rover overlander !!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-09-2005, 04:29 PM
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RE: What to expect - Merc 280E 1984

The models after 1977 tend to be slower and consume more fuel. The dual overhead cam engine is also somewhat noisy, since the valve train is set much closer to ear level. That being said, they are the best driving MB sedan, and the engine is incredibly reliable. I have no problem getting parts for my 83 280SL here in the states. I've owned two other 280 sedans over the years. Both of them drove for decades, reaching 300,000 miles on the odometer. For all I know, someone is still driving them today, as I sold them all in running condition.

I have seen pristine 280Es here in the states going for between $2800 to $4000 US. That makes the price of yours very high in comparision.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-09-2005, 09:07 PM
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RE: What to expect - Merc 280E 1984

You’re looking at a w123 chassis with the 185 hp M110 engine, very desirable if cared for. 123s are very DIY friendly. The engine bay is clean and uncluttered. This was the last of the utilitarian MBs. Build quality of the chassis is outstanding, my 24 year old diesel 123 is completely rattle-free.

Check the rear axle assembly and boots for wear along with the flex discs and front end. These cars tend to have front end and steering issues, but with your car that may not be a problem. Front and rear window seal leaks are common resulting in wet trunks and foot wells. The vacuum system for the locks can also be problematic. Check the hood spring recesses in the engine bay for debris as this causes rust, rust is also common around the battery and wheel wells.

At around 3500 lbs. the 123 is stable on the road and a joy to drive in town – in may respects it is a perfect all-around car, just as it was designed to be. Handling is excellent on rough roads and uneven pavement, they have a nice almost ‘off road’ ground clearance so bottoming out is not an issue. With no overhang you can take them over curbs or up steep hills with no problem. Visibility is excellent. There is no ABS or airbag, although an option only a small number of cars were so equipped.

If you’re a mechanic and like to work on your own car, this is it.

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