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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-21-2008, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Question Mercedes ID

Sorry if this question seems silly/dumb/etc. I am clueless about MB but found what could be a good deal locally.

I found a 280 SE but it was listed as a 1985.
I could find no reference to an '85 280 SE online.

I assume the owner is incorrect about the year.

Here is the VIN (could be the chassis number?)that I pulled from the plate under the hood, near the radiator.


I did a google for VIN lookup but it doesn't look like you can ID a pre-86 car from the VIN. If what I found was correct (10th digit 1=1971) than it would be a 1971. I don't think this is correct since the body does not have the early 70's style (with the O/U headlights and awesome looking hood)
It looks closer to a 1980 model (the sedan look)

I am looking to buy the car but it has a leaky water pump and the transmission slips but is still drivable. We took it for a quick drive and I like it. The body is solid it just needs a new paint job.

Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated.


Last edited by Brass_Chocolatier; 01-21-2008 at 08:25 PM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 03:52 AM
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That site says the "approx. year" is 1983.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 06:43 AM
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It's a Euro car, here's the data.

VIN WDB1260221A093722
Model 280 SE
Chassis 1260221A093722
Engine 110989 12 071396
Transmission 722300 02 542655
Order 0 3 217 04295
Approx. year 1983
Dealer Frankfurt branch (217)
Interior cloth anthracite (051)
172 anthracite grey metallic (с 01.01.1963)
257 Becker radio Europa Kurier LW/MW/SW/USW (с 01.08.1975 по 30.11.1990)

260 elimination of model designation on rear lid (с 01.05.1968)

410 electric sliding roof (с 01.03.1965 по 29.02.1988)

420 automatic transmission, floor shift (с 01.01.1963)

590 heat-insulating glass, all-around, heated rear window pane (laminated glass), Germany
green heat-insulating glass all round, heated rear window, laminated safety glass - Germany (с 01.01.1972)

940 odometer calibrated (с 01.11.1968)

Felicita e un bicchiere di vino con un panino.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-23-2008, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
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You are AWESOME! Thanks for finding the info.

I just wanted to get clarification on an issue:

It sounds like this is a grey market car. How hard is it find a compatible part in the US for a Euro car?

I found the following in Wikipedia:
Chassis code - W126.022
Years - 1981-1985
Model - 280 SE
Engine - M110.987 2.8L straight-6
Market - World excluding US

Is there a US model/year that uses compatible parts with the Euro engine?
This car needs a new water pump. Possibly just the seal but I don't know yet.
The transmission is also slipping but it is still drivable.

If I sound clueless, it is because I am. If anyone could recommend a repair manual for this car, it would really help. I could not find a Haynes UK manual that covers the 280 SE. I did find some 280 listings but not 280 SE.

Thanks for all your help and patience,

EDIT: does have a few listings for European model 1985 European 280 SE

Last edited by Brass_Chocolatier; 01-23-2008 at 09:04 AM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-23-2008, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Brass_Chocolatier View Post
It sounds like this is a grey market car. How hard is it find a compatible part in the US for a Euro car?
Most of the parts are the same. Differences mainly exist in the US specific emissions and safety parts. Most "grey market" cars were converted to US spec when imported by their owners or by brokers, so there may not be much "euro" left about it.

The Russian VIN site also has an older copy of the Mercedes EPC (Electronic Parts Catalog) Worldwide Edition and MBUSA offers a free subscription to their Electronics Parts Catalog for the US. You can compare parts on both sites to see if what you need is "euro" specific.

As for obtaining european specific parts, your MB dealer can obtain anything but the non-DOT headlights. Also the W126 chassis is considered a classic and you can obtain techincal support from the Mercedes Classic Center in Irvine, CA.
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