W116???? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: May 2004
Vehicle: 1987 - 560 SE (W126) & 1998 - SL 320 (R129)
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
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(Thread Starter)

Hi Guys, I need some help Please.

I would like to purchase a W 116 to restore but need some advice on which model is the cheapest and easiest to maintain. I am in South Africa, and the choice here is somewhat limited being the 280S / 280SE / 350SE (There were some 450SELs that was imported, but they are very scares)

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 10:29 AM
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RE: W116????


W116 can be wonderful, modern vehicles, and a good choice because the drivelines, like other MB vehicles, are bulletproof. Powerful brakes, excellent power steering, excellent ride, safety, you have it all! They are also discount priced because they are off in "la la land" as far as being in between just an "old" car and a classic. However, the bodies are prone to rust – and I am unsure how these cars do with rust in your country, but I would venture to guess that they’d do very well due to the dry climate.

These are W126 prototypes in realism, but lack the love the 126's receive...

Stay away from the 280S, period. In my opinion, Mercedes-Benz should never have made fuel injection an option with a car as revolutionary (and heavy) as the W116 S-class, it should have stopped as an option with W108. Besides, the old carburetors, advanced for their time, are nothing but a pain to deal with these days. Go with a 280SE/L if you have decide to go with a 6.

While we are on the topic of fuel injection, it should be noted that the earlier the engine, the more powerful it was. The early 8 cylinder saloons shared the W108’s D-Jetronic EFI system – the system yields more power due to reduced emissions, however it is a very picky system to adjust at times. In about 1974, they changed the set-up over to K-Jetronic MFI, the system yields less power due to tight emissions, but is a lot easier to look after. In 1980, K-Jetronic MFI was combined with lambda control, which can be a pain.

I am not sure about the 6 cylinder models, in that I have never operated anything less than a gas V8, but I know that they’re extremely durable engines and easier to look after and rebuild. I would assume that they went though the same changes in the fuel system set-up.

They are heavy cars – try and snag a V8 – but keep in mind that the 350SE/L only delivers 200 bhp and 211 lb/ft at the wheels without any emissions. Again, I am not sure how they do things in your country, maybe you escaped the emissions and you get Euro models? Either way, the weight of the car demands a V8, however, a fuel injected Inline 6 should do well. The Inline 6 does well on fuel and should do decent on power, the 3.5 V8 does a little better on power, but the fuel consumption goes up. If you can get a 4.5 (mine is for sale hehe) then maybe seriously look at it – thirsty beasts they are! But ever since I took the catalytic converters out, it has a lot better pick up.

Not sure how gas prices are there - maybe go with a 6? Who knows...think W116 300SD turbo's are only for North America, as well...

For collective purposes, a V8 will be more collectable. I am talking like 10 years down the road with the W116.

Try and find a long wheelbase model or "SEL" they really do have a lot more room for the back passengers and they are worth more in the value books!

They are ugly with US lights and beautiful with Euro...

Lastly, the later W116's, although less powerful without help, have an awesome climate control panel as opposed to the boring earlier ones. The interior on the later ones are generally more complete: eg => headrests in the back, cruise control, better climate control as stated above and so on...

Good luck! W116 is a very classy and glamourous looking vehicle.


1990 560SEL - W126
-929 nautical blue metallic & 262 navy blue leather
-58,000 KM (36,200 Miles)
-Euro spec Japanese import (KAT edition)
-Complete service history since new
-5,546cc SOHC 16v V8
-10.0:1 compression
-285 hp@5200 rpm, 324 lb/ft@3750 rpm
-2.65 limited slip diff
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-27-2004, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: May 2004
Vehicle: 1987 - 560 SE (W126) & 1998 - SL 320 (R129)
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Posts: 96
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RE: W116????

Hi Tory,

Thank you for the advice.

Let me give you some history first. My First car was a 1968 250SE (W108) I got her when I was 18. The car only had 80K Miles (In our country we changed over from Miles to KM some where in the late 60’s) mine was imported from Germany, they only started building the W108 in 1969 here in SA and they only build the 280S and SE here. (They were all marked in Kms) It had a FULL service History, original interior and the paint was redone. The car was Beautiful but after 2 years I had to sell her due to the fuel consumption. See in SA Petrol is very expensive and the 250 only gave me 5Km to a Litter. Unfortunately I could not keep the 250 and buy something ells, so I made the BIGEST MISTAKE of my life and sold her.

Since that I drove a Volkswagen 2 BMWs and a 1986 W123 200 Benz. I sold the 200 due to lack of power (I don’t know why MB made cars like the 200)

Fortunately I could buy a 560SE beginning of the month and so far I am very happy with the car. She has 144K Km on the clock.

Having a love for old cars and especially M/Benz I want to get a W116 and start restoring it. I have started looking around and will be able to get a W108 for nothing. I have some space here at my parents place and I want to store them until I can start the restoration presses. Hopefully one day I will own a 108, 116, (126 – I will keep her) and then a 140 and so on.

When it comes to the W116, Mercedes Benz South Africa only manufactured the SE body here in SA. There was a very few SELs imported. (Same with the W126 – also only made the SE here and imported the SEL and SEC – but more was imported of those) Back to the W116, we only had a choice of the 280S and SE (2.8L 6) and the 350SE with the 3.5 V8. We never had things like a 280SE with a 4.5 V8 here.

So if I look very hard I will be able to get a 450SEL (With the 4.5L V8 Engine) for about R 20K (US $ 2800) where as I will get a 350SE or 280 for half that price.

The main reason for posting for some info is that I have herd that the 350 V8’s Fuel injection was not good at all and I don’t know if it was only the models released here in SA or all over the world.

Thanks once again for the advice!!!

PS: We here in SA are lucky in that we only get Euro cars here.
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