GermanStar - 1/18/2005 6:23 PM
There is very little to choose from in regard to a 280SEL 4.5 and a 300SEL 4.5 other than the 109 suspension," which is at the same time a lovely feature and a possible avenue to the poor house".
Actually, the air suspension is very simple,a bag at each corner,two valves in the front and one in the rear with a main valve under the hood which you can raise ,lower or lock the suspension just like a lexus coupe.
The worst problem is inexperience mechanics fooling with them.The valves leak around the main arm,but can be bought from Star Motors as rebuilt items.The bags often look all cracked but a car may only ever need one bag change in it's entire life.Bags can bought cheap off eBay and various suppliers and fitting can be accomplished by any competent person.
The main thing to remember is to keep the front and rear ends LUBED!
The latest MB wagon and ....May bach have the same principle of operation in their air suspension.[:)]
The grease points are high maintenance on all 108/109's.The less you use the car,the more often it should be greased.
The 109 is 100mm or 4'' longer than a 108 and 100 pounds heavier.109 rear doors are hard to find in good condition ,so if you ever consider buying one,check real close for rust.Any rust is a good bargaining point or a reason to walk away.
regarding 4.5's ,forget them,buy a Euro 3.5. higher revving,higher power out put and generally sweeter running engine.The 4.5 was a US only low compression answer to smog laws.[:D]
300SEL 3.5's will out acelerate the average modern car with ease,i couldn't say the same for any US 4.5 with it's three speed auto trans.
Have a look here