280SE (W108) - Am I mad? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-15-2005, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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280SE (W108) - Am I mad?

Hi folks
You probably hate questions like this but ....

I'm thinking of buying a 1970 280SE. It hasn't been registered since 1998 but has been kept undercover and looks great. I can't see any rust on the body apart from a few spots in the wheel wells.
I'd give the interior 7/10, but the radio has been taken out so theres some loose wires hanging down, and a bit of "chunk" our of the driver's door (foamy stuff - don't know the technical term!)
Apparently it runs well... but I can't check because the engine is dismantled waiting for a new manifold gasket to be fitted. The guy who's selling it assures me he has all the the right parts. It's got good shockies, good tyres, all original yada yada yada.
It's automatic - oh and a recond motor about 90,000kms ago.
It's initially for me, and then for daughter (18) as her first car - she totally loves it!

However, I'd need to buy the car, tow it to the mechanics... and take a punt.So my question is - am I mad? It's $1,000 as is, and I'm guessing about $500 to fix the manifold gasket and a few hundred more to register ... and it just seems like too good an opportunity to pass by.
I'd appreciate your thoughts and wisdom.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-16-2005, 03:31 AM
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RE: 280SE (W108) - Am I mad?

There's nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes. :)

Too many "if's" I think.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-16-2005, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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RE: 280SE (W108) - Am I mad?

Thanks for that Len. Sadly for Us (my daughter and I) I think we both have caught the merc-bug.
So... now I'm looking on ebay, this time at a 1971 250.... and it's about half the price of the 280SE. I have no idea where I can go to compare models (they all look delicious) but I can feel it in my bones, we're gonna end up with one of these things
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-17-2005, 02:44 AM
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RE: 280SE (W108) - Am I mad?

Is it a fuel injected car?.If so,before you get any mechanic to anything ,get the ENTIRE fuel system,starting from the gas tank forward, cleaned.
(this applies if it's just a carburetor car too )
the tank must be cleaned out,removed is best and steamed out.there is a large bung in the center of the tank,remove this and clean the filter( i ultrasonic clean mine) .Replace the rubber hoses at the tank to the pump(if it's fuel injected) with EFI hose,nothing less!.
At the engine will be a fuel filter.replace that.
If it is a FI motor ,on the injection pump is a oil dip stick,suck the old oil out and replace it with MOBIL 1.
the injectors and pump won't need to be touched unless the car has at least 500,000 miles.
Change the air filter.
Get the igniton overhualed,new plugs,points,condensor and COIL. and get the plug leads tested.the leads themselves will be ok ,they last forever but the actual plug ends deteriorate overtime and may need to replaced.Fitting carbon string leads is a bad move resulting in a "short time " spark.
Change all the FLUIDS ,radiator coolant(NOT WATER) trans fluid,including the convertor and trans filter,Diff oil and Most importannt of all,these cars have Grease nipples which MUST be attended too.there are dozens of them including the diff swing axles and the out side of the diff at the brake hold down point.
Change all the disc pads because after sitting so long they will be stuck to the discs or shot anyway.
and Replace all the brake hoses,they omnly have a life of 6 years and merc hoses have a habit of swelling inside and jamming the brakes on.
That should get the car up and running reliably.
there are suspension issues but i won't scare you with those...[:D][:D]
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-17-2005, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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RE: 280SE (W108) - Am I mad?

THanks for the excellent advice. Despite my best intentions I have towed the car to a mechanic and he is today checking it over. I expect I'm going to end up owning a 1970 280SE, and I expect I'll both love and curse it!
Thanks again
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-22-2005, 04:34 PM
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RE: 280SE (W108) - Am I mad?

buy a 240d diesel. economical, bullet proof, and if you can find a manual tranny, all the better. Gassers are a pain. (I've got 5 diesels and 1 gasser)

real engines don't have spark plugs
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