New Member and hopefully new 108 owner gleefully anticipates advice... - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Jan 2009
Vehicle: 1989 560SL
Location: Fort Carson, CO
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New Member and hopefully new 108 owner gleefully anticipates advice...

Hi,
I am currently considering buying a 1969 208SEL. There is quite a bit of good and bad about the car.

The Bad:
Hole in rear Window
Electric Window Switches Missing
Windows do not want to stay up
Small Dent on rear quarter panel
Windshield wipers inop
White Steam from Exhaust
Ignition Switch, well, pretty jacked up. Can start with a screwdriver
Needs new battery
Needs paint
Missing chrome strip on Drivers side rear
cracked leather
small hole in Front Left Turn signal
Needs tuneup

The Good:
Only rust is a few dime sized spots behind the wheels on the fenders and some surface rust on the boot lid, but no rust in the floorboards, trunk, engine compartment, doors or anywhere else I could think to look or shove my hand in.
Engine runs very quietly, no knocking, tapping, clicking, etc.
Handles like new, no play in steering or suspension
Brakes work as they should
All lights and turn signals in good working order
All Gauges appear to work
Ran at Idle for over an hour and temp stayed just under halfway up the gauge
Oil pressure gauge well within norm.
New Tires all around
Seats worn but firm with no sagging or wear in.
All wood present (faded and worn but no splits or chipping. seemed a good candidate for wood restoration as described on the forums.

My impression was that someone had adjusted all the throttle linkages as the nuts were not tightened down and could be freely turned by hand.
Engine was a bit down on power and not idling quite as smoothly as it should (throttle linkage adjustment? need new plugs/Points/wires?)
I didn't notice any of the white steam at start up and It was also about 23 degrees F out. (don't know if that had any effect)
holding my hand to the exhaust I could feel a strong, slightly irregular "beat" from about 6 inches or so, with a fuelish smell to it.


The previous owner says he bought it to restore, but didn't have time and it has been sitting in the garage for over a year.
The seller will sell me the car for $700.

I want to get myself a project now that I'm back from Iraq. I don't want to do a full up restore on the vehicle, but I would like to have myself a nice daily driver when I'm done.

I would greatly appreciate any comments or thoughts from any of the members of the group before I decide to buy.

Thanks you so much for your time,

Mark Beazley
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2009, 02:23 AM
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The window can be some worn teeth on the lifting mechanism, usual on the drivers door.
White steam from exhaust may bring some trouble, but it can also just be air-humidity that makes the smoke.. So check coolant level, and oil.. Take a ride, and check again. Maybe also check the emission at a local shop ?
The floor may look solid, but check it REALLY good, wit a small hammer, or large screwdriver. Not destroying anything, just checking..

Can't say anything on the price, because I live in Norway..

1991 W140 400 SE - SOLD !!
1973 W115 200 -For sale as project.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2009, 07:39 AM
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I bought my 108 for $1000, and it was in worse shape than yours. If you want a project, $700 doesn't sound like a bad deal. I've got a little more than $30k into mine, and it's just about cherry now. I feel that as long as the engine and tranny are in good working order, everything else is just a few hours here and there on the weekends. Parts aren't too hard to find, and they are more or less reasonably priced. I'd be willing to bet that the local junk yard has a few 108's you could pull parts off of.

Fort Carson, eh? Nice view from Cheyenne Mountain. Especially at night!

Good luck with your Benz - I'll be happily driving mine when I get off deployment!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2009, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Jan 2009
Vehicle: 1989 560SL
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Ah, don't you just love the middle east? I just got back from Mosul 1 week ago tomorrow. Hope they don't have you there long.

I agree with you about the project. I'm not looking for a numbers matching original car. I just want a car I like. I'm still tracking down the source of the steam. I was out there today, but left the dome light on yesterday so the battery was pretty much dead. Found a broken vacuum hose from the distributor to the intake manifold. but the fluids all look good.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-28-2009, 02:53 AM
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Vehicle: 1967 250SE RHD, 1969 300SE L, 1989 560SEC with AMG upgrades, 1998 s600 coupe
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Just my 2 cents from my experience....I would strongly suggest spending a bit more and getting a car in good shape. On the long run, it is always cheaper to spend more to start with a good car...as far as w108 cars go, you could get a descent one for 3 grand, pretty good car for around 5, and a very very nice one for around 10K. I assure you a car like you have described will take at least 20k to be equivalent to the 10k car that you buy...

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-28-2009, 03:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonextant View Post
I'm still tracking down the source of the steam. I was out there today, but left the dome light on yesterday so the battery was pretty much dead. Found a broken vacuum hose from the distributor to the intake manifold. but the fluids all look good.
The white smoke could be the the tranny oil being sucked into the exhaust manifold because of a failed modulator valve....chances are it is the rubber disc in the vacuum modulator which is located on the right side of the tranny...It is a quarer size rubber disc that has probably cracked from age and is letting oil slip through and being succked through the vacuum line into the manifold...easy and cheap fix....BTW good sourse for parts is autohausaz.com and bmaparts.com . On BMA site some parts may not be listed but if you give them a call they will find it. You will be surprised at the amount of NOS parts available for these cars.


Last edited by ChopTop250SE; 01-28-2009 at 03:10 AM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-28-2009, 03:23 AM
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Here are some photos of mine
1969 300SEL 2.8L m130 eng....Very few 2.8L w109's made...Between 1965 and 1970 Less than 2000 unit made worldwide. I love this car...Love it

The interior is bright red...it looks kinda burgundy in the pics, bad lighting.

Last 2 photos are from a photoshoot...
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Last edited by ChopTop250SE; 01-28-2009 at 03:28 AM.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-28-2009, 03:41 AM
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Stunning finish, i love the last photo! just chilling in the Merc...
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-28-2009, 02:45 PM
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Well Mr Chop, I have to be honest I'd never seen a 2.8 in a 300 sel so I wasn't sure it was all kosher. I went to the library to check and low and behold the car is in fact a 109.016 and has a 130.981 directly from a 1969 technical data manual. The car looks real nice, in fact it looks a lot like one I once had except mine was a 280 sel. As for the last pic I prefer a SW 45 mag. My wife has a glock 40.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-28-2009, 07:45 PM
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Hey Bill, what kinda Benz you drive? You forgot to tell us in your profile.

Chop--the W108/109 is the finest looking classic Benz IMO. I know the cabs get all the attention, but the sedans are just right. I had a 1972 W108 280 SEL 4.5 twenty-five years ago--my first MRZ. I'd love to have it back. I've been lucky to own three (again IMO) "best" Benzes--W108, W124, and W220 (my current one). That's a fine one you've got.

"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you."--John Steinbeck
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