W108 as a daily driver? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-06-2009, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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W108 as a daily driver?

Morning folks,

While looking for a W115 280CE I came across a 1970 280SE W108 (in Ireland but imported from England a while back), I'm told its the 2.8L engine. Looks to be in great shape, no obvious rust apart from a tiny bit of surface rust around the chrome strip on one front wing. I've arranged to drive it later today but I'm told it drives perfectly and the only issue is the back section of the exhaust (muffler) may need replacing as its can be a bit noisy, baffles inside might be damaged. Interior looks like new and it shows 99k miles, not sure what documentation there is to back it up though. Chrome all looks good too, and there's no sunroof to worry about. Never got a chance to check the door/window rubbers but the boot (trunk) seal looks reasonable.

What are the major expense areas to look for, and are parts readily available if needed, and if so anywhere with an online catalogue that I can browse? Any parts particularly difficult to get?

Is this a practical proposition to use for a daily commute of 12 miles total in light/medium traffic? Or am I looking at a huge bill every 6 months for a part that takes an age to source?

Regards to all
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 05:59 AM
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W108 as a commuter car


Ok, after giving it athought, I'd say it is NOT a good daily driver.

Your commute is 6 miles and then shutdown, in light/medium traffic - that is going to be expensive on fuel and hard on the engine.

The W108 is also a "greaser" car so it will require regular maintenance.

For such short drives, I use a simple old BMW E30 with hardly any maintenance. I would spare the W108 from commuting duties and drive it on weekends where the engine could get warm.

Cheers mate

Lion sur mer
Normandy, France
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Denis, fuel costs don't concern me, I'm assuming I'll get about 15mpg in traffic, I can cope with that. The maintenance might be of more concern though. There's a vintage Mercedes specialist a few miles from me who can do the required greasing as needed, I'll just have to add this to my running costs. They also told me today that practically all parts are available within a few days or so, with a few exceptions.

I'm restricted on parking space so whatever car I have has to be my daily driver, as well as for weekend entertainment. I'm much more concerned about its reliability, the 6 mile commute takes about 30 minutes and my current 1992 190e is up to operating temperature by about half way through the journey. Is a W108 likely to suffer excessive wear/damage from this type of journey?

I've also had a E30 estate/touring, wanted one for years, then bought one and never took to it I'm afraid! The current 190e may have to stay around if needed to preserve the W108
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 06:52 AM
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108 Daily Driver

The automatic will be lucky to get 15 mpg hi-way. If fuel is not an issue that's good! Electric components include several items that may need attention: COLD START SOLENOID, FUEL PUMP (rear), POWER WINDOWS, and WIPER RELAY. Be sure to check top of fenders above headlamps for body filler and rust. Also rocker panels and jack holes on frame check for filler and rust. Good luck!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 07:18 AM
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Well, a W108 as a daily drive is "moving around in style". Just have the car thoroughly checked first before doing so. Since you were (somewhat) comparing a W115 to a W108, the latter would have a disadvantage on maneuverability due to it's size BUT would surely be a winner in terms of space and comfort.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 08:29 AM
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I've got a 108 I used as a daily driver (it's in storage while I'm deployed). If it runs and drives well, I'd say go for it. Mine had a problem that took forever to get chased down, but parts are easy to find, not that expensive and on that engine, easy to replace. A big car like that with a relatively small engine won't win any drag races, and that one is much more simple to maintain and troubleshoot. I say go for it! What's the asking price?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-12-2009, 11:03 AM
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I've had two of these cars. My current one is in mint condition and I use it as my daily driver. But it has come with a cost. I've recently poured a few thousand into the car. New transmission, rear end, front suspension. But that was after eight long years of great driving. I expect the car to last me much longer. Not great on gas but my drive is about eight to ten miles a day. Great car - love it to death.
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