My '73 280SE 4.5 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: 2001 E430
Location: So. CAl.
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My '73 280SE 4.5

Just wanted to share my '73 280SE 4.5 that I purchased back in late March of this year.

The car was listed for sale here on Benzworld as well as Peachparts for many months, and the seller listed in on ebay.

The car had about 169,000 miles when I bought it, and it now has about 172,000 miles.

I flew out to Phoenix from Southern California, and drove the car the 350 miles back to Southern California.

I have to say the car was exactly as described, if not better.

I have come to expect that used cars always look a little worse in person than they do in pictures. There's something about digital pictures that makes bad paint look good.

But in this case, the car was even better in person. Except for one small flaw on the front left fender, the paint is holding up very well. It was repainted in 1998 in the original color (568 Signal Red).

With the exception of the wood dash bow, the dash wood is in good shape.

This car has had an enormous amount of care from the previous four owners. There is a log book, with entries for every maintenance item done on the vehicle since 1987, at which time it had 76,484 miles. It includes everything from oil changes to valve adjustments. Additionally I have receipts from myself and at least three previous owners.

At 87,921 miles, a new timing chain was installed with new guides and tensioner.

At 94,218 miles, a new master cylinder was installed.

At 96,000 miles, new transmission flex lines were installed, along with tie rod ends.

At 106,036 iles the rear drive shaft was replaced, along with rubber center support and transmission mounts.

At 106,322 rear suspension spring rubbers, differential mounts were replaced.

At 116,095 miles, the sub frame mounts were replaced.

At 120,708 miles the cylinder heads were rebuilt.

At 125,016 miles the fuel pump(s) were replaced.

At 131621 the rear wheel bearings were replaced.

At 140,868 miles the fan clutch was replaced.

At 143,680 both front window lifts were replaced.

At 144,609 miles the injectors were replaced.

At 145,150 miles the fuel injection computer was replaced with a used one.

At 145,551 the rear suspension hydraulic compensator was replaced.

At 146,985 the starter was rebuilt.

At 152,961 a new water pump was installed with new radiator hoses.

At 154,073 the fuel pump relay and fuel injection relays were replaced.

At 159936 miles the cold start valve was replaced.

At 161200 miles the rubber muffler hangers were replaced.

At 161361 the front door checks were replaced.

At 161,481 miles (September, 1998), the whole car was repainted, and a new hood insulation pad was installed. All rubber and gaskets were replaced (windshield, doors, rear glass, trunk seal). The MB tex is original, but the seats look good. They were re-stuffed with new foam. The carpets have all been replaced, along with new Coco mats.

At 162,587 miles a Crane breakerless ignition was installed.

At 162,910 miles all four shocks were replaced with Bilsteins.

At 162,870 miles the gas tank was removed and redone.

At 163,032 miles, the entire a/c system was replaced: a/c blower and temp switch on the dash, evaporator, condensor, receiver / dryer, a/c compressor, all the hoses and seals, and converted to r134a. And the damn thing blows ice cold, almost painfully cold. I have never experienced a converted a/c system that works as well as this one.

At 163,317 miles the oil cooler lines were replaced.

At 164,126 miles the fuel rail rubber fuel lines were replaced.

When I picked the car up, I arranged through Ryan to remove the radiator and have it re-cored since the inspection revealed a pin-hole leak under pressure.

The HVAC system in the passenger compartment has been completely redone at considerable expense because the whole dash needed to come out. It has a new blower motor, heater core and the plastic slides. It has a new a/c switch in the dash.

This is just a partial list. The level of care in the log book and the money spent on this car is simply mind blowing.

I have enjoyed driving this car the past six months, and feel extremely lucky to own such a car that has received some generous and loving car over the past 38 years.
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2001 E430

1973 280SE 4.5 - 568 Signal Red, black MB tex, "The Red Baron".
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Since, I've bought the car, I had a complete service done by Enrique at Mr. MB Motors in Tarzana, CA: changed the plugs, air filter, transmission fluid and filter, brake fluid, adjusted the valves and put in new valve cover gaskets. He said the valves were way off. Some were too tight and some were completely loose. Also replaced the front brake pads.

Turns out the steering box was leaking. He had it rebuilt for $290.

I also addressed an axle seal leak on the right hand side (passenger side) that was uncovered when I had the car inspected in Phoenix before I bought it.

Turned out the old axle shaft itself was indeed bad. The bearing was worn out and fell off - - it did not need to be pressed off. The backing plate was damaged. It was warped from previous damage.

He installed a used axle shaft and backing plate, replaced the bearing, inner and outer seals, and gasket to backing plate. He installed E-brake shoes and topped up the gear oil.

The job took 3 hours.

He installed the new rear brake hoses and bled the rear brakes.

He also replaced the fronts shocks and motor mounts.

2001 E430

1973 280SE 4.5 - 568 Signal Red, black MB tex, "The Red Baron".

Last edited by suginami; 12-22-2010 at 11:46 AM.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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During the summer, my car almost overheated sitting in rush hour traffic on the freeway when the outside temps got over 100 degrees F.

Took it to Enrique, and the aux. fan was burned up. Replaced it with a used one, and also replaced the hydraulic clutch fan.

2001 E430

1973 280SE 4.5 - 568 Signal Red, black MB tex, "The Red Baron".
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 04:35 PM
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Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: 90 300 SE ,85 300 GD
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Nice one! Please keep it stock.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-02-2011, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed Mclass View Post
Nice one! Please keep it stock.
I agree, it is beautiful. That tint really cheapens it, though. For some reason older cars don't look good with tint, IMO.
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