Restoring Grampa's '71 280SEL 4.5 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Newbie
 
Date registered: May 2010
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Restoring Grampa's '71 280SEL 4.5

Hi! New to the forum. "Old Blue" has been sitting in a Phoenix AZ driveway for about a decade, and isn't looking too hot, but isn't too bad either. I don't want to do a $100k restoration on it, but I want to get it running and maybe the exterior cleaned up/repainted. The interior looks pretty good, leather looks good, dash, etc. I have contacted Brighton Motorsports/Brighton Ranch in Scottsdale, they're going to have a look at it and give me an estimate. I know next-to-nothing about vintage Mercedes, and I do understand I'll spend way more than the car will ever be worth, and I've been thinking about it for a couple of years, and am ready to do this. So, my questions:

1) Has anyone worked with Brighton Ranch/Brighton Motorsports? Any opinions on them?

2) Understanding that there could be lots of hidden issues, is a budget of 10-15k to get it running and to get the exterior cleaned up a realistic starting point?

3) Are there any non-intrusive/non-destructive mods that can be done to the engine to give it a little more juice, or to make this a better driver generally? I intend this to be my primary driving car (I don't drive a whole lot).

4) Any other opinions about this (project and/or car) that you'd like to share?

Thank you so much,
Charlie
clucking is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 12:42 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Mick D's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jan 2011
Vehicle: Trek 520
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 3,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Charlie, 10 grand is a a lot of money. I had a 108 and keep an eye on ebay, pristine 280s sell for about 7 grand from my rather limited view.

Thinking of my old '72 280 SEL 4.5 and what you seem to be thinking, I'd get it over to a good Indy and have him check what it needs to get it road worthy.

That may satisfy you before you putting a lot of money into it. Take care of rust. And brakes, haha.

If you have a dog at home, you can understand that it doesn't take a lot of money to make an old dog happy, just a lot of love.
Mick D is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 12:55 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Mick D's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jan 2011
Vehicle: Trek 520
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 3,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Oh, post photos of it now sitting!
Mick D is offline  
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Newbie
 
Date registered: May 2010
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
The dent on the hood occurred a few christmases back when, in the process of hanging lights, a family member fell off the ladder and landed on the hood.

Enjoy!




















Last edited by clucking; 12-09-2011 at 01:40 PM.
clucking is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 01:46 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Mick D's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jan 2011
Vehicle: Trek 520
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 3,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
The hood has to stay like it is, it's now part of history. And pretty darn funny also. It's looking pretty tired and cat is not impressed (Blue Point?), it's thinking the mouses have moved away.

This is a repost pic of my 72, I'm trying to remember I think it had a column shift. Easily I put 100 miles a night on it, super comfortable. Get it to a good indy and get it going, you're going to have fun with it.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Image01.jpg
Views:	448
Size:	100.4 KB
ID:	414521  
Mick D is offline  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 03:38 AM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Grubeguy's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jan 2006
Vehicle: 73 280SE 4.5, 71 300SEL, 03 BMW Z4, 72 Fiat 850, 80 Triumph TR7, 85 Porsche 911
Location: DC Area
Posts: 2,110
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 97 Post(s)
Send a message via MSN to Grubeguy Send a message via Yahoo to Grubeguy
Doesn't look too awfully bad to me. If surface rust hasn't set in, a thorough wash will do wonders. You can also buff/wax the paint with an orbital sander and it'll probably do wonders.

As far as the engine, expect about 17mpg, tops. Anything less on the highway and you have tuning issues. I'd recommend getting rid of all the old gas, inspect the gas tank for water or rust, change the fuel filter and gas tank screen, replace plugs, wires, etc, and give the beast a good run.

Another thing you might think about is having an electric overdrive installed. Yours is a three speed and highway RPMs will be high. I found a place in LA that does these things for about $2000, but I'm stationed overseas, and Denver is home. Once (if) I ever get home, I'm going to have one installed.

As far as spending a lot of $$ on restoration, consider cleaning the interior and exterior very thoroughly prior to doing anything spendy. A whole new interior (seats, carpets, door skins) will run you about $7k or so for parts. A dash pad, to cover the already-installed one, will be about $100 off eBay. Except for your driver's seat, your interior didn't look that bad. If nothing else, you can redye that seat for under $50, or cover it with sheepskins.

Labor, having wood done, etc will differ from place to place.

One thing to think about is getting to know your wrecking yards well. You may find a gem here or there. When I was stationed in San Diego, I found a 108 that had been rear ended, but everything else was in great shape. I spent the afternoon taking all the interior wood and a few other things I wanted as spares.

A tranny rebuild, thru Aamco, once cost me about $2000. A new engine, not counting accessories, will be about $4500 (no idea how much a rebuild would be). The ECU will run $500 -$1000 rebuilt, depending where you look. Again, a pick apart yard might yield good results as well. Most of the parts I've ever needed for my 108 were available locally - try Napa, or Kraegan, O'Riellies, etc. Mercedes still stocks parts for the older cars, but they tend to get expensive and (in my opinion) offer no value added.

Mercedes produced a zillion 108s, so doing general internet searches for parts will yield good results too.

Good luck!
Grubeguy is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Newbie
 
Date registered: May 2010
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Wow, great - thank you guys so much, this is exactly the kind of input I need. So I'm a few months away from starting this project, but at this point I'm thinking my strategy will be to have the professionals do the gas-tank drain/inspection, fuel filter, plugs etc, get the engine running at it's best, brakes, air-conditioning (very important in AZ), inspect for rust (and if there is any, I guess cross that bridge when I come to it), and take the dent out of the hood (sorry Mick!), and then do a thorough cleaning.
Grube, if you wouldn't mind, I'd like to know the outfit in LA that does the electric overdrive installation, that sounds like it would be money well spent. It does look like there is tons of resources on the web for helping with a sort of piecemeal approach to restoration, and putting a new dash pad on and the like is something I can do.
Thanks again for the input, very helpful!
-Charlie
clucking is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-11-2011, 08:31 AM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Grubeguy's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jan 2006
Vehicle: 73 280SE 4.5, 71 300SEL, 03 BMW Z4, 72 Fiat 850, 80 Triumph TR7, 85 Porsche 911
Location: DC Area
Posts: 2,110
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 97 Post(s)
Send a message via MSN to Grubeguy Send a message via Yahoo to Grubeguy
Oh heck, you'd have to ask. I started with something I saw in Hotrod Magazine and branched out - I don't honestly remember the name. My intent is to call around to different tranny shops near home to see if they install aftermarket electric overdrives...

I'll have to get back to you ...
Grubeguy is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-11-2011, 09:11 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Grubeguy's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jan 2006
Vehicle: 73 280SE 4.5, 71 300SEL, 03 BMW Z4, 72 Fiat 850, 80 Triumph TR7, 85 Porsche 911
Location: DC Area
Posts: 2,110
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 97 Post(s)
Send a message via MSN to Grubeguy Send a message via Yahoo to Grubeguy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubeguy View Post
I'll have to get back to you ...
As promised, try

Gear Vendors Inc. Under/overdrive
1717 North Magnolia Avenue
El Cajon, California 92020
619-562-1186
Customer Service: Nick Johnson nick.johnson@gearvenders.com

Obviously LA and the San Diego area are nowhere near one another
Grubeguy is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 07:39 AM
BenzWorld Member
 
dseretakis's Avatar
 
Date registered: Nov 2006
Posts: 184
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I would get it running and then clean it up. Mercedes paint of that era was very durable. If you buff it out it will likely look very nice, hood excepted! Beautiful color too.
dseretakis is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Vintage Mercedes-Benz

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
     
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode



    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    Restoring rims :) :) love w123 W140 S-Class 3 02-04-2011 01:33 PM
    Restoring 75 450sl StylinMotors R/C107 SL/SLC Class 24 02-10-2009 06:02 AM
    Restoring a '71 280 SL stevedonnasu Vintage Mercedes-Benz 4 05-08-2006 01:10 AM
    Restoring my wheels minbenzguy W123 E,CE,D,CD,TD,TE Class 4 10-20-2004 06:13 PM
    Help w/ Restoring gonzalezgII W201 190-Class 4 10-26-2003 11:17 AM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On

     

    Title goes here

    close
    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome