Date registered: Feb 2010
Vehicle: 1972 280SEL daily driver. 904 Dark Blue with cognac interior. euro 4.5 engine
Location: Williamsburg, VA
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
I feel your pain. I also have a 280SEL (almost the same build date) and I use her as a daily driver now. I've put about 20,000 miles on her in past 3 years.
I recently had an issue with a head gasket and ended up gong down the exact path you are going down. Front two intake manifold bolts broke off in the head. Then I had a head bolt break off in the cam tower. Long story short, I purchased another engine. I ended up pulling the heads on that one to do some valve work, but now it is all together and running good again. I do have parts for your engine if you need them. I ended up going with a euro 4.5 motor out of a 74 SL so I have higher compression and a few more ponies now.
If you have any questions about the car, I've been into almost every part of mine.
So far, I have: built new engine harness (engine fire by PO), stripped and painted, new interior (yes I changed color on body and interior), re-cored radiator, alternator, power steering pump (you can rebuild the pressure hose yourself for about $2), converted AC to R-134 (changed compressor and all hoses and converted to a 450SEL style dryer), new AC blower, rebuilt power steering box, converted to Pertronix. While I was swapping motors, I did front/rear seals, front/rear seals on transmission, rebuilt neutral safety switch ($5 vs $100+ for new), new guides and tensioner, new chain, all new gaskets and washers.
I have also redone the entire front end and subframe bushings.
If I had it all to do over again, I would because I love the car, but my wife would definitely not let me.