Proud owner of a 280se 4.5 V8 & need some advice! - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Mar 2014
Vehicle: 1972 280SE 4.5 V8
Location: Ibiza, Spain.
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Proud owner of a 280se 4.5 V8 & need some advice!

Hi, been looking through the forum for ages, and finally got my own 280se the other day. It's a 4.5 V8 and in immaculate condition (just got white walls fitted today) but has a serious issue going on with the engine. With the same symptoms as many other people with this model from what I read on here!

On morning start up in runs perfectly (ish) for about 20 minutes, but as soon as it warms up it splutters, has no power, misfires, really struggles to build up speed, hesitating at every turn of the engine, it shakes so bad at low speed it feels like its going to break free!!

Has anyone had and resolved this problem that could give me a few suggestions as to what it could be? And maybe where to start looking first!



1972 Mercedes 280SE 4.5 V8
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 10:41 AM
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Date registered: Jul 2006
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Beatiful car... and I for one love the whitewalls! Those 4.5 motors can be tricky. A few of the likely suspects... The supplemental air valve. More often you see this stick in the opposite position causing poor cold behavior. Another can be fuel starvation. This can be junk in the tank getting sucked as the car runs a while or can be in the venting system. These cars are also sensitive to vacuum leaks (which can be really hard to find). Does it still have the original ignition system? Many gremlins go away with an upgraded system like Pertronix. Happy motoring!
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Mar 2014
Vehicle: 1972 280SE 4.5 V8
Location: Ibiza, Spain.
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Thanks, me too! I think White walls totally transform it. Yes a dirty tank does seem a likely cause, I've been reading a lot about keeping things simple, and not to overthink it and get too technical, start with the simplist first, which would I guess would be the tank. Although the car has recently had what looks like a complete restoration, so you'd imagine the tank would have been included in that..? Only one way to find out I suppose..

Yes it does.. getting that changed over to a pertronix type of system over the weekend, who knows it may cure the bad running. But this guy is going over the whole engine too so I've got everything crossed for a speedy recovery.. She's my daily driver, and my daily love affair, so need her back asap!
Appreciate the help! Calum
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-16-2014, 07:10 AM
BenzWorld Senior Member
Date registered: Jul 2004
Vehicle: 1971 280SE 3.5 Coupe
Location: Nevada City, ca
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Your trigger points could be dirty-that would cause some of the symtoms you indicated. also as sugested replacing the ignition with Pertronix-that eliminates the points and ignition amplifier-both sources of trouble. I did both on mine and it transformed the way it ran.

280SE 3.5 Coupe
Stick shift
3.27 Axle
5.6 Iron block build in progress
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-16-2014, 05:12 PM
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Date registered: Aug 2010
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Last weekend my 72 280 SEL 4.5 was changed to the Crane XR 3000 pointless system and now I can't stop driving the car! Motor is much stronger in every rev range, had weak spark and was fouling plugs, probably a bad amplifier. I replaced a lot of ignition parts before I threw out the points and amp, should have done that first.
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