Feasability of buying a W108 project.. - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2014, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Post Feasability of buying a W108 project..

Hello.

There is a black W108 280SEL 3.5 two blocks from my home that appears to be semi abandoned. Its parked in front of the (assumed) owner's house and has been for two years. I used to walk past it every day, and I remember when I first saw it, it was very clean and in good condition in and out. Fast forward two years, its in the same spot, chrome has been vandalised, bits and pieces are missing however it still has that overall good condition and more importantly, a lack of rust from what I can see.

I was thinking of leaving a note offering to buy the car as a project/club permit vehicle. I have had a read of whatever information I could but would like some opinions on how feasible they are to own and maintain.

What should I look out for besides rust? I'm unsure if it has hydraulic suspension; every corner of the car is at level height, there are no oil stains whatsoever underneath the car.

How "expensive" a car would it be to own in regards to parts and accessibility of parts?

Finally, should I do it? I want to save this car, and I have a soft spot for these 108s.

Thank you for your time.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2014, 04:07 AM
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280SELs didn't come with hydraulic suspension. After sitting so long unused I'd look to replacing the gas and a lot of rubber bits, hoses and such... good luck and do you have pics?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2014, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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This is good news, as hydraulic would be an expensive fix.
I do not have any photos however I will be getting a few soon when the weather is better.

I'm curious to see how it looks under the engine bay and is faring mechanically. The discs look a little rusty however they still look new and have PLENTY of pad on. So I'm thinking this car may have been semi restored and left for whatever reason, or simply not driven.

I'm assuming as a minimum now, bushes replaced and as you said I should look at hoses. How expensive ate these parts to come by? And is there a lot of parts circulating?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2014, 06:24 AM
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If you want "Mercedes Original," you will pay a lot of $$. If you're willing to go non-OEM, parts are plentiful and easy to find. My experience with Australia revolved around port stops, so I'm not familiar with whether you have parts stores on every corner like where I live, but I've never been stumped on the major things - alternators, starters, brake parts, etc.

There are a bunch of members from Oz who can lead you in the right direction too.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubeguy View Post
If you want "Mercedes Original," you will pay a lot of $$. If you're willing to go non-OEM, parts are plentiful and easy to find. My experience with Australia revolved around port stops, so I'm not familiar with whether you have parts stores on every corner like where I live, but I've never been stumped on the major things - alternators, starters, brake parts, etc.

There are a bunch of members from Oz who can lead you in the right direction too.

Good luck!
Thank you.

I want to be sensible with it. I know a dealer will charge a lot of money for parts, as per usual. I have a few parts suppliers all around my state, in particular one who can supply me with good second hand parts to keep things original. However on service items, I'll be going with what's best for the price.

Thanks for the advice. I have some pictures. I left my number with the wife of the owner. Elderly people, I was told he can't work on the car anymore and she wants him to sell it. The registration on the car expired July 2013, so it has not been sitting as such for a long time.
I only found two parts with noticeable rust, as pictured, otherwise everything else even around the chrome wheel arches and underneath looks quite clean, surprisingly.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 05:13 AM
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Hoses and bushes are pretty easy to get and relatively inexpensive. Electrics and trim there the parts that set u back a bit.
I've used both pelican parts an MB spares to source pits and pieces. These guys charge freight so best to plan what you need to minimise the charges. Good luck


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 06:32 AM
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Hi,
I have fixed up a W111 and W123 after they had been parked up for a number of years. Both cost me in the order of $3000 to get reliable again. I changed all fluids and filters, some bushes, battery, plug leads etc to get them on the road. Then over the next 6 months things kept failing and needed replacement. Brakes, hoses, fuel pumps and things like that. Plus fixing some rust and electrical gremlins. So I ended up at a similar cost position to if I had have bought one that was running.
But that does look like a nice car, so if you enjoy tinkering and can get it for a good price, go for it. You must be pretty keen if you have looked at brake pads etc!
Good luck, Drew
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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The trim looked very good. In the back seat it appears to have spare pieces of wood too. I did notice it had some exposed wiring that looked as if it was being worked on, so it can be safe to assume it MAY have an electrical issue. I'm the least skilled in electronics issues so I would have to outsource that.

I am very keen. All I do now is wait for a call though. If I can get it for a good price, then I will go for it. If he asks too much, I will have to turn it down. I have budgeted about $2,500 on the car not including purchase price. I'm not sure what to expect he will want for it. Generally, if its a non-runner, I won't offer much more than $750 as it could have any host of issues, however If it runs, as much as $1,500 if it had other issues.

I'm not quite interested in buying one that is already finished because I enjoy the restoration process, and when someone is selling one, they are already demanding the value of the car, meaning there is little investment in it.

I had a 123 280E, she is gone now, and I have just finished (mostly) restoring a 124 300TE, which I will possibly be selling shortly.

Thank you for the advice. I will keep posted on what happens, if I hear anything.
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