I couldn't resist spending some sleeping hours on the w108.
- removed sunroof tracks, cleaned them, and tested sunroof while holding front edge up in the air. I must have a problem with the motor cable. The behavior is the same after cleaning lots of gunk off the tracks, and holding the front edge so it doesn't even contact the tracks. Well, I can open and close the sunroof, but it takes a long time. It takes lots of back and forth still.
- bolted in the seats.
- realized the car didn't come with lap belts. Hopefully the lap belts are the same as the ones in the two piece belts from a 1972-1973 450sl. I know I have at least one pair of those up in the garage attic somewhere. Thank you PetesMGA and the 1972 parts car!
- on the initial startup after sitting for maybe 9 days, it ran a little rough. I don't know how old the gas was. It could be very very old since the previous owner drove it less than 100 miles in 3-5 years. Anyway, it warmed up ok. Still it smoked, but it was late at night and I'm pretty sure everyone has their windows closed around here tonight.
- swapped the aluminum wheels for steelies with good hankook 205/75/15 whitewalls. In doing so, I realized I have four aluminum wheels, not five. One wheel is a w108 (assume 6.5") steel wheel. Since it has a 205/75/14 on it like the hankooks, it will be the spare. 5.5" with hankooks on all four corners though. I dig the look.
So it was time for a spin. I thought a little driving would be good for the car.
Oil level was good.
Transmission fluid was possibly non-existent. (Am I burning trans fluid via a bad vacuum modulator?) but my driveway isn't level, and the car drove, so I figured I would leave the ATF as is for the first drive.
On the drive, with some full throttle runs, once I saw some sparks come from the exhaust. Wow! Well, I guess it's good to blow that stuff out!
After a few miles of spirited driving and some sputtering at the starts, it was some to go to the gas station and check fluids, etc.
There was still nothing in the ATF fluid. I carefully kept adding from my 5 gallon jug, and figure I must have added at least 1.5 qts of ATF,
I filled the tank with nearly a full tank.
As I left the has station, the acceleration was immediately much better. The gas was probably old, but the smoking hadn't seemed to go away at all. It's still there, but with lots of idling, the smoke seems to nearly disappear. It's just throttling that causes big smoke plumes.
I look down and see I'm doing 90 mph on the speedometer, and the car is cruising like its 60 mph. "Ooooohh. I'm liking the w108!"
I again noticed a few sparks out the exhaust. Whoa! More sparks! Oh my! More? Since i was going so fast and distracted by sparks, I detoured my initial plan of going straight to another gas station because I was getting worried that I had actual fire coming out the tailpipe, hmm... I think, "Is this type of thing covered by insurance?" So I got off the main roads and headed up some back roads in case the car went up in flames, saving me some potential embarrassment.
Well, no worries. The car is ok, and so am I. But as I was accelerating to get back on the main roads and back to the next gas station, two deer were standing in the middle of the road, I got the chance to test out locking up the brakes. All good! :-)
It was a great little cruise and I think I may have started to fall in love with the w108. It's a comfortable big car and it's pretty easy to drive. Sure, the steering is a little twitchy, and the suspension made a little more noise than I'd like, but overall, this feels like a VERY comfortable car that is capable of today's highway speeds.
Maybe not this one, but I feel myself possibly being a long term w108 owner, preferably one of the more powerful ones.