Need your advice once again! Might buy this W108 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Need your advice once again! Might buy this W108

I am meeting with the owner tomorrow to check out this W108. Any thoughts on what to check for on this W108 chassis? He is asking $3,500.

SEE UPDATE BELOW

Last edited by Luna Gaudi's 72 250; 08-29-2016 at 07:42 PM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 04:11 PM
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Assuming you are looking for criticism of the model or example...

The driver seat looks very saggy for that few miles.

There are no shots of the dash.

I think I would prefer an S-class's (ok technically not an S-class) that has the most options possible. For me on a w108, that's a sunroof, and power windows and ideally a floor shifter. I've got no problem with MBTex and the w108 Spring suspension (as opposed to a w109), but would prefer a LWB model.

And since none of these cars do really well on MPG as I understand it, I'd prefer a v8 I think. I've never driven a 6 in one of these cars. In either case, I understand the fuel system can get expensive if there are issues with it. I know nothing of the early MB mechanical fuel injection. I've learned a little d-jet, so I'm more comfortable with them. (Would that make you happier in a 280s over a 280se with your dual-zenith experience? Definitely not me.)

I like the red seats. If you went with a black paint job on this car it sure would look good.

And I like the early bullet/beehive signals on the front better than the larger later ones. Steelies with Dog dish and beauty rings may have been the original setup for this car which is really cool IMO. I've saved a set for myself.

.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 08:09 AM
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The wheels and chrome fender trim have to go. you will find out that the correct hubcap and trim rings are $$$.

Check condition of all external light plastic, they are are $$$

use the jack in each hole to see if internal is collapsed. while the front is up, see if the subframe mounts are toast. bad ones will totally separated.

make sure heater levers move and actually change the to heat. they can move but be broken inside. check heater fan.

rust areas are above headlights.

dont listen to fonzi about repaint to black. keep original color. If you want a black car then buy one built that way.

Paint looks dull, but could buff out.

dash wood looks dried up.

check the date codes on the tire. looking good is not good enough. do a compression test.

car could easily be 165K without proof. I would be surprised if it was really 65K.

clock is >$100 to fix.

This may be a viable car, but would need brake hose, fuel hoses, and suspension parts - shocks, etc replaced due to age.

Better condition cars are out there. This one appears to have good bones, so it depends on the 100 little things that it needs.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 09:38 AM
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Vehicle: 1972 280SEL daily driver. 904 Dark Blue with cognac interior. euro 4.5 engine
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So I agree with everything Fonzi and Rumb have said. A few items on these cars that were not mentioned but are very expensive and likely to fail.....

The heater/defrost blower motor is often bad in these cars. It is about 16 hours of labor to replace (I just did mine) and they are a few hundred $$. There are two blower motors. The heater/defrost should turn on with the top left heater lever and should be high, medium and low. It resides at the top of the dash basically under the center speaker in the dash. The other blower is the AC blower which is in the right passenger foot well.

King pins wear on these cars if not maintained. While not a huge expense in parts, they are a pain to replace along with the eccentrics. Don't ask how I know.

The other big thing is rust....rust....rust... which is sometimes covered up (or caused) by the chrome covers over the wheels. The 108 chassis is usually going to show rust first in the front fenders, behind the front wheels, where the fender bolts to the rocker. If you see ANY bubbles there, you have a lot more rust than you think.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 09:41 AM
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And FWIW, I paid less for my 72' 280SEL 4.5......but it was in pretty rough shape. Anyone else would have passed on my car, but It's what I wanted and since I was going to change the color and interior on whatever I purchased, I figured it made more sense to do it on a cheap rough car than an expensive pretty one.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 11:20 AM
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I found a 1973 280se 4.5 listed with no pictures on CL from a guy that had just gone through surgery and had bought a boxter. I don't think he had a price in the listing but said on the phone that he had about $3000 into it, but it's a solid rot free California car. And he said he would let it go for $1500. He said it smoked, and the trans fluid had leaked out. I told him I would try to get some time to come look at it. A smoking 4.5 d-jet didn't concern me much. I'd thought I'd learned the motor pretty well by that time. I'd never had a w108 and always saw them as a much nicer and higher level car than the w114/115 cars. IMO, a w108 sedan trumped a w114 coupe (which trumped a w114 sedan), which I may have had all of at the time. Anyway, about 2-3 weeks later, the guy sent me an email asking if I wanted the car for $750. I immediately sent the deposit.

Now what do I like about mine?
- rot free
- 4.5 (which isn't much worse than a w114 with dual zeniths on MPG), and I'd had much more luck with d-jets than zeniths.
- sunroof
- power windows
- some records including original data sheet and maintenance book.
- the windsheild dash wood is very good
- original Becker radio seems to work (but no antenna is hooked up).
- came with a set of alloy steelies I was able to sell off to recoupe some of the $750 spent on the car.

Bad:
- smokes oil like a chimney. Called "old smokey" around here. I assume the heads need to be rebuilt. I'm playing with ideas of what to do. Install one of the other 4.5 engines I have, or get a spare set of heads rebuilt, or go all out and out my 3.5 heads on there, etc.
- passenger window only goes 3/4 the way up by itself
- no heater or AC fans blow and the bottom Hvac / heat controls don't move, but at least they aren't broken.
- front driver seat trashed. Covered in sheepskin right now to solve that issue, but I have other seats.
- suspension needs some major work as it should NOT make those noises when I hit a bump. But it rides very smoothly.
- wiring harness pretty crusty needing lots of love (but bought replacement).
- repaint was a cheap repaint and it has lots and lots of cracking, and the creme color really kind of sucks.
- hubcaps were green, so I sold them and bought some creme ones.

But it runs, for a very low dollar investment. It still needs thousands in work though.

I imagine that with any old MB, you want to buy the best example you can afford because you will otherwise end up with a project that needs lots of work before it can really be enjoyed. And you want a nice car, not a pile of junk. I'm addicted to junk if you can't tell.

.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 12:42 PM
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I missed the cracked steering wheel and missing steering wheel pad the first time around.

.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, guys so here is the update. The guy is a TOTAL FLAKE!! An untrustworthy and dishonest person who needs some lessons in positive behavioral ethics. Enough said, my journey continues.....

Last edited by Luna Gaudi's 72 250; 08-29-2016 at 07:50 PM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 06:54 PM
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I've got 300SEL 3.5 that needs a total restoration job. I had planned on getting to it in a decade or more, but it's available ... Not to Rumb though - he'd tell me to keep the color
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 03:46 AM
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Hey, someone's got to be the purist!
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