1976 450 SE - Questions - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 11:22 AM
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Question 1976 450 SE - Questions

I have been searching for a classic MB to use as a daily driver. For the most part, I had been looking at 124s and 126s, but am open to anything dependable.

So I found this 1976 450 SE. IT has 124K on the dash and is a 2 owner car that looks to have been maintained. Current owner bought the car in 2008 from a Mercedes dealer. He has done very little to the car since buying it. He had the AC fixed and the seats re-padded. He says that the previous owner kept all the maintenance records and he still has them.

The two problems that he says the car has are and exhaust leak, and some smoke from the engine (apparently from an oil leak?).


What should I be looking for on this particular year and model (what are common problems)?

Besides gas mileage, what are the cons with this model? Are parts widely available?

Does the smoke from the engine seem like an oil leak, or something else?
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 11:24 AM
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Forgot to mention that the asking price is $3,000 or best offer.
Also, the car is about 2 hours from me and not close to a MB shop, so having it inspected will be more difficult than usual.
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#3 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 12:58 PM
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Any info would be appreciated!

Links to good info on the 450SE?
Your experience?
Even if its just your opinion, I would love to hear it.
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#4 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 01:35 PM
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Here is a picture:

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#5 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 07:06 AM
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Here is what I have found from a night of research:

Parts are available, however major engine components can be hard to find.

Apparently there were both D-Jet and K-Jet engines in 1976, with K-jet being less problematic. (Can anyone verify or expand on this?)

Rust seems to be the number one thing to look for on these as body repairs can cost more than the asking price.

Suspension parts, both front and rear, require service as well as any rubber bushings.

Timing chains can snap starting around 100K, though I'm not sure if this is as common as it is on the 126s (Again, if anyone can verify?)

Gas mileage is around 14mpg average.


Any opinions/advice/corrections?
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#6 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 09:20 AM
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One thing I can say to anyone reading this in the future:

It is much easier to get advice and info for a 124 or 126. I don't mind searching for myself, but many threads like this exist unanswered. I'm not saying that the community doesn't exist, just that the low numbers and age of the car make it harder to find people with experience that are willing to share. (Or maybe the 116 community is tired of newbies like me asking questions).
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#7 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 01:22 PM
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Window seals are another thing that deteriorates on a car this old.
I've read that the flex disk cracks on these and is another inspect-able part.


Anyone? (Don't worry, I'll keep responding to myself either way)
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#8 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 01:27 PM
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Oh, and the smoke could be from the valve stem or the heads?
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#9 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 02:11 PM
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450

These are wonderful cars to own and drive, but be prepared for lousy gas mileage (ca. 13 mpg around town if you don't goose it often). More importantly, unless you can do most of the mechanical work yourself (or have plenty of money to pay a shop) or can have the car thoroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic, you'd better think very carefully before getting involved in a car like this; they can eat you alive if you don't know what you're getting.
Hemersam
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#10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beverly Sharp View Post
These are wonderful cars to own and drive, but be prepared for lousy gas mileage (ca. 13 mpg around town if you don't goose it often). More importantly, unless you can do most of the mechanical work yourself (or have plenty of money to pay a shop) or can have the car thoroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic, you'd better think very carefully before getting involved in a car like this; they can eat you alive if you don't know what you're getting.
Hemersam
Thanks for the response.

I am prepared for the gas mileage. I have factored in a few thousand dollars in initial repairs, though depending what is needed it might not be enough. I am going to go look at the car and records in person this weekend. If it is in great shape and would make a good driver I am willing to put a few thousand more than the selling price into it.

If I get there and rust is rampant, or the timing chain has never been serviced, or the transmission is slipping, etc....... I will walk away.
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