280E Identity Crisis? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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280E Identity Crisis?

This car has more of a history than I thought.

I have "uncovered" some information that may indicate that my 280E was actually once a 200 (102), not sure about the "E", though. That makes one more non-original fact about this car, along with the speedometer missing 78,000 miles. Can someone more experienced confirm this car's "identity crisis" for me, with the picture attached? I was hoping this car would at least have the original engine, but no such luck. Well, when it comes to free cars, you get what you pay for.

And, if the image of the plaque contains sensitive information I am not aware of, warn me and I will try to scramble it.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 04:51 AM
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123 220 was the chassis designation for the M102-powered 200. 123 020 was the designation for the M115-powered 200.


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1986 200, OM617 NA engine, 5-speed manual, rev counter
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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It definitely had the M102.

I believe it had it until about 1985, when the timing chain (maybe) failed. Then, when the car had 78,000 miles on it, the metric speedometer+odometer was replaced with an Imperial one (a paper sticker on the speedometer casing reads 126,000K, 85). I assume they installed a 110 engine in the car to keep it alive (the engine looks slightly crooked), and so it would appeal more to the US market. Around that time, side-impact beams were added to the doors. This is a rough layout of the history of the car I have come up with, including a lot of guessing. I am finding this detective work fun.

How hard would it be to pull an M102 and install an M110? Is this why my car sits low in the front and has funky ignition wiring? And should I stop asking dumb questions?
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 12:59 AM
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M102 to M110 pretty much a direct swap. Another question is did they swap the front coil springs off another 280/300 or just left the M102 springs in.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 09:58 PM
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Well, you say it's direct swap...

The rev counter frequencies are different, the ignition modules must surely be different, the longer engine requires a different transmission bracket and shorter prop shaft, etc. But I'm assuming the mechanicals have already been taken care off. Also, the 2.0lt M102 was a carb engine, while the M110 may have fuel injection, with all that that involves.


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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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I know it wasn't a 200E, which meant it must have had a carburetor. Currently, the car has a K-Jet system in it and not a carburetor. It doesn't seem like it would be worth it to do that much work to a 4~6 year-old luxury car, back in ~1985. That is, unless it had some sentimental value to it, like the American soldier who owned it (in Bremen) then was more distinguished than we thought. I am intrigued.

One more thing on here, when "they" were installing the new M110 into the car (dropping it in), is there any chance they could have installed it slightly crooked? Is it bad that my engine is not perfectly centered, and is off by a few centimeters in the back? I'm not too worried, I got what I paid for!

Random reference for fun: after hosing down my interior, I am left with a question. What does RHD mean?
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 04:45 PM
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RHD means the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car.

What is the VIN number stamped in the steel on the top center of firewall in comparison to the VIN in the window? If it turns out the center stamped VIN is a 280, someone may have swapped VIN plates off some 230 to make your car, title capable.

Leaning engine may just be the engine mounts are toast/collapsed.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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I apologize, that was supposed to be a (lame) reference to the W116 thread, which I found quite ridiculous. I have actually sought after a Right-Hand-Drive car.

What you suggested, that hadn't really occurred to me. The VIN does seem to match up throughout the car, which is one of the things that led me to believe it was really a 200. I don't have any pictures of the firewall, and I can't really get a picture of it because the car has 15 inches of snow on it. I remember glancing at it recently, and subconsciously didn't notice anything strange.

I can settle for the collapsed engine mount idea, mostly because I dread the alternative possibilities. What do new engine mounts look like?
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutz 4 Benz View Post
RHD means the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car.
Read that again. But. Slowly.


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1986 200, OM617 NA engine, 5-speed manual, rev counter
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, I see it now. Does this mean I am going to have to cut my firewall out and move my glovebox over? There has to be a conversion kit somewhere. Still, shouldn't that make it "WHD"?
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