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1980 280E Sedan
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,
A quick intro; this is my first post as a new forum member, located in Melbourne, Australia. Have just acquired this beautiful 1980 W123 280e sedan. She's in great condition, no rust and has been very well maintained. I especially like the alloys and the electric sunroof. Has had 3 or 4 owners since birth and was also a Consular car for a few years back in the '80's. Just waiting now for my historic car club plates which are due in the next week.
I've identified a few things to keep me busy, mostly minor in nature, but the one I'm most concerned about is a leak from the steering box - leaking right from the top cover/gasket (?) after being driven (therefore under pressure), the leak then stops when stationery. I have no real knowledge of these boxes, or recirculating ball steering in general. If anyone has experienced such a leak, I would really appreciate any advice or guidance around the likely cause and fixing the leak.

Thanks in advance for any hints you may have!

I look forward to being a regular participant.

Cheers, Tony.

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W201, W212, W221, & W222 Moderator
'84 Euro 500SE, '85 Euro 2.3-16, '51 Euro 170S, '97 Jeep Wrangler Sport, '15 G63 AMG
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8,446 Posts
That is a lovely looking car!
 

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W201, W212, W221, & W222 Moderator
'84 Euro 500SE, '85 Euro 2.3-16, '51 Euro 170S, '97 Jeep Wrangler Sport, '15 G63 AMG
Joined
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8,446 Posts
I believe it. It looks to be in stellar shape for its age.
 

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1982 300d four speed turbo & 1984 300d four speed N/A euro
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337 Posts
Awesome, you're going to have to post some interior shots. Congrats
 

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W114 280E 5 speed manual 1972, W123 280E 1983
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20 Posts
If the leak is not serious, leave it be and top up as required. It is not that difficult to replace the seals in these boxes for a competent power steering mechanic. All of mine leak (2 x W123, 1 x W114).
 

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1981 W123 280E "Rusty"
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136 Posts
In my opinion, that is the finest exterior color that a W123 could be painted in. Something about that car just looks "right". Do you know the paint code for that color?
 

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W201, W212, W221, & W222 Moderator
'84 Euro 500SE, '85 Euro 2.3-16, '51 Euro 170S, '97 Jeep Wrangler Sport, '15 G63 AMG
Joined
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8,446 Posts
In my opinion, that is the finest exterior color that a W123 could be painted in. Something about that car just looks "right". Do you know the paint code for that color?
Looks like 735 Astral Silver, to me.
 

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Registered
1980 280E Sedan
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for your comments guys.

I will supply more interior pics at the weekend, here's one I took on delivery day. The interior is mint, including the carpets. No tears or cracks anywhere, thankfully it's always had the protection of a dash mat and rubber floor mats. All the books and paperwork from day one were supplied, all services completed. A recent total brake overhaul, new exhaust system and battery fitted last year. Would like to sort out the steering box leak, plus the a/c needs re-gassing, but at 290,000 kilometers she still drives extremely well.


Body 2.jpg
 

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W201, W212, W221, & W222 Moderator
'84 Euro 500SE, '85 Euro 2.3-16, '51 Euro 170S, '97 Jeep Wrangler Sport, '15 G63 AMG
Joined
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8,446 Posts
I'm still itching for a 123 of my own. Someday.
 

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1980 280E Sedan
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Couple more interior pics here. Carpets are showing almost no wear and should come up like new once I've shampooed them.

Also, just resprayed the grille louvers in matte charcoal. Like many grilles I've noticed on various Benz models of this era they were looking pretty tired and shabby, one of the car's let-down features in my opinion. I'm really happy with how they've turned out, especially against the silver paintwork.

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1981 W123 280E "Rusty"
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136 Posts
Yes, those grilles tend to get all white and powdery (somewhat chalky, too), particularly on the exposed slanted louvers. I would assume that the slightly crystalline texture they get is an indication that the plastic's structural integrity has been compromised by the prolonged ultraviolet light exposure that any vehicle of this age will experience. Is there a color-matching paint that can withstand direct sunlight that can be applied over the "dead" plastic?

Here's the problem on my grille, for the people who garage their cars.
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The "corrugated" plastic surround panels within my "Euro" (I hate that term) base-model headlights are experiencing the same kind of UV breakdown, and it's really ugly. Plus, nobody sells them any more!

By the way, I really wish my car had been painted in that silver. It really does look right for the car. It also looks like it has just a slight bit of blue in it, or is that just the environment?
 

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1983 W123 200T
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76 Posts
The interiors of these cars clean up incredibly well. I was really brutal with the upholstery cleaner as it was filthy palomino colour. It looks pretty much brand new now. I imagine dark colours will be easy to sort. Nice car.
 

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1983 W123 200T
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76 Posts
Another way to tidy up the front end is to clean up the headlight glass inside. Easy to remove and you'll be surprised how much they will sparkle once done, even if you think they are already clean. I know I was.
 

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1983 W123 200T
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76 Posts
You can get a new after market grill insert I believe. Possibly a genuine one too. Part number is 1238880923.
I need the thin metal vertical slat for mine.
 

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Registered
1980 280E Sedan
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Yes, those grilles tend to get all white and powdery (somewhat chalky, too), particularly on the exposed slanted louvers. I would assume that the slightly crystalline texture they get is an indication that the plastic's structural integrity has been compromised by the prolonged ultraviolet light exposure that any vehicle of this age will experience. Is there a color-matching paint that can withstand direct sunlight that can be applied over the "dead" plastic?

Here's the problem on my grille, for the people who garage their cars.
View attachment 2611376 View attachment 2611377 View attachment 2611378

The "corrugated" plastic surround panels within my "Euro" (I hate that term) base-model headlights are experiencing the same kind of UV breakdown, and it's really ugly. Plus, nobody sells them any more!

By the way, I really wish my car had been painted in that silver. It really does look right for the car. It also looks like it has just a slight bit of blue in it, or is that just the environment?
That's exactly as mined looked, I agree mostly likely the plastic breaking down under extreme UV (which we get a lot of) over the years. I had to be careful sanding them being afraid they would disappear altogether!. Only a light once over with 800 wet & dry was enough to lose the powdery effect. Time will tell if they endure in future. I saw the after market replacements, but I like to restore wherever possible.
 
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