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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My wife recently purchased a nice 1968 280 SL convertible (German version with non-sealed beam headlights), and in addition to some transmission issues mentioned in an earlier post, have the following questions:

a) Radio works but antenna is stuck in the down position. Can this be repaired or replaced? If replaced, would like to install an electric antenna, so will need to know where to purchase and the model no. if possible. The type of end of the antenna connecting into the radio is important. Also to get to the antenna for service or replacement, it looks as if it will be necessary to remove the right inner fender well. Is this correct?

b) Across the top of the dash (above the radio) are some small metal stems sticking out, which evidently had some small handles or knobs attached. There is a red mark and a blue mark, so they must control the heater or vents. Thse small stems slide back and forth from left to right. Is there a source for these handles or knobs?

c) Temperature gauge does not work. I just bought a new metal sensor on eBay, which should be in next week. On my other old cars, such a sensor screws into the engine and a wire attaches to the top of the sensor. I am in hopes that a new sensor might fix this problem, but I don't know where the existing one (which is probably defective) is located on the engine. If this won't work, an aftermarked gauge can be installed and hidden inside the glove box or elsewhere. Car does not run hot and all the other gauges are OK.

d) Speedometer (reads in Kilometers) no longer works - any ideas on this?

e) Is there a service manual available for this car? I have the original owner's manual.

Thanks for any help or ideas.


1965 220SE sedan (finnie) with 450SE conversion, 1964 220SE coupe project, 1966 300SE coupe
448 Posts
You lucky man Fritz, these are a special car.
a) Hirschmann radio's can normally be repaired. Google them and see if there is a dealer in your area that could order parts for you. Otherwise, check out Woodyscustomshop on ebay and you can buy new ones.
b) Get a Hemmings and look in the Mercedes section. You should be able to find used ones. Otherwise, try Tom Hanson at the Classic Centre in Irvine CA for new ones. be careful - the heater taps often sieze - don't try to force them with the handles.
I have bought coupe parts from Jon Brooks before, and he shipped them to Australia very professionally - [email protected]
c) Gee, don't know about 280 but on 250 and 220 cars the temp gauge is a capiallary tube, which once broken, is stuffed. If it is a capillary tube type, it will need to go to a gauge repairer. Budget on perhaps $100-120. Please don't go the cheap crappy solution of putting another gauge in - these cars are special and deserve a little bit of money to be spent on them.
d) Speedo could just be a broken inner cable. Again, when talking to a gauge repairer about c), price up a new cable. In Oz, it may cost about $100 again. undo the cable from the rear of the speedo (you will have to get contorted up behind the dash, and at the trans, and get someone to spin the inner part on one end and see if the other end turns. If the speedo iteself is stuffed, a gauge repairer should be able to get it working again. Hemmings has lots of gauge repairers listed. If you want MPH speedo, Jon may be able to help out. As I live in Oz where metric rules, I would be interested in swapping MPH for KPH if you are not worried about originality.
e) The Classic Centre has workshop CD's you can get. You can PM me too if you want me to scan or email certain bits.

Drew in Oz
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