Newsletter August 2014

Hey readers and question/comment submitters! I know that my last update was about 4 months ago, and that’s about how long it’s been since I got a full night’s sleep, too! Got a few free minutes to put this up so I’m doing so while I can.

So I was wondering if you could tell me how to identify and or verify a European model from a non European model. Specifically a 1972 250 Mercedes. I know the obvious being the headlights and bumper but is there more?

The bumper would likely be identical – I’ve never seen a 108 bumper differ between a US or a European version. The headlights would have been swapped to US DOT lights on import, and could have been swapped back. The only way to really tell would be to give MB the chassis serial number and have them tell you the history. That’s the number, which is not a VIN (pre-vin era).

Hi, I have been told my 1072 280se 4.5 needs a new radiator. Any ideas on where i can find one? I live in San Diego. Thanks for your time and consideration.

Sorry Hollace, I couldn’t tell you that, but I can tell you any decent local radiator shop should be able to rebuild yours with a new core or repair your old one if your core is not bad. They may even be able to make a new custom one to fit if you do not care about originality. Otherwise, you’d need to source a used one or contact the MB classic center about a new one (which would likely be in the thousands of dollars, my guess would be $1500). You can try the forum.

Hi i have a steering wheel with boss,headlight surrounds,and rear lighttrims and lenses for sale.I think they are off either a w108 or w109.I was wondering where the best place to sell them would be.
Thanks, Peter

You can try eBay, the forum… I doubt you’d get any traction on local Craigslist. The steering wheel probably wouldn’t be worth much unless it’s not cracked at all, the headlight/taillight surrounds the same unless the chrome is near perfect and the lenses are not faded or spidered. I probably had a few sets of misc chrome like that I tossed because it was pitted and value-less.

Do you have knowledge of how to remove and replace the speedometer from the cluster on a MBZ 109 300 SEL? I need a diagram or someone familiar with this procedure. The black bezel ring and glass are loose. thanks. You can call if you like to discuss.

Sorry Wade, I don’t have a diagram, nor would I be able to walk you through it via phone. As far as removal: There’s actually been a recent forum thread on that topic. It isn’t hard, unless the nut is on, then you need a contortionist’s arms (or pull the radio maybe?)

Hi Tom, I own a 1971 Mercedes 280 SE 2.8Ltr and recently learned from MB Canada that there were only 128 of this model imported into Canada in 1971. Would you happen to know where I could find out how many of these beauties are still around in Canada. I have only seen one other vehicle of this same model which was in BC.

Trev, I will eventually get a 108/109 registry up so owners can connect with each other, but that takes time I don’t have currently. I’m hopeful I can get one started for Jan 2015.

I’m in need of assistance with my 72 280 SE 4.5
I have tried without luck to get the A/F ratio set due to the car cutting out at mid and high rpm. I have changed the alternator/ battery and battery cables, coil and wires, plugs and most of the exhaust, the problem is beyond my knowledge and I’m ready to look for assistance.

The only thing I can think of is that either your ignition points or your EFI trigger points have weak springs, causing “Float” at high RPMs and thus why your engine cuts out. It’s otherwise next to impossible to diagnose or troubleshoot online an issue like this. I’d say it’s possibly the DJet computer but it really doesn’t sound like that would be the cause.

I just picked up my dream car…1969 280SE. The only thing is its not that dreamy right now. She needs a lot of work but with hard work I’ll have her on the road soon. Awhile back I noticed a thread about window regulator gears that you had made at a machine shop. Would you be so kind as to share that CAD drawing with me. Having been an admire of classic Mercedes for many years, I have yet to establish the correct resources to get my 280SE on the road soon. Thank you kindly,

I know you’re talking about Tom Drew’s thread that I linked above in your comment. Sadly, I’m not Tom Drew, and I don’t have that CAD file. I would suggest trying to contact him or even posting a thread about it as one of the other people whom he sent it to may reply with it if they are still around.

Good day, I’m a great fan of your website! Love the fact that it’s in great detail and helpful! I’m emailing you from South Africa. I have been restoring my 1970 Mercedes Benz w108 with my father and I’m in need of some assistance and advice. The engine has been rebuilt, the wiring has been sorted out, the car has been repainted and the wood has been restored. Could you possible give me advice on the following issue…
1. When shutting off the engine after a trip, the engine battles to switch off and is like pre igniting.
2. Shifting into gears is a mission. Getting from first to second is hard. How can I make the gears shift into gear very smoothly with no hassles ( the car is a 4 speed column shift manual )
3. The rear wheels are curved in at an angle
4. When depressing the clutch there is a humming noise
5. When going over a speed hump the rear shock absorbers make a noise that sounds like air is being sucked in and out
6. When starting the engine, a huge cloud of white smoke comes from the exhaust
7. Do you know where I can find leather seats covers for my car at a good price?
8. How does one wheel align a w108 correctly?
9. When accelerating from a rest position and coming to a stop position, why does the speedo need bounce up and down?
10. Why does the engine hesitate on hard acceleration?
Please help. Regards

I will assume that based on #1 and #10 you have a carbed engine, not an injected one, and the causes for these are likely related: Your carbs are probably leaking and/or out of sync at the very least. There are threads on the vintage MB forum about syncing so you should look there for advice. Number two is almost surely bad column shifter bushings. When worn, finding gears is a difficult task. Numbers 3 and 5 may be related – if you have a hydropneumatic compensator on the rear axle, it’s probably shot – you can replace it with the spring kit. Otherwise, your rear springs and shocks sound like they’re done and need replacement. Number 4 may be a throwout bearing but I have no experience servicing manual transmissions so don’t put money on it! Number 6 sounds like valve stem seals – if original, they’re shot, and your valve guides might be bad as well. The seals may not have been installed properly when the engine was rebuilt, as well as the valve stems, resulting in improper seating/sealing or even premature failure. Number 7, used is the only way to get them cheap. GAHH sells new leather. You will not find good new leather cheaply. Number 8, I have no advice other than ensuring your front suspension is fully rebuilt before attempting an alignment; I don’t have alignment equipment or the service manuals. As for number 9, mine was caused by a bad speedo cable that was binding at lower speeds and a replacement fixed it.

I have NOS outer rocker panels for 108/109 short body (not for SEL). Part numbers are:
108-637-01-35 left
108-637-02-35 right
If you know anyone interested, let me know. I’ll let them go for a fraction of new price. I am located in Vancouver, BC.

Ron, I don’t usually do this, but I am putting your email up here so people can contact you directly, since I wouldn’t likely have time to be the proxy for you. Hope that helps you and someone who needs them!

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