Aug 04

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?
Shane

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 108.xxx 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.
Hollace

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.
Wade

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

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.
Ben

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,
Matt.

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
Niki

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
Rhanni@me.com

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!

Apr 23

Newsletter April 2014

Hello, readers! Sorry for any delays in this newsletter. This may be the last one for a while as well, having a newborn and a toddler is a little time constraining!

Tom – I’m wondering if you might be able to help me – I’m helping a friend.
My friend Tod is looking to purchase a Mercedes rear-end for a 108 body style 4.5…
Would you have any idea within the continental US where one might be secured?
Chris

Chris, I don’t know offhand of anyone private who can sell. There are tons of scrappers in the US though. Sun Valley is a big one. MBZ.ORG also has a list they maintain, and you can try the Used Parts forum here as well.

We provide vehicles for the film industry and are currently seeking a s class w108 or w109, dark in color for rental on a tv set. We are fully insured and in business over twenty years. I came across your site and would like to know if you can assist in any way or point us in the right direction.
Stephanie

Stephanie, you may want to ask this on the Vintage MB forum. Include your location.

looking for resources to purchase a w108. ebay has little inventory and craigslist can be a gamble. thanks.
John

John, I honestly wish I had a good answer for you on this one. I’ve thought about adding a for sale section here where people could list 108/109 vehicles and interested buyers could come along. eBay is a huge gamble, and you’d want a PPI of any car – finding a long distance mechanic can be tricky. Same with Craigslist. Not to mention the fraudsters, and people who misrepresent their beater cars as creampuffs. All I can tell you is that if you want a really nice 108 that needs little to no work, you’re going to be looking for a long time. Otherwise, you’ll need to “Jump” on a cheap one on eBay or CL that looks good, knowing you’ll need to put in $1-2k more in work than can be seen in pictures or the description.

I found a mostly rust free w108 in San Diego, CA and it’s kinda of a basket case, but was $1000, plus some back registration, about $1750 total. I’m a bit in over my head, but it starts and runs and drives, albeit with a bit of coercing.
I’m somewhere in between selling or keeping. I’d love to work on it, but can’t find good documentation anywhere on the vacuum system, or anything really for that matter.
Got any good resources? Should I purchase some of these old paper manuals off Ebay? Should I sell this sucker and run for the hills?!?
Pj

Pj, congrats on your purchase! I am going to recommend the same thing I tell everyone else who asks me this type of question: Go to the Vintage MB forum, register, post, ask. When I started out, I had a non-running 4.5 that sat for quite some time, and didn’t know anything. Now, I help the forums like I was helped back then. The vac system is pretty straightforward on these, and only 1 vac line actually affects anything with the engine’s management systems (although leaks in any of them can be detrimental to running). If you decide to purchase a manual, get the 108 chassis specific one from MB. The general manual is not too useful on the 108 4.5s (I have it). If you want to get rid of it, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone would take it off you for what you paid or even more. If you have the books that came with the car, the blown up parts diagram can help with some of the routing questions you may have.

We currently have a 1981 MB SEL Trans Am Series car with a 4.5L SOHC race engine here in our shop. I didn’t do the tear down, and I’m ready to install the distributor, but don’t know where to set it?
What cylinder is #1? Do I set it to TDC #1 and aim the rotor at #1? The distributor on this car is on the driver front of the engine. On a drysump oil pump adapter. Is that the stock location?
Robert

Robert, the cylinders on all MBs AFAIK are the same (and if not, all 100, 116, and 117 – and even 119 engines follow this rule): Right side of the engine (as viewed from the driving position) are 1-4, with 1 being at the rad. 5-8 are the left side, with 5 at the rad. This means for under the hood view, you’d be looking at cyl 1 on the left front and 5 on the right front, timing is 1-5-4-8-6-3-7-2. There should be a notch on the dizzy for #1, but if not, it’s slightly past 12:00, perhaps 1:00; the rotor turns clockwise. The stock distributor on the 4.5 is driven by the timing chain sprocket.

Thanks for your help. I have a ’65 220 SE. All is fine, but the rear axle leaked more and more over the years and the owners let it run drive and still drove the car. Nothing else to say, it’s gone. Got a 108 from a ’66 250 S, completely rebuilt the axle and it went in beautifully. All done, but I have heard at least a dozen answers about whet to do with the braking, now that it has discs. The car has a single circuit brake system. Do I need to use the S proportioning valve, use the one that’s in there. I live on a very big hill and don’t want any surprises on the break in run.
Zack

Zack, I can’t honestly say from experience with the MBs, but I can offer my advice from my experience with the Jeep and converting an XJ rear drum to ZJ rear disc: You don’t need to swap the proportioning valve. That having been said, IF you have the braking system from the 66 in full, you may want to swap all of it in (Booster, MC, valve). I don’t think it’d be an issue, but there’s nothing wrong with updating the system 🙂 That way, you can have a dual circuit setup that’s much better.

I have a 1970 250C with the one piece euro headlights is a similar light system available for the W108 280 SE. 4.5 or can the euros I have fit my 1972w108
Keith

Keith, sorry to tell you, but 114/115 lamps won’t work on a 108/109. But don’t despair! The 108/109s have Euro lights and they look stunning on them. Hard to find and costly, but worth the investment, especially on a show car. Otherwise, Sylvania SilverStars work really awesome and can blind traffic on high beams, since you’ll have 4 brights instead of just 2 with how the US DOT lamps are wired.

Feb 04

Newsletter Feb 2014

Hey all!

I thought it’d be a good thing to address a lot of the comments and questions that I get on this site in a “Newsletter” type format. I apologize in advance for any delays in replies to my comments. I have been a little busy lately. Without going into too much personal detail, my life has been full with work changes, home projects, my baby girl and soon-to-arrive baby boy! As a result, I figure it’d be easier to do a bulk reply to the stuff I get versus emailing each one individually – plus, it would give others more information and insight on our wonderful rides.

I can’t promise any schedule that I’ll follow for these updates. It will vary based on the questions I get, and my free time. For now, I’ll say an update every month, and maybe I can stick to that! Without further ado, these are the backlog of questions I have received from a few months back to today.

A client of mine out here in Mumbai, India has a 1972 280 SE W108 car whose original engine has gone bust and is beyond repairs. He is interested in retaining the car and souping it up a bit. I came across a article in Mercedes enthusiast magazine Issue 6 of April 2012 where someone has retrofitted a 6.3l V8 engine into a 108 chasis. Would like to know if it is a viable option to do the conversion and if so what all is involved. If not what is the most powerful engine that can be transplanted in this chasis easily. Obviously we would also need the complete refurbished engine along with all the necessary parts to do the conversion.

Well, let’s start from the perspective of the 6.3 in a 108. It will fit. You’ll need the engine, trans, and rear axle to do this right. Anything less would be a very high-revving engine with a slow top speed and terrible economy. You will need V8 front springs (3.5/4.5) to deal with the huge iron lump, although it shouldn’t be too heavy for these it will be too heavy for the 6-cyl springs. Now, the 6.3 was a low-production vehicle. The engines are rare and costly, as are parts, and rebuilding can cost tens of thousands. I’d guesstimate that this endeavor in the US would run a solid $10k without touching the trans or rear axle and hoping they are in good used shape. Since you aren’t keeping it original, here are other options that will also fit and be a lot less of a headache: A 4.2 M116, a 5.0 M117, a 5.6 M117, and if you feel daring, an M119 (any displacement)… other engines will fit, it sounds like you want V8 power though, so this is why I stuck to these. These are all readily available, parts are as well, and a rebuild would cost a fraction of what that of an M100 and its transmission would. The 5.6 in euro-spec would be MORE power than the 6.3 while giving better performance from the lighter aluminum block – you may even be able to keep the 6-cyl springs. Use the 4.5’s rear axle for econ or the 3.5’s for acceleration. I could go into it further but a search on the MB vintage forums can show you other people who have done this swap type and some who have gone even further to bore/stroke a 4.5 iron block into a 5.6, and pop it into a 280 SE/C! As far as most powerful… that’d probably be a supercharged SBC like DEBENZ has done.

I bought my father’s low mileage 1967 250s 4-door sedan. Water pump failure forced significant down-time now the carbs are plugged with alcohol induced sludge. My dad had always wanted a 250se and I a 4.5. I now have a good friend into swapping GM fuel injected engines into older cars. He prefers LS v8 but I want a Atlas I6 DOHC 4.2l trailblazer transplant.

Well, to each his own! I mean, if you’re going to swap in a GM engine, personally I would do a SBC or an LS but… hey, if this is what you want, it’s your call. I have no experience with this engine, so I can’t say if it’s a wise choice or a fool’s errand. I also have no idea if that would even fit in the 108. Just keep in mind it’s a truck engine, so it’s probably designed for low-end torque… you can pull stumps, but don’t enter any drag races! As far as what engines I would personally use, see my suggestions above. I can go into a bit further here: I really, really would love to try a swap to an M119 with its matching trans. You’re going to have a wiring nightmare either way, and the M119 is a fairly reliable, well-respected engine, and in “E500E” format, quite a powerhouse.

I am looking to purchase a 1973 280SE 4.5 located in Greensboro NC. I need to have the car inspected. Any reccomendations on who may be able to look over the car?

Thanks to my delay in the reply, I am assuming this has already lapsed – sorry! But if not, the best thing to do is to post a thread in the Vintage MB forum and ask. there are likely members in or around any given area on the planet that a vintage car can be found that can look for you. This is possibly the next best thing to finding a pro mechanic well-versed in these old girls (rare find, impossible in some areas) that can look for you.

hi thinking of buying a 250 se yet it has the later 3.5 v8 ? would this devalue the car or poss a good thing cheers Frank

This is an opinion thing, honestly. Some may argue the original engine has value for purists while others would say the 3.5 makes it way more usable in the modern world while maintaining MB heritage. To me, I’d much rather have a 250SE 3.5 than a 250SE – but if the 3.5 were a rustbucket and the 6 were pure and unmolested with great original body lines, no rust etc…. I’d choose the 6! As far as value, it really boils down to what you (or any other person buying it) would actually pay. I assume the swap is done correctly with the 3.5 rear and proper speedo and gearing.

I am looking for yellow fuel injector for mercedes 1970 300sel 3.5l chassis 109.

I have not had any of these in years, sorry! You can use the Vintage Forum, check ebay, or check a wrecker. This brings up a good point: I don’t actually have a stockpile of 108/109 parts (anymore). I would always suggest starting a forum thread. In the rare case I DO have a part, I will reply and let you know, but you’re reaching a lot of people on the forums and you may be able to get the part you need in a few days.

I have a 109.057.  It seems that in the winter months a warm start issue appears.  I have replaced seals and the like, but still it persists.  My german mechanic says it may have something to do with california winter gas?  In any event,  it hates a 20 minute warm start. Secondly,  I am looking to start buying interior replacement, for the carpet, seats, etc. Do you have any recommendations on who to go for quality original workmanship?  And what of the  undercarpet rubber spongelike things, are they to be reused? or can they be bought new?  In any event, I am a newbie.  thanks much

Believe it or not, the warm start issue is actually common on these D-Jets. There are tons of speculative causes. The most likely is that some gas blends (especially those with ethanol content) actually boils in the fuel rails during heat soak, causing cavitation in the lines. There can be other causes as well, such as leaky injectors, leaky CSV, etc. If you are sure your injectors aren’t leaking, where I’d start is by putting a fuel pressure gauge on the lines and measuring pressure in the rails before / during those start attempts. If you aren’t around 30PSI, your D-Jet pump may have a bad check valve. Easy fix is to install an aftermarket check valve in the engine bay. You can also try raising the pressure to about 32-35 PSI for those warm starts to prevent the vaporization of the fuel – if the pressure indicates 28-30 when you try to start but it doesn’t fire, this can help. The downside is you may need to then dial back your mixture. As far as interior replacement, I hear a lot of positives about GAHH. You’d typically re-use the rubber-foam mats from under the old carpet unless they’re in terrible shape and need replacement.

I have a 1972 250C in need of restoration it is a on owner car and has been stored in my garage for about 14 years and has not been driven it was running and driving when parked but has many issues now due to the neglect and chipmonks etc …

Honestly, I don’t know too much about the 114/115 chassis. But speaking from experience in ressurecting my 108 after sitting: Fuel lines, hoses, belts, brake lines (hard and soft), calipers, door seals, window/windshield seals, engine mounts, subframe mounts, and anything else that’s rubber or protected by rubber will probably need replacement. You will likely need to shop vac the HVAC and even then you may not get all the squirrel/chipmonk/misc rodent nuts etc. out of the system without pulling it all. The seat padding may have holes and missing padding as well. Take your time, go through everything, change every oil/fluid, let it warm up fully OUTSIDE the garage, and then check all the fluids after a good 30 minute idle and change again if needed. Don’t be in a hurry to drive it around the block before you sort everything you need to go, turn, and stop. This includes tires! Old rubber dryrots and belts separate even if they look fine.

I have a 1973 MB, 280 SE 4.5 l. Im looking to put 15″ rims on it. Im running P20570 R 14 inch tires. MB has a lot of their cars with 5 X 112 mm bolt pattern. Im looking everywhere for my factory offset on my rims – the number somewhere between 25 and 40 mm and If its negative or positive. This info is really hard to find. can you help me ? Please email it to me. Im in Ontario Canada and I see for example quite a few 1990 ,, 15″ rims for sale off a 190D car. That car has 5 X 112 mm bolt pattern and data is easy to find on the internet (such as the offset). My concern is will this rim fit. ?Or should I be taking the original spare tire out of the trunk , find a way to measure the offset and then stick to that. ? Accordinging will 15 X6″ rim with tire size P20560R15 ” with a 5X 112 mm bolt pattern with its offset (depending on the car) fit my 1973 Original rim with tire size today of P20570R14 and lets say an Offet of 30 mm ?

Well my research may be wrong but it LOOKS like a positive offset around 23-30mm. If you want to play it safe, I have seen 14″ bundt wheels stock on the 126 chassis AND 15″ wheels on the 126 so this leads me to assume any 126 chassis wheel will fit the 108 as far as offset, clearance etc. I have seen pictures of 108s/109s with these wheels as well but I can’t promise they will fit and work fine without spacers but I assume that this would be fine. The only “Safe” option otherwise is the super-rare 15″ bundt wheel – you have to be a big bundt fan to spend that much on those, IMO, vs 126 wheels. FWIW, I don’t think the 107 (280SL / 450SL / 380SL / 560SL) ever changed the wheel offset specs, and these came with anything from 14″ steels with caps to 14″ bundts to 15″ alloys – maybe even 16″ alloys. As far as tire size for those 15s, I’d do 205/65/15. They’re negligibly larger (818 revs/mile vs 822 for 205/70/14 25.5″/64.77cm dia vs 25.4″/64.516cm), so you will not have any clearance issues with those. I ran 205/70/14 on my 108 too, slightly taller and wider than stock FYI but they rode and handled very well!

Looking for a diagram of wiring harness for a 71 280se Mercedes. Can you help me

I do not have one, and I don’t know if the FSM(s) do either. You can ask on the Vintage MB forum, but it may be better / easier to help with your specific wiring issue and tell you what wire(s) go where on the plug(s) you are having issues with! Post a thread on the forums with specifics.

Fyi, i own a 1970 Mercedes w108-2.8cc. (108.016-60-0xxxxx). Recently my Merz was a little slow in moving on the highways…I checked the carbs and found one of it was looks a dirt and I planned to change both the zenith carbs to new units (Is it advisable?) and if I wanted to purchase two zenith carbs how much would it cost me and do you have them for sale?) or any other twin Carbs like solex will give my s280 w108 more strength Please advise and Thank you very much.

Having no experience with the carb setups, I can only speak from what I’ve seen on the forums. Most people do Weber conversions unless you can find a Zenith/Solex guru. Pretty much everyone who has done the conversion to Webers has praised them and the improved drive and economy. It may wind up costing less to get the conversion plates and rebuilt Webers than it will to get those other pesky units rebuilt. Because not only do you need them rebuilt, you need someone who can then sync them, and get the setup just right, and this is easier to do with the Webers. But again, either do a search or make a post on the Vintage MB forum, because you will get direct answers from those with firsthand experience.

Jan 19

108 and 109 chassis Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz W108 and W109 vehicles were built in Stuttgart in what was then West Germany, from 1965 until 1972. Although production ended in 1972, some vehicles were marketed and sold as 1973 model year versions in North America. They were typically late-production vehicles, and some didn’t arrive in North America until 1973. If you are looking to buy a w108 or 109, make sure to check out the w108/w109 Buyer’s Guide!

The 108 and 109 Chassis Mercedes Benz vehicles are the last truly hand-built S-Class Mercedes vehicles (aside from some current AMG models). Starting with the 116-chassis, production was moved from a team, responsible for the entire vehicle from inception to the final touches, to an assembly line for efficiency. This allowed Mercedes to produce more vehicles in the same amount of time. The 108 and 109 vehicles were also the last vehicles with the infamous “Mercedes look” – stacked headlamps (on NA versions), curvy hoodlines, and a very large front grille. To this day, many people can still recognize a 108 or a 109’s lines as distinctively Mercedes, even if they were not even born when the model was still in production.

The two major chassis variations of this body style – 108 and 109 – referred to the vehicle’s suspension system. 109 vehicles were mostly air-suspension vehicles (with a few early exceptions), and 108 vehicles had coil springs on all 4 wheels. The smallest engine available was the 2.5L inline 6 in the 250S and 250SE models, and the largest was the 6.3L V8 in the legendary 300SEL 6.3. The variations were S, SE and SEL: Saloon, Saloon Einspritz, and Saloon Einspritz Lang. The S versions were carbureted, the SE versions fuel injected, and SEL versions fuel injected with longer wheelbases. All 108 and 109 vehicles had overhead cam engines.

The 250 –  The 250S came with a m108 engine – a 2.5L cast-iron block with twin carbs. Production ran from 1965 to 1968.
The 250SE came with a cast-iron, Bosch mechanically fuel-injected 2.5L m129 engine. Production ran from 1965 to 1968.
The 280 – The 280S came with a twin-carbed 2.8L cast-iron block m130 engine. Production ran from 1968 to 1972.
The 280SE came with an m130 engine that used a Bosch mechanical fuel injection.
The 300 – The early 300SEL – made from 1965 to 1967 – had an aluminum-block m189 engine and air suspension. Later 300SELs (1968 and onward) used either the 2.8L fuel-injected m130, or one of 3 V8 engines – the 3.5, 4.5, or 6.3. The 3.5 Available in the 108 and 109 chassis designation, the 3.5 was available as the 280SE 3.5, 280SEL 3.5, and 300SEL 3.5. Only the latter was available in North America, and only for one year (1971). It was built from 1970 until 1972.
The 4.5 Available in the 108 and 109 chassis designation, the 4.5L V8 was the North American equivalent of the 3.5L V8 for the “Rest of the world”. It was built from 1971-1972 as the 280SE 4.5, 280SEL 4.5, and 300SEL 4.5 The 300SEL 6.3 A legend in its own right, the M100-powered 6.3 produced, by conservative estimates, 300HP. It was $10,000 US in 1969. With 434 ft/lbs of torque, it had a 6.5-second 0-60 time (which made it the fastest production sedan in the world for quite some time). Only 6526 were made in its production run from 1967 to 1972 – yet it has the largest fanbase of any 108 or 109 – or perhaps any MB, in fact.