Author Topic: W11x. 280 SE help  (Read 3333 times)

jrooch

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W11x. 280 SE help
« on: February 08, 2021, 20:35:44 »
Hello all, I am new to the forum, as I am looking for some advice as it relates to a 1969 or 1970 280 SE coupe. I could not find a group specific to this model, so I figured I'd give it a shot on this one. I came into possession of his vehicle through my father, who passed away in July of this year. My father had been a lifelong Mercedes aficionado and restored a 1956 190 SL largely by himself and through self-teaching. In the early to mid 80s he obtained the 280 SE coupe with plans to restore it himself. He eventually turned the project over to a professional who handled the body and electrical.  The current state of the restoration is that the entire body and electrical is complete except the bumpers need to be installed. What remains is for someone to address the motor and transmission and to re-do the upholstery and reinstall it. Unfortunately, I have no idea what I can expect with the motor/tranmission. I am not a car guy and my family is not quite sure what to do with the vehicle. I am hoping someone could direct me to someone who specializes in this model so I can appreciate what I have and advise on possibly completing the restoration or selling it as is. Currently, the car is in New England, but I may have it shipped to CA, where I reside. Any recommendations of persons to consult with would be much appreciated. Thanks!
« Last Edit: February 08, 2021, 20:57:23 by Garry »

Mike Hughes

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Re: W11x. 280 SE help
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2021, 22:24:54 »
Looks like Light Beige with a Tobacco Brown roof and nearly ready for the road.  Not many can have a car like this that has been in the family so long.  Finishing it would be a great tribute to your your dad.

Perhaps others with more knowledge of w11x cars than I will know the answer to my question:  Are hubcaps always body color on a later coupe like this, or are should they match the contrasting roof color as on a Pagoda?
- Mike Hughes  -ô¿ô-
  1966 230SL Auto P/S
  Havana Brown (408)
  Light Beige (181)
  Cream M-B Tex (121)

Leester

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Re: W11x. 280 SE help
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2021, 00:33:19 »
Welcome to the board. I agree with Mike that finishing the car would be a great tribute to your dad. In addition though, be careful because this car might just might make you a "car guy". I have had two coupes and currently have a 220SE convertible and they are lovely cars.

If the body was done properly you are 70% of the way there. As far as mechanicals, the car's running gear is essentially the same as the 280SL of the same year so almost everything relating to the drive train you see on this board that is 280SL applies to your car. I say almost because your car may have some features like power windows that the SL didn't have, at least from the factory.

So I see three options. (1) sell it as is. (2) finish and sell it or (3) finish it and KEEP IT.  Unless you just want out of it, selling it as is will bring you the least money since a running car is typically worth more than a non-running car. Hopefully receipts for the work that was done are available and are important to keep in a safe place.

And I was wondering the same thing about wheel cover color.  On my convertible, cream yellow with black convertible top, the wheel covers are cream yellow but I don't know for sure if that is correct.

If you decide to keep it, Pagoda members in the Bay Area may be able to suggest competent people who can work on the car. Good luck but please keep us posted.
Lee Backus
1963 220SE Cabriolet
1970 280SL (reassembling - hopefully soon)
1978 450SL (disassembled for paint)
1985 500SEC

jrooch

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Re: W11x. 280 SE help
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2021, 04:14:32 »
Thanks for your comments Leester and MHughes. And yes, for my Dad's memory I would like to see this through to the end, maybe drive it for a season and then, let someone else enjoy it. But, I also am cognizant that I have my own work and parental responsibilities and am fearful of getting sucked into the vortex. I could see myself obsessing over finding that one elusive OEM part and combing German websites, because that's exactly what my father would have done.  Ol' man take a look a look at your life, I'm a lot like you are.  Anyway, it's a slippery slope and there's a lot's to consider.

The person who restored it over the past many years has been very generous with me in his sharing of information. He offered me this narrative about the scope of his work and sent me all of the associated invoices.

Body:  Complete disassembly. Everything with exception of the hood was stripped down to metal, all rust removed, all rust decay repaired with metal. The hood was sanded down to it’s original paint (and primer) and sealed. Previously installed new panels (Left Quarter and Rear Panel) needed to be adjusted and re-attached. (welded) Body was Epoxy primed. Flatwork performed. 2k urethane primed and sanded. Single stage, driver quality 2 tone paint job.
All body rubber and gaskets are new. New Windshield New exterior door handles. All exterior trim installed. Sliding roof rebuilt. Drain hoses replaced. Motor is a little weak. (Normal) didn’t replace it. Works fine with a good battery. Needs a new front sliding roof gasket and side felt strips installed. These pieces weren’t intended as water seals. Only to cut down on water getting in and whistling from the wind. We had trouble getting the correct ones but they are available. Front fog lights are rebuilt and tested.

Engine: I installed the engine and all peripherals per the Mercedes Shop manuals. (In the trunk) I rebuilt the cold start injector. The engine starts but doesn’t stay running. I told your father that was as far as I was willing to go on the engine. This is a mechanically fuel injected engine requiring expertise in repairing and troubleshooting problems. I won’t touch it because I don’t want to damage it trying to fix it. Many people do. I simply wont.

Exhaust system is new. (stainless)

The original fuel pump didn’t work. I put a $50 Carter in it to get it running. Rebuilt ones are very expensive. His is disassembled in a box in the trunk.

Brakes: I installed all the brakes using all new slave cylinders and other new parts using the Mercedes shop manual. They are bled with the proper fluid. (Remaining fluid in the trunk) The brakes should be yard tested before driving the car. They may need adjustments. The rotors are new but have surface rust. The rear proportioning valve (Under the car above the rear axle) is original. I’m assuming it works.

Transmission: I put it in, hooked it up, and reworked the propeller shaft. It needs to have the rear drive shaft guibo bolt lock plates installed. I had trouble getting them and then I never got to installing them when they came. The other guibos should be checked as well.

Interior: I replaced the headliner. The visors need to be cleaned, dyed, and installed as do the rear courtesy light and rear-view mirror. The location points can be found using the original headliner. (in the trunk) I completely restored the dashboard, heater unit was gone thru and bench tested. Heater cores were flushed and valve seals were replaced and tested. All gauges and clock were disassembled, cleaned, painted if necessary, and re-installed. Under dash electrical is all hooked up as is the oil pressure and temperature sensors. Window regulators are all lubricated and adjusted.

The electrical system is as follows. Fuse box is empty. Rear dome light wire is floating behind the headliner in its proper location. Light is in the trunk
Headlight wires are in the buckets using new rubber boots but are not connected to the headlight assemblies which I cleaned up and installed. The wiring on the assemblies is corrupted with missing connectors. I installed wires from the headlight buckets to the center of the car (underneath) to feed the fog lights. They need to be connected. The taillight bulb holders are cleaned up and tested with good bulbs are in them.
The right harness connector is missing so wires are just plugged into the pins. The left side connector is intact and plugged in. They are both lying in trunk ready for a test run. All charging system wires are properly connected as far as I know.
I couldn’t check it under running conditions.

The Tires must be replaced.

Power steering is all hooked up. It should work. There is one fuse under the hood near the wiper motor. This fuse was used for additional options. I don’t know what it’s for in this car. The front suspension was complete when I got the car. The rotors hubs and wheel bearings were as well. I assume they are ok, but I don’t know their condition.


If I decided to take the plunge and finish the project I feel like the upholstery replacement/repair is a finite cost that could be quoted and determined. But the motor/transmission seems like it could be a sieve. Any thoughts on the worst case scenario for the motor and transmission costs?   


Mike Hughes

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Re: W11x. 280 SE help
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2021, 04:46:24 »
All I can say is that for whatever you may spend to finish your dad's project, one could not go out and buy a Coupe, tear it down and even begin to bring it up to the condition that your dad's will be in when you are done.  It will bring smiles to your face and fond memories every time you work on it and drive it for years to come.
- Mike Hughes  -ô¿ô-
  1966 230SL Auto P/S
  Havana Brown (408)
  Light Beige (181)
  Cream M-B Tex (121)

ja17

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Re: W11x. 280 SE help
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2021, 08:29:57 »
What model number Carter Fuel Pump did you use? Depending on the model no. it may be adequate. These cars are very sensitive to having the correct fuel pressure and fuel
volume.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 16:24:01 by ja17 »
Joe Alexander
Blacklick, Ohio
1969 Dark Olive 280SL
2002 ML55 AMG (tow vehicle)
2002 SLK32 AMG (350 hp)
1982 300TD Wagon turbo 4spd.
1963 404 Mercedes Unimog (Swedish Army)
1989 flu419 Mercedes Unimog (US Army)
1998 E430
1974 450SLC Rally
1965 220SE Finback

PeterPortugal

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Re: W11x. 280 SE help
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2021, 12:43:05 »
Welcome to the board. We can help you with specific questions.

Wallace Wheeler is a regular contributor with an equivalent car which he has rebuilt.
1963 220se Cabrio
1968 280se Coupe

wwheeler

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Re: W11x. 280 SE help
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2021, 20:12:56 »
I agree with Mike. You are already more than half way there. And with the rust and body issues known and repaired, you are ahead of the game. There are several people still in CA that are familiar with these cars and can help you along. CA was probably the main destination for most of these cars back then and shops popped up to service those. So you are in a good spot for this.

As far as the engine is concerned, Metric motors is out there and they specialize in these. So you might contact them and see what they recommend as a place to start.

These are wonderful cars and ride like a dream when sorted out. They guy that did the work sounded cautious which is a great attitude to have when working on something you are not 100% familiar with. People with far less knowledge have crashed and burned messing with these cars.   
Wallace
Texas
'68 280SE W111 coupe
'60 220SE W128 coupe
'70 Plymouth Roadrunner 440+6

mBdrvr

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Re: W11x. 280 SE help
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2021, 21:16:52 »
If you plan to have the car finished by someone else you will probably spend as much or more than the car will sell for when its done. Right now a #2 (Excellent) car using Hagerty's value guide is about $50,000. If you plan on keeping it you'll probably be OK dollar wise.

I did most of my own labor. I spent about $38,000.00 for parts and outside labor do the jobs you will have to do including:

Engine rebuild                                  $11,000.00
Fuel injection pump rebuild                    2,100.00
Transmission rebuild                              2,500.00
Wire harness                                         1,700.00
Upholstery and installation                      3,200.00
Mercedes-Benz parts                             15,000.00
The rest was for other parts

Figure twice that for labor.

But this is a great place to start. Way ahead of where I started mine.

Good luck,

Paul
         
Paul Greenblatt
'70 280 SL
'66 250 SE Cabrio
'60 190 SL

Garry

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Re: W11x. 280 SE help
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2021, 21:48:36 »
I also agree with Mike, you appear to be well over half done and things like the engine may be just fine other than having a correct tune.  The bottomless pit is in the rust and body work and that is done so you potentially are at 75% or better.


if you were starting from scratch i would agree with mBdrvr that you could spent more than it is worth but you are a long the start and it may be fairly fairly simple to just get it back on the road.
Garry Marks
Melbourne/ Kyneton, Brisbane. Australia
1969 MB 280SL 5 speed RHD SOLD.
1965 MB 230SL Auto RHD Lt Blue 334G, Top 350H, 213 Leather, Tourist Delivery.
1972 MB 280CE Auto RHD 906G Blue Grey
2005 MB A200.
2006 MB B200
2019 Izuzu DMax 4x4 with Slide-on camper.
2022 Volvo XC40 Twin Electric

Shvegel

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Re: W11x. 280 SE help
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2021, 02:04:44 »
Here is what I would do if I were in your shoes.  Get it running.  Even if it runs poorly it is worth more than a non running car.  There are very few mechanics that are well versed in your fuel injection system.  If I were you I would consider talking to JA17 and having it shipped to Ohio on it's way west.  Don't rebuild or improve just get it running.

Garry

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Re: W11x. 280 SE help
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2021, 07:50:57 »
I like Shvegal’s idea of getting it to Joe Alexander to get it going at least then on ship to the west then you can make a better informed idea of the next step.


Garry
Garry Marks
Melbourne/ Kyneton, Brisbane. Australia
1969 MB 280SL 5 speed RHD SOLD.
1965 MB 230SL Auto RHD Lt Blue 334G, Top 350H, 213 Leather, Tourist Delivery.
1972 MB 280CE Auto RHD 906G Blue Grey
2005 MB A200.
2006 MB B200
2019 Izuzu DMax 4x4 with Slide-on camper.
2022 Volvo XC40 Twin Electric

wwheeler

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Re: W11x. 280 SE help
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2021, 16:10:36 »
That is an intriguing idea. Certainly correct about running vs. not running. And someone like Joe would know exactly needs to be done based on what you plan to do with the car. No more, no less.   
Wallace
Texas
'68 280SE W111 coupe
'60 220SE W128 coupe
'70 Plymouth Roadrunner 440+6

jim 56

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Re: W11x. 280 SE help
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2021, 22:16:01 »
Not sure if you got past your fuel pump this is the first time I am reading this post I may be too late. I see you put a Carter fuel pump in.I did the same thing I was sorry I did besides the amount of noise I found it unrealible.If you have the original even in pieces you are better off rebuilding it. There is a member on this site that can help you with the man REALLY knows his stuff on them.
Jim

opopotts

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Re: W11x. 280 SE help
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2021, 19:25:27 »
I have a 69 280SE coupe with same colour combination with a brown top and the hubcaps should match. My upholstery is dark brown which is really nice

opopotts

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Re: W11x. 280 SE help
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2021, 19:30:01 »
This is my colour combination. I got the leather from GAHH