Author Topic: contemplating the purchase of a W108/109  (Read 2658 times)

Mqueretin

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contemplating the purchase of a W108/109
« on: May 13, 2021, 10:10:10 »
Hi There,

I'm contemplating the purchase in Europe of a sedan as my every day car  and I would welcome guidance from owners of such cars.

There are plenty of (mostly US) 280 SE 4.5, the price of which is not different from the M130 straight six : is the v8 trouble engine or a good buy ?

there are also a number of carburetor 280S, again without much difference in price: are these of interest eg in avoiding injection pump trouble (such as stuck pistons as i have had twice on my 250SL) ?

I am also offered a W109 300 SE 3.5 which looks in very good shape for a marginal price increase, but I'm kind of worried with the air suspension system: any repair needed is a matter of big box intervention I guess. Is the 3.5 engine good and reliable ?

thanks for any feedback - and sorry if this is the wrong category to address W108/9 !

wwheeler

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Re: contemplating the purchase of a W108/109
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2021, 15:01:22 »
I only have a six, but I have heard that both 3.5 and 4.5 V8 engines are reliable and good engines. They would both do fine as a daily driver. I would also be hesitant to use the W109 as a daily driver and because of the air suspension. The W108 is the clear choice for a reliable daily driver. I know several people that do just that. 
Wallace
Texas
'68 280SE W111 coupe
'60 220SE W128 coupe
'70 Plymouth Roadrunner 440+6

dirkbalter

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Re: contemplating the purchase of a W108/109
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2021, 15:21:53 »
I have a 108/6 and use it for the most part as a daily driver. I love to drive it and agree with Wallace that it is probably the safest option as a daily driver. Be careful with the later US versions 69+ as the components added for emissions, tend to give up and create problems. 
Dirk
66 230 SL
70 280 SEL
53 CHEVY 3100
18 C300 COUPE
05 HD FLSTNI

jim 56

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Re: contemplating the purchase of a W108/109
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2021, 22:08:42 »
I have a 1972 W108 USA spec.w/M130 engine. I have plans to use it as a daily driver if I ever get enough confidence to do so. Someone mentioned about the emissions system could be trouble and they are correct. It is different then even the 1971. Lots of relays that can go bad. Anyway be aware about the heat in these cars. The blower for the heat is next to impossible to replace. I know as I did it it is extremely hard and when done is still not the greatest heater anyway. Also expect to use high octane gas it runs better on it. One reason I bought the car is because I figured that being a Mercedes that it would be a luxury car maybe in 1972 it was considered one, now I'm not sure.
Jim

dirkbalter

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Re: contemplating the purchase of a W108/109
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2021, 22:38:42 »
I have a 1972 W108 USA spec.w/M130 engine. I have plans to use it as a daily driver if I ever get enough confidence to do so. Someone mentioned about the emissions system could be trouble and they are correct. It is different then even the 1971. Lots of relays that can go bad. Anyway be aware about the heat in these cars. The blower for the heat is next to impossible to replace. I know as I did it it is extremely hard and when done is still not the greatest heater anyway. Also expect to use high octane gas it runs better on it. One reason I bought the car is because I figured that being a Mercedes that it would be a luxury car maybe in 1972 it was considered one, now I'm not sure.
Jim

In my case, got rid of all the emission system related components, added an earlier trottle body and a 123 ignition. Car runs great ever since.
Dirk
66 230 SL
70 280 SEL
53 CHEVY 3100
18 C300 COUPE
05 HD FLSTNI

Mqueretin

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Re: contemplating the purchase of a W108/109
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2021, 06:30:15 »
Thanks all for your valuable feedback which clearly shows the right direction.

bracurrie

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Re: contemplating the purchase of a W108/109
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2021, 13:00:23 »
Any vehicle that is 50 years old will be a parts and know-how challenge.  If you are willing to do what it takes to sort them out any W108 is a great regular driver that seems to run better with frequent spirited use.  It takes patience and some research to understand what needed to be done each step of the way but to me that's fun. I drive mine up to a 1000 miles a week sometimes. Regular oil changes with complete chassis lubrication is a must and there are not many left with the correct tools to get grease into all the suspension components.
In my case, got rid of all the emission system related components, added an earlier trottle body and a 123 ignition. Car runs great ever since.
This is great advice as I have disabled my ignition retardation while I wait to install the 123 Ignition distributor.
1970 280 SE W108.018
M130.980 w/ US emissions
manual column shift