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My 'Good Fortune' is a 1978 280SE

Started by Jascha, 07 August 2005, 12:51 PM


I had the good fortune to acquire my Aunt?s original 1978 280 SE (July 1978 production) that has been preserved over time having traveled merely ~23,000 miles (not a typo!). It is simply divine in appearance and mechanical temperament.

I do a fair amount of wrenching on my older Porsche so the upkeep (future) does not concern me that much but the garage space is problematic.

I am particularly interested in changing all the fluids and was wondering what the wisdom of the List would recommend is a ?must do? at this time (engine and brake fluid I did already)

1. Transmission fluid (type?)
2. Differential (type)
3. Power Steering (type)

Importantly, can you direct me to technical (Workshop Manuals) on the W116 . I would like to make the cruise control work and perhaps revive the A/C  

Many thanks!


That is one amazing looking car and must be amazing from the description. Without a doubt we would all be most interested in hearing more details and seeing more photos!

I am unable to assist directly with what should be done but there are already a few topics covering this in the forum.

The Workshop Manual is available online on this site if you click Handbook above. Please save the files to your PC to save on the cost of hosting the handbook. Alternativey, copies of the Workshop Manual appear on eBay occasionally.
1977 450SE [Brilliant Red]
2006 B200

Matt Crouse

Congratulations!  That is a beautiful specimen indeed.  I am a new member to the group, and I also have a 1978 280SE (October 1978 production).  I have the same problems as you mention, namely my cruise control and AC do not work.  The AC has been checked out by my mechanic, and my problem is the servo unit which is very expensive to replace.  I have not attempted to troubleshoot the cruise control yet, but there is a good guide available from the MBCA here:

Hope that helps, congratulations again and I hope she brings you as much joy as you expect.


Indeed, this 280 SE has been very well maintained (but little driven). My Uncle was a serious collector and kept the stable of his automobiles well cared for?

I was not able to discern traces of rust  whatsoever. Apparently, it was kept in a heated garage -a luxury I can ill-afford.

I can very much appreciate the passion you good folks display for the W116 S-Class vintage. Pity, but to keep my 911 p-cars road worthy, the garage queen may have to be auctioned-off?