So very sorry, but I am new to this, so please bare with me. My name is Tonda and I live in San Jose, Ca. I recently inheirted a 1979 350 SE, and would love to tune it up, but am unable to find any parts here. As a matter of fact, no one is able to even locate this car in their computers. I know nothing about "gray market" cars, or if I now own one?? The previous owner took very good care of this car, and I would like to do the same, but can't find parts. My vin # is 11602812051938. If anyone out there can direct me I would greatly appreciate it. IF NOT FOR THIS SITE, I WOULD NOT EVEN KNOW WHAT MODEL I NOW OWN!! A simple tune up is all I need part numbers for, or where to find them. HELP!!![/list][/code][/quote][/i][/b]
Hi Tonda and welcome to the forum!
To get you started, your car is virtually identical to all the other W116 available apart from the engine. Body panels and interiors can be shared without a problem. Just be aware that the SEL models is simply 10cm longer than the SE models with the extra length given to the rear passengers. The only really noticeable difference on the outside of the car will probably be the 'Euro' (as they are referred to in the US) bumpers and head-lights. There may be slight differences with the interior but only from MB updating the interior over the models production years.
With the engine, most mechanics should find the information regarding the 450SE and 450SEL of the same year be adequate for details on the 350SE and 350SEL. The 350 cars have a 3.5L V8 engine with the 450 cars having what could be considered the same engine but bored out more to 4.5L. The 3.5L engine is known as a M116 while the 4.5L engine is known as a M117.
On the subject of locating parts, I highly recommend joining the local Mercedes-Benz Club. They will certainly help with local issues of looking after your car and should also meet many nice people in the process. I am curious as to where the car was being serviced previously?
Other members of this forum located in the USA should also be able to help locating parts and I hope that you will get more help soon.
Slightly off topic, you now have me curious as to the history of this car. How did it end up in the USA? Why was this particular model imported? How many miles has it done? Photos?
Another 350 owner!!! Yay!!
But seriously, I have to agree with "450 se" with all he said re: the similarities between w116's. Because I live miles from the major cities in Oz, where non dealership MB mechanics that cater for our cars are located, much of the work so far I've done myself but nothing major(yet). Since you're in CA I'd recommend you approach whatever MB club is located there and get advice on which mechanic to approach. It'll be worth it. There's nothing worse than someone without respect or knowledge about the car having a go and handing it back with screws or other bits missing.
I rely on the net for sourcing part numbers and names and with the US being such a big market, it has some of the best online parts shops. However!! I haven't found one US site that mentions the 350se/sel because it wasn't sold there. So it would be interesting to hear how your car made it to CA. Post some pics? What colour is it?
Ebay is also an option for parts. There's a UK site that lists parts for the 350 but it's annoying to navigate. There's also heaps of stuff from Germany but even with a english/german dictionary I have trouble translating and give up.
Welcome to the forums, there's a stack of info to read and a few very knowledgeable (not me) people that can answer just about anything, so fire away with any questions and keep in touch.
Well it's me again. My car did not pass smog, as I suspected. Can anyone tell me where to find a manual with that specific model and year, as I cannot locate one here, of course. And when it comes to testing my emissions can I use the 1977 450 sel, slc, sl, as a guide? Thanks for all your help.
The problem is that the 450SEL data in your area of the world is for a desmogged engine. You know those 170 hp DIN 4.5 motors. The standard Euro 3.5 has no air pump, no EGR, no "catastrophic converters", no low compression, etc. Unless the car was prepared to meet US emissions, there is no way you can pass smog tests without modifications (and loosing dozens of horses in the process).
There must be a workaround to this situation. can anyone help our friend here ?
Denis (from cold Paris)
Depending upon how bad your emissions are, and what the specifications you have to meet for the early smog regulation cars in the USA, there is a slight improvement you can use, but it may not be enough. Use a catalytic converter, drop the spark timing back a degree or two, and tune slightly lean. You will need the retarded spark to reduce the burning temperature i.e.to reduce the nitrous oxides, slightly lean to have enough oxygen to burn the CO to CO2. A lot of work which may not give you the results you need. Remember that Mercedes initially used low compression and an air pump to meet the initial USA regulations.
Quote from: "john skene"Depending upon how bad your emissions are, and what the specifications you have to meet for the early smog regulation cars in the USA, there is a slight improvement you can use, but it may not be enough. Use a catalytic converter, drop the spark timing back a degree or two, and tune slightly lean. You will need the retarded spark to reduce the burning temperature i.e.to reduce the nitrous oxides, slightly lean to have enough oxygen to burn the CO to CO2. A lot of work which may not give you the results you need. Remember that Mercedes initially used low compression and an air pump to meet the initial USA regulations.
If your smog issues can be corrected by a tune-up, perhaps you can get the job done with this Haynes manual, which covers both the 3.5 V8 (as fitted to the 350SL) and the 116 chassis.
I hope that helps.
OK, I am in. I will search my M116 litterature including US spec details to see what tondaz could do to just make it !
Catastrophic ;-)(catalytic)converters would help but where would they fit ? unless the 1977 floorpan has provisions for this. I know that in 1975 California spec W116s had cats in the engine compartment (!): one next to both cylinder bank. When they wore out (after frying any cabling within 40 cm of them) their replacement was incredibly expensive : onc they regained consciousness after their mechanic broke the news, most owners during the nineties just sent their beloved cars to W116 HEAVEN. This was 1975 only.
The solution would be for tondaz to go to HEAVEN (scrapyard)and buy some 450 parts that would bring his car closer to the California requirements. With a bit of luck and some work, he might be able to just make it. Short of an engine change, this seems like a possible solution.
Are any americans in our group to investigate "legal" workarounds ? Maybe an exception collector car status ?
Whatever, I will report my findings soon.
Denis from top quality wine land
(much better than oz wine)
Quote from: "Denis"Hi styria
Are any americans in our group to investigate "legal" workarounds ? Maybe an exception collector car status ?
Hello Denis et al,
When a vehicle is imported to the U.S., first it must be "federalized." That is, modified to conform to U.S. D.O.T. standards. Usually this means modifications to the fuel and exhaust systems, removing the wonderful European headlights and replacing them with pathetic D.O.T. approved sealed beams, swapping the metric gauges for imperial ones, etc. etc. Typically this work is done by a company that specializes in federalizing cars. It is hugely expensive. That will suffice for residents of most states. California's requirements go even further, and generally the extra work relates to emmissions. If the model of car being imported had ever been imported by the manufacturer, then the car being imported must have every bit of emmissions equipment that the OEM version had. At the end of the process, the car is awarded a B.A.R. sticker, which proves to law enforcement personel and emmissions certification technicians that the car has had all necessary modifications performed to be legal.
This process can cost upwards of $7k, and if the car that Tonda inherited is not already licensed in California, it will probably not be worthwhile. BUT. . .
What I take from Tonda's original post is that the car was already in California when he inherited it, and that all these legal issues probably were dealt with at the time the car was first imported. The easiest way to be certain is by checking for the infamous California B.A.R. sticker. It can typically be found either under the hood or on the driver's door jamb or door. It will have a number prececded by the letters B.A.R..
I think the problem he's having is that when he goes to the dealership for parts, they type his VIN into the computer and find that they don't have information on the car because Mercedes didn't import it. This is the situation I run into with my gray market G-wagens. The hapless owner in that situation needs to be a little creative when at the parts counter. On one occassion I needed a window crank. My car wasn't in their system, so they couldn't reference the part number. I happened to know that the only car imported by MB into the U.S. that had non-electric windows was the 240D, so I asked for a window crank for a 240D and the problem was solved.
Assuming the car has already been properly imported, my advice is this. Perhaps passing smog is a contingency for transferring title, and you're feeling a little anxiety about the issue. Maybe you can find some paperwork which might indicate where the previous owner was having the car maintained. My guess is that it was an independent shop. Those guys tend to be able to think outside the box a little more - their brains don't lock up at "this VIN isn't in my database." Have them determine what is needed to get the car to pass smog.
Once the pressure of passing smog and transferring title is off, you can do the research required to work on the car yourself. The sad fact for those of us with gray market vehicles is that we can not do business at the parts counter with only a VIN as reference. For me to get parts for my G's, I must provide part numbers. Many G-specific parts I can't get from Mercedes at all. You have an advantage in that regard, in that all the parts on your car were available on some model imported to the U.S..
I'm new to this board, but given the diversity and expertise of it's membership, I suspect you will be able to get a lot of help with part numbers right here.
QuoteDenis from top quality wine land
(much better than oz wine)
California has some nice wine, too. :wink:
Hi Capitaine Spalding
What a "classy" avatar you have !
Your post should help tondaz. It is the number one option for him.
Number two is to try to "californiaze" the car with 450 parts. That is my conclusion as I have found nothing from Euro data to help tondaz. In fact, my D-jet 350SE passes the current french emissions and general technical tests quite well. The fellow at the test station told me how impressed he was at CO level. But then D-jet was the mother of ALL later emissions FI. Tondaz has K-jet which CAN pass emissions depending on configuration (specific components).
Seeing this gray market car issue and as exemplified by the soreness of captain Spalding, I have an offer.
I am pretty new to an active involvement in W116.org but I am a reasonably trusting person. My dealer is pretty good and I can probably get some deals as I talk.
So with a bit of support (private email please as every case is different), I will offer to anyone on THIS list to send them EURO components from France upon agreement. Did you know that I am only 600km from Unterturkheim :-)
As nobody else steps in, I will do. What I mean is that I am not "for free" but am "very non-profit". I like these cars and wish to help foreign owners in trouble for a missing escutcheon (OK, I'm joking).
Please email privately for requests.
Monsieur tondaz, best of success, I hope that we will collectively help you solve your problem.
Denis from cold Paris (and dreaming about the surf places near Biarritz, the basque country, close to Spain)
As for wine, please acknowledge the fact that the french KNOW that wines from California, South Africa, Australia and Chili are "respectable". I was, as you all understood, teasing. Still, I get for 3USD what americans pay 10 :-) Vive le pinard fran?ais :-)
Quote from: "Denis"What a "classy" avatar you have ! . . . I am pretty new to an active involvement in W116.org but I am a reasonably trusting person. My dealer is pretty good and I can probably get some deals as I talk.
So with a bit of support (private email please as every case is different), I will offer to anyone on THIS list to send them EURO components from France upon agreement.
Bonjour mon fr?re,
class. A very generous offer and a wonderful show of community spirit. Thank you. Perhaps I will take you up on it in a few weeks. I'll send you a message when the time comes.
Meanwhile, we haven't heard from Tonda. I'm curious as to the history of his vehicle. Perhaps he's abandoned us. I noticed he posted the same question
over at the BenzWorld W116 Forum.
Because of the major changes between the non detox European engines and the USA emission controlled engines that Mercedes had to carry out, I very much doubt if there is a simple fix for your car apart from swapping to a 450 emissions engine. However, here is a simple and cheap option you can try and see what happens. If an EGR valve is not already fitted, fit one immediately. They are available almost anywhere. This will recirculate some of the burnt exhaust gas, which is an inert gas so it reduces the combustion temperature, thus reducing NOX in the exhaust. It will have no effect on the fuel mixture, as the fuel system is controlled by the air (oxygen) through the system, so the fuel/usable air ratio remains correct.
I fitted an EGR valve to a car years ago and it made a real difference.