Author Topic: First post... Looking at a 6.9  (Read 11064 times)

graham

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First post... Looking at a 6.9
« on: 14 August 2012, 07:03 PM »
My first post here, despite having had a W116 280 in the past. I am a long (long!) time member of the MBOC (UK), and have been on the Heckflosse mailing list for years.

We recently moved from the UK to NZ, and I'm looking for a toy car. A lucky conversation pointed me to a blue 1979 6.9.

It has had the worst last 15 years any 6.9 could have had - it has been in storage. These cars need to be used! (That much I do know.)

It started fairly readily but is running, in the words of the current owner, "full rich". K-jets are notorious for running rich when cold but I get the impression this is worse than that - any thoughts? An issue with old vacuum lines, perhaps?

The suspension did pump up when the engine was run (it had unsurprisingly sunk over 15 years of non-use) but how good it is, and how long it'll hold pressure is another matter.

On the up side, the body appears to be in very good condition - a very quick and frankly cursory once-over didn't show any rust. Even the chrome looks good. Interior is velour which initially disappointed me, but if the contemporary reports can be believed, this may be a good thing as (apparently) the leather seats could be hard and even uncomfortable.

Even the tyres have held air for 15 years, although I suspect they'll have flat-spotted and/or perished.

I'm looking at this as a car which will be used regularly, and can be taken on as a running project. I have no pretensions at being the world's greatest mechanic (although I am generally capable) and don't plan to turn this into a concours, dehumidified storage, garage queen!

Here's some pics to whet appetites:














Incidentally, has anyone else noticed there are 116 pages of posts in the 'Mechanicals' section?  :)

pompy

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #1 on: 15 August 2012, 03:57 AM »
Wow, you're a lucky man. It looks very good. Yes, its going to need work, but, buy it, if you haven't already.
1991 500 SE EURO

graham

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #2 on: 15 August 2012, 04:01 AM »
I think it has the potential to be a good 'un... Sadly (for me) the seller has been listening to some very bad people (in my biased opinion ;)) and has listed the car online, so it looks as though I will have some purchasing competition.

I need to do some market research and try to ascertain what this is actually worth, both to the market and to me.

Big_Richard

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #3 on: 15 August 2012, 04:03 AM »
.

« Last Edit: 22 January 2013, 01:51 AM by Major Tom 6.9 »

graham

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #4 on: 15 August 2012, 04:13 AM »
It sits a little low, so first check (as has been recommended to me elsewhere) will be the '5th sphere' in the left front wheel well.

Unless the distribution head has been damaged (and given the air filter has been removed, this is possible) the running rich issue could be a simple problem.

Which leaves a solid, complete car that requires recommissioning. Itself not necessarily an easy matter, or one to be undertaken lightly, but less of an issue than extensive body and chassis work.

I hope...  ::) :)

And while spares are likely to be in short supply in NZ, at least I won't get stung for duty when importing them from the US, Oz or Germany. Cue Monty Python music: "Always look on the bright si-ide of life..."

s class

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #5 on: 15 August 2012, 04:54 AM »
Rust free is a very good place to start.  I see its the high compression euro spec engine which is great. 

'76 6.9 Euro, '78 6.9 AMG, '80 280SE, '74 350SE, '82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro , '81 500SL

TJ 450

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #6 on: 15 August 2012, 04:56 AM »
It looks like a good project to me... It looks like at has a good interior, and if the body is sound it's ideal. And yes, high comp is always good IMO.
I'd pounce on it.

Tim

1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500

Big_Richard

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #7 on: 15 August 2012, 05:01 AM »
.
« Last Edit: 22 January 2013, 01:51 AM by Major Tom 6.9 »

graham

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #8 on: 15 August 2012, 05:04 AM »
i was wondering how the hell you knew it was high compression just from the photo, but then some legacy knowledge surfaced again when i saw the engine oil cooler  ::)
I'd wondered the same thing and gone off to see if I could find out!

A closer inspection is planned for Saturday. The seller currently has an offer of NZ$3000.

oversize

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #9 on: 15 August 2012, 05:56 AM »
If you don't buy it I will!!!!!  LOL!  Nah not really...

Welcome to the ORG!!  Could you be our one n only from NZ???

WOW that's a good car there!  Yes I too noticed the oil cooler straight away.  How's the km!!!!  Could they be genuine?  Books??  Little to no rust; OMG!!!  My question would be why was it left for 15 years if it was a going concern??

Even if the suspension is toast, it's still a good buy.  If you wanna check it anyway, make sure there's enough hydro fluid in the reservior.  If the fluid's low, the car won't pump up fully.  Once pumped up you can quickly push down a couple of times on each corner of the car and see how it responds.  It should behave like normal shockers and not oscillate more than 1.5 times (roughly).  If it's rock hard and doesn't move, then the corresponding gas cell is cactus.  If she's been grovelling for that long it's likely at least the rear bump stops are toast.

The brakes may be seized, but they're easy to fix.  Bank on a full fluid change and new brake hoses.  A full coolant flush will be a must and the radiator may be stuffed.

Check for rust around the firewall and the sunroof frame (you'll have to open it first).  Also check for rust in the sills around the jack points, lower rear quarters and around the windscreens.  Check for cracks in steering box mounts, front crossmember and rear chassis above the axles.
1979 6.9 #5541 (Red Bull)
1978 6.9 #4248 (Skye)
1979 6.9 #3686 (Moby Dick)
1978 6.9 #1776 (Dora)
1977 450SEL #7010 white -P
1975 450SEL #8414 gold -P

graham

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #10 on: 15 August 2012, 06:03 AM »
Thanks oversize.

If it goes ahead, I'm planning on a pretty much every fluid change. Does the fluid in the suspension system ever need changing, or is it best left well alone if it is working?

The car seems to pump up to full height (I don't know if it will go to the 'high' setting or not) but as seen in the side-on pic, does settle to a lower position than I would have expected.

I don't know why it was parked up. To be honest, I forgot to ask! Dazzled by an (apparently) rust-free W116, I guess.

There are quite a few 116s of various types over here, and generally several 280SEs for sale at any one time. I like the M110 engine, but the M100... Well, y'know how it is. :)

If I do go for this, I ask one thing... Please be patient with me! I'll doubtless have many questions. ???

oversize

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #11 on: 15 August 2012, 06:05 AM »
No air filter would be a worry, as it will cause accelerated engine wear.  The A/C may need regassing, but in NZ R12 may be far cheaper than Aus.

I spy a battery isolator switch in there...

Oh and the fuel will be completely off, plus there's usually sediment and rust in a 32+ YO steel tank.  Plus condensation and water.  I'd suggest removal of the tank for a thorough clean and reseal, plus a new fuel filter.  Don't run her for long on the old fuel, as you may cause more damage to the pump and fuel distributor.
1979 6.9 #5541 (Red Bull)
1978 6.9 #4248 (Skye)
1979 6.9 #3686 (Moby Dick)
1978 6.9 #1776 (Dora)
1977 450SEL #7010 white -P
1975 450SEL #8414 gold -P

oversize

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #12 on: 15 August 2012, 06:14 AM »
Settling low could be a problem with the central cell not keeping residual pressure.  It's common for the links between the front and rear control valves to break and the suspension will fail to self-level or settle at a strange height.

BTW yes the SLS reservior should be removed and thoroughly cleaned.  After years of operation there can be a lot of gunk that settles in the bottom.  Make sure you clean it so it's spotless; even a tiny grain of sand can cause problems later.  Replace the filter and bottom hose while you're at it.

DO NOT DRIVE IT if the suspension is rock hard; you can cause all sorts of damage....

As you can see there's plenty to keep you occupied and you can spend plenty too if you can't do much yourself.  Some say poverty is owning a horse... but they don't know about the 6.9!!!  LOL!  At least it's not a 6.3, or Grosser!!  Or a RR!!

The reward is driving it!  A well sorted 6.9 is gold...   ;D 8) ;D
« Last Edit: 15 August 2012, 06:16 AM by oversize »
1979 6.9 #5541 (Red Bull)
1978 6.9 #4248 (Skye)
1979 6.9 #3686 (Moby Dick)
1978 6.9 #1776 (Dora)
1977 450SEL #7010 white -P
1975 450SEL #8414 gold -P

oversize

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #13 on: 15 August 2012, 06:21 AM »
And could it be there's no cracks in the dash???

Can you tell I'm excited by this find??  LOL!   ;D
1979 6.9 #5541 (Red Bull)
1978 6.9 #4248 (Skye)
1979 6.9 #3686 (Moby Dick)
1978 6.9 #1776 (Dora)
1977 450SEL #7010 white -P
1975 450SEL #8414 gold -P

nathan

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #14 on: 15 August 2012, 08:16 AM »
an import, would be really interesting to find out why stored for 15 years?
also the mileage could be dodgy. as its an import, likely UK and odometer may be in miles with a km face plate. but depending on the price might not matter.
i know its hard to refrain, but don't get excited into a high price if you're not happy because its a rare 6.9. as major tom said, it wil suck a lot of money out of you quickly.  the 5 spheres have a generic life of 5-6 years, so you can be sure you will need to replace all 5 at 300 dollars each (AU) and then labour alone. what is the VIN out of interest and what year was it? good luck and keep us posted
regards from the wild west
6.9 79 #6436
6.9 79 #6290
6.9 79 #6181
6.9 78 #4764
6.9 77 #3096
6.9 76 #1741
6.9 76 #0902
6.9 75 #0018