Author Topic: Looking to buy! Need advice/ guidance  (Read 498 times)

AussieLad

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Looking to buy! Need advice/ guidance
« on: 17 September 2021, 05:43 AM »
Hello everyone.
I am currently looking to get a 1980 280SE. It looks to be in very good condition both in and out, except the engine.. From what I’ve gathered from the owners, they say it starts (I assume they mean cranks) but doesn’t run. Are there any common faults that cause this?

I also read that the 1980 was a poor year for the W116 as the emissions restrictions caused problems. Any way to identify if it does have these restrictions?

I’m viewing it in 18.5hrs and wanted to also know if there were any specific items I should look out for?

Here’s a link to the ad, and there are some photos from the FB ad as well.

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/kardinya/cars-vans-utes/1980-mercedes-benz-280/1280145909?utm_campaign=socialbuttons&utm_content=ios_VIP&utm_medium=social&utm_source=com.apple.uikit.activity.copytopasteboard

I appreciate any help as I’m new to classic cars and I am doing my best to make an informed decision about getting this as I REALLY want to get it but don’t want to be shooting myself in the foot financially with this.
Once again, thank you all for any help you can give me.

daantjie

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Re: Looking to buy! Need advice/ guidance
« Reply #1 on: 17 September 2021, 07:01 AM »
To check for emission related stuff you can look for the EGR valve that will be fitted on the exhaust manifold.  Also catalytic converters would be present then unless they were removed of course.  Overall from the pics it looks nice yes, nice colour too.
Engine not running can be myriad of issues, but likely it is fuel related, or spark, or both.  If the car sat for a long time, very common for cruddy fuel to have gummed up the works.  KJET is very finicky when it comes to pristine fuel to run right.  Tons of posts on here to help you.  So if the body is nice and has very little rust (hard to find a 116 with no rust) and the interior is nice, then of course if the price is right I would do it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4eScf6TMaM
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

mrkozzy

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Re: Looking to buy! Need advice/ guidance
« Reply #2 on: 17 September 2021, 07:37 AM »
Hi Aussie lad.

My 2 cents worth.

If  I had to make a decision on this, online only, these would be my observations.

The advt information by the owner says WA registered until Feb 2022,  Further down the cars details says Registered. "No"  Which is it, -  registered or not?  Not a deal breaker.  Assume there's no registration.
For a 280se it has some little extras of the time. Headlight wipers, and sunroof. Nice touch, but strange it has no Tacho/clock combination. Usually the earlier models or lower spec had tacho only. Lets leave that alone because I don't have the explanation.
To me, if I can't get in and drive it, (then the engine turning over or not) means I cannot properly judge everything else that I would normally look out for on a test drive. Such as, smooth gearbox changes, air con working, does it drive smooth and straight or bounce around like a pin ball, + a host of other items.

If its spent most or all of its life in WA, then that's probably a good sign as over there you have a drier climate. Even so I would look for rust in the sills, wheel arches, lift both the front mats out completely, and check the rear wheel wells. Minimum.

Might pay to look under those front lambswool seat covers as well.

Then if you feel its still something you wish to buy, make an offer remembering there are NOT 100's of buyers queuing up to buy this thing. Its only a 280se after all.  You may possibly be the only one.

Non running mercedes engine, how much to fix?  Might be $120 problem, might be a $2000 problem.  I'm not a mechanic. However The advt does say "Rebuild the engine block"

Would I buy a Non running merc for 5k when I can test drive a running one for 6 to 8K? (in decent condition).                 Probably not.

If you're not mechanically minded (like me) and can't take a mechanic friend to help with the inspection. well..................

Personally if all the bodywork is in tip top condition like it appears in the photo, I'd be a keen buyer at $3500.  I'm a 280se owner and believe me, they aint worth a whole lot in oz. Now a 450 or a 6.9, thats another matter.

Good luck to you and keep us informed. Its always nice to know.


MrKozzy

daantjie

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Re: Looking to buy! Need advice/ guidance
« Reply #3 on: 17 September 2021, 07:45 AM »
Hmm I just looked a the mileage, wow yes that is some galactic miles!  So now I would be a bit more cautious, for sure you will need a compression test.  If the values are low, then the motor is pooped and I would not bother then, rebuilding these are not worth the money IMHO.
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

nathan

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Re: Looking to buy! Need advice/ guidance
« Reply #4 on: 17 September 2021, 04:01 PM »
mate, doesnt hurt to look but I would not be too enthused about this one.

looks like an import with headlight wipers on a 280 (the maths here means people in Aus didnt buy the poor mans version with options!)

the black interior looks cool, but then some one has cut into the panels with that stereo on the front door card. after a little bit of classic ownership, I reckon this will bug you when you realise black door cards are like hens teeth.

if the motor is rubbish, also a problem.  finding spare m110s nowadays is not so easy.

id keep looking, and if in perth, we catch up sometime.

regards
Nathan
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nathan

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Re: Looking to buy! Need advice/ guidance
« Reply #5 on: 17 September 2021, 04:16 PM »
not much on gumtree WA at the moment.  the 350se in en the country in the farmers shed is a rusty waste of time.
then this one
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/baldivis/cars-vans-utes/1974-mercedes-benz-280se/1277422076
this has been for sale for about 2 years.  price is way too high for this car, but what they want and what they will take are different things.
you could politely text and offer half that, then roll those wheels into the ocean, and tell him he can keep the stereo too.
I dont think that 280 you posted looks promising.
keep us posted
6.9 79 #6436
6.9 79 #6290
6.9 79 #6181
6.9 78 #4764
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6.9 76 #1741
6.9 76 #0902
6.9 75 #0018

AussieLad

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Re: Looking to buy! Need advice/ guidance
« Reply #6 on: 18 September 2021, 07:27 PM »
To all those who responded, the engine seemed to have a crankcase breather blocked which caused oil to spread out to various places it shouldn’t and it caused it to slowly lose power as it got into the fuel lines and therefore couldn’t drive. I would have the facilities and knowledge to fix it myself. The only real problem I have is the condition of the body. The paint wasn’t anywhere as good as it was in the photos. Plus there was incredible amount of rust on it in a lot of areas; top of doors, in all the wheel arches etc. The window seals were all going. The chrome parts were in various conditions, the grille was damaged and the taillights were in need of repair. The good news is that the tyres were only 4 years old and the seats and interior was in good condition.

I’m doing FIFO (Fly In Fly Out work) soon and I’m going to take a few weeks to decide whether or not I want to take on this project just yet. The main decision I have to make is if I have enough time and energy when I’m back home each week to do repairs on the car.

Flogrates

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Re: Looking to buy! Need advice/ guidance
« Reply #7 on: 18 September 2021, 08:47 PM »
Huge km for that dollar figure, not running even more so

Could pick up a goer for what, 2k? More.


mrkozzy

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Re: Looking to buy! Need advice/ guidance
« Reply #8 on: 18 September 2021, 09:16 PM »
Hi again AussieLad.

re your comment:   Plus there was incredible amount of rust on it in a lot of areas; top of doors, in all the wheel arches etc..

Now that you've eyeballed it in real life and "not  via  online pictures" , my only tip would be,  "Walk Away" from this one.

It will be a bottomless pit of $ trying to resurrect it.  There is enough expense with keeping an old classic on the road as it is.  You don't want to sour the experience by having a bad & regrettable 1st up experience.

You've done the right thing by joining this forum and asking questions.

I think by the comments so far, THE FORUM HAS SPOKEN!  If you really want a w116, stay focused and hang around.  A good one will surface.  Just gotta be patient.
MrKozzy

daantjie

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Re: Looking to buy! Need advice/ guidance
« Reply #9 on: 18 September 2021, 10:04 PM »
Indeed with heavy rust present this is a no brainer, run, don't walk, away like your hair is on fire :o
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

Randys01

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Re: Looking to buy! Need advice/ guidance
« Reply #10 on: 20 September 2021, 12:26 AM »
Buy in haste..repent in leisure.     not this one buddy.............