Author Topic: New boy buying a 116  (Read 649 times)

Lordlivingstone

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New boy buying a 116
« on: 27 September 2018, 11:42 AM »
Hello all,
I am a Merc lover who, until recently, never thought I was going to need another car. 20 years ago I inherited a 260e w124 from my grandfather. It was the only car he had ever bought new, and when he died it passed to me.  Green with cream fabric interior and the most perfect straight six engine. I loved it and used it as a faultless daily driver all that time (I don’t do many miles - and usually on long runs).

Two weeks ago I was caught at the back of an unavoidable pile up on the M5, and the poor car was a total write off. Everybody IN the car was fine. I got lots of compliments from the various ambulance crew about the safety of the car in th accident. Built like a tank...

So now I’m in the market. And I’ve always loved the w116. But, whereas I know a 124 inside out - including values, a 116 is all new to me.

 What I do know:

I want to spend the money upfront rather than get something cheaper that I need to work on.

 I want ithe car to work well to do the  approx 4k miles I drive each year.

I don’t really mind about fuel economy as I do so few miles.

I do not want a 6.9. (Well of course I do - but i definitely don’t).

The questions are:

What’s the best engine to go for? Reliability and drive wise... I love the idea of a v8 as I’ve never had one before but if the six is better let me know..

What should I spend to get a nice clean example that isn’t a hole in the road? I want to look after it but I don’t want something with so few miles it’s better suited to a collection. I want to drive it. There are a couple up at the moment for c15k and one for 6! Haven’t been to look at any yet.

Am I mad to think of a 116 as a daily driver?

Finally, what are the chance of getting a nice green one like my 116? I’ve seen a few in photos but none for sale. 

A lot of questions. Advice on any of them appreciated.





daantjie

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Re: New boy buying a 116
« Reply #1 on: 27 September 2018, 01:42 PM »
Welcome ;D

I am sure local UK members will chime in on the availability and price of nice 116's.  Here in North America (mostly US) there are still tons of nice ones around so we are spoiled for choice here.

I am biased towards the V8, hell I have a 6.9, so there 8)  but in general I just love V8's, balance, smooth power, low end torque, it's all there.  Of course it can suck your wallet dry on the gas bill so there's that.  And that would disqualify it a bit as a daily driver in my book.  No way you can daily drive a 6.9 and not have to sell a kidney for gas!

The 300SD is also a very nice option but I think you guys never got that model, as far as I know this was US only.

The 280 motor I do not have much experience with but it also has a lot of fans. I know it loves to rev and has quite a bit of pep, but of course lacks the low end torque of a V8 and is also quite thirsty.

Decisions...decisions...
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

Lordlivingstone

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Re: New boy buying a 116
« Reply #2 on: 27 September 2018, 01:50 PM »
Thanks Dan - that’s helpful. Yes - will Be interesting to hear what people think the going rate for a nice 116 in the Uk is!

floyd111

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Re: New boy buying a 116
« Reply #3 on: 27 September 2018, 03:40 PM »
Hope it works out for you. There quite few guys here from your -and your neigbouring countries. If you go to the member sections here, check /select the members for your location, then click on their old posts list. It'll give you a pretty good all-round idea as to what to expect. Good luck.

Randys01

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Re: New boy buying a 116
« Reply #4 on: 28 September 2018, 01:45 AM »
Rust will be the challenge..........the 6 cyl variants get a 4 speed box which makes up a bit for the lack of v8 torque 3spd. Pre mid 75 6 cyls get the more zippy D jetronic injection. Whatever you go for, check the rust ...did I mention the rust?..and buy the best example you can afford. Do not get a heap however attractive the price might be.

Lordlivingstone

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Re: New boy buying a 116
« Reply #5 on: 28 September 2018, 04:52 AM »
Thnaks Randy - Yes, the rust is  the main issue. Do you think that if i can find a rust free example (or v near) it's a realistic proposition given that i plan to keep the car a long time and (SHOCKER COMING) I don't have a garage so the car will be outside all the time. I'm good at keeping my car clean...

What i'm asking is - if i get it with no rust, clean / wax it and look after it, will it stay rust free even if it's outside, or is that unreasonable given the age.


s class

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Re: New boy buying a 116
« Reply #6 on: 28 September 2018, 05:12 AM »
I used a late kjet euro spec 280SE as a daily for 15 years, and during that time brought the mileage up from 212000km to 600 000km.  Its probably the best car I've ever had, cheap to run, mnimal issues, a little light on power at high altitudes.  Then  I used a djet 350SE as a daily for about 5 years. 

In between I've been using the red AMG6.9 as a daily.  At present, Its been my daily again for the last month.  Its go an extended range fuel tank, and I just filled it up yesterday, about 130 litres.... and I will be lucky to get 500km on that.  So yes, 6.9 is heavy on fuel. 

But all of these cars have been comparatively cheap to run and maintain compared to the euro 500SEL 126 I've been using a lot in the last 2 years. 

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

daantjie

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Re: New boy buying a 116
« Reply #7 on: 28 September 2018, 09:26 AM »
Here is a no reserve auction currently running on the Bring - a - Trailer website for a 280SE:

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1978-mercedes-benz-280se/

116's have not fared well on BAT unfortunately, or maybe that's a good thing as you can still pick them up for a song here in NA at least :-\

This one did well, but it had a lot more going for it:

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1980-mercedes-benz-280se-3/


Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

nathan

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Re: New boy buying a 116
« Reply #8 on: 28 September 2018, 04:47 PM »
I would not recommend a 116 as a daily driver in the UK. the 124 is a completely different car, safety and longevity wise. a 116 led outside in the UK and with possibly salted roads is likely to disintegrate within years from rust and rain.  safety wise it will not have abs or an airbag. further, the fuel consumption of even a 280se would be much much worse than a 124 of any variety - my brothers 280sel seems to be about 14L/100 or more around town (its his only car but he rides to work).
if you so want a daily driver classic, I wonder whether a late w123 with a 230e variety would be better suited? similar look, easier to street park, much better economy.
It might be strange for me to be negative on the idea on a 116 forum, but the reality is different from the dream.  S-class who drove one daily in South Africa, could rebuild a 116 with a blindfold on so he is a bit different!
good luck with the choice
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

floyd111

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Re: New boy buying a 116
« Reply #9 on: 28 September 2018, 05:01 PM »
Even all of Nathan's gloom is terribly true, there are some solutions to a few of those issues mentioned.
There are now a variety of car covers for sale, one of them is on 4 short feet, and those feet gently attached to the corners of the car, not the road. That would keep your car dry, without it becoming a legal issue.
Second, don't drive during those icy, salty months. Switch to another daily driver, some cheap dinky toy if it's a money matter.
There is little to fix fuel consumption, but in my country lots of people drive on LPG, which can be lots cheaper, depending on location

robparker

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Re: New boy buying a 116
« Reply #10 on: 28 September 2018, 11:50 PM »
£5,000 would get you a "decent" 116 over here. Personally, I don't like the 6-cyl so I'd go for a late-as-possible V8 in whatever body is in the best condition.
However, I would also not recommend a 116 over here as a daily driver. It will not last long in our winters. Or you will have to spend plenty of money on welding, frequently. I love mine, but it spends the winters garaged.
6.9, 300SL, C43 + dog car

Randys01

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Re: New boy buying a 116
« Reply #11 on: 29 September 2018, 12:59 AM »
I think on balance, you should hunt down a good W124.

gavin116

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Re: New boy buying a 116
« Reply #12 on: 29 September 2018, 01:18 AM »
Hi LL

Great to have another UK forum member and a Londoner at that. Some insights into the world of 116s: they were never cheap to buy, run or own, and the same is still true today.

Buy the best you can afford, as welding will eat your money, and you will quickly fall out of love with the vehicle. That said, they are fun to drive, as a daily driver perhaps a series II car will be more practical i.e. built around mid '75 or a '76 or older with the K-jet fuel delivery system. The parts availability to maintain a D-Jetronic fuel injection are expensive, and I have a feeling the "trigger-points" are NLA. My preference has always been for the V8, I just love the sound and the feeling of assuredness. I6 models offer little difference in fuel, running cost or performance compared to the littler of the small V8s, the 350. The 450 is lazy, offers only a small performance gain over a 350, but does have a lot more torque, and is easy to drive in modern day traffic (this is the one I chose). The large V8 i.e. 6.9 is heavy on running costs: fuel and maintenance of the hydro-suspension, but is balanced out by the sheer get-up-and-go and that magic-carpet ride...

Also check that all the bright work and the little trim pieces are in good condition both on the inside and outside of the vehicle as they are very expensive to replace if you can even get them. In my opinion, 116's just cannot live outside, they are prone to rusting especially if driven on salt roads even if they are wax-oiled. The rain will also wreak havoc with the finish of the anodised aluminium trim, which will turn milky (a good indicator if the car has been "garaged" all its life) and is an irreversible process. Water will also ingress through sunroof seals and windshield seals. There is a fundamental design floor in the engine compartment at the firewall that makes water pool, and it's not uncommon to have rust near the hood (bonnet) hinges that will result in water penetration into the cabin.

I only use my car in the summer and then only on a long run to the Continent about a 1000 miles. I don't mind that the weather may be variable, sunshine or rain. But I do know that these cars like to be driven, the more you drive, the better they seem to perform. And a last word of warning, if you do buy a 116 as a daily driver, I'd carry a small jerry can of reserve fuel, ask me, I know from experience.

It's going to be a difficult decision as to what chassis type to choose as a daily driver, and if you choose the type 116, which variant. Exciting times. Let us know how you get on.

Gavin


My story and how it all began
https://forum.w116.org/test-drive/my-first-w116-here-at-last/msg84361/#msg84361


Examples of road trips
https://forum.w116.org/test-drive/my-first-w116-here-at-last/msg118293/#msg118293
https://forum.w116.org/test-drive/my-first-w116-here-at-last/msg134019/#msg134019
https://forum.w116.org/test-drive/my-first-w116-here-at-last/msg139249/#msg139249


Examples of sorting body work
https://forum.w116.org/test-drive/my-first-w116-here-at-last/msg101522/#msg101522
https://forum.w116.org/test-drive/my-first-w116-here-at-last/msg121926/#msg121926
https://forum.w116.org/test-drive/my-first-w116-here-at-last/msg134928/#msg134928
« Last Edit: 29 September 2018, 01:26 AM by gavin116 »

w116john

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Re: New boy buying a 116
« Reply #13 on: 29 September 2018, 03:03 AM »
 best of luck with your search they are an amazing car, a w116 as a daily driver can be a challenge especially with our weather although london is probably better than the west of ireland.

living outdoors can turn a good car in to a project before you know it. mine needs to go to the body shop again soon. i was running my 450se as a daily driver for a few years and it worked fine for a while untill it was put out of action when i was trying to repair and then chasing a replacement LHD exhaust manifold, i decided a second car was needed.

if you can take your time, find a good one and good ones are cheaper than bad ones in the longer term.

good advice there from gavin et al

all the best
john


s class

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Re: New boy buying a 116
« Reply #14 on: 29 September 2018, 03:19 AM »
I used a late kjet euro spec 280SE as a daily for 15 years, and during that time brought the mileage up from 212000km to 600 000km.  Its probably the best car I've ever had, cheap to run, mnimal issues, a little light on power at high altitudes.  Then  I used a djet 350SE as a daily for about 5 years. 

In between I've been using the red AMG6.9 as a daily.  At present, Its been my daily again for the last month.  Its go an extended range fuel tank, and I just filled it up yesterday, about 130 litres.... and I will be lucky to get 500km on that.  So yes, 6.9 is heavy on fuel. 

But all of these cars have been comparatively cheap to run and maintain compared to the euro 500SEL 126 I've been using a lot in the last 2 years.

OK I figured I should maybe distill some of the lessons I learned from all of this.  The first is perhaps that these cars are old, and even if you buy the best one around, it will need to be off the road for periods to facilitate repairs.  So if you want to use a 116 as a daily, you will also need a second car as a backup.

Then as concerns repairs, you will need to diy, or budget for a specialist to do the work for you.  Many of the owners on this forum fall in between, doing the more basic stuff themselves and outsourcing the bigger or more complex tasks.  And the time will come that you have issues beyond the capabilities of the mechanic down the street, so it would be advisable to identify a suitable capable specialist in your area.

Fuel consumption is an issue as others have mentioned.  There is just no getting away from that.  To put it in perspective, a 280se will use about double fuel of a modern medium sized car, and the v8s probably triple.  This can come as a real shock to new owners of 108,116,107 chassis cars especially if they have only ever owned modern cars.

Here in South Africa, we basically don't have rust so that is not something I've had to contend with. 

I certainly believe a 116 is usable as a daily, and I still enjoy gmdoing so, but you need to go into it being aware of the downsides.
« Last Edit: 29 September 2018, 03:24 AM by s class »

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