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New to me 300SD

Started by sutekh, 20 March 2022, 01:48 AM

sutekh

Howdy folks! I just took delivery of my new-to-me 300SD this evening, and after visiting this forum countless times over the years, finally have a reason to sign up :D

The first Merc I ever drove and fell in love with was a very well used 280SE at a used car lot 25yrs ago, but I decided that I couldn't hope to maintain it properly given my then very humble college student budget. Since then, I've called at least 6 other Benzes my own, but for whatever reason, the w116 has always eluded me. It's not that I haven't tried, but every time I've pursued one, it just sold to the guy who got there 30min earlier, or I was the second highest bidder, or upon inspection, I discovered more FeO2 than steel :-\

Well, not this time (probably because I over payed, but c'est la vie...)! She's Pastel Gray over blue MB-Tex, which is a personal favorite, and I just couldn't pass this one up. Just a tick over 85K on the OM617, so its break-in period is almost over :P

It of course has a few undisclosed issues--none of the rear lights are working and the vacuum door locks are inop--but nothing that can't be sorted out I should think. Oh, and I intend to daily drive this! Having shifted to more than 50% work-from-home during the pandemic, my current mule (a '20 A220) only saw 3K miles last year, and furthermore, newer cars are just so dreadfully dull IMO!

Anyway, looking forward to participating on the forum and rolling up my sleeves to get this this old gal fully sorted.

The first pic below is fresh off the trailer this evening, while the second is from the seller.


rumb

Looks worth the wait. Quite a beauty. One thing often suggested is new copper fuses.
'68 250S
'77 6.9 Euro
'91 300SE,
'98 SL500
'14 CLS550,
'16 AMG GTS

Jan S

Looks great - congratulation and welcome to the Forum!

Your vacuum door lock problem points to e.g. the actuators. A few tips in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eLDzg81RF4&ab_channel=Mercedessource
1975-mod W116 450 SE with 6.9 engine

daantjie

Looks like one that was sold on Bring a Trailer recently?  Nice!
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

sutekh

Quote from: rumb on 20 March 2022, 07:23 AMLooks worth the wait. Quite a beauty. One thing often suggested is new copper fuses.

Good call! Having previously had two different r107s and currently a pair of BMW e28s, I have have a large supply of those on hand :)

Quote from: Jan S on 20 March 2022, 09:01 AMLooks great - congratulation and welcome to the Forum!

Your vacuum door lock problem points to e.g. the actuators. A few tips in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eLDzg81RF4&ab_channel=Mercedessource

I'll take a look! right off the bat, I see broken lines visible through splits in the door boots.

Quote from: daantjie on 20 March 2022, 10:35 AMLooks like one that was sold on Bring a Trailer recently?  Nice!

It is indeed. I don't necessarily love their format or premiums, but it's becoming the only place to find classics in decent condition I'm afraid.

sutekh

Rain and snow here today, but spent some quality time with the w116 in the garage. The lights are all working now (easy combo of new bulbs, fuses, and, removing corrosion from the contacts) and I fixed an inop fuel level sender. Discovered too that the sunroof doesn't function (I can hear the motor running), so add that to the list of squawks...

I also found some clogged drains and water in the boot, along with some of that dreaded orange stuff :'( The ingress point appears to be the fuel door drain hose, which isn't connected to anything! Thankfully, the rust is very minor. I have some stripper on it now, after which it'll be Evaporust, POR-15, and finally some rubberized undercoating.

Aside from those items, my next rabbit hole is wheels and tires (the currently mounted Michelin rubber is 20yrs old!) I'd like to find a way to run 15in steelies with hubcaps. Looks like all of the above may be available through the classic center if I decide I hate money. Reading through threads about various options there ATM...

Good times!

Neil4speed

What a color! Enjoy the ride and the great memories you will be sure to forge in it.

orientrot

Very nice purchase! You ought to get a set of the blue with white dot cocomats for it.
75 450SEL
80 300SD- ZF8 OM606 superturbo
83 300D- 6-speed M111 Kompressor
84 300D- 5-speed OM617
92 300D- 722.6 OM603 3.5
93 190E 2.6 Sportline LE x2- 6-speed M111 turbo, 3.0 M103
02 C320 Wagon
03 Sprinter 2500
06 E500 4Matic Wagon

sutekh

Quote from: orientrot on 24 March 2022, 12:15 AMVery nice purchase! You ought to get a set of the blue with white dot cocomats for it.

Oh! I like that Idea. I have a set of black / tan Cocos in the M5 parked right next to the w116, and they wear like iron.

JeffCullen

#9
Quote from: sutekh on 20 March 2022, 05:45 PMThe ingress point appears to be the fuel door drain hose
I had a significant leak into my trunk not from the fuel filler drain, but from the gasket which seals the hole in the body around the fuel filler neck itself. It's the same part as a 107. Mine looked heinous. Found a NOS replacement on eBay out of Germany. Worth a look...
Quote from: sutekh on 20 March 2022, 05:45 PMAside from those items, my next rabbit hole is wheels and tires (the currently mounted Michelin rubber is 20yrs old!) I'd like to find a way to run 15in steelies with hubcaps. Looks like all of the above may be available through the classic center if I decide I hate money. Reading through threads about various options there ATM...
I found my SD in a barn back in March 2020 sporting tires from the Bush administration... and I mean Herbert Walker. 1990!

I thought a lot about this as well. I'd love to run 15" Michelin Premiers... but I stuck with 14"s and am running Michelin Defenders on Bundts. I've had top-end Pilot Sports on big BMWs (most recently an E38 750iL), and for the last couple of weeks I've been hooning about in a 996 with nice Contis on it... but on the 300SD the 14" Michelins are honestly fine. Nothing wrong with the nice tall sidewall for ride comfort, either. We get a good mix of dry and wet conditions here in Vancouver, and I have yet to regret not throwing several thousand dollars at a dream wheel/tire package for this car - it's just never done anything untoward, and I drive *fast*. These Defenders look like they're going to last a long time as well.

I wouldn't mind switching these tires over to steelies with body-matching wheel covers some day.
1979 300SD #6680 - Astralsilber - 148,250km

sutekh

Quote from: JeffCullen on 24 March 2022, 02:19 PMI had a significant leak into my trunk not from the fuel filler drain, but from the gasket which seals the hole in the body around the fuel filler neck itself. It's the same part as a 107. Mine looked heinous. Found a NOS replacement on eBay out of Germany. Worth a look...

Great insight! I'll take a look at that too. The trunk gasket looks pristine and dry as a bone. I'm going to inspect the rear window gasket as well.

Quote from: JeffCullen on 24 March 2022, 02:19 PMI found my SD in a barn back in March 2020 sporting tires from the Bush administration... and I mean Herbert Walker. 1990!


I thought a lot about this as well. I'd love to run 15" Michelin Premiers... but I stuck with 14"s and am running Michelin Defenders on Bundts. I've had top-end Pilot Sports on big BMWs (most recently an E38 750iL), and for the last couple of weeks I've been hooning about in a 996 with nice Contis on it... but on the 300SD the 14" Michelins are honestly fine. Nothing wrong with the nice tall sidewall for ride comfort, either. We get a good mix of dry and wet conditions here in Vancouver, and I have yet to regret not throwing several thousand dollars at a dream wheel/tire package for this car - it's just never done anything untoward, and I drive *fast*. These Defenders look like they're going to last a long time as well.

I wouldn't mind switching these tires over to steelies with body-matching wheel covers some day.

In my case this is as much borne of necessity as it is vanity. Seems the Michelin Defenders are NLA in any of the 14in sizes suitable for the w116 and indeed any quality rubber from a reputable mfgs is hard to find! Tires are, IMO, one of the very most important aspects of vehicle safety, and I'm not anxious to run something from a no-name.

Speaking of which, the classic center got back to me and the 15in stainless hubcaps are indeed available new... for $326 ea! :o That's still less than some of the bozos on eBay are asking for used sets. I think I located a set of 15in steelies from a w126 as well. With tires, this would be a > $2K proposition. Hmm.....

JeffCullen

Rats... I guess I got lucky back in 2020!

My good friend works on a lot of these cars and hasn't had any complaints about what Toyo is offering in the size...

Which M5 btw? I used to have an E34. What a sound.
1979 300SD #6680 - Astralsilber - 148,250km

sutekh

Quote from: JeffCullen on 25 March 2022, 08:44 PMMy good friend works on a lot of these cars and hasn't had any complaints about what Toyo is offering in the size...

Which M5 btw? I used to have an E34. What a sound.

I'll take a look at Toyo. I sometimes forget about them since their distribution network is different.

Love the E34 chassis, although I've not driven the M5 variant. I currently own its bookends: an E28 and E39. The E28 is down for a suspension rebuild though, which isn't going to make progress anytime soon now that I'm spending what little garage time I can steal tinkering with this 300SD :D

JeffCullen

Your "bookends" are both awesome cars. The E34 is my favourite for subjective reasons... but in many ways it is the awkward middle child. I reserve the right to veer E28 if I ever get to drive one with the proper Euro-spec M88/3!

I know Nagengast does EDC shock/strut rebuilds on E34s and E38s... do they do E28 SLS?
1979 300SD #6680 - Astralsilber - 148,250km

sutekh

Quote from: JeffCullen on 30 March 2022, 11:27 PMYour "bookends" are both awesome cars. The E34 is my favourite for subjective reasons... but in many ways it is the awkward middle child. I reserve the right to veer E28 if I ever get to drive one with the proper Euro-spec M88/3!

I know Nagengast does EDC shock/strut rebuilds on E34s and E38s... do they do E28 SLS?

Stylistically, I love the e34's clean yet aggressive lines. It's a much more modern car than the e28 safety and comfort-wise too, while still retaining much of its driver feedback and analog feel. Great compromise!

The SLS on my e28 had already been deleted by a PO when I got the car. I'm usually a proponent of authenticity, but given that system's shortcomings and limited utility, I've no plan to reintroduce it. ATM, the car is sitting on BCR coilovers.

I too would love a go at an M88/3 equipped car! Good news is, the S38B35 gets most of her missing ponies back with an exhaust and a chip. In my experience with other cars, chips are often a waste of time / $$$, but installing a Turner / Conforti in this car made a significant difference.