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Garage => Test Drive => Topic started by: 116.025 on 19 February 2007, 06:38 PM

Title: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: 116.025 on 19 February 2007, 06:38 PM
Day before yesterday I made the 4 hour drive to pick up the 350SE I purchased.  It was a great trip, great car, and great fellowship with a couple of close friends.

Comparisons between it and my 420SEL are somewhat inevitable in my mind because they both have an M116 engine.

But first things first...the first thing about this car that elicited a WHAWWW!!:
15" Bundts.  Yes, you read that correctly, this $1600 350SE was wearing a set of 15" Bundts with 225/60HR15 when I found it.  I don't remember from the discussion, but is ET 21 what one would expect for the offset to be correct?

The next WHAWWW!!:  The power on tap at freeway speeds puts the 420SEL to shame.  The 420 has to downshift to get the same power on tap, and I suppose with a downshift, the 420 might outdo the 350, but the 350 is just more ready to go.  This is probably due to the fact that the 420 has such a tall rear axle.  This 350 just simply handles beautifully, with the exception of what I believe to be (hope to be?) a warped rotor, since it gives some pretty solid vibrations on a stop from speed.

Third WHAWWW!! (though this was more of a  :'( WHAWWW!!):
Fuel tank on it started leaking like crazy somewhere between Virginia Beach, Virginia and Raleigh, North Carolina.  As I left for church the next morning, I passed the 350 and noticed it was quite a puddle underneath.  By the time I got back home, I moved it to investigate, and the point where the gasoline was directly dripping on had experienced the erosion of the asphalt.  The asphalt around it didn't dry hard, but a dark rubbery finish.  :o  So this weekend I'll be off to grab the tank out of my wrecked 280SEL, along with helping a buddy with his Pontiac and working on reassembling my 220D engine.

Yes, I do have pics of the trip and the car, I promise to post them later in the week when I have a little more free time, this is about all the free time I've got for the next couple of days... ::)
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: oscar on 19 February 2007, 08:09 PM
WHAWWWW!! 15" bundts as well. You lucky bastard :D (that's Aussie for, well done mate, I'm jealous  mumble)  :D

Anyone outside of the forum would think 15" means not as good as 17".  We know better.

Shame about the fuel tank but it's not uncommon to find nasty surprises like this.  Keep in mind, it may more likely be the fuel lines around the pump and filter.

Great to hear the comparison between the 420 and the 350.  Not what I would've expected.  Awsome!!!! Next time I see one I shall hold my head up that bit higher as I overtake them ;D

Look forward to hearing and seeing more.

Regards,
Simon

BTW, what about the sound, how many revs did you get it up to?  I've got low end rumble and V8 racetone after 4000rpm
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: Mforcer on 19 February 2007, 08:27 PM
Great to read about the car. Sounds like you have a winner on your hands :)

But first things first...the first thing about this car that elicited a WHAWWW!!:
15" Bundts.  Yes, you read that correctly, this $1600 350SE was wearing a set of 15" Bundts with 225/60HR15 when I found it.  I don't remember from the discussion, but is ET 21 what one would expect for the offset to be correct?

Offset et 21 would be within the range that I would expect. Are they genuine MB rims? What do you think of the 225 wide tires compared to stock 205?
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: Des on 19 February 2007, 09:26 PM
MForcer, MB didn't make any 15" Bundts did they?

Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: Mforcer on 19 February 2007, 09:49 PM
"Bundt Cake" or "Baroque Wheel" are just two common names given to the original equipment alloy wheel from MB in the 70s (and earlier).

There were indeed factory 15" "bundt" wheels, manufactured by Fuchs and used on special projects like armored cars and ambulances. I believe they have a W126 part number. Other 15" bundt copies were made by several companies including ATS and Ronal.

I actually had also located an original set in Sydney that I was considering until I heard the price of also AUD1,000 each :o :o

Also, the "Baroque Wheel" from Fuchs (7J x 15) are once again available from the Classic Centre. The Classic Centre has arranged from the manufacturer a final, limited production run and costs EURO 430 each! :o
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: WGB on 19 February 2007, 10:05 PM
Having driven a 126 - 420SE at the same time as I owned a 126 - 300SE in the late 80's I was underwhelmed at the time and decided not to change cars.

The 560 was a whole different animal and had the engine power to handle the tall diff.

The 300 SE had a high revving sparkling nature but the 420SE was straddled with a long diff ratio that stopped it from revving at normal speeds.

I would imagine a 116 - 350SE with a shorter final drive ratio would make for a more interesting lively car at normal road speeds at the expense of fuel costs and ultimate top end speed.

Bill
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: 116.025 on 21 February 2007, 05:08 AM
Shame about the fuel tank but it's not uncommon to find nasty surprises like this.  Keep in mind, it may more likely be the fuel lines around the pump and filter.

I spent a few hours Sunday afternoon hoping it was the lines and checking them all twice, and it was dripping on the driver's (EDIT: Left) side, from a grommet in the body, which rather dashed my hopes of it simply being a line.

BTW, what about the sound, how many revs did you get it up to?  I've got low end rumble and V8 racetone after 4000rpm

Definitely some low-end rumble, since it doesn't have a tach in it (yet), I don't know what I got it up to, I didn't usually make it hold the shifts too long, though it did start sounding kinda nice around 130 kph, which I didn't have it up to for long, since I got ticketed for doing 83 MPH in a 65 MPH zone after not checking the speedo in that 420 for more than 1 minute earlier that morning.  So hard to tell when you're speeding up in that 420...:(

The 300 SE had a high revving sparkling nature but the 420SE was straddled with a long diff ratio that stopped it from revving at normal speeds.

I would imagine a 116 - 350SE with a shorter final drive ratio would make for a more interesting lively car at normal road speeds at the expense of fuel costs and ultimate top end speed.

Yeah, I'd agree, the 420 isn't running 3000 till well after 80 MPH.  I've been tempted to start driving it in the "3" position when not cruising, that gives it roughly the same gearing as my 280SE.  I just don't like thinking about how much extra gas that would use.

Re: the 15s, my mistake, they are labelled ET 23.  They have a manufacturer name on them, so I doubt they'd be considered "genuine", I'll post some pics just of the wheels when I post the pics of the trip so those more knowledgeable on wheels can let me know exactly what I've got.  :)

Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: s class on 21 February 2007, 06:05 AM
I've enjoyed this thread.  Sounds like you have a great car.  Even if the 15"s are not 'standard', they are HIGHLY desirable.  If you don't want them, I will buy them from you. 

Ryan
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: editjunk on 21 February 2007, 08:47 PM
I've always thought my 350SE handled more like a Peugeot 504 than a Cadillac. Sporty yet refined. Tight when you need it, strong enough to knock the blocks off dunny doors and other late model, ahem.... cars, but chilled to the core and languid like a pussy cat stretched out in the sun, just purring along.

Glad to hear your buy is up to scratch.
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: 116.025 on 26 February 2007, 05:58 AM
Shame about the fuel tank but it's not uncommon to find nasty surprises like this.  Keep in mind, it may more likely be the fuel lines around the pump and filter.

 :-[                :-[                           :-[

So much for my idea about it being the tank...after I get it pulled, I can't find a leak anywhere.  Turns out, the METAL supply line had rusted out between the body and a subframe member where I couldn't actually see it.  The whole car is turning out to be a bit rustier than I was thinking.   :(  I couldn't finish it with the rain we had yesterday, but hopefully over the next few evenings I can install the tank I did the rust treatment on.  Just as a caution for all, both of the W116 tanks I pulled had rust in the LF corner, and it kind of looked like the paint had been rubbed off.  So I sanded the rust and re-painted, followed by some rubberized underbody coating spray.
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: editjunk on 26 February 2007, 04:13 PM
Ahhh... but maybe you guys never drove a Peugeot 504? Or even a front wheel drive (horror of horrors!) Renault 12. Both these cars handle like a dream - tight, straight and instant, which is why I am constantly surprised when the substantially heavier, longer and wider W116 has a similar feel to it - as if it were up for the Paris-Dakar followed by some serious bend action in Monaco. As for Cadillacs, I've only ever been driven about in these boats and agree whole heartedly that they are not a pinch on our cars.
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: Papalangi on 26 February 2007, 06:19 PM
Ahhh... but maybe you guys never drove a Peugeot 504? Or even a front wheel drive (horror of horrors!) Renault 12. Both these cars handle like a dream - tight, straight and instant, which is why I am constantly surprised when the substantially heavier, longer and wider W116 has a similar feel to it - as if it were up for the Paris-Dakar followed by some serious bend action in Monaco. As for Cadillacs, I've only ever been driven about in these boats and agree whole heartedly that they are not a pinch on our cars.

I got my drivers license in a 1969 504 and a R12 Estate (wagon in the US) was my first car.  It went downhill from there. ;)

Three Renault Caravelles, http://www.renaultcaravelle.com/
A Dauphine
A 505STI
A 4CV
No Cadillacs
Couple of Mustangs, a '65 6 cylider coupe and a '85 5.0 coupe
Etc...

Michael
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: s class on 01 March 2007, 02:35 AM
SO when can we see pictures of this here 350?
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: oscar on 01 March 2007, 03:17 AM
SO when can we see pictures of this here 350?

Yes, looking forward to some pics.

s class, see a pic and better still, the movie......love that sound. 8)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercedes-Benz-300-Series-1978-350SE-RARE-EURO-MODEL-PICS-VIDEOS-LOOK_W0QQitemZ250073967934QQihZ015QQcategoryZ6330QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercedes-Benz-300-Series-1978-350SE-RARE-EURO-MODEL-PICS-VIDEOS-LOOK_W0QQitemZ250073967934QQihZ015QQcategoryZ6330QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: gregdeklerk on 01 March 2007, 03:45 AM
I am not mad about those US headlights with the Euro bumpers. It just does not look right.
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: oscar on 01 March 2007, 03:58 AM
Oh no, don't say that, I'm thinking about getting a set.  They're starting to grow on me, well, not literally, you know what I mean :)

Any more news on the fuel issue chad? All sorted and back together?
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: 116.025 on 03 March 2007, 01:30 PM
SO when can we see pictures of this here 350?

The long answer is, when work lets me go back to working more normal hours and I have more time for the forum...

The short answer is: NOW!

Under Drive.

Well, I was going to post more of the pics here, but it doesn't seem to be working.  It's giving me an error...

Anyways, I sorted out the fuel issue and it is running again.  I also tightened the belts (which are obviously not the correct sizes, because even brand new, the alternator belt is almost adjusted full out just to get it right...) put the mirror glass off of my 280SEL on it, and a couple of other odds and ends.  I've got to decide what I'm going to do about the exhaust leak, I hope some metal tape will get it through the inspection.  I can't wait to get it licensed, which I think will happen Monday.  I'm trying to decide about tires, the Yokohamas on the rear are slick and nearly out of tread.

And believe me, it sounds much better in real life than that rather low-quality video.

BTW, the US lights could be yours for the right price, anyone interested should PM me.
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: oscar on 04 March 2007, 04:27 AM
Hi Chad,

Just had a look at your photos, here's the link (http://gallery.w116.org/v/drive/RoadTripPics/) for anyone else

Very nice!!!!   ;D  Don't know anything about the wheels and the brand, sorry. ET23 offset?  Should be ok I assume.  The idea of 225/60/15's sounds appealing.

Your dissolved fuel line has me thinking I better check mine out.  That's scary.

Your Becker Mexico could very well be original.  Most had chrome bezels and the pinstripe facade but later models (not sure which year they started) ended up with a more modern looking all black facade that was put in some w123's and early 126's as well.  Either way, it's not out of era for a w116 to have an all black becker mexico.

The side repeater is interesting.    I remember seeing a 220 cabriolet that was formerly owned by Madonna that had similar repeaters and I wouldn't be surprised if they were attached to satisfy a state law originally.  But I've never seen them on a w116 let alone towards the rear.  It looks very similar to the ones pictured below.

Good to see your fuel line's back in order.  What did you use? rubber or steel/aluminium? 

Re: missing strips off your grille.  I got replacements from AutohausAZ.  You probably know where to get parts but just in case you haven't looked yet, at this particular site, if you go to:  Makes > 1977 Mercedes > 450SEL > Body, Trim & Lighting > Clips and Miscellaneous Trim Pieces (http://www.autohausaz.com/search/product.aspx?sid=sdbese45des5mp55cfanxqnt&makeid=800016@Mercedes&modelid=1194825@450SEL&year=1977&cid=13@Body,%20Trim%20%26%20Lighting&gid=1214@Clips%20and%20Miscellaneous%20Trim%20Pieces) , you buy vertical and horizontal clips for the mouldings, then go to:  Makes > 1977 Mercedes > 450SEL > Body, Trim & Lighting > Weatherstripping/Moulding (http://www.autohausaz.com/search/product.aspx?sid=sdbese45des5mp55cfanxqnt&makeid=800016@Mercedes&modelid=1194825@450SEL&year=1977&cid=13@Body,%20Trim%20%26%20Lighting&gid=1430@Weatherstripping/Moulding) to buy horizontal and vertical mouldings.  Not a priority I know but they're so cheap, might as well replace the whole lot whilst your at it. 

The biggest problem with sourcing parts for a 350 I've found is that no US sites list 350 parts as such.  So many things and I mean a huge majority of parts are the same as 450 parts unless they're specifically for a M116 engine as opposed to an M117.

Good luck on Monday, fingers crossed :)


(http://img184.imageshack.us/img184/8015/2529b1d01ds3.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)(http://img184.imageshack.us/img184/1250/2729b5c2drb7.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: Mforcer on 04 March 2007, 03:14 PM
Not sure who made those rims either but the KBA 40439 looks like an AMG part number to me. I would expect the rims would be stamped AMG somewhere if they were made by/for AMG though.
Title: Re: WHAWWW!! (Yes, The 350SE Prompted this reaction...)
Post by: 116.025 on 06 March 2007, 09:20 AM
The side repeater is interesting.    I remember seeing a 220 cabriolet that was formerly owned by Madonna that had similar repeaters and I wouldn't be surprised if they were attached to satisfy a state law originally.  But I've never seen them on a w116 let alone towards the rear.  It looks very similar to the ones pictured below.

Interesting, I've never heard them called repeaters before.  Yes, they are part of some US reg, since they are on all US-spec 114, 115, 108, 109, 111 coupe/cab, 113 cars which didn't have a tail light that wrapped around with enough room for reflector and bulb.  It just seems like the US 116 lenses would be so common they would have used one instead ruining the look like that.  ::)

Good to see your fuel line's back in order.  What did you use? rubber or steel/aluminium? 

Rubber Fuel injection line at the local Advance. 5/16", I believe.

Re: missing strips off your grille.  I got replacements from AutohausAZ.  You probably know where to get parts but just in case you haven't looked yet, at this particular site, if you go to:  Makes > 1977 Mercedes > 450SEL > Body, Trim & Lighting > Clips and Miscellaneous Trim Pieces (http://www.autohausaz.com/search/product.aspx?sid=sdbese45des5mp55cfanxqnt&makeid=800016@Mercedes&modelid=1194825@450SEL&year=1977&cid=13@Body,%20Trim%20%26%20Lighting&gid=1214@Clips%20and%20Miscellaneous%20Trim%20Pieces) , you buy vertical and horizontal clips for the mouldings, then go to:  Makes > 1977 Mercedes > 450SEL > Body, Trim & Lighting > Weatherstripping/Moulding (http://www.autohausaz.com/search/product.aspx?sid=sdbese45des5mp55cfanxqnt&makeid=800016@Mercedes&modelid=1194825@450SEL&year=1977&cid=13@Body,%20Trim%20%26%20Lighting&gid=1430@Weatherstripping/Moulding) to buy horizontal and vertical mouldings.  Not a priority I know but they're so cheap, might as well replace the whole lot whilst your at it. 

The biggest problem with sourcing parts for a 350 I've found is that no US sites list 350 parts as such.  So many things and I mean a huge majority of parts are the same as 450 parts unless they're specifically for a M116 engine as opposed to an M117.

Good luck on Monday, fingers crossed :)

I have trumped the need to use US sites(and even the desire to try to acquire a copy of the EPC), from now on (or at least, once I get a bulb for the fiche reader) I will be looking up my own part #s and buying like that, as I have come into possession of a (nearly?) complete set of MB microfiche ranging at least from the W111s to the W140s, maybe a little older, also including the engine and transmission fiche, with international market spec coverage for most of the cars.  I gotta hurry up a find a bulb!

And I drove her in to work this morning, I'm hoping the tires will pass and I can patch the hole in the exhaust so it will pass inspection when I give it a go on Saturday, since I have to have it inspected w/in 10 days of licensing it.

Not sure who made those rims either but the KBA 40439 looks like an AMG part number to me. I would expect the rims would be stamped AMG somewhere if they were made by/for AMG though.

That would be really cool if they were AMG, but I haven't seen their logo yet.