280CE, Misc. problems Help?
Three weeks ago I bought a 79 280CE off e-bay very inexpensively and drove it home to Minnesota from Florida. While the car ran well, since then I have been fixing a number of niggly problems, and becoming increasingly frustrated, as I'm no mechanic, don't have much $$, and am limited to crawling under the car as best I can, making do with hand tools, common sense and lots of good advice. It seems that no sooner do I take care of one problem, three more come up. I've probably spent more now than the car is worth, and yet can't in good faith sell it until the remaining issues are addressed, even if I had another car to drive daily which I don't.
Here are my current bigger issues on which I could use advice.
1. Radiator has begun to leak. I thought it was a loose fitting where the upper hose attaches and after loosening and retightening the clamp two days ago, thought the problem solved. But a few minutes ago, while waiting at the locksmith having replacement keys cut (and which the locksmith couldn't make work), I found a small green puddle under the car. It is a Behr radiator and looks to have sprung a leak near the upper hose where the top plastic part of the radiator attaches to the main portion of the radiator and stops dripping quickly as the car cools. My question is what, and how severe a risk do I run by adding some type of "stop leak"? Will I possibly plug something else up and cause problems?
2. Front suspension work is beyond me, and a week after coming home, something came loose in the front end. $600 later, with basically every suspension part from axle height down replaced, the mechanic said there was still a clunk he couldn't find. He speculated it was possibly in the newish Japanese shocks. I don't think so as the clunk is mainly present coming from the left front when I make a low speed right turn over a bump at the beginning of my driveway. Whenever I back out or come in straight, no clunk. Steering is tight otherwise. Had the car re-aligned, tires rotated and balanced, and THAT mechanic A. couldn't say where the problem is and B. While the car no longer shimmys, still pulls left, which the alignment guy said was a problem with camber or caster or something, but that only a Mercedes dealer could address. ???
3. Car does not glide down the road as a Benz should. First mechanic said forward motor mounts were ok, but I should check the rear mount. Another advises to check transmission mounts and another something he called the drive shaft mount and bushing. What am I supposed to be looking for? Are these things I can change myself? Main symptom is a brrrrr noise/vibration at certain speeds which smooths out as top highway speeds. Help?