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Old 04-04-2000, 08:58 AM
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I currently drive a 1982 240D that is rotting out after almost twenty years of New England winters. (Two years ago, before I realized the extent of the body rot, I installed a new engine. Wish I could have those dollars back...) Anyway, I'm looking at a low mileage 1976 280C that appears to be in good condition. In reviewing messages on this board, I detect some ambivalence about this model. For example, there was one message indicating that the car's engine is notoriously difficult to tune due to carberator anomalies. Can anyone expand on this or other problems? Anyone care to comment on the virtues of the 280C?

Thanks in advance.
Nick Katsonis
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Old 04-04-2000, 09:08 AM
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Rust is not a problem here in Texas. I have a "temporary" engine in my 240D. I may be interested in your rust bucket to get the engine. Does it use any oil? Is it a stick or automatic? Did you put in a new engine, or rebuild the one you had?

Sorry I don't know much about the 280C. My wife had a '73 250 once, and I had a '68 230. Neither engines were great successes in my mind.

Good luck,

Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 516K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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Old 04-04-2000, 09:23 AM
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The engine was brand new - not a rebuild - purchased at Wagner Mercedes here in Mass. Steve's Automotive Imports installed it. I had anticipated a replacement of the engine block. What I got instead was a complete, new engine. Since I paid dealer cost, I didn't complain (at the time). The new engine has all of 15,000 miles on it and of course burns no oil. Transmission is automatic. It's a pity that the car is rotting away, because it still looks good and mechanically is better than many new cars. Oh, well. If you want to talk further, email me at

Nick Katsonis
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Old 04-04-2000, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
The 280 M110 engine was and is a very dependable motor. I've been involved with putting 300k on two different models a 126 280SEL and a 280TE that our shop has used for 15 years (we just replaced it with a 91 300TE).

I definitely prefer the injected models. The US versions with carbs had problems when they were new (everybody was having problems in those days making carburated cars meet emissions standards). When I worked at the dealer we went through scores of modifications to the carbs various systems to try to improve matters. Things don't get better with wear.

Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician
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Old 04-04-2000, 12:07 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Tulsa, OK USA
Posts: 139

Never personally owned a 280C. Knew two people who had and both replaced the stock Solex 4-bbl carb with a Holly (there is/are Holly conversion kits available - JAM engineering (advertise in STAR) should have them). Once done, both cars were very nice drivers. I have lost contact with both so I don't know what current status is. I knew them for over 3 years and, as far as I can remember, they never had any serious problems with the 280C. I have a 250C w/dual Zeniths which I replaced w/Webers and now the 250C is a very nice car to drive. Personally, if the rest of the car is in great shape and you want to pop for a Holly conversion (don't know the cost - my Weber conversion (2 carbs) and kit was $550.00 three years ago) I would think you would have a very nice driving 280C. Just my opinion and 2 cents.


Dan Taylor/ Tulsa, OK MBCA '71 250C/'81 300TD-T
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Old 04-13-2000, 11:58 AM
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I agree with Dan and Steve. The twincam 2.8 "M110" motor is very smooth and sturdy. The Solex carb sucks, though. It is a crappy copy of the Rochester Quadrajet carb which was used on GM cars from about 1965 through the early '80s. If the rest of the car is nice, and it runs well, drive it until the Solex acts up, then replace it with a Holley carburetor. Holleys are dead reliable once they are installed and adjusted properly. IMHO, the 280C is a very handsome car from any angle.
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