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Old 05-16-2000, 03:12 PM
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Is there any special concerns that I should assess before jumping into this european gray market 1984 MB 280SL(rare 6cyl roadster with 5 spd) in the Dallas area?

Is there any other MB models that use this same engine (2.8)? Are all the parts easy to get (value job maybe needed)?


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Old 05-18-2000, 01:14 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 117
Well, if this "280" engine is an M110 (double overhead cam), then it's the same as (that is, a variant of) my '84 Gelaendewagen's (called a 280GE) -- my engine is a 110.994.
And it's a very common engine -- my local MB dealer has no problem working on it (but, ha, ha, working on the body/chassis of a G is another matter, however).

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Old 05-18-2000, 08:44 AM
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I believe that this is the engine that was used in the 6 cylinder gas models of the 123 sedan. This model was not sold very widely in the US, but widely sold in Europe. This engine may very well have been used in an S Class car as well.

If this is a European car, look it over closely for rust. If the car is in good shape, it sounds like a real FIND. I say that because I'm a manual transmission fanatic. I have two grey market Euro cars, and the only problem is that the insurance companies will shrug their shoulders when they look up the serial number. If you have the time, you might want to get the serial number of the car and call your insurance companies 800 number and ask them what you will run into insuring this car.

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 05-19-2000, 10:13 AM
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Bismarck, ND, USA
Posts: 40
We own a similar car (1983 280SL), which we bought last year from the original owner, who bought it in Germany and imported it himself. It's a great car. The smooth inline twincam six combined with the 5 speed manual is an excellent powertrain. I have had no problems getting parts for the car, but admit that I haven't had to do anything major to it. Ours has about 80,000 miles on it and runs like a top. It met Denver emissions standards when we bought it. We don't have emissions testing in North Dakota!

I would certainly have it inspected by a competent mechanic to be sure it doesn't need anything major. The valves need to be adjusted periodically, but that's easy to do.

I hope you like the car as much as we like ours.


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Old 05-21-2000, 07:25 PM
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I friend of mine has an '85 280 SL with 160,000 miles on it and it runs beautifully. Check any euro car very carefully for rust, both outside, under the convertible top well cover, and in the trunk and floors. The engines are great. Some valvetrain "ticking" is normal. You should definitely have the car inspected by a technicial who is familiar with Mercedes and with grey market cars. Any old mechanic is not good enough, it must be someone who is familiar with these cars.
Good Luck!

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