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Old 11-01-2001, 07:31 PM
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1976 450SEL -Good, Bad or Just Ugly?

Ebay has a silver 1976 450SEL for sale in New York that at least photographs well. Low mileage, no rust, but at a healthy reserve. Can anyone tell me about 1976 450's? Didn't they use cats or thermal reactors mounted underhood which did a good job of baking what shouldn't be baked? Post '73 w116's are not necessarily my favorite, but the color is right.
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Old 11-02-2001, 11:17 AM
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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The '76 is the first year of CIS fuel injection--a BIG improvement upon the old EFI system. The 450s are good cars, and I think the W116 is about the safest S-Class built (as far as vintage cars go). I drove a W116 300SD for years and recently sold it to TXBill since I bought the 280SE (W108). I do still have one W116 in my stable, that's the 6.9 and I do indeed love it. On that 450SEL, dump the US bumpers and headlights and swap both for Euro versions and it'll look great! And by the way, the catalysts are of the underfloor type. Watch that 4.5 though for right camshaft wear. Also check it out thoroughly for rust in the structure. W116s are known to rust badly in the rocker and firewall areas if they've been exposed to road salt. If the firewall has rust, you must be extremely careful in checking the front stablilzer bar mounts. They bolt to the firewall via half-moon shaped brackets and they can rust and come loose leading to disastrous results while driving. Also make sure the ACC system works properly. To redo the vacuum system of it can be a 20+ hour job.
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Old 11-02-2001, 03:19 PM
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Thanks Aaron. Regarding the underhood thermal reactors, I was under the impression that at least one 1976 Mercedes was set up this way; perhaps the SL? I like the 116's and remember how ahead of the pack they were at introduction time. I also remember that the base price for a 1973 450SE was $13,500 and the SEL was $14,500. I think the new S-Class is a little more expensive.

Last edited by PaulC; 11-02-2001 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 11-04-2001, 09:41 PM
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Location: El Paso, Texas
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For your consideration if you are thinking about a 116 450sel: For sale (1) Beatifully restored 450 sel 116 V8; new engine cams, chains, valve job; tranny, suspension, brakes, tires, expensive new paint, interior, seals, sw car never any rust most straight panels ever seen; gets lots of cpompliments all this for $4,500. (See photo below) (2) 77 450sel california car brown, euro headlights, factory compression on engine, new transmission, needs tires, a good clean up paint is great; leahter interior but dried out specially rear seat; had a special suspension rebuilt in preparation for a 6.9 transplant that never took place car drives great; cheap sell at $3,000. See picture of the restored 116 450sel; not because I'm selling it due to new project but I consider the 116 450sel the best Mercedes ever built; these cars are solid, smooth, powerful and classsic and as a vintage Mercedes to have you cannot beat their value for the money and cheap maintenance.
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