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  #1  
Old 09-08-2009, 05:00 PM
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1980 280SE Radiator

Does anyone know if a radiator from a 1980 300TD will fit the W116 1980 280SE?

My radiator is leaking, and although I am taking it to a radiator shop for an estimate I like to have options. The dealer has it for ~$1500 but there is nothing on the aftermarket for the 1980 280SE.

Any thoughts?

I love how these cars keep you humble. I took it for a 160 mile drive yesterday and it performed flawlessly. I went out last night to wash it so I could drive it to work today, and she's dripping anti-freeze from the radiator and water pump.

I guess there's no place better than your driveway to break down.

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  #2  
Old 09-08-2009, 10:53 PM
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I would expect a 123 chassis radiator to be a smaller size. If you measure the length and width though, you could tell for sure. Even new though, a radiator shouldnt cost that much, I would think $400 tops new.

Is a radiator from my 73 450SE parts car the same?
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1959 Gravely LI, 1963 Gravely L8, 1973 Gravely C12
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1987 300 D
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2007 GL CDI. Wifes

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  #3  
Old 09-08-2009, 11:20 PM
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http://www.carparts.com/autoparts/Browse/tf-Browse/s-10401/N-111%201980%20200741066%20600022930/c-10618
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1959 Gravely LI, 1963 Gravely L8, 1973 Gravely C12
1982 380SL
1978 450 SEL 6.9 euro restoration at 63% and climbing
1987 300 D
2005 CDI European Delivery
2006 CDI Handed down to daughter
2007 GL CDI. Wifes

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Old 09-08-2009, 11:47 PM
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I just pulled the radiator and it measures 27" wide by 22" high by 2" thick.

Thanks for the link - I wonder if there is a difference between the 280SE (what I have) and the 280E and 280CE that they have these listed for.
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  #5  
Old 09-08-2009, 11:58 PM
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Interesting, I selected 280SE 116 chassis. Both of those are 123. Thought I had a quick answer. I have 3 radiators, 1 from a 78 300D, 1 from a 1980 450SEL, and 1 from a 73 450SE. I will try to get them measured tomorrow and post my findings.

You are right, not an easy radiator to find. Non of the worldpac disributers have a listing for it.
Does yours have metal tanks or plastic? If metal, another option is to find a radiator shop that still does recoring.
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1959 Gravely LI, 1963 Gravely L8, 1973 Gravely C12
1982 380SL
1978 450 SEL 6.9 euro restoration at 63% and climbing
1987 300 D
2005 CDI European Delivery
2006 CDI Handed down to daughter
2007 GL CDI. Wifes

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  #6  
Old 09-09-2009, 12:04 AM
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Mine has the metal tanks. It's going to the radiator shop tomorrow but it looks like it is leaking from the core and the top tank. The bottom tank looks suspect - the metal around the drain plug distorted when I removed it.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:35 AM
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The radiator shop said it was "worn out" and could recore it for about $450.

After much deliberation I elected to go with an aluminum cross-flow universal radiator. I would have preferred to stay factory but this seemed like the most cost-effective alternative.
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  #8  
Old 09-14-2009, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorsen View Post
The radiator shop said it was "worn out" and could recore it for about $450.

After much deliberation I elected to go with an aluminum cross-flow universal radiator. I would have preferred to stay factory but this seemed like the most cost-effective alternative.
Be sure to let us know how it works out. Both of the 4.5 radiators I have have too much green at the bottos to transplant to another car.
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1959 Gravely LI, 1963 Gravely L8, 1973 Gravely C12
1982 380SL
1978 450 SEL 6.9 euro restoration at 63% and climbing
1987 300 D
2005 CDI European Delivery
2006 CDI Handed down to daughter
2007 GL CDI. Wifes

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  #9  
Old 09-14-2009, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorsen View Post
Mine has the metal tanks. It's going to the radiator shop tomorrow but it looks like it is leaking from the core and the top tank. The bottom tank looks suspect - the metal around the drain plug distorted when I removed it.
Is the expansion tank looked good? if not you can install a new plastic one from later(2nd gen) W126 with cap 140, direct bolt on actually. I replaced mine with it, radiator and 140 cap new a few years ago. The radiator is quite narrow b/c it has an oil cooler. cross flow radiators is also very good and they're available from later W126 also,but installation requires modification of the mounts.
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  #10  
Old 09-15-2009, 10:38 PM
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The new radiator does not have an automatic transmission cooler so I needed to mount one. I bought a heatsink stlye cooler and planned to mount it under the front bumper but I didn't like it. I ended up mounting a tube-and-fin style cooler behind the lower grille.

It's going to be close but I have a feeling the engine-driven cooling fan is going to be too close to the radiator for comfort. I'll have to wait and see how everything lines up before I decide how to handle that.

I also fabricated a mount to hold the bottom of the radiator. The new radiator should be here tomorrow and I hope to have the car on the road by this weekend.
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1980 280SE Radiator-img_0101.jpg  
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  #11  
Old 09-16-2009, 12:29 PM
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Is this including the condenser? Is the a/c stock? You are one of the lucky ones with manual a/c controls. I would think the old school condensers are not efficient enough for modern refrigerant anyway. Lotta people replace them with inexpensive aftermarket aluminum.
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:35 PM
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You can see the A/C condenser in the background. It is original but I refilled the system with R-12, not R-134. The next time I have to open the system I will replace the York compressor with a Sanden rotary, replace the hoses with barrier hoses, and install a parallel flow condenser, then refill it with R-12.

I wish I had manual controls, but I got the ACC - II.
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  #13  
Old 09-16-2009, 09:48 PM
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The new radiator came today. It is very light and looks to be very well constructed. I had to refabricate the brackets and it looks like I have plenty of clearance to the fan, but the shroud isn't going to fit. I have dual electric fans that look to pull around 3000 CFM so I will go that route if I have to.
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1980 280SE Radiator-img_0104.jpg   1980 280SE Radiator-img_0105.jpg  
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  #14  
Old 09-17-2009, 09:32 PM
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The radiator fit nicely, but the hose locations were off slightly and they were of different sized. A flexible stainless steel hose kit took care of both issues.

It's not fair to say "it works" when the temperature outside is 65, but I left it idling for 15 minutes after a 20 mile drive and the temperature stayed right around 180 degrees.
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1980 280SE Radiator-img_0106.jpg   1980 280SE Radiator-img_0107.jpg  
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  #15  
Old 09-18-2009, 08:27 PM
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Hey, nice job man. It's nice to have a car that you know won't overheat because it's been updated to greater capacity than OEM spec. There is a place for some modern technology with our old benzes ;-)

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