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View Poll Results: W116 weekend car: euro gasser or usa diesel?
Euro 280se 9 75.00%
USA 300sd 3 25.00%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 07-31-2015, 09:22 AM
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Poll: w116 Euro 280se or USA 300sd

I have been looking for a w116 for a while, and have narrowed my search to 2 finalists which are priced very close (the 300sd is out of state so with shipping it will equal the euro 280se).

Here are the 2 cars in question:

1. Euro w116: silver/black, full euro treatment (slim bumpers, rear headrests, cloth seats, manual climate w/working AC, and auto trans). Odo broken at 100k miles, but the daughter of owner (1 owner; dad was stationed in Germany) swears it's not off by much. No known records as her dad recently retired out of the US, but she will try and find them. Car looks good and drives great and is devoid of the typical signs of neglect, so I feel comfortable taking her word on the mileage. No rust, good paint/body and very clean overall as it was always garaged. Minor issues like driver's window regulator, and sunroof stuck closed.

2. USA 300sd: black/tan, euro lights, 160k miles on working odo, 3rd owner with records going back to 2008. Out of state car, so shipping costs of around $800 bring the overall cost back to the euro 280se. Never run on veggie, and lots of recent maintenance work. Non-functional ACC with the evil servo. No apparent rust, some wear on interior (drivers seat has tear), clear coat is fading in places, so a repaint at some point will be needed (however, it's not yet at the "ugly" stage).

This car will be a weekender, so the "total driving experience" is more of what I am looking for (fun to drive and decent running costs). I have never owned a w116, but have had plenty of w123s including a euro 280ce with a MT5, and several w123s with the 617 diesel (both turbo & non), so I am familiar with both engines.

Which one would make the better weekender in the w116? Also, if someone has driven both, I would be very interested in your thoughts/opinion on why you prefer one over the other.

Right now I'm leaning on the euro 280se.

Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:59 AM
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Knowing the model years would be handy.

For a "weekender", without any further information, it'd be the gasser.
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Last edited by Mike D; 07-31-2015 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:02 AM
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Sorry; both are 1980.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:23 AM
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Definitely the 280E.

Since you are just using as a cruiser, fuel mileage isn't that important. Working A/C and overall condition trumps the diesel, especially when you add in the shipping hassles.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike D View Post
Definitely the 280E.

Since you are just using as a cruiser, fuel mileage isn't that important. Working A/C and overall condition trumps the diesel, especially when you add in the shipping hassles.
Just what I was thinking. I'm somewhat indifferent to the euro trim on the w116, but in this case I suppose it would be a nice bonus.
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Old 07-31-2015, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ruchase View Post
I'm somewhat indifferent to the euro trim on the w116, but in this case I suppose it would be a nice bonus.
The Euro trim is a big bonus in my mind, someday i'll own a W116 and it will have to be either a 1973 or a euro trim version. Perhaps just euro bumpers would do but I'd have to see it.

But those are my peccadilloes.
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  #7  
Old 07-31-2015, 03:46 PM
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I would go with the 116 just for the rare experience it would bring. These cars are getting harder and harder to find in good condition.

Just make sure it does not have the thermal convertor under the hood. It would be a big can looking thing coming off of the exhaust manifold. These are expensive to replace and get so hot they can burn the paint off your hood.
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Old 07-31-2015, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Idle View Post
I would go with the 116 just for the rare experience it would bring. These cars are getting harder and harder to find in good condition.

Just make sure it does not have the thermal convertor under the hood. It would be a big can looking thing coming off of the exhaust manifold. These are expensive to replace and get so hot they can burn the paint off your hood.

"the 116"? Both candidates are W116s!

Exh. manifold mounted catalytic converter was used in '75-'76 only.
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Old 08-01-2015, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Frank Reiner View Post
"the 116"? Both candidates are W116s!

Exh. manifold mounted catalytic converter was used in '75-'76 only.
OOpppsss~! I thought he was talking about an early 300SD of the mid 80's style.

In that case I would go for the diesel. Parts for the 280E are hard to find and when you go to sorting out the FI system you need to take out a second mortgage.

And the cams also have a tendency to go flat. And have you priced a distributor for a 280E lately?

And the thermal convertor is only on 1975-1976 cars? Cars this old have sometimes had engine swaps and the thermal convertor is left in place when a PO made the swap. I have seen this a few times and when I asked why the owners just said it was the law. (???) I just tell them to ditch the thing and pick up some non-thermal manifolds from Ebay since there are plenty of them out there. The thermal convertor was only on cars sold in the Western Zone so it is not like they are common.

But if you get stuck with one it is best to deal with sooner rather than later.
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:24 PM
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So did I read your public file correctly and right now in your fleet you have a '79, '80, and '86 in diesels and a Range Rover? If I read that correctly than you gotta get the gasser!
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by PARSHOOT1 View Post
So did I read your public file correctly and right now in your fleet you have a '79, '80, and '86 in diesels and a Range Rover? If I read that correctly than you gotta get the gasser!
Both the '79 and '80 were w123s and are sold. The Range Rover is gone too (2.5 tdi)...fun 4x4 though. Currently, I am only left with the '86 SDL at my parents place in SoCal.

The way things are looking, I may indeed end up with the gasser. I had my friend check it out over the weekend (it's a SoCal car, but I'm in Boston at the moment) and it seems very clean. Some minor cosmetic blemishes with a minor issues, but nothing that's a deal killer.

I've made an offer to the owner which I think is fair, and if she accepts it I will likely be moving forward.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Idle View Post
OOpppsss~! I thought he was talking about an early 300SD of the mid 80's style.

In that case I would go for the diesel. Parts for the 280E are hard to find and when you go to sorting out the FI system you need to take out a second mortgage.

And the cams also have a tendency to go flat. And have you priced a distributor for a 280E lately?

And the thermal convertor is only on 1975-1976 cars? Cars this old have sometimes had engine swaps and the thermal convertor is left in place when a PO made the swap. I have seen this a few times and when I asked why the owners just said it was the law. (???) I just tell them to ditch the thing and pick up some non-thermal manifolds from Ebay since there are plenty of them out there. The thermal convertor was only on cars sold in the Western Zone so it is not like they are common.

But if you get stuck with one it is best to deal with sooner rather than later.
It was my understanding that the m110 is a fairly robust motor with longevity almost as good as the 617, albeit some issues with the FI system now & then. I actually have a Mercedes shop manual for the Bosch fuel injection that I had saved when I had my euro 280ce coupe. Is this not the case?

It's definitely the original euro m110 from 1980, and seems to be in good order.
Attached Thumbnails
Poll: w116 Euro 280se or USA 300sd-img_1377.jpg   Poll: w116 Euro 280se or USA 300sd-img_1431.jpg  
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  #13  
Old 08-04-2015, 10:40 AM
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The M110 is indeed a fine, durable engine, with ample parts supply. The euro version is the more desirable, as it will yield both better power and lower fuel consumption than its US counterparts. Please ignore the negative histrionics.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Frank Reiner View Post
The M110 is indeed a fine, durable engine, with ample parts supply. The euro version is the more desirable, as it will yield both better power and lower fuel consumption than its US counterparts. Please ignore the negative histrionics.
Just what I thought; thanks for the clarification. I have a natural affinity to the 617, but I also thoroughly enjoyed the m110 responsiveness in the euro 280ce that I had. Though I only had it a very short time, I still felt it was a fairly robust motor with decent economy considering it's age.
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:09 AM
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Sale pending...went with the euro 280se

I'm happy to report the owner accepted my offer on the 280se.

Thanks for the feedback & for voting!
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Poll: w116 Euro 280se or USA 300sd-img_1370.jpg   Poll: w116 Euro 280se or USA 300sd-img_1378.jpg   Poll: w116 Euro 280se or USA 300sd-img_1411.jpg   Poll: w116 Euro 280se or USA 300sd-img_1435.jpg   Poll: w116 Euro 280se or USA 300sd-img_1446.jpg  

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