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  #1  
Old 05-07-2018, 04:44 PM
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W123 from Thailand to Alaska

BLUF: I'm looking for an engine block heater for a 1979 280E (European Spec, although I think it would be the same as the US Spec).

Back Story:
My family and I were living in Khon Kaen, Thailand for the past 3 years. When we first got there, I bought this car. It was originally made in Germany and brought to Thailand in 1981 by a German diplomat. It then bounced around between British and American diplomats, but remained in Thailand. My toddler girl and I did a lot of the work to the car ourselves. Then, right before leaving Thailand, we had it stripped to metal and repainted (in the same original color). The car is in really great shape now and I couldn't bare to part with it because of how attached my little girl became to the car.

So, I paid probably about the entire value of the car in shipping expenses and shipped it from Thailand to Alaska. Now that I'm in Alaska, I don't plan on driving the car in the winter much. But I would like it to be an option. When winter rolls around, I'll put studded tires on it. But I also need a trickle charger on the battery, an oil pan heater, and an engine block heater.

I can't seem to find an engine block heater that I know will fit this engine. Can someone point me to one? I can't be the first person to want to use this car in a cold environment.
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2018, 04:59 PM
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Will this work?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mercedes-Benz-W123-OM617-Block-Heater-OEM-9002034895/302725207106?epid=1823548060&hash=item467bd41442:g:VbMAAOSwXf1aZkI7&vxp=mtr
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:38 PM
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I don't think it will as that's for the Turbo Diesel and mine is the gasoline (M110 engine). But I don't know why I didn't think of eBay. I'll start digging around eBay and see if I can find the right one. Thanks for helping me past a mental block!
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefenseEngineer View Post
I don't think it will as that's for the Turbo Diesel and mine is the gasoline (M110 engine). But I don't know why I didn't think of eBay. I'll start digging around eBay and see if I can find the right one. Thanks for helping me past a mental block!
Might not the Engineer inquire of the seller as to the point on the engine at which the heater was installed? And, as to the thread diameter and pitch?
Many details on MB engines of the era are common across the line.
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  #5  
Old 05-07-2018, 08:23 PM
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Unfortunately the M110 block is lacking in threaded ports. There are several clean-out plates on the RH side which can be used with just a bit of engineering.

W123 from Thailand to Alaska-plate1.jpg

W123 from Thailand to Alaska-plate2.jpg

W123 from Thailand to Alaska-plate3.jpg

W123 from Thailand to Alaska-plate4.jpg

The cavity on the plate I have removed is apx. 1.5" deep. Shouldn't be too much trouble for an engineer to create a replacement plate using a bung as a receiver for the heating element. Hundreds of different elements available in many different configurations.
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:40 AM
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You could also use synthetic oil in your engine which will help in winter starting.
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike D View Post
Unfortunately the M110 block is lacking in threaded ports. There are several clean-out plates on the RH side which can be used with just a bit of engineering.

Attachment 147674

Attachment 147675

Attachment 147676

Attachment 147677

The cavity on the plate I have removed is apx. 1.5" deep. Shouldn't be too much trouble for an engineer to create a replacement plate using a bung as a receiver for the heating element. Hundreds of different elements available in many different configurations.
Great info and pictures! Thank you. And yes, I can fabricate a replacement plate with the heating element mounted into the plate. Great idea!
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Benz Dr. View Post
You could also use synthetic oil in your engine which will help in winter starting.
I'm already using synthetic. Keep in mind, -40 is common. -60F (-51C) is also not unheard of here. So, when I'm talking cold, I'm talking really cold. But if it drops below -40, I don't plan to drive the car. Parts start breaking around -50F. At that point, it's better to stay home and ensure the heat in the house keeps functioning.
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Old 05-08-2018, 01:30 PM
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Before you ask, the plug showing , although it is a coolant passage, is only about a 12mm thread. I doubt you can find a heater element that small.
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Old 05-10-2018, 01:48 PM
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I would look into one that replaces the oil drain plug. It will keep the oil warm (more important than warm coolant) and that would likely have a more positive effect on cold starts than a plug in a water passageway.

There are also universal heating pads that attach to the oil pan itself.
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  #11  
Old 05-15-2018, 12:54 PM
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I once had the same car and found, in a wrecking yard, a 280E with a heater that was spliced into the rear radiator hose.

I just cut out a section of hose, replaced it with the heater tube, and it worked.

By the way.... You tires will freeze solid at minus 40F.

And old and very dangerous trick: Steam cars were taught to start on a summer day. The solution was to put a pan of burning coal under the car at night to keep the temps up.

And folks wondered why so many steam cars used to catch on fire.....
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Old 05-15-2018, 01:13 PM
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A company called Simate makes a very nice inline hose coolant heater and recirculator that work very nicely on W123,s Amazon used to sell them - maybe still do.
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