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  #1  
Old 06-23-2004, 12:36 PM
WANT '71 280SEL's Avatar
I'll Go Upside Your Head!
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 3,378
Does anyone here own a 230S and can comment on it?

I just wanted to know what you guys think of an 18 year old kid owning one. I have another thread considering it. I just wanted your input on a few things. Basically, what do you think of yours? Do they usually have A/C? The one I'm looking at doesn't seem to, but there looks like there are a few wires hanging down where an add-on would go and I don't have any pics of the engine bay. I know I shoudl look for rust, etc. But where do you guys send rear brake shoes to be re-lined? That is the kind of stuff I need to know. Also, where do you go for parts since fastlane doesn't really have a catalog for such things? Are the carbs difficult to get in synch and running half-way decent or are they more like the later ones that are hell to deal with?
Thanks
David

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2000 Honda Accord V6 137k miles

1972 300SEL 4.5 98k miles

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Old 06-24-2004, 12:38 AM
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Location: Alexandria, Virginia
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I had a '66 230, with about 10 fewer horsepower and with the shorter front fenders/hood like the 4 cylinder cars.
Otherwise it was essentially the same as a 230S. Mine was loaded (at least by Fintail standards) automatic, AC and power steering.
Only options it didn't have was a sunroof and FM radio (AM only). That car had (I thought) more than adequate acceleration, especially considering it had only a 2.3 liter engine (the same displacement as a md-'70s Pinto!) The automatic shifted hard ("shifts like whiplash" a friend told me) which I heard was common on these early Mercedes automatics.
The power front disc brakes were excellent.
The AC worked OK but the York compresser was noisy (sounded like an extra engine when it was going!) and, on very hot sunny days, it had a hard time coolng the interior of my black 230. For a small six I felt the gas mileage wasn't great - about 15 in town and maybe over 20 on the road if I took it easy. (but these cars were geared for acceleration, not economy)

My current Fintail, a '60 220S is closer to that '66 230S. The exterior is just about identical. My Fintail is very basic though - 4 speed manual-shift on the column, no power steering, no AC, no sunroof or even a radio (until I installed one) Mine didn't have any seatbelts either until I put them in - a major project! The only 'deluxe' feature in my car is the leather interior. It does have power assisted 4-wheel drum brakes. They're adequate but not as good as front discs. The manual steering can be a muscle builder (when parking, I do miss the power assist I had in my 230) but it's OK when the car is moving. I do prefer the manual shift over the automatic - it feels more responsive and I like to feel more in control.

Try to test drive that Fintail and tell us what you think.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 06-24-2004, 12:42 AM
WANT '71 280SEL's Avatar
I'll Go Upside Your Head!
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 3,378
Was A/C standard on 230S'? I am meeting the guy at 10:00 MI time to see/drive it. The place is right by Ann Arbor, so it will be scenic and they have 70 mph speed limits! My SD LOVES driving at mach speeds. It will be an especially nice trip since I got the A/C up and going last week. Can I use regular fuel without problems or do I need premium? I know you need premium on the later engines, but didn't know since this is carbeurated.
Thanks
David
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Old 06-24-2004, 01:09 AM
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Location: Flyover State
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Premium, absolutely.
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63 220S W111
76 300D W115
2013 VW JSW TDI M6

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73 280 SEL 4.5
86 300E 5 speed
2010 VW Jetta TDI M6
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  #5  
Old 06-24-2004, 01:17 AM
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Location: Alexandria, Virginia
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Premium fuel required on the 230S and AC was NOT standard.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 06-24-2004, 02:00 AM
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gimme a low-tech 240D
 
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Location: central ky
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Look for riding-on-rails handling characteristics of the Heckflosse 111 Kingpin suspension that tracks straight as an arrow in flight with very little sway around corners....... amazingly solid at maintaining speed with zero cabin vibration, as if the entire car was carved from one chunk of iron.

Especially compared with the more responsive and nimbler ball joint suspension of the 116 land yacht, arguably the finest handling of Vintage MB sedans........ the long legged 116 which is practically a chore to keep below 75mph.

Truly a comparison of apples and oranges..... there are those who believe that ball joints are NOT an improvement over kingpin ride.
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Old 06-24-2004, 02:30 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: sunnyvale ca
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i drove a fintail a month or so ago for the first time. its a 62 220s, 4 speed on the column, ac, manual steering, am radio, no sunroof, or leather

its not very fast in a straight line, but it sounds great and its a lotta fun. didnt get a chance to go very far because the brake master was going out

plan on replacing the brake hoses too, ours were swollen shut
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  #8  
Old 06-24-2004, 11:49 AM
PaulC
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I don't think A/C was standard in a non-600 MB until the w116-era.

There are companies that specialize in providing A/C systems adaptable to custom and vintage vehicles, such as Vintage Air. Check out the back pages of Hot Rod magazine, or any magazine catering to the kit car crowd.

Won't be free.
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  #9  
Old 06-24-2004, 02:39 PM
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Location: Alexandria, Virginia
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On the Fintails, the 'original' AC was a dealer-installed 'Kuhlmeister' hang-on unit, styled to match the Fintail dash, with matching control knobs, but actually made in Texas by Thermo-King. Those have gotten pricy on Ebay!
I have a Kuhlmeister AC that I installed in my Ponton 180b many years ago. I had to substitute a Japanese Sanden compressor in order to fit it to the Ponton's engine.
I Hope, eventually, to move that AC into my Fintail.

Happy Motoring, Mark

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