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Old 11-24-2004, 05:17 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Posts: 221
need to gauge a new project

OK ready to hop on the bandwagon again. Been MB-less for best part of the year and an opportunity has come up. Its a '65 230 non runner, oddly not much different from my last one, a 69 230 and both are floor shift manuals.

Heres what I know, doesn't run and hasn't in 8 years, needs clutch master cyl, owner indicates some surface rust, (yeah right) owner indicates some exhaust and brake work has been done as well as older body work, I assume before he got it. He also says its a 230S though I don't see that in the rear badge. Engine I'm told turns free.

So what don't I know? Well how best to determine the condition inside the block ? Have compression gauge but it likely doesn't have a battery. I think this model has the Solexes and not the Zeniths if so is that an asset or liability? Are the problem bosy spots basically the same as the W114 (which is ultimately what doomed the last one) Is parts availability still good for these? How do I tell whether its a 230 or 230S?

Thats what I can think of off the top of my head. Any comments?
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Old 11-24-2004, 06:03 PM
WANT '71 280SEL's Avatar
I'll Go Upside Your Head!
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 3,378
A plain 230 will be a 110 chasis; it's a 110 if it has one large single headlight and rather simple tail lights. If it's a 230S, it's the more desireable one. It has dual headlights and fancier tail lights. Open up my thread labeled, "talk me out of this", then follow the link to that 220SE that I was going to buy. It is a 111 chasis and will be identical to your 230S, except color and the 230S probably doesn't have the sunroof (desireable option). Also, I BELIEVE, this car would have the Zenith carbs. Someone else will have to explain more of the differences between the two. Also, read through my thread mentioned earlier and a lot of the same information carries over such as parts availability. At least your car is newer than a '63 so it has the updated mirrors, suspension (I think), and front disc brakes.

2000 Honda Accord V6 137k miles

1972 300SEL 4.5 98k miles

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Old 11-24-2004, 08:44 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oakville Ontario Canada
Posts: 107
Hi Mark -

Did you talk to the guy in Port Hope?

If you are going to see the car, stop by Oakville and I will show you my 61 which is in the state of dissasembly - reading for restoration. You can have a good look at it and I can point out rust areas to look for.
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Old 11-24-2004, 10:04 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Posts: 221
Thanks, its not exactly on the way but I may stop in Burlington to strong arm my brother into going for a drive. If I do I'll drop by.
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Old 11-25-2004, 04:54 AM
300SDog's Avatar
gimme a low-tech 240D
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: central ky
Posts: 3,602
Was your '69 a 4 cyl 230? The '65 230 is 6 cyl and can have either dual Solex carbs or Zeniths, even if it's the plain jane 110 model. Zeniths provide 15 hp increase, better acceleration, etc. Here's a site for specs:

Many consider the cult classic 110 a more desirable car than the 111, with an amazing history all its own as the most widely exported MB of the 1960's also the largest production figures as the 110 *owned* the 3rd world taxi-cab industry and populations of 110's covered the entire globe even remote corners.

On checking the engine, I'd toss any battery into the car for wet/dry compression test.

Seems like frequently driven finbodies are nowhere to be found, lots of sleeping finnies for sale. Maybe this isnt so bad for people not afraid to buy an MB that hasnt run for awhile at $1,000 (USD) or much less. Rust behind the headlights is fatal on the 110/111.

Hell, I'd trade my '79 240D for a decent 110 any day of the week. MB never built a better car for driving on snow and ice than the Heckflossen. And the finnies are arguably the best highway vehicle too with kingpin suspension that tracks like its on rails. That's another thing, check the kingpins for play by turning the steering wheel and leaning on the fender.

Last edited by 300SDog; 11-25-2004 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 11-25-2004, 11:20 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 99
Off the toppic, but DieselDog, could you describe one more time how to check kingpins. In more detailed way. I raise the car, hold the wheel on the top and bottom and "jiggle" it. I can feel there is some play. It's coming from the upper part where king pin goes in the steering knuckle. I don't think it's a wheel bearing. Not much, but definitely there is some play. I will be replacing sub. fr. mounts and springs soon.

Thanks, Vilius
280se 3.5 coupe DB172 anthracite grey
2006 Toyota Avalon Limited
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Looking for early '60s Vespa 150
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Old 11-25-2004, 03:24 PM
300SDog's Avatar
gimme a low-tech 240D
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: central ky
Posts: 3,602
Vilius, the method I described above is about the best you can do with a car that's not running.

But getting the car in the air is even better, say while having the tires rotated. The shop where I bought my coopers offers free rotation, so I get to check out the undercarriage often..... shaking the wheels, checking brake pads, fuel lines, etc.

Kingpins are the vertical shaft with brass bushings inside, but there's also a camber/caster adjust bolt that fits the upper A-frame that wears out. It's a weird looking thing with cam/collar adjustment that works by turning the bolt. And there should be a locking ear piece that holds it in place at its splined collar.

This camber/caster adjust nut is independent of kingpins but it can take out the upper wishbone too!

I've seen this on more than one 220Sb that I've owned. It's a common problem. Replacing the cam/collar adjust nut when it begins to wear out might save your A-frames. Or maybe you can find a machine shop that can retool the A-frame adjust bolt hole if it's worn out, I dunno. Hell, it's almost getting to the point where remanufacture machining of existing parts is best option - say for worn out A-frame wishbones - when new parts are brutally expensive.

And of course, the *only* reason kingpins wear out is if they have ever been run dry and have not been greased regularly over their lifetime of 40 yrs...... something practically nobody does, least of all quick car lube shops that are entirely ignorant of grease fittings.

I would check this camber/caster adjust nut at the wishbone before attacking the kingpins.
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Old 11-26-2004, 05:15 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Northern Va.
Posts: 3,386
That would be the camber adjusting nut. The caster adjustment is on the short leaf spring which attaches the front suspension to the chassis.

On my old 230S, one camber bolt was 'welded' to the kingpin because no one greased it. I had to use a torch to cut it off. I then replaced all the suspension bits but fortunately the kingpins had no wear. This was about 20 years ago.

The brass bushings need to checked for wear and if so, replaced. Then they need to be reamed/drilled to the correct size.


Currently 1965 220Sb, 2002 FORD Crown Vic Police Interceptor

Had 1965 220SEb, 1967 230S, 280SE 4.5, 300SE (W126), 420SEL


Not part of the in-crowd since 1952.
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