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  #16  
Old 04-13-2017, 11:11 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Orinda, CA (SF Bay Area)
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Oh, and @jgrahamdmd, about that five-speed conversion. I'd much prefer a manual gearbox, and had started poking around about the job. Is the car constructed so as to accept the clutch pedal / actuator / cable or hydraulics without major customization?

I think a manual gearbox conversion is pretty far off, but great to think about in case a transmission makes itself available, right?

-greg
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  #17  
Old 04-14-2017, 03:38 AM
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Location: Medford, OR
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I agree with not using synthetic oil. Motors of that vintage have different tolerances and will leak with synthetic. The M110 may leak anyway with the most common leak at the valve cover gasket. This can be reduced or eliminated by cleaning throughly both surfaces when replacing the valve cover gasket.

Check the valve clearance as per MBZ, every 12500 miles - they're not hydraulic. Because the M110 is a high RPM motor, itīs normal to hear a certain amount of valve chatter at idle. If you donīt hear it, the adjustment is to tight.

The vacuum lines you found probably go to one of the right-side doors for the vacuum actuated door lock system that someone decided not to repair. Itīs an easy fix.

Iīve had my 280E for 26 years now and I still love it. Enjoy your CE!
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  #18  
Old 04-25-2017, 02:14 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Orinda, CA (SF Bay Area)
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Well, I finally was able to do the transaction yesterday for the '78 280CE. It's being towed to my house today or tomorrow. The car came with a stack of very detailed service records/receipts dating back to the mid-90s, when the second owner bought the car. Turns out, she ran the engine dry of oil once, and the engine was replaced (in 2011), at which time they did a major transmission service, so that's cool (for me). She stopped driving it in 2012, when the third owner bought it, drove it a bit, and then was deployed to the Persian Gulf. It did pass SMOG in 2015, and had an oil change at a local garage less than a year ago.

One thing I've picked up on, though, is the number of alternators and batteries the car has been through in the past 7 years: four and three, respectively. Previous experience tells me that this is probably a systemic ground issue, so I'm going to start by replacing vacuum lines and inspecting electrical connections. Does anyone have any sage advice that might further help the search?

Also of interest, the car came with an embossed steel 'card' with the vehicle information and also that of the original buyer. Found it in the factory service manual (completely filled, by the original owner). There is also an official M-B parts / schematic book. See photos.

My five year old son, Enzo, is over the moon about this car -- and is eager to wash it as soon as it comes home!

I'm excited, too, to start digging in and making this a great driver... Anyone in the Lamorinda / East Bay area? I'm in Orinda.
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  #19  
Old 04-25-2017, 03:49 PM
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It sounds like someone was sold a lot of unnecessary stuff by some pimplely kid at a car parts store concerning your electric system, or a variety of crooked mechanics had their way with a former owner. During the 26 years that Iīve had my 1977 280E I have only replaced one regulator / brushes on the original alternator and eventually the alternator itself. I agree that checking all electric connections, especially grounds, is a good idea.

I am not in Orinda, but I grew up there in the 50s and 60s, back when it was a place out in the sticks.
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  #20  
Old 04-25-2017, 05:49 PM
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Already looks clean to me!

Looks like a nice project for short $$.
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  #21  
Old 04-29-2017, 06:08 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
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'78 280 CE

Ten13:

I apologize for being slightly misleading! I mentioned the manual 5-speed transmission as your car is the gasoline powered dual cam straight six-cylinder engine, where mine is a non-turbo five-cylinder diesel. The manual transmission in my car is a four-speed manual like the 240 D. Your top speed is much higher than the 95 mph maximum of the diesel.

Retrofitting with the clutch pedal and cables was easy. The only modification required was the driveshaft (which is shorter than the sedan). The item is only available outside of the US, so a sedan driveshaft was shortened and balanced for this project. I had the manual transmission conversion accomplished in 2002.

The post about the 12,500 mile valve adjustment was spot on. This is a job you can do yourself (with specialized wrenches for access) on a cold engine. When the valves are newly adjusted, you will hear "valve clatter" that is a subtle "clicking" that sounds like it is coming through the center vents in the dash.

Jim
'78 300 CD
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  #22  
Old 04-29-2017, 07:28 PM
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What a deal. Glad you got it. Please keep us up to date.
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  #23  
Old 04-30-2017, 10:57 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: WA State
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Wow!

$1000? Well done!
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