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Newbie with a couple of questions

 
Old 07-10-2019, 09:58 PM
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Newbie with a couple of questions

I am new to the Benz world but not to classic German cars. I just bought a 1968 280SE from the 3 owner. It has been driven only 6K miles in the last 20+ years. It is in excellent shape as it has always been garaged. I believe the paint is original and the tires are still the bias ply type. It came with the owner's manual and it has dealer service stamps from new until 110K which was in 1980. Driven only 6K miles since then and that was verified by the 2 previous owners. It has a column shifter and AC. I put in a new battery and she fired right up. I am planning to replace all the fluids before driving it 1 mile. When I was moving it to get it on the trailer and after letting it idle for 10 mins, I noticed it overheated quickly. Radiator was very low so I filled it, but I don't think the thermostat was opening even though the gauge was reading close to red so I shut it off.
Here are my questions:
1. Is this the best forum to get technical advice?
2. Can I use Rotella 15W40 or would you recommend I stick with a straight 30W per the manual?
3. Are there parts suppliers other than MB classic that specialize in the W108?
4. Are the brakes and transmission service pretty straight forward?

Thank you in advance for any advice, tips or ideas.

Ray

Last edited by vitaminc914; 07-10-2019 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:43 AM
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Welcome! Please post a photo of the 280.

This is a very good forum for technical information. Whether it is the best one, I have no basis to make a statement.

I would use Mercedes recommended fluids. For example 30W oil.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:11 PM
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Here are some pics. Lots of dust but it should clean up nicely.




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Old 07-11-2019, 02:10 PM
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1967 250SE, 2004 E500, 2005 C320, 2006 SL500
What engine, the 2.8?
Yes, change all fluids. Then you will have to change all rubber bushings. If they are 40 years old they will be hard and they will allow things to rattle soon. As you will drive it you will see what needs to be changed. I have a W111 and I am using the W113 forum which very good. The W108 shares all those mechanics as well and if you have a 6 cylinder engine it will be covered as well. Check if the overheating went away, the 2.8l engines were prone to overheating. You will have to do some tune-ups as they were done 40 years ago before computer controlled engines.
Good luck, it looks great and you will be happy with it.
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Old 07-11-2019, 02:23 PM
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Yes, this is the 2.8. We are going to look at flushing the radiator and replacing the thermostat. Also, I found a new water pump in the box of parts, so I am wondering if the previous owner was planning on replacing it. I was truly impressed with how quickly it fired up. I added about 1/2 qt of oil to the top of the engine before cranking it. I am also looking at tires. The ones on it read F78-14 and 195/75/14. I am assuming those are the same size?
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:23 PM
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Looks great! Nice color.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:03 AM
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You will have to replace the tires soon, they will crack. 195/75R14 is the correct size.
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:20 PM
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Fluid technology has vastly improved since your car was new. There is no reason that you cannot take advantage of the newer fluids. To continue to use straight 30w oil does your engine a dis-service. Modern multigrade synthetic oils are far superior lubricants compared to the old stuff. I daily-drive a W123. Not as old as your car but I still switched to modern lubricants to extend it's useful life. I suggest you do the same.

BTW, true above from other posters. All or most of your chassis rubber items will probably need replacement. Some are easy to do yourself, others not so much. For those items that you cannot/will not do yourself, seek out an honest Independent mechanic. The dealers do not want to work on our old cars because they will have problems sourcing factory parts and most no longer have capable mechanics. Our cars are not difficult to maintain. Forget the "Mercedes" mystique. The older ones are just cars and pretty basic ones at that'

As far as the other maintenance items, unless originality is an issue, you will find plenty of aftermarket parts available. Some are better than others but you should have no problem keeping it on the road. I love driving the old classics and although I also have a newer (2008) Benz, I still prefer my 300CD.

I envy you.

Last edited by rocky raccoon; 07-14-2019 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:51 AM
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I'm with rocky partially. Engine oil I use Mobil1 15W50 which has a good amount of zinc for the old type of rockers. I wouldn't use very modern fluids on the steering and braking. Gaskets made in the 70's were not resistant to modern silicone additives.
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:15 PM
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I really don't want to push a specific brand of lubricants so I didn't mention my choice. Here it is though; I use AMSOIL products for almost everything. My engine oil choice for the old Diesel Benz is 15w-40. I use AMSOIL in my tranny, diff, outboard motor and weedwhacker. I experience no leaking gaskets. Your mileage may vary.

My '88 560SL also used the Diesel 15w-40 for the zinc content as mentioned by gafitanu. I think your 280 would also be happy with it.
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