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  •   Martin Buckley reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    Jay Leno uploaded a new video
    Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s I worked in a European car dealership called Foreign Motors. The name seems quaint now, but back then most people bought Detroit iron because it just seemed like you got more for your money. It seemed foolish to pay more for a six-cylinder Mercedes when you could get a Cadillac with an enormous V8 engine and automatic transmission for a whole lot less.

    / #Mercedes-Benz-300SEL-6.3-W109 / #Mercedes-Benz-300SEL-6.3 / #Mercedes-Benz-W109 / #Mercedes-Benz / #1967 / #1968

    Then in 1968 came the game changer: the #300-SEL-6.3 , the fastest four-door sedan in the world. It’s hard to convey the impact this vehicle had on the world when it was introduced. Horsepower and torque were something Americans understood. Even Hot Rod ran a feature on the Mercedes. Car & Driver had drag-racing superstar Don Garlits look it over in an article entitled Superman Meets Super Machine. I still have my copy from October 1969.

    I remember one particular detail in the engine compartment that seemed to stump Garlits, an inner fender panel switch. Then it dawned on him: it was there for safety reasons. It turned off the auxiliary cooling fans when you raised the hood, so you didn’t lose a finger. That was a small example of the level of engineering in this Q-ship.

    There’s no need to re-tell the story of how the car came about. Everyone knows that engineer Erich Waxenberger took the V8 from the Mercedes 600 and shoehorned it into the W108/W109 platform. Kind of like what John DeLorean did when he created the Pontiac GTO by putting the 389ci V8 into an intermediate-sized Le Mans body. Or ‘Le Manz’ as they say here.
    The impact the SEL 6.3 had on me as a 19-year-old was unbelievable. Sure, there were bigger American V8s, but they didn’t have overhead cams, fuel injection, air suspension and four-wheel disc brakes, as well as all the amenities American luxury cars had such as sunroof, air-conditioning, acres of wood trim and a leather interior.

    It took me 40 years, but I finally got one. Mine was a 1968 with over 300,000 miles on it. The previous owner had died and the son just wanted to get rid of the car. I offered him $5500 cash and he took it. That was over ten years ago. Since then, I’ve put another 25,000 miles on the Merc and have had relatively few problems.

    Then it started to go downhill. First off, the air suspension was starting to leak overnight and it was taking longer and longer for the air compressor to raise it back up. Another bad sign was that the warning light on the dash was staying on, indicating that the air compressor could not maintain normal driving pressure.

    I know these cars are supposed to be a nightmare to work on, but the good news is that it’s a mechanical nightmare and not an electronic one. First thing we did was to take off the engine-driven air compressor, thinking we could replace it with an electric one. Then we realised this wouldn’t work because it drives the power steering. We then proceeded to take apart the compressor, figuring we would replace the valves and the piston rings. That didn’t work either, because once we got the piston out we found there were no rings that were commercially available. Before admitting defeat, I then used the greatest tool in my #Mercedes -Benz tool box: the Classic Center.

    I often hear people complain about the prices of classic parts, but only before they start their search, not after. After nearly a week of calling breaker’s yards and various piston-ring manufacturers, trying to find something that worked for a car of which they made only 6526, I finally called the Classic Center.

    I said, I’ve got a 1968 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 and I need an air compressor for the suspension. After I’d had seven days of hearing ‘Good luck finding one of those’, and ‘Yeah, right’, click, the voice on the other end said, ‘Do you want rebuilt or new old stock?’ ‘New old stock’, I said. ‘Next day delivery OK?’ And I had it the next day. Was it expensive? Yes. But not as expensive as a lost week, searching high and low.

    ‘THE SWITCH TURNED OFF THE AUXILIARY COOLING FANS WHEN YOU RAISED THE HOOD, SO YOU DIDN’T LOSE A FINGER’

    I then realised I could make my 50-year-old car not quite brand new but pretty damn close. I ordered new rubber bladders for the suspension plus bushes, kingpins and everything else to make it last another 50 years. If this sounds like an ad for Mercedes, it’s not. Jaguar, Lamborghini, Ferrari and other such brands are now all doing the same thing. I’ve had too many close calls caused by using replacement parts made by someone other than the original manufacturer. Most recently a front tyre on a 4500lb Duesenberg blew out at 70mph, when the replacement inner tube disintegrated with less than 300 miles on it. The box it came in looked identical to those I had purchased for years from a brand-name manufacturer, except these ones were made – well, you can guess where.
    1972 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 - Jay Leno's Garage
    Jay asked, you answered, so he restored this Benzo to its original state per your request. Take a trip under the hood!
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  •   Iain Curry reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Antonio Ghini uploaded 2 photos in the album W108 and W109 illustrations
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  •   Iain Curry reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    DREEMING IN GREEN

    Mercedes-Benz from sooty black to green dream #W108 #250S . Reacquainted with a customer’s #1967 #W108 after several years, this mechanic could not resist taking the car under his wing - and hasn't looked back since.

    I’ve known the car for around 30 years explains Tony Croxall, tapping a hand on the roof of the W108 #Mercedes-Benz-250S that is standing beside us. “I carried out some work on it for the previous owner, but that must have been about 25 years ago. He came and collected it from me, then used it once before he put it in his garage and left it there.

    “Around 10 years later, I heard that he had passed away and I ended up buying the car. That was in #2010 and in that time since I worked on the car, it had only covered 27 miles.”

    STARTING AFRESH

    Sadly, while many believe that not using a car will ensure its longevity, Tony knew only too well that a lack of use can have a detrimental effect on perishable items such as rubber seals and hoses. What’s more, the garage itself was far from the ideal environment, as Tony explains. “Yes, the car had been garaged all those years, but in the garage was a coal bunker which the gent used, as he had coal powered heating in his home. As a result of that, the saloon was absolutely covered in coal dust.

    “All the bumpers were black, and I honestly never thought they would shine again. I spent a week with a friend just trying to get the Mercedes back to decent condition. It’s obviously better now than what it was, and gets better with each clean and polish, but it was hard work.”

    Once the car had received the thorough cleaning it deserved, Tony’s next task was to try and make the car roadworthy. “Anything rubber on the car had perished,” Tony remembers. “Fuel hoses, engine mounts, and suspension bushes and so on, absolutely everything was shot, including the tyres.

    “Once I’d seen to all of that, I then had to sort the self levelling suspension unit on the rear axle. That is hydraulic and I guess the seals had perished on that too, as the car’s back end was really low.
    It looked as if 10 tonnes of potatoes were lying inside it!

    MERCEDES DELIVERS

    “I tried to get the unit repaired, but no independent would touch it, so I called #Mercedes ’ Classic Centre and was told that a new one was in stock. Now, at that time I had no intention of buying it there and then, but because they only had one available I bit the bullet and bought it. It cost me £900, mind you, but it really transformed the car.”

    The work was not over, however. “The inside of the car absolutely stank of cigar smoke, and the car itself smoked something terrible too. It turned out it was the valve guides, all of which had worn out in less than 50,0 miles, so I took the head off and had that refurbished.” Tony then pauses a moment. “The only other problem was the gearbox. It had an oil leak, so I had it overhauled, but it was found to be in really good condition. Then we traced the problem to a seal on the torque convertor, so I had that replaced and everything was good once more.” Finally up and running, the hard work was rewarded when Tony was able to use the car at the wedding of the daughter of its original owner.

    To ensure the #Mercedes-Benz 250S doesn’t suffer the same problems again, Tony tries to take it to car shows on a regular basis, and will have attended both the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival by the time you read this, as well as numerous other more local shows.

    “A couple of years ago, we went to the Goodwood Revival - my wife, myself, and two friends. We were sitting in a traffic jam near the entrance, and this chap had broken down in his Daimler Dart. He saw us approaching, gave a nod and as we slowly made our way past he said, ‘Morning, mafia.” We all roared with laughter. It’s just like a mafia car, isn’t it? It’s so imposing. I just love it.”

    JUST THE FACTS

    Mercedes-Benz 250S ( W108 )
    Engine M108 2.496cc 6-Cyl
    Power 128bhp @ 5.400rpm
    Torque 143lb [email protected]
    Transmission 4-speed auto. RWD
    Weight 1440kg
    0-62MPH 12.9sec
    Top speed 109mph
    Fuel consumption 241 mpg
    Years produced 1965-1969

    Figures for car as pictured; fuel consumption ;determined at % of top speed (not more than ; 110km/h. 68mph) plus 10 per cent.

    Vital gauges arranged in a clever fashion. It took a week to polish the bodywork. Rearswing-axle with stabilising spring set up. #M108 had #Zenith carbs when new. EuropaTR radio created by #Becker . Classic cabin design with added safety.
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  •   Iain Curry reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    SPOKE TOO SOON

    Problems strike the classic #Mercedes-Benz saloon, forcing its jinxed owner to conduct some thorough investigation work.

    Typical, in my last Running Report (see the December #2014 edition), I mentioned my growing confidence in the W108’s ability to cover the miles without a hiccup, only for the thing to slap me in the face and give me a rather testing time as I found myself heading back through central London one evening.

    After enjoying a day in Northampton with my nephew, his partner and their two little ones, my wife and I settled into the W108 for the journey home, expecting it to be as uneventful, though enjoyable, as the trip up there earlier in the day.
    All was well on the M1 motorway, with the traffic moving freely, so we soon found ourselves at Marble Arch in London, ready to do battle on the urban drag strip that is Park Lane’s chaotic southbound carriageway.

    Swiftly away from the lights, I detected an ever so brief misfire from the engine as I gathered pace. I backed off the throttle as I hit the 40mph limit and all seemed well. At the next set of lights the same thing occurred, only this time it continued - maybe only a couple of cylinders missing every 10 seconds or so, but it was there. Clear of Hyde Park
    Corner, thankfully, I headed for a garage on Vauxhall Bridge Road where I pulled in and popped the bonnet.

    With a check of all the electrical connections, just to make sure everything was still securely attached, and no obvious problem found (I had no test equipment with me), I closed the bonnet and headed home, the misfire gradually becoming more pronounced. The final mile saw the misfire joined by a regular knocking sound that was related to engine speed. I was not happy. I parked up the saloon and walked home, pondering the possibilities. The final mile saw the misfire joined by a regular knocking sound. Surface rust on the distributor shaft won't be helping matters.

    TESTING TIMES

    Returning a few days later to try and make a quick diagnosis, I backed the car out of the garage and headed off around the block to see how it behaved. Very well was the answer, the knocking was there, but the engine purred with no sign of the misfire that had dogged the final miles a few days before.

    Back at the garage, I removed the distributor cap to find the rotor arm and points in not too bad condition, though the distributor shaft did have a coating of surface rust on it, which made me wonder if perhaps the advance weights may be suffering the same fate, and therefore not moving freely to provide the ignition advance. Beyond that though, all connections were solid and good, including the earth straps.

    Turning my attention to the knocking noise, I used a 10mm metal rod as a stethoscope, holding one end to my ear while pressing the other end to various parts of the running engine to try and isolate the knocking. This may sound daft, but it is an incredibly effective technique. Sensing it was at the front of the engine, I started with the water pump, which sounded good (obviously you have to be very careful of the spinning fan blades) before turning my attention to the alternator, where I heard something akin to a hammer going round in a tumble dryer. Clearly one of the bearings was not happy.

    I have a spare alternator on the shelf so keeping the car running will not be a problem, but what is annoying is the fact that the alternator was only rebuilt in September 2012, including new be arings, and since then the car has only covered 1,900 miles. Time to get the spanners out and investigate further.

    CAR #Mercedes-Benz #1971 #W108 #280SE
    OWNER Eric Richardson
    UPDATES SINCE LAST REPORT A joyful drive in the W108 ends in frustration as a poorly alternator causes all sorts of running problems.
    LOCATION London. UK
    PURCHASED September 2011
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  •   Iain Curry reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    50 years #Mercedes-Benz S-Class, model series #Mercedes-Benz-W108 , #Mercedes-Benz-W116 , #Mercedes-Benz-W126 , #Mercedes-Benz-W140 . Connoisseurs know what we write: it's all about the automobile Oberhaus. We compare four generations of the S-Class. Which series has the most comfort, which is for everyday use at which the best investment? Me(h)rcedes 50 years #Mercedes-Benz-S-Class .

    Experts know what we are writing - W108, W116, W126, W140: Click here around mobile Oberhaus. Four generations of the S-Class, four luxury. Who is the best sedan from the home team? And what can and should be (yet) afford? it Does not work.

    At the top of automotive heaven shines for over 100 years a particularly bright star: Mercedes-Benz. The skill of the Swabian brand has always represented the S-Class: more Mercedes does not go. In her first drove respectable businessmen later less reputable half Welter and nowadays many trendy hipsters who succumbs to the charm of the old bourgeois art technology. 108, 116, 126, 140 - with these numbers we drove always anticipate. True to the back current Mercedes slogan: the best or nothing. And who is today among the south-classics of the best?

    W108 - the vertical as a design element, the predecessor of the W108 is divided the body of the produced since 1959 "tailfin" - series. However, the unit body no longer met the increased demands of the Mercedes-clientele soon. Therefore, there was the end of 1965 a new upper class that was indeed almost the same size as its predecessor, but not equal to lean worked. Primarily this was due to the lower by six centimetre’s (2 ½ in) roofline and the disappearance of Peilkanten at the stern. The W108/ #Mercedes-Benz-W109 was released, the extended version V108 came six months later and offered the guests Fond ten centimetre’s more legroom. First, the W108 offered only with the reamed to 2.5 and 2.8-liter displacement six-cylinder engine from the 220. That was enough for 130 to 170 hp at the rear wheels of the single-joint swing axle, which is also inherited from its predecessor. Especially the 250S proved initially but as vulnerable: He was too hot and sometimes ate the piston. As a replacement more often or 2.8-liter fuel-efficient diesel engines were installed. Only new piston rings made of molybdenum extended the life expectancy of the small first molar. Those who wanted more power, had to wait #1968 to summer.

    Then the exception model of the series appeared: the 300 SEL 6.3 with the V8 from the 600th Affordable were later the 280 SE 3.5 and 300 SEL 3.5 (200hp DIN / 218hp SAE), which were known internally as W109. Gearbox side there were four courses, which are operated on the steering wheel or via joystick lever, and if desired an automatic. Until the end of 1972 almost 250,000 copies were built. Then it was time for a worthy successor. The term S-Class was the W108 the way after the fact, in the advertisement for the Mercedes W220 series #1998 levels.

    Mercedes-Benz W116 - earlier was more tinsel As early as the autumn of #1966 , shortly after the publication of the W108, the development work began on its successor. A first case: In development and design computers were used. In August 1972, the production of the W116 was on, but the official presentation in Paris took place at the motor show in September. On display were the first models 280S and SE and the 350SE. The engines were known, but new was the design of the W116. In the flat front, the broadband headlights touched the radiator grille. The car is 5.5 centimeters wide and as much longer, but lower by 1.5 centimeters. Total citations of predecessor are recognizable, but the W116 is an optically completely new automobile. Concession to the traditionalists were the twin chrome bumpers. Priorities of the developers at the time were the driving behavior and safety. For the former, there was a new front axle from the experimental C111 Wankel car and a modern rack and pinion steering.

    The diagonal swing axle rear came principle the Roadster R107, which was developed in parallel. Due to the accident prevention are abundant PVC in the interior and oversized roof pillars, sills and reinforced doors. Ever seemed the complex structure with its deformable ends and the stable cell solely dedicated to one purpose: the accident protection. Headrests and seat belts were initially although only at an additional cost, although the W116 in two disciplines is far classified over the then average. Expensive it was for customers from spring 1973, when the #Mercedes-Benz-450SEL (V116) with 225hp (DIN) and standard three-speed automatic was published. The top model in the series was handed in from the autumn of 1975 the 6.9 was, the legendary 286hp. Top 230 km/h made it the fastest production saloon of its time for the W116 in W126 - was elegant as a gentleman with a hat The W126 series from December 1979, of course, at the Sindelfingen plant, produces. But because the development already began eight years earlier, the Swabians could adequately respond to the oil crisis of 1973. The new S-Class was indeed more economical, but not a piggy bank. A lot of money has been invested in the design of lightweight, economical engines and low air resistance.

    With success: Depending on the model and features of the new up to 280 kg was easier. The mostly just updated drives were relieved, because they, in the case of the eight-cylinder engine for this series were even new designs made of light alloy and. Plenty of work in the wind tunnel brought an improvement in the cw value of 0.41 to 0.36 compared to its predecessor - the 1979 was a top value for a four-door sedan of this size. The chassis has been slightly revised, adopted in principle by the ancestors W116.

    From June 1980 it again gave a long-wheelbase version, the SEL, and called the end of 1991 a chic coupé, SEC. The top version was the 560SEL with initially 272 hp (with Kat 242, at the end of 300 hp), which was published in autumn 1985. At the same time a facelift took place. Now it was in the base models 280S, a five-speed gearbox and series except the 560 SEL models for all the catalyst operation were prepared. Optical lost the plastic side strips their flutes and the known from the options list Baroque Alus evaded alloy wheels Gullydeckel-style. About 810,000 sedans in the W126 series were produced, the last drove in early 1992 from the home team in the world. Mercedes-Benz W140 - Big-Benz not only for bosses We do not want here to intone prejudice canon. No, we want to praise: For more comfortable you can eigentac Lich not traveling with a car. The interior is as big as a zeppelin hangar - only much more convenient. The lush seats one likes to call club chairs. Nonsense!

    Club chairs are not electrically heated verstellwie or even massaging the back of the pilot. And they are seldom so pleasant kommod as the armchairs of the Big-Benz. The many electrical helpers culminate in a click of a button from the inside adjustable interior mirror, which is not really needed, because the rear-view mirrors anyway remembers the stored seat position of the chauffeur and automatically brings in position. And there's more on the miracle-Benz marvel: tempo-dependent parameter steering, electronic five-speed automatic, engines with four-valve technology and adjustable camshaft, ESP, voice control system, Parktronic and, and, and. 1981 began the development of the W140.


    Ten years later the Swabians then showed their masterpiece at the Geneva show. 1992 was followed by the 140V and a fairly massive geratenes Coupé. That same year also saw the first facelift. Thus, the Board responded to the early criticism of clientele. From the summer of 1993 it was then on 500 S on the trunk lid and the spring on the Schwaben presented finally the 140s-Mopf. After slimming optical thickness looked pleasing. But his end was already decided. Although happened to him in 1996 a small facelift ( #ASR , Sidebags, rain sensor series, Xenon headlights surcharge), but two years later ended after about 432,000 copies, the era of the first controversial Big-Benz.

    Comparison
    It has always been so: people rarely buy just one car. You acquire an image. Because they should be seen by neighbors, colleagues and friends as they want it. Like no other car was and is an S-class prosperity, prestige, charisma. But of course for innovation and technology leadership. Who pays three times a normal car, expect top performance. And rightly so. And was not disappointed at #Mercedes : Whether 108, 116, 126 or 140: Each car is in his time - and beyond - the automobile standard meter on which had work off the competition.

    So it is not about simple A-to-B-driving, but a way of life. The is still impressively fulfilled also at the present time. Even a W108 is good for your daily commute to the office. But only in the summer. Not that he would not move forward in the winter - but he is too good for salt attacks on the stylish sheet. His appearance is impressive, the space herrschaftlich. Huge luggage compartment, the interior is reminiscent of a saloon compartment of the Southern Railway Company in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. And almost as much space is also offered. If in the middle tray, the optional seat cushion is inserted, fit the front and rear pure three passengers.

    The driver can see through clearly drawn round instruments for long hood, a chrome star stands proudly at the end of the driving wind. Turn the key, immediately whispers of straight-six meek as a novice behind monastery walls. Loosen the long lever right laid down in the dry Bakelitvolant, brake, do gently Gas ... already floating the W108 from there. Of course, not to hunt through a quick slalom course, but as good as comfortable straight drove no end of the sixties.

    That should remain so until the appearance of the successor. But the W116 expands the comfort zone. Mass is to be replaced in the car set-up by nothing. And heavy is the first time in the house Daimler-Benz also so-called S-class. This is the baroque Chromzierrat as the double bumpers, but also the security owed. The in-house safety Pope, Béla Barényi had expended all his art. For passive safety include controlled deformable body ends, stable passenger cell, thick umschäumte fittings. For active safety ensure, among other things four disc brakes and at the end of his career, for the first time in Großserienbau, antilock brakes ABS. The W116 is like carved out of the proverbial Vollen. And so it goes also. Not that he would be cumbersome (perhaps as little 280 S). No, it's this rich road, the secure feeling of inmates to make almost all the bumps downright dull. From the engine compartment is a deep rumble is heard in most fierce sprint at the V8ern. Otherwise one hears little. From today's perspective a 116er is perhaps the most lavish and least timeless cars of this comparison. Completely indisputable, however: the classic Bruno Sacco-elegance of W126.

    Also it was a bit controversial. For bumpers made of recyclable plastic did not want to give up traditional values all customers. The S-Class of 80 is a child of the oil crisis. Streamlined, light-footed, efficient. That the Steering basically worked so imprecise as its predecessor, did not fall to continue. But the mixture of lightness and solidity made of the success. The W126 is from the rider quasi the most of W108 and W116. A real development so. Agile, better comfort, solid processed. At the same time of these understated elegance, as they can emit only old money really. This works even today. Featuring a landscaped W126 in muted blue Hanseaten you can still casually go to the Alster pre Atlantic Hotel.

    However, the grand entrance is who pulls up with a V140. He would be the ideal company car for scandal-priest Tebartz-van Elst. The picture also therefore fits so well because of the large car like a moving bishopric. This S-Class can really no question unanswered.

    Anyone starting out, boss. And cares little about what others think. On the route you realize: For a two-ton ship of the W140 is handy. Only when braking turns out moving masses which the pilot. His true role in the car history, the 140 not yet found. By "too fat" it is certainly adequately described in any way. Which is the best S-Class?

    It is impossible to make a fair choice here. All are technologically feasible for their time. All are popular as design icons of their era classics. Okay, maybe the W140 takes it a little more time. But he deserved it. Therefore, we would still have a good back up and put away him for now. When the W126 choice would be clear: once Please 500SE. We love the harmonious proportions of the "short". In a little more budget, we would choose a SEC with the sophisticated seat-belt, but that's another story. When W116, the ultimate decision may lead to properly bang only to over-Benz: a dramatic 450 SEL 6.9.

    Pragmatically, of course, a 350 or 450SE in terms of performance is more than enough. Only the W108 we took a meager 250S. Because he so beautifully plain and in the accountant equipment is a real value for bargains.
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