m4ff3w SuperDork
April 15, 2010 2:59 p.m.

I needed something to get the wife around while I diagnose electrical/computer issues in her 95 Volvo 960.

I saw a W123 280E on CL, and went to look at it.

Pretty nice car overall, a scrape down one side, central locking non-functional, power windows non-functional, brakes take good effort (brake booster line visable needs repair), and seller says battery will die overnight.

I made a lowball offer and they took it.

So NOW, I'm doing my research. What say the informed masses of GRM? Where can I go for W123 info, everything I seem to find is diesel related.

BoxheadTim Dork
April 15, 2010 3:07 p.m.

Central locking on these is vacuum-operated. Probably a duff line somewhere...

Engine drinks like gas is free, but should last if the oil is changed regularly. They do rust, have a good look around.

Powar HalfDork
April 15, 2010 3:16 p.m.

W123s are sexy, well-built machines. The only ones that I've researched were diesel, so I'm not much help on the 280 mechanicals.

I'll be the typical guy on a forum and ask for some pics. I love looking at these cars.

m4ff3w SuperDork
April 15, 2010 3:35 p.m.

The seller's pics are horrible. I'll try to get some tonight if it stops raining.

EvanB HalfDork
April 15, 2010 3:44 p.m.

This forum was great when I had my W123 diesel : http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/index.php

They have other model forums as well so you might find some info on the gas version.

m4ff3w SuperDork
April 15, 2010 4:11 p.m.

Thanks, Evan. That is better than one of the super slow ones I found before.

nedc New Reader
April 15, 2010 4:44 p.m.

What's wrong w/ the 960? I've spent lots of time with them, maybe i can help.

m4ff3w SuperDork
April 15, 2010 4:49 p.m.

Something with the ECU. I bought it disassembled w/a blown HG. Repaired the HG and got it timed, but wasn't getting fire at the coils. The ignition coil section of the harness was fubared. I spliced in a good harness section, but fuel pump and ignition relays are not getting triggered on.

nedc New Reader
April 15, 2010 4:57 p.m.

In reply to m4ff3w:

Check the relays, especially the fuel pump ones. I chased a problem like this for a while and it turned out to be one relay-swapped in another from the headlights or something to get it to fire. I have a factory diagostic book w/ step by step troubleshooting if you want to borrow.

Woody SuperDork
April 15, 2010 8:49 p.m.

My wife's uncle has a beautiful burgundy, gray market W123 sedan with small Euro bumpers and a manual transmission. A few years back I put the word out, "When you're ready to sell it..."

They have since moved to Texas, but I suspect that I will go down there to retrieve it one day.

m4ff3w SuperDork
April 15, 2010 9:49 p.m.

m4ff3w SuperDork
April 15, 2010 9:49 p.m.

Needs an alternator as well.

mtn SuperDork
April 15, 2010 11:22 p.m.

Solid as all hell, one of the better cars ever made. I want pics.

mtn SuperDork
April 15, 2010 11:22 p.m.

Solid as all hell, one of the better cars ever made. I want pics.

EvanB HalfDork
April 15, 2010 11:25 p.m.

A W123 and Alfa in the same picture, now that is awesome.

m4ff3w SuperDork
April 15, 2010 11:33 p.m.
EvanB wrote: A W123 and Alfa in the same picture, now that is awesome.

I hoped someone would appreciate that.

I've been going through the paper work. At 220k miles the car got new chain/tensioner/rails, and front seals and then a new transmission and torque converter. This was to the tune of ~$5200.

The seller did not mention it when I bought it today. It now has 255k, but has only covered 35k in the last 9 years.

mattmacklind SuperDork
April 16, 2010 6:01 a.m.

Love that picture.

m4ff3w SuperDork
April 16, 2010 1:09 p.m.

Snagged a new alt, the nearest O'Reilly's had it. Less than $100.

m4ff3w SuperDork
April 17, 2010 1:16 p.m.

My Alfa and the 280E were both damaged in a hit-and-run overnight.

pres589 Reader
April 17, 2010 2:21 p.m.

In reply to m4ff3w:

Ouch! I hope that works out somehow, that's awful.

BoxheadTim Dork
April 17, 2010 3:09 p.m.

In reply to m4ff3w:

Oh E36 M3, so sorry to hear that. Hope the damage is not too bad.

pigeon HalfDork
April 17, 2010 4:38 p.m.

My newest favorite phrase - I hate people. Sounds like a nicely bought Benz, sucks that both that and the Alfa got hit overnight. Damn drunks.

m4ff3w SuperDork
April 18, 2010 2:49 p.m.

pigeon HalfDork
April 18, 2010 6:52 p.m.

Wow, that sucks. Looks like the Alfa didn't fare too badly; new mirror housing and it looks like a good paintless dent repair guy might be able to fix the fender. The Benz, well, that won't buff out New fender for sure, maybe the PDR guy could do some miracles on the doors? Your other choice is an uninsured/comprehensive insurance claim if you have that coverage, and then you still pay your deductible and get screwed next time your insurance renews because of having a prior claim on your insurance.

benzbaron HalfDork
April 18, 2010 7:20 p.m.

That sucks bad. I'd bet the mercedes would be totalled, they aren't really worth much. Luckily you can find parts pretty cheap, I'd bet you could be 2 door for maybe 150$ used around here in the SF bay area.

The m110 is a nice motor, the euro m110 is one of the best engines mercedes ever made. Sweet twin cam six. If you need any information there are a couple of forums online that are helpfull. One issue with the mercedes of that vintage is the CIS injection system, I guess the mechanical injection is very sensitive to contamination as it relies on high fuel pressure throughout the system. A bosch CIS manual and fuel pressure tester are required to diagnose/repair problems. The manual is one 25$ it was written by Probst. There is also the bosch CIS manual you can download free online, which will help you understand the system. Throwing parts at the injection system is very expensive and not many mechanics understand the CIS system.

Hopefully you can get the old mercedes back in tip top shape, it really sucks some idiot tried to take out the cars. I'd have a nice drive through the neighborhood and see if you can find a car with the caramel paint on it.

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