Keith Tanner MegaDork
June 2, 2013 5:19 p.m.

So, I'm going to be doing some work on a 1973 Mercedes 280. I've got a list of what needs to be done - lower front ball joint, tie rod ends, brake calipers. And I'm not working at my house, but 2000 miles away. The owner doesn't have a comprehensive toolkit, so I figured I'd fly in with a few of my own.

First, I assume metric. Yes?

Second, any weirdo tools needed to work on these? The ball joint will probably be the biggest problem, but I'm hoping my BJ squeezer and a pickle fork will take care of most of it.

This should be interesting.

bmw88rider Reader
June 2, 2013 6:34 p.m.

Can't help you a lot on the tools Keith because a tree limb crushed mine before I got a place to work on it a lot. Mine was a 1973 280S.

Is it a W114 or 108? 108's are the S and SE models. The 114 are the models without any letters at the end.

It is metric for everything that I remember.

June 2, 2013 6:39 p.m.

Bring all your metric hex/allen sizes.

Curmudgeon MegaDork
June 2, 2013 6:41 p.m.

Nothing weird involved, just metric sockets and Allen heads. Oh, and like Brit cars anything which looks like a Phillips will actually be Posidrivs.

Travis_K UltraDork
June 2, 2013 6:43 p.m.

I have a w126 (10 years newer), to do that job on mine you would need a spring compressor ($175 to $2k) and a ball joint press ($800 or so). When I did it I bought the $175 spring compressor and paid a shop $100 to swap the ball joints. I think a 1973 s class would be a w116 wouldn't it? It's probably either a w115, w116 or 107 coupe or convertible.

Slippery Reader
June 2, 2013 6:44 p.m.

Metric and you will probably need wrenches you never use on a japanese car, like 13mm

Dr. Hess UltimaDork
June 2, 2013 7:25 p.m.

I had a '72 220D. Pretty straightforward to work on. All metric. Only special tools were a large allen wrench to get the oil drain plug out (14mm? I'd have to look in my tool box) and I bent a large combination wrench to tighten a fitting on the fuel injector pump. Otherwise, it's actually pretty easy to work on. Well thought out and designed to be maintained.

bmw88rider Reader
June 2, 2013 7:27 p.m.

Most of the 280S were actually leftover 1972 models. They made them till November 1972 which in America made them 1973 models. Mine was built in October 1972 and titled as a 1973.

Keith Tanner MegaDork
June 2, 2013 8:41 p.m.

It's an "early 1973" W114. Not an S, just 280. They were made until 1976, but there were some mid-year model changes in '73. This predates those as best we can tell.

Allen wrenches, thanks. I'll pack them. I'll also make sure I have some Pozidriv bits. Apparently you don't need a spring compressor for the ball joint, but I'll have the FSM tomorrow.

Oh, I forgot - I'll be doing a carb rebuild The Solex on these has the reputation for being a cranky bastard, but the main problem is that it's been sitting since 2006 so it's leaky. Hopefully I won't have to deal with problems like warped plates.

ArthurDent HalfDork
June 3, 2013 8:36 a.m.

I have a '70 W115 which is very similar chassis wise - there is a need for a few really big allen keys like on the starter. I haven't done as much as you are going to doing but changed the shocks easily with just hand tools. I removed the brakes easily too from my parts car. I have the FSM so if yours does arrive I can look at the pages in mine.

You'll need to log in to post.

Also on Grassroots Motorsports

Your Projects: Wide-Body, V8-Powered Porsche 944

8 hours ago in News

Wing, flares, V8 swap and more!

You Need This: Eclipse!

8 hours ago in News

Today's special.

Your Projects: Boosted and Flared E30 BMW

10 hours ago in News

Another forum member put it best: “This build is absolutely mental. And I mean that in the best possible way.”

You Need This: 1990 Suzuki Carry 4WD Mini-Truck

11 hours ago in News

It looks cool, matches our cargo shorts, and makes little sense.

Concours d’Lemons: Showcasing the Best of the Worst and the Worst of the Best

12 hours ago in Articles

This year’s Concours d’Lemons celebrated two cars rarely associated with the glitz and glamor of Monterey.

You Need This: Gullwing Doors and Exotic Styling for Just $1500

14 hours ago in News

Meet some brown ’70s awesomeness.

Acura Unveils New Prototype Race Car in Monterey

2 days ago in News

Acura yesterday unveiled the new Acura ARX-05 prototype race car.

We're Back In Monterey for Car Week

3 days ago in News

And so it begins, another trip to Monterey Car Week.

Mark Your Calendars: August 18 Is Wear Your Helmet to Work Day

3 days ago in News

Wear your racing gear to work and win prizes.

You Need This: A Real 1LE Camaro

3 days ago in News

Chevy only built 62 1LE Camaros that year.

Little Car Show: Celebrating All Things Quirky and Small

4 days ago in Articles

As the name suggests, the Little Car Show is all about little cars.

Concours d’Lemons to Ruin Monterey Car Week Yet Again

4 days ago in News

What started as the anti-concours has transformed into a major event on the Monterey Car Week schedule.


Grassroots Motorsports Magazine

Subscribe Today

Also get your instant access to the digital edition of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine!

Learn More