450SE picks up his 450SE

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450SE

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For the past five weeks, I've been patiently waiting to take delivery of a 1976 450SE. No delay caused by the seller – I had to stall pickup due to an impending property settlement. That was all taken care of last week, so the path was clear. :p
In the meantime, the seller kindly kept very good care of the car for me in quite an impressive garage.

I am now the proud third owner of this car with history & supporting paperwork, since delivered new by Lanes Motors (now Mercedes Benz of Melbourne).

Originally owned by a retiring banker, the car was kept by him in Cheltenham, until hip problems forced the sale in 2000, with a mere 60,000km travelled.
The next owner purchased the vehicle through Shannons, mainly using it for longer drives between Melbourne & Sydney.
No accidents, no damage (expcept for one minor dent – which is being removed tomorrow), not even so much as gutter rash on a hub cap. Last night, I ticked over 162,000km. :eek:

A few little details need to be attended to in the next few weeks to lift the car, which otherwise, is in beautiful condition.
The following is a list of all work that needs to be done to get the car to the standard that I want (it will also act as incentive for me if it is listed on a public forum to get the work done!).

Tomorrow:
Dent being removed.

Tuesday:
- Central locking. The front door with which you lock the key with will lock, but the remaining doors (& boot) remain unlocked - which won’t be good when it’s raining & I’m running around the car locking each door manually like a madman.
However, when it comes time to unlock the car, only one door will unlock – but all knobs pop up when the car starts…
- Drivers door does not hold at 30, 60 & 90 degree open points.
- Steering wheel points to the right when driving in a straight line. Suggest steering alignment is a good start point, with a balance thrown in for good measure.
- Original electric radio antenna locked 1/3 up. As it is the original aerial, I would prefer it to be repaired than replaced.
- Front passenger seatbelt does not recoil properly.
- Heater / Air conditioner thermostat appears to be stuck on the ‘warm’ setting – which works a treat at the moment, but won’t be too good in summertime.

Sundry items (next two-three weeks)
- Fit original issue registration plates. Have to wait for seller to fill in some paperwork & return to me, before going to VicRoads.
- Replace housing for internal door handle, rear passenger. Part on order from Germany. One week eta.
- Rear override bumperbarette has been tapped at some point & requires realignment.
- New carpet floor mats. Sourced & on order. About one week eta also.
- Replace speakers & wiring. I’ll only do this if I can still use the existing speaker covers. There's nothing wrong with current system, but would prefer clearer audio.
- Full interior & exterior detail. Although it’s not dirty by any stretch of the imagination, it is a 33 year old car, so a good, professional clean will strip off any residue grime & give the paint an extra sparkle.
- Replace rear windscreen sticker with a replica “Lanes” dealership sticker. I used to have an original in a box that went AWOL at some point. A friend, by chance, has one. I’ll borrow his original, take it to a sign writer, who will copy it exactly & cut it onto a vinyl sticker for me.

End of June:
- Custom made full sheepskin seat covers. Front & rear - including headrests, fold down armrest & squab.

No real fixed date, but would like to complete asap:
- The hubcaps have never touched a kerb, but I’d like to track down a set of the 15” Bundts… like everybody else with a 116. I’ve found a few sets in the USA & am looking into freight charges & duties etc. The problem that I’m facing with the American wheels is that they almost always appear to be the tripled dipped chrome version, which just isn’t me. I need to find out if there is a company in Aust that can strip the chrome down in order to paint the wheels the factory alloy colour.
- Replace radio with the Becker Mexico Sat/Nav system with CD & iPod capability. Again, nothing wrong with current system, but would prefer clearer audio.

I'll try to post some photos online this evening or next. :D
 

B13

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Are you going to bring it to the MBCV Concours d'Elegance?

I.
 
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450SE

450SE

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Are you going to bring it to the MBCV Concours d'Elegance?

I.

I would like to come along - but won't enter the car into the concours as it's not in councours condition... yet... I'd be a little daunted to be critiqued to within an inch of my life!!
 
Last edited:

B13

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I'm entering my 450SE so you definately won't come last.

If you are there come along and say Hi, I'll be the only person with a 450SE race car.

I.
 

BenzBoy

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Looks damn fine to me - a few touches here and there and an adjustment to the bumber - why not enter just for the fun? Is it my imagination, or is your C panel reading lamp pointing out the back window?
Regards,
Benz-Boy
 

Michel

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Very nice looking SE....

The concours is definitly within your reach.

Like BenzBoy mentionned, it just needs minor adjustments and it will be near perfect.

Good Luck
 

B13

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The only thing I wanted to add is the milage, 162,000km, you should carefully go through your service history and make sure the timing chain has been replaced. They have a definate lifespan of 100,000 miles or 160,000km after which you engine starts to lose power and the chain becomes a ticking time bomb.

I.
 

John S

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Fixing your problems:
1-Central locking. The front door with which you lock the key with will lock, but the remaining doors (& boot) remain unlocked - the car locking each door manually like a madman. However, when it comes time to unlock the car, only one door will unlock – but all knobs pop up when the car starts…

This is a vacuum problem - probably some diaphragms in the doors split. You can buy these separately from a dealer at about $15 (check around as some will only sell the complete unit, 4 diaphragms and the plastic unit at about $140 each) Look under your bonnet, drivers side close to the firewall, you will see about 6 small bore plastic tubes and rubber joiners. You can test here to find out which 'run' is the problem by connecting the tube from the manifold up to each in turn. Probably pay to replace all the drubber diaphragms and have no further problems.

2-Drivers door does not hold at 30, 60 & 90 degree open points.

This is a common problem after the mileage you have - the alloy diecast piece in the door cracks. Pick one up from a back door (less usage) in a wreckers or buy new - or even take one from your less used back door until you find a new one. You will find the broken piece in the bottom of your door.

3-Steering wheel points to the right when driving in a straight line. Suggest steering alignment is a good start point, with a balance thrown in for good measure.

Make certain that they put the centering pin in the steering before they do the alignment to give you even turns to left and right. Then the steering wheel may be central anyway
.
4- Original electric radio antenna locked 1/3 up. As it is the original aerial, I would prefer it to be repaired than replaced.

These are made with thin metal. Clean well with solvent and add graphite, then slide your fingers up and down putting pressure in the right direction, 60% chance of working. The extendable antenna can be purchased separately anyway.

5 Front passenger seatbelt does not recoil properly.

Probably just needs a clean - normally an easy fix.

6 Heater / Air conditioner thermostat appears to be stuck on the ‘warm’ setting – which works a treat at the moment, but won’t be too good in summertime.

May be the soft hinge in the heater box having failed. A $500 to $1000 fix as the dash must come out - a long job. May be easier to turn the supply tap off when heat is not wanted.
 
OP
450SE

450SE

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Thanks for the compliments, tips & pointers guys.
I dropped by my mechanic this afternoon so that he could have a quick look at the car before Tuesday. We agreed to have the minor works carried out on that day & after listening to the engine on startup, he feels it sounds very quiet & may not require the chain. However, he will remove the rocker cover gasket & inspect the plastic guides. Chances are that I'll just get it done a week or so later, when he makes the proper time for it.

Am also thinking more seriously about the Concours... (probably helped having the MBCCV magazine on my desk at work today!)
 

Styria

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Hi 450SE, thanks for giving us such a comprehensive run down and pictures of this car. It looks like a good one, although having said that and being realistic, you will be spending a bit to bring it up to the condition I am sure you would want it to be in.

JohnS. has given you some pertinent advice, and I am not going to add to it. One of the items I noticed is the back seat - it would seem that your car is quite rare in having leather upholstery, at least judging by the back seat. The rear bumper will also need a little bit more than re-alignment - it's had a decent nudge.

Anyway, really looking forward to your progress report as and when you get further work carried out. Silver Green and parchment are a good and popular combination. Good Luck with your purchase. Regards Styria
 

Andrew280SEL

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That is indeed a very lovely car you have there ;)

I haven't seen too many W116's in that colour, but I gotta say it does look really nice. It's quite eye catching.
 
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450SE

450SE

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Time for a bit of an update...

The original black & white numberplates have been refitted. It's amazing what three digits & three numbers in the correct colour does for an older car!


My mechanic has had the car for the past few weeks, toiling away whenever time permitted. I was pleased to get the car back last Friday (in time for concours). The account came through yesterday.

Complaints & remedies:
- Check & report condition of timing chain & guides
+ Timing chain & guides fine. Will replace next service anyway.
New rocker cover gaskets fitted.

- Replace broken front door straps
+ New door straps fitted. Bliss. The doors do not automatically close onto my ankle anymore. :rolleyes:

- Repair central locking
+ This one took some time to sort out. I was a little shocked to drop by the mechanic one day to pick up a set of keys that had been left in the car, only to see all door trims off, boot & bonnet raised, with three guys pouring over various elements of the vacuum system. :eek:
Several parts replaced with this repair:
Vacuum element, boot
Vacuum element, fuel flap
Diaphragm, front pass door
One way valve (lock), under bonnet

- Repair / replace passenger seatbelt
+ Simple. It had doubled over on itself inside the spool.

- Heater not turning off
+ Heater element replaced. I now have cool air & air conditioning! Yippee!!

- Antenna mast stuck 1/3 up
+ Replaced mast. Also set motor to only go as high as roof of the car. Otherwise, I'd be running the risk of ripping it off every time I enter a parking building or car park stacker.


$1600.00 - which I was very happy to pay.


Further report - to be completed at next service
- Hole in exhaust, near rear muffler (1x3mm)
- Replace engine mounts (probably not essential, but I would like it as smooth as possible at idle)
- Diff bushes & rear stabiliser bushes wearing low
- Minor crack, rear tailshaft coupling
- Minor oil leak from front of auto transmission seal
- Replace front two tyres, front end alignment & balance.
How the front tyres ever passed roadworthy has got us stumped. Without putting too fine a point on it, they are stuffed - scrubbed to buggery on the inside line.
I've been quoted $207 each for replacement 205/70/R14 98H Michelin Energy XM1. Problem is that I'll be wearing tyres unevenly, so am hunting around for some decent second hand examples as I'm still researching the 15" Bundts.

So, a little bit more work to be done yet, but will be well & truly worth it.
It's funny (& quite amazing) how little I drive the 380SL & even the CLS350 now!!
 
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450SE

450SE

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I stayed at a friends house last night. Decided to take the 450SE, as it was going to be detailed today in time for the Austin 7 Historic Car Club race meeting at Winton tomorrow & Sunday. Left it parked in front of the house, in a quiet side street in bayside Melbourne. Even left enough distance front & rear so that nobody could park near me without obstructing a driveway.
So when I returned to my frost covered car this morning to find a note under the windscreen wiper, I just figured it would be a tersely worded note from a local saying that I'd taken 'their' carspot.
Wrong.

"Sorry about your car. Call me on xxx".
Fearing the worst (the front of the car was fine), I walked very slowly to the back of the car.
There's a nasty scratch & dent above the rear drivers side over-rider bumper, damage to both rubbers on the bumpers, the bars have both been pushed downwards & inwards & damaged the body behind the bumpers. Bugger. :mad:

This is where is gets murky. The guy (let's call him G), who left the note wasn't driving the car that hit mine, but employed a sub-contractor (let's call him '?') to collect hard rubbish.
'?' is a sub-contractor to 'G's company.
'?' was using his own car, but towing 'G's trailer.
'?' has done a runner & 'G' cannot get hold of him. :mad:

So, in true school style of form four:
If '?' hits L's car with G's trailer, where does that leave L? :confused:

However, I am very pleased that 'G' had the decency to leave a contact detail. Apparently '?' called 'G' at 4:15am, telling him that he'd hit a car & that the trailer had been abandoned near my car (apparently there was enough room to leave it without obstructing a driveway, after all)...
G got out of bed, drove for 40 minutes to collect the trailer & put 2+2 together.

Stay tuned folks. Who knows? If it all turns out well, I'll send him a bottle of Scotch... :p
 

SELfor50

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I stayed at a friends house last night. Decided to take the 450SE, as it was going to be detailed today in time for the Austin 7 Historic Car Club race meeting at Winton tomorrow & Sunday. Left it parked in front of the house, in a quiet side street in bayside Melbourne. Even left enough distance front & rear so that nobody could park near me without obstructing a driveway.
So when I returned to my frost covered car this morning to find a note under the windscreen wiper, I just figured it would be a tersely worded note from a local saying that I'd taken 'their' carspot.
Wrong.

"Sorry about your car. Call me on xxx".
Fearing the worst (the front of the car was fine), I walked very slowly to the back of the car.
There's a nasty scratch & dent above the rear drivers side over-rider bumper, damage to both rubbers on the bumpers, the bars have both been pushed downwards & inwards & damaged the body behind the bumpers. Bugger. :mad:

This is where is gets murky. The guy (let's call him G), who left the note wasn't driving the car that hit mine, but employed a sub-contractor (let's call him '?') to collect hard rubbish.
'?' is a sub-contractor to 'G's company.
'?' was using his own car, but towing 'G's trailer.
'?' has done a runner & 'G' cannot get hold of him. :mad:

So, in true school style of form four:
If '?' hits L's car with G's trailer, where does that leave L? :confused:

However, I am very pleased that 'G' had the decency to leave a contact detail. Apparently '?' called 'G' at 4:15am, telling him that he'd hit a car & that the trailer had been abandoned near my car (apparently there was enough room to leave it without obstructing a driveway, after all)...
G got out of bed, drove for 40 minutes to collect the trailer & put 2+2 together.

Stay tuned folks. Who knows? If it all turns out well, I'll send him a bottle of Scotch... :p


Will the bottle of scotch have ethanol in it? :eek::D
 
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450SE

450SE

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Now it becomes more interesting. I had a phone call while at the Mercedes Benz Panel Shop, from my mate whose house I was staying at.

Apparently the crash woke people in three surrounding houses around 4:10am. There has been an ongoing issue of residents not being able to access a nearby right of way laneway, so people have been sleeping lightly. Due to being woken by the crash, their curiosity got the better of them, so they all went outside to inspect, thinking it was possibly their own car that had been hit. The driver was attempting to unhitch the trailer & flee without leaving details.
The driver got all the way to the far end of the street (which is a dead end :D), before realising that the game was up. One of the residents had returned inside, grabbed a phone & called the police. Driver was cornered by residents yelling & screaming bloody murder (apparently one was even holding a fence picket), a note was left on my windscreen, the police attended & took statements & everything calmed down by 4:45am. All the while I was less than 10metres away & had slept through the whole thing.

...so now, as I sit here, I wonder who it was that I actually spoke to this morning? Was he the owner of the company, as he'd claimed to be - or was he the driver? :confused:
Did the driver return after the police had left & remove his 'apology' note, only to have a replacement note left by the boss when he came to pick up the abandoned trailer?? :confused:

Thankfully, I have the car insured for agreed value. If it had've been market value, it would have been written off... :eek::eek::eek:
I'm waiting for a quote to be emailed through to me. I will be sure to let you know the 'damage' caused... :(
 

Lukas

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Wow - vigilante residents and all - sounds exciting. At least the paper trail is there, so insurance won't be a hassle.
 

SELfor50

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That's awesome!!

First of all, don't drink so much before going to bed! ;)

Secondly, i'm one of those types of neighbours.. in fact, I don't mind a bit of street riff-raff. If ish is going down, i'm out there with my 'what are you doing in my street' hat on. Glad to hear your mate also has supportive neighbours like this AND, thank the council for making the street a dead end. :cool:
 
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