Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/2/13 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
6/2/13 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.

Kenny_McCormic Dork
6/2/13 6:39 p.m.

Bring all your metric hex/allen sizes.

Curmudgeon MegaDork
6/2/13 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
6/2/13 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
6/2/13 6:44 p.m.

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

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess UltimaDork
6/2/13 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
6/2/13 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
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/2/13 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
6/3/13 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.

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