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Mercedes W111 convertible and coupe maintenance costs: can I afford the fancy W111?

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Mercedes W111 convertible and coupé maintenance costs
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V on the technical side, the Mercedes W111 Coupés prepare and convertibles comparatively few problems. However, the unstoppable age-related wear and tear of certain components or poor maintenance by the previous owner can force prospective buyers of such a car to spend more - especially if they have to entrust all work to a workshop due to a lack of screwdriver talent. 'Basically, the coupés and convertibles are better cared for compared to the cheaper sedans,' states Walter Pusch, long-time Mercedes expert in Klein-Winternheim near Mainz. Gunnar Hahn, who looks after these models northeast of Hamburg in Bargfeld-Stegen, sees it exactly the same way: 'They are more of a collector's focus, and their owners are usually well-funded.'

Mercedes W 111 coupés and convertibles are available in the Collector focus

In this service station we concentrate on the six-cylinder engines M130 and the V-eight-cylinder M116. So it's about the 280 SE and 280 SE3.5 models, whereby at least the chassis topics also largely apply to other Mercedes models, such as the 250 coupés and convertibles or the W108 sedans. A look at the service table shows that a lot is more expensive for the V8 version, which results from the corresponding part prices and /or the increased workload. The latter applies, for example, to adjusting the valve clearance, because the V8 not only has two additional valves, but also an additional camshaft. According to the factory, the game must be stopped every 20,000 kilometers.

The breaker contact would normally also need to be changed at a similar interval, but there is a lot to be said about this. Originally, the situation with the V8 model was a little more relaxed because of the contact-controlled transistor ignition. 'The contacts are only loaded by a low control current, the erosion is minimal and the service life is long,' explains Pusch. With the six-cylinder engine, you had to keep an eye on the contacts more often.

Trouble with the ignition breaker contact

However, the situation has changed somewhat. A number of workshops unanimously report the poor quality of the reproduced breaker contacts. For example, the slide of the breaker lever wears out excessively quickly, which is an adjustmentthe contact distance requires at very short intervals. Some workshops have therefore been annoyed to convert to contactless ignition.

Another issue is mixture preparation. The M130 engine has a six-piston injection pump. If it has to be overhauled, which is a case for specialists, 3,000 euros and more are quickly on the bill. 'The pump then delivers full pressure again, but when the injection nozzles are old and worn, that's only half the battle,' says Pusch. Renewing the nozzles should therefore also be taken into account, which costs an additional 900 euros.

Special equipment is essential for some work

However, if the engine does not run satisfactorily, the injection system must not be blamed. If things like the ignition or the valve clearance are OK, it may also be due to the setting of the throttle linkage and worn ball heads. 'The relationship between the working travel of the injection pump's adjusting lever and the valve body must be exactly right,' emphasizes Pusch. The repair manual contains the corresponding values.

A Bosch D-Jetronic takes care of the mixture preparation for the M116 engine. To check this, a certain amount of specialist knowledge and special equipment is required. 'Problems can be caused by the microswitch on the valve body and the injection nozzles, which coke with age or whose fine sieve clogs over time,' says Pusch. If there are idle or transition problems, it is sometimes sufficient to have the nozzles overhauled for around 550 euros instead of replacing them with expensive new parts. Even with the slide-in contacts, cleaning is sometimes sufficient instead of installing a new part for several hundred euros. The part called the bit or trigger bit has four contacts, each of which is responsible for two injection nozzles. Of course, you have to remove the ignition distributor to clean it.

High price level for Mercedes original spare parts

Even if If you can save money in this case, there are still many repairs that cost a lot of money. For example, replacing the fuel pump. If you don't switch to a third-party product, you currently pay around 1,000 euros for the M116 pump at Mercedes - without installation. A clutch change costs at least the same amount, and a new stainless steel exhaust system, including installation, costs over 2,000 euros, depending on the engine.

The cylinder head gasket is relatively seldom defective. A repair costs around 1,250 euros for the M130 engine and around 2,000 euros for the M116. Rattling timing chains are more typical for the M116 when the vehicle has been running for more than 200,000 kilometers, caused by play that the tensioner can no longer compensate for. Then you can expect expenses of around 850 euros. The M130 has lost oilan issue on the rear crankshaft seal. Because of the costly repairs, the damage should best be removed as part of an engine overhaul.

Suspension problems due to ailing front axle support bearings

Let's take a look at the landing gear. Typical repairs caused by age and wear and tear include replacing the front kingpin. The associated high workload drives the costs to around 2,000 euros. 'The front axle support bearings are often torn off or worn out (repair costs around 500 euros), or the rubber of the silent bushing of the single-joint swing axle have dissolved (repair costs around 1,000 euros),' reports Pusch. In his experience, the steering gears are robust, usually only the sealing rings need to be replaced. The oil seal on the differential can also be leaking. 'As part of the repair, you should also pay attention to the vent on the support tube, which is often dirty or stuck to the underbody protection,' recommends Pusch.

Gunnar Hahn points out two other special features: 'Even if it is expensive offered W111 coupés and convertibles, the heating system is often not in order because its repair is quite time-consuming due to the poor accessibility. ' The shortcomings range from difficult operation and broken levers to leaks and the resulting moisture in the interior. In addition, according to Hahn, one should make sure that the vacuum seat back locking system used in the models discussed here works. This means that when the engine is running, the front seat back cannot be folded forward. Even if some people wince at the repair costs mentioned, one should keep in mind that these investments take a long time. The technology of the W111 coupés and convertibles is very durable and robust. The cars are therefore worthy representatives of the good star.

Service tip for the W111 Coupé and Cabrio

An annual check in the workshop keeps the W111 Coupés and Convertibles fit. Signs of improperly carried out maintenance are missing changes of the automatic oil or the filter of the automatic gearshift or the servo pump. Not to be forgotten: These cars also need regular lubrication, there are various grease nipples available. The operating instructions are no longer as detailed as for older Mercedes, but contain the necessary information for the lubrication service. The DVD about W108, W109, W110, W111 and W112, produced with Mercedes expert Günter Lehmann, contains valuable tips on maintenance, available from www.trianomedien.de , price 9.95 euros

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