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My new 1983 280GE
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Posted 11/6/2018 1:43 AM
otiswesty
Expert




Date registered: Jun 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Vehicle(s): G500
Posts: 2680
2000
My new 1983 280GE

LWB open top white 280GE special order by Saudi royals back in the day. 12V original and pretty spartan.
No rust anywhere, nada.



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#240017
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Author
Posted 3/14/2019 3:35 PM
otiswesty
Expert




Date registered: Jun 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Vehicle(s): G500
Posts: 2680
2000
Re: My new 1983 280GE

I asked Heinz about this car and its history. He ran the VIN for me through Mercedes and had this to say.

"I learned from my former colleagues that your 280 GE is a very rare version. This was shipped in November 1982 to Abu Dhabi, one from 9. There were only 35 units built from this version between 1982 and 1987."

The seller had a story about it being special order by the Saudi royals as a hunting car, but this may be inaccurate. In any case I like it very much and appreciate the m110 motor and 12v electronics.

There are a number of LWB open tops available now with the Swiss army divestment of its 1990s 280GE inventory as well as some LWB 250GD and 300GD/290GD from the German and Austrian armies too.

My car has seen some neglect and questionable repairs over the years, but it is rust free and has a nice fresh coat of white on it. I have already started replacing some interior and trim bits that are worn and broken. The lockers did not work and had a dry reservoir. A local shop replaced the soft lines and installed some spare cylinders I had and they are snappy and functional now.

I ended up buying a stainless exhaust out of Europe very similar to the Timevalve setup. Timevalve no longer sells the full exhaust. I found out the one I got was for a SWB and also needed a fair bit of massaging which is being done at a custom exhaust shop right now. I had a big exhaust leak that came up through the transfer case shifter hole, so driving any distance was a bit noxious and made this a priority repair.

On the to do list:
going through the brakes as some are sticky
front steering parts (badly worn drag link)
front axle seals and boots
Dash wiring
A/C Heater unit rehab
Soft top restoration

Its looking like it will keep me busy for a while in addition to the other fixer uppers in the driveway


Edited by otiswesty 3/14/2019 3:53 PM
#240529 - in reply to #240017
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Author
Posted 3/16/2019 8:53 AM
Luky
Elite Veteran


Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia, EU
Vehicle(s): 300GE LWB auto, E320CDI 4M, VW Polo Classic 1.6
Posts: 1054
1000
Re: My new 1983 280GE

From which company have You bought the stainless exhaust?

BTW. the Swiss are 230GE, not 280GE. AFAIK 280GE BM10s went only to Arab countries in very tiny numbers.
#240530 - in reply to #240017
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Author
Posted 3/20/2019 3:39 PM
otiswesty
Expert




Date registered: Jun 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Vehicle(s): G500
Posts: 2680
2000
Re: My new 1983 280GE

I bought the exhaust from GfG
No response to my calls and emails when the parts did not fit.
I am not likely to buy parts from them again.

Good we have Eurotruck-Importers, Fourbyfourclub and sometimes MB dealer here in the USA to help with old car parts.
#240534 - in reply to #240530
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Author
Posted 3/25/2019 1:34 AM
Luky
Elite Veteran


Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia, EU
Vehicle(s): 300GE LWB auto, E320CDI 4M, VW Polo Classic 1.6
Posts: 1054
1000
Re: My new 1983 280GE

That´s kinda strange. I am doing business with GfG for years without problems. I communicate with Daniel on phone, mail and Facebook and he always responds within hours. Time to time (summer, Christmas) they have the workshop closed but there is always a notice on their website.

I think that I will speak to Daniel this week as well so I will mention Your problem.
#240558 - in reply to #240017
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Posted 3/27/2019 5:40 PM
otiswesty
Expert




Date registered: Jun 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Vehicle(s): G500
Posts: 2680
2000
RE: My new 1983 280GE

The GfG exhaust was expensive. All polished stainless. I have just had it all redone at a shop here in Portland. It has doubled the cost.

The GfG welds are thin and sugary inside, so made without gas. My shop was very critical. Both the down pipes and the connector pipes would not fit at all.

Timevalve here in USA still makes stainless mufflers and tail pipe for the 280GE. This is what I would recommend to others.
http://www.timevalve.com/cat/us/p13b.html

In the end, mine came out nice.

Edited by otiswesty 3/27/2019 7:30 PM




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#240570 - in reply to #240017
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Posted 3/27/2019 10:46 PM
otiswesty
Expert




Date registered: Jun 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Vehicle(s): G500
Posts: 2680
2000
Re: My new 1983 280GE

Here are the pics of the original GfG pipes. They would not come straight off the manifolds. There were three areas of interference on the way down. Also it was too short to meet the curved pipe in the proper position, and 0.5 meter too short to connect with muffler.

Edited by otiswesty 3/27/2019 11:02 PM




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#240571 - in reply to #240017
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Posted 3/27/2019 10:51 PM
otiswesty
Expert




Date registered: Jun 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Vehicle(s): G500
Posts: 2680
2000
Re: My new 1983 280GE

The SWB connector pipe should sit like this.



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#240572 - in reply to #240017
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Posted 3/27/2019 10:55 PM
otiswesty
Expert




Date registered: Jun 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Vehicle(s): G500
Posts: 2680
2000
Re: My new 1983 280GE

The down pipes were cut up, lengthened, and reworked. The connector pipe was built de novo.
Basically, we had to re-prototype the front two pipe sections which was labor intensive and costly.


Edited by otiswesty 3/27/2019 10:59 PM




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#240573 - in reply to #240017
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