View Full Version : looking to buy 450SE

18th May 2009, 09:21 PM
New member cjgd is looking for advice regarding the possible purchase of one of the above. He is located in Canada, it's believed to have travelled about 200ks. and is selling for $2500 Canadian. He believes it to be rustfree but is looking for advice as to what to look for prior to purchase.

I am advising as follows, but am looking for input from others as well. First of all, he needs to establish if it is a 450 or perhaps even a 6.9. This is best ascertained by checking chassis numbers on the firewall. 116 036 for 6.9, 116 033 for 450SEL and 116 032 for 450SE. With the bonnet open, also look for the location of Alternator, type of Hydraulic Oil Reservioir, Oil Filler cover to replenish with oil and also check if rocker cover(s) have an oil filler plug. So, that's a start for identification. Refer to a couple of pictures attached.

Next check exterior of body for condition of paintwork and rust, have a good look at the front and rear screen rubber seals. Check operation of sunroof, if fitted and examine channels when open.

Interior wise, look for wear and tear on seats, particularly for collapsed rear seat (if leather), check condition of carpets and also the area under carpets for moisture or ingress of water, particularly in the sound proofing foam that is glued to the front floors. As with any used car of that vintage, you need to be prepared having to spend some money on mechanicals etc., but if possible examine invoices and service records to indicate thether or not the car has been well maintained and looked after. That's for starters, others may have additional suggestions. Regards Styria

19th May 2009, 07:56 AM
Thanks Styria, I'm new to the group and trying to figure out a few things, before purchasing a 450se I found.

Is their anything specific a mechanic should look over in a basic certification?

Assuming it's in fair condition, what price range do you guys think is appropriate for that kind of car as a 6.9 or as a 4.5. Is $2500cdn too much or reasonable given the work and maintenance involved.

I have a feeling that it's leaning to being well maintained on the mechanicals but needs work on the interior.

I saw a post about adding a few gauges to the cars such as a low water alarm. Is there anything that should be upgraded right from the start with these cars?


John S
20th May 2009, 12:32 PM
If the car is an SE, then it's very unlikely to be a 6.9 as Mercedes did not make a short wheelbase 6.9 and very few Mercedes enthusiasts would go to the trouble of doing an engine swap from an SEL into a SE.

20th May 2009, 07:57 PM
If the car is an SE, then it's very unlikely to be a 6.9 as Mercedes did not make a short wheelbase 6.9 and very few Mercedes enthusiasts would go to the trouble of doing an engine swap from an SEL into a SE.

You'd be suprised.. :rolleyes:
I'm pretty sure somewhere, someone has a 450 SE 6.9

21st May 2009, 06:12 AM
Hi cjgd, further to your enquiry and likelihood of purchasing the 450 SE (we assume). Have you checked the chassis number at this stage to establish the model you're dealing with ?

It's probably fair to state that, for the quoted purchase price, you can only expect a car in 'reasonable ' condition. If you're buying it for transport needs, obviously mechanics and their condition need to take preference over a car with an excellent interior although it'd be very nice if you were to get it.

If you're not familiar with Mercedes Benzes, it is of importance that you engage the services of a competent Mercedes Mechanic who will be able to give the car a thorough check. That, indeed, would be my initial recommendation. If you can get a clean bill for that, the rest will fall into place, depending on your wishes and desires at future times - as far as the car and its condition is concerned. Regards Styria

23rd May 2009, 03:19 PM
I have found a mechanic that could do the work, recommended by a friend who says hes very reasonable, mercedes specialist. I'm going to see 2 450 6.9's SE's over the weekend, one a convertable. And a 4 door possibly next week.

How far does 6K go to bring the mechanicals to top condition in a car like this assuming the engine is good? Is it safe to say changing the brakes, alternator, battery, tires, fluids, lights, similar in cost to other older vehicles? Or can you have a dilema where you can't get/find the part you need?

And does anyone have any have any links to mods or 'upgrades' that could e made to a 6.9? Mainly for more HP.
And lastly, how many km does a 6.9 engine typically get up to before a rebuild?
Thanks for all the info everyone, I'm learning alot.

John S
23rd May 2009, 07:37 PM
Check very carefully for rust, as rust is the real killer with these cars. Mechanical parts are in reasonable supply.
If you are in Canada check parts prices with Randy Steele in the USA, Randy is way cheaper than buying most W116 parts through a Mercedes dealership - W116's are probably too old for a dealership to be interested.

24th May 2009, 03:47 AM
Hi cjgd, spending $6k. on mechanical repairs would be plenty to return 90% of 116's to pretty good mechanical condition. It just depends on how good, or how bad, the car is that you are wanting to purchase. 6.9 engines are long lasting, especially block and heads, and most ancillaries such as alternator etc. are not too badl;y priced. It all depends where you have the work done etc.

In your situation, I tend to think a proper mechanical inspection is a must. Regards Styria

25th May 2009, 06:26 AM
I agree, I will have it completely inspected before purchase.
Does anyone have the contact information of Randy Steel>?

John S
25th May 2009, 10:00 AM
Try Randy Steele at sales@autopartsguru.com

25th May 2009, 11:17 AM
There is a 450SE in Canberra with a 6.9 engine, but this was not a genuine factory vehicle. It had the 6.9 motor transplanted.

A true 450SEL 6.9 had not just a long wheelbase and big motor. They also had the hydraulic suspension (no springs and shock absorbers).

SO if you are looking at a car that has a 6.9 motor, you should be able at a glance to tell if it is a true example, by virtue or the length of the car and lack of springs.

John S
26th May 2009, 12:26 PM
A standard 450SEL has the longer wheelbase, larger rear door glass and an oil / air rear suspension.

For a quick check on the probability of W116 being a 6.9, the front suspension should have the oil / air struts plus black cam covers.