W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed

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Screwdriver
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Greetings,

After years of unsuccessfully searching for the right W460 for me (diesel with aircon), a 5 spd, 6 cylinder petrol model has become available in my favourite colour (green) and it has aircon! 126K miles and not rotting.

I had shortlisted the diesel motor for its ease of ownership and reliability. I fear the petrol may need more care, and thought I'd ask for your ownership experience via the following questions:

1) How reliable is the M110E Motor in the G?

2) Are parts fo the W460 readily available at the dealer? elswhere?

3) Do you typically service you G at a specialist? Are there any located in the greater London area as I'd like to have the car thoroughly examined before purchase.

4) What kind of fuel economy can I expect?

5) Any suggestions on potential issues to look for? (probably the most important question) I'm told the motor consumes a bit of oil, the diff locks are disconnected, and that the aircon compressor is seized.

Many thanks for your guidance, in advance!

 

 

 

prwales
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Re: W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed

The 280 is a lovely revvy engine powerful enough and being a six ultra smooth, its short coming is its thirst, expect 13-15 in an swb less in the heavier lwb, much less if you thrash it. The engine was used in a variety of vehicles and I'm not aware of any issues. I had my GE280 converted to run on lpg but it never worked well. Though lpg on the later 300ge has a better rep. As for servicing these are relatively simple machines and any competent garage or Merc specialst should have no issues. Check for rust everywhere, especially in the rear 3/4 and on top of the petrol tank. Manual 2.8's are around but are rare.

Jdring
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Re: W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed

But 280GE is Petrol, and Screwdriver is asking Diesel.

1. Very reliable

2. Yes. Everywhere.

3. Even MB do not know G-Wagens.  Use a G or 4x4 specialist if possible. 

4. hahahaha  (not sure of the diesels)

5. Check the difflocks work, but not a major thing if not and can be sorted easy enough.  Gs always leak through the wiper spindles so check for damp carpets (possible rust under, but not a big deal.  Mainly it just damages the carpet and makes the car damp with condensation).  Blocked airvent and/or seized blower motor.  Both spindles and blower are quite a job involving taking out the whole dash area..   Rear quarters and rear door for rust.  Knackered steering damper (Just £100 to sort).  Worn drivers seat, because of the height and sliding in and out.  Knackered bottlejack, under seat, if it has one.

So all pretty minor.  Others can advise on more mechanical things.  

Screwdriver
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Re: W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed

Check the difflocks work, but not a major thing if not and can be sorted easy enough.  Gs always leak through the wiper spindles so check for damp carpets (possible rust under, but not a big deal.  Mainly it just damages the carpet and makes the car damp with condensation).  Blocked airvent and/or seized blower motor.  Both spindles and blower are quite a job involving taking out the whole dash area..   Rear quarters and rear door for rust.  Knackered steering damper (Just £100 to sort).  Worn drivers seat, because of the height and sliding in and out.  Knackered bottlejack, under seat, if it has one.[/quote]

Many thanks for this advice. Are there any top G Wagon specialists in the UK?

I ask because 1) there are rust bubbles forming on the rear quarters, 2) the drivers brown tartan seat is worn/ torn and 3) the blower and aircon compressor are more than likely seized. I'd be keen to know a specialist estimate to repair these so I can factor this into my offer?

 

 

 

 

Jdring
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Re: W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed

Might depend where you are in the UK.  There is G:Wagen in Reading and then specialists I know of in Bristol and Blackpool.  More in between, on this site and others.  You might try a search of the forums here and PM some of the experts you find, rather than waiting for them to find and read this.

Brown tartan is an early W460 ('82-'85 ish) so you can expect all the G wear and tear to be present, unless its been renovated.

 

prwales
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Re: W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed

The m110E engine in the question is the 6 cylinder twin cam 280 motor, fuel injected with petrolangel

Jdring
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Re: W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed
prwales wrote:

The m110E engine in the question is the 6 cylinder twin cam 280 motor, fuel injected with petrolangel

Ah. Stand corrected. I should have read the first para more closely. As I recall, the petrol 280 is one of the thirstiest engines, with the mpg you listed. Both my 230GEs have delivered 15 to 18mpg, driving them quite hard.
Arnie
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Re: W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed

All the body panels are available from MB dealers (original) and also from China (pattern parts). Any competent body-shop should be able deal with the rust by cutting and welding-in new panels. However, make sure that any repair work is properly sealed and painted on both sides, or else problems will recur. I think if  air-con and Diesel are importnat factors, you should look for a post year 2000, G270CDi. You will need to make do with left-hand drive but there are plenty of them, in perfect condition and  at good prices and I never found LHD to make any significant difference. You may find an old W460 and after you have spend £1,000s to get it to the condition you want, you may as well have bought a G270CDi for around £20k or less. I don't think that today, anyone can be very happy with the fuel consumption of the GE280 or indeed any of the petrol models, given increasing fuel prices. (I have a G300E, petrol). The 280E engine is a lovely engine but its THIRSTY, and has some antiquated systems on it , such as EGR and fuel pre-heating that are hard to maintain due to lack of spares. If your budget only stretches to an old W460, I'd hold-out for a good GD300 (diesel) automatic and then add aftermarket aircon. The aircon is the easiest thing to do, particularly compared to repairing a rusty W460, where you have to strip it down anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

prwales
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Re: W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed

Very thirsty in the G as you need a lot of revs to move the 2 tons around, I converted mine to lpg  but it never worked well. Great sound though but the engine is best suited to an SL or an SLC

Screwdriver
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Re: W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed

Cheers Arnie!

Bit surprised that you're recommending the automatic diesel. I have a preference for manual transmissions (bit more power and efficiency) - any reason for this?

Any known specialists that will install that aircon for me?

 

 

Arnie wrote:

All the body panels are available from MB dealers (original) and also from China (pattern parts). Any competent body-shop should be able deal with the rust by cutting and welding-in new panels. However, make sure that any repair work is properly sealed and painted on both sides, or else problems will recur. I think if  air-con and Diesel are importnat factors, you should look for a post year 2000, G270CDi. You will need to make do with left-hand drive but there are plenty of them, in perfect condition and  at good prices and I never found LHD to make any significant difference. You may find an old W460 and after you have spend £1,000s to get it to the condition you want, you may as well have bought a G270CDi for around £20k or less. I don't think that today, anyone can be very happy with the fuel consumption of the GE280 or indeed any of the petrol models, given increasing fuel prices. (I have a G300E, petrol). The 280E engine is a lovely engine but its THIRSTY, and has some antiquated systems on it , such as EGR and fuel pre-heating that are hard to maintain due to lack of spares. If your budget only stretches to an old W460, I'd hold-out for a good GD300 (diesel) automatic and then add aftermarket aircon. The aircon is the easiest thing to do, particularly compared to repairing a rusty W460, where you have to strip it down anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arnie
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Re: W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed

The OM617, and OM603 engines like to rev'd and I find that they operate very smoothly with an auto transmision that doesn't significantly drop revs to change-up gears. Since them I always had Diesel + auto on Gs. The few manuals I tried were a bit like driving a transit van. Indeded, the default (UK) spec on the W463 became auto for whatever engine. Apart from that, an auto just works better on inclines, if you ever go off-road. Less chance of stalling and less (no) chance of burning the clutch. The auto starts off in 2nd gear for a smooth take-off and has an ultra-low 1st (B) for difficult situations. I also noted that the Swiss Army have of late been speciying auto transmission with Diesel engines, so The military must be of similar oppinion. 

For the later Gs, as in the 270CDi, the 5-speed, electronically controlled transmission is just superb and pretty-much bullet-proof, unlike the later 7-speed that followed.

Anyway, just my personal point of view.. I've also havd a MINI One-D with a 6-speed manual and that was a hoot to drive, but for a G,it need to be auto for me.

As for efficiency, yes, a manual has lower losses, and will get you more MPG on long cruises, However, around town, an auto will shift-up quicker without loss of momentum and I'd say MPGs will be similar.

Therefore, my priority would be

1.) good condition for engine and bodywork and oher mechanoicals

2.) Diesel + auto

3.)  aircon (most on W460 were aftermarket anyway - Diavia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screwdriver
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Re: W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed

Arnie wrote:

Therefore, my priority would be

1.) good condition for engine and bodywork and oher mechanoicals

2.) Diesel + auto

3.)  aircon (most on W460 were aftermarket anyway - Diavia)

Much appreciated Arnie. I'm quite happy to go with a manual transmission as I'd prefer the increased power and efficiency. No major offroading planned and I'd imagine the clutch on a G would last forever on typical UK roads.

Would really appreciate thoughts on where I would get the aftermarket aircon installed - Any specialists known to have done this?

tiny
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Re: W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed
Arnie
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Re: W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed

yes, I see Diavia hase been sold:

https://www.eberspacher.com/press/uk-news/sale-of-diavia.html

You can also look at finding the main parts from an old 300D saloon car, but best to go with a modern compressor and system, since even if you did find an old W460 with original AC system the required R30 gas is no longer legal/ available.

(The OM617 doen't have any spare power to waste, but an auto is not all that bad in power-loss.)

Screwdriver
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Re: W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed

Arnie wrote:

You can also look at finding the main parts from an old 300D saloon car, but best to go with a modern compressor and system, since even if you did find an old W460 with original AC system the required R30 gas is no longer legal/ available.

(The OM617 doen't have any spare power to waste, but an auto is not all that bad in power-loss.)

I happen to own an 84 300D (with aircon). It takes R12 gas which is still available but a bit more expensive. As a result, no need for me to change to R34a.  

prwales
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Re: W460 SWB 280GE with aircon - Ownership advice needed

I have the manual 5 speed box on my 463 300ge, I also have a 300e w124 auto, I wish it were reversed as the manual in a w124 would be tremendous and an auto in the G makes it less of a chore