Need info on G wagen





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  1. #1
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    Default Need info on G wagen

    I am looking at buying a 1985 2.8 G wagen and need some advice:

    1. Fuel useage.
    2. Availabilaty of parts.
    3. Will it have the power to be used as a everday vehicle.
    4. If any the do and don't about it

    I do a bit of traveling per month and will use it with a heavy trailer from time to time.
    Rudi Roode
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  2. #2
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    They're unstoppable off-road (3 diff-locks), but slow on-road. Haven't actually driven one, but I considered getting one before settling on the Jeep.


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  3. #3
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    I own a 1988 280GE here in Saudi. It is my daily driver. To answer your questions.

    Fuel consumption - Very heavy. The 280 is especially known for it's heavy consumption.

    Power - It's a bit like sailing. It's about enjoying the ride. Not sure if yours will be auto or manual. The manual might be better as the auto starts off in second. Mine is Auto and I usually just shift it manually to get some get up and go.

    Towing - Good tow vehicle in the sense that a trailer doesn't really throw it around much. Power is a problem. If you're happy with 100km/hr then it's fine. I usually tow two quad bikes on a heavy trailer and I can tow at 120km/hr except if there is a strong head wind. Can't comment on hills as we don't have any around here.

    Parts - MB should be able to get everything you need.

    Daily driver - Yes, as long as you accept the fact that it's not a race car. Very comfortable and you always feel confident and safe in the thing.

    Problems - With a vehicle of that age you can expect to have to keep on top of things. Front wheel bearings need replacing more often than most vehicles (Larger tyres make it worse) The drive train is fairly bullet proof and simple.

    They say once you've driven a G-wagon you never want anything else. I agree.

    Offroad- Brilliant!! The only time other standard vehicles have an advantage is on long steep dunes where HP is the name of the game.

    BTW: It does not have three diff locks. The newer W463 model has three diff locks because it is permanent 4wd. The 280GE is a W460 model. They are part time 4wd so when you put it in 4wd it is like a centre diff-lock but it does not have one. Both front and rear diffs can also lock.

    Cheers
    Anton
    "88" Merc 280GE here in Saudi
    "87" SFA Hilux in Gauteng

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys,
    I'm taking it for a test drive later this afternoon.
    Rudi Roode
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  5. #5
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    ..............................long test drive
    How did it go??

  6. #6
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    They call them kalenderwagens.....hobo is probably still driving going around the block! They are amazing offroad!
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engel View Post
    They call them kalenderwagens.....hobo is probably still driving going around the block! They are amazing offroad!

    Believe it or not, one was advertised once in a newspaper as a kalenderwagen.

  8. #8
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    "..............................long test drive
    How did it go?? "

    "They call them kalenderwagens.....hobo is probably still driving going around the block! They are amazing off road"

    Lekker gelag nou, It is a very nice car, but if I buy it, I will def. go bankrupt, it will take 2 weeks to get to work area, work for a week and take 2 weeks to come back home. It is very slow, but comfortable and have got plenty of space for all the unnecessary camping stuff. I didn't when off road but am sure it will handle it well.

    If it was'nt for the speed issue I would have bought it
    Rudi Roode
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  9. #9
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    Hobo, How slow is slow.

    Waht do they go for as a matter of interest?
    Deon

    If you can't fix it with a hammer,you have an electrical problem...


  10. #10
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    dcxmax, I would say to get it to a reasonable cruising speed of 110 km/h you need to push it, the problem, if there's an incline you drop down to app 80= 85. Do you know the Plattekloof hill on the N1 in Parow, I was traveling at 95km/h at the bottom and ended up going 70 km/h over the top. Understand me right it is a nice car but You can add 2 hour from Cape Town to Jhb.

    It was a private sale and the owner wanted R50 000
    Last edited by Hobo; 2008/03/07 at 04:48 PM. Reason: add price
    Rudi Roode
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  11. #11
    4ePajero Guest

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    Any reason why it is so
    • lazy
    • thirsty?
    The MB 280E was a powerful engine, with reasonable economy in the S and E class. Was it the single or dual cam engine?
    A similar sized (BMW) engine powered the Defender 280?

  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 4ePajero View Post
    Any reason why it is so
    • lazy
    • thirsty?

    The MB 280E was a powerful engine, with reasonable economy in the S and E class. Was it the single or dual cam engine?
    A similar sized (BMW) engine powered the Defender 280?
    That would be the M110 DOHC engine ........... have one in my '74 coupe, it shunts. This one makes about 136kW, but I think the G class engine was detuned.
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  13. #13
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    Put a lexus motor in 8km/l endless power & Torque Mate of mine stay`s in St francis town and he drives every week to JHB to pick up spares for a transport company with about 3 ton on the trailer full of spares
    Alfred
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  14. #14
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    These 280 Gelandewagen motors is also 30 years old and most have only suffered abuse. It's a very hard and strong motor.

    They weren't built for speed,just torque.

    Remember a G Wagon is about 2Tons solo. The chassis will weigh more than our new plastic 4x4's.

    Lexus V8 is nice to have but the mods and cost to get it in to the vehicle, not worth it.

    I Would rather fit a new C280 or even a C320 motor, much less hassles.

    Just my 2cw
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  15. #15
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    Default More on the G.

    I have been a 280GE owner for about 5-6 years and unfortunately it is true: once you have owned one you never want to drive anything else. Some corrections and additional info:

    1) LWB weight is closer to 2500 kg than 2000 kg.
    2) They are bullet proof but those front bearings are a weakness. Fortunately replacing them is only a Saturday's worth of work for me.
    3) The 280GE is not too sluggish if you are prepared to play around with the gears, I never go slower than 110 km/h up the Plattekloof hill on the N1 ...
    4) Heavy on fuel. I get around 5 km/l ..... with a manual 4 speed.

    Good news however is that I recently purchased a 5 door 230GE (460 model) with a blown motor (my current 280GE is a 3 door) and also a 300E W124 (sedan with the 5 speed gearbox ... was quite a find!). I am in the process of installing the 300E motor into the 230GE after upgrading the engine to the Gelandewagen spec, which includes replacing the sump, oil pump, oil filtration system as well as the radiator assembly (on the G it includes an oil cooler). Since this engine is a G original (albeit in the 463 model) the engine mounts and all other extras can be bought off the shelf which makes the transplant relatively straight forward.

    With the new powerplant I hope to have cured at least the power issues with the G. As for fuel consumption: I have decided to ride out the petrol-head era in style!!!!

    Technically my 280GE is up for sale, but have been tinkering on her as well: replaced a leaking crank front oil seal and in the process of installing brand new windows on the side panels, also doing some light body work ..... seems just plain wrong to sell a family member so I guess I will keep her as garden gnome!
    * signature removed *

  16. #16
    peter460332 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merc-Mechanic View Post
    Good news however is that I recently purchased a 5 door 230GE (460 model) with a blown motor (my current 280GE is a 3 door) and also a 300E W124 (sedan with the 5 speed gearbox ... was quite a find!). I am in the process of installing the 300E motor into the 230GE
    Chris
    have you got it all running yet with the 300E motor?
    peter

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