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Old 01-17-2008, 05:24 PM
Philoprof Philoprof is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 99
OK. Here's what my recent investigation into the 107 subframe problem yielded, for anyone who may be interested. First, the following message by a very knowledgeable and experienced MB mechanic appeared in a Mercedes newsgroup some time ago:

"The 380SL is subject to a failure of the front lower control arm rear
attachment to its subframe. This will result in loss of steering control and
likely, a crash. The 450SL was recalled for this problem, and the subframes reinforced by a weld-on kit if still OK, or a whole new subframe if cracks had begun. But Mercedes has never recalled the 380SL, which has the same defective subframe design. Many of them are now breaking, so have yours checked before driving again. "

Bill Ditmire
Ditmire Motorworks,Inc.
425 White Horse Pike
Absecon,NJ 08201
http://www.ditmire.com
609-641-3392

I subsequently called MB-USA, and spoke to a rep who said that they had investigated the problem and considered it closed with the 450sl recall. So, they would not pay to reinforce my 380sl.

I then spoked to the parts mgr at a local dealer who researched the issue and emailed the following info to me:
REINFORCEMANT BRACKET KIT $106.22

ZINC DUST PAINT $113.00

SUBFRAME $1,431.00

BUSHING KIT $ 302.77

IF THE SUBFRAME IS CRACKED AND NEED TO BE REPLACED THE NEW SUBFRAME WILL COME WITH NEW BRACKETS SO YOU WILL NOT NEED THEM OR THE ZINC DUST PAINT BUT YOU WILL NEED THE BUSHING KIT BECAUSE THE OLD BUSHINGS ARE IMPOSIBLE TO GET OUT OF THE OLD SUBFRAME

THIS IS NOT A COVERED CAR UNDER THE RECALL IT ONLY APPLYS TO THE 450SL AND 450SLC

I then went out to see the shop foreman, Dave, at MB of Devon in Philadelphia's Western suburbs, since he has been exceptionally knowledgeable and helpful to me over the years. As it turned out, this was quite a coincidence, since a guy had just brought in a gray market 350sl that MB ended up retrofitting under the subframe recall.

In addition, it was a coincidence that Dave had a 560sl up on the lift. So, he showed me the difference in the strength of that subframe vs mine, and told me where and how to add the reinforcing brackets, requiring about 2 hrs of welding

Another interesting little thing is that the another name for the "ZINC DUST PAINT" that MB sells for $113.00 is ZINC COLD GALVANIZING SPRAY, which ACE Hardware sells in a 14.75 OZ can for around 7.00. (Actually I'm not sure that these are exactly the same, but they're both used to coat metal before welding, and other companies make zinc dust paint for the same purchase.)

So, I ordered the repair kit and 2 bushing kits, and that's where I currently am in resolving this potential problem. When I tackle the job, I'll take and post before and after pictures for people who are considering having the job done or doing it themselves.


__________________
Bill
1981 380sl

Last edited by Philoprof; 01-19-2008 at 08:02 PM.
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