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Old 11-01-2002, 03:12 PM
Posts: n/a
560SL New Owner Start Up Cost

All Tech Heads,

Need some input as to where I am relative to the "comfort zone" with a recently acquired '86 560SL. Prior to purchase, I factored in $2K - $3K over initial cost based on my assessment of vehicle condition (looks great, runs strong, handles good) and known maint history (spotty). So Far:

1. Find a Tech: I think I got lucky. Found MB trained indie with a first-rate shop who loves the breed & is easy to talk to.
2. Timing Chain & ancillary parts: Doubtful maint background made exploratory work advisable. Replaced chain all guides/rails. Sprockets good.
3. With front cover off: What else can we do while we're here? Repl oil pump sprocket, chain, main seal.
4. Gaskets & piddly items on the way in and out.

TEST DRIVE: 30 Miles at 3200 - 4000 rpm. Heading back - - - -

1. Smoke & despair: No rattle, clunk or heat up but pouring oil from lower rear section of engine. Front & top of engine clean. Only thing I can think is rear main.
2. Diagnostics: Flat bed back to shop. Tech & owner await & seemed as worried as I was. On the rack - best guess, rear main, closer look next day - confirmed.
3. Work: Repl rear main.
4. While you'r there: Service trans (which seems to be in great shape), change seals, filter, gaskets, fluid - anything that can be done without gutting it.

At this point I'm feeling good. I believe the work is being well done and the items being addressed are inevitable at this mileage. The cost is reasonable for the work being done. I am looking to do more because I intend to be totally confident in this vehicle regardless of how far or fast I drive it.

Now, tell me straight Doc, I can take it. Am I crazy to feel good? Rhetorical question - what I really want to know is, given what I have done thus far, what can I or should I plan for next?

I do know that I want to have the rubber suspension parts replaced - everything I read tells me that it really tightens up these old cars - and I imagine the shocks will come into the picture at the same time. Beyond that, I think I'm OK for a while.

At any rate, I would be obliged for your thoughts on:

1. The relationship, if any, between front end engine work & rear main failure ( I think none).
2. Did the moderately elevated RPMs precipitate the failure? ( I don't see how).
3. I pick the vehicle up tomorrow - any suggestions on next test drive?

Live from Ft. Worth - Mike
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