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  #1  
Old 02-02-2004, 05:42 PM
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Smile 300SDL Questions & Advice Needed

I am planning to buy a 300SDL and am trying to educate myself beforehand. I have read about some of the "issues" with this model regarding the Trap Oxidizer (T-O) recall & Possible Head cracks, but I have some other general questions.

If neccessary, does the Head from the later 350SDL fit the 300SDL engine and is there any advantage to doing this over a rebuilt 300SDL head?

My ideal car would have many of the options that were standard on most 560SEL cars. Can the Self-Levelling rear suspension from a 560SEL be retro-fitted to the 300SDL and if so, is it worth the effort? Another potential advantage of this mod. would be the LSD rear end that was standard in the 560SEL. Comments please.

Can other items like the Reclining Rear seat and Rear Sunblind be installed in a 300SDL from a 560SEL donor car or are there 'structural' differences between the two? I realise some wiring additions/changes would be needed.

Apart from the Head and 'T-O' recall, what are the most common items to check for when looking at purchase of a 300SDL? Does M-B still honour the 'T-O' recall for used cars that haven't been upgraded?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Andy

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  #2  
Old 02-03-2004, 12:59 AM
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smoke gets in your eyes
 
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Andy,

The later head will fit but I believe the ones with 56 and higher in the part number require reworking the head slightly to accept the old style prechamber. New prechambers are very expensive and require new injectors as well. I don't know if the new injectors require a new IP.

Because of the possibility of an original head cracking I wouldn't bother rebuilding it. Not just my opinion; reputable MB engine rebuilding shops like Metric Motors and Adsit won't rebuild or sell a rebuilt 603.96 head. Maybe if you ask nicely...

The SDL was available with reclining rear seat so it's a matter of finding one. I can't tell by looking if it can be retrofitted. I imagine so.

I don't know if a power sun shade was available as an option. A fellow in Texas told me he special ordered an 86 SDL with all the US-spec 560SEL options except self leveling suspension. I've never seen the car nor heard from him again. Take it FWIW.

It should be possible to adapt self leveling suspension as well. You'll need the power steering and pump assembly from an 87 300TD and everything else from a 560SEL. There are no structural difference that I know of. Lots of parts to transfer, though. I can't imagine it's worth the cost and effort.

Sixto
95 S420
87 300SDL
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  #3  
Old 02-03-2004, 01:07 PM
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Thanks sixto,
That's just the kind of feedback I'm looking for. I'm a newbie here although I have been browsing this and other M-B sites for a while now. Like I said I want to educate myself before I buy.

Does anybody else have any experience with the pros/cons of the Self Levelling 560SEL Rear Suspension vs the stock SDL? I've seen a few 126's driving around with sagging rear ends. Is this just lack of maintenance or are they fairly sensitive to loads in the trunk?

Are there any other common wear items or weak points I should be aware of on the SDL? I'm familiar with the obvious items that are common to all vehicles (brakes, suspension joints/bushings, etc.).

Andy.
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  #4  
Old 02-03-2004, 03:26 PM
VeeDubTDI
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I picked up my 300SDL about a month ago, and I'm very pleased with it. It has the optional reclining rear seat, but it doesn't have heated seats (oh well). I will eventually do a 560SEL rear end for the taller final drive (2.47 vs 2.88) and the LSD.
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Old 02-03-2004, 03:39 PM
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Dieseldiehard
 
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Location: Bay Area No Calif.
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taller final drive (2.47 vs 2.88) . . .

I have a 2.65 in my '87 300D turbo. I wonder if a W126 1:2.47 (ABS) differential will fit it?
Anybody know if these are compatible?
Thanks,
DDH
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2004, 03:48 PM
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The SDL's are great. I got mine for $2500 in great shape, look around there are deals to be had. As for the self leveling suspension why would you want that? It just seems like a big problem, waiting to happen and big $$$ to fix. $400 rear shocks + accumulators, the pump, hoses to leak. Do you carry a lot of stuff in your trunk?
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  #7  
Old 02-03-2004, 03:56 PM
VeeDubTDI
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Arrow

I think installing the Self Leveling Suspension is more trouble and more expensive than it's worth.

On the topic of suspension, Eibach makes the Pro Kit suspension for the 300SD/380SEC/380SEL. Has anyone purchased and installed this kit? It says that it lowers the vehicle 1.3" front and rear.

Product -- PRO-KIT
Front -- 1.3 in
Rear -- 1.3 in
Comments -- Ride heights may be adjusted through Mercedes Pad System. Please consult your authorized Mercedes Dealer if add'l ride height adjustment is needed.
Part Number -- 2507.140

http://www.eibach.com
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  #8  
Old 02-03-2004, 03:57 PM
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smoke gets in your eyes
 
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The MB self leveling suspension system in the 126 is quite robust if given minimum maintenance. It'll take quite a load too as Mike Tangas will attest. On the other hand only a 560 can really drag its tail. Even in the worst condition a 126 with conventional suspension won't look like a trail dragging 560. Self leveling suspension doesn't compensate for bad subframe mounts and trailing arm bushings.

Since the system only has one level sensor for the rear axle I don't imagine it does much to prevent roll but I could be wrong.

As with any 126, give the ACC a full workout before you pass judgement on the car. Bad actuators and such can be easily addressed but when the system takes on a mind of its own it can be very frustrating and time consuming to get it working properly.

Sixto
95 S420
87 300SDL
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  #9  
Old 02-03-2004, 11:32 PM
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I wouldn't bother on the SDL, but I have a self-leveling, torsion bar suspension in my other car, a 1956 Packard. It is WAY cool. People lean on the rear fender and it clicks, then brings the rear end up. It's always fun to watch people's reaction the first time they see it in action.

- Ted

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