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  #1  
Old 02-14-2008, 01:20 PM
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Catalytic converter for 1985 Euro 280SL

As I live in BC I don't actually need a catalytic converter to be legal, however the car originally came from Nevada and had one when I bought it a few years ago. Since then it has gone Kaput and I am currently running without one on the advice of my local Mercedes guru. The idea of polluting unnecessarily bothers me a bit so I have done a little research with regard to replacing it. There is a great deal of variety in the various cc's that are available, especially as the European cars were evidently not fitted with one from the factory. An afterrmarket unit that is specifically built for the car is around $600.00, while a so-called universal type that claims approval in all US states is in the mid $60.00 range. Does anyone have any experience in this area? Obviously if I can reduce pollution to an acceptable level with a less expensive unit without affecting performance, I'm not about to blow an extra $500.00+ but I have no idea whether the universal type is really as good as claimed. Any experience or other info would be welcomed.
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  #2  
Old 02-15-2008, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by freshairfiend View Post
The idea of polluting unnecessarily bothers me a bit so I have done a little research with regard to replacing it. There is a great deal of variety in the various cc's that are available, especially as the European cars were evidently not fitted with one from the factory. An afterrmarket unit that is specifically built for the car is around $600.00, while a so-called universal type that claims approval in all US states is in the mid $60.00 range. Does anyone have any experience in this area? Obviously if I can reduce pollution to an acceptable level with a less expensive unit without affecting performance, I'm not about to blow an extra $500.00+ but I have no idea whether the universal type is really as good as claimed. Any experience or other info would be welcomed.
Environmentally friendly at $60 but not at $600. Interesting.

Listen, your 280SL was designed WITHOUT a CAT. 'Nuff said.
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  #3  
Old 02-15-2008, 07:00 AM
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You can live without the cat. Just don't try and live w/o the O2 sensor if the car has one. -CTH
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  #4  
Old 02-15-2008, 08:08 AM
83gray380
 
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A universal fit converter is usually functionally as good as original equipment when new. It will work fine as far as lowering O2. The big difference is the installation of the unit and the life expectancy of the cat., plus the quality might not be as good, but it will work. The unit will not be a direct fit, so you'll have to have it installed by a muffler shop or a mechanic that is willing to cut and weld it into place. (most Mercedes dealerships won't install them, they like original equipment) It also usually will not last as long as original equipment. It still might last years before you need a new one. I've never had to use one on my 380SL, but I've used several universal fit cats. on my many other cars and they work fine and I've gotten years of use out of the universal cat. without replacement. I pass emissions with no problem. If you can find a shop to install it, they are not a bad deal. Also remember, when it says Mercedes, the price goes up.
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:25 AM
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If you can feel better for $60, go for it. It's not going to hurt the car.

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  #6  
Old 02-15-2008, 03:10 PM
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Nobby,
If you read the original thread carefully, you would find the "environmentally friendly" bit a little less interesting. I didn't preclude buying a $600.00 cat, merely stated that if I could get satisfactory performance for $60.00 why would i spend the extra. However, there was some good info from some of the replies, and it would seem that as I only drive the car in the summer for maybe 2,000 or so miles, either a universal unit will satisfactorily fill the bill, or I can do without one altogether. I'll probably go for the universal unit though. Thanks to the folks who responded.
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  #7  
Old 02-15-2008, 10:10 PM
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Perhaps I misread your post or perceived it differently than you would like. For that I apologize.
Nevertheless, the 280 wasn't designed with a CAT and will never be a "green car" with or without the CAT.
Now, if you installed a Prius where the CAT should be....maybe.
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:06 PM
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Nobby,
No harm done whichever way your reply was read. Before buying the car I did some research and came up with the conclusion that the 280SL was the way to go. It drives better than the previous 280's and is far more affordable as well as being a far superior performer to the American 450's and 380's. Although I'm happy with it as a summer toycar, it doesn't have the financial upside of the older models which are slowly going off the dollar scale and I am currently thinking of looking around for a 1989 or prior Euro 500SL - everything the 280SL has plus more power and a bit rarer. I think it might be a bit of a sleeper in terms of appreciation. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-25-2008, 05:14 PM
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Do you guys still race bathtubs up there? Tod
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2008, 07:30 PM
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Every summer, but if you saw them you wouldn't recognise them as bathtubs. ome of them are kind of funny looking but nearly all of them go like a bat out of hell. Many of them are not built for stormy seas either, but injuries seem to be remarkably few.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:33 PM
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Every summer, but if you saw them you wouldn't recognise them as bathtubs. ome of them are kind of funny looking but nearly all of them go like a bat out of hell. Many of them are not built for stormy seas either, but injuries seem to be remarkably few.[/quote]
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  #12  
Old 02-29-2008, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by freshairfiend View Post
Nobby,
No harm done whichever way your reply was read. Before buying the car I did some research and came up with the conclusion that the 280SL was the way to go. It drives better than the previous 280's and is far more affordable as well as being a far superior performer to the American 450's and 380's. Although I'm happy with it as a summer toycar, it doesn't have the financial upside of the older models which are slowly going off the dollar scale and I am currently thinking of looking around for a 1989 or prior Euro 500SL - everything the 280SL has plus more power and a bit rarer. I think it might be a bit of a sleeper in terms of appreciation. Any thoughts?
I chose my particular 280 because it had a 5 speed stick. I wanted a stick, and the 280 was it.

I'm surprised the 450 380 crowd hasn't flamed you for your "superior" comment.
My SL goes good but I gotta really squeeze max rpm before shifting to have a hope of winning any race.

I like the 500SL as well. More rare, and a little unpopular because, it too, is a Euro. POS has one with a stick. Niceset I've seen.
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  #13  
Old 02-29-2008, 08:25 AM
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I'm surprised the 450 380 crowd hasn't flamed you for your "superior" comment.
When you're obviously better, you don't have to wave it in everyone's face.
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  #14  
Old 02-29-2008, 11:25 PM
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When you're obviously better, you don't have to wave it in everyone's face.
..................oh you poor lost soul..............
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  #15  
Old 03-01-2008, 05:37 AM
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I have to admire your sentiment on the converter. I have a euro 280e which now is a dedicated autocross car but fifteen years ago I drove it on the street. I might not bother with it because fitting it will be a bit dicey. If you do it I would suggest you make new pipes so that you can remove the entire section and keep your original equipment for that section so if you have trouble with it you can put the originals back in.

The euro 500sls probably will have more collector value in the future, but there were so many 107s built they will probably none ever have much value except the ultra high performance euro versions and AMGs etc.

Tom W
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