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  #1  
Old 11-04-2009, 07:16 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SE Mich
Posts: 3,103
I just became an SL owner

Even though all my other MBs are diesels except the 1953 220, I just bought a 1983 380SL today, to make sure it wasn't molested.

It may have some electical and fuel issues.

I'm very open to the R107 specialists on this forum for their wisdom on what I should do next. I'll be getting the car out of the current owner's hands in about a week.

What to check/buy first?

What about manuals vs CDs?

What are the weaknesses?

I await your wisdom...
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Strelnik
Invest in America: Buy a Congressman!

1950 170SD
1951 Citroen 11BN
1953 Citroen 11BNF limo
1953 220a project
1959 180D
1960 190D
1960 Borgward Isabella TS 2dr
1983 240D daily driver
1983 380SL
1990 350SDL daily driver alt
3 x Citroen DS21M, down from 5
3 x Citroen 2CV, down from 6
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  #2  
Old 11-05-2009, 01:41 AM
coleyjf's Avatar
Old dog - new tricks
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: East Midlands of the UK
Posts: 264
Hi there

Welcome to the SL forum.

The US guys will give you loads of info on what to look out for, as many of the issues in the 380 concern the US - "non-Euro" models, such as timing chains, CAT's, aircon etc but my comment is:

Cruise and enjoy.

I guess the first thing though is to get either a workshop manual or a set of CD's ( from ?Bay? or a US member of the forum) unless of course there's one with the 380? and then put her through a thorough "service" not forgetting to change the fuel filter (next to the fuel pump near the back axle).

As to the rest, well best to drive it first and see what ( if anything) is wrong.

Cheers

Jim
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  #3  
Old 11-05-2009, 07:31 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SE Mich
Posts: 3,103
Quote:
Originally Posted by coleyjf View Post
Hi there

Welcome to the SL forum.

The US guys will give you loads of info on what to look out for, as many of the issues in the 380 concern the US - "non-Euro" models, such as timing chains, CAT's, aircon etc but my comment is:

Cruise and enjoy.

I guess the first thing though is to get either a workshop manual or a set of CD's ( from ?Bay? or a US member of the forum) unless of course there's one with the 380? and then put her through a thorough "service" not forgetting to change the fuel filter (next to the fuel pump near the back axle).

As to the rest, well best to drive it first and see what ( if anything) is wrong.

Cheers

Jim
I actually changed that filter this summer for the prior owner, so I know where it is.

I was hoping to get some info like I give to the diesel folks who ask, since that's my primary interest. Likje a list of typical problems, things that owners take for granted or fail to change.

I'm probably going to be asking one of the SL fuel injection gurus like Arthur Dalton a lot of questions as I attempt to find out how all the stuff works on the SL. Was hoping to find out more, but appreciate the welcome.

s
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Strelnik
Invest in America: Buy a Congressman!

1950 170SD
1951 Citroen 11BN
1953 Citroen 11BNF limo
1953 220a project
1959 180D
1960 190D
1960 Borgward Isabella TS 2dr
1983 240D daily driver
1983 380SL
1990 350SDL daily driver alt
3 x Citroen DS21M, down from 5
3 x Citroen 2CV, down from 6
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  #4  
Old 11-05-2009, 09:32 PM
rowdie's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: NE Oklahoma
Posts: 1,416
Try here. There is a list of things that can go wrong. Single row timing chain, a section on the K-Jet injection. Info on the subframe recall and much more.
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r-c107-sl-slc-class/1450550-well-probably-ask-you-read-anyway.html
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  #5  
Old 11-05-2009, 09:53 PM
meltedpanda's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Central Ky
Posts: 6,130
start with the chain , and depending on mileage react...accordingly
then onto the vacuum lines, all rubber under the hood and injector maintenace
So much depends on service intervals of PO. Find that out and we can help better.
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2011 Porsche Cayman - Bond,James Bond
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14 38HP John Deere 3038E Tractor -Mean Green
84 300SD, Benjamin -SOLD
71 220 - W115-Libby ( my first love) -SOLD
73 280 - W114 "Organspende" Rest in Peace
81 380 SL - Rest in Peace
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2009, 11:24 AM
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Location: Falls Church, VA
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The problem areas and symptoms I have seen (and experienced) -

Warm-up regulator. Hard start, poor warmup. Usually clogged intake screen.

Idle control relay and/or idle control valve. Erratic idle. Clogged or sticking valve and/or bad idle relay.

Idle mixture, oxygen sensor, misadjusted CO. Poor idle, hard start, dies, runs rich.

Clogged tank screen. Stumbling on acceleration, may die but restart after sitting.

Massive vacuum leak due to cracks in air guide housing. Poor idle, lack of acceleration, backfire.

Leaking injector seals. High or lumpy idle.

Brightness control rheostat. No dash lights.

HVAC control (control unit(s), vacuum pods, switches). No AC or heat, uncontrolled heat, no heat to floor, etc.
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Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2009, 08:16 PM
Fulcrum525's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: CT
Posts: 2,091
I was about to say Strelnik....why are you going for a 380SL as opposed to a 560SL or an older 450SL?
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1982 300GD Carmine Red (DB3535) Cabriolet FOR SALE
1990 300SEL Smoke Silver (Parting out)
1991 350SDL Blackberry Metallic (481)

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  #8  
Old 11-06-2009, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fulcrum525 View Post
I was about to say Strelnik....why are you going for a 380SL as opposed to a 560SL or an older 450SL?
for 500 bucks, wouldn't you?
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Strelnik
Invest in America: Buy a Congressman!

1950 170SD
1951 Citroen 11BN
1953 Citroen 11BNF limo
1953 220a project
1959 180D
1960 190D
1960 Borgward Isabella TS 2dr
1983 240D daily driver
1983 380SL
1990 350SDL daily driver alt
3 x Citroen DS21M, down from 5
3 x Citroen 2CV, down from 6
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2009, 09:33 PM
Fulcrum525's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: CT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strelnik View Post
for 500 bucks, wouldn't you?

Yes....if it was a gray market G-Class
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1982 300GD Carmine Red (DB3535) Cabriolet FOR SALE
1990 300SEL Smoke Silver (Parting out)
1991 350SDL Blackberry Metallic (481)

"The thing is Bob, its not that I'm lazy...its that I just don't care."
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  #10  
Old 11-06-2009, 11:05 PM
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Location: Dallas, TX
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I'm not an expert but for $500 I would buy it. If it doesnt work out, I would part it and make $500 in the first batch of parts that I sell on ebay.
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  #11  
Old 11-07-2009, 06:24 AM
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Location: Dayton, Ohio region
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Welcome to the SL side of M-B. Please post pictures of the new toy as soon as possible.
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Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread. - Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821.
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2009, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jplinville View Post
Welcome to the SL side of M-B. Please post pictures of the new toy as soon as possible.

Right now I am busy lining up a free heated garage for it.
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Strelnik
Invest in America: Buy a Congressman!

1950 170SD
1951 Citroen 11BN
1953 Citroen 11BNF limo
1953 220a project
1959 180D
1960 190D
1960 Borgward Isabella TS 2dr
1983 240D daily driver
1983 380SL
1990 350SDL daily driver alt
3 x Citroen DS21M, down from 5
3 x Citroen 2CV, down from 6
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2009, 05:45 PM
82 380SL & 96 SL500
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Southern Illinois
Posts: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by strelnik View Post
Right now I am busy lining up a free heated garage for it.
Free is always good.
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  #14  
Old 11-07-2009, 06:14 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SE Mich
Posts: 3,103
Quote:
Originally Posted by abiby View Post
Free is always good.

I got the free garage for the 380SL. NOW... when I bring it there, I'm going to start witrh the obvious such as oil change.

I'd like to get the info from an owner's manual, since the pirates are selling them for 125 bucks on Ebay. Xerox or .pdf would be fine. Just to know the car.

Next, some driving to determine how it drives. I know it needs some spring seat repair and other items. And it may leak a little somewhere, there's a slight scent of mildew, so I may remove the seats and carpet and see what is what after doing the driveability check.

About the only accessory I might get is the plastic cover for the spare tire, if I can find one at a reasonable price.

I would like to know if there are any special tools that are especially useful.
If the air plenum is commonly cracked, causing a lot of vacuum leaks, as described earlier in the thread, is there a fix, like smear epoxy on it? or is the part readily available?

Someone else has told me that all SL models are on the pricy side.

We'll see how much I can shave off the bill through DIY.
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Strelnik
Invest in America: Buy a Congressman!

1950 170SD
1951 Citroen 11BN
1953 Citroen 11BNF limo
1953 220a project
1959 180D
1960 190D
1960 Borgward Isabella TS 2dr
1983 240D daily driver
1983 380SL
1990 350SDL daily driver alt
3 x Citroen DS21M, down from 5
3 x Citroen 2CV, down from 6
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  #15  
Old 11-07-2009, 07:59 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: NE Oklahoma
Posts: 1,416
I have never heard of a cracked plenum. Definitely not a common problem. The gaskets between the plenum and the intake are another issue.

DIY is always good. Really no special tools unless you have to check the hydraulic lifters. There is a go-no go gauge. Don't know anything about it but have heard of it.

I know next to nothing about the k-jet but am learning. Then there is the climate control hell.
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