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Old 02-09-2010, 11:33 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ottawa, Canada's capital
Posts: 31
Where do I start?

I've just returned from my 1700 mile trek from Texas and now possess an 1986 300sl with 68,000 miles on it.

The previous owner has done very little maintenance on the vehicle in the last ten years. He hardly drove it.

What sort of things must be done to get the car into good working order?
Do valves need to be adjusted on these, check the timing chain, grease wheel bearings, change what fluids ? Your advice as always is appreciated. The car has no service manual. Thanks
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:13 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Deerfield, Illinois
Posts: 349
engine and transmission mounts could probably use replacement

all fluids (transmission, coolant, brake, steering, differential, oil) and all filters associated with them - air filter, gas filter too.

1986 560SL (52.5k miles) sold 11/24/04

1987 560sl (55.6k miles)
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:17 PM
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what little I know
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Houston
Posts: 240
Take it to your trusted indy and walk the car from stem to stern making a list of everything pointed out that needs attention/fixing. Prioritize and then, get busy (either yourself or your indy, whichever you prefer/can afford).

Oh, change all fluids and filters if you don't know when they were done last. This way you know.
too many w123's
84 280 SL 5 speed
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:05 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Central Ky
Posts: 6,133
I would just do it all, fluids, valves, plugs, points, injectors, bearings, brake fluid , why not , that low of miles, with no history , probably well worth it , then as 123 stated, you have a good starting point. If you DIY wont run over 300-400$ How did it do on the 1700 mile drive?
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:20 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ottawa, Canada's capital
Posts: 31
It ran poorly for the first 500 miles and then improved as things got cleaned out. The heater wouldn't work after the caar was hot, dampers wouldn't change but the blower was still running. It's a long drive back to Canada with no heat. The steering was also very sloppy, it needs a new coupling. But I love it !!!
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Old 03-09-2010, 03:39 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Arlington, Texas
Posts: 37

What kind of problems (if any) did you have with customs? I have been thinking of moving my 1987 500 SL into Montreal for my relatives. Is doing so a big problem. This car was originaly imported to America through Canada. Keep us posted on your progress with you car.


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Old 03-10-2010, 08:07 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ottawa, Canada's capital
Posts: 31
You wouldn't have a problem with customs because the car is over 15 years old and therefore safety standards do not have to be met ( daytime running lights etc.) Just present bill of sale at Cdn. customs and pay the taxes owing on the sale. Once in Canada, the vehicle must pass a safety check ( brakes etc. ). After 20 years of age the vehicle will not need to be smog tested. Just take the safety and bill of sale to the DMV and pay provincial tax and you're done. Since the vehicle was in Canada before, you shouldn't have to pay duty tax on it. Total tax charged would be less than 15%.
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