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Old 02-08-2017, 05:51 PM
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Location: Jamestown Ohio
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1981 380sl issues...Climate control and driving

Hello everyone I have a 1981 380sl that I got from a friend about a year ago. Thin was in bad shape so I had to save it.

It's now my main driver while my Cummins is down so I'm trying to restore/keep running and not making much progress it seems.

In the fuel system everything except the fuel accumulator is new.

I'm having a problem with pretty much after the warm-up regulator does its job the car starts losing power...Not electrical power but when I step on the gas it starts puttering and struggles to even get going usually. The longer I drive the worse it gets...When it's cold the car runs good.

And the other thing which may or may not be related is the climate control...Everything is dead. My defroster was working until a few months ago...Then the blower stopped coming on...Then when I got the blower working it wouldn't put out any heat....The blower only works now about once or twice in a great while...This doesn't make sense to me...

As for vacuum goes I have run all new vacuum lines to about 90% of the car. The door locks have not been re-run yet because I can't figure out how to get to most of it...

The door locks do not work...I try to lock it and one side will lock while the other one is stiff and will not lock...There is no vacuum pump sound or anything and none of the other locks are working...I cannot find a leak...Doesn't mean it's not there but I have an 85 190 that there is a separate pump locking the locks...

Any advice or help?
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:42 AM
corbitt's Avatar
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Regarding door locks, probably need to replace the vacuum unit. It is in the passenger door. Not too difficult to do yourself. The part runs $150.
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:33 AM
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You may need to replace the vacuum lock element in the door that doesn't work. I was under the impression that the R107's didn't have a vacuum pump until the facelift in '86. My '83 certainly doesn't, though it is a Euro.

The pushbutton unit for the climate control is known to become flaky as the car ages. Lack of any vents other that defrost indicates vacuum issues or failed vacuum pods in the dash. If the fan is intermittent, try cycling through the fan control switches several times, and do the same with the mode switches. This tends to happen in my SL and I've been too lazy to pull the pushbutton unit to fix it (usually the top is dropped anyway!).

Lack of heat is often a failed auxiliary pump. VERY common issue, poke around the forum for more info and replacement tips.

Regarding the running issues: When was the last time the cap and rotor were replaced on the distributor? Worn or failing cap/rotor can cause some really strange issues. Does the car start running rough or trying to stall? Or does it simply not "go" when you push the pedal? If the latter, start checking linkages. There are several pivot points that can flake out on you and cause lack of travel. If you have a fuel issue, usually the engine will stumble or try to stall when you press the pedal.
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Old 02-19-2017, 05:05 PM
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The poorly designed Chrysler ACCII is the problem. It is bound to fail. Researched the unwired tools fix.
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viperious View Post
Hello everyone I have a 1981 380sl that I got from a friend about a year ago. Thin was in bad shape so I had to save it.

It's now my main driver while my Cummins is down so I'm trying to restore/keep running and not making much progress it seems.

In the fuel system everything except the fuel accumulator is new.

I'm having a problem with pretty much after the warm-up regulator does its job the car starts losing power...Not electrical power but when I step on the gas it starts puttering and struggles to even get going usually. The longer I drive the worse it gets...When it's cold the car runs good.

And the other thing which may or may not be related is the climate control...Everything is dead. My defroster was working until a few months ago...Then the blower stopped coming on...Then when I got the blower working it wouldn't put out any heat....The blower only works now about once or twice in a great while...This doesn't make sense to me...

As for vacuum goes I have run all new vacuum lines to about 90% of the car. The door locks have not been re-run yet because I can't figure out how to get to most of it...

The door locks do not work...I try to lock it and one side will lock while the other one is stiff and will not lock...There is no vacuum pump sound or anything and none of the other locks are working...I cannot find a leak...Doesn't mean it's not there but I have an 85 190 that there is a separate pump locking the locks...

Any advice or help?


Check out the below links for your climate control issue and door lock malfunction. Best of luck!

Mercedes-Benz R107 Replacing the Climate Control Amplifier | R107 (1972-1980) | Pelican Parts DIY Maintenance Article

Mercedes-Benz R107 Door Lock Vacuum Actuator Replacement | 1972-1986 - 450SL, 380SL, 500SL, 560SL | Pelican Parts DIY Maintenance Article


-Dmitry
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