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  #1  
Old 09-26-2017, 04:14 PM
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91 300 SL 5 speed, desirable or parts car?

Posed the same question on benzworld, not impressed with that group. I am sure there are people here on both so trashing them is not productive.

Anyway, picked this up this summer, a beautiful light blue with tan interior. runs great, but the roof hydraulics are out and the waterpump started seeping. Still a fun car and I love the getrag box.

Posting because I am not sure what to do with the car. Yes, fix the leak so it doesn't overheat. But what is the worth of this car? I have a feeling that very few were sold because no one wanted a manual trans SL, and probably still don't. The engine/trans are probably worth more than the rest of the car, and that is OK too. The chassis would make a great home for a US V8/6 speed combo. Or I could always yank the CIS and put in a real fuel injection system. The car is way too heavy, pulling the hydraulics, seats and roll bar and going lighter would be an improvement, INMHO.

So many of the posters on this forum seem to be into mods that most mercedes types don't do, so please share your thoughts. Be brutal and truthful, I am a big boy and don't get worked up over some tough talk on a forum.
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  #2  
Old 09-26-2017, 04:29 PM
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I'd like the flywheel and manual transmission.


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  #3  
Old 09-26-2017, 05:32 PM
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The cars were built in very low numbers so if it is in any condition, keep it going. Mods are OK as I doubt they will be worth big $ anyway. Don't expect to get big $ for the engine or trans however.

Swapping a 94 - 96 ish M104 3.2 engine would be a possibility. These would be found on the SL320 / E320 / S320. From what I've read, the gear box is near it's limit, especially in a heavy car ( ~ 4,100 LB ) so you don't want to hammer on it.

The 97 SL320 / E320 and 97 - 99 S320 had the same engine with more involved electronics that could be used with a bit more work. These later cars also had the electronic shift auto trans so fooling the engine computers in a manual trans car would be more work.

The top can be operated manually with a torx bit and long thin 10 mm open end.
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  #4  
Old 09-26-2017, 07:24 PM
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Thanks, you guys are way better than the benz forum. Out of curiosity, what is the engine/trans/flywheel worth? And since the flywheel is dual mass, who makes a performance replacement.
I love that motor, winding it out to 7 grand is a thrill. And the gearbox is so easy, nice tight throws and going clutchless is never a problem. Hate the CIS though, took an Audi from CIS to EFI and it worked out quite well.
I know about the manual operation of the top, one of my bicycle cone wrenches is thin enough to fit perfectly. Put the top up once,just to see how it worked. it stays in the garage, topless. If I can't drive it as a 'vert it won't get driven.
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  #5  
Old 09-26-2017, 08:18 PM
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That should still be single mass but don't quote me on it. Given you like the car so much, don't make any mods unless forced to.

I don't think that gear box is going to like clutchless shifting under power for very long. This is the same trans as in the much lighter / less powerful W201 / 190.
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  #6  
Old 09-28-2017, 12:06 AM
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Fix it and drive it. Water pump is a minor issue and top cylinders are common issues on all R129 SL's (sooner or later).
It's a low volume car, find an automatic to mod if you wish or better still find another car to buy that has better performance from the factory. It will always be cheaper and better.
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  #7  
Old 09-29-2017, 05:56 PM
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Yep, if you are going to make massive mods, no use starting out with the manual trans car.

The clutch / brake pedal is same as W124 and W201, these are floating around out there.

About the only thing I'd do is a 3.2 M104 swap just to get rid of CIS. However, have a look at this threads.

http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/performance-paddock/385799-104-980-head-work.html

http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/performance-paddock/387059-ignition-advance.html
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  #8  
Old 09-30-2017, 08:26 AM
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turbo the motor,turbobandit gets over 1200 hp,and its a iron block that will last.
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  #9  
Old 10-02-2017, 08:53 AM
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Thanks to all for the inputs. So the drivetrain is unique and somewhat desirable but not worth breaking the car up for. Have a friend who is pushing to put a LS motor in but will resist the urge. I am not looking for massive amounts of power but have spent a lot of time on the CIS system and do not like it. As long as it is working I will keep it but know the megasquirt EFI can make it run much better. As far as clutchless shifting, I never do it under power, but working the gas and shifter together has never caused a problem on other german cars. Done smoothly the trans almost sucks the shifter into the next gear, that is what synchros are for. So once I finish some other more pressing projects the water pump will be replaced and the SL will go back on the road.
One thing I really want to do though is get rid of the seats. I know the seat belt shoulder mount will have to go on the chassis/roll bar but the seats are heavy, uncomfortable to me and the electrics don't work well anyway.
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  #10  
Old 10-03-2017, 08:28 AM
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A friend of mine has some good stock seat frames. The seat pads have been removed, but he verified all the motors work. If interested, I can see if he can get you a price for them. They are already sitting on the shop floor for some buyer that fell through on him. Wilmington, Delaware is where he and the seats are. Creme in color I believe. BirchsGarageMB@gmail.com is his email.



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  #11  
Old 10-10-2017, 08:11 PM
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What would you be asking for the car, as-is?
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  #12  
Old 10-17-2017, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanno View Post
What would you be asking for the car, as-is?
sent you an email
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  #13  
Old 12-03-2017, 06:59 PM
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Sent a pm about this
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  #14  
Old 12-06-2017, 02:45 PM
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Nice mention of the 129 SL cars in the magazine Hagerty insurance does. They did a piece on best cars for the bull market, the SL was in there and the 5 speed M104 got very high rating. They said it is very rare and desirable.
Nice to read something positive about the drivetrain, most seem to think the car is not that special.
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  #15  
Old 12-15-2017, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97 SL320 View Post
That should still be single mass but don't quote me on it. Given you like the car so much, don't make any mods unless forced to.

I don't think that gear box is going to like clutchless shifting under power for very long. This is the same trans as in the much lighter / less powerful W201 / 190.
If that's the same 5 speed trans as a 190D then I have a spare one in case anyone is interested.
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