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  #1  
Old 08-04-2014, 09:26 AM
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Location: North Carolina
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Compare 2001 sl500 to 1981 sl380 problems

I was reading the posts on the problems with 2001 sl 500 and have put on hold purchasing one because the info was scaring me. The 2001 sl500 has
73,000 miles and about the only thing done to it was a new air conditioner and a switch on the top. I have also been looking at a 1981 380sl with 54,000 mile. it has had brakes, calipers, master cylinder, fuel pump and filter, valve cover gaskets, timing chain, engine belts, cilmate servo, new top, and tires,battery,fluids have been replaced or fixed. One draw back is it was in Fl for five years and the first 25,000 mi and I am concerned about rust possibilities the owner claims original paint and no rust. Does the 1981 sl380 have all the sensors and electronics in it like the 2001sl500 that can mess up? Can anyone compare the problems of these two and which one you feel would be the most reliable and have the
best value over time? Please help me out I really want to be an sl owner!
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:21 PM
meltedpanda's Avatar
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oh my , well the obvious is that one is 13 years old the other nearly 3 x that
The 81 is slow by todays standards, and even back then . It has the dreaded ACC II which can and will fail. A kjet system that no one, except here know anything about. Built safe and fun to drive but if you really want an SL your first decision is new or old, no way you can compare the two. For the best bang for your buck and if you want older look to the late 80's 450 or 560's - If your lucky find a grey market 500 . Someone else can point you to the right "newer" Sl
my opinion only...
Good luck
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2014, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walshsr View Post
I was reading the posts on the problems with 2001 sl 500 and have put on hold purchasing one because the info was scaring me. The 2001 sl500 has
73,000 miles and about the only thing done to it was a new air conditioner and a switch on the top. I have also been looking at a 1981 380sl with 54,000 mile. it has had brakes, calipers, master cylinder, fuel pump and filter, valve cover gaskets, timing chain, engine belts, cilmate servo, new top, and tires,battery,fluids have been replaced or fixed. One draw back is it was in Fl for five years and the first 25,000 mi and I am concerned about rust possibilities the owner claims original paint and no rust. Does the 1981 sl380 have all the sensors and electronics in it like the 2001sl500 that can mess up? Can anyone compare the problems of these two and which one you feel would be the most reliable and have the
best value over time? Please help me out I really want to be an sl owner!
Quote:
Originally Posted by meltedpanda View Post
oh my , well the obvious is that one is 13 years old the other nearly 3 x that
The 81 is slow by todays standards, and even back then . It has the dreaded ACC II which can and will fail. A kjet system that no one, except here know anything about. Built safe and fun to drive but if you really want an SL your first decision is new or old, no way you can compare the two. For the best bang for your buck and if you want older look to the late 80's 450 or 560's - If your lucky find a grey market 500 . Someone else can point you to the right "newer" Sl
my opinion only...
Good luck
First, the good...

The SL107 380 has no electronics to speak of, compared to the 129. No worries there, IMO. The 380 runs/burns regular gas, too, and gets low 20's when driven responsibly. However, one foible does exist, and is true of all 107's; the timing chain guides get brittle and, if fail and get between the chain and sprockets, you end up with a boat anchor of an engine (interference design, valves and pistons clash, etc.). While a concern for all 107's, the 380 from 1981-1983, US version, has a single-row chain (all others have a dual row), and is thought to be inferior and weak. Some were converted, so a visual thru the oil port is mandatory. Search the forums here and on Mercedes-Benz Forum for more info.

I can't comment on the 129...
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