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  #1  
Old 08-20-2014, 08:20 AM
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Hunt for SL

I've been looking at several SL model ranging from 78-mid 80's. This will be my first: is something in particular I should look or that will give me problem down the road , aside the physical rust?
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2014, 12:14 PM
is thinning the herd
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Columbus, Ohio
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I'd personally avoid 78-80 if you can. They have Servo Climate Control which can be quite pricey to fix.

80-83 380SL's were built with single row timing chains, which are known to break. Many were converted to dual row, so at this point if you see one still running its probably been converted, but I would pop off a valve cover or see if you can see it through the oil filler. If its still single row it will need replaced or updated for the safety of the car.

84-85 380SL's came standard with dual row timing chains.

All euro 380s had dual row, as did euro 500s, if you stumble accross a euro car.

USA 3.8s are pretty low on power, but they are alloy block, the late 450s have a bit more power but are also pretty choked by emissions controls and are heavier.

My dad had an '84 380SL for a while and he really enjoyed it.

I'd personally look for a 74-77 450. They don't have servo climate control and are still very affordable.

My favorite would be a 72-73 350 4.5 or 450 SL because they have the skinny euro bumpers and no emissions other than lower compression. Or an 86-89 560SL but those are the two more valuable R107s.
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Current: 68 280SL, 70 300SEL 3.5, 72 350SL, 72 220, 87 300D, 87 200TD Euro, 90 190E 2.0 Euro, 06 E320 CDI, 72 220D, 72 280SEL 4.5

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  #3  
Old 08-20-2014, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselPaul View Post
I'd personally avoid 78-80 if you can. They have Servo Climate Control which can be quite pricey to fix.

80-83 380SL's were built with single row timing chains, which are known to break. Many were converted to dual row, so at this point if you see one still running its probably been converted, but I would pop off a valve cover or see if you can see it through the oil filler. If its still single row it will need replaced or updated for the safety of the car.

84-85 380SL's came standard with dual row timing chains.

All euro 380s had dual row, as did euro 500s, if you stumble accross a euro car.

USA 3.8s are pretty low on power, but they are alloy block, the late 450s have a bit more power but are also pretty choked by emissions controls and are heavier.

My dad had an '84 380SL for a while and he really enjoyed it.

I'd personally look for a 74-77 450. They don't have servo climate control and are still very affordable.

My favorite would be a 72-73 350 4.5 or 450 SL because they have the skinny euro bumpers and no emissions other than lower compression. Or an 86-89 560SL but those are the two more valuable R107s.
Thank you for the great info, I found an 86 with 85K miles asking 8,999.00 for it. At what range should the price be in with miles under 100K?
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  #4  
Old 08-20-2014, 10:42 PM
is thinning the herd
 
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An 86 560sl under 100k in today's market is well worth $9k if its a nice car.
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Current: 68 280SL, 70 300SEL 3.5, 72 350SL, 72 220, 87 300D, 87 200TD Euro, 90 190E 2.0 Euro, 06 E320 CDI, 72 220D, 72 280SEL 4.5

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  #5  
Old 08-21-2014, 11:35 AM
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the "if" is important. Ask for records, search for rust , a well sorted 560 is great fun and worth the asking, If you don't know MB's much- take it to get a pre buy inspection ( $100) .

It will be well spent
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2014, 07:07 PM
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The 380 SL is shunned by many because of being low power, but as a result they can be had cheaper for a good example. They are also cheap to run compared to others, returning near 20 mpg on the highway.
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  #7  
Old 08-21-2014, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselPaul View Post
An 86 560sl under 100k in today's market is well worth $9k if its a nice car.
Again thank you for all the great insight, I am looking at a 86 tomorrow with 85K miles. If I like, it is coming with me.
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  #8  
Old 08-21-2014, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WMO Madness View Post
Again thank you for all the great insight, I am looking at a 86 tomorrow with 85K miles. If I like, it is coming with me.
Fingers crossed. Good luck.
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1959 Gravely LI, 1963 Gravely L8, 1973 Gravely C12
1982 380SL
1978 450 SEL 6.9 euro restoration at 63% and climbing
1987 300 D
2005 CDI European Delivery
1995 E300D Handed down to daughter
2006 CDI Wifes

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  #9  
Old 08-22-2014, 02:32 PM
is thinning the herd
 
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Good luck!
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Current: 68 280SL, 70 300SEL 3.5, 72 350SL, 72 220, 87 300D, 87 200TD Euro, 90 190E 2.0 Euro, 06 E320 CDI, 72 220D, 72 280SEL 4.5

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