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  #1  
Old 10-04-2002, 06:31 PM
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1977 450SL performance...

I LOVE my '77 450 SL (I wanted a car from the year I was born- and I fell in love with my father's SL as a kid)- but the performance leaves a little to be desired. Any suggestions for a few tweaks that might wrench a few extra HP out of my baby? Or am I going to have to go the direction of boring out my cylinders and adding larger pistons and injectors for some extra old-school style displacement? Recommendations on ignition upgrades? Maybe a place to get a different cam? any help is appreciated...
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  #2  
Old 10-05-2002, 04:21 PM
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sorry I can't help you much, but I have the same problem. I have a '78 450SL, and it's lacking a little in power. oh yeah... if you haven't done so already, I would reccomend getting euro lenses w/ halogen bulbs to replace the sealed beams. It will make a world of difference at night; I did it, here's my thread (w/pics) sealed beams to halogen bulbs conversion??
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  #3  
Old 10-05-2002, 08:41 PM
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I have a '79 so we basically have the same car.. Mechanical fuel injection... downstream cats....

Here's my 2 cents. I think that it is important to keep the car in top tuned condition. There are threads that talk about setting the timing in ways that can give you a bit more edge. If you're extreme, drive it to florida - hang out on the beach - and let Stevefl have some time with it.... I don't think it could get any better than that!

However, you have to appreciate the car within the context of what it was in 1977. I had a '92 500E (that I sold to Willie) when I bought my 450SL. There V8's are generations apart. I'm attracted to the longevity of the cast iron 450 though. I like taking it on twisty roads in Austin... The 500E was too fast for the roads around lake travis. I like the tranny and the way it kicks down... what a blast... the little 3-speed...

I like to think that I am the care-taker of a piece of history... the 450SL... Mercedes at its best (in 1977 that is ! )
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1995 E300D 153K
1985 300D 142K (sold)
1979 450SL 122 miles (sold)
1992 500E 127K (sold)
1987 300SDL 132K (sold)
1986 300E 161K (sold)
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  #4  
Old 10-06-2002, 03:42 AM
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I read on some post that there was a problem with our [450] distributors. They are set to advance at 4100 RPM, and they should be going at 3100 rpm... I'll find the post


-- here ya go 450SL No Power
look at the long reply... it describes it a little. Have either of you guys done this? Does it really help? And how much would it be? just wondering
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2002, 09:56 AM
kad
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Thumbs up

I too am seeking the same "tweeks" I have a '77 450sl and have dressed up the outside with 18" rims, added a sound system, made my own oak wood trim inside and now all that is left to do is beef up the engine a little. I don't want to pull the engine and get into major overhauls, but I do want to look into exhaust modifications and some intake options. I have a Holley air filter (just like K&N) and I recently purchased the Jacobs Omni Mag and am waiting for some wires that they left out. I will let you know what that does for the car.

KAD
'77 450sl
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2002, 06:15 PM
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You could always do what this guy did: http://www.dhc.net/~pmhack/mercedes/bomb.htm. I've considered buying a late 70s W116 6.9 and doing the same thing.
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'87 MB 560SL - 45K
'80 MB 450SL - 180K (Sold )
The rest: '83 BMW 533i - 286K, '04 Ford F150 - 7K, '99 Yamaha YZF-R1 - 10K
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  #7  
Old 10-11-2002, 07:43 PM
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sutekh

Aaron,

I know I am off of the subject, but tell be about your wheels and the small bumpers. Your car looks great. Did you convert the bumpers?

Thanks,

BD
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  #8  
Old 10-13-2002, 12:15 PM
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Talking

Thanks BD! The wheels are 16" AMG Aeros. I bought 4 of the from tirerack last year and found one on e-bay for the spare. Unfortunately, It doesn't look like they still carry them. I mated them to Bridgestone Potenza S-03 Pole Position 255/55-16 rubber and you wouldn't believe what a huge handling difference vs. the stock 14s it made. I did it the first time for aesthetic reasons, I'd do it again for the handling improvement. The bumpers can be found on (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong here) any European 107. I had to pull mine off of two different gray market cars. One that got hit in the rear, and one in the front. After removing the USDOT mandated monstrositys, the euros bolted right up. My dealer could even order the european rubber. I don't know, strictly speaking, how legal it is to do this, but I've never had a problem passing inspection.
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'87 MB 560SL - 45K
'80 MB 450SL - 180K (Sold )
The rest: '83 BMW 533i - 286K, '04 Ford F150 - 7K, '99 Yamaha YZF-R1 - 10K
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2002, 03:35 AM
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do you have pics of the bumpers? and how much were they [if you don't mind me asking]
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  #10  
Old 10-14-2002, 01:16 PM
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Not at all. You can see all the pics I've scanned if you click on the image in my .sig or follow this link. I purchased them from two different wrecking yards in LA (not the state) shortly after I bought the car three years ago, but I'm afraid I don't remember their names. They cost around $300 (but maybe my haggling skills are to blame for that) and another ~$100 to put new rubber on them. I've also seen them for sale on e-bay a couple of times.
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-- Aaron

'87 MB 560SL - 45K
'80 MB 450SL - 180K (Sold )
The rest: '83 BMW 533i - 286K, '04 Ford F150 - 7K, '99 Yamaha YZF-R1 - 10K
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  #11  
Old 10-14-2002, 06:11 PM
kad
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Talking

I installed the Jacob's Omni Magnum electronic igntion. It improves my take off dramatically! There is no hesitation and the response is impressive. It is no quarter miler, but I like the increase.
Now does any one have any before and after stories of tweeks that they have experienced? ( i.e. exhaust, electric fan, fuel pressure regulators, etc...)

KAD
'77 450sl 101,000mi.
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  #12  
Old 10-15-2002, 01:06 AM
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i'm gettin my car smogged soon [next month]. since it won't have to go in for a while after that, i'm thinking of removing the cat/muffler. SOMETHING. it's just an idea for now
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  #13  
Old 10-20-2002, 12:28 AM
M D Nugent
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Re: 1977 450SL performance...

Quote:
Originally posted by BMarsh07
[. . . Any suggestions for a few tweaks that might wrench a few extra HP out of my baby? Or am I going to have to go the direction of boring out my cylinders and adding larger pistons and injectors for some extra old-school style displacement? . . . [/B]
I don't believe there are any half-measures for added performance in 450SLs and 380SLs. If your interest is in the 0-60mph range (versus absolute top end), you need a 4-spd AT, but the one in the '80s cars won't work with the 4.5 engine.

I studied transplanting US engines into 107s and decided against it; a better bet is to swap in a 560SEL engine/trans. Mo' power plus the 4-spd AT. Here's what I've learned so far:
Bigger MB engines in a 107 SL

The other method is to replace the rear end with an older one with a higher ratio. The first several years of 107 SLs had 3.07:1 gears (I think yours had 2.47:1).

I'm lucky in that my '72 has those rear end gears. With the 5.6 and 4-spd, I expect a 0-60 well under 6 seconds (stock was 10.5).

If you're not a purist (I don't want to offend those who believe MBs should not be modified), check out
my project.

M D "Doc" Nugent
Renton, WA
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  #14  
Old 10-20-2002, 11:14 AM
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Jacobs vs. Direct Hits

I've seen several different people mention either the Jacob's system, or the Direct Hits system, both of which seem to be fairly identical. What exactly ARE th ereal differences between the two? And has anyone tried both? Pro's/Cons?
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Old 10-20-2002, 11:14 AM
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