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Old 11-10-2000, 05:30 PM
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I recently purchased an '83 380SEL for a reasonable price. It was a one owner car with @300k miles. The body, paint and interior are mint. It looks great.The original owner gave me all documentation on the car since new etc. and I noticed that the timing chain, 2 valves , and 1 camshaft had been replaced at @125k. The car runs very rough from idle to about 1500 rpm, then seems to smooth out from then on. I did a compression check and had 165# on each cylinder, hence no burned valve. Upon calling the nearest independent(MB) garage, the mechanic told me that he knew the car and that the top end was completely worn out(camshafts, rockers, lifters etc). He said that he had tried to get the previous owner to do a top end job 3 or 4 years ago and the owner just wanted to "patch" it up and replace just the parts that were worn. He said he refused to "patch" as his reputation was on the line. I ask him about repairing it for me and he said it would be cheaper on me for him to find me another complete engine!! He said somthing about the head bolts holding the camshaft bearings pulling the threads out of the block and having to pull the heads and using a special jig to rethread(18 hrs intensive labor) the block. I am willing to spend some money on the car to get it right. Has anyone got any advice on top end job and timing chain (I hear some valve train noise along with timing chain) and also some smoke when first starting, maybe valve stem seals. What is a resonable price for a complete top end job. I am located in Northern Fl. approx 300miles from atlanta and approx. 300 miles from Orlando.I am willing to take the car 2-300 miles to a good reputable shop. should I try to find an engine or put it out to pasture and part it out? It sure is a cream puff to be pulling parts off of!!! Maybe someone can help.Thanks
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Old 11-10-2000, 07:39 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
Well, if you don't mind spending between 3 to 5 thousand on the engine, by all means repair it. The problem is that if the threads do pull out of the block, you will have to helicoil the whole block. This takes time and costs money. To do this whole job and have the heads repaired and replace all of the parts will cost big money. When you are done, you will have a good engine, but how are all of the other parts? This is the question.

Donnie Drummonds
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Old 11-10-2000, 10:13 PM
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Thanks, Benzmac It seems that it all goes back to the saying that if something is too good to be true it probably is!! I paid $2000 for the car, if I add $5000 to get the engine in good shape my investment will be about average retail for the car. If anybody is interested in it for parts etc.. I will gladly deliver within a 500 mile radius of Ft. Walton Bch. Fl. and fly home!!! If I am going to put $4000-5000 in an engine I would rather find an SL (which I have always wanted) in need of engine work instead of a 4 door luxury sedan!! I think the car should part out well over the $2000 initial investment. Any ideas or takers? E-mail
PH: 850-682-4550 (leave message)

Thanks for a great site!!!
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