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Old 08-15-2005, 02:23 PM
350SL4spd's Avatar
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'81 380SL Perplexing Smoke Question

Hello All,
Car in question is a 1981 380SL (don't have milage in front of me). Problem: Car smokes heavily (very heavily) at cold start up (oil smoke) and clears completely when the car warms up a bit. Leak-down was performed and was well w/in spec. Valve seals were replaced and the problem was not solved. I would have thought the seals would have done it. Is there more than one seal size for this engine? What else could cause such a condition? Clogged drain that is keeping oil in the valve cover? Could the guides be shot? I am really at a loss here.
Thanks!
-Matt-

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Old 08-15-2005, 02:36 PM
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What brand of seals were installed? OE or Elring are my choice, I have had no problems with either of these brands. You may have a loose guide, were they checked when the seals were being installed?
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:02 PM
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Upon further investigation, one of the guides was loose. Needs a total head job.
Thanks.
-M-
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1972 350SL Euro 4spd
1973 BMW R75/5
1981 BMW R80GS
1995 FZJ80 with OM606 Conversion In Progress
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Old 08-15-2005, 09:47 PM
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Car has 220k mi (give or take) according to Carfax (the speedo reads 94k). The car looks like it has about 10k mi on it.
My thinking was if one was loose, more probably are leaking. It smokes alot at start-up. Obviously I'd like to spend the least amount of $ on it, but...
The head job looks to be about +/- $750 not including my labor. Not sure what I'll do (if I buy the car ) Gotta get rid of a couple to make some room right now....

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1972 350SL Euro 4spd
1973 BMW R75/5
1981 BMW R80GS
1995 FZJ80 with OM606 Conversion In Progress
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