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Old 03-03-2001, 04:07 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Volcano, Hawaii
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Am considering the purchase of a 1976 450SL. Have read some posts about the engine compartment becoming hot due to the cat converter being under the engine, and accelerating engine parts wear. Would be interested in any information and comments about the strong points and weak points of the car. (it has over 200,000 miles on it.)

1980 300SD 188,102 miles
Old 03-03-2001, 08:35 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
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This is the one year to run from.
Donnie Drummonds
Old 03-03-2001, 08:40 PM
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I've heard the 76 had lots of problems with vapour lock. This was also the first year for CIS fuel injection. I have also heard that alot of 450SLs ande 450SLCs were recalled to weld a reinforcing bracket to the lower control arm mounting on the front suspension. Check to make sure this was done.
Jason Priest
1999 E430
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired
Old 03-03-2001, 10:48 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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Which 450?

I also agree that the '76 and earlier 450s should be avoided. The '75 and earlier cars had the electronic injection which was troublesome and, as mentioned, the '76 had the catalyst under the hood. Best bet would be a '77. '78 and later are equipped with climate control which also can pose headaches. We've owned our '77 450SL since new and right now it's reading 169K on the clock and has yet to ever need any major work. Unfortunately I haven't driven it since last May, I just don't have time anymore to get my "fun" cars out. I keep them in a climate controlled garage and since the 450 rarely gets used, it is on jackstands and is covered up. Hopefully this summer I'll find time to get it out for some exercise.
Old 03-05-2001, 12:02 AM
Bill Conroy
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I have a '76 450SLC with 23K miles (it has spent much of its life sitting in a garage). Unfortunately this car does have the cats under the hood but I have not had any vapor lock problems (I use 100% non-oxy premium gas). It did, however, need a lot of fuel system work when I first got it due to the old gasoline deteriorating parts (former owner used no fuel stabilizer). Oh, and it needed some freon too. Otherwise, it's been a good runner.
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