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  #1  
Old 05-27-1999, 12:25 AM
Dennis
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I recently purchased a 1991 350SDL in pristine condition.. all except for the two missing plastic belly pans that should be mounted under the car's engine. I checked with a dealer and they wanted over $700 (!!!) for these two pieces of plastic with some acoustic material bonded to one side. Are these available anywhere else at a more favorable price? The engine clatters loudly at idle (yet V-8-quiet when throttled) and I don't like waking the neighbors for my early morning departures. These belly-pans, I'm told, will quiet it substantially.
Thanks, Dennis
  #2  
Old 05-27-1999, 09:16 AM
Mark Herzig
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Dennis;
Is this the 126 body-style? I have an '87 SDL with an missing 'encalsulation' panel (what they officially call it). I've scanned the nation for a used part because they are ONLY available from the dealer. There is a parts store in CA. (have the # at work) that will sell the front panel for $270 vs. $296. I'm thinking I'll just get the front one. There are no good used ones available as far as what my research yielded.

------------------
Mark Herzig
1992 500E (82,000 miles)
1987 300SDL (105,000)

  #3  
Old 05-27-1999, 12:05 PM
Dennis
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Thanks for the reply Mark.. yes, it is the 126 long body, same as the the gasoline-fired SEL cars.. a rare find with the larger 3.5 diesel turbo engine, only a few for sale in the country at any one time, when you do find a clean one the sellers make no apology for asking what I found to be an average of $5,000 to $11,000 over blue book. (they ranged from $25k to 29.5K) I lucked out at this one at $19k. SPOTTLESS not a nick on the paint or wood, perfect leather, mint top and bottom and runs real strong (even smells new).. no engine blowby, etc. Yet, it sounds like a garden tractor outside at idle due to missing encapsulation panel. I'm convinced it was robbed while at the dealer since the hardware that supports is very clean. I'm beginning to realize that it's not to be found anywhere else.. even used ones would likely not be acceptable since the acoustic material can easily be ruined by leaking fluids. Thanks,
Dennis
  #4  
Old 05-27-1999, 10:09 PM
Benzmac
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I have seen many people throw the panels away. I don't know why though. I have not noticed any difference in running volume in either case. Maybe your engine has a problem with the timing chain or with the injection timing? Loud? Is it quiet when first started and gets loud about 30 seconds later? Pay attention to this and get back to me>

------------------
Benzmac:
ASE CERTIFIED MASTER AUTO TECHNICIAN
LEAD TECHNICIAN FOR 14 BAY FACILITY
MERCEDES SPECIALIST 8 YRS
PARTNER IN MERCEDESSHOP.COM


  #5  
Old 05-28-1999, 01:00 AM
Dennis
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Hi Benzmac.. thanks for the comment.. yes, that is EXACTLY what it does.. when the engine is cold it is as quiet as a mouse for the first 30 seconds, then begins to clatter. My guess is that the glow plugs are timed to stay on a bit after a cold start. Since the car is new to me, my tact is to check the pump timing. If it's okay I'll have the injectors pulled and see if they are streaming at idle power.. perhaps sticking open a bit? Or, is timing more likely the culprit? Maintenance records do not show a chain replacment since new. (119,000 miles)
Maybe you can answer this question too.. in my search for the perfect diesel S Class I test drove several cars.. one 350SD (here in Colorado, same elevation) had neck-wrenching acceleration at almost all speeds.. quick turbo engagement, and was just plane amazing for a diesel. Even acceleration from 60 to 100mph was an un-relenting, steady pull that ran the speedo briskly to the top. This SD had a manufacture date of 7/90 yet was a 1991 model. A few other 350SDs were just under that level of power. My SDL, however, (build date of 5/90 and a 1990 model) is considerably less dazzling, although adaquate. Some specs I saw showed that the SDL is actually several hundred pounds lighter than the smaller SD.. 3880lbs as opposed to the SD at 4100. If so, mine should be faster than that rocket-powered SD. Are these weights in error?
I've heard some rumors that Benz had some trouble with pre-mature failure of this engine. Is this true? Did they "turn down" the horsepower (fuel scheduling) on the SDL? Is the SDL really lighter? Could a timing problem that causes the clatter also be sufficient to degrade horsepower that much? Also, my planned diagnosis will be to measure boost level delivered by the turbo-compressor.
The car is new to me, so I want to establish a "norm" of how it runs when everything is right, then I'll notice when things go wrong easier. I'd be plenty satisfied if it's present peppiness is the way it's supposed to run. The turbo engages quickly, nicely scurrys through the first two gears, etc., but if it isn't, I want to know that, then get it right.
Thanks very much again for your time..
Dennis

[This message has been edited by Dennis (edited 05-28-99).]
  #6  
Old 05-29-1999, 09:25 PM
Benzmac
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Wow! That's alot of questions to digest all at once. The 350 that was quicker than yours could have had different fuel mixture than yours or timing. I would get the timing chain and injection pump timing checked. If either are off you should ask if the latest cam sprocket and tensioner are installed. If not update to them and a new chain then have the injection pump timing checked again. If all of this is on the money and you are getting full boost from the turbo, the car should perform well!

------------------
Benzmac:
ASE CERTIFIED MASTER AUTO TECHNICIAN
LEAD TECHNICIAN FOR 14 BAY FACILITY
MERCEDES SPECIALIST 8 YRS
PARTNER IN MERCEDESSHOP.COM


  #7  
Old 05-29-1999, 11:14 PM
Dennis
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Hi Again..
Well, I was anxiously awaiting your response to something.. I thoought it was significant that you asked if the engine got noisy after 30 seconds from a cold start, vs. immediately. I replied in the affirmative. What does that tell you about the cause of the extra loud diesel "clatter"?

2. What do you know about the reliability of this engine?

Thanks,
Dennis
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