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  #1  
Old 02-01-2003, 12:40 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Matthews, NC
Posts: 1,356
84 500 SEL question

Just a couple of questions.
First I must explain about this 500SEL. It was left at a repair shop for a little longer that 2 years. It suffered the "timing chain distruction problem". The cost of repair would have been about $3500 or so and the customer elected to just leave the car there with no calls or anything. When the shop owner would call, the customer would say they hadn't made up there minds (as if they had a mind that is) yet, or wouldn't return calls, and finally moved or had their number changed.
After the first 2 years the shop owner started using the car as a parts car. I got the car for $500.00 with only the short block under the hood, but the body and interior were perfect. Several computer and electronic parts were missing.
Anyway, I put the car back together except I could only find a European engine "85 500". It was a complete engine, even the oil was still in it.
No problems installing the engine. It starts good, runs good, gets about 20 mpg on a trip, 12 mpg in town.
I also installed a 89 420 transmission (yes it will work). It shifts good and firm at about the right time.
Now my minor problems
1. What should the timing be set at for a European 500?
2. Should it have manifold vacumm or ported bacumm on the distributor?
3. When you start the car (cold or warm) there seems to be a delay before it goes into gear. I have driven a friends 87 420 SEL and it does the same. However, I don't like it. Is there any thing that can be done to speed up this delay?

Thanks for listening to this long story, and any thing you could do to help me make this car closer to perfect will be welcomed.

Paul McKechie
Paul's Auto Electric

PS, I do have a shop and specilize in Auto Electric repairs (Computer systems, basic electrical, etc) but I don't have this information on Euro cars, but I do on American market cars.
I will try to return the favors If I can help. I'm not a Mercedes specialist, but I am learning.
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84 500 SEL (307,xxx miles)
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2003, 07:34 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,316
Nice rescue!

The timing is 13-19 with vacuum, according to the CD.

On my 380SL, the distributor vacuum connects just under the throttle valve, which I guess you would call "ported."
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Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2003, 08:44 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Matthews, NC
Posts: 1,356
Thanks Chuck

I am running "ported" vacumm at 10 degrees now so I think I will up it to about 15 and see what happens.

Paul McKechnie
Matthews, N.C.
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84 500 SEL (307,xxx miles)
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2003, 08:48 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Alaska
Posts: 33
I have a 420 SEL 1989 also and it too has a delayed engagement problem, my mechanic assumes it is due to worn out shift kinkage bushings, so I shal get a transmission service and the bushings changed too, hopefully that would do the trick.

Sohaib
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2003, 09:10 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,316
What the hell - live on the edge - give it some unleaded premium and crank it up to 19 - these engines do like their advance!

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Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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