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  #1  
Old 02-16-2003, 12:08 AM
jgilb
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Subframe recall

I recently purchased a 1980 450SL from a friend, 34000KM, I read about the subframe recall and Mercedes is honoring it since my friend never knew about it. Anyway while they are welding the brace on the subframe should the subframe mounts be replaced?
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2003, 09:08 AM
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Just on general principle, I'd say yes unless they look pretty fresh. It's at least as much age as mileage with them, and most of the labor's being done at MB expense; go for it!
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Craig Bethune

'97 SL500, 40th anniversary edition

'04 Olds Bravada (SWMBO's)
'06 Lexus ES330
'89 560SL (sold)


SL--Anything else is just a Mercedes.
(Kudos to whoever said it first)
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  #3  
Old 02-16-2003, 11:03 AM
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What I did...

I should think they would tear out and replace the whole assembly.

My mechanic discovered a crack on of the eyes on my 380 sl, he said go to the dealer and tell them to fix it under the recall. I took it to RBM of Atlanta, they put it up and showed me a crack in the frame (funny thing is, not the same crack we had found earlier-so now we have two).

Service guy started tap dancing about parts and labor and $1700 and I countered with "This is my wifes car and I'd hate for her to be driving one of my kids to soccer practice and have the front end give way at 60mph." Followed by "One of my best friends is the nastiest attorney in the SE."

Voila, Freebe. Not much of an argument, I think they would have done it for NC anyway, just wanted to see if I was serious about it.


Moral: Yours might be covered no problem, but if not, don't take no for an answer.

While you are at it, good time to have them change out the subframe mounts.

J. Boggs
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  #4  
Old 02-16-2003, 12:04 PM
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Guys, I must of missed that thread....is the recall for all SL's???
Mike
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  #5  
Old 02-16-2003, 10:15 PM
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No. it's only certain years, I believe around 1976-77 or so. The dealer can do a VMI on the car and see if it is an outstanding recall or if it was already done. I am unsure if they are still standing behind it or not (the affected cars being over 25 yrs old).
The procedure is to clean off the subfram in the areas where the lower control arms mount and inspect for cracks in the mounting areas. If NO cracks are present, they will pay to have these reinforcement plates called "gussetts" welded in.
If there ARE cracks, they will pay for a new front subframe, which will already have the reinforcements. MB will NOT pay for control arms or bushings, obviously it would be in the owners best interest to have them replaced at the same time, especially if control arm bushings have never been replaced. There shouldn't be extra labor involved to replace the arms, and they're not prohibitively expensive.
The recall was issued about 1984 or so, the owners at that time should have received a recall notice.
I did one of these (subframe replacements) about 2 summers ago, the car was still under 25 years old at that time. AsI said, I am unsure if MB is still honoring these now. Maybe they are.
I have done 3 or 4 inspections on these. 3 needed the gussetts welded in 9no cracks), and the one with the cracked subframe was really bad, one of the mounting ears was broke right off.

Gilly
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  #6  
Old 02-16-2003, 10:32 PM
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My subframe story followup

Mine was done last summer, MB/Chrysler hotline said. "No way, not covered, period." I seemed to recall 81 was the last year that was actually "covered."

Stand your ground with the dealer if it is defective. This is a known defect, flaw, whatever you want to call it. Should be replaced or repaired at no charge.

J. Boggs
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  #7  
Old 02-16-2003, 11:19 PM
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Gilly, my copy of Olson (The SL Experience) gives the "campaign" as covering 107's from 1972 to early 1985, but then identifies specifically 107.023-24 and 107.043-44 chassis. Olson's dates would include the 380 cars but his chassis numbers don't, and he does specifically state it's the 350/450 SL's and SLC's. Barrett (Illustrated Buyer's Guide) also states specifically that the 380's weren't affected, but both include the earlier cars back to the beginning of 107 production.

Olson does have a clear description, for anyone who wants to look under the car: The mount for the rear of the control arm is about 2 inches wide on the affected subframes. The later one is about 4 inches wide, with a reinforcement that connects the control arm mount to the subframe.
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Craig Bethune

'97 SL500, 40th anniversary edition

'04 Olds Bravada (SWMBO's)
'06 Lexus ES330
'89 560SL (sold)


SL--Anything else is just a Mercedes.
(Kudos to whoever said it first)
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  #8  
Old 02-16-2003, 11:40 PM
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I would maintain that the only way to tell an "affected" subframe would be the absence of the reinforcement gussetts. The new frames look indentical except the gussetts are welded in, just like is done to a frame without cracks.
I can try to unearth more info as far as if/when this recall expired, and also the affected models/vin range

Gilly
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  #9  
Old 02-17-2003, 01:41 AM
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Gilly, Please see what you can find out as far as what years and if they still stand behind the recall. I just ordered a complete new set of upper control arms, bushings and even the subframe bushings for my 77 450 Sl. If MB will weld the gussetts on (mine doesn't have them!), then I will let them replace the control arms - bushings, etc.. at that time.
Thanks,
Mike
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  #10  
Old 02-17-2003, 07:53 AM
jgilb
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According to information I have it includes all 107's, U.S. models, thru 1980.
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2003, 01:11 AM
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Yes, they still stand behind this, which is remarkable given the age of the vehicles and the date of the recall notice (Nov. 1985).
All 107.023, 043, 024, and 044's are affected, in the US this amounts to all 350SL's and 450SL's, and 450SLC's.

Gilly
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2003, 01:28 AM
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Thanks Gilly!!! So...can the MB shop weld this without taking the whole front end apart? Or, since I just bought all new parts (including steering rods, drag link, idler arm, upper arms, bushings, ball joints and subframe bushings, etc) should I just give it to them and let them install it all while they are welding the gussetts?
Mike
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  #13  
Old 02-18-2003, 07:33 AM
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If there aren't any cracks, and they just need to weld in the gussetts, they don't need to disassemble anything. So if you need all that other stuff installed, you would be paying for the extra labor.

Gilly
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  #14  
Old 02-18-2003, 08:37 AM
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Sorry to come late to the party - this thread really ought to be over in the SL section too.

Anyway, I had this done last summer, and as Gilly said, the campaign still is active for the 450's. I have heard of 380's being covered, but it usually involves a fight. 560's AFAIK never have been covered.

You should be able to go to your dealership, let them run the information, and verify that you are eligible for the campaign. However, the service reps at my local dealership:

1. Were not particulary interested in helping someone with a 25 year old car (admittedly it does sound crazy to talk about a recall after 25 years of service)

2. Could not figure out how to make my old style 14 digit VIN work in their system (they claimed that there was more to it than sticking "WDB" in front of it).

3. Decided my car was a Euro, and therefore not in their system (my gosh, can they see those headlights and bumpers???)

Anyway, they insisted that they couldn't help me. Therefore, I sent a copy of my registration to MBNA, and in about a week they sent me a voucher to take to the dealer. It turns out there actually were TWO active recalls on my car, the other one involved the throttle. Anyway, once presented with the paperwork they went ahead and did the work at no cost. Funny thing is that after all that I already had the updated subframe.
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  #15  
Old 02-18-2003, 09:46 PM
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Possibly by the time the 380's and certainly by the time 560's came out, they were already aware of the problem and the gussetts were installed already in production.

Gilly
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