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Old 04-03-2000, 10:43 PM
Posts: n/a
As luck would have it, I have just located a 1982 280SL, which I am going to look at Tuesday night. Report is 170,000 miles, automatic, rearend replaced 10,000 miles ago because of hum and it still repaorted hums. Owner claims this is common for the model car. I can't wait to hear it and see the receipts for the job. A/C works but has intermitant open circuit. Rag top good and hard top like new, tires good, engine good, very minor transmission fluid leakage. Calaims No rust, original black paint in good shape (not perfect, camel interior in good shape with small rip in drivers seat. Steering is reported as tight. Asking price, $5,000. Can't wait to drive and confirm!

Where are rust prone areas besides battery area and floor pan? Are auto transmissions OK? What about timing chain on this engine? Other areas? Thanx in advance for any input.

87 300TDT
150,000 miles

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Old 04-06-2000, 04:59 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Bismarck, ND, USA
Posts: 40
I see that no one has responded to you yet. Did you see the car on Tuesday?

We have a 1983 280SL, which we bought last summer from the original owner. It is a Euro model (as is the one you are looking at, because they did not import the 280SL to North America). Ours is a 5 speed, so I can't comment on the automatic. Ours is also low (80,000) miles. It starts instantly and runs like a top. Very smooth and plenty of power with the manual transmission.

Our car's rear axle also hums on slight acceleration. I would be interested in what you discover about this, because I am thinking about having ours looked at, but don't want to spend big bucks for a non-problem or a solution that doesn't cure the noise. I have read that rear end noise is common to the car, because the diff is mounted to the body and is right behind the seats in the SL, but I don't know what is considered normal and what is excessive.

John R. Boyce
Bismarck, ND
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Old 04-06-2000, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
The differential isn't mounted to the body. It is mounted to a subframe that has three large rubber mounts; two at the sides in front of rear tires and one at the rear cover of differential mounted to the center. If any of these mounts are too far compressed the noise will transmit so much easier.

Even with new mounts the differentials were noisy as the area under the package tray acted as a speaker to amplify the noise. As I was replacing a "noisey" differential under warrantee in 1975 the factory rep who had to OK the job told me about a dealer in Texas that filled the area under that rear panel with the hardening foam that turns to insulation. He said this made a big difference. I have never tried it. But, I would definitely see about the mounts before worrying about the differential.

Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician
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Old 04-06-2000, 07:31 PM
Posts: n/a
Snooze you looze. Very heavy rain and family abligations prevented me from going to look at this car which was about 2 hours away. I called today to go out and he has sold it. It sounded like a good deal, and as the guy said to me today, I priced it quite low to sell fast and that's what it did!
The gentleman's comment on the rear end that it had a hum, he replaced it (do not know if it was a new or used unit he put in, I was going to investigate on site), and that after the work, there was no difference. He found out later this was a "trait" for this model.
The mounts and insulation Steve talked about sounds like a very good idea.

87 300TDT
150,000 miles

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