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Old 09-28-2003, 04:53 AM
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280SL oil leak and tappet noise

I’ve been to view a ‘82 280SL in gold with cloth leather. The car was originally imported in ’82, changed keepers in ’83 and then again finally again in ’86. It’s covered 39,000 miles with full service history and has all its previous MOTs. The body’s unblemished, if not concours, as is the interior and underside. It drives fine and feels very smooth.

However the engine had a slight oil leak from what I beleave is the cam-box cover. It also has faint ‘tappet’ noise from the rear of the engine but otherwise extremelly quiet. Considering the cars only covered 39,000 miles, is this normal?

And does £9500 seem a fair price?

The leak seems to come from the red highlighted area.

Last edited by heckflosse; 09-28-2003 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 09-28-2003, 12:22 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Front edge of head gasket is leaking, probably needs to have the two small hex head bolts inside the chain case tightened up. Otherwise, I'd live with it (unless you cannot have oil drips) since replacement requires removing the head.

The M110 is a noisey engine -- mechanical tappets. An adjust will possibly quiet it down, but there is a distinct possibility that it will always make some tappet noise.

1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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Old 09-28-2003, 10:24 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 126
I have used Lucas Oil Stablizer on my 86' 300E for the same symptoms and it has helped alot.

'88 Benz 420 SEL
'79 Porsche 911SC ('87 Carrera Engine)
'00 BMW 540 Sports Package
'99 Land Rover Discovery

86 300E - Manual (sold)
88 260E (sold)
84 944 (sold)
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Old 09-29-2003, 11:48 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Posts: 215
I presume the car is not LHD although you say it was imported. Do you mean when it was new?

£9500 is probably OK since the mileage is low. The problem is that low mileage is not always a good thing. Lots of things deteriorate when the car is sitting, like rubber seals. And gaskets like you are seeing.

I bought a low mileage 380SL and quite a lot of minor things needed renewing due to age.

There's a 1987 300SL 'show car' on ebay at £7k and no bids

Cheers, Neil
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