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  #1  
Old 03-20-2010, 10:08 AM
PANZER's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: North Central Florida
Posts: 41
Talking Future 380SL owner, I hope...

Greetings to all who have gone before me, to those individuals who own one of these beautiful cars. And to those who have taken on the task of repairing, restoring and rejuvinating them, be forwarned! I plan to pick your brains about everything!!!
I am in the process of purchasing a fixer upper for my personal use, not to resell at a profit,[yeah like THATS gonna happen!]

I am entertaining the idea of a little yellow 1982 380SL that has been sitting in the front yard for about 1 year. Yes it has needs, yes it has issues.

Upon the first test drive, my husband exclaimed "This thing drives like a TANK!" So its name became... The.Panzer!

I have done research on forums and carfax on this vehicle, I am aware of the timeing chain, and will explore that with a dentist mirror on my next visit.
When I return from town [rural area] I go by and just sit in it, just to get the feel for it, to let it talk to me....HA HA HA.

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  #2  
Old 03-20-2010, 02:25 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 349
Well, the engineer's pet name for these cars when they were designing them was "Der Panzerwagen" (the armored car).

Best of luck, and welcome to the madness.
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  #3  
Old 03-20-2010, 06:55 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Hudson Valley NY
Posts: 73
Look for rust. Any rust you see on the outside is ten times worse on the inside of the panel. Open up the blower motor cover and look down inside around the blower for rust.

Good luck, and welcome to the forum.
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  #4  
Old 03-20-2010, 07:13 PM
Pili380SL's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Springfield, MO
Posts: 238
Welcome! I love mine. Shocks and body mounts made a night & day difference in the ride quality. They are so quiet and smooth, it belies the roadster genre. Enjoy
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1983 380SL
1995 C280
1995 S500 coupe
1990 Mazda Miata
2004 Suzuki Hayabusa
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  #5  
Old 03-20-2010, 07:42 PM
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Location: SE Mich
Posts: 3,272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pili380SL View Post
Welcome! I love mine. Shocks and body mounts made a night & day difference in the ride quality. They are so quiet and smooth, it belies the roadster genre. Enjoy

Do you mean motor mounts? What do you mean by body mounts?
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Strelnik
Invest in America: Buy a Congressman!

1950 170SD
1951 Citroen 11BN
1953 Citroen 11BNF limo
1953 220a project
1959 180D
1960 190D
1960 Borgward Isabella TS 2dr
1983 240D daily driver
1983 380SL
1990 350SDL daily driver alt
3 x Citroen DS21M, down from 5
3 x Citroen 2CV, down from 6
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2010, 12:27 AM
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Location: NE Oklahoma
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I think he was referring to subframe mounts/bushings.

Don't forget about the front subframe defect/cracking.
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2010, 06:52 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Greater Metropolitan Beaverdam VA
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Enjoy the Ride

Don't be put off by what you read on this or any forum regarding these cars. People usually don't post on a repair forum unless they either are (1) having a problem or (2) offering advice to cure a problem.

There is a "Silent Majority" out here who are simply enjoying the ride with few problems or those that are so minor they are not worth discussing. Your car is about 25 years old and may be starting to get a little arthritic but in general the R107s are so well built that problems will be minor. Can you imagine trying to keep a 25 year old Ford on the road?

Rowdie's comment regarding subframe cracking is a good one but I believe there was a recall for that back in the day. You should be able to see if the subframe was reinforced under that recall. If it has not been, and the subframe has not cracked in the past 25 years, I wouldn't worry about it.

This forum is the best of them in my opinion but there is still some really bad advice from time to time. For example many will throw expensive parts at a high idle problem and be puzzled when there is no fix. The most common cause of high idle is a simple vacuum leak caused by deterioration of rubber vacuum connections. Think logically and remember Occam's Razor.
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2010, 11:06 AM
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Location: Springfield, MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowdie View Post
I think he was referring to subframe mounts/bushings.
Yes I'm sorry, I should have been more specific. Donut shaped rubber mounts between the subframe and the body. The original mounts on mine were so smashed and hardened, it was almost like a metal to metal connection. I spent half a Saturday in my garage changing them and was very pleased with the results.
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1983 380SL
1995 C280
1995 S500 coupe
1990 Mazda Miata
2004 Suzuki Hayabusa
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  #9  
Old 03-21-2010, 06:53 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Central Ky
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good car, underpowered in my opinion
Rocky is right but knowledge is key in a good selection.
Service history is a big plus in these. MAKE sure the heat and AC work properly . The ACC on these is a bear to repair ($$) and do check the chain
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Ron
2011 Porsche Cayman - Bond,James Bond
Sadly MERCEDESLESS - ALways LOOKING !
99 E320 THE Queen Mary - SOLD
62 220b - Dolly - Finally my Finny! Sadly SOLD
72 450SL, Pearl-SOLD
16 F350 6.7 Diesel -THOR
19 BMW X5 - Heaven on Wheels
14 38HP John Deere 3038E Tractor -Mean Green
84 300SD, Benjamin -SOLD
71 220 - W115-Libby ( my first love) -SOLD
73 280 - W114 "Organspende" Rest in Peace
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2010, 07:25 PM
Wodnek's Avatar
Vintage Mercedes Junkie
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Southeast Wisconsin
Posts: 1,661
I have an 82 380SL.

There are things I like, and things i don't like.

Likes:

20 MPG consistantly.
handling
Visual asthetics

Dislikes:
This thing is a dog. Both my 87 300D and 87 300TD will beat this thing at any speed, off the line, midrange, and top end. Disapointment for a roadster.

Single row timing chain needs to be replaced every 30,000 miles. Parts for this job are not all that expensive if you do it yourself. or upgrade to the double row if it hasnt been done already.


I am looking for a 500 SEL 126 for a donor engine for mine. I am not in any hurry though.
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1959 Gravely LI, 1963 Gravely L8, 1973 Gravely C12
1982 380SL
1978 450 SEL 6.9 euro restoration at 63% and climbing
1987 300 D
2005 CDI European Delivery
2006 CDI Handed down to daughter
2007 GL CDI. Wifes

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  #11  
Old 03-21-2010, 07:55 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SE Mich
Posts: 3,272
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocky raccoon View Post
Think logically and remember Occam's Razor.
How can I forget Occam's razor? I shave with it except on weekends!

But seriously folks, I have a 84 Munich-delivered gray market 380SL and it needs work due to long-term storage, versus neglect, although long term storage can = neglect.

It's a fun project, I like doing new things to it, like creating a system to permit a hood prop at 90 degrees w/o major effort for maintenance and wrenching more easily.
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Strelnik
Invest in America: Buy a Congressman!

1950 170SD
1951 Citroen 11BN
1953 Citroen 11BNF limo
1953 220a project
1959 180D
1960 190D
1960 Borgward Isabella TS 2dr
1983 240D daily driver
1983 380SL
1990 350SDL daily driver alt
3 x Citroen DS21M, down from 5
3 x Citroen 2CV, down from 6
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  #12  
Old 03-21-2010, 10:33 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: NE Oklahoma
Posts: 1,451
Unfortunately the subframe recall only covered the US model 350 and 450 SL and SLC.
I have a 280SL and there have been failures of the 380SL. Every SL up through 1985 is susceptible.
1st pic is my '81 280SL.
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r-c107-sl-slc-class/1450267-sub-frame-recall-information.html

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