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Acquiring an 80s R107 - All useful tips much appreciated

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SL/SLC-Class (R107) 1971-1989 : 250SL, 280SL, 450 SL, 380 SLC, 450 SL, 380 SL, 560 SL

Acquiring an 80s R107 - All useful tips much appreciated

 
Old 02-10-2019, 03:04 AM
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Mercedes E Class Coupe
Acquiring an 80s R107 - All useful tips much appreciated

Hi There,

I'm looking to acquire a nice 80s classic R107. I've owned a few Mercedes but this would be my first classic car. I'd greatly appreciate any useful advice for a newbie.

issues such as best model & version?
Best year(s)?
Mileage considerations?
interior?
options? Etc etc come to mind.

Mostly I would like to know the abc guide to buying & owning one of these beauties.

thanks for all assistance in advance,
Horgand

p s. Greetings from Ireland
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:58 AM
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1989 560SL
R107 advice

Like you, I have owned other Mercedes but purchased my first classic in Oct 2018 and while there are many experts with much more knowledge than myself on this forum below is a summary of opinions I gathered before purchasing a 1989 560SL in midnight navy with blue gray interior.

- 1989 was final year of r107 and lowest production of r107 in US.
- 1989 is only year timing chain does not have plastic cover which can deteriorate / chip which can causes issues having plastic pieces get caught in engine area causing bigger issues.
- look for well cared for car vs lowest mileage ... personally, I found a 54K version which had only been driven 100 miles a year for 10 years for $15K and Iíve put $10K into it to make it look and drive great. I likely paid a $2K premium although it was a local car from private seller so no sales tax.
- look for rust free as there are multiple spots to look as drain holes can get clogged if left outside for extended time. Lots of info in other threads on this site.
- regardless of what you buy the first step is to replace all fluids and seals if service records donít show recent maintenance - about $2K at independent MB mechanic.
- I would look for well cared for original paint bc Iím told a high quality, body off paint job is in the $15-20K range.
- there is real value in a car with several things already repaired - tie rods, bushings, AC conversion, brakes, etc but you can research the list of items on other threads and there is a ton of good info from experts on this site.
- consider purchase from bringatrailer.com as the comments section of these auctions have experts commenting on every detail about each car, requesting additional pics, videos of cold starts, etc plus you can learn a lot looking at past auctions and comments.
- I would suggest calling The SL shop, Budís Benz or the MB Classic center and they can all guide you on what to look for.

- personally, I would look for a 1989 560SL or 500SL (euro version) as itís the most powerful and likely lowest mileage due to year. Sticker price in 1989 was around $60-65K which is $120K in todayís dollars. A great machine and like having 3 different cars with hard top on, soft top up and soft top down. Truly love it as I traded an S430 in and made my 560SL my daily driver.

Good luck.

Last edited by McLovinMyBenz; 02-11-2019 at 09:01 AM.
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Horgand (02-11-2019)
Old 02-11-2019, 02:02 PM
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Thanks McLovinMyBenz,

That's a really great post and it has completely transformed my classic SL search tbh e.g. anyone selling a well cared for 1989 500 SL, preferably stored inside, with tie rods, bushings, AC conversion, brakes, etc already redone??

Ye know where to find me
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:35 PM
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1989 560SL
Sending a few things I’ve copied from other posts during my research ...

1989 560SL - service schedule / preemptive maintenance

$$$$ Timing Chain Replacement - 90K-120K Miles

$$$$ Valve Guides - 175K-250K miles

Standard Service
  • Oil change every 5K (or before it sits for extended period) - USE 15W40 OIL
  • Brake fluid every 2 years (system flush)
  • Power steering fluid every 2 years (drain and replace, no need to flush)
  • Radiator Coolant - change every 3 years (use MB radiator fluid only)
  • Transmission, Differential fluid - change every 30K regardless of time duration
  • Lubricate door hinges, locks, hood hinges / latches (back end 75 oil)
  • Grease all areas as needed
When it makes sense ...
  • Replace head gasket / valve seals - when it makes sense during other service
  • Replace Rubber parts - coolant hose, vacuum line, fuel and power steering lines
Check and replace if needed ...
  • Rubber lines
  • Mounts
  • Supports
  • Vacuum connections
  • Includes fuel lines from tank to pumps, filters, etc
  • Includes steering system, brake lines, and various support mounts (engine, transmission, $$$$)
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:36 PM
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1989 560SL
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:50 PM
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1989 560SL
Below is running summary of costs and items restored / repaired. Don’t let the cost or volume of items scare you away as I just went all in from the start. Prices are USD and completed by independent MB shops in Atlanta, GA. Thought it would be a good frame of reference and know that my car sat idle for 10 years minus a few 100 miles a year at most.

1989 560SL PLAN - restoration / repair plan
Sources: Experienced Restoration and OEM Parts
  • theslshop.com
  • Budsbenz.com
TOTAL INVESTMENT
  • $15,000 - purchase price (Oct. 27th, 2018)
  • $60 - original driver side door handle (Oct 2018)
  • $55 - genuine MB chrome seatbelt cover (2x) replacements (Oct 2018)
  • $500 - repair odometer & tachometer gears (Oct 2018)
  • $260 - diagnostic to uncover why fuse 12 keeps tripping (Oct 2018)
  • $120 - genuine MB hood liner (Oct 2018)
  • $70 - genuine MB hood seal - section under hood near windshield (Oct 2018)
  • $20 - hood liner spray glue (high heat) to install (Oct 2018)
  • $10 - rubber antennae base (Oct 2018)
  • $940 - E-Service - wipers, plugs, fluids, filters for PS, oil, air, fuel (Oct 2018)
  • $330 - transmission service (Oct 2018)
  • $820 - replace steering coupler (Oct 2018)
  • $150 - replace shifter bushings (Oct 2018)
  • $140 - coolant flush (Oct 2018)
  • $195 - repaired electrical shorts - due to dome light, radio antennae (Oct 2018)
  • $80 - replaced hard top locking attachment seals (Oct 2018)
  • $280 - replaced 5 engine belts (Oct 2018)
  • $20 - replaced emission filter
  • $40 - replaced oil dip stick - vintage original (Nov 2018)
  • $2000 - fuel accumulator, electro hydraulic actuator (Dec 2018)
  • $1300 - replaced driver door window motor, repaired window brackets (Dec 2018)
  • $315 - replaced fuel pump relay, overload protection relay (Dec 2018)
  • $110 - hard top storage rack and cover (Dec 2018)
  • $90 - front logo license plate, installed new nuts / bolts (Dec 2018)
  • $220 - logo’d floor mats (front and back)
  • $2300 - New navy, German canvas soft top, MB OEM seals (top + rear storage) and tension cable installed (Jan 2019)
  • $1000 - new MB OEM door and front pillar seals installed (Jan 2019)
_________

$15,000 + $11,365 = $26,365

Next Up ...
  • $1100 - folding rear jump seat kit - leather (4basic.com)
  • $350 - new wind deflector
  • $500 - new Michelin tires
  • $1000 - refinish alloy wheels
  • $400 - refurbish original antennae
  • $500 - refinish burl wood trim console
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:12 AM
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Great stuff,
Thanks again McLovinMyBenz
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:35 AM
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450SL
Originally Posted by McLovinMyBenz View Post


- 1989 is only year timing chain does not have plastic cover which can deteriorate / chip which can causes issues having plastic pieces get caught in engine area causing bigger issues.
First I have heard of this. Where is the plastic cover located?
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:09 AM
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1989 560SL
I’m not an expert but I believe it serves as a guide at top of timing chain. If not mistaken, you can remove cover near front of car and plastic guide should be visible. I know the ‘89 was designed without it but not sure about ‘88. I’m told all other years do have the plastic piece as part of timing chain set up.
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:48 AM
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450SL
Originally Posted by McLovinMyBenz View Post
Iím not an expert but I believe it serves as a guide at top of timing chain. If not mistaken, you can remove cover near front of car and plastic guide should be visible. I know the Ď89 was designed without it but not sure about Ď88. Iím told all other years do have the plastic piece as part of timing chain set up.
What you describe does not exist on any 107 V/8 engine. The plastic/nylon guides are what become brittle with age and heat cycles. The upper ones are what cause the catastrophic failure. This can happen with any year except the very early ones with metal backed guides.
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:50 AM
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1989 560SL
I was misinformed by my MB mechanic as he told me the ‘89 was the only year that didn’t have the plastic guide. Thanks for the clarification / correction.
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