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Mercedes 380--450--560 SLs



  • Until I enquired around and was given the recommendation I had never even heard of them so have no idea who you should ask for. Hopefully they'll be able to fix you up though
  • I have heard about a pulley arrangement specifically for 107 hardtop removal and replacement that is comparatively easy to set up in a normal garage. Does anyone have any information on this subject such as where one can be found and approximate cost? I haven't actually used my hardtop since I bought the car but probably would if it was not such a pain to take it off and put it back on. I understand that the hoist in question can be easily operated by one person. Any info would be appreciated.
  • freshairfiendfreshairfiend Posts: 26
    edited October 2010
    Boy, that was quick! Thanks for the info. While we're in touch, do you have any information regarding a compatible supercharger for a 280SL or is it just a bad idea?
  • Well it's not for me to tell you it's a *bad* idea....even though I often do tell people that "if you want a faster car, just go buy one" :)

    I did see a nicely done installation of a Ford 289/V8 into a 280SL and a supercharged GM V-6 in a 190SL, but neither of these projects were *cheap* by any stretch.

    I'd say that a custom-fitted turbocharger would be easier to configure and design, and less expensive. But I've never seen one.
  • freshairfiendfreshairfiend Posts: 26
    edited October 2010
    You're quite right regarding buying a faster car. In fact I originally went looking for an '85-'89 500SL but found an '85 280SL with the makings of a cream puff and went that route. I have never really regretted it and have no desire to change but there are times when a little extra kick would be nice. My experience of turbos is that without an intercooler they are not terribly effective and that could take up quite a bit of space. I thought I would investigate the possibilities of adapting a Kompressor from one of the newer C series but only if everything can be worked out without in any way wrecking what I now have. Thanks for your comments
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,424
    Instead of the Kompressor, an easier route would be to look at aftermarket supercharger vendors, they might be able to work something up that would be correctly sized, etc. That said, I'd just make sure it's in top tune, wax it, and enjoy it as-is.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,914
    I don't know what you could do with the supercharger off a 4, the supercharged 6cyl models are somewhat rare and likely such a part is not easy to find. It might be easier to just find another entire powertrain if you want a more powerful engine.
  • If your engine has any flaws, a SC or turbo will find them right quick.

    I know they used to rally-race 280SLs in the old days, but I have no idea how they made them go faster. I'd imagine you could mill the head, find a better camshaft and run dual Webers along with better exhaust, but that's going to a lot of $ per horsepower.

    The nice thing about turbo power is that it is cheap for what you get in gain.

    Okay, so you have the 280SL with the 450SL body style---in that case, have at it---that car is not going to be worth lots of money, so not problem in "ruining" it for the purists.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,914
    Yeah, it's a 107 - no racer, just a nice cruiser.

    If I wanted a better engine for one of those, I'd try to find a V8 out of a W210 E55 AMG (or even a C43), or for cheaper and easier, the M103 I6 out of a W124 or late W126 - the latter was actually offered on Euro cars, and would likely be an easy fit.
  • Thanks for the suggestions Fintail. Problem is I would like to keep the car as original as possible and a turbo or supercharger can be taken off pretty easily while an engine swap is a whole different deal. As you state, it's a great cruiser and I didn't really buy it as a dragster so maybe I'd just better settle for what it is
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,914
    That's what I would do. Frankly, I think the engine mods or swaps would be a huge pain and a waste of time and money. It's not meant to be a speed demon anyway - it can keep up with traffic just fine, as long as the engine in the car has no serious needs - let it be.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    On the 280 dohc you can get offset woodruff keys for the cams to vary the cam timing. That's the reason the euro 280 cars have so much more power than the US spec cars. I don't know about an 85 but the earlier 80's 280 dohc US spec cars had around 140 bhp, as opposed to over 170 for euro spec cars.
    It's not a job for the faint at heart though, MB manuals show the procedure and specify measuring the valve to piston clearances as part of the procedure.
  • According to the owner's manual the "85 shows 185hp @5,800rpm. The car is far from sluggish, especially when compared to the US version of the 380SL but could sometimes use just a touch extra oomph. For what is involved in providing a little more get up and go at slower speeds, it is probably better to let well enough alone but thanks for the information anyway. She has plenty of passing power at cruising speeds.
  • I have a 1996 SL500 w/40K miles. It usually runs great. Recently, I started it and drove down the street. As I hit the accelerator, the car hesitated and then bucked/backfired in the engine area. It did it a few times. Then it stalled. I pushed it to the roadside and came back and it restarted. Took it home. The same thing happened a few days later. Then, I was able to start it and SLOWLY take it on the road. It backfired only when I gave the pedal a push. It almost stalled. But, if I let it get up to speed slowly, it would't buck or stall. I kicked it up to about 90 mph. and no problem. But, slowly moving and trying to quickly accelerate, I get that backfire and stall. Any good Benz men out there?-- Thanks
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,424
    Being a '96 it should have OBDII computer readout - you might be able to get it scanned for free at a car parts store, let us know what codes it shows.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,914
    Did any check engine/idiot lights come on when this happened?

    My old W126 behaved like that once, but the dashboard lit up at the same time. Some relay had failed, easy DIY fix - but it didn't have the same engine as your car.
  • Thanks for the reply fintail. No lights came on. Nothing indicating a problem
  • Thanks Texases. I'll call a parts store and see if they know what an OBDII is--I sure don't-lol and I'll see if there is any type of code that is involved with the situation
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,914
    Could be a number of things - fuel delivery, vacuum system, timing, to have it scanned then.
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