Date registered: Nov 2007
Vehicle: 1982 380SL / 1991 420SE / 1978 VW Westfalia Camper Bus.
Location: San Jose, California
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450SL vs. 380SL
This is a fluke, but...Everyday I pick up my kid from school and everyday I glance at this particular house with 450sl parked in their drive way. Yesterday, I decided to stop to look at the car just for fun. The paint's clear coat has peeled away on the trunk lid and hood. The interior, to my surprise, is in better shape than what I had imagined. As a matter of fact, I think it is in better shape than my 82 380SL. The woods are still glossy with no cracks in the clear finish. Thanks to the big tree that it is parked under. It is going to require some time to clean up but the body is straight and rust free.
I decided to knock on the door and got to talk to the owners. It is a 1979 450SL. He owned it for 20 years and has not driven it very much and it has only 101,340 miles on it. He was the 2nd owner. I offered to buy it and he said to name a price. I looked at the badge and said $450.00. His wife jumped in and said "I don't care about the price, I just want it gone." Now, I am the owner of the car. The guy did not disclosed how much he spent in front of the wife but he told me that they had the car towed to a local MB trying to get it going about 5 months ago. At the dealer, the gave it a tune up with new fuel pump, fuel filter, plugs, wires, cap & rotor and cleaned out the fuel distributor and got the car running for about 20 seconds then died. He stated that the dealer could not truly found the root of the problem but it would cost a lot of money if they were to spend anymore time to diagnose the problem. He also said that the dealer thought it was a fuel injection problem and they don't have the right tools to work on older cars anymore. The car was at the dealer for about a month. In the mean time, he lost he job so the car got towed back to the drive way.
I installed a fresh battery in and tried to start the car and it seems like it wants to start on the very first try then quickly died out. The tank was empty. I think I am going to put some gas in the tank and some in the FD. I just had the same problem with my 380SL and after fiddling the the fuel pump, fuel filter and all of the plugs, wires, cap and roter, the EZL was the problem. Could this be it for the 450SL. I know the two engines are different and I hope that this is a common problem for them.
I want to know if any of you have had a chance to drive the 380 and the 450 and differentiate the difference between the 2 cars. I love my 380SL but always wish for more power. I spent quite a bit of time on the 380SL converting it to the Euro look with bumpers, head lights and even a new subframe but I am willing to start over for more power. I was just poking around and looking to get a few extra part but it turns out that the 450SL was worth reviving.