Date registered: May 2013
Vehicle: 1961 190SL
Location: Northern California, USA
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"Ray, You either love them or you dont."
Rumb, I hate it. Today I installed the master cylinder after replacing the internal rubber cup. How long should that take? About 15 minutes, max, right? It took longer than that just to bend the ends of the pedal clevis pin cotter key. It is completely inaccessible and can be reached only with pliers. Bending cotter key ends should be accomplished in a few seconds, not 1/2 hour of lying upside down trying to work on a piece you can barely see.
Lucky for me my wife was told by everyone who ever worked on this car that they also hate it and to never to bring it back. It is a filthy POS. In the undercarriage area every surface is covered with greasy road grime. I have never seen so many zerks on one vehicle and every grease containing cavity is simply oozing the stuff. It's also dripping oil from the engine, transmission and diff. After getting under it I look like a Pennsylvania coal miner and my hands are literally black.
Fortunately my committment is to "Get it running" and once the brakes are perfectly functional and the engine will run, no matter how feebly, I'm done.
"To each there own, but I cringe when an older classic MB doesn't have original equipment. Your resale value will tank, but if that's what you want, then go right ahead."
I agree with you totally on that. I know there are people who really like these cars and will pay a lot for them. I think Laura has forgotten how underpowered and ill handling it is compared to her modern Honda and will encounter somebody while driving around in it who make her an offer she can't refuse.
I would never contemplate an engine swap into this car for a number of reasons, not the least of which is how filthy it is due to all the oil and grease leaks. At my age (68), getting covered in grease does not seem like a good time, especially when I have 2 immaculately clean toys, a '32 Ford roadster street rod and a restored '36 Chevy pickup.
"Merhaps you trade 190SL for a nice R129 SL500, it will cost you way less and your wife can just start driving it now."
For reasons I'll never understand she's attached to this car.
"M130 is a simple engine. Get a good book, take it apart and find a good hot rod engine building shop to do the machine work. (or if you want have them build up the short block. - that is what I did with the OLD 409 in my Trans Am. They really know what they are doing and the price was realistic)"
You swapped a Chevy 409 into a Pontiac? I can't think of any reason to not do that. It's probably a 4-speed, right? I still remember Hayden Proffit campaigning a 409 in the days of the Ramchargers and the Melrose Missile. I still get goose bumps thinking about those 12 second super stocks of 50 years ago.