5/5/11 15,782 views
This thread is a compilation of sub frame repair and replacement information accumulated by BW107 posters over the years.
While there never was a "subframe recall" issued for the C/R107 series there was an agreement between MBUSA and the USDOT to repair or replace defective subframes in 350/450 SL/SLC cast iron block models produced for the US market. This exempted all US M116 3.8 cars, and all Rest Of The World cars, regardless of powerplant, from service.
MB's claim, accepted by regulators, that the lighter aluminum block 3.8L V-8 would not cause the failure proved later to be less than accurate. The early style frame can crack regardless of engine cylinder count or block material.
The repair or replacement in question is 'MBUSA Service Information Letter 33/001, Sub-frame Modification dated 11/1/85'. Some dealerships readily acknowledge the ongoing existence of the recall, others are markedly reticent in expending any energy toward obtaining satisfaction for owners with issues. Several members have had luck getting replacement subframes installed or even reimbursement of out of pocket expenses for sub-frames replaced outside of the dealer network.
Here are some pictures of the issue at hand....
A cracking control arm mounting tab.
Tearing out of the bolt slot on a mounting tab.
Progressive failure of the mounting tabs. Note that the rear tab is completely torn from the subframe.
Gusset kit, MB P/N 107 330 00 68
Factory support gussets welded in place.
Factory update subframe with reinforced control arm mounting tabs. This was standard equipment on the 560SL.
The end result of a failed sub-frame.
Board member ABQ450SLC
persevered and was reimbursed by MBUSA for subframe repairs to his 450SLC Euro. He generously offers his experience to others who may need assistance. Contact him via PM.
Originally Posted by ABQ450SLC
All, I just recieved a check from MB for the entire work done on my 78 107 gray market. Initially MB balked at the gray market, but after many, many calls they relented and admitted that the recall was indeed a worldwide recall, and the work needs to be done no matter where the car is originally from. At first they said no way, so I had the work done independently to a cost of roughly $2500. Then out of the blue MB USA called me back. Apparently someone higher up saw the request and they told me they would cover it. I told them it was already done and they had me take the car to my local MB dealer to have it inspected. They approved the work and MB made good on their word. They paid ALL parts AND labor. It did take a lot of work, but they did relent in the end. They said this recall would never expire and they had to honor it world-wide as it is a very liable fault in design. PM me if you want names, number etc.
has also offered help after successfully lobbying MBUSA and getting warranty repairs on his 107.
Originally Posted by Anovak
Greetings and sorry for the delay. I had my subframe replaced at MB of Albuquerque, NM. It was a long, drawn-out process but they finally agreed to do it after I had contacted MB in Fellbach, Germany. Check your email. I will send the info you request there. The subject line will say "MB Subframe."
The good news is, contrary to what some have said, the recall DOES apply to the 107 models which includes the 380SL.....guess it just depends on how determined you are. Since yours is cracked already, I would think MB would want to take care of this immediately to avoid failure and therefore almost certain injury. Needless to say, I would not drive that vehicle before the subframe is sound. Best of luck to you.
PS - Nobby, very cool boots.....where can I get a pair like that, only could you be sure that I get the euro headlight???
Here are some links to other threads with subframe pictures and information.
Sub Frame Recall?
Sub Frame Failure Help
107 Sub Frame Recall Enlightenment
Example Of A Bad 107 Sub-Frame
And It Was Such A Great Weekend Till...
Sub-Frame Failure on 280SL (Euro)
Subframe Gusset Reinforcement and Bushing Replacement