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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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Question 560SL new owner - help!

I'm a recently new owner of a 1987 560SL and have a couple questions/issues I'd appreciate some thoughts on before I figure out who to take it to for repair (kind of limited in my area - Bismarck, ND). So here goes.

1) The car takes a long time to turn over and start up. Have to hold the key over from 3 to 7 seconds I'd say, which feels like an eternity. Engine makes no weird noises and idles smooth at a consistent RPM (maybe around 600 RPM). Just the start up that's odd.

2) When driving straight on a level road surface, the steering wheel is at about 11 o'clock. If you let go it basically holds a straight course (steering wheel maintaining that 11 o'clock position). If you make the steering wheel go to 12 o'clock you're starting a right turn.

3) Something is leaking near the left rear wheel. I'm not a mechanic, but it appears to be the driver side rear shock. Based on the pics below would that seem correct? Top of both pics would be towards the front of the vehicle for reference.

Would love thoughts on all three of these concerns. But mostly want to know if I should be having the panic attack that I am, or if this stuff sounds fairly minor to have taken care of. Thanks in advance! Final pic just to remind me it is a gorgeous car at the end of the day.
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 07:25 AM
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Hard starts -- Fuel accumulator? You have two fuel pumps I believe? Check them.

Alignment -- I have that, too, because when we put a new steering box in it we mis-aligned the Pitman arm, we were one spline off. But I know my alignment is good. Is yours?

Leak -- Yeah, that looks like a shock. Why not replace all four?

Good luck! I know some guys at the Bismark weather office.
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response. I'm taking it to a shop after work to basically have them get it up in the air and just look at everything. Clearly I'll need the rear shocks replaced. I'm seeing other videos on here that say it's only an hour job to do a pair of them for someone that knows what they're doing...and I know the shocks aren't very expensive, so I'm with you and think I should probably just replace all four. Before asking how one checks the fuel pumps, I'll look elsewhere in the forum as I'm sure it's been discussed in depth. I'm not sure on the alignment - seems like it's fine since I can take my hands off the wheels and the car holds a straight line.
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 07:54 AM
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Welcome to the forum!
You could also have them check the "Cold Start Valve" for proper function.
Regarding the steering wheel, it could be that someone replaced the steering coupler and accidentally mis-aligned the steering wheel in the process.
You will find this forum to be a fabulous resource and the search feature is very good.
Cheers!
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 08:24 AM
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Still cold in ND so cold start injector is a good possibility.

Steering wheel not straight. Could be just needs to have the steering wheel repositioned. Could be much more complex, I will try to elaborate later.

Your shock is leaking and needs to be replaced. I recommend Bilistein comforts for the rear and heavy duty up front.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 08:30 AM
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It might also be that a wheel alignment was done without the steering wheel centered.
Count your turns to lock right and left; they should be the same. If close enough, you can simply remove and center the steering wheel. There is lots of info on that sometimes-challenging task on this forum.
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by roncallo View Post
Still cold in ND so cold start injector is a good possibility.

Steering wheel not straight. Could be just needs to have the steering wheel repositioned. Could be much more complex, I will try to elaborate later.

Your shock is leaking and needs to be replaced. I recommend Bilistein comforts for the rear and heavy duty up front.
It's when starting in my garage heated to 50 degrees so I wouldn't think it's anything to do with the cold. Since the car drives straight with no hands on the wheel, I feel like you're probably correct with the steering wheel (or maybe I just hope so?).

I've read the Bilistein Comfort is the shock of choice for the rear. So up front you say heavy duty - still going to be Bilistein for the manufacturer? And am I understanding correctly that shock replacement is a simple repair that is relatively inexpensive? Seems like lots of guys even just slightly mechanically inclined are able to do it themselves without a whole lot of effort. I'm definitely not that guy, but it makes me think it's not too big of a project for a mechanic.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarbirdND View Post
Seems like lots of guys even just slightly mechanically inclined are able to do it themselves without a whole lot of effort. I'm definitely not that guy, but it makes me think it's not too big of a project for a mechanic.
You will find ownership very expensive if you need a pro mechanic for all the carís needs. Donít be afraid to try DIY, starting with the simpler jobs and the excellent advice to be found on this forum. You will be rewarded emotionally and financially.
Worst case, you can have a pro fix your mistakes.
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dugald View Post
You will find ownership very expensive if you need a pro mechanic for all the carís needs. Donít be afraid to try DIY, starting with the simpler jobs and the excellent advice to be found on this forum. You will be rewarded emotionally and financially.
Worst case, you can have a pro fix your mistakes.
Annnd now I just want to sell the car, lol. The car was mechanic-owned and maintained for approximately the past 25 years (and he was owner #2). So the thought was I could buy the car, drive it on bluebird days in the summer months (maybe 1,500 miles a year), keep it stored in my heated garage, and not need to have it worked on constantly thanks to all those variables. One week in and it feels like I was delusional in my thoughts. I actually wouldn't mind trying my hand at some of this stuff but I have major time constraints (15-month old, busy work, other hobbies way higher on the list than dabbling in car repair) and I simply don't have any tools or a lift.

Pretty sure I know what buyer's remorse feels like now.
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 10:44 AM
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Your '87 has 90,000+ miles. My '89 has just over 30,000 miles, and our problems are not that different.

In the past year, I've changed the oil and filter (which I do every year), removed the valve covers and replaced the gaskets, replaced a power steering hose, bled the brakes and replaced the fluid, and experienced frozen calipers so I replaced the brakes on all 4 wheels.

Over the years of ownership, I used to think that the mileage would save me from excessive repairs, but one has to remember that these cars are OLD. Things go wrong constantly, and this year will bring new issues.

Fortunately, I have an excellent and trustworthy INDY who does all my work because I have no mechanical skills and no desire to do it myself.

Welcome to the world of the 107.
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