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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 12:17 PM
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Absolutely avoid rust unless you're an ace bodywork man or you have stupid deep pockets.

The 560SL has a superior engine to the 500SL. You can surpass the 500SL's engine in terms of performance if you get the right headers and exhaust set up. The UK SL shop has a few 560sls with those mods.

The KE-Jet fuel system is far superior to the KJET one and is more forgiving. Though, all of these engines will respond very nicely to a well tuned fuel rail system.

Now, the wild card in all of this are those mysterious euro only 300SLs and 420Sls. I've been lusting over those straight 6 engines mostly because the V8s are such a pain to deal with. The mods are a lot more plentiful on a straight engine.

My dream is to find a euro 300SL, plop in a turbo, and race @roncallo 's Samson !
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 01:36 PM
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How is the 560SL engine superior to the 500SL? Displacement?
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 02:24 PM
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How is the 560SL engine superior to the 500SL? Displacement?
Yes the displacement, but I read somewhere that the exhaust set up on the federalized side choked some of the performance and swapping to the euro piping gave back like 15 ponies. Trying to hunt this thread down.

But, assuming stock only then yes the 500SL is a superior set up.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by okyoureabeast View Post
Absolutely avoid rust unless you're an ace bodywork man or you have stupid deep pockets.


Now, the wild card in all of this are those mysterious euro only 300SLs and 420Sls. I've been lusting over those straight 6 engines mostly because the V8s are such a pain to deal with. The mods are a lot more plentiful on a straight engine.

@roncallo 's Samson !

Absoulutely, positively true regarding the rust. Leave it be.

The 420 is a V8.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 03:16 PM
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Gotta disagree about rust... Avoid rust.. Its not hard to find a rust free 560sl.. The other stuff is easier.
What he said^^^
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 04:03 PM
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There was a Canadian Car Show titled <can't remember> where they purchased a rusty 450SL to restore. When they started taking it apart the bulkhead was so far gone that they deemed it to be so unsafe that they parted the car out. Then again, there are several SL restorations that had severe rust. Time and Money.
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 05:21 PM
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Keep in Mind. You are in California. Land of smog check insanity. Stay away from the grey market 280Sl and 500SL or you will find yourself in a swirling nightmare with the smog police. 560SL has the most value, but there is nothing wrong with a 380SL and it does get noticably better fuel milage. You have heard of the timing chain issue? If you get a 380, you really want one with a dual row timing chain and many have been converted over the years. It is easy to check for with a small inspection mirror and flashlight through the right valve cover oil filler cap. Also check that the subframe has the updated reinforcement plates installed.

No matter which one you get, including the 560, age on the plastic timing chain guides is as much of an issue as is miles. Figure on changing the guides at a minimum without recent work reciepts on them

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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 04:10 PM
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I just went through the same process and ended up with a red 1986 560SL with black leather interior. I was fortunate that I found a local (here in Maine) 560 that had been garaged every winter since new. The elderly lady I bought it from bought the car in 1989 - which is verified by records. Summer driving for over 30 years put just 100,000 miles on the car. Interior was excellent with one small wear patch on the driver seat. Original paint is very presentable. The hardtop is stored in a hard fiberglass container which the PO never opened. Soft top is excellent. The AC did not work (was never converted). Hood padding was missing, Becker radio showed the dreaded dashes and two warning lights were on (wiper fluid and SRS). I have sorted most everything at very little cost with the exception of the AC and radio which are next.

I paid just under $10K which I felt was a very good price for a very nice 560 with some issues.



Good luck with your search!
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 02:37 PM
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Hi all, I’m trying to find an opinion on a quite specific issue - I bought an ‘83 280sl 5 speed in Colombia (the country) thinking I wouldn’t be able to find any 350sl 4 speeds which was my first choice - and wouldn’t you know it a ‘75 has now come up for sale.

Both cars are rust free with similar mileage (around 75k) and I obviously don’t want to go through the hassle of selling mine to buy the other and end up with a worse car. I drove a 280sl 4 speed and found it really needed an overdrive gear but suspect the V8 4 speed had different gearing.

Has anyone out there driven both a 280sl 5 speed and a 350sl 4 speed and have an opinion on which is the best driver? (I do mostly highway driving) Any input would be appreciated thanks!
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 08:13 PM
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First R107 that I ever drove was my 84 280SL 5 speed. Second R107 I ever drove was a 350SL 4 speed. The 280SL seemes snappier up to about 60MPH. The 350SL seemed to pull stronger above 60MPH. The 280SL felt sportier on corners, while the 350SL seemed more refined. Blue 107 is the 280SL, green is the 350SL. I prefer the 280SL, but I am also a little biased
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