Sl560 DIED on the road - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Vehicle: 1987 SL560
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Sl560 DIED on the road

Hi Everybody I am new here! I live in Sweden and I recently (November 2018) imported a 1987 Sl560 from Seattle USA.
The first thing I did when i picked up the car from the port was to drive about 800km and the car was running great..
When spring came in march I drove the car everyday for about 1 month and everything was fine. Then one day the car started running unevenly and somedays it was running very uneven but sometimes it ran really smooth. Then one day I was driving and the car just died on the road. It wouldnt restart and it has been like this for 1 month.
The things I checked for-
The Fuel pump buzzez when i turn the ignition.
I Changed the fuel filter, nothing wrong there.

So i removed the cover of the airfilter thing and I have this plate in the middle air intake plate maybe? I am no mechanic som I dont know the exact name.
But when I press the plate down the car starts.
But I also have to keep the plate pressed down to keep it running otherwise it will die.

Can anybody give me some advice?
Best regards David
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 03:35 PM
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Vehicle: 1986 560SL with M120 V12 Engine, 1988 560SL Stock
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Hi Everybody I am new here! I live in Sweden and I recently (November 2018) imported a 1987 Sl560 from Seattle USA.
The first thing I did when i picked up the car from the port was to drive about 800km and the car was running great..
When spring came in march I drove the car everyday for about 1 month and everything was fine. Then one day the car started running unevenly and somedays it was running very uneven but sometimes it ran really smooth. Then one day I was driving and the car just died on the road. It wouldnt restart and it has been like this for 1 month.
The things I checked for-
The Fuel pump buzzez when i turn the ignition.
I Changed the fuel filter, nothing wrong there.

So i removed the cover of the airfilter thing and I have this plate in the middle air intake plate maybe? I am no mechanic som I dont know the exact name.
But when I press the plate down the car starts.
But I also have to keep the plate pressed down to keep it running otherwise it will die.

Can anybody give me some advice?
Best regards David
Vacuum leak, bad fuel distributor???
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 04:46 PM
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Definitely sounds like a massive vacuum leak. Pushing down on the Bellow provides more fuel meeting the extra air that is occuring.

You will need to smoke test the engine to determine where the leaks are. I know you say you aren't a mechanic but youll definitely become one really soon

Also it's a 560SL. The lettering changed in the early 90s.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the answers! Do you know where I can find instructions on how to smoke test the engine? Should I even give it a go myself?
post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 12:19 AM
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2 options, DIY or go somewhere to have it done. I would go for DIY as you can then check yourself once you have fixed a leak.

YouTube is full with DIY how to’s and how to make yourself a smoke tester.

A latex XL glove and a ty-rap work excellent to cover “the hole” we’re you pushed the plate down. This “hole” is called btw the Air Fuel Meter (AFM)

Good luck B

Ps. Picture of your 560?

How hard can it be?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Bauk18;17860176]2 options, DIY or go somewhere to have it done. I would go for DIY as you can then check yourself once you have fixed a leak.

YouTube is full with DIY how to’s and how to make yourself a smoke tester.

A latex XL glove and a ty-rap work excellent to cover “the hole” we’re you pushed the plate down. This “hole” is called btw the Air Fuel Meter (AFM)

Good luck B

Ps. Picture of your 560?[/QUOTE


Thank you! I will try to do I my self then!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
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Hi does anyone know where to connect the smoker to the car?
post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 09:54 AM
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Hi does anyone know where to connect the smoker to the car?
Connect it to the brake booster line off of the rear of the engine bay.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Hi everybody! So I smoked the engine and their came smoke from under the plate area.. will attach a photo from where I mean, couldn’t see very clearly exactly from what but maybe this can give a idea of the problem? If you see the picture the smoke comes from beneath and to the left of the big black rubber thing in the middle.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 01:18 PM
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Hi David,

Given the picture you have posted and the symptoms mentioned above, I am sorry to say that you are looking at your first big repair on your 560SL.

A leak in that area is indicative of a failure of the rubber components in the lower intake system.

My advice is that you will need to rebuild the entire intake system as well as all of the plumbing. This is a big job. My advice is to do everything from the injectors to the plenum gaskets. I ended up doing this job twice because I thought my plenum gaskets were good.

A summary of the components needed:
1. Air intake bellow
2. Updated Flange for the intake bellow
3. New seal around the fuel distributor
4. Cold start air piping
5. 8x new plastic injector seal housing
6. 8x new injector seals
7. 8x new injectors
8. 8x plenum gaskets
9. 2x intake gaskets
10. Coolant (you will have to partially drain coolant from the engine)

I would check to make sure this list is complete. If you haven't done so already, I would consider doing the plugs, cap, rotor, and wires at this time as well.

To get an idea of the involvement, this gentleman has taken pictures of the process:
https://autotrend.activeboard.com/t4...l-gasket-and-/

He also did a chain and guide replacement, but that is a different repair and not required for your issue. There is no need to remove the valve covers for this work.

Parts alone cost me ~1500USD from rmeuropean.com and autohausaz.com . Since you are in Europe, you might have to search for different parts suppliers though I don't think the costs will be that much different. Labor hours for this job will probably cost several thousand SEKs.

This job isn't hard per se, but is involved and for a first time mechanic will probably take you several days ensuring that you've done everything correctly.

As a community, we're happy to help you along the way providing advice and above all encouragement should you decide to go the do-it-yourself way.

Seeing as summer is almost over, you might wish to park the car and do this as a weekend project over the course of your long winter.

Edit: Whatever your next steps are, please heed this warning: contrary to the advice of many mechanics and well meaning folks, please do not try to compensate for this air leak by turning the air metering screw that sits next to the fuel distributor. Doing so is not a repair or a solution to this problem.

Doing so will damage down stream components of the engine leading to more costly repairs.
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