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1972 450SL / 129k miles
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I wanted a convertible that me and my two girls (4 & 6) could cruise in this summer.
I wanted something old
Was really looking into American muscle
Didn't want to spend a bundle so I was mainly looking for off-brand (Mopar, Buick, etc) that had low/no collector value
And I also was looking for driver quality, not a trailer queen that would be shuttled between Pebble Beach & Barrett-Jackson
Years ago I was looking at W113 but $30k for a driver I wasn't interested in
After scrolling through craigslist I somehow happened upon this R107.
Close to the W113 but no cigar.
I actually bought this as a quick flip.
As it is only a "2 seater" it wasn't suitable for my mission (of carrying my girls with me).
and the thought was I'm in it low enough to clean it up and make a profit to extend into something else
But then I learned that MB actually made a 2+2 version and that back bench could hold a pre-K and kindergartner just fine.
Thus, I'm now thinking about keeping this long(er) term and simply sinking the cash into this 450SL to meet the mission
I've checked SLshop and the JJ parts place for the rear bench and seat belts that I'll need for the conversion.

I've been wrenching on older cars for 20+ years
Datsuns
Ford/Chevy/Mopar
Harleys

This is my first euro to wrench on.
I daily drive a w212 but I send that to the indy as I don't have the STAAR computer and a bit more can go wrong with it.



2622952
 

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Registered
1972 450SL / 129k miles
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter #2

I'm looking to do what @Fonzi did above
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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32,162 Posts
If you worked on '75-'80? Datsun fuel injeection you won't have much of a learning curve on this one.
 

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Outstanding Contributor
450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500se+500slAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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22,375 Posts

I'm looking to do what @Fonzi did above
I sent those two seats out to California because someone ( @donshorty ??? ) had two little ones at the time we created the FS subforum, and it was the very first thread in there I think. They were special because they were very “square” with very vertical backs. I got them used from a neighbor. Now the lawyers and child seat makers have us all cutting the belts out of seats and putting expiration dates on them just to make sure we keep buying car seats and filling up the landfills with plastic. I digress.

Anyway, my kids started using lap belts probably around 4-6 years old.

What color is your interior? You know it doesn’t need to match though. Right? Grab anything you can if it’s a folding style and comes with both the bottom and back for under ~$250. It will have the best resale IMO. I’ve got a black OEM one up on eBay for like $500 just because I wonder if I might want to use it in one of the cars I’ve got that don’t have a seat.

So what’s this car need?

Have you check the timing chain for stretch and the condition of the guides and tensioner?
 

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Registered
1972 450SL / 129k miles
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter #6


I just got the car delivered to me this morning and I've only put about five miles on it
First was a quick 4 mile trip before I put her away
And then a mile down to the gas station to put a quarter tank of fuel in
I want to flush the entire fuel system as the car has been sitting 2-3 years
Give her a major tune up
drain/replace all fluids
I might have a turn signal issue as they do not flash in front but blink a million times a minute in the rear

These are all typical things of a low dollar early 70s car

floor boards are rusty in the car but underneath the look rock solid
so my guess is someone left the windows down and rain got in and settled in the floorboards

I'm mainly looking to get/keep her mechanically sound and I like the patina that the paint has
I simply want the car to start when I want it to and stop when I tell it to.

I'm thankful for this forum to give me a jumpstart in the right direction with all the useful info
such as what spark plugs (and wires) I should use as well as type/weight of oil
 

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Registered
1972 450SL / 129k miles
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I sent those two seats out to California because someone ( @donshorty ??? ) had two little ones at the time we created the FS subforum, and it was the very first thread in there I think. They were special because they were very “square” with very vertical backs. I got them used from a neighbor. Now the lawyers and child seat makers have us all cutting the belts out of seats and putting expiration dates on them just to make sure we keep buying car seats and filling up the landfills with plastic. I digress.

Anyway, my kids started using lap belts probably around 4-6 years old.

What color is your interior? You know it doesn’t need to match though. Right? Grab anything you can if it’s a folding style and comes with both the bottom and back for under ~$250. It will have the best resale IMO. I’ve got a black OEM one up on eBay for like $500 just because I wonder if I might want to use it in one of the cars I’ve got that don’t have a seat.

So what’s this car need?

Have you check the timing chain for stretch and the condition of the guides and tensioner?
You make some interesting points.
Anyhow, my interior color is like a beige/dark brown: ( Screenshot-20200307-170032 )
The car needs to be gone through as it has sat and not been started for 2-3 years at least
It also needs (???) floors
It's not Fred Flintstone but I know I wouldn't stand on one leg and jump up and down in the rear footwell either.
But it's a weekend car.
Might put 50 miles on it every other weekend of the summer or so
I'm in Houston so July & August during the day are out. More night time cruises.
Fall is a GREAT time to cruise all day here.

I haven't checked the timing chain. I'll need to get a FSM and begin to dive deep into that kind of stuff.
 

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Registered
1973 450 SL
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1,916 Posts
Welcome to the forum - always glad to see a D-Jet survivor getting some work done. Early 107 enthusiasts are in the minority here but active enough to assist if you need it. It sounds like you have been reading up here on the forum. For the manuals, @oncebitter was kind enough to host them online:

Model 107 Maintenance Manual Index

@PanzerPuff has a great YouTube video for timing chain, tensioner and related items:

TIMING CHAIN, guide rail, tensioner

Suggest a review of the subframe recall in EGv107 sticky to determine if yours has been accomplished or not. A few more posts and you can post pictures directly on the forum (can't remember the rule on that).

Check your fuel delivery system for leaks caused by old hoses and/or bad clamps (worm gear type), particularly in the engine bay. These cars are notorious for catching fire it that is neglected.
 

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Registered
1972 450SL / 129k miles
Joined
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Welcome to the forum - always glad to see a D-Jet survivor getting some work done. Early 107 enthusiasts are in the minority here but active enough to assist if you need it. It sounds like you have been reading up here on the forum. For the manuals, @oncebitter was kind enough to host them online:

Model 107 Maintenance Manual Index

@PanzerPuff has a great YouTube video for timing chain, tensioner and related items:

TIMING CHAIN, guide rail, tensioner

Suggest a review of the subframe recall in EGv107 sticky to determine if yours has been accomplished or not. A few more posts and you can post pictures directly on the forum (can't remember the rule on that).

Check your fuel delivery system for leaks caused by old hoses and/or bad clamps (worm gear type), particularly in the engine bay. These cars are notorious for catching fire it that is neglected.

It appears someone before me has tried to address the subframe cracking issue. I saw that in the new restoration video series folks here seem to disapprove of because the guy mainly does oil changes and changes brakes.
 

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Registered
1972 450SL / 129k miles
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
So what’s this car need?
I can't edit any of my old posts so I have to continue to make new replies here.
But upon further review, I figured out how to take the hardtop off and even access the softtop.
The car needs a new canvas top. The metal frame of the canvas top is in GREAT shape (almost like they never used it).

Reverse lights work as they should.
The turn signals still don't blink. They just come on and stay on outside but on the dash the signal is blinking thousands of times (might be a flasher issue).

Aftermarket detachable face Sony cassette player/radio works just fine

I can't stress enough that it is a 49 year old driver.

Overall, I'm content with my purchase.
And that's all that matters, right?
 

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Outstanding Contributor
450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500se+500slAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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22,375 Posts
...
I'm in Houston so July & August during the day are out. More night time cruises.
Fall is a GREAT time to cruise all day here.

I haven't checked the timing chain. I'll need to get a FSM and begin to dive deep into that kind of stuff.
@dgosh28 is a northwest Houston classic MB enthusiast you might link up with some day.

There are a few w126 enthusiasts who are very familiar with the m116 / m117 timing chain service that you might want to do. If you still have the metal-backed timing chain guide rails, and they aren’t terribly worn, you should keep them as they are NLA (actually, keep them in the trunk even if you replace them with plastic). You should be able to read up basically everything you need to know to DIY the service, and at least check if it’s needed.

POR-15 or Miracle paint will be your friends if the floors aren’t totally rotted.


It appears someone before me has tried to address the subframe cracking issue. I saw that in the new restoration video series folks here seem to disapprove of because the guy mainly does oil changes and changes brakes.
Those look like the MB gussets that Mercedes would weld on preventatively if the subframe wasn’t already cracked. That good it’s had the service, and that’s one less thing you need to worry about. (The 1986-1989 subframes didn’t require the gussets to be welded on.)



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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32,162 Posts
Turn signals. First check all the bulbs. That may be a ground issue. Be careful removing front lenses they are old, brittle and NLA.
 

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Registered
'79 450SL, '04 CLK200 convertible; former A124, W210, A209.
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1,520 Posts
Congrats on your purchase and welcome to the forum et_450. It's a pretty car you got there and with a bit of TLC she'll go on for another 49 years, easy! (y)(y)(y)
 

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Registered
1972 450SL / 129k miles
Joined
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I just realized I wrote in the title that she's a 1971
That's not possible and to top it off she was born in March 1972

After looking at her this morning and lifting the drivers side floor carpets (there's no surface rust there) so things are looking even better and I even tossed around the idea of swapping in a M133 but after a quick google session learned that it is transverse mounted so I don't think that's possible.

Anyhow, she'll be a GREAT cruiser once I find a folding rear seat and rear seatbelts!
 

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Registered
97 600sl
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6 Posts
I wanted a convertible that me and my two girls (4 & 6) could cruise in this summer.
I wanted something old
Was really looking into American muscle
Didn't want to spend a bundle so I was mainly looking for off-brand (Mopar, Buick, etc) that had low/no collector value
And I also was looking for driver quality, not a trailer queen that would be shuttled between Pebble Beach & Barrett-Jackson
Years ago I was looking at W113 but $30k for a driver I wasn't interested in
After scrolling through craigslist I somehow happened upon this R107.
Close to the W113 but no cigar.
I actually bought this as a quick flip.
As it is only a "2 seater" it wasn't suitable for my mission (of carrying my girls with me).
and the thought was I'm in it low enough to clean it up and make a profit to extend into something else
But then I learned that MB actually made a 2+2 version and that back bench could hold a pre-K and kindergartner just fine.
Thus, I'm now thinking about keeping this long(er) term and simply sinking the cash into this 450SL to meet the mission
I've checked SLshop and the JJ parts place for the rear bench and seat belts that I'll need for the conversion.

I've been wrenching on older cars for 20+ years
Datsuns
Ford/Chevy/Mopar
Harleys

This is my first euro to wrench on.
I daily drive a w212 but I send that to the indy as I don't have the STAAR computer and a bit more can go wrong with it.



View attachment 2622952
Check back light bulbs before attempting to tale front lenses off.
also check the spring loaded contacts on the rear bulbs.
 

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Congrats on your purchase. That's a great idea for the kids, and one day they can drive it and remember when.
I too just bought a '74 this past week, and am thinking my dog would like a ride back there. Happy motoring.
 

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Premium Member
1983 380 SL
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2,631 Posts
Driving the kids around with the top down produces memories for life. 25 years ago I drove my two oldest daughters around in my '83 380sl. At the time they were 4 and 5. They loved it and would smile and wave to the neighbors as we drove past. Even the neighbors loved it. Good memories.

Last year I took my older daughter for a ride in that same 107 (yes I still have it) and she remembered those drives 25 years ago but did mention that the car had gotten a lot smaller over the years.

Life is good. (y)
 

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All RHD: 1982 280GE LWB (UK), 2001 SLK230 (JDM), 2014 B250-AMG (JDM), 2006 B170 (JDM)
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72 Posts
As you can see, even though I own four MB's including an SLK convertible, as I read your criteria, I would suggest American iron.

1992 Cadillac Allante | eBay
2007_ford_mustang_gt_convertible_490hp-1578330019-277-e.jpg
 

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All RHD: 1982 280GE LWB (UK), 2001 SLK230 (JDM), 2014 B250-AMG (JDM), 2006 B170 (JDM)
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The 450SL is designed to drive at speeds far in excess of anything allowed in America. This means they are a lot more complicated. More complexity in older cars means more parts likely to break down. The cost of MB parts is much higher, and often takes weeks to procure even from the dealer. The cost of repair at MB dealers is way too high, and the indy shops hard to find outside of prime-wealth areas.

As a weekender a 450SL is great. As a tour-America car where reliability is important, and where available parts and knowledgeable shops are everywhere American iron means you are on the road, not stuck on the side of the road with the hood up. Then there are the road conditions. 450SL is made for Europe which either means fantastically smooth and perfect engineered autobahns with no speed limit or 135kph outside of Germany, or ultra-twisty mountain roads begging to be driven fast. American iron is made for American roads which means badly maintained interstate highways with 55-75 mph speed limits, ultra-wide secondary roads where cushy suspensions are more important than cornering or braking.

If it was me, I would buy a 1966 Cadillac convertible with peeling paint that was well maintained by a cranky old guy who drove it to the end and died last month. Actually, that was inspired by a friend of mine - from a famous car family - who was living in NYC and watched some car movie I cannot recall. He and his buddy took a cab to LaGuardia, flew to Phoenix and bought a 66 Cadillac at 2 a.m. from a vendor who could not quite understand what was going on but was happy to take their money. They drove it back across the country with the top down and a case of Veuve Clicquot in the trunk that they slowly drained. A few weeks later he came up to our summer place for the weekend back when all the guests were single and beautiful... fitting six in the Caddy with plenty of room for everyone.
 
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