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1980 450SL; 1988 560SEL
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Discussion Starter #1
Will a (full range) speedometer from a 560 be a good fit in a 450, without having to tear up the dash, etc.? I have a 1980 w/ the PC speedo of the era and would really like to ditch the old 85 mph speedo and replace with a full range speedo - if possible. Thanks for your thoughts.

Oh, yeah, noticed some other message traffic regarding A&P Mechanics, etc., owning 107's. Funny deal, there. I'm not an A&P but recently retired after 3+ decades as a U.S. Air Force, USAF Reserves, Air Nat. Guard aircraft mechanic / flying crew chief. Worked on heavies (4 engine) transports and refuelers from late 1970's to last year. Can't get rid of us!
 

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4 - Pontons, 220SEB, 230SL, 350SL Euro, 380SL, 560SL, 560SEC, CLK430 Cabriolet, E500 Wagon
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34 Posts
The 560SL speedo is electronic; yours is mechanical. Call the MB Classic Center in Irvine CA and ask for Tom Hanson - He may know which one will fit; depends on your drivetrain and rear differential.
 

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Outstanding Contributor
450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500se+500slAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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22,562 Posts
The 560SL speedo is electronic; yours is mechanical. Call the MB Classic Center in Irvine CA and ask for Tom Hanson - He may know which one will fit; depends on your drivetrain and rear differential.
I recall reading that MB speedos of the era measured speed at the rear axle. So the differential may not make a difference. The 1980 does have a differential geared for fuel economy unlike the 72-79 450sl. I think the main star/circle plug is the same on all models as I plugged SheppyMach's 560sl cluster into my 1981 280slc when we were doing some testing. In any case, I would recommend going with one that has the the shift points for a 3-speed as opposed to one that would have three shift points for a four speed. So taking one from one of the thousands of 450sl cars might be easier than getting one from a 560sl.

I believe the oil pressure sensor on a 450sl is mechanical. If you start the car with the cluster out, you will get oil squirted in your face, at least with the 1972-1973 450sl.

Using the EPC to determine what years might fit would be smart.


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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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32,348 Posts
Speedo drive gear is in the trans on the 450SL.
 

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500SLC #2624. Black on Black.
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5,120 Posts
I recall reading that MB speedos of the era measured speed at the rear axle. So the differential may not make a difference. The 1980 does have a differential geared for fuel economy unlike the 72-79 450sl. I think the main star/circle plug is the same on all models as I plugged SheppyMach's 560sl cluster into my 1981 280slc when we were doing some testing. In any case, I would recommend going with one that has the the shift points for a 3-speed as opposed to one that would have three shift points for a four speed. So taking one from one of the thousands of 450sl cars might be easier than getting one from a 560sl.

I believe the oil pressure sensor on a 450sl is mechanical. If you start the car with the cluster out, you will get oil squirted in your face, at least with the 1972-1973 450sl.

Using the EPC to determine what years might fit would be smart.


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Your 280SLC, like the 560SL has an electronic speedo. And the OP's speedo being a 1980 car is most likely also electric, despite the earlier reply saying it was probably mechanical. I think they went to electronic late 1979/early 1980, or possibly for the 1980 model year. In fact, I think all 85mph speedos were electronic, so he won't be able to use any other US 450SL/SLC speedo's (if he wants to get rid of the 85mph thing).

BUT... On the Euro 450's (including the 116's, the 450SE and 450SEL used the same speedo as the 450SL and 450SLC), they never used the electronic speedo. Now, you could use a Canadian one (1980 model), BUT it's in Km/h.

The diff ratio does, in fact have an effect on the speedo. And it's for this reason that Mercedes kept the same speedo on the Euros as the diff ratio didn't change and it was the end of the model run before they went to the 500 with a taller diff.
 

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500SLC #2624. Black on Black.
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You could always get any electronic speedo from a 107 and use a Yellow Box. http://www.yellr.com/

But, be aware that you won't get the correct shift points on any. No non-85mph speedos, in MPH, for 107's or 116's fitted with 3-speed boxes. Again, you could get a Canadian 1980 450 107 or 116 speedo, maybe even swap the face on it. Or maybe someone can confirm if the Canadian Km/h speedo also showed MPH? I know that my Km/h speedo doesn't.
 

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1972 220 D, 1974 450SL, 1995 E300D 2002 S430, 1976 300D, 1986 SDL, 1982 SD
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I have a spare speedo from a 1977 SLC if that will help. It is not the full mechanical, as it has a relay attached to it like a wart, but still uses the cable to spin it up.
 
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