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1979 450SLC
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello... new here. Joined because I just purchased a '79 450 SLC.
I've owned two SLC's in the past... a '74 & a '79...neither of which were modified in any way.
So now I've got my third Astral Silver over blue SLC...

Planning to add some, what I hope, are painless modifications.
The car already has euro bumpers & headlights... which is a good start.

What I have in mind:
  • Nardi steering wheel
  • wood shift knob
  • 16" Bundt wheels
  • 560SL front valance/spoiler
  • teardrop front turn signals
  • bumperettes

Looking for tips and advice on any problems I may encounter along the way.
Would love to hear any other ideas for tasteful mods and anything to eke more power out of that lump
of an engine...
Found some parts vendors but could use info on others.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
83 280 SL- 5 speed-The PIG
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32,153 Posts
Welcome to the forum!
 
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Premium Member
1980 450 SL
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417 Posts
Easy way to get more power--if it can be done on a 79--is to crank up the timing a few degrees.
Yes it definitely will increase the acceleration however you need to not over do it. The engine temperature will increase. Know how your car's temperature currently runs with and without air conditioner. As you increase the timing you can tell how much of an increase in temperature, if any, it will create.
 

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1974 450SL; 1961 Besasie X-3 (being restored)
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1,632 Posts
Yes it definitely will increase the acceleration however you need to not over do it. The engine temperature will increase. Know how your car's temperature currently runs with and without air conditioner. As you increase the timing you can tell how much of an increase in temperature, if any, it will create.
True. I time--a couple degrees at a time--my car by ear and test drive. So far, no temp increase or ping, but more giddyup.
 

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'71 350SL, '76 450SLC (Euro both)
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381 Posts
Highly recommend the Nardi + wood shift knob. I put a Nardi on last year. It's smaller diameter than stock, and I much prefer it.
2711024
 

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Registered
1979 450SLC
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Highly recommend the Nardi + wood shift knob. I put a Nardi on last year. It's smaller diameter than stock, and I much prefer it.
That looks great.
Any tips on the shift knob?... installation or supplier?
 

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Premium Member
1980 450 SL
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417 Posts
Highly recommend the Nardi + wood shift knob. I put a Nardi on last year. It's smaller diameter than stock, and I much prefer it.
View attachment 2711024
The only thing I don't like about my wheel is the diameter is smaller and cuts off the top of the speedometer. Just a little annoying to look under the top of the wheel.
2711058

I got the largest one I could find.
 

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'71 350SL, '76 450SLC (Euro both)
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381 Posts
That looks great.
Any tips on the shift knob?... installation or supplier?
The shift knob was already installed when I bought the car. But I've changed out a regular one before. Fairly straightforward. See if there's a thread here.
 

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Premium Member
1976 450SL, 1992 190e 2.3, 1984 300D turbo, 1966 VW bus
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914 Posts
True. I time--a couple degrees at a time--my car by ear and test drive. So far, no temp increase or ping, but more giddyup.
I agree, I have tried advancing my timing to a ridiculous degree on my 1976 and have not experienced any pinging (that I can detect) but I am cautious...Don't want to ruin my motor. It makes a huge difference
 

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1979 450SLC
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I agree, I have tried advancing my timing to a ridiculous degree on my 1976 and have not experienced any pinging (that I can detect) but I am cautious...Don't want to ruin my motor. It makes a huge difference
I'll give it a shot when I get the car home.

I did see on a spec sheet that the engine has a rather low compression ratio... around 8:1

My two other cars both have well over 400hp... so it may require me to change my driving style... lol.
 

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1974 450SL; 1961 Besasie X-3 (being restored)
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1,632 Posts
I agree, I have tried advancing my timing to a ridiculous degree on my 1976 and have not experienced any pinging (that I can detect) but I am cautious...Don't want to ruin my motor. It makes a huge difference
If I get ping (like there is gravel in the engine) I immediately get out of it and gently drive home or readjust on the road.
 

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1979 450SLC
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Picked up the SLC today... just like I remember... slug-like around town but great on the highway.

I really have missed the velvety ride these vehicles have. My daily driver is a Dodge Magnum SRT8... nice car with Mercedes underpinnings but no comparison as far as comfort, vibration and harshness.

The 40 year old Benz trumps it.

Anyway... everything on the car seems to work... except one thing.
I can't lock the doors once I've parked. Both doors will lock via the inside lever on the drivers door engine running and not... but the key doesn't activate the lock(s) from the outside handle.

When I leave the drivers window open... reach in and touch the inside lock lever... turn the key clockwise on the outside handle... I can feel a very slight movement of the inside lock lever.

Do I have insufficient vacuum?... or could it be electrical?

Anybody got an idea what it could be?
 

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Premium Member
1980 450 SL
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417 Posts
It's all vacuum. Leaking actuators are a common problem on these old cars . Depending on how long it has been in this condition you may need to replace some of the actuators. My passenger door would not lock I had to adjust the actuator pod. If the door, trunk and gas filler don't work then look for a vacuum leak. If nothing works while even the car running it is probably disconnected or plugged off somewhere. The Red and Yellow vacuum lines by the hood hinge left (driver side US) that feed into the cabin are the supply for this system. Not fun taking the panels off and the trunk lock is difficult to adjust. Can lock yourself out of the trunk if you are not careful. There is another vacuum tank under the emergency break difficult to reach but probably OK. You can test without having to access it.
The vacuum diagram is available on this website.
 

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1979 450SLC
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Does anyone know what these things are?

They were in the trunk... some kind of latch thingies... broken at the strap end.

 

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1985 380SL
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128 Posts
Yes, Nate’s correct. There’s a few threads here for attaching them with hinges or other methods. I used this method:
Battery strap fix

As a side note, I don’t think the original poster of that thread frequents this forum anymore, at least not the R107 forum, but he has some great posts with well documented instructions on many fixes of common issues.
 

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1979 450SLC
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks guys... you would think after owning two of these I'd remember more about them.

Old age ain't what it's cracked up to be...
 

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1979 450SLC
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes, Nate’s correct. There’s a few threads here for attaching them with hinges or other methods. I used this method:
Battery strap fix

As a side note, I don’t think the original poster of that thread frequents this forum anymore, at least not the R107 forum, but he has some great posts with well documented instructions on many fixes of common issues.
It was easier for me to just weld them back together.
Hope it holds.

Now it's onto some other minor fixes with the footwell venting and under dash panels.
 
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