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Hello,
I finally found a shop that specializes in older Mercedes. Very good reputation. They had me come to the shop and go over what they found with me under the lift so that they could show me personally needs to be done. However, some of the prices sound reasonable and some seem high...They are allowing me to provide the parts to help save on cost what are your thoughts?

Labor only:

To rebuild driveline: New flex discs, center bearing, center support, both driveshaft bushings, new boot = $615. Note: Exhaust is all welded so must be dropped in 1 piece.

Install new rear diff and diff mount = $450

Install new engine mounts, a-arm bushings, tie-rod assemblies, sub-frame bushings, drag link = $1100.00

Install new steering coupler and re-seal leaky steering box = $935 .. This is the one that seems high, maybe its very labor intensive? - Note: Spoke to shop and this is for complete r&r of steering box and since exhaust is welded in one piece they need to drop the entire exhaust system all together.

Do these labor costs sound reasonable?
 

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As someone who uses a very honest INDY repair shop for all my 107's needs, I can tell you that the labor rates are sometimes going to seem high when compared to the labor costs of the typical DIY'ers here.
 

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Wow, seeing those numbers for labor alone certainly justifies the swearing and injuries I’ve sustained over the years working on my 380, lol.

If the shop truly does specialize in merc’s of the era in question, and they have a good reputation, it might be worth it even if the labor does seem high.
 

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Install new rear differential? Are they dropping it and putting a new one on?

There's no reason for that. The mount is literally 6 bolts. Unscrew and put in. Are they giving you new CV joints with that price? If so, then that's really good.


Do that yourself with a floor jack if not.

Other than that one, everything else is a good price . Especially the power steering box and coupler job. I've done everything on that list myself . Certainly not hard to do over the course of a few months .

For the engine mounts, make sure they also weld on the subframe gusset arm fixes in that price if it hasn't been done yet.
 

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Wow, seeing those numbers for labor alone certainly justifies the swearing and injuries I’ve sustained over the years working on my 380, lol.

If the shop truly does specialize in merc’s of the era in question, and they have a good reputation, it might be worth it even if the labor does seem high.
That's what I am thinking. They are very thorough. I am normally DIY'er on most repairs on this car, but time is my issue right now. These aren't necessarily hard jobs, just time consuming. And I am short on time. To do a lot of the subframe work they need to lower or drop the subframe entirely and the steering coupler is pretty involved timewise. Spring is coming and I want the car finished and ready. Spring starts early in Texas.

Guess I will bite the bullet.
 

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Install new rear differential? Are they dropping it and putting a new one on?

There's no reason for that. The mount is literally 6 bolts. Unscrew and put in. Are they giving you new CV joints with that price? If so, then that's really good.


Do that yourself with a floor jack if not.

Other than that one, everything else is a good price . Especially the power steering box and coupler job. I've done everything on that list myself . Certainly not hard to do over the course of a few months .

For the engine mounts, make sure they also weld on the subframe gusset arm fixes in that price if it hasn't been done yet.
Thanks for the reply. Yes it has had the subframe kit installed already. I called the shop asking why so high on simply replacing the diff...his response was that on this p[articular early model 450sl, the axles must be removed...he had a long explanation of what he had to do but it was basically more involved than some other model SL's. Remove wheels, axles, etc. He stated that the axles are in good shape and do not need to be replaced. So, just the cost of getting it done right when you dont have time to DIY. Spring is around the corner in Texas so we want it done by then. If I had a few months I would do most of it,but alas, too much other stuff going on.
 

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You know the old expression "if you have to ask the price you can't afford it"? Well... who ever came up with that expression never owned a classic 107. Where the 30 to 40 year old 107's are concerned, nobody can afford it. If you're not a DIY'r, then owning a classic 107 will drain your bank account. I have cursed and bled more in the last two years than the preceding two decades... and I'm nowhere near done bleeding and cursing yet.

If the couple of thousand bucks in repairs you mentioned will get you on the road in early spring... and you can afford it... then go for it, but call me crazy if I don't see that as being the end of it. There's more shit that can go wring with these cars than Carter has Little Liver Pills. If it's not a labor of love than it's just labor.

Good luck. :smile
 

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Thanks for the reply. Yes it has had the subframe kit installed already. I called the shop asking why so high on simply replacing the diff...his response was that on this p[articular early model 450sl, the axles must be removed...he had a long explanation of what he had to do but it was basically more involved than some other model SL's. Remove wheels, axles, etc. He stated that the axles are in good shape and do not need to be replaced. So, just the cost of getting it done right when you dont have time to DIY. Spring is around the corner in Texas so we want it done by then. If I had a few months I would do most of it,but alas, too much other stuff going on.
I mean, you don't actually have to pop the cover off of the differential to replace the mount. You can unbolt the mount against the frame and let the differential drop to clear the bolts that attach the mount to the cover.

It's easier to just remove the differential cover for him.

I would have him skip this and just do it yourself. Seriously, just back the car up onto ramps, put a floor jack under the differential, unbolt the mount, drop the differential to clear the spare tire well, remove mount, and reverse steps to reinstall.
 

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He will be removing the diff and mount entirely. The mount is sagging and the diff howls loudly at 60mph +. So remove old diff and diff mount. Then install new diff and diff mount. He would need to pull the axles out right?
 

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You know the old expression "if you have to ask the price you can't afford it"? Well... who ever came up with that expression never owned a classic 107. Where the 30 to 40 year old 107's are concerned, nobody can afford it. If you're not a DIY'r, then owning a classic 107 will drain your bank account. I have cursed and bled more in the last two years than the preceding two decades... and I'm nowhere near done bleeding and cursing yet.

If the couple of thousand bucks in repairs you mentioned will get you on the road in early spring... and you can afford it... then go for it, but call me crazy if I don't see that as being the end of it. There's more shit that can go wring with these cars than Carter has Little Liver Pills. If it's not a labor of love than it's just labor.

Good luck. :smile
I hear you my friend. This is going to be a good hit against the savings account. I would normally DIY this entire list, but much of it is under the car in tight spots, especially the sub-frame work, drive-line and steering coupling. With the exhaust being welded into one piece the entire system needs to be removed, sub-frame partially dropped, etc. If I had a lift in my garage and a free month I would be doing this.

I know what you mean about this not being the end of it, this is our 3rd old benz (2nd 107), and i've done all the work on them so far. This is the first time putting one in the shop, which is why I was a bit shocked at the labor costs. But hopefully this takes care of the major stuff under the car for a while. The next jobs go back to DIY mode. Sometimes you just gotta throw a couple grand at it. Besides, in Texas, the riding with the top off weather is just weeks away!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
what shop is it? i have been extremely happy with Ronnie Jackson on Tuam St in Houston
Autohaus Ruffner in League City. He has 6-7 various year 107'S in his shop now. Has a cherry 280SL Manual trans grey market in one of the bays. I will check out your shop. Thanks
 

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He will be removing the diff and mount entirely. The mount is sagging and the diff howls loudly at 60mph +. So remove old diff and diff mount. Then install new diff and diff mount. He would need to pull the axles out right?
Yes. If you're getting a new diff out of that deal then you getting a great deal on that price. I would take it.
 

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You know the old expression "if you have to ask the price you can't afford it"? Well... who ever came up with that expression never owned a classic 107. Where the 30 to 40 year old 107's are concerned, nobody can afford it. If you're not a DIY'r, then owning a classic 107 will drain your bank account. I have cursed and bled more in the last two years than the preceding two decades... and I'm nowhere near done bleeding and cursing yet.

If the couple of thousand bucks in repairs you mentioned will get you on the road in early spring... and you can afford it... then go for it, but call me crazy if I don't see that as being the end of it. There's more shit that can go wring with these cars than Carter has Little Liver Pills. If it's not a labor of love than it's just labor.

Good luck. :smile
Bang on. I’ve owned my SL for almost ten years now, it was my first car and I’ll never part with it. Almost like clockwork though, every time I fix something and get it to “perfect” status, something else inevitably breaks. It was the radiator, then the idle control unit, then the door locks, then the HVAC, then a full timing chain failure, then a subframe failure, then the odometer gears, and now the steering coupler. I’ve spent four or five times the cars purchase price in keeping it going and it’s worth every bloody penny (and outside of the rebuild post timing chain failure, I did everything myself).
 

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I hear you my friend. This is going to be a good hit against the savings account. I would normally DIY this entire list, but much of it is under the car in tight spots, especially the sub-frame work, drive-line and steering coupling. With the exhaust being welded into one piece the entire system needs to be removed, sub-frame partially dropped, etc. If I had a lift in my garage and a free month I would be doing this.

I know what you mean about this not being the end of it, this is our 3rd old benz (2nd 107), and i've done all the work on them so far. This is the first time putting one in the shop, which is why I was a bit shocked at the labor costs. But hopefully this takes care of the major stuff under the car for a while. The next jobs go back to DIY mode. Sometimes you just gotta throw a couple grand at it. Besides, in Texas, the riding with the top off weather is just weeks away!
I wish I was there instead of here. It's 3:45 AM and 23 degrees. It won't be top down driving here until May or June.
 
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