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1972 350sl (European)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Although the 1972 350SL won't be home till next weekend, we took a road trip and picked up the first (of many, I'm sure) part for it's restoration. I found this top on Ebay that was categorized badly and was listed as local pick up only. The top, cart and cover was only viewed by 15 people in 7 days and I got it for $150. It isn't even worth doing rust repair on the original since the car will be repainted. The seller even included new factory mouldings around the bottom as the ones on the top were slightly bent.
More pics next weekend when it's pulled out of it's 15 year cave.
 

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1972 350sl (European)
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370 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1968 S code (original big block) GT fastback. I build streetrods and musclecars. After seller my T and building the Econoline for my oldest son's first car, I have time and room for another project. It was either restore the 350 for the wife, or build her a 67-9 Camaro.
The Benz comes home Saturday......:D
 

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Always Remembered RIP
1973 450 SLC AMG, 1995 Chevy Tahoe
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3,381 Posts
Although the 1972 350SL won't be home till next weekend, we took a road trip and picked up the first (of many, I'm sure) part for it's restoration. I found this top on Ebay that was categorized badly and was listed as local pick up only. The top, cart and cover was only viewed by 15 people in 7 days and I got it for $150. It isn't even worth doing rust repair on the original since the car will be repainted. The seller even included new factory mouldings around the bottom as the ones on the top were slightly bent.
More pics next weekend when it's pulled out of it's 15 year cave.
Welcome BW fill out your Bio. Top was a steal. But you'll probly never use it.
 

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1972 350sl (European)
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370 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome BW fill out your Bio. Top was a steal. But you'll probly never use it.
Actually, I'm quite sure it WILL be used. See, the wife requested that the next project NOT be another roadster or convertible as she doesn't really like driving with the top down. We'll see how she likes the top on during the summer with no AC, though. :eek:
Bio is filled out. Don't know that it will enlighten much though. My vehicles are a bit too "eclectic". :D
 

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1972 350sl (European)
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370 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, we extracted it today, and if you have a weak stomach, turn away now. All in all, it really is is very good shape.






The interior as pulled


After a couple hours of cleaning

Pretty much ALL the rubber is going to be replaced, and it looks like a couple visor clips are in order, too.
More to come.....
 

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1979 280SL, 1984 280SL
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I'm guessing you got it CHEAP! Good on you for having the fortitude to bring it back to life. We're all looking forward to pics while you're doing it.

Chief
 

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1972 350sl (European)
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It was free. I just have to restore Dad's baby to the way it came from the factory. It may take a few months.:D
 

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2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid, 1993 BMW 325i convertible
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A little trick I read about somewhere else that worked beautifully for me, plus something I learned on my own...

The ball and socket at the end of the sun visor gets loose and will wear and you won't be able to tighten it down enough for the sun visor to hold position any more - it starts to droop like the one on the passenger side and even having new clips won't hold it up properly. Remove the sub visor, take out the screw that tightens down the socket at the end and insert a small square of leather behind the metal tab. I also replaced the flat-blade screw with a stainless steel hex screw - I found the replacement screw at a boating supply hardware store. With the leather in place and a new hex head screw I could tighten it down enough that it'll still move, but when I put it into position it stays put. There's almost no stress on the clips and they hold the visors up like they're supposed to.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
83 280 SL- 5 speed-The PIG
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Wowy wowy wow wow.

That is going to be fun to restore. No matter what you do....it will be an improvement.

Good luck. Keep this thread going with all you adventures documented. I'm sure I speak for everyone here when I say we'd love to see the progress and final outcome.
 

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1972 350sl (European)
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I spent half the day working on the 350 and am actually quite pleased with it's overall condition. I have been cleaning the engine compartment as I don't work on dirty cars. A few milestiones (if you can call it that).
The windshield washer now works (disassembled, cleaned and tested)
The engine is still full of antifreeze with no leaks (no pressure to it yet, though)
The coolant reservoir was empty but had quite a bit of rust and scale in it. I used an old Model T fuel tank trick on it. Pulled the tank, then put a handful of drywall screws in it (usually I use galv roofing nails, but was out), a little water and swish thoroughly. The sharp edges remove the scale and leave it like brand new.
Hooked up an old battery and tested a few circuits. Everything is there except the horn, and fuel pump. Oh, and the fuel gauge shows half a tank. I absolutely HATE draining sour gas from cars!
Next is to pull the fuel tank to clean it out, and get into the pump/damper. I'll be cleaning out the hardlines as well as replacing all the hose so I"m not fighting 15 year old (or older) parts.
The odometer shows 101,000 miles and as I go through it system by system, it appears the majority of the car is original.
Something I've taught my sons and has served me well in previous builds and restorations.... if you touch it, clean it. Sounds kind of simple, but as you move throughout the car, eventually everything is touched and detailed. Progress is much quicker than just fixing what needs to be fixed and going back later to detail.
Thanks for the tip on the visor.... it neat little tips like this that make specialty forums worth their weight in gold.
 

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Welcome to BW107. Keep us posted. If you put your car info in your profile, all the smart people around here might know what you are talking about when it starts to get technical.
Have fun.
 

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1972 350sl (European)
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
One thing I'm sure someone knows (and I sure couldn't figure out) is how to get a connector off one of the coolant sensors. The one I have a problem with (as you are looking at the engine from the front) is the one on the far left on the intake and has a brown plastic connector. There appears to be a "hook" that must be moved to the side before disconnecting, but I applied as much force as I was comfortable with and it didn't budge. The sensor next to the aux air valve came of quite easily, but the connectors are different styles.
What's the trick?
 

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1972 350sl (European)
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370 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I managed to get the connector off of a pair of corroded terminals on what appears to be the gauge temp sender.
I removed the fan and shroud to get easier access to the crank bolt so I can turn the engine over by hand. One thing I found is a new water pump is now on the list (frozen). It was on the list before, but a little further down the timeline. Also, it seems like a good idea to pull the valve covers to replace the cam oilers, check the chain and guides, and coat the cams with assembly lube before spinning the crank. It is remarkably clean inside the engine (looking through the oil filler cap, and on the dipstick). I'll be oiling down the cylinders through the spark plug holes to get some lubrication around the rings and help break any rust loose in the bores. It doesn't look like there IS any, but I need to be thorough to bring this to life after 15 years.
As long as the distributor is right there staring me in the face, I might as well pull it and clean/adjust it. It's SO much easier working on it on the bench, and getting at the trigger points and advance mechanism is high on my to do list.
I checked the coolant temp sensor last night and it will need to be replaced. That helps explain the black sooty plugs I pulled out.
 

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1972 350sl (European)
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370 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Pics? OK, here's my entry for ugliest car :D
Here's the engine compartment with the fan and shroud removed.

Put the new visor clips and now you CAN'T see them!

If you look close you can see the mileage (101,000)

I'm making the list of parts I need both to prep it to start and also cosmetics later. The console is brittle and will need to be replaced.... I'm hoping it's not a needle in a haystack. The vacuum advance diaphragm is good, and the map sensor has no leaks and I can hear it move when I put a vacuum to it. I'll hook it up to the meter and check it tomorrow.
 

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1972 350sl (European)
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370 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Is it uncommon in 107's? I checked to see if the clock works.... cheap clock.... doesn't even last 35 years!
 

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1972 350sl (European)
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370 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
One little indulgence today was ordering a Pertronix for it. I use them in every stock/mild engine I run (car and boat) and have gotten excellent performance and life from them.
 
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