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1976 450SL, 1992 190e 2.3, 1984 300D turbo, 1966 VW bus
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1,078 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have an oil leak on my 1976 450sl that seems to have gotten worse lately. I'm getting about half to a full cup of oil every morning on the driveway.
Oil seems to be coming out of a weep hole just before the transmission. I looked around the heads and I don't think it is the head gasket but I'm not 100% sure. This is on the driver side of the engine in the steering box area.

Can anyone take a look at my photos and video and tell me what I'm dealing with? Where does this weep hole lead to? Here is my YouTube video

thank you


2696592
 

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Premium Member
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131 Posts
I had a similar leak on my '77 450SL. So in December I pulled the tranny and found that my rear crankshaft seal was spinning in the seat, the seal around the crank was fine but the seal was actually turning with the crankshaft. The good news is that it is not a typical rear main seal and is easily replaced once the transmission is out of the way.

2696602


BTW, while I was at it, I replaced the tranny filter and fluid and the shift linkage plastic parts. Be careful removing the wires from the Safety/back-up light switch.
 

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Premium Member
1976 450SL, 1992 190e 2.3, 1984 300D turbo, 1966 VW bus
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1,078 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is dropping the transmission as bad as it looks? Looks heavy as shit
 

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Registered
63’190D.73’450C.78’280D.89’300CE
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251 Posts
How are the port vacuum lines, do they not run into the intake. If one or all are leaking, could be some oil. Easy to check at least.
And start with the easy stuff, cuz its never ending.
Is there smoke or extra pressure coming out the dip stick, or over oiling the entire system?
 

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560SL '88 Suzuki GS1000E '78
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500 Posts
Hi Nate,

your video shows that the fluid is coming out of the drainhole for the "V".
You may have a leak on the upper side of the engine (in the "V" between the (cylinder heads), the rest may be fine.

Cheers Martin

2696632
 

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1987 560SL
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135 Posts
If you're still running your car I hope you are keeping an eye on your oil level.
Looks as if could be either head gasket or cam cover gasket. Hopefully the latter, and most probably is if no other symptoms.
 

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131 Posts
Is dropping the transmission as bad as it looks? Looks heavy as shit
It is not fun and I would not have attempted it if I did not have a lift available to do the work. It is not just the trans, the exhaust has to come down first, The job is a real PITA. Took me 20 manhours by myself.
There are several very good suggestions listed above to check into first.
 

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Premium Member
1976 450SL, 1992 190e 2.3, 1984 300D turbo, 1966 VW bus
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1,078 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you! Those pictures are amazing. I had no idea how deep the "V" is!

I put a coat-hanger up drain hole and a gusher came out. One of my valve cover gaskets was leaking (even though it was new). Fixed now

However I still have a decent leak coming from somewhere (not drain hole). I maybe cut the leak in half but it is still pretty bad. I'm leaning towards rear main seal. Still dripping off bolts on the bottom of bell housing.

It's just really hard to see around where the heads meet the block. Maybe I will try some UV dye or something...

I replaced the transmission on my 190e on jackstands and it was not fun. Looks like the SL would be worse given how beefy/heavy everything is....
 

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1987 560SL
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135 Posts
There still may be a fair amount of oil sitting in the V if you’ve only just fixed the valve cover leak. Unless you can clear it all up it may still be dripping from there for a while until fully drained. Just a thought.
 
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