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83 380 SL,
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am curious if anyone, anywhere, has camshaft timing or lift data for the 380, 500, and 560 V8. I have heard the euro 380 had over 200 HP compared to the US car. Is it due to camshaft? Any knowledge?

I have the sedate 380 SL and while I could dump a 560 in it, I am very interested in trying to make the 380 motor, and the car, perform better. I have a line on some cams from a 500, and would like to know what they will do if I install them compared to 560 cams. Please, I do not want to hear someone tell me to buy a 560, all I am looking for is information or positive input.

I am also interested in changing out the rear differential to a higher ratio for better acceleration, and would like to know if anyone knows what units would bolt into the car.

I would also be interested if anyone has dynoed these cars, as the power figures do not seem very valid. I have driven 560's, and compared to a 380, its a whole different animal. A 380 falls flat on its face just above 4500 rpm, and the trans shifts just below that. The 560 makes power all the way to 6000 rpm, and thats where the trans shifts, so obviously there are different cams. But the 155 HP of the 380, doesnt add up if you calculate the listed 560 HP per liter into 3.8. I am thinking if the 380 made power to 6000 and shifted at higher speeds to take advantage, its performance would be greatly improved upon.
 

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The Euro motor's from the 80's have a rash of difference. The cams are hotter, the compression a point or more higher, the exhaust manifolds that are more akin to headers, no cats, different fuel distributor, and in some cases different ports on the heads. You're best bet, either find a motor already in Euro spec.. changing to a 560 you'll need to update a lot of the wiring, the transmission..it's no small undertaking.
Lastly, from your description of how your car is running things are not as they should be. Your 380 should finally start to come alive right about 4 k and pull fairly cleanly through 55/5800.

I'll have to look and see what diff ratio you are running, but I'm sure there is something that will drop in.

Just an FYI, but of all the federalized motors out there, the 380 took the biggest hit of all. A true euro 380 is quite the little ripper!

Jonathan
 

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83 380 SL,
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Discussion Starter #3
Well, maybe its time to go in and degree wheel the motor and see if its timed correctly and how. This car shifts at about 4,000 rpm, all gears, foot to the floor. Shifted manually it will go up to 5000, but its not really making power anymore. 560's ive driven just fly to 6000 and feel like they would go beyond it quite hard. Top end wise it actually beats R&T figures, ive had to 120 indicated. I cannot find any information anywhere on this motor, and havnt for all the years ive owned it. I dont have a manual on that particular engine, but others ive had dont give much detail either, except the build specs. I was hoping someone would have cam data as to lift, duration, valve timing, etc., but I dont think I am going to find it anywhere.
 

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IF your transmission is shifting at 4K, it's not your engine timing..that can only move by so much due to stretch, after that it's jumping teeth on the chain. If that were the case you wouldn't be going Anywhere. You say this car shifts hard all the time, that leads me to beleive your transmission's moiduclaotr valve is either not getting any vacuum or is broken. The line connects on the drivers side of the transmission, should lead up to the back of the intake manifold on the passenger side.

And yes, all MB's run very cleanly up to redline. If your's will not even when held in gear I'd suspect a fuel issue or possibly cats. How many miles on the car? When was the last time the fuel filter was changed? Fuel pumps, injectors..? Do you ever run techron through the system?

Jonathan
 

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83 Astral Silver 280 SL
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Mercedes have never made sense to me as a hot rod project. You can go thru enough money to buy a Vette, so why bother? Be careful about what you buy in the first place - these cars are designed for specific needs by model - research them and buy the model most appropriate for the kind of driving you want to do. Sell your 380 and go buy a 350 or 500SL Euro if you want a hot rod. It'll cost you a hell of a lot less money.
 

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1980 450SL
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27 Posts
kvining, you must have missed reading this part.

Quote " Please, I do not want to hear someone tell me to buy a 560, all I am looking for is information or positive input. "

A lot of people enjoy tinkering with their cars regardless of brand. I plan to do some engine/drivetrain mods my self to my 80 450sl. I could care less about the cost. Its a hobby to me. I already improved performance with a custom exhaust, hooter spark system, advance timing, cold air intake w/ k&n filter ect. These cars are very high geared. A lower gear would greatly improve acceleration. My mustang gt runs a 3.55 rear and my 454 suburban runs 4.10s. I have seen many people install 350 v8 chevys when their stock engine wears out. Lots of power, easy to repair and get parts. Cost about the same as a mercedes rebuild. I love the way my 450sl looks, Im just used to more power. Just my 2 cents.
 

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83 380 SL,
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Triggeraa - 3/1/2005 8:08 AM

kvining, you must have missed reading this part.

Quote " Please, I do not want to hear someone tell me to buy a 560, all I am looking for is information or positive input. "
Trig~

Thanks for reading that part, lol. Anyway, perhaps there is something wrong with the motor, but ive driven three other 380's and I felt they went about the same, and thought they shifted about the same, but I could have been wrong or they all could be messed up. The more I think and try to recall, it may be that it shifts at maybe 4800. But I know it dont wanna go to 6000 making power. and uhmmm, its redlined at 5500, so it aint supposed to go up that high anyway.
As far as if these cars can be hotrods, I wonder where AMG came from? They built the "Hammer" did they not? And money? I work on my own cars and have yet to consider a Benz to be pricey in parts, no more than the Fords I own, thats for sure. labor at a stealer is another story. Now the Ferrari, that thing costs money!
No matter if anyone likes me tinkering with my car or not, all I am looking for is information, and specifically: cam lift, duration, and valve timing, for the 380, 500, and 560. Im not interested in a Corvette, a Chevy engine, or anything one would fit in, unless its a boat.
Here is another thought. If the car can roll flat out at 120 mph with the top down, I highly doubt the fuel filter is plugged. That would be about the highest fuel flow I could imagine. It has good compression, runs smooth, starts good, drives good, just dont wanna go up past 5000 making power. I think maybe someone is confusing this with a euro motor or something. This is a US federal 1983 car. I think the reason it wont rev is camshafts, and I guess I am just going to have to degree wheel some to find out. Does anyone know of any MB "tuners" in the USA?? Maybe those cats would know something.
 

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Here's the problem w/ your car.. No one bothered doing anything w/ a US 380 motor as they are pigs from the factory.
Any benz tuner here won't give a rats [email protected]# about a 380SL... Their demographic is CL600's ya know?

The absoloute Best way for you to make that engine work the way you want to is to rebuild it to Euro spec, or find yourself a Euro 380 donor motor and give it a proper exhaust to breathe through.

Like I said before, to get power from these engines is more then just a set of cams, it's a complete package of costly parts that are different.

I would advise you to watch ebay for a paper manual on your motor, it will give you the specs you are looking for.

Jonathan
 

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83 380 SL,
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Discussion Starter #9
Like I said before, to get power from these engines is more then just a set of cams, it's a complete package of costly parts that are different.

I would advise you to watch ebay for a paper manual on your motor, it will give you the specs you are looking for. Jonathan
I hesitated even coming into this forum, based on the responses I recieved from two other MB forums I was on several years ago. Here I am again, having to "argue" with people about the whys and wherefores of what I am trying to accomplish. I am going to alter the performance of the engine no matter if anyone in Benz world likes it or not. And if all I am going to get is responses like most ive gotten, I will keep everything I learn to myself and stay out of these forums.

In the next few days, (unless someone knows the spec) I am planning to degree wheel my engine and check lift. Then I plan to check the cams from a 500 as a comparison. I assume from some of the responses I have gotten, no one would be interested in my findings.
 

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83 Astral Silver 280 SL
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People are just trying to give you the benefit of their experience - instead of acting like you think they are being a bunch of pricks you should at least attempt to see it for what it is - people trying to help you. You want to hot rod that thing? Go buy a wrecked 500 SEL and pull the drivetrain, slap this supercharger kit on it:

http://www.tdi-plc.com/Merc500SLclass.html

and junk that piece of shit motor.
 

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Here's what you will find, your cams will be ever so slightyly retarded, somewhere in the realm of 3-7 degrees depending on how worn out your chain is. BTW, if the motor is single row and hasn't been converted that's another 1500$ reason to scrap it. Second, you have 8.5-1 slugs in there, and depending on how neglected/tired the valve guides are it will decrease from there.


Do what ever the hell you want to your motor...it's a Waste of time and money, if you're so thick that you can't see that...maybe this forum isn't for you.

Jonathan
 

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83 380 SL,
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Discussion Starter #12
jhodg5ck - 3/3/2005 6:50 AM

Here's what you will find, your cams will be ever so slightyly retarded, somewhere in the realm of 3-7 degrees depending on how worn out your chain is. BTW, if the motor is single row and hasn't been converted that's another 1500$ reason to scrap it. Second, you have 8.5-1 slugs in there, and depending on how neglected/tired the valve guides are it will decrease from there.


Do what ever the hell you want to your motor...it's a Waste of time and money, if you're so thick that you can't see that...maybe this forum isn't for you.

Jonathan
Maybe someone should ask why the typical MB owner either knows no technical data about thier car, or is afraid to get thier hands dirty and learn something.
It doesnt have 8.5:1 compression, its 8.3, at least thats what it says in MY owners manual on the car. 380 motors are redlined at 5500, therefore they do not rev to 6000 and neither are the transmission shift points set that high.
At 3.8 liters, with overhead cams, and even with that CIS system up on top, one could assume the engine is capable of producing 50 HP per liter very easily. 155 HP out of 3.8 liters is only 40 hp per liter. But if you look at the vaunted 560, it only produces 41 hp per liter, so I am not believing MB data as the two engines are as different as night and day. A Suzuki 1 liter 3 cylinder makes more power per liter than these engines.
As for what it will cost me, I can have cams reprofiled for less than $400 the pair. I can grab a used set of 500 cams for less. The engine already has the double row chain, and while it may not have the greatest exhaust system underneath it, it should work well enough for up to 300 hp as I dont see any great difference in a 560 exhaust.
I thank you for the information about the cams being advanced 7 degrees. But, 7 degrees from where? I still havnt had one single question of mine answered, specifically regarding valve timing. To those of you who do not know, valve timing is calculating where the intake and exhaust valves open and close as the crankshaft rotates, and is expressed in degrees before or after TDC, or BDC. Saying 7 degrees advanced is meaningless without a reference to some other point.
Instead of making me look thick and stupid, why dont you either admit you have no knowledge of this data, or that you have no clue where to find it. I didnt come in here to piss anyone off, I simply asked a simple question that has a simple answer. I have asked this same question on several other forums in the past, and got the same BS answers and advice. I can find the answers myself if need be, and I could even share what I find if people are willing to act intelligent and helpful and willing to learn. Telling me im thick for asking about this engine will not help me any, nor will it help anyone else wondering about the 380 motor. I may eventually throw this engine away, but wouldnt it be nice if something as simple as the right camshaft could make it perform significantly better. I guess maybe none of you care or want to know, so I'll drop the subject. I'll go figure it out myself. Thanks for the wonderful amount of information and great deal of help to all who have responded. At the very least it will show any lurkers what to expect if they ask a simular question
 

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1984 Euro 500SL
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Krowbar, I have a 380SE so if you are going to put the time, money, and effort into this and, are successful, then I would like to hear how it turns out. I know this engine gets lots of beatings on the boards so most people would not even think about what you're trying to do. Go ahead and post your results. All this makes interesting reading.
Mike
1985 380SE
1984 Euro 500SL
 

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83 380 SL,
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Discussion Starter #14
BRNN53 - 3/5/2005 4:16 AM

Krowbar, I have a 380SE so if you are going to put the time, money, and effort into this and, are successful, then I would like to hear how it turns out. I know this engine gets lots of beatings on the boards so most people would not even think about what you're trying to do. Go ahead and post your results. All this makes interesting reading.
Mike
1985 380SE
1984 Euro 500SL
Thanks Mike, good to hear at least one person thinks I'm not thick headed. I did some deeper research through some cam shops, and I am still waiting to hear from Elgin Cams, but I did get ahold of Webcams, and found just a lil bit of info.
They showed 198 degrees of duration, and .263" inch cam lift. They didnt give any figures on lobe centers or actual timing events. The cam lift would not be actual valve opening lift, as its going through a rocker arm and that would be a differnt ratio, and could be drastically reduced. If its 1.5:1 ratio, it may only be .173" of valve opening. Looking at a pic of the arm it may only be half that distance, or .131"! With only 198 degrees duration and most likely that is advanced, its no wonder it wont go very well.
I will keep you aprised if I find more data somewhere. One problem I did run into however, was through Web cams. They told me they had trouble with MB cams. Apparently, according to another shop that does a lot of MB as well as tuning, Web cams could not build a satisfactory cam as MB are centerless ground. It makes no sense to me, one would think if you know how to make a cam you could do this, but they had trouble getting cars to idle correctly.
Next I want to see what lift and duration are for the 500. But I dont suppose anyone will cough it up very easily.
 

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83 380 SL,
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Discussion Starter #15
Okay, I opened up the right side tonight, pulled the fan, gave it all a look. I tried getting a dial indicator reading of valve lift, but I am not sure of my accuracy as there is not a good area to attach my dial indicator to that works well. But I was able to get in fastened down pretty tight and walked it through, and it looks like about .215 actual opening at the valve.
I dont know how I would attach a degree wheel with everything on the front of the motor, and as the cars history has no record of the chain, I have decided to go in and do that which should give me an opportunity to try the degree wheel.
But, looking at the cams visually, they have very peakey lobes, which with the size that they are, 198 degrees of duration may be optomistic at best. I am thinking of going for a ride and looking at the 500 cams, maybe I will just buy them and then I wont have to keep asking for a spec no one knows about, as I can check it myself. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
 

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93 400E
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I too have been looking for cam upgrdes for any SL I own 3 now 75,85 and 89 .Last winter we put a 95 camaro LT1 engine and drive train into a 67 chevelle and that got me thinking .This winter I intend to put a 400e drivetrain into an old SL body I love the [power and smoothness my 400e has and would love to have that in an old SL body ,I'll start a string here if things work out.I also just purchased a rolled 400e for the drivetrain so I got a start
 

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83 380 SL,
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Discussion Starter #17
I havnt actually found any data in itself, but have been told MB had booklets available at one time called technical data manuals and cam lift and timing are published in them. I just have to find someone with that information who would be willing to share it.
I dont as yet have a way to attach a degree wheel to the engine, but as im go9ing to dig in and redo the chain, I should be able to find a way. I have a picture of a 500 cam coming today that I will look at to compare the lobes visually, and am seriously thinking of going that route, and perhaps advance or retard the valve timing based on whatever I find.
Good luck on the 400 engine swap. I personally think a 560 motor could make more power and would be a more direct replacement. I think you will find the 400 motor is so different that nothing will easily hook up. I am just looking to simply improve the 380 performance economically without an engine swap.
 

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83 Astral Silver 280 SL
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There actually is a Eurocentric long term design philosophy that goes with these cars, and Americans for the most part find it opposite to their experience. In Europe, labor time and machine work are very expensive, so the cars are designed for quick modular replacement of units and systems as a whole - look at the exhaust for example, unlike American cars where one might go in for a new muffler, the Benz's are designed so that a few bolts are ground off at the exhaust manifold phalanges, a few rubber mounts are popped loose, and the entire exhaust system drops from the car and is discarded and then replaced in an hour. Same goes with the drivetrain. The engine and tranny are designed to be easily pulled as a unit, and then be easily replaced with a bigger unit if more power is required, a job that MB mechanics say can be done in an afternoon. As far as jacking with the engine internals the way one does with a 350 Chevy, these engines are so highly and specifically engineered you run into all kinds of problems. The reason you can't find a lot of info on this is that no one is doing it - for a reason, its simply a lot cheaper to go find a wrecked car of the same model year with the correct engine, pull the drive train, change the oil pan with the correct unit for an SL, and slap that puppy in there. 420 series, 500 series and 560 series wrecks are everywhere. You can acheive a 100 horsepower increase by changing the 380 out to a 500, and get a better designed transmission to boot.
 
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1980 450SL
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From what I hear, these 107 are regularly hot rodded in europe. They even drag race them. Apparantly there are after market sources for cams hearders ect.
Her is something I found from another site:


Has it been a month already since we stripped all the brightwork and trim off our cool Euro 280SL? It certainly has been a month and I can tell you we haven't been lounging around the shop chit-chatting. Summer is just around the corner and we need to get this SL finished so we can blast around and show some of the local sport compact tuner dudes that us grey haired guys aren't completely out to lunch.

The weight loss program continues (the car not me!) with the removal of all the AC related hardware under the hood. We left the pressure hoses intact and will simply tie-wrap them neatly to the inner fender aprons. Removing the lines completely would be very time consuming and complicate reinstallation of the system if the future owner decides to do so. We've bagged all the hardware and boxed everything and put it aside. Not only did we shave another 50 pounds off the car, removing all this stuff provided much improved accessibility under the hood. In addition to the weight reduction, we'll see a slight power gain with the compressor removed. The cylindrical air cleaner housing weighs a ton and will be put aside, replaced by some sort of simple snorkel filter arrangement, likely with a K & N element.

The big news, however, is with the cosmetics. All the rust repair has been completed with replacement sections welded in and refinished. The damage from cutting off the front bumpers has been corrected by installing a new bumper reinforcement plate. And as we have found so many times over the years, by the time you go around the car laying out numerous spot repairs, you end up talking yourself into painting the entire car. Which is precisely what we did! If I had a financial manager on this project, I would be in hot water. Our project car budget is now officially wrecked! Color sanding and polishing will wait until most of the mechanical work is completed allowing potential scuffs and chafes to be corrected at the end of the project.



RF fender rust perforation repaired with new section Damaged front bumper mounting plate replaced
Nose rust perforation repaired


While the boys were under the hood, collapsed engine mounts were spotted and replaced as well as the shift linkage bushings. Hopefully we've found a correct shift handle/boot assembly to replace the too short and too slippery wooden knob. The original rubber lever may look a bit dorky - it's identical to what you will find in a 1974 240D 4 speed - but it has a nice feel and proper leverage to shift the car quickly and positively.

The fertile mind of our respected restorer of all things SL, Rene' Wiegand, has come up with a good suggestion to put a stop to my moaning about the lack of speed equipment for the M110 six cylinder: nitrous! Brilliant! I've instructed him to research this immediately and report back as soon as possible. I like the idea of easy horsepower and we'll certainly need some muscle just in case we run into a hat-on-backwards dude in a Turbo Supra some Friday night.



Primed and ready to go Baking the fresh Signal Red(568)two-stage paint
Painted and on to the next round of weight loss


One of my assignments is to get up early some morning and call England to find out if there is a source for a nice, ready to install, tubular header system for this car. My friends from Holland tell me these 6 cylinders are fairly common at vintage track events abroad so we feel someone must be fabricating them. If not, we will bust the budget further and have one fabricated locally. I'll also explore the availability of short springs, less compliant suspension mounts and will shortly be ordering a set of Koni adjustable shocks.

I was ready to list the seats for sale when it dawned on me that these cars carry the seat belt anchors on the seat frame itself. Replacing the seats will require a fair bit of fabricating to create anchor points for generic belts, not to mention fabricating seat brackets compatible with the odd factory mounting points. This will require a bit of a think on my part so, in the meantime, the original seats will stay.


AC hardware removal and engine mount installation
Another 50 lbs removed and boxed for the next owner


The transformation continues with a picture slowly taking shape of how we envision the car should feel, sound, and look like. Which is to say the car should feel very crisp, emit a nice howl, and look unique and slick. We're on it and will make plenty of progress in the next 30 days. Check us out in April! I located some additional specs for the total production run of the 107 chassis 280SLs which we've included below. Note the progression of transmission revisions. Study up as you may be tested next month!

Engine
Combustion principle: four-stroke Otto (with manifold-injection)
Configuration: front, longitudinal; vertical
Engine type: M 110 E 28/110.982, from 02.1976:110.986
Number of cylinders/arrangement: 6/in line
Bore x Stroke: 86 x 78.8 mm
Total displacement: 2746 cc (tax classification: 2717cc)
Crankshaft bearings: 7
Rated output: 185 hp/136 kW at 6000 rpm;
from 02.1976: 177jp/130 kW at 6000 rpm;
from 04.1978: 185 hp/136 kW at 5800 rpm
Rated torque: rpm; 24.3 mkg at 4500 rpm
from 02.1976: 23.8 mkg at 4500 rpm
from 04.1978: 24.5 mkg at 4500 rpm
Number of valves/arrangement: 1 intake, 1 exhaust/V-shaped overhead
Valve operation: 2 overhead camshafts
Camshaft drive: double roller chain

Fuel system: Manifold-injection, electronically controlled (Bosch D-Jeutronic)
from 02.1976 mechanically controlled (Bosch K-jetronic)

Cooling: water cooling I pump; 12 I water
Lubrication: pressure circulation lubrication /6.0 I oil
Electric system: 12V
Battery : 55 Ah J in the engine compartment
Generator: three-phase AC /770 W; from 03.1980: 910 W
Starter: electrical /1.4 hp, from 12.1977: 2.0 hp
Ignition: Transistor ignition

Fuel tank: position/capacity: above the rear axle/90 l; from10.1981:85 l
Fuel supply: electric delivery pump

Chassis and Drivetrain
Frame design: steel unit body
Front-wheel suspension: Double wishbone
Rear-wheel suspension: Semi trailing arm axle
Front springs: coil springs, supplementary rubber suspension, torsion bar stabilizer
Rear springs: coil springs, supplementary rubber suspension, torsion bar stabilizer
Shock absorber front/rear: Telescopic shock absorbers
Steering: recirculating-ball power steering
Steering ratio: 15.59:1/ 3.3 turns lock-to-lock
Brake system (foot brake): hydraulic dual-circuit brake system with vacuum booster, and antilock system optional from 03.1980; disc brakes front (internally ventilated) and rear
Parking brake (hand brake): rear mechanical (foot-operated), acting
on rear wheels
Diameter of brake discs and/or brake drums: brake discs front I
rear: 278 I 279 mm
Wheels: Steel-steel wheels (light alloy wheels optional)
Wheel rims: 6 ½ J x 14 H2
Tires: 185 HR 14;
from 03.1980: 195/70 HR 14 89 H
Driven wheels: rear wheels
Drivetrain: divided cardan shaft
Transmission and Performance
Gearing: 4-speed automatic transmission
Availability: as standard (until 04.1977)
Shifting: central floor gear shift lever
Clutch: Dry single disc clutch
Transmission type: change-speed gear
Gear ratios: I: 3.90;
II: 2.30:
III: 1.41;
IV 1,0;
R: 3.66

Final drive ratio: 2.69
Maximum speed: 205 kmh/h;
from 02.1976: 200 km/h
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 10.1 s
Comments: acceleration by shifting through from 0 ~ 100 km/h (2 occupants)
Fuel consumption: 12.5 l
by Guideline: DIN 70030: consumption, determined at ¾ of top-speed (not more than 110 km/h), plus 10%
Gearing: 4-speed manual transmission
Availability: as standard (05.1977-09.1981)
Shifting: central floor gear shift lever
Clutch: Dry single disc clutch
Transmission type: change-speed gear
Synchromesh gears I-Iv
Gear ratios: I: 3.98
II: 2.29
III: 1.451
IV 1.0
R: 3.74

Final drive ratio: 3.69
from 03.1980: 3.58
Maximum speed: 200 km/h
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 10.1 s
Comments: acceleration by shifting through from 0 ~ 100 km/h (2 occupants)
Fuel consumption: 12.5 l
by Guideline: DIN 70030: consumption, determined at ¾ of top-speed (not more than 110 km/h), plus 10%
Gearing: 5-speed manual transmission
Availability: as standard (from 10.1981)
Shifting: central floor gear shift lever
Clutch: Dry single disc clutch
Transmission type: change-speed gear
Synchromesh gears I-V
Gear ratios: I: 3.82
II: 2.20
III: 1.40
IV: 1.0
V: 0.81
R: 3.71

Final drive ratio: 3.58
Maximum speed: 192 km/h
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 10.1 s
Comments: acceleration by shifting through from 0 ~ 100 km/h (2 occupants)
Fuel consumption: 8.5/10.5/15/2 I
by Guideline: 80/1268/EEC: figures apply to 90 kmh/h 120 km/h/urban cycle
Gearing: 5-speed manual transmission
Availability: as standard (until 06.1976)
Shifting: central floor gear shift lever
Clutch: Dry single disc clutch
Transmission type: change-speed gear
Synchromesh gears I-V
Gear ratios: I: 3.98
II: 2.34
III: 1.44
IV: 1.0
V: 0.875
R: 3.72

Final drive ratio: 3.92
Maximum speed: 205 km/h;
from 02.1976: 200 km/h
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 10.1 s
Comments: acceleration by shifting through from 0 ~ 100 km/h (2 occupants)
Fuel consumption: 12.5 l
by Guideline: DIN 70030: consumption, determined at ¾ of top-speed (not more than 110 km/h), plus 10%
Gearing: 4-speed automatic transmission
Availability: as standard (until 02.1980)
Shifting: central floor selector lever
Clutch: Hydraulic torque converter
Transmission type: Planetary gear
Gear ratios: I: 3.98
II: 2.39
III: 1.46
IV: 1.0
R: 5.47

Final drive ratio: 3.69
Maximum speed: 200 km/h;
from 02.1976: 195 km/h
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 11.0 s
Comments: acceleration by shifting through from 0 ~ 100 km/h (2 occupants)
Fuel consumption: 12.5 l
by Guideline: DIN 70030: consumption, determined at ¾ of top-speed (not more than 110 km/h), plus 10%
Gearing: 4-speed automatic transmission
Availability: as standard (until 03.1980)
Shifting: central floor selector lever
Clutch: Hydraulic torque converter
Transmission type: Planetary gear
Gear ratios: I: 3.68
II: 2.41
III: 1.44
IV: 1.0
R: 5.14

Final drive ratio: 3.58
Maximum speed: 195 km/h
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 11.0 s
Comments: acceleration by shifting through from 0 ~ 100 km/h (2 occupants)
Fuel consumption: 12.5 l
by Guideline: DIN 70030: consumption, determined at ¾ of top-speed (not more than 110 km/h), plus 10%

Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase: 2460mm
Front/rear track: 1452/1440 mm
Length: 4390 mm
Width: 1790 mm
Height: 1300 mm (with cabriolet top closed)
Turning cIrcle diameter: 10.34 m
Gross weight: 1920 kg
Gross axle weight,front: 940 kg
Gross axle weight, rear: 980 kg
Payload: 420 kg
Permissible trailer weight, braked: 1200 kg; from 1980: 1500kg
Permissible trailer weight, unbraked: 750 kg
Kerb weight: 1500 kg
by Guideline: DIN 70020 (ready to drive, including fuel, spare wheel and tool kit)

General Data
Units produced: 25,436
 

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83 380 SL,
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
kvining - 3/10/2005 6:02 AM

There actually is a Eurocentric long term design philosophy that goes with these cars, and Americans for the most part find it opposite to their experience. In Europe, labor time and machine work are very expensive, so the cars are designed for quick modular replacement of units and systems as a whole - look at the exhaust for example, unlike American cars where one might go in for a new muffler, the Benz's are designed so that a few bolts are ground off at the exhaust manifold phalanges, a few rubber mounts are popped loose, and the entire exhaust system drops from the car and is discarded and then replaced in an hour. Same goes with the drivetrain. The engine and tranny are designed to be easily pulled as a unit, and then be easily replaced with a bigger unit if more power is required, a job that MB mechanics say can be done in an afternoon. As far as jacking with the engine internals the way one does with a 350 Chevy, these engines are so highly and specifically engineered you run into all kinds of problems. The reason you can't find a lot of info on this is that no one is doing it - for a reason, its simply a lot cheaper to go find a wrecked car of the same model year with the correct engine, pull the drive train, change the oil pan with the correct unit for an SL, and slap that puppy in there. 420 series, 500 series and 560 series wrecks are everywhere. You can acheive a 100 horsepower increase by changing the 380 out to a 500, and get a better designed transmission to boot.
Well, not to argue with you sir, but I have yet to see or hear of being able to pull the engine and transmission out of a MB as a unit. First you remove the transmission, then you pull the motor, and from what ive seen and heard its a great deal of labor. I R&R'd a couple trans on 126 body cars and though after a while I got faster, it was a very laborious affair.
I dont know your background nor what you mean by eurocentric design philosophy, but I have stayed mainly with european cars most of my life, with many many Saabs and Volvos scattered through my time, as well as a few BMW, Renaults, Fiats, MG's, Jags, and ive had motors in and out of all of them many many times. I currently am in process of rebuilding a Ferrari 308, hotter cams, higher compression, some porting, etc. So I do know my way around a motor just a lil bit on most days.
I am not interested in dropping in a different motor at this point, thats was not my goal. I am not even that interested in a great deal more power. What I am most interested in is making the car "feel" better. I would like the engine to rev to 6000 still making power, instead of falling off past 5000. I would then adjust the trans shift points to 6000 as well. I would also like to find better gearing, so the car will accelerate better.
I am finally tearing into the chain and opening up the front of the motor, and want to look at the sprockets and guides and drop a new chain in it. I wont have any valve timing data until I can attach a degree wheel, which is going to be a few days as I have other work going on. I dont know anyone who can tell me, as to how hard it would be to change cams, so I may experiment some to see how difficult it would be with the chain in place. My first step may be to try retarding the cam one tooth and see what it does. The second step would be to try a different cam and see what I find. I have made calls all over the country and I can find almost nothing at all on the 380 engine, I even called MB tekstar. Still no response and I doubt I will recieve any. Looks like its quite an orphan.
One place did try to tell me that the 380 has a far more restrictive intake manifold and plenum and will not go anywhere with it on there, but I have no way to confirm this without physically comparing some parts. Time will tell.
 
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