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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Greets! I am the new to the forum, and proud owner of this (yet to be named) '86 560SL. I have been looking for a project for a while, and she fell right into my lap. The previous owner was an older lady, and close friend who had the car for the last 2 decades. When it didn't pass smog, and designated a 'gross polluter' she just wanted to get rid of it. The car has 137k on the clock, and is looking good for her age. Body is free of dents, with a few rusted rock chips. No rust bubbles, or spots bigger than a pencil eraser. Interior is mostly free of damage, and has a new soft top. The dash looks great for its age with a little chalking, and only a 1/2" crack in the center where a cell phone mic was installed.

She seems to run smooth and strong at speed, and suffers a little idle issue, likely related to false air in the vacuum system. I'm also anticipating intake seal issues. I'll know more once I get to spend a little time with her. Best of all, I got her for the low, low price of $FREE.99! I feel like it puts me a little ahead of the game with the joy:investment ratio (at least that's the story I'm sticking to with the wife). I'm somewhat prepared to have the ratio dramatically shift as I start to learn what she needs. As I am a novice, but courageous mechanic, I have a feeling I will be in here a good bit. I've already digested quite a bit of great info from this community, and look forward to contributing what I can. I appreciate you guys and all the crowd-sourced wisdom you've offered to the community. In the interim, meet the newest member of the family.

~All the best!

2642432
 

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1993 600SL, 1973 450 SL,1998 SLK 230,2018 C300, 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie, 1968 Firebird,
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5,303 Posts
Like a local Portland Oregon entrepreneur said years ago, "free is a very good price" Welcome. These guys here know everything there is to know about these beasts. Your's has a few more technical gadgets that really don't make things better, just more complicated. The first thing you need to do is order a set of Euro bumpers, and toss those park bench bumpers in the trash!:ROFLMAO: Oh yeah, yard off those wheel well lips. Every purest hates them. They promote rust and really take away from the classic appeal. You can thank me later !
 

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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the warm welcome. LOL! Park benches.. my thoughts exactly. I'll thank you now. Definitely doing the fender trim delete. I do like the euro spec looks all the way around. I priced the euro headlights as well. spit my coffee out when I saw them for sale for $2k+. I've heard tales of much better prices coming up if one keeps the eyes peeled. My first step is get her smog'd and legal. Next is drive her to the beach, and lay out a picnic on that front bumper, and create a reminder as to why I'll keep busting the wallet for her. I'm in the process of shopping the missing grill wings, or maybe cheaper to order the whole assembly with wings as used appears to be half the price of the wings alone. This weekend I'll know the state of the vacuum system, and a definitive on the condition of intake seals. Been digesting all M117 youtube videos in the interim.
 

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Registered
1993 600SL, 1973 450 SL,1998 SLK 230,2018 C300, 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie, 1968 Firebird,
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5,303 Posts
You are obviously a man of taste and distinction! Watch Craigs list for euro bumpers. I got a great set for my 380 for $600 bucks. There is a Vietnamese outfit sells new repros for a couple of grand. This is a great option since everything is new. Hopefully some mental midget didn't glue the trim on the fenders. On non rusty cars, they seem to do a little signs of defacing the car when gone and its rubbed out and waxed. Not sure what grills you are talking about, I will have to check out your pic. Anyway, these are finicky beasts, but the feel of wind in your hair and a hot gal next to you is priceless!
 

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1983 380SL, ivory/dk brown, 46k miles, dual roller timing chain. 1986 560SL, red/white, 190K mile.
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7,068 Posts
Do you mean the missing slats in the front grill?
 

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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The front grill wings - silver trim pieces on either side of the star. On this specimen, both are missing.
 

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73 450sl with SBC motor and trans
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71 Posts
Congrats on your find. A fellow 107 owner that I trade parts with just posted his results of the Euro bumpers from Vietnam. I believe he was just under 1k delivered. My 73 came to me with Euro lights but the reflectors were in bad shape and I swapped to 4 yellow.
 

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1989 560SL; 2014 E350
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1,543 Posts
Welcome! Hope you enjoy your new toy. You certainly can't beat the price!
 
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Registered
1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Congrats on your find. A fellow 107 owner that I trade parts with just posted his results of the Euro bumpers from Vietnam. I believe he was just under 1k delivered. My 73 came to me with Euro lights but the reflectors were in bad shape and I swapped to 4 yellow.
Found the thread. Thanks for the tip. Found other threads over the last couple years. Hats off to the brave trailblazers who were first to mine this opportunity.
 

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1973 450 SL
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2,091 Posts
Fine introduction Stu - you even posted a nice picture; well done. Welcome to the forum. When I got my car it was missing one of those grill pieces. I priced it from an online source then immediately encountered a buddy who recommended a trip to our local U-Pull-&-Pay. I found a complete grill (with metal center star) for $11 - I have been a salvage yard junkie since. I had to join Junkyard Anonymous to curb the habit after I filled a storage garage with spares.

It is good that you are interested in DIY work. These cars are no longer familiar to most mechanics in independent shops or MB dealerships. Members here are well versed on your '86 560SL - plenty of help available in these web pages and direct support when you post specifics about a problem.

Patience is a virtue on high dollar items like Euro headlights. I bought a pair for $280 from a member from Australia, later found a nicer pair on a salvage car.

Recommend building a list of online references for parts, articles etc. This one is key:

Model 107 Maintenance Manual
 

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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks! If loving junk yards is wrong, I don't want to be right. We have a local that's dedicated to European cars. May pack a cooler and plan a walk-about this weekend. After a push to get it road legal, I intend to play the long game on non-essentials and aesthetics. While I'll try to focus on the journey and not the destination, I'd like to clock some miles on Hwy 1 during the summer.

Thanks for the link! Pure gold. That one's going on the bookmarks bar.
 

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Registered
1985 280SL (Euro)
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256 Posts
Like a local Portland Oregon entrepreneur said years ago, "free is a very good price" Welcome. These guys here know everything there is to know about these beasts. Your's has a few more technical gadgets that really don't make things better, just more complicated. The first thing you need to do is order a set of Euro bumpers, and toss those park bench bumpers in the trash!:ROFLMAO: Oh yeah, yard off those wheel well lips. Every purest hates them. They promote rust and really take away from the classic appeal. You can thank me later !
Just a thought, but if a lot of people didn't like those "wheel well lips" they wouldn't appear on so many 107's..Depending on where you live - climate,road salt etc.- they are not even necessarily rust traps..I personally think they add to the car's appearance as do the stainless door guards, which, incidentally, are very necessary when parking close to a concrete garage wall. However while the purists apparently scorn the wheel arch moldings, we who like them do not scorn your lack of same. Live and let live or as the French would say - Vive le difference..
 

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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Beauty certainly is in the eye of the beholder. Where I am in California, rust is not as big an issue as somewhere where salt is involved, so it simply comes down to preference. Glad to know there may be a market to sell them. I personally prefer the look without, but fully support, and can (usually) appreciate peoples personal expression with their cars. These appear to have been installed factory, and the areas appear free of rust so I don't anticipate problems with removal. While I would have likely removed door guards, I wish the previous owner had them. The paint chips on the door edge is where most of the evident rust on this car is. There's something to be said for form following function.

MVIMG_20200717_110050.jpg
 

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1986 560SL
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73 Posts
What Laguna area are you in; Woods, Hills, or Beach? Whichever, I'm South and inland from you (Fallbrook). Let me know if you are out for a test-drive.
 

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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
What Laguna area are you in; Woods, Hills, or Beach? Whichever, I'm South and inland from you (Fallbrook). Let me know if you are out for a test-drive.
I'm up in the bay area, just north of SF. I get down south regularly for work. I have 2 sisters in LA that I like to see as often as possible. I'm looking forward to getting this girl ready to make the drive down the coast. I'll def ping you when I'm there.
 

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1972 350 SL
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124 Posts
I'm up in the bay area, just north of SF. I get down south regularly for work. I have 2 sisters in LA that I like to see as often as possible. I'm looking forward to getting this girl ready to make the drive down the coast. I'll def ping you when I'm there.
Hey Stu, I’m in the bay myself but far east bay, Pleasant Hill/walnut Creek area. Any suggestions for roads besides the 1? I know we aren’t super close but I’d drive over to the north bay if I’m trying to make a whole day out of it. I’m always looking for excuses to pack the wife up and go for a drive. It’s how I get her to not flinch at bank account ;)
 

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1986 560SL
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73 Posts
I'm up in the bay area, just north of SF. I get down south regularly for work. I have 2 sisters in LA that I like to see as often as possible. I'm looking forward to getting this girl ready to make the drive down the coast. I'll def ping you when I'm there.
Oh, the "Laguna" in your screen name made me think South OC. Definitely not the 45 minute drive that I was thinking of! Well, if you do drive the girl down this way, I suspect that plenty of wine and BBQ on our deck could be anticipated.
 
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