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1981 380sel
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody. I am new to this forum, so I thought I should say Hi. My dad owns a 1981 380sel with 118k on the clock. We are going to redo the whole thing slowly as it has been neglected for a long time. So any part site/info site/ DIY site etc would be great.


~ One pet peeve at the moment is the sagging rear end. and the fact that we have to warm the car up for almost 5 minutes. ( the rpms start high, and when its ready...the rpms drop to ~800 or so.) so at the moment, Those are my two main concerns.

Should also let you know. We have algy (spl?) growing in the windshield washer tank. [:D]
 

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1985 380SE
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86 Posts
Welcome to the Forum!

I picked up an '85 380SE back before the end of the year.
Check the banner at the top of the forum for links to parts sources.
Rear sag could be shocks AND springs.
Algae in the washer tank should be easy to clean up - take it into the house and get busy!
Where are you located?
 

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86 560SEL
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1,324 Posts
If you have not upgrade the single timing chain to the double one, do it now. Otherwise, join alldata.com could get you a lot of diagrams and what's not about the car.
 

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1981 380sel
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We bought it with very low milage from a friend whom drove it...well, barely. We probly put 40k of those miles on ourselves since the early 90's when we got it. It is in pretty bad condition though. We have 5 cars, with 4 drivers in the family, so the mercedes serves as our emergency car...which actually happens quite often. We have a 99 Land rover Discover 2, 00 Lexus rx300 which will be gone this July, 98 honda accord coupe v6, the 81 mercedes 380 sel, and my very own 95 bmw 525i. The lexus will be replaced with a 2000-2003 bmw 540i!! woot woot! oh yea...im a member of bmw cca, so i am partial to bmws. haha.


Some more detailed info on the double timing chain would be great? ~ benifits, reasons, costs. etc.


EDIT- Im located in the Bay Area, California.
 

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1991 300 SE
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18,534 Posts
In the pic below, in the middle, we see a double row chain. Note the two rows with the connectors in the middle (3), two outside and one in the middle of each link. The chain in your car MAY be a single chain, which would look like a bicycle chain, with only one row and two connectors on the outside. I say MAY because many owners of the pre 85 380s (126 and 107) had the chains converted to double.

Needless to say the single row chain is prone to breaking or slipping, causing damage to the engine’s valve train.

Thank you spanners for letting me use your engine, very good chain pics.
 

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1981 380sel
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Very nice picture and good explanation. Exactly what i thought it was. Taking the head off would be quite an expensive job though =x. As of right now, i am more concered with the rear sag. What kind of suspension components are in there (i've never actually looked). And how much do they run?


~ i figure i can do the chain mod when the head gasket is going.


edit- oh yea..any thoughts about the long warm up time?

And does anybody have a wiring diagram for backup lights. They dont ligh up. So its probly a dirty connector somewhere.
 
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