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Discussion Starter #1
I have had my SL since new. It has 225,000 miles on it and has been garaged for the past five years. Here is a list of the problems that I can recall:

needs new soft top
engine uses oil (might be valve stem seals)
water leaks onto feet when a/c is on
water leaks into area behind seat on passenger side
needs new exhaust
doors don't unlock with vacuum
overheats in summer

Before it was garaged I had new camshafts (third set) and a new timing chain installed.

I was thinking of installing a new top and exhaust system and then taking it to a mechanic to see about the motor.

Where is a good place to buy a top and exhaust? Does anybody recommend a mechanic in Maryland? Or should I just forget about the whole idea?
 

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Well, the list of things wrong will probably run into several thousands of dollars if someone does it for you. It might involve a lot of money and time if you do it yourself, and then you might get into something you can't handle (I have no idea of your mechanical skills or desires to do it yourself).

The camshaft replacements sound hard to beleive. I am assuming that you maintained it well - if you did, this may indicate some other serious underlying problem.

If you are emotionally attached to the car (you've obviously owned it for a while), you will have to decide if you REALLY want to get into it. I've been there, and I suspect a lot of people on this board have been there with their favorite car. I had a rusty 73 Z-28 RS that I poured several thousands of dollars into when I was younger - and when I sold it, I took a bath, because it was still an inherently old, rusty car with a lot of nice new parts on it.

I now have the luxury of owning a car I don't have to drive every day; how ironic it is that the cars we love and drive, we destroy by wearing them out, exposing them to danger, etc.

I should point out that there are many creampuffs available with far fewer miles + problems available. Maybe selling this car to someone with a lot of mechanical skill and more time than money, and then buying a better car like it would be an option.

I don't think you got a lot of responses to this post because this is a gut-wrenching subject for many, including me.

When I was a kid, I would take a part from my old car - even a screw, it dodn't matter - and put it in my "new" car! Somehow, that made me feel better.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I can do most of the work myself. The valve stem seals might be a bit difficult for me but I have all of the factory manuals and can probably figure it out. I just need some of the special tools. I was thinking of replacing the exhaust and top and at the same time replace the thermostat. I'm willing to spend $5,000 at first then maybe another $5,000 in a few years.

It's a beautiful car (arctic white with navy blue top). I just hope I won't regret starting this project. Thanks for the replies. I'd appreciate any advice.
 
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