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Discussion Starter #1
Let me start by recognizing this probably comes up often butI havent seen a thread yet that will help me. I am brand new to the forum and am starting the process of buying a convertible. How can I learn about the major differences in the models from 1973-1985. I know there is the 380, 450 and 560 and obviously the engines are different but where do I learn about the other differences? Any other recommendations?

Dig's edit: Hey, folks. I am searching for a good, general info thread about what to look for when buying a 107. I bumped this thread with this post. If anyone recalls a better, more informative thread, please follow the suggestion located there. Thanks.
 

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Forum Administrator , RC Colas® & Moon Pies®
1981 380SL 151K: 2005 S500 116K
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Dave, Thank you. I am going through all of it and finding some great information.

Other guy, typical
scotty, you are correct that the 'Other guy' is typical but not really the way you meant. If BenzToy would have had a followup suggestion to Dave's, you can trust that he would have posted it for your use. In this case, he was merely pointing out to the rest of us who hang around here far too much that, in the event that we ever need a moderator to replace the two we recently lost, Dave would be a good choice for the job. In that sense, it really was a 'typical' BenzToy post.

Stick around. There are not many forums (fora?) who offer the combination of great information, delivered quickly (sometimes within minutes) and usually followed with a few posts in which we display our sense of humor.

You'll see and you won't be sorry you stayed.
 

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2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid, 1993 BMW 325i convertible
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^^Yeah, it's usually a good idea to get the feel of the place before you chastise the frequent posters, BUT he came back with a smart-ass comment instead of leaving in a hysterical snit, so he shows promise.
 

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71,350slc,2-75 280sl,77 280sl 4 sp manual,79 280sl 4sp manual,80 280slc,82 280sl 84 280sl
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Yea, I hid for a while before I said anything now you can't shut me up.:p
 

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1966 250SE Cab, 1989 500SEL euro
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3,570 Posts
Chase the 560SL first, then the 500SL, then it's a personal choice between 280SL or the 450SL. The 380SL is the last resort.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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BenzWorld Newbie.........Two posts, insults a senior member and doesn't come back.

Typical.
 

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1978 280slc
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3,203 Posts
I saw some dude at the smog shop who had a 380 eurospec, does anyone know what that means.

Hell with gas prices where they're going now is a good time to buy. I'd buy the youngest car I could afford, I'd like to have a 560 with all the goodies. I've seen them in the paper for between 7500$ and 13,000$. Some lady around the street must have gotten rid of hers or she dumped the hubby and kids for life with the benz, a cafe brown 560sl, really a nice car. You just have to remember about maintenance and are you going to flinch when the car costs 1000$ to fix. I've heard nothing depreciates like a two seater with a V8. I'd at least want to get a car with some brains(ECU) behind the operation. The vacuum system does work, but eletronics is the way to go.

Good luck and either inspect or have the car inspected, don't be nobody's fool! Especially things like panel fit and leaky transmission. It isn't hard to check a car out but take your time and don't let anybody rush you, you don't wanna mess this purchase up, check everything!
 

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1971 Mercedes 350 SL 3.5L V-8
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23 Posts
Scottb,
My only advise would be to look at a lot of cars before you buy. I looked at many dozens over 3-1/2 years before I found the one I bought. I tried the e'bay route, OurSL, classic autos and a couple other places to find available models. I lurked the forums, read, listened at car shows etc. When I was pretty confident I knew what I wanted I went out w/ $ in pocket.... and brought home something that I wasn't expecting to get ( '71-350 instead of the 450 that I had planned on). But I knew what I was looking at, knew what it was worth and "neg" a great deal. Also decide early how much work you want to do to the car. I wanted a car w/ minimal work to drive and have fun with, not a car for a complete restoration. Basically list the defects that you are willing to live with!
The only caution I have is the 380's.... watch the cam chain.... inspect for the double row cam chain before you buy it.... I have a buddy who has a heap in his yard now w/messed up engine because the single row broke. There are some great deals out there on real nice cars... I can give you a guys number who has a super nice 450SL (~$7k that I was gong to buy) until his wife backed the van into it as it sat in the driveway waiting for me to arrive to "neg" the deal. It will be fixed shortly.
A lot of the fun is the search for the right car for you.... My wife and kids hated it when I brought it home but now its cool! Best car in town to be seen getting ice cream in! Side benefit... Its a great driving car!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you everyone, I did not mean to insult anyone and run away. Anyway, lets put that behind us if we can. I really appreciate all this great insight. I have been looking at local listings as well as EBAY for some time just to get an idea on prices. Now I am focussed on the distinctions between the models. I have noticed that obviously the 380's are less expensive. The websites that you all showed me explained the issue of the single row. I have spoken to my mothers boyfried, who owns a large auto parts business and he could probably handle that issue for me if I went that route. Can it be converted before there is a problem? Well, my search continues, looking at two local cars this week. Thanks again, and didnt really mean to offend.
 

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1978 280slc
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3,203 Posts
Everyone says the 380 has a bad timing chain, but you see a lot of them on the road. I would take a 380, people act like the chain is going to just break. First modern engine they made for the sl. On the pickup truck we heard the timing chain rattle away for months before we got around to doing it. Conversions are probably real expensive b/c the cost of the timing cover, the chains and guides and all that are cheap, but the cover isn't.

Good luck with your search. Keep an eye out for a late model 350sl with the high compression engine. A real cool car! Good luck!
 

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71,350slc,2-75 280sl,77 280sl 4 sp manual,79 280sl 4sp manual,80 280slc,82 280sl 84 280sl
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Unless of course you can find the illusive 420sl.:cool:
 

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1979 280SL, 1984 280SL
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Ask yourself what is most important to you. Anything you buy will likely need some work. Assuming mileage and prior care are about equal, you might be able to minimize this by going after the "youngest" 107 you can find. The 560's are often said to have the best build quality, and have a few refinements over the earlier cars. If you want power, the 500 or 560 would also be the way to go. If you want fuel economy, you might be able to find a 280 or 300 with a stick shift. There is a "fun factor" to this combination that might even outweigh the modest gains in fuel economy. If you're looking for the very best deal, it might just be a 380SL. Forget about converting it to a double row chain. You'll never find THAT good a deal to make it worthwhile. Factor in a cost of $800-$1000 for a new single row chain and forget about it.

Take your time, find the color combination you want and the features you want. It'll be worth it when it comes to your enjoyment.

Chief
 

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It Is What It Is, Dude
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Chief said:
If you're looking for the very best deal, it might just be a 380SL. Forget about converting it to a double row chain. You'll never find THAT good a deal to make it worthwhile. Factor in a cost of $800-$1000 for a new single row chain and forget about it.
scotty, Keep in mind that for '84 and '85 MB returned to the double row chain for US production. ALL euro 380s had the double row. Additionally the 84-85 US 380 had a four speed auto trans with first gear start. The trans gearing makes for a quick and nimble city driver.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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The on and on discussion of the single row timing change in the 380SL scares a lot of potential buyers from considering them. There is nothing wrong with the single row chain apart from it's longevity. Change it at 50K intervals and don't give it a second thought. For some people, that's 8 to 10 years of summer driving. Best bang for the buck IS the 380SL.
But, I am still partial to the stick shift which is why I own a 280 SL.

By the way, thanks for coming back.
 

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Thank you everyone, I did not mean to insult anyone and run away. Anyway, lets put that behind us if we can. I really appreciate all this great insight. I have been looking at local listings as well as EBAY for some time just to get an idea on prices. Now I am focussed on the distinctions between the models. I have noticed that obviously the 380's are less expensive. The websites that you all showed me explained the issue of the single row. I have spoken to my mothers boyfried, who owns a large auto parts business and he could probably handle that issue for me if I went that route. Can it be converted before there is a problem? Well, my search continues, looking at two local cars this week. Thanks again, and didnt really mean to offend.
If someone took offense, it wasn't me. Happy motoring.
 
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