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1981 380SL
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So a couple of years ago I came into possession of a silver and blue 81 380sl. First I got a new battery (Walmart group 65 $50 special). This battery so far after 2 years has been great, stays charged all winter with no extra charging. I did a little painting in the battery compartment and put in new rubber grommets under the battery box and where the spare tire is. I drove it to where it is now which burnt off those pesky mouse nests and made some cool flames falling off underneath. I replaced the air filter, twice after the first winter when the mice ate it. put new spark plugs (NGK BP5ES) and wires (Beru).
Last spring I noticed the rubber fuel lines were leaking so I replaced the Cohline fuel hose, fuel exit hose and the one from the strainer to the damper cage. I also replaced the fuel filter (Hengst), the fuel pump check valve and 2 rubber buffers on the fuel assembly that I had to cut off with the cutting wheel on a Dremel.
After that I was finally able to drive the car. I did then get new tires since the codes said they were from 2000 and had more cracks than tread.

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1981 380SL
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
All was good until I took it on a 45 minute drive to a fair in August. On the way back the car started to lose power and was lunging. Luckily after stopping twice I was able to make it back to my work's parking lot. There was a very loud whine from the fuel pump so I thought that was shot. I got a new one but when I undid the hose going to the pump a load of brown crud came pouring out. It stopped so I thought it was dirt in the tank that made it's way out and I put the new pump on. I made one more trip home then a couple miles out but on the way back it already started to buck and lose power. I made it to my house and parked it. I then had it towed to the shop that specializes in euro cars and he snaked the tank and opened it up. Turns out the whole gas tank was rusted inside and it clogged the whole system tank to injectors. He flushed it multiple times and I got new injectors for him to put in. I ordered an used Ebay tank but it came coated inside and a 6in chunk of the coating had broken off in transit. I sent it back and found a new tank made in Germany. I had that installed but by then the first snow had fallen. I towed it up my brother's where I am keeping it. The last thing he said was to bring it in this spring or take the fuel distributer off myself so he could check to make sure the piston wasn't damaged. Spring came and so did the Commie coof and there it still sits, although not untouched.
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1981 380SL
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Now 2 months ago I decided to redo the entire brake system since I was feeling a rumble with hard braking and its almost 40 years old I I don't feel like dying this year. Right now I have the brake booster painted, the master cylinder replaced and the brake fluid reservoir cleaned with a new cap and sensor caps. I replaced the front shocks. The front flex brake lines are removed as well as the whole front hub, calipers and dust shields. I painted the shields with caliper paint, sandblasted the calipers and rebuilt them as the rubber on them was disintegrating and sanded and painted the hubs. I installed new races and bearings in the hubs.
My only question so far is how much grease to put in the hub. What little grease was in there was ancient, brown and smelled like burnt popcorn. I have the bearings packed and I put enough in to make it flush with the races and bearings on either end. I've seen people say everything from 2 table spoons to not have any space at all in there.
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