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· Registered
1987 560SL, 92,500 KMs
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning everyone!

I am new to this forum and have already benefited from the many useful posts.

I recently purchased a 1987 560SL with 92,500 KMs. The vehicle is in reasonably good condition, however, it has been parked outside, on a paved surface for about 15 years. I was told the vehicle was recently started, however, I would like to start with a fresh baseline.

As a starting point, I compiled the list below of things to do before attempting to start the engine from its prolonged nap:

  • Oil and Filter change
  • Air Filter
  • Air Pump Filter
  • Fuel Pump replacement (previous owner told me it needs to be replaced)
  • Drain old fuel and replace with new fuel

After engine has been started:
  • Transmission Fluid and Filter replacement
  • Brakes and Rotors (all around)
  • Engine Coolant replacement
  • Replace Tires
  • Address any other issue
  • Safety Inspection

Have I missed anything? Any additional thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.


· Premium Member
1987 560SL
2,422 Posts
Make it stop, make it go, make it ready for a show.
I keep a spreadsheet of everything done to my 1987 MB 560SL. Here is the list minus the vendor, date and price columns. Not saying you will do the same, it just gives you an idea of what may lie ahead at your option. The total is about $18 grand so far. Good luck with this never ending project.
Die HardBobbi Ellis / poBattery @ West Palm Beach FL
Mercedes Benz1262770295Tranny fluid / oil and filter
Mercedes Benz
Damping Pad
CustomCustom fit car cover
Dayton WiresRim-wireWire spoke wheels
Mercedes Benz8208310Switch, brakes, exhaust hangers
BF Goodrich205/655r15Tires
Mercedes Benz1153301875subframe bushings, control arms
Mercedes Benz125425406New speedometer
Larry MarshTiming chain, guides, radiator
Mercedes Benz1074920044Exhaust rings, oil change
Larry MR12Ball joint, tie rod ends, Freon12
Larry MWater PumpCoolant, thermostat, hose
Larry MRelayVoltage relay
Larry MSteering gear, brakes, calipers
Larry M3Steering gear bolts
LaborStickerPA state inspection
LaborStickerPA state inspection
AdsitHold-107Hardtop holder with cover
Larry M10W40oil and exhaust hangers
Larry MBrake hosesBlower motor, control unit
Larry MAC Idler Pulley
Silver AdvanceBattery
Mercedes Benz1077780197Soft top window weatherstrip left
Mercedes Benz1077780297Soft top window weatherstrip right
Mercedes Benz1239973681Windshield washer pump grommet
Mercedes Benz^0009973320Windshield washer plug
Mercedes Benz
Windshield washer plug
Mercedes Benz
Windshield washer tank cap
Mercedes Benz107 869 06 20Windshield washer fluid resevoir OEM
EbayMercedes wood shifter knob
3544 RiversidelaborFour wheel balance
Sylvania9003Ultra halogen headlamp
Mercedes BenzlaborFour wheel alignment
Mercedes BenzlaborCruise control diagnosis
NGKBP7ESNon resistor spark plugs
Beck Arnley444000Power steering filter
Bosch4177Distributor rotor
MannH2014Transmission filter
Walker25023073Oxygen sensor
Wix33153Fuel filter
Mercedes BenzA1170940382Air intake hose
Mercedes BenzA1075050955Fan shroud
Mercedes BenzA1079131428Chrome seat hinge cover
Mercedes Benz224774401Fuel filter
Febi^1264600819Idler Arm Repair Kit
Meyle1073300203Tie rod assemblies Left and Right
Tops OnlineSCF560SLSAFLSeat leathers safron w brazil pipe
Tops Online245Saffronone yard saffron MB Tex
Uro1077200978Conv top frame LR horizontal weatherstrip
Mercedes Benz
Steering coupler
Mercedes Benz1074602001Power steering gear box
Mercedes Benz^000965008028 Screw
Mercedes Benz
Sliding jaw
Mercedes Benz
Needle bearning steering
Mercedes Benz
Light bulb instruments
Mercedes Benz
Injection hose
Energy Suspension9.5161RSway bar bushing set
Mercedes BenzA0018267190Driving light lens
BeruBallast resistor for auxillary fan
Energy Suspension9.8105RSway bar end link kit
Meyle&361321343513center drag link
Mercedes Benzpart 0045454032Electronic control module
Mercedes BenzSteering bearing assembly
Volkswagen8A and 16A ceramic fuses
Mercedes BenzA0008350644Lifting Magnet (heater)
Mercedes BenzRing around ignition key
Mercedes BenzRing around ignition key gasket
Mercedes BenzA1169900031Rivet for door catch
Mercedes BenzA1264920281Exhaust ring right
Mercedes BenzA1170520816Timing chain slide rail outer head
Mercedes BenzA1170520916Timing chain slide rail inners
Mercedes BenzA1170520083Timing tensioner liner
Mercedes BenzA0020944604Air filter element
Bosal281-329Exhaust system w/ muffler
Mercedes Benz1264920281Exhaust seal ring german
Mercedes Benz48206810AC temp switch on drier
MTECSport wing wiper blades 18"
Bilstein 140617728472Rear shocks B4 24-011846
Bilstein271998070616Front shocks
Mercedes BenzCenter caps for Mercedes Benz
Switch DoctorWindow control switch
LabornaFix dents in door
Lemfoerder3385010Steering tie rod ends
Centric10204240Brake pads front
Centric12135015Disc Rotors front
Centric11735003Disc brake hardware kit
ValvolineVV985SynPower synthetic grease
Lisle65250Bearing packer

· Registered
1986 560SL
148 Posts
Hi, and welcome. General consensus seems to be that the valvetrain is the achilles heel of the otherwise bulletproof M117 engine. Order up the gaskets, pull the cam covers and look for any play in the timing chain, or any wear under the covers that may indicate contact with the chain. Visually inspect the guide rails. Failure of the chain or rails would spell certain disaster for that engine.

Due to the complex fuel delivery system in this vehicle, you may have a lot of steps between initial inspection and the car actually starting. When you turn the key to position 2, you should hear the fuel pump. If not, perhaps it's bad, or perhaps it's the fuel pump relay. There are procedures outlined on this forum for testing both.

Once started, the idle quality will determine what's next.

· Registered
1986 560SL
148 Posts
I will add that I recently acquired an '86 560SL. Mine ran okay, and had been driven around 4k miles a year but suffered a rough idle, and a failed emissions test. I smoked the vacuum system to reveal a ton of leaks resulting in a lot of false air in the system. After a handful of hoses, I'll move on to the rest of the fuel delivery system. I would imagine that with yours sitting for so long, and rubber hoses drying and shrinking that a smoke test could be telling.

· Registered
1987 560SL, 92,500 KMs
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you very much for your replies and suggestions.

I will definitely pull the covers and inspect the valvetrain along with the other suggestions.

When the key is turned to position 2, I do not hear the fuel pump. I will review the testing procedures to help diagnose the problem.

There's definitely a lot of work to do!

· Registered
1986 560SL 1986 420 SEL
150 Posts
I would be very concerned about the fuel system. I would check the gas tank for rust. Sitting for 15 years I would suspect a whole lost of rust in there. Replace the strainer in the fuel outlet. I would drop the fuel pump assembly and check out the fuel lines and rubber hoses, replace fuel filter before applying power to the pumps.

· Premium Member
1987 560SL
2,422 Posts
On fluids:
  • Use clean high octane fuel and a few doses of Techron once that engine is running. Spray throttle body cleaner into the air intake if you see any crud.
  • Do not use any additives in the oil.
  • Do not use any additives in the tranny and note your car has a torque converter drain plug where you can turn the flywheel with a screwdriver to line up the plug with the hole.
  • I use Valvoline DOT 3 and 4 brake fluid with good results. Do not use DOT 5.
  • You did not mention rear 80W differential oil, something to do while you are under the rear.
  • The 560 can run hot so consider a cleaning and flush while replacing the coolant.
  • When replacing tires ask for a wheel alignment. A good shop will refuse to do the alignment if any of your rubber goodies have worn out, so it is like a free second opinion.

· Registered
1987 560SL, 92,500 KMs
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for the excellent advice!

@Biackbenz300se# : I removed the fuel tank and did find some rust deposits. The tank shops I called told me they won't reseal the fuel tank due to the lack of success. I will attempt to clean the fuel tank myself and see what happens.

Also, the Fuel Sender seems to be seized and obtained a replacement and a new Fuel Strainer is on order.

@PanzerPuff: Thank you. Coolant and rear differential fluid is now on my list of to-do's!


· Registered
1986 560SL
148 Posts
I did forget to mention that it's recommended to pay close attention to the oiler tubes when you inspect the valvetrain. Give them a tug. They should be tightly seated. If not, they'll need replacing
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