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1987 MB 560SEL
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

Just picked up a 1987 560sel, and I've got a couple questions about it. When I first got it, there was an occasional whine underhood, and I notcied the P/S fluid was low. I figured the whine would go away when I added fluid, but it didn't. Could the P/S pump be going out, or could it be the SLS making the noise possibly? Also, where should the fluid level be in the SLS reservoir?

Secondly, I would like to change the engine oil soon (previous owner said it's done about 2,500 miles). What brand/weight do you guys usually run, especially for high mileage (240k)?

Thanks for your time,
Ryan
 

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1984 500SEL
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91 Posts
the P/S pump will whine when it is operating without any (or low amount of) power steering fluid and you turn the wheel. If it's consistently leaking you have a bad pump or hose...
 

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85 300SD, 82 euro 500 SEC, 78 450SL
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354 Posts
I use 20-50 for the warmer places but it's kind of like asking what woman looks the prettiest, everybody has their own ideas and anyone who differs is wrong. As for brands, I buy what ever is on sale, always have.
 

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1993 300TE, 1995 E320 Wagon
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1,895 Posts
Could the P/S pump be going out, or could it be the SLS making the noise possibly?

Also, where should the fluid level be in the SLS reservoir?

Secondly, I would like to change the engine oil soon (previous owner said it's done about 2,500 miles). What brand/weight do you guys usually run, especially for high mileage (240k)?
Use the old mechanic's trick of sticking a wooden dowel on the suspected part, with the other end in your ear (engine running). Check out various parts and you can isolate the sound pretty well. It might be the P/S pump, but if it's holding fluid, I doubt it. I would say the prime suspect would be the idler pulley, which is below and to the left (looking from the front) of the P/S pump. I had mine go out and I was sure it was the P/S pump until I checked using the dowel trick. You might also change all the belts (three of 'em) just to eliminate belt wear issues. Also check the alignment of the belt pulleys. It's probably not the SLS pump-- I've never heard of it whining.

The SLS fluid level should be about at the top ridge, a little more than halfway up the bottle. There is a dipstick in the bottle you can check too. Be careful pulling the rubber dipstick top off of the bottle though-- I broke off the dipstick the first time I tried. Fluid (Febi brand) is readily available from BMA autoparts or Autohaus AZ.

There have been numerous discussions regarding oil here-- check the archives for some great info and back-and-forth banter. A good number of folks here swear by synthetics (Mobil 1, etc), and there's probably about as many who like good ol' dino oil. I'm in the latter group, and I use whatever diesel oil is on sale at Pepboys or Autozone (Mobil Delvac or Shell Rotella). The diesel oils still have certain additives that our older gasser cars like. Costco often has Chevron Delo for a good price. If you want to go with straight Dino oil, generally a good 10W-40 or 20W-50 is what to get in a standard oil like Pennzoil, etc.

For filters, get the Hengst filters if you can. Also available from BMA and Autohaus
 

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1987 MB 560SEL
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hey, thanks for the advice guys. I'll check the idler pulley, that could be it. It is leaking a bit of P/S fluid (not excessive), but it doesn't seem to be leaving as many drip spots as it used to. The stuff I topped of with had 'stop leak additive', FWIW, but it could be good ol' placebo effect at this point.

I think I'm a bit low on the hydraulic fluid as well, from what you said.

Hadn't thought of diesel oil, but I guess it makes sense to run a heavier oil in a high mileage engine; 20w-50 is at the heavy end of the owner's manual range.

Thanks again for the help,
Ryan
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
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40,651 Posts
Hey, thanks for the advice guys. I'll check the idler pulley, that could be it. It is leaking a bit of P/S fluid (not excessive), but it doesn't seem to be leaving as many drip spots as it used to. The stuff I topped of with had 'stop leak additive', FWIW, but it could be good ol' placebo effect at this point.

I think I'm a bit low on the hydraulic fluid as well, from what you said.

Hadn't thought of diesel oil, but I guess it makes sense to run a heavier oil in a high mileage engine; 20w-50 is at the heavy end of the owner's manual range.

Thanks again for the help,
Ryan
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