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1981 380sel
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, so my dad just acquired a new toy for himself. It is a 91 560sec with 50k miles on the clock. I am here trying to find out new information on it, and future upgrades. Tell me what you guys think. Oh, and I have two questions....



^ Thats my bimmer in the way :)


So two questions I have after its first detail.
What is this little bugger? It looks like a temperature sensor to me.

Second question is, is there something wrong with the paint or my eye? Because I see two different red's, brighter red on the main panels and a darker red on the lower panels. Is it suppose to be two tone? I dont know if you can see it in this picture, but I can.



Thank you everybody in advance. And please, let me know any important information about maintnence. Things like upgrade to double timing chains (we have a 81 380sel too). etc.
 

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81' 300SD, 82' 300D
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Beautiful SEC. The color is great. I haven't seen too many SECs in that shade of red. It's supposed to be a darker red on the bumper and door panels, so it's ok. The side mirror panels were originally gray, but someone has repainted them red, which looks quite good on this car. As far as maintainence tips, I would say check the fluids (brake, steering, coolant, transmission, etc...) every week, change the motor oil and filter every 2,000 miles if it's driven in the city or harsh conditions quite a bit. Change the transmission fluid and filter every 15,000 miles if it's driven in harsh conditions a lot. If it's going to be mostly highway driven, change the oil and filter every 5,000 miles or 5 months, and the tranny fluid and filter every 30,000 miles or 30 months. Make sure you're using the MB or Zerex G-05 coolant instead of the green stuff. About the moving head rest part numbers and temp sensor questions, sorry I can't help you, but someone else here will be able to provide you with that info. You and your dad have fun with the 126s, you'll enjoy them.
-Joe
 

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Depends on the day!
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Car looks good, I second the above recommendations w/ only one change, namely, if you are going to take your oil change intervals out to 5K, I would Only do so w/ synthetic. Given the mileage of the car I would wager the motor is free from leaks and running M1, Redline or Amsoil would be fine.

Also, now would be a Great time to switch the diff to a synthetic oil..I prefer Redline's 75-90 weight.

I'm a bit perplexed by your question regarding the window sticker..It's Gottlieb Daimler's signature. Comes w/ every Mercedes, although the sticker changed in 92.

Part # is 000 821 0958, pick it up from your dealer.

Personally if it were my car I would look to do away w/ the gold package bits..reminds me of a late 80's Cadillac.

Hope your father has Many great miles ahead of him!

Jonathan
 

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1981 380sel
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you guys for your responses. I defintely will be changing over to synthetic. As of right now, I am not sure what weight or brand though. What weight oil are you guys using?
I think I will take your advice on the gold trimming, I think it looks tacky myself.


Something to add, where can I find some lowering springs and shocks for the car? Am I right in thinking the car has a self-leveling hydraulic suspension? How would lowering the car effect that. What are common set up's?

And lastly, what kind of rims would look good? My dad liked the bbs LM and the AMG Aero II Monoblock.

Sorry about the sticker question. I thought it might be something special about the car? I never noticed it on our 380.

Thank you again.
 

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1990 300SE
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1,466 Posts
It has the self leveling, you can see the bottle of fluid in the front driver side part of the engine bay. To lower it would mean taking out all the self leveling stuff and replacing it with coil springs and struts (should be able to do a direct swap).

As for rims, I prefer the AMG Pentas on the coupes. Do a search or check ebay, tons of info.
 

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Car looks great! However, I'm partial because my 1985 SEC is Signal Red also, but w/a light gray interior. Don't touch the self-leveling! The H&R springs for the self leveling cars work great. Really changes the stance of the car. The wire by the license plate is for the external temp. gauge on your dash. Monoblocks would really set it off.
 

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1981 380sel
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Discussion Starter #8
MRTIKKET - 4/25/2005 1:26 AM

Car looks great! However, I'm partial because my 1985 SEC is Signal Red also, but w/a light gray interior. Don't touch the self-leveling! The H&R springs for the self leveling cars work great. Really changes the stance of the car. The wire by the license plate is for the external temp. gauge on your dash. Monoblocks would really set it off.
thats what I thought, I knew there was something for the sls. Now, where would I find the set? Tirerack.com had one for 260, but I am not sure if its for the self leveling suspesion. What would I do..shock wise?


How hard would it be to find the AMG body kit for the car? Any replicas?
 

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Everybody seems to get them from TireRack. I'm sure they have them. The price sounds right. Shocks are a personal preference, but most of those who go the H&R route, also go w/Bilstein HD shocks from TireRack.

The AMG bodykits can be had for aprice. I am wary of off brand copies unless I know of someone who actually fit one. Fitment is everything.
 

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1981 380sel
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Discussion Starter #10
ok, so I would get the h&r springs from tire rack. (yes the are for the self leveling suspenion)...So would i just need two front shocks? and leave the rear alone?
 

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Well, I haven't lowered mine yet. I'm afraid of rubbing issues, since I went to the extremes in rims and tires. I was going to wait until it was in the paintshop, if I need to roll my rear inner fenders.

I always assumed that it is a set of 4. I'm sure others on the forum will chime in or you can ask TireRack. They are very helpful.

Silly, but I've really never looked under any of my MB's.
 

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danwatt - 4/25/2005 1:17 AM

It has the self leveling, you can see the bottle of fluid in the front driver side part of the engine bay. To lower it would mean taking out all the self leveling stuff and replacing it with coil springs and struts (should be able to do a direct swap).
All US 560's came w/ self leveling, and no you do not need to remove the self leveling, it deals w/ lowering just fine. You Will need to adjust the proportiong valve after drop it but that's about it.

H&R, Bilstein HD is def. the way to go..Yes, all you need it fronts:)

I can get you some great prices on HD's if you do indeed take that route.

Jonathan
 

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1986 SEC 560
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wow, nice car , the signal red is a rare color and really screams. I agree with above that AMG monoblocks would really do the car right, it will look 100% different even with the stock ride height. European headlight assemblies would also do wonders for the car
 

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300 SEL- 190D- 380 SEC
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H-TownBenzoboy is right, about the mirrors but it wouldn't surprise me if they did the same w/ the moulding on the bumpers and door panels. Which would explain the color issue.
 

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89 560 SEC
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Here is the application Guide for the H&R Springs for the self leveling system. The springs are a larger diameter in the rear to fit over the self leveling shocks. It is really the way the car should have been built in the first place, the ride difference is light night and day. I can tell you there are no issues with rubbing on an '89 SEC. I have 18" wheels and run 245/40 ZR 18 Michelin PS2's
 

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Beautiful car! I saw that it had Nevada plates on it - if he's anywhere near me (in Las Vegas), I'd like to see it up close. I've done the H&R thing on seven SECs so far and could help lower another one.

BTW, all 560 engines had the dual timing chain. It should be replaced every 100K miles, so check your records on the red car.
 

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560300 - 4/25/2005 6:44 PM

Here is the application Guide for the H&R Springs for the self leveling system. The springs are a larger diameter in the rear to fit over the self leveling shocks. It is really the way the car should have been built in the first place, the ride difference is light night and day. I can tell you there are no issues with rubbing on an '89 SEC. I have 18" wheels and run 245/40 ZR 18 Michelin PS2's
I'm a little nervous on the rubbing issue because I'm running 275/35/18 on 10" rear rims. Could be real close once it is lowered.
 

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1981 380sel
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Discussion Starter #18
Classified - 4/25/2005 4:04 PM

H-TownBenzoboy is right, about the mirrors but it wouldn't surprise me if they did the same w/ the moulding on the bumpers and door panels. Which would explain the color issue.

Its weird about the mirrors. We know the previous owner (family friend) who bought it brand new. I wonder when/how/where it got painted, and even why.
 

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1981 380sel
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Discussion Starter #20
mramay - 4/25/2005 6:51 PM

Beautiful car! I saw that it had Nevada plates on it - if he's anywhere near me (in Las Vegas), I'd like to see it up close. I've done the H&R thing on seven SECs so far and could help lower another one.

The lady lived in Nevada. We have already driven up to san francisco. I was just to anxious to share the car with you guys, so I couldn't wait for new plates. By the way, what do you guys thing a good plate would be? The corniest thing i could come up with is secy1 hehe.



Thank you everybody for your kind words!
 
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