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73 450sl
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm in the process of getting a 73 450 from california up to washington. I was wondering if there are any people out there that can tune or have products for better performance of these vehicles.I know some of the purist are cringing right now but I've never been one that is satisfied with most of the stock cars that we get stuck with after the feds have screwed them up from there original design. Having looked at some of the other posts I have a feeling i'm in the minority section of the perfomance section not that its a bad thing I just don't feel like getting flamed on my first post. Any help or pointing in the right direction would be great . Thank You.
 

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2017 Police Interceptor Utility, 2017 Police Interceptor Sedan
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7,750 Posts
What exactly are you trying to improve?
 

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85 300SL Euro,97 SL320,95 S420,07 S550
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1,600 Posts
I'm not flaming you but with a 33 year old car I would be concerned about a lot of other things than beating a Mustang at the next traffic light.
If you have to, the cheapest way is to put a chip in, will give you maybe 15hp more also only money is the wall, which could stop you to bring it to more horsepower.
The question is how long the engine and drivetrain will last.
 

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560SL,380SL,E350
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4,181 Posts
Getting the car up to snuff mechanically and cosmetically should keep you and your wallet busy for some time, which should be the first things to do. If its of any comfort, that particular year still had limited pollution control add-ons and these cars never really performed that well again in the US until the 560.

There are very few high-performance items available for 107's, particularly earlier models. There are no magic bolt-on goodies that you can buy, and no chips that I know of.

I think I'm at the limits of what a little money can do on my car, changing an advance resistor and installing a first gear start (neither of which you can do on your year). For looks, I polished or chromed items in the engine compartment (nothing is available in a speed shop catalog for this, obviously).

The handling, which is often faulted on these cars, I found to be pretty good once all new rubber was installed on the frame, new shocks, and some steering components, and modern tires. But keep in mind that this is a 35 year old design (at least), and many modern ma-and-pa cars will outhandle and outrun it. It does weigh a lot.


Anything can be done with unlimited time and money, though.
 

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73 450sl
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry I guess I should have defined what I was after.Strife2 answered mostly what I was after. The car is for the wife to drive around on sunny days which are very few around here. I don't plan on racing anyone light to light and the power may be just fine once I get the car and see how it runs. I was just wondering if there were the cobbed together emission controls on the car that could be removed with no ill effect. I wouldn't think that there would be a big performance market for the car as with the age and mostly mature drivers that owned them. Wow now that I think about it I guess I fall into that mature driver catagory also. I know most new cars would hand me my ass in the handling department but I would like to know if the handling could be improved just for some sprited back road driving not racing mind you but enough to have some fun. I already have and had cars that can pull your fillings out handling wise so I just like nice handling.Thanks for the responses.
 

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2001 SLK320, 2001 C320
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2,267 Posts
Don't worry. This is an excellent handling car, with more than enough power. The handling is very deceptive -- it rides very smoothly -- but throw it into a corner and it handles it without any fuss!

You should be more concerned about learning how to maintain and repair the car. There will be challenges aplenty!
 

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1981 Mercedes 380SL
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24 Posts
hardly worth it

the only real thing you can do besides nitrous is porting and exhaust matching, the same old story, head-work.

I have never found an RV-like cam, race cam, or anything, not even bigger valves. there is just nothing for these cars.

the coolest thing I have seen in a while is a chevy LT-4 in a 380sl, he did quite a bit of plasma cutting and mig welding, and basically did a bare-frame build up. I will see if I can find a picture of it, it is on the net.
 

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73 450sl
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
flyboyike ,I'd like to see that. I've only seen one other 450 up here with a 350 transplant . I really didn't get a very close look at it but was told that he had matted it to the stock tranny and everything worked as normal. As you would guess engine work was a hell of alot cheaper. Cams I have a place that can grind me anything I need . Headers and exhaust are what I do for fun so I've got that covered. Nitros I already have on another car and with the cost of the motor don't think I'll be adding that anytime soon. I've been checking some of the vendors out and found that the new bushing kits for the car don't seem to far out of price range as I expected. I did call the local stealership and about laughed my ass off when he quoted me a price for just the upper control arm bushings. I asked him If they invented some new kind of rubber with titanium infussed into it to explane the overinflated cost. I know that MB are going to be on the high side of the cost spectrom but if your trying to rob me atleast point a gun at me;)
 
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