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'86 MB 300E
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32 Posts
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Hi gang,

After suffering from the loss of my beloved '86 300E, I have decided to take that check from the ins., and put it toward my dream car... an SL!

After a couple of weeks of searching (man there is a whole lot of CRAP out there), and if my mechanic says OK, it looks like I will become the proud owner of a Red/Palomino '89 560 SL.

So since I am not familiar with the car, I have some questions.

1) How do you get the s*&*^id visor to stay ALL the way up?

2) Do SL's normally tent to have sloppy steering, since EVERY one I have driven ('72 350S '76 450, '85 450, '87 560 and TWO '89 560s) have had what I consider sloppy steering.

3) Can the headlights be safely upgraded to higher wattage bulbs.

Anything I should be paying specific attention to on that vehicle (has 116K miles)?

Thanks,

Steve
 

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1986 560-SL
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57 Posts
STEVE

The visor problem goes with the model. You can try to tighten the screws that hold the visor arm. Also thought about taking apart the holder and inserting a piece of shim stock in it to allow less "slop".

I have an '86 560-SL and the steering has very little play.

Lube to linkage for the soft top cover every so often - it has a tendency to stick.

Am not sure about higher wattage headlights - seems like it would be OK, fuses limit amps.

Good luck,
Stan
 

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'89 560SL
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47 Posts
The original headlights are sealed-beam units, which are marginally more effective than kerosene lamps. They're easily replaced by quartz-iodine units that have the same size and round format; go for the standard halogen bulbs, as they don't overload the wiring and give much better light. If you prefer the style, there's always the option of upgrading to the Euro lamps--more involved and more expensive.
Mechanically, the one must-check on a 560SL at that mileage is the timing chain/guides/tensioner. Guides are plastic and degrade over time; breakage produces fragments that stick in the chain, hit a sprocket and derail the chain thus allowing pistons and valves to try to occupy the same space simultaneously--very expensive rebuild! The usual recommendation for our 560s is that the chain and guides be checked every 100K miles, and the upper guides, chain and tensioner replaced every 100-150K. Chain slap on startup is considered a major warning sign on these engines.
Having said that, there are no other routine but potentially catastrophic problems I know of on these cars other than the obvious (no oil, etc.).
 
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