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1981 380SL
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks, the blowby of engine oil to the air filter housing from the right side valve cover is significant. My last three-state road trip of almost 1500 miles required ten quarts of oil. My air filter is nearly saturated with oil. The car is a 1981 380SL.

The engine has a single timing chain replaced last year. The car has 130,000 miles on it. The car runs fine and I am getting 20-22 mpg with plenty of power. The car starts fine; I have replaced many of the J Ketronic fuel system parts.

However, I am willing to solve two issues, the oil blowby and the single timing chain, if I could replace the engine with a rebuilt long block. I have found two web sites that list rebuilt 380SL engines for sale, but know nothing about them.

My mechanic (non dealer) tells me that a complete engine rebuild (existing engine) would cost 5-8,000 dollars. That mirrors the cost of a long block rebuilt engine.

I plan to keep this car for the long haul. I would rather not start over with another car.

My question is: does anyone have good advice for purchasing a rebuilt engine? Is this done often or is the other approach of rebuilding the existing engine a better option?

Thank you.

Mike Gangwer
 

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2017 Police Interceptor Utility, 2017 Police Interceptor Sedan
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7,750 Posts
A reman long block is a reliable option. Many people do it.
 

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47 Posts
Before you buy a new engine have someone check the back pressure on that engine a plugged exhaust can give the some problem. from someone who learned this the hard way
 

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1981 Mercedes 380SL
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24 Posts
I rebuilt my own for about $2800 in parts

the most ridiculous part was the pistons, they were $90 each. I did the transmission too and the mercedes-brand bands were $200 each (a $50 chevy part) There are plenty of aftermarket gasket sets, you have to be able to meausure what you have. I kept the exact same cams as they seemed unworn.

These motors are NOT something from another world, If you can rebuild a Chevy 350, or any modern motorcycle engine, you can rebuild one of these.

I got a donor 380sl motor to start with, magnaflux the block, and start building it up, replacing what is really needed.

just as I got everything perfect, I somehow lost my A/C refrigerant. so that is my current MB problem
 
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