Mercedes-Benz Forum banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
1972 350SL 4.5L
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just joined this forum a moment ago, and am not really accustomed to doing this so I will try and keep it short:
Back in the early 90s I drove a beat up 72’ 350 SL with a 4.5 L. When my fourth child was born, I really couldn’t use it anymore, so I parked it out in the back of some property I own. My kids played in it now and then, but it was essentially left sitting out there since 1996. My oldest daughter turned 16 last year, and having played in the car as a child - she wanted it. I will save the details, but after a year of begging, I hauled a new battery, an air pump, and a can of gas out to the car. Ten cranks and a cloud of black smoke and I drove it out of the swamp out on the highway, and 300 miles to Chicago. (I know, quite stupid.) It ran fast, smooth and beautifully and I remembered why I loved this car so much. Now it is on jacks in my garage and my daughter and I are embarked on a winter project on her new car. I have questions:

- Steering wheel rattles like a can of golf balls. Guess it is the steering coupling. How to properly replace?
- Need exhaust headers pipes and exhaust connector pipes (some sort of equalizer between the exhausts). Looks easy to change, where should I buy them?
- Hood cable is rusted and needs replacing – where and how to replace?
- Almost all the paint is stripped off the exterior, but the rust is only surface. I want to repaint it cheaply. Where should I go?
- Possible to put modern seat/shoulder belts in it? Where to purchase?

I want to keep the total restore price below $2K US. I love my daughter, but there are limits you know.
Thanks
 

·
One of the BW Old Guard/R129, W204 Moderator
1997 SL500- 40th Anniversary
Joined
·
7,282 Posts
Welcome
That is quite a story... Amazing it fired AND DROVE!
I encourage you to read teh sticky at the top of the page, marked "...This Damned Old Car..". otherwise know as the EGv107. Read down thru the topics and you will find a compendium of valuable information.

Good luck with your resurrection of "her" car :)
 

·
Registered
1978 280slc
Joined
·
3,203 Posts
There is a real good parts store I used in san diego which also has a location in Chicago. The place is called Northside Imports, hers is a link.

Northside Imports, Inc.

Other than that I'm not commenting on the 1st generation cars. Good luck and hopefully your daughter enjoys the car.
 

·
Premium Member
1975 450SL
Joined
·
2,440 Posts
OK, you've got a early 107 with the D-Jetronic ignition system. There are a lot of things that you DON'T have to worry about (OVP relays, Lambda, ACCII, to name a few).

I would recommend that you replace all the vacuum lines as a preventative measure. Age does terrible things to rbber and plastic. It will only be a bit time-consuming, the new tubing will not be very expensive itself.

The first thing I did was to get the Service Manual on CD-ROM from Mercedes Benz Manual - Mercedes Repair Manuals - Mercedes-Benz Service Manuels. It is a treasure trove of information. You WILL need it, especially since you seem to be Doing It Yourself. Keep with the form around here, there are a LOT of people that can provide suggestions, tips, sources, emotional support, and good-natured abuse as needed :).

The steering coupler was a rather involved job for me. The part was about $80.00, but there was a allen head bolt that caused me some 'complications'. Tip: Use plenty of PB Blaster on the steering coupler bolts and let soak a day or two, reapplying often. And make sure the 'socket' where you are going to put tha allen wrench in is clean so you can seat the wrench FULLY. I didn't, and ended up stripping out the socket, breaking off a cheap Easy-Out, and having to drop the steering gear box. Not Fun.

It's one of the jobs in the Encyclopedia Germanica V 107, I think. If not, it's over on the Other Forum. SL Forum - PeachParts Mercedes ShopForum Some of us infest both forums, but we tend to be a bit more 'irreverent' here.

Please post photos, status reports, questions, and victories, as appropriate. We like the sense of 'community' here, it makes it more fun.

Best wishes, and welcome to the madhose.
Scott
 

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
Joined
·
11,212 Posts
I'm no expert on the cars earlier than mine, but a rattle in the steering sounds to me more like a power steering pump issue than the coupler. Assuming it has power steering (my '78 does), did you check the fluid in the steering reservoir?

Also, a failing air conditioning compressor may rattle loudly.

A bad steering coupler will allow tremendous "play" in the steering; mine was up to 6 inches either side to actually move the wheels when I first got it. With a new coupler I have about 1" of play. The steering never rattled.
 

·
Registered
1972 350SL 4.5L
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I should have been more descriptive, but it rattles and has wheel play. I got under the car last night while my daughter jimmied the wheel, and the sounds and the slack are clearly coming from the coupler. I must say that this forum is extremely helpful. I now have a detailed description of what to work on tonight, and I have ordered the parts I think I need. I know what tools I need to buy and modify this evening and I copied tutorials on three different ways to replace the coupler... which is supposed to be a miserable and irritating job I understand.
 

·
One of the BW Old Guard/R129, W204 Moderator
1997 SL500- 40th Anniversary
Joined
·
7,282 Posts
Post pictures of the old gal... Then, when you get finished, post new pics for comparison.
I bet your daughter is thrilled. I think it is too cool that she is working with you to resurrect the old gal. Treasured memories will be generated from this, I assure you. Be sure to take pics... At 16, she will be leaving the nest soon, and the pics of your shared venture will be priceless...
 

·
Registered
380SL (1981)
Joined
·
122 Posts
+1 on posting some pics. I'm dying to see what the car looks like!

Have you checked it over for rust since it has been out so long? obviously the body panels only have surface rust but what about under the car, where the rockers meet the arches? and the troublesome drains that go through the rocker panel at the front of the car?
Sounds like a great project, looking forward to following this one!
 

·
Registered
1980 450SL & 1988 560SL
Joined
·
1,667 Posts
It will be something you two can enjoy togehter for years to come and have the memorys forever.
I replaced my coupler in a few hours by moving the steering shaft from inside the car. Acess to the allen bolt from the outside. Be sure to get the coupler in the same position on the shafts because the steering wheel can be rotated to correct the level of the steering wheel...... but the blinkers will not return correctly. Ask me how I know.
You can look down from the top an see the coupler slack or lack of. If you need to remove the driver seat for some reason, do it before this task.
 

·
Registered
1972 350SL 4.5L
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So we took a crack at the steering coupler last night. In a stunning anti-tribute to foreign made tools, the hex head screws succeeded in twisting my Asian-made tools into pretzles. Time some good American or European tool steel.
 

·
One of the BW Old Guard/R129, W204 Moderator
1997 SL500- 40th Anniversary
Joined
·
7,282 Posts
Normally, I would think..."some <expletive> let this car go to waste...". Given you were that person, I think you are obligated to restoring her to her former glory. :)

How bad is the chassis rust? Terminal, you say?
 

·
Premium Member
1984 380SL, 1973 450SLC
Joined
·
2,174 Posts
Looks like alot of work, maybe a good pressure wash would help before you jump in. Would it be better to find another of the same era and then have a donor car for parts??? just the body is going to take time, and if the undercarage is wasted, it's all in vein, IMHO.... but you will have your winter filled with memories if you decide to continue. Good luck, and we will be here to assist and maybe even offer parts....:)
Tom
 

·
R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
Joined
·
32,777 Posts
When did you change the wheels? Do you know if that is an original distributor cap cover? It looks a little too big but I can't tell from the picture. Rear seat is interesting but it looks after market.

As for the car. Spray PB Blast on the coupler fittings several times and let it set over night or spray every day and let it set a couple of nights..
 

·
Registered
1975 Mercedes 450sl & 1979 Mercedes 450sl & 1978 450SLC
Joined
·
419 Posts
Wow, lots of work, but can be fun...
I think you are going to need a parts car to make one out of two.
Enjoy, Judy
 

·
Registered
1972 350SL 4.5L
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just looking at the caliber of 107s that are available for very reasonable cost (a recent post from St. Louis had a clean looking $1200 74') I realize that this vehicle is probably not worth much effort. As I have a house full of teenagers who crave transportation, and even a rusty 107 is a very solid ride- a winter project and a Maaco paint job might buy a few years out of the car.
My defense: I did kill it, but sometimes life gets crazily complex. In this case I took an overseas assignment in Stuttgart, working for Mercedes Research, and my family and home were shipped to Boblingen where I was provided a company owned C-Klasse AMG. My college ride wasn't in my top ten priorities. I just didn't expect the SL to stay together so well. Either way, my daughter has spent every night in the garage with me, and she has named it Wolfgang. I must serve the Wolf!
 

·
Premium Member
89 R107, 05 CDI
Joined
·
2,536 Posts
Professor Caratacus Potts!

Just looking at the caliber of 107s that are available for very reasonable cost (a recent post from St. Louis had a clean looking $1200 74') I realize that this vehicle is probably not worth much effort. As I have a house full of teenagers who crave transportation, and even a rusty 107 is a very solid ride- a winter project and a Maaco paint job might buy a few years out of the car.
My defense: I did kill it, but sometimes life gets crazily complex. In this case I took an overseas assignment in Stuttgart, working for Mercedes Research, and my family and home were shipped to Boblingen where I was provided a company owned C-Klasse AMG. My college ride wasn't in my top ten priorities. I just didn't expect the SL to stay together so well. Either way, my daughter has spent every night in the garage with me, and she has named it Wolfgang. I must serve the Wolf!


This story reminds me of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

Happy trails, the work with your daughter is paramount! Saving the car, or whatever comes of it, will be the bonus!

Stick around, there's lots of help here!

:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
560SL, 450SL, S500, 230E
Joined
·
65 Posts
Hi hilletron,

There is D-Jet, so I would recommend to asap tighten the fuel hoses under the hood after such a long standing. You really don't want to burn your family members like Wolfgang, let alone hurt your daughter!
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top