Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 20 of 85 Posts

·
Registered
1972 350SL 4.5, car #917
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys - with your help I've decided to pull the trigger on that early SL and am picking her up tomorrow AM. I'm going to be doing a 1,000 mile +/- drive back and wanted to get your thoughts on spares to bring.

She passed her PPI in good shape, will have fresh oil/coolant/brake fluid. I'm decent with a wrench but don't know these cars.

I've had good luck with these sort of tours in the past, only had an Alfa let me down once when the cooling fan came apart, including in a Spitfire and TR6.

What do you think?
 

·
Registered
1983 380SL
Joined
·
56 Posts
Before deciding on pullng the trigger, did you do your homework and research on it. In other words, see the vehicle in person and have it inspected by a MB mechanic who specializes in older model Benz's? These cars need a lot of TLC and I wouldn't go by the private owner's claims (if that's who you're buying it from) that it's mechanically sound.
Just as you've experienced, you don't want to have a major breakdown in the middle of nowhere during your 1000 mile journey back home.

As for spares, if the car is deemed mechanically sound then you shouldn't have to bring too much. Maybe some fluids (i.e. motor oil, coolant, brake fluid, PS fluid) just in case.
 

·
Registered
1972 350SL 4.5, car #917
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi JT - I think I did. She is the early car I was looking for and had a Mercedes factory trained mechanic who has serviced her over the past 15+ years do a pre-purchase inspection.
 

·
Registered
1989 560 SL - Signal Red & Palomino; 2011 C-300 - Black on Black 4MATIC
Joined
·
1,153 Posts
Well, assuming the PPI was well done, here are a couple of quick thoughts:

There is little you can do to prepare for a major faillure on the road, so I would focus on emergency items to ensure your fuel, ignition and cooling systems stay sound for you - or sound enough to get you to help if you need it. For example, you are not going to change a water pump in a 107 on the roadside, as with say, with a Model A Ford (those guys carry spare everything, but the car is much easier to work on..)

I would bring a basic metric toolset along with some electrical tape and ignition spares. Also, check your spare prior to departure. In fact, even with a PPI I would check all hoses and belts myself day of departure for possible trouble before setting out. Belts - I would prefer fresh upon departure, with the old ones aboard for spares. Spare hoses not a bad idea either as you do not know how easy they may be to source on the road. I would bring along a bottlejack as well, I just find them easier to use when you don't want to fight with a manual jack on some roadside. Oil, ATF, water. Gloves, a few rags and some hand cleaner are also items I keep aboard any old car.

Sounds minor but I would also check wipers, if you need them on the road, and they are dried out crap, you not only may not see well, they could fail and the bracket damage your windshield.

The most essential tools I carry with my car (and with my very old cars as well) is a cell phone, Hagarty Plus tow card, and AAA card.

Plan on some stops specifically to check your fluid levels, this way if all seems fine, you do not forget that - I am thinking trans and oil, of course but make a note to check coolant the next AM assuming you are breaking the trip over a couple days.

Last, if you can, try to get an idea of where there might be a good independent shop or two along your route, just to give you a closer locale in the event of an emergency or unforseen major issue.

Did you drive either TR cross country?

Good luck and take some pics along the way!
 

·
R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
Joined
·
32,357 Posts
Before deciding on pullng the trigger, did you do your homework and research on it. In other words, see the vehicle in person and have it inspected by a MB mechanic who specializes in older model Benz's? These cars need a lot of TLC and I wouldn't go by the private owner's claims (if that's who you're buying it from) that it's mechanically sound.
Just as you've experienced, you don't want to have a major breakdown in the middle of nowhere during your 1000 mile journey back home.

As for spares, if the car is deemed mechanically sound then you shouldn't have to bring too much. Maybe some fluids (i.e. motor oil, coolant, brake fluid, PS fluid) just in case.
Pay attention.
 

·
Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
Joined
·
29,512 Posts
I don't carry that much on a simple A to B drive in civilization.

I bulk up on spare parts and tools when I know there won't be ANY help for miles and miles.


Keep it simple or you might as well tow a spare SL.

Uncommon parts like fuel pump relay, fuel pump, cap, rotor, ezl...that kind of stuff is always good to have handy.

On the last BenzyPalooza (see my sig) I even brought a spare alternator as I don't know the history on it....it's just a matter of time.

Top up fluids are good....but if you need coolant you probably have bigger problems. Same with brake fluid.....Brake fluid top up with new pads and rotors....after that you shouldn't need to add until the next brake change or fluid flush which ever comes first.

I always run with a spare belt or 2. The important one being the water pump / alternator belt.

I also carry spare exaust hangers (I've needed them in the past) along with tie wraps and baling wire.

Duct tape is also in the onboard tool box....and that too has been used on road trips.
 

·
R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
Joined
·
32,357 Posts
Many say AAA card and credit card are handy.
Extra fuel pump relay is not important on a 1972 model as the relays are all the same.
Baling wire, duct tape, spare fuses.
 

·
Registered
1972 350SL 4.5, car #917
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
@ Rowdie -my AAA and Credit card are ready to go. What fuse sizes and relays should I be bringing?

@ OldWorld - I use my TR6 for long distance touring events but I rebuilt her myself so I had a good baseline. The Spitefire (NM car that ended up there) was a Seatlle to SoCal drive. Lost a fuel pump but that was a 10 minute fix.
 

·
Registered
1998 S210 E320 black/mushroom, 1984 R107 500SL #3904 black/black
Joined
·
58 Posts
In case of emergency . . . . . . . .

don't forget that all important roll of toilet paper.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
1972 350SL 4.5, car #917
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Being that you are not familiar with the car, I wouldn't let the gas tank go below half full in case there is a problem with the gauge or the like.
That is how I ended up having to replace the fuel pump on the Spitfire, I trusted the gauge and it got low and sucked up crap from the bottom of the tank.

So excellent point, and thanks for the reminder!
 

·
Premium Member
Present Stable = '88 560SL ,'16 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit, '06 LR3 HSE, and '17 Newmar Essex
Joined
·
1,318 Posts
the list could be exhaustive...too many uncertainties if you're unfamiliar with your new car (as you indicate you're gonna buy and drive off starting your 1000 ile journey with no prior driving experience of the subject vehicle). If thats the case, the best advice might be to research here on the forum recommended MB repair shops/Indy's in or near the principle cities you'll be travelling near/through in the course of your trip. Log them down to include contact numbers, addresses, etc (simply as a precaution)...pack a credit card or two and take off....may be you'll have an uneventful (mechanical wise) trip and no issues....if you have a problem then chances are you'd be able to locate someone near who is "recommended" as knowledgeable, honest and reasonable.
 

·
R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
Joined
·
32,357 Posts
The relays are all the same. The top left is the fuel pump. Any of the ones on the right side can be used to replace it. Relays are above the fuses behind the pass. side kick panel. Small phillips to remove the cover and expose the relays. Fuses have an easily removed cover. There is a bracket in front of the upper relays so small metric sockets are good to have. Fuses? White and red ceramic.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
1972 350SL 4.5, car #917
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
So if I need to pull one which relay is the best canidate in not disabling another system?
I wish I had been smart enough to have order a manual but this all went down pretty quickly.

Is there a PDF wiring schematic online somewhere?
 

·
Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
Joined
·
10,340 Posts
Here is the wiring diagram:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hwezzr0vh7znjmx/350SL_Wiring.pdf?dl=1

May not be 100% correct for your car, but close.

You have received good advice here. One of the problems with these old D-Jet cars, is that few shops will know much about them. They also will not have access to reasonably priced parts. Something like a fuel pump might end up costing $1000 if they ship in from a MB dealership. same for other parts like trigger points, etc.

One thing you might seriously look at, is having the car shipped. It will probably cost less than the cost of the spares, hotels gas etc. Then you can work on at your leisure. Another option might be to rent a U-haul trailer and go get it yourself.

I think you were looking at same car as mine - a 72 350SL? I know my car well, but it is 40 years old and I would think twice before taking it on a 1000 mile trip even although I know of no faults.
 

·
Registered
1972 350SL 4.5, car #917
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks guys, and for the wiring diagram as well Graham.

I really do appreciate the voice of caution here, but I am going to give driving her back a go. One way or another it will be an experience, and while you never know these are some of the best engineered and built cars in the world, right? With a good PPI by the factory trained mechanic who has serviced the car over the past twenty years I think I have a reasonable shot.

Who know, maybe she isn't as healthy as the seller claims, hasn't just done a 600 mile tour without issues, or perhaps the PPI won't surface what actually strands me but I am going for it.

Again, not taking issue with the coaching as it is both good and much appreciated.

I can send updates from the road if anyone is keen to see what happens here...
 

·
Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
Joined
·
29,512 Posts
the list could be exhaustive...too many uncertainties if you're unfamiliar with your new car (as you indicate you're gonna buy and drive off starting your 1000 ile journey with no prior driving experience of the subject vehicle). If thats the case, the best advice might be to research here on the forum recommended
Well, I bought my SL on the intertubes, flew down to SC and drove it home 18 hours straight.

And that was when the PIG was at it's worst.

No tools or spares.

Just a cell phone and a Mastercard.


That car has yet to let me down on a trip.
 

·
Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
Joined
·
29,512 Posts
1 - 20 of 85 Posts
Top