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1972 450 Sl
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As some of you know my car is for sale. Here's the advert that has generated a grand total of 0 inquiries. 1972 Mercedes Benz 450sl 450 Sl two owner

So, I guess I'm keeping it. I like the car a lot and now that I've been driving it to show it off I may actually love it again (until the D jet costs me $1000+ one more time). I'd still like an auto x car again however I'm not going to give this away and I can only have one toy car at a time. So I've been looking at the things that keeps my wife from loving the car. I can't do anything about its gas guzzling ways but I can do something about the seats.

My seats are original 1972s. The MB Text is in great shape and presents well




until you sit on it for any length of time, then......... they suck. I've read all of the pool noodle fixes (not sure that that is a real fix), I've read about the unobtainable Recaros (even if I found them I couldn't afford them), the “I recovered it my self” threads and the Saab 9000 retro fit. I even saw a real interesting post that mentioned a seat re upholstery for around $300 (new horse hair and MB Tex but I'd still have 1972 seats), is this even realistic? I have also read the re-dyed leather seat threads here and on the rest of the net (sounds like I could do it, and the results seem impressive).

One of the things that I haven't seen mentioned is adapting adapters to fit more modern seats.
Craigslist has lots of seats for sale. I particularly like the looks of the various BMW seats, there are also various recarro seats made for other cars. I also see that Corbeau has adapters for their seats to our cars at $100 each. So a pair of Craigslist seats for a round $250, seat rail adapters from Corbeau for $200, some fabrication adapting the Corbeau rails to the Craigslist seats for ??? (I have no fabrication skills, I would need to hire this out) and a re-dye. So for around $500 and some elbow work I'd have “great seats” in my 72! I would like to be able to put the original seats back in at will so I'm not willing to modify the original rails. Where is my thinking wrong headed?
Has anyone done this?

Mark
 

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1993 600SL, 1973 450 SL,1982 380SL,1998 SLK 230, 1968 Firebird, 2001 Dodge Ram 4x4,2005 Ford Escape
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5,247 Posts
Glad you walked back toward the light ! You might look at replacing the pads. The upholtery looks great. Not a big job, but might make a difference. I thought about adapting some more modern seats myself. That would take a lot of research and measuring. We know those Saab seats work.
 

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1986 560SL with M120 V12 Engine, 1988 560SL Stock
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10,179 Posts
About the easiest thing to do is to get 560SL seat. They give more lateral support and any set you find is guaranteed to be 15 years younger. IMO they are also a little more stylish. After that your on your own with modifications.
 

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Outstanding Contributor
450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500se+500slAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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22,556 Posts
My driver side springs were riding up the crack o me arse, and I went in to do something about it armed with new seat pads. Two hours later the driver seat was back in the car. Like most things, I did it the wrong way and didn't follow instructions thinking, "my way must be better than a pool noodle", never taking the time to go inside and do some more research. So here is how it went. My butt doesn't Complain anymore.
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r-c107-sl-slc-class/1665336-two-years-before-i-realized-seat.html
 

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450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500se+500slAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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22,556 Posts
P.s. our cars were twins before mine was reprinted black... Maybe except the hardtop. Mine was apparently originally black. I assume yours is blue. Papyrus white exterior. Right? Mine is vin #7016 made in 8/72 (or was it 10/72 ?).
 

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1972 450 Sl
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
About the easiest thing to do is to get 560SL seat. They give more lateral support and any set you find is guaranteed to be 15 years younger. IMO they are also a little more stylish. After that your on your own with modifications.
Are 560 seats a direct replacement?
 

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450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500se+500slAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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I assume 560 seats are a direct replacement but the seat pads are apparently identical. The back pads are different with bolsters on the sides for the 560.
 

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1988 560SL (California Model)
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5,103 Posts
The 560sl seat bottom may mount on the 450sl frame but I believe the 560sl frame is different.
 

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1972 450 Sl
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
P.s. our cars were twins before mine was reprinted black... Maybe except the hardtop. Mine was apparently originally black. I assume yours is blue. Papyrus white exterior. Right? Mine is vin #7016 made in 8/72 (or was it 10/72 ?).
Mine's a 3/73 build #3552. Hard top, hub caps and soft top all blue, making this a Red, White and Blue USA USA USA car, made by the Germans.:D

How much fabrication would be needed to get 560s into my car?

Mark
 

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1988 560SL (California Model)
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5,103 Posts
Mark the 560sl seats may be a bolt in. IIRC from reading an earlier post that they wouldn't. I could be wrong...
 

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450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500se+500slAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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Different seat tracks and mounting.
Different floorpans too? I would have thought that they would have left nuts welded into the floorpans alone. I guess not.

My 72 has bolts at the very front and very back of the tracks, and there is a pivot link towards the back that I assume helps keep the angle ok or something. I had mine apart and didn't think too much about the need/reasoning for the extra bolts, but I would assume that it might just be safety since the rear height adjustable bolt connection seems like it could fail somehow if all wasn't right... And since the seat belt is attached to the seat, you wouldn't want an ejector seat in an accident. So maybe I answered my own question about why the extra bolts are there. I don't know.
 

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1978 450SL--117K
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1,374 Posts
There is another member here (or was) that had inherited his parents 450 and put 560 seats into it.

I have acquired over time the necessary "stuff" to redo my 450 seats. However, I do not want them back "stock" as they are not comfortable for more than a trip to the grocery store. There is no lower lumbar support and side/lateral support. Even the 560 could use the lumbar and a bit more lateral support.

With all that in mind, I stopped at a shop that has been in business a long time and asked them if this was feasible. They said no problem, they just wanted to see the seats ahead of time. Along these lines, I bought seat leather for larger seats--so as to have room to add the lumbar and side support. They will cut the seat material and remove what is not needed. The material is mint, but came out of an older car and a larger Mercedes. It is beautiful stuff, really. Understand that the seats in question are nearly identical to the 450--just larger. The seats will have to be cut down period, but the back is where all the action will take place.

Did I mention how beautiful the seat leather is? the tuck and roll is superior to the 450's and the 560's. It wraps over the back in the same way. It's a project for this winter.
 

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1972 450 Sl
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Understand that the seats in question are nearly identical to the 450--just larger. The seats will have to be cut down period, but the back is where all the action will take place.
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What are the seats out of? Are you using new covers or scavenged covers? If you don't mind this question, how much do think the finished product will set you back?

Mark
 

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1978 450SL--117K
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What are the seats out of? Are you using new covers or scavenged covers? If you don't mind this question, how much do think the finished product will set you back?

Mark
I'm using scavenged seat covers--the leather is beautiful, but the guy got it into his head he wanted new ones. They will never be as good as these are--they are simply gorgeous. No cracks, no tears. I love them precisely because they don't look new, but just perfectly preserved. The leather itself is a half cut, not a 1/4 cut. Now a days, most cars are using 1/8th cut. That refers to the thickness of the hide. I bought them last winter, IIRC, they were out of a 200 series. I will have dig around to know for sure though. They are about 2" wider, same length. Very easy, do to the pattern, to remove the excess. The only thing I didn't get was the backside plates--so I will use my current ones, but apply leather to those. I have about 1/3 of a hide left over from a custom (I made) made ottoman/ coffee table I upholstered with leather. I wil have to dye that leather to match, but that isn't a big deal--I figured I would send a piece of the excess to upholstery world and have them match it. The salvaged skins are "Bamboo"--which is the color of my interior. they were in an ebay auction that I watched. He had new horsehair cushions to go with them--which I was not interested in as they would not fit. Anyhow, after the auction ended with not bids, I contacted him, made him an offer for the skins, he accepted and sent the cushions along anyway. SO, I really do need to find out what they came out of, so I can find someone on another forum here who might need them.

Do you have MBTex or leather? Both can be repaired, you know. You may not necessarily need all new. I just prefer leather seating or I would have my originals repaired and restuffed. What Fonzi ran into is the coil springs have come undone in his seats. These things were done like fine furniture, not regular car seats. The interior springs are attached to a frame to give them the cushion feel. That goes bad over time and they need to be reattached and resprung. I have some 200 year old plus chairs built the same way--including horse hair stuffing. Horse hair lasts forever. THe springs in those were tied to a frame and then webbing was used to hold them all together. MB did a modernized version of that.

Very cool, and yet another example of the quality of these cars. Once upon a time, they were all made that way, but it is way to expensive, even when these cars were made, for a run of the mill car.
 
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