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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings to all as a new member! As a fairly new owner of a 1974 450SL, I am playing "catch up" in completing repairs as this model has less than 20,000 miles after being stored for over 40 years. I've recently learned of the subframe recall and that this car does have a small crack. Following the recommendation of my independent MBZ mechanic, I've taken the car to a dealer who initially said that the campaign is active and that Mercedes would cover all replacements. Now, though, after the dealer spoke to their national representative from Mercedes, they are saying that no subframes or reinforcements are available and that there's nothing they can do for the car or to help in any other way. Obviously, that's not acceptable but I'm new to this whole endeavor and wondered if anyone has any suggestions for how I should handle the situation when contacting Mercedes corporate. The car was purchased from a Mercedes dealer in Paris and fully federalized when transported to the US in 1974.
Thank you so much for any assistance! I have joined Mercedes club and show the car periodically but also use it as a daily driver and want to ensure it's care and safety. Please also advise if this isn't the correct forum to post this request upon.
 

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Good luck with your attempts to get MB to fix your subframe, I have no comments of that issue. What I have comments about is, don't use your car when you know you have cracks in your subframe!!
 

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It is true that there aren't any more subframes available through the dealer network.

There are specimens available on ebay for a pretty penny ($~1k). You might be able to buy one out of pocket and have them install it for you under warranty. You'd have to come to some sort of agreement with the dealer.

I had a crack on my subframe a 380sl. It was on there for sometime and I drove it. You can make sort trips with it, but I would avoid spirited driving above 50mph.

Good luck!
 

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I had a crack on my subframe a 380sl. It was on there for sometime and I drove it. You can make sort trips with it, but I would avoid spirited driving above 50mph.

Good luck!


I disagree. I would not drive any faster than walking speed with a known crack.

The failure is catastrophic and there is no way to know when it will fail.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Thank you so much for your concerns....the discovery of the crack is corresponding with the beginning of rains in the Pacific Northwest so the car is tucked into the garage and will stay there until this is figured out. I found another thread in which owners are having the same problem with Mercedes national so I will watch as they gear up for a fight. I plan to write national and Germany to see their responses as well. The dealership said it's safe to drive but I'm not going to take that risk. I'm amazed at how much liability Mercedes corporate and the dealership seem to vulnerable to when they admit there is a recall, and that there is a crack but that it's "safe" and that there's no steps they are willing to offer. I know I the dealership is caught in the middle since they can't do the work without corporate's support and parts.
 

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The recall was limited to the North American models. There is some dispute on this but yours would not be covered under the settlement between Mercedes and the US Department of Transportation.
 

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560SL subframes are about $400 to $1000 on E-bay. They are about $100 to $400 on Car-parts.com and they are all over the place.
 

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560SL subframes are about $400 to $1000 on E-bay. They are about $100 to $400 on Car-parts.com and they are all over the place.
Would those work on his 74 450SL?

Being a grey market car (purchased in Europe), I can see why Rowdie said it might not be covered.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the suggestions so far. Even though the car was purchased in Europe, Mercedes of North America has covered all the other recalls and this recall is also listed as open under the specific VIN. Perhaps the federalization process grandfathers the car in under the domestic coverage agreement.... The issue hadn't been the point of purchase for the recall, just the absence of dealer accessible parts. I have written a letter to Mercedes Western Region, and USA and Germany so we shall see what response is received. It's helpful to know that subframes are out there...I just want the corporation to cover the purchase and repair since it was their initial design flaw and they have historical taken responsibility for the repair if the owner continues to pursue the issue.
 

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The prices being asked for those are ridiculous! They're nothing more than small pieces of cut steel. Maybe someone here has actual size diagrams that can be brought to a craftsman who can cut them from 1/8" stock. Like a custom fabricator. Then have them welded on. Plenty of freelance welders out there. Just a thought....
 

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The OP seems clearly to be looking for M-B to honor their commitment to provide a safe front subframe in her car. I highly doubt M-B would buy, or install under this campaign a used 560SL subframe.

Nate Y seems to be referring to the weld-in gussets that M-B designed to reinforce the LCA subframe tabs. These gussets, installed according to M-B's instructions are a perfectly satisfactory repair and eliminate the problem. However, if your LCA tabs are already cracked, you SHOULD replace the subframe and not rely on the reinforcement.

I know everyone has an opinion on the cost of parts, especially some stamped steel reinforcing plates. That is, until they venture to have something like this actually made themselves, or even venturing into producing a small run of such parts. It can be more expensive than you might think.

I know others have been satisfied welding in some additional support for these tabs. M-B actually put some engineering time into designing their reinforcing plates to ensure installation and performance would be problem free. I believe if you were to have someone fabricate the 4 plates used for this repair, it would exceed the cost of them from M-B.

Bottom line to the OP. Good luck, I hope you are able to get M-B to effect the repair. Please DO NOT drive the car with a cracked LCA tab.
 

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.......... I've taken the car to a dealer who initially said that the campaign is active and that Mercedes would cover all replacements. Now, though, after the dealer spoke to their national representative from Mercedes, they are saying that no subframes or reinforcements are available and that there's nothing they can do for the car or to help in any other way. ...............
Thats BS. If Mercedes has an indefinite recall on the 107's sub-frames because safety issues then they must honor it, even if they have to contact Stuttgart and have more sub-frames and reinforcements made. Perhaps in the future Mercedes should be made to widely publicize their cars critical shortcomings as an immediate recall and their dealers then have to work day and night for a few months to correct the shortcoming. During which time their cars end up up taking a hit in the reputation category.


Of course the things Daimler Benz is doing these days doesn't make much sense anyway. Such as taking the name of a failed car brand from the 1930's and using it on their top of the line models. I would have used the Maybach name for a "Mercedes for the masses" brand and continued to use the Mercedes-Benz name for the best of the best. I mean really. Have you seen some of the models lately? A Mercedes-Benz 'hatchback'????
 

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I am the original owner of my '83 380 SL. My understanding is that the recall... or whatever it is called... does not apply to the 380's because of their lighter weight aluminum engines. What chance do you think I have approaching MB with this issue and stressing that I am the original owner? :confused:
 

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If the parts are NLA it is a moot point. MB honored it for 33 years.
 

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Thats BS. If Mercedes has an indefinite recall on the 107's sub-frames because safety issues then they must honor it, even if they have to contact Stuttgart and have more sub-frames and reinforcements made. Perhaps in the future Mercedes should be made to widely publicize their cars critical shortcomings as an immediate recall and their dealers then have to work day and night for a few months to correct the shortcoming. During which time their cars end up up taking a hit in the reputation category.


Of course the things Daimler Benz is doing these days doesn't make much sense anyway. Such as taking the name of a failed car brand from the 1930's and using it on their top of the line models. I would have used the Maybach name for a "Mercedes for the masses" brand and continued to use the Mercedes-Benz name for the best of the best. I mean really. Have you seen some of the models lately? A Mercedes-Benz 'hatchback'????
Try buying something made in Long Dong China and trying to get a recall repaired in a years time.....
 
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Ianwright40
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