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1976 280SL, 1979 450SL
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Alright so I searched around this forum and the web and didn't find something relevant to what I had in mind, so here goes nothing. If somebody knows the correct answers for all the circumstances of towing, please write everything, and who knows, maybe this thread will be "stickied", or someone like me in the future could find it upon searching and have all the facts in front of them instead of having to search for hours through websites and postings.

I'm wanting to tow my 1979 450SL with an automatic transmission down from SF to LA, and the way I'm going to be doing it is by hooking up a tow bar (the "A" shaped bars) to the "front" of the Mercedes, and it will be pulled with a truck. All four wheels will be rolling on the ground, and I'm not sure if every 450SL is like mine, but I'm able to go into neutral without the car being on. My question is thus: do I need to disconnect the driveshaft if I could simply put it in neutral for the 400 mile journey, or will the driveshaft still need to be disconnected? If so (please don't shoot me for this, but I'm wanting to have all the answers on one forum for future use), how does one disconnect the driveshaft? Pictures and instructions would be superb!

Thanks beforehand to all for the input and their help. Don't be shy, and may you have the best of luck with your rides...:)

Erik
 

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Premium Member
2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid, 1993 BMW 325i convertible
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6,077 Posts
do I need to disconnect the driveshaft if I could simply put it in neutral for the 400 mile journey, or will the driveshaft still need to be disconnected?
Yes. The transmission in these has two pumps, and towing the car will build up reverse pressure and can damage the transmission. Disconnecting the driveshaft is not easy. Not because there's anything particularly tricky about it, but because there's so much in the way. The exhaust system has to drop.

And there's a mechanic on the north side of Burbank Blvd, east of the 405, who specializes in MB and knows these old cars. He's good, the pricing is fair, and he's honest. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the shop. It's on the corner of his block and has a tall fence around the yard. Every time I've been there the lot has been filled with MBs. An appointment is recommended. I got the recommendation from the forum here that lists good and bad shops.
 

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Premium Member
1975 450SL
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2,440 Posts
Given the difficulty of disconnecting the driveshafts, you may find it more economical to rent a trailer to transport the car. The cost of labor and parts for the removal and replacement may be substantially more than the "upgrade" to a trailer.

The last time I towed a vehicle on all four, it was too big for a trailer, but I had to remove both driveshafts (4WD pickup). Removal was a pain, as I had to lie on my back on ice, but reassembly was much better; a nice warm driveway.

Best of luck whichever way you go.
Scott
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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32,339 Posts
There was a lengthy thread discussing this. I can't find it. General consensus is to use a trailer. I am not familiar with the terrain you will be traveling but you can rent an aluminum trailer with surge brakes which will save wear and tear on the truck.
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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32,339 Posts
Now I recall why I could not remember the user name.
 

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Always Remembered RIP
1979 280sl 4 sp w/ac 1957 MGA 1998 volvo xc/70 2004 F150
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6,050 Posts
^^ Your too funny, but look on the bright side, we got him thru it.
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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32,339 Posts
True. And it was a good discussion on towing a 107.
 

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Registered
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382 Posts
I have towed many cars including my 560SL with a 2 wheel dolly from U-Haul. Very simple, just back the car on the dolly, lock the steering and go. You can get a one way rental for less than $30 per day. The dolly's have surge brakes which you won't have if you flat tow which by the way is illegal in most states if the towed vehicle is over #2000.

Dan
 

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1974 450sl 1994 bmw 530i 1995 f150 2007 FJCruiser trd se
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41 Posts
I used to use towing hubs when towing an automatic car.
 
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