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1984 380SL
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73 Posts
Just spent the last two evenings lying on my back, head under the dash fitting the dash under trays and cardboard trim. Amazing how solid everything feels with all the screws and clips in place, and how much neater it looks without the wiring on view!

I started with used, but still slighted damaged panels, and repaired with epoxy and aluminum mesh, finishing with bondo, body putty and 4 coats of SEM. Very pleased with the results.

-Steve



Sent from my SM-T813 using Tapatalk
Any pictures?
 

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1985 380SL
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13 Posts
I’ve owned my 380SL for almost a year and have been watching the loose center button roll around the economy gage all that time. I couldn’t take it anymore and finally pulled the instrument cluster to epoxy the piece back in place. I took the opportunity to clean the lenses and the instrument faces, as well as the bulbs. I didn’t have any replacement bulbs, but seeing how easy it was to pull the cluster I’ll think about getting some new ones (maybe LED) on order.
The cluster had obviously been removed in the past since breaking the steering wheel bolt loose was no problem, and the O2 sensor light had been removed.
3CB49241-E64A-435B-A703-D92EA5B14343.jpeg
Maybe now I can keep my eyes on the road instead of waiting to see where the little silver thing will come to rest!
 

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1983 380SL, ivory/dk brown, 46k miles, dual roller timing chain. 1986 560SL, red/white, 190K mile.
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6,954 Posts
Discussion Starter #343
Now you can't play pinball and drive at same time :)
 

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1984 380SL
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73 Posts
I’ve owned my 380SL for almost a year and have been watching the loose center button roll around the economy gage all that time. I couldn’t take it anymore and finally pulled the instrument cluster to epoxy the piece back in place. I took the opportunity to clean the lenses and the instrument faces, as well as the bulbs. I didn’t have any replacement bulbs, but seeing how easy it was to pull the cluster I’ll think about getting some new ones (maybe LED) on order.
The cluster had obviously been removed in the past since breaking the steering wheel bolt loose was no problem, and the O2 sensor light had been removed.
View attachment 2638150
Maybe now I can keep my eyes on the road instead of waiting to see where the little silver thing will come to rest!
Is there a simple instruction how to remove the cluster available somewhere?
 

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Premium Member
1983 380 SL
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3,032 Posts
Is there a simple instruction how to remove the cluster available somewhere?
It's been posted on this forum many times.
1st remove the steering wheel. To do that remove the Mercedes emblem in the middle of the wheel and then the Allen-head bolt holding the wheel on.

Next slide a thin object, with a small hook on the end, between the cluster and the dashboard itself. (Nothing but the rubber grommet around the outside of the cluster holds it in place).
Twist the thin object so the hook angles toward the center of the cluster and gently pull out. You might need to do it on both sides just to get it moving but eventually you'll just be able to pull the cluster out.

Remove the numerous connectors from the back and you're done. You might want to take a picture to make sure you'll get all the connectors back in the right places.
 

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1985 380SL
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13 Posts
To add to what Jyuma said, there’s a lot of good info here from a lot of knowledgeable people. Plus, YouTube is definitely your friend. This is the first MB I’ve owned, so I don’t know much about them, and I turn to this forum a lot.
Just to show how little I know about these cars, I had wondered why the emblem on my steering wheel didn’t look like others I’d seen in photos. The star and the background were the same flat silver color, and I figured the previous owner had painted it for some reason. Well, in the process of removing the instrument cluster I learned that when the steering wheel was previously reinstalled, they put the emblem in backwards. I’ve been looking at the backside of it for the past year and didn’t realize it! 😂
 

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1983 380SL, ivory/dk brown, 46k miles, dual roller timing chain. 1986 560SL, red/white, 190K mile.
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6,954 Posts
Discussion Starter #349 (Edited)
Very nice touches. As a finishing touch, have you thought about replacing those Sunvisors with better quality 560SL versions?
 

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1998 ML320, 1975 280C
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157 Posts
Changed the oil today. Actually, had a shop change the oil, as I can't get under the car that well. They noted motor oil all over the transmission, and the right front running light not working. As I know the car sat for about 18 years, I picked up a bottle of Barsleak engine seal restorer and put it in the car. I then spent about 1.5 hours getting the light to work. Turns out, the contacts in the fixture no longer made contact, so I "adjusted" them with some needle nose pliers, after doing other things I thought was causing the problem.
 

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1984 280sl 5spd, 02 E320 4matic, 79&79 450sl part-out, 78,79,81,83 300CD, 79 280CE
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1,374 Posts
Fired up the 84 280SL today, must need a tune up engine turned over 3 full times, usually fires within a full revolution. Getting ready to take a road trip to Sandpoint Id for my nieces wdding tomorrow. Pic #1 shows what a month without the cover on looks like. Was going to do a full buff/polish but thunderstorm rolled in, and only did a quick washing. The paint seems to be holding up good.
2638425
2638426
2638427
 

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1974 450 SL
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18 Posts
Got some pool noodles to stuff the driver's seat back. I found the hole/tear in the bolster is caused by a spring poking it. Will try to stitch that. Good thing I've some covid masks so as not to snort 46 year old horse hair dust.
Got an extra noodle for the dogs to play with too.
 

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1998 C280; 1987 560SL
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542 Posts
Right after I brought my car home I changed the timing chain. I think I put 10 miles on it. I really don't remember seeing any huge oil leaks before I did the chain. But since the timing chain project I have had leaks - and lately they are getting worse. Since the engine is packed in the car so tightly it is nearly impossible to find the source, so I finally decided to tackle the leaks from the top down - valve cover gaskets first. I started with the right side because it is the easiest one to check. I noticed there was some leakage, but it did appear to be very bad. Saturday I decided to tackle the left side. Taking all of the fuel lines loose that cross the valve cover is a project. I noticed that on the lower front corner the gasket had rolled out of the slot and had the gasket sealing surface not sitting flush with sealing surface. I tried to save the gasket as I did not have a replacement by using some RTV to more or less paste it into the right position. It appears that it stopped the bulk of the leak, but I have a new one on order. I think that I was so concerned with keeping the rear part of the gasket in place as I squeezed it over the rear cam tower that I took my eye off of the front of the gasket and it slipped out of place. Lesson learned - these gaskets are very difficult to install correctly - almost not enough room at the rear to get them in. Unfortunately, I will likely have to do this exercise again soon when the new gasket comes in.

Does anyone have any special tricks for keeping the gaskets in place during installation? I am thinking of using RTV to glue them onto the cover before installing them. :unsure:
 

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1984 380SL
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73 Posts
It's been posted on this forum many times.
1st remove the steering wheel. To do that remove the Mercedes emblem in the middle of the wheel and then the Allen-head bolt holding the wheel on.

Next slide a thin object, with a small hook on the end, between the cluster and the dashboard itself. (Nothing but the rubber grommet around the outside of the cluster holds it in place).
Twist the thin object so the hook angles toward the center of the cluster and gently pull out. You might need to do it on both sides just to get it moving but eventually you'll just be able to pull the cluster out.

Remove the numerous connectors from the back and you're done. You might want to take a picture to make sure you'll get all the connectors back in the right places.
Thanks Jyuma, that sounds simple enough.
 

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Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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10,459 Posts
Does anyone have any special tricks for keeping the gaskets in place during installation? I am thinking of using RTV to glue them onto the cover before installing them. :unsure:
I have had similar problem in past on my W123 300D. The gasket seems similar. It has a slot that fits over the edge of the bottom of the valve cover? Just as you get it almost in place, part of it slips off? I have found that if I buy the OE Mercedes gasket for my 300D, it is a snug fit and does not fall off during installation. Aftermarket gaskets do.

Assuming gasket is similar:
Some owners apply just a thin smear of contact cement on the sides at bottom of cover just to hold the gasket in place. Then set cover on a flat surface (table saw in my case) with some weights to make sure gasket is fully inserted while glue adheres. There are products that can be used. If RTV is used, it shouldn't be much. You don't want it oozing out and then getting pieces into your engine. One of the thinner products might be better

Permatex do have a number of products for valve covers that could be used, but they are aimed more at the sealing surface. Because of imperfections in my old 300D, I usually put a very thin smear of a sealant on the sealing face. This to eliminate leaks once you get the gasket installed! I just did a valve adjustment, and no leaks!

Take your choice here. One I have not used but seems interesting for the sealing surface, is Permatex® Ultra Rubber Gasket Sealant & Dressing Item # 85409 . I have used the Ultra gray and black in past.
 

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Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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10,459 Posts
Maybe it's my confirmation bias in full view, but I like the US bumpers. They provide a place to sit and watch the cars go by as you wait for the towtruck.
I was embarrassed to have to call tow truck recently when fuel pump relay failed. I actually called my wife first because she has the CAA membership! (My credit card tow service was next to useless). As it turned out, it was just as well because I then got a ride home. The Tow trucks won't take you with them these days, because of Covid-19. They did tow car to my home and even helped me push it into the garage!
 

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Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
Joined
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10,459 Posts
Very nice touches. As a finishing touch, have you thought about replacing those Sunvisors with better quality 560SL versions?
I am no doubt prejudiced, but Douglashouser's car does look much better without the park benches!



Carl - Interested in the visor replacement. Can 560SL visors be installed on early model 107s? Brackets etc need modification?

I keep putting off doing anything about mine. The internal foam seems to have deteriorated. Probably could/should get local upholsterer to repair.
 

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Registered
1983 380SL, ivory/dk brown, 46k miles, dual roller timing chain. 1986 560SL, red/white, 190K mile.
Joined
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6,954 Posts
Discussion Starter #360
I am no doubt prejudiced, but Douglashouser's car does look much better without the park benches!



Carl - Interested in the visor replacement. Can 560SL visors be installed on early model 107s? Brackets etc need modification?

I keep putting off doing anything about mine. The internal foam seems to have deteriorated. Probably could/should get local upholsterer to repair.
I've seen some old style 380SL/450SL visors fixed by an upholsterer, but they still did not look as good
as the 560SL ones. 560SL visors are unique only to the 1986-1989 roadsters and are quite a step above
in quality. They are quite expensive -- eBay prices are high. One other consideration, unless you are lucky
you will have to spray them the color of your interior. There are spray cans that really do a nice color change
and I've spayed gray ones beige for my 560SL (for some reason it came with the old style sunvisors), and sprayed palomino ones dark brown.

I've got a really nice pair of palomino colored ones that I was thinking of spraying beige as they are nicer
than the ones on my 560SL, but still wondering if I am just being too OCD.

There is another "middle of the road" option - that is using Sunvisors off some 190 Mercedes. @mach4 showed us how to make them work. I have made a set of them too and they are a little different but definitely nice. If I can or someone else can find the thread here, I think you will find it interesting.
 
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