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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
83 280 SL- 5 speed-The PIG
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30,804 Posts
Trying to clean the transmission case on my '83 380. Nothing I do gets it clean.
It's cleaner than it was when I started but far from the nice shinny new looking aluminum I'm after.

I ordered an aluminum buffing/polishing kit. We'll see if that helps but I might be forced to paint it silver.
View attachment 2682773
Brought to mind my old aviation paint shop days where we would deoxidize / desmutt / alodine aluminum parts prior to painting.

However we also used Nevr Dull on aluminum that wasn't painted.
You need a bucket of elbow grease.
 

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Premium Member
1983 380 SL
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3,977 Posts
Yes... the case is empty except for a few of the plastic parts that resist removal. If the polisher doesn't work I may just leave it as is. The driving season is almost here and I don't want the car sitting engine-less in top down driving weather.

bTw... I tried wire wheels and scotch-bright... it helped somewhat but not enough. It's as if the oil and crud has been absorbed into the aluminum.

Precision Transmission in Amarillo Texas claims the only way to get it clean is with solvent under pressure. He floods the surface with a solvent, like Brake Cleaner, and then while it's still wet he blows it off with the air hose. Maybe I'll try that first. :unsure:
 

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1984 380SL
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128 Posts
Bought a GPS tracker for it that works great. One option is to connect the fuel pump through the GPS tracker so that i remotely can shutoff the fuel pump in case someone steals the car. Where would be the easiest place to hook up the fuel pump interruption to the GPS tracker?
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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11,574 Posts
Bought a GPS tracker for it that works great. One option is to connect the fuel pump through the GPS tracker so that i remotely can shutoff the fuel pump in case someone steals the car. Where would be the easiest place to hook up the fuel pump interruption to the GPS tracker?
What type of switch does the tracker operate? And what is it's rating in amps? The pump itself draws quite a high current (7.5A?) and would likely need a relay to switch it. There is of course one already, so you could switch the low current side of it. Finding a place to access that wiring might be the challenge. Perhaps owners with 380SL might be able to help. Otherwise, maybe think of a different way to disable the car? Ignition system?

I am interested in a gps tracker for a complete different reason. What type did you buy?
 

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1976 280SL (Gray market)
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20 Posts
What type of switch does the tracker operate? And what is it's rating in amps? The pump itself draws quite a high current (7.5A?) and would likely need a relay to switch it. There is of course one already, so you could switch the low current side of it. Finding a place to access that wiring might be the challenge. Perhaps owners with 380SL might be able to help. Otherwise, maybe think of a different way to disable the car? Ignition system?

I am interested in a gps tracker for a complete different reason. What type did you buy?
I have had a Vyncs in my mustang for several years and am very happy with it.
 

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1984 380SL
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128 Posts
What type of switch does the tracker operate? And what is it's rating in amps? The pump itself draws quite a high current (7.5A?) and would likely need a relay to switch it. There is of course one already, so you could switch the low current side of it. Finding a place to access that wiring might be the challenge. Perhaps owners with 380SL might be able to help. Otherwise, maybe think of a different way to disable the car? Ignition system?

I am interested in a gps tracker for a complete different reason. What type did you buy?
I got a cheapy from China over a year ago that i installed in my miata and it's working fine but I still haven't tested the interruption of the fuel pump. I bought another 2 for my other cars that I'm about to install. This is all info that i found about it.

2683703
2683704
 

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560SL,380SL
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4,126 Posts
On aluminum polishing, about 10 or 12 years ago, I went OCD-level nuts and polished basically everything W107 I could get my hands on. I polished the alternator mounts, alternators, power steering pumps, valve covers, air cleaners, water pump (560), and other parts. On my not yet installed 380, I "ported/polished" the heads and intake a la AMG of that era, then polished the OUTSIDE of the intake and heads. I did the 380SL's Bundts. I did the Warm-up regulator on the 380. Pics exist of all of these on my older posts. This took a few hundred dollars of consumables (sandpaper, emery cloth, cartridge rolls, buffs of all kinds, stones) and I wiped out several harbor freight electric drills. I don't even want to think about the time that I spent. I used drills, a die grinder, a bench mounted buffer, and a cable mounted dremel. All of the parts got to "you can see yourself" level finshes.

It was a VERY, VERY dirty, nasty job. Doing it inside a home in the basement will lead to years of dust. Doing large areas is fairly easy; doing the "details" is very slow going and is NOT easy at all.

Aluminum is simply not even close to chrome in durability. It sleeks easily, and tarnishes off of "mirror finish" pretty quickly, so on some parts not easily seen, getting to this level is just not worth it. The good news is that once done, re-polishing is quite effortless, and simply cleaning the aluminum is very easy. No more sand casting roughness for grease/dirt to get into! Aluminum creates its own oxide skin and generally prevents further corrosion. That skin can be atoms thick. Ask any TIG welder!

I still have numerous examples of my folly on my spares shelves (valve covers, alternators, power steerring pumps and so on from junkyard W126's). Was it worth it? Sort of...but I would never do it again. I was over this when I got to the transmission of my redone 380 engine, so I just cleaned it!
 

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560SL,380SL
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4,126 Posts
I've long harbored a suspicion that Mercedes had a grudge against North America by supplying cars that ranged from inferior to lacking options Europeans and the rest of the world had access to.

Still can't fathom a valid reason for the Single Row Timing chain in our 380SLs.
Obviously, it was a cost reduction where they thought that the cost of designing and stocking cost-reduced parts would be outweighed by the savings. that was a Bad Idea. I also believe that the failure problems were aggravated by the incredibly high "ramps" of the 380SL cams. I don't think that single row timing chains reduced costs at all for them (warranty) or us! My spare 380SL engine (82) was converted to double row AFTER a failure (I found a chunk of casting near the chain missing while rebuilding it).

I don't even think that MB carries any single-row parts anymore. No aftermarket either.
 
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1974 450SL (US), 2005 SLK200 (UK)
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960 Posts
Epoxied the metal blocks onto the window using FlexSet. A bit messy but hopefully will get the job done. Andy

2684515
 

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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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7,818 Posts
Discussion Starter #972
Glass shops around here use Urethane adhesive to attach to glass, but its not easy to find in small quantities, and I found that Urethane sold in small tubes has a short shelf life and hardens.
I've used JB Weld for the lift clips to glass in the past on other vehicles but they came loose.
Did you scratch up the area on the glass where you were attaching the blocks?
 

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'79 450SL, '04 CLK200 convertible; former A124, W210, A209.
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2,783 Posts
Eleanor is turning 42 today, out of which almost 6 have been spent with me - hard to believe how times fly! At any rate she’s been a very fair lady during those years (even if she wants new parts every time I look at her ;) ) and so to celebrate the birthday I got her a genuine Oris windscreen which came from a 1984 SL with original vinyl bag and both are in a like-new condition - no scratches, rips, etc. I’ve been looking for one on and off for 2 years or so, and finally got lucky.

20210326_161250


20210326_161120


The only thing missing are the nylon adapters which are required to fit the windscreen to pre 1983 cars when the soft top lid was redesigned and its profile raised. The adapters # 09070031501 are of course NLA but luckily they’re available as 3d printed replicas and work just fine.
Adapter


Voilà - all set for a trip :cool:

20210401_164237


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20210401_164641


20210401_175848
 

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Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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11,574 Posts
Epoxied the metal blocks onto the window using FlexSet. A bit messy but hopefully will get the job done. Andy

View attachment 2684515
As I am sure you have read, I used Flexset and it is has proven itself over many years. Like cwmoser, I used a product that hardened earlier and it did not last too long. I had tested marine urethanes that did not harden, but their adhesion to glass and aluminum was not as good as Flexset. Dow 795 was also good in tests, but it is hard to find and only comes in large cartridges.

By the way, Carl asked a good question about abrading the glass. I do recall doing that. Also made narrow u-shaped aluminum spacers to keep glass centered in the clips.

Hope your repair works long term!
 

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1974 450SL (US), 2005 SLK200 (UK)
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960 Posts
As I am sure you have read, I used Flexset and it is has proven itself over many years. Like cwmoser, I used a product that hardened earlier and it did not last too long. I had tested marine urethanes that did not harden, but their adhesion to glass and aluminum was not as good as Flexset. Dow 795 was also good in tests, but it is hard to find and only comes in large cartridges.

By the way, Carl asked a good question about abrading the glass. I do recall doing that. Also made narrow u-shaped aluminum spacers to keep glass centered in the clips.

Hope your repair works long term!
Yes, used FlexSet based on your recommendation. I did make a spacer to insert to keep the guides aligned with the glass. I didn't rough up the glass though - hopefully it still works OK!

Andy
 

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1984 380SL
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182 Posts
This must be what heaven is like.
I like the way you staged them... top down, soft top and then hard top. Perfect.
Kind of fortunate that it worked out that way; the Burgundy one is being prepped for sale, so we had the hard top on. The Silver one was in my friends garage with the soft top up and I drove over on a beautiful Georgia day with the top down.
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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11,574 Posts
In the Fall, I backed my 350SL into it's storage space at back of garage. Trunk fits under a wide low shelf.

Today, I was looking for my golf clubs. Then I remembered that I had stored them in the SL trunk :( No option, but to remove winter cover, reconnect battery and driver her out.

Always amazes me still, but after sitting for 4+ months, the engine starts almost as soon as I touch the key. There must be fuel still under pressure in the rails because I didn't give it time to re-pressure. Left her running while I went in and picked up wallet, driving glasses etc. Got in and she was ticking over at 700 rpm with temperature almost up to normal for this time of the year. AAV doing it's job!

Took her for a run and everything seems great. Only negative was that the tray I put under the steering gear had collected a little fluid - but I knew about that leak. Just hoped it miraculously might have gone away :)

On the Road Again:
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1988 560SL Currently, 1972 350SL (RIP)
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258 Posts
After 3 days of cussing( not full days, just a few after work sessions) I finally got my passenger seat back in and took her for the first drive after getting the transmission tuned up and new engine mounts installed at a new to me shop. I think I may have found my new shop. You know how you just get that feeling that the guy knows his stuff? The beautiful light metallic blue Pagoda being worked on didn’t hurt either.

Also gave her an italian tune up and after going way too fast around a few hills stopped by Trader Joe’s and brought the wife home some groceries. I have a huge list of cosmetic items left to do but the car is running great so I’m going to give my wallet a break, take the top down and enjoy the warm weather for a while.
 
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