- If you have the cars original books you should have
the Data Card with this info.
- The chassis number should be on a small plate in front of the radiator and
stamped into the body some where.
- V8's have the engine number in the block behind the l/h head.
- Early six cylinders have the number in the block below the 5th and 6th spark
The first three numbers on your chassis number are the most important. Ignore
any letters! (ie: 123) These three number tell us the body style. In many cases
this is all the info we need.
Engine numbers... Engine numbers since 1959 have followed much the same
pattern as the chassis numbers.The first three numbers identify the type of engine. For example the
M180 is a type of engine. But once again you will need more info to tell
what it is! The next three numbers tell you what version it is.
R107 The R stand
\What to look for... click image to enlarge...
SL Buyer's Guide
Here is a list of items to look for when purchasing a 72-80 SL
Mercedes. The prices quoted may vary from model to model, but
use this a guideline as you begin to negotiate the price of the
vehicle you can subtract those items needing repair from the
As an overall general guideline before purchasing any used
Mercedes vehicle is to have the car inspected by a good
independent Mercedes Repair shop. Additionally have the car
inspected by a body shop.
1) Rust, Rust, Rust and more Rust. Look for it in the
Under the rear bench behind the seats in the well
2) Soft Top Condition
Check for rips, tears or signs of holes beginning to develop.
Plastic Windows, they should not be cloudy or heavily scratched.
If they need to be replaced you are most likely looking at put
on a new top. They can be replaced but the top has to come off
of the frame.
$800 - $1,000
3) Dash Pad
Check for Cracking
Also check for an aftermarket Dash Cover, if installed correctly
they look nearly as good as the original
4) Rubber, Rubber, and more Rubber
Seals around the softop and hardtop. Check for water leakes if
possible, a brushless car wash would be a good test.
Hoses in the engine compartment, look for dry rot. May look
perfect on the outside, but deteriorated on the inside.
5) Interior Wood Trim (Console and dash trim) $400
6) Carpet Condition $400 interior
7) Seat Belts (have a tendency to fray due to getting
catch in door jam) $350/pair
8) Sun Visors - should have a firm core.
$200/pair, Sun Visor Clips @ Buds Benz
9) Door Panel Skins
10) Paint Condition (repaint versus original) Look around
gas filler door, this is a good place to detect repaint.
11) Subframe (SL's from 1972-1980)
Have it inspected by a MB dealer. There is a
MB Warranty recall on the
subframe. If it is cracked they will replace at no charge,
if it is not cracked they will weld a support in place. The only
cost involved is for the rubber subframe mounts (about $400).
12) Timing Chain, Upper Guide Rails and Tensioner Timing Chain Inspestion
Will need a MB mechanic to inspect these. Have to remove the
valve covers to inspect and/or replace these. Chain and rails
need to be replaced ever 100,000 miles. Keep that in mind when
your looking at the mileage on the car.
If the guide rail breaks it will put lots of bits of plastic
into your engine and then your looking at really big bucks for a
13) Cam Shaft
Ticking noise coming from the right valve cover. However you may
hear a ticking noise when the car first starts up and this is
not to be confused with the Cam Shaft. This is merely the
lifters filling with oil, but the ticking noise should stop in a
few minutes as the car warms up.
Check to see that the paint matches the rest of the car.
Check for any damage to the chrome from taking the top off/on.
Hardtops-dime a dozen on ebay
15) Alloy Aluminum Wheels
Check the condition of the silver paint. Over time the paint
starts to peel. The wheels can be stripped and repainted. Also,
check for brake dust that has become impregnated into the
aluminum, this is almost impossible to get out. (Note: All MB's
brakes give off large amounts of brake dust)
$600 set of 4
16) Heater and Air Conditioning
A real problem in these cars. Servo
and amplifier units to heater a/c control units.
Grill Area - make sure Star Ring is in tact.
Hardtop, lots of chrome there.
Chrome plates where the hardtop attaches to the car.
Side Molding Strips (also check for cracked or shrunken rubber)
The black louvers in the grille have a tendency to get broken.
The list of
post 1985 enhancements
1. The springs have a different spring rate, front and rear.
2. The front stabilizer bar has a 26mm diameter instead of 25mm diameter.
3. The shock absorbers are shorter and have a harder rate.
4. An additional polyurethane bottoming spring has been added.
5. Some model 124 front end parts are used on the front end - the following
parts are redesigned:
Front axle carrier, lower and upper control arms, Steering knuckle, Steering
knuckle arm, front wheel hub with bearing. The front axle carrier has a
newly modified contour, can be used on older model 107s.
6. Limited slip differential
7. The rear axle carrier mount has been offset by 124mm to the left.
8. The rear carrier front rubber mounts are not interchangeable, marked with
L and R, have different stiffnesses.
9. The rear axle center is now elastically mounted to the rear carrier both
at the front and rear mounts.
10. The rear axle shafts are provided with CV joints similar to model 126
11. New light alloy wheels similar to model 201, new mounting screws.
12. New propeller shaft center mount, similar to model 124, not
interchangeable with older 107s.
13. Four piston brake calipers on front.
14. Light alloy Master cylinder.
15. Double diaphragm brake booster.
16 Redesigned steering gear, designation 765.707 (LS80), NOT interchangeable
with old unit, reduced travel for redesigned front end. Code letter R
stamped into the housing. (The 560's turning circle is not as short as
previous cars, less "sensitive" steering.)
17. Power steering pump relief pressure changed to 82 +-5 bar.
18. Sheet metal floor under fuel tank changed, mounting positions of tank
and filler neck changed.
19. Outside Temperature indicator changed from Celsius to Fahrenheit.
20. Exterior lamp failure indicator added.
21. Fuses and electrical feeds changed.
22. BODY SHEET METAL CHANGES:
Radiator mount changed, hood changed, firewall changed, side-member
connecting point front right changed, A-pillars changed, doors changed,
B-pillars changed, main floor changed, rear floor changed, cross-member
under the driver seat changed, sheet metal shrouds changed, various
stiffeners and small parts changed.
23. Door handles changed, similar to model 126.
24. Door lock and striker changed.
25. Central locking system changed, electric vacuum pump similar to models
126 and 201.
26. Fuel tank flap actuating element and guide bushing changed.
27. Outside heated rear view mirrors.
28. Rear high mounted stop lamp added.
29. New Grand Prix radio - larger display indicator with tone setting and
more sensitivity - three levels, but returns to least sensitive when turned
30. Front bumper and spoiler.
31. Front bumper inner fender liners added.
32. Front seats changed to include lateral support similar to model 124.
33. Hood- a depression was added to the hood reinforcement to clear new
brake booster, previous hood will not fit on car.