What to look for when buying a Mercedes Benz SL R107 Mercedes Benz built cars accurately, and with careful attention to every item that fitted in harmony to another. This all means external the body sheet metal will fit precisely, with nice even gaps between any panels, and the same is said for the large bonnet and boot. Any uneven gaps ring alarm bells, either accident damage or in fact worse.
You need to check the point where the wings are actually bolted to the inner wing aprons. Mercedes Benz always painted their cars after the large front wings and indeed the doors were already fitted, this means all the bolts rightly should be body coloured and of course bonded and painted to the panels. If they`re not, then it`s a sign that some repairs have been done.
After 1986 Mercedes cars were then the best rust proofed SLs, but pre 1976 versions that were built before the wax injection method was introduced will be the likely ones to suffer. Do check for any rust in the sills, the box sections, the jacking points and of course floors. The front and rear wheel arches are another problem area. The windscreen is bonded in – so check this, and check the rubber window seals for any perishing. All other panels are welded on, and almost all are available from main Mercedes Benz dealers. You can source pattern equivalents, but they are known to need fettling before they`ll fit satisfactorily. Chances of accident damage is a great possibility, so please be careful and inspect front chassis legs as well as the inner panels for signs of rippling.
ENGINE & GEAROX
Mercedes engines ought to be capable of making 300,000 miles upwards; with oil changes at least 6000 miles intervals will prolong the engine’s life. You need to check if regular antifreeze changes have been done – and it`s vital that the correct antifreeze with the proper inhibitor has been used, to guard against the internal corrosion.
Any blue smoke will suggest some worn valve stems or worse, changing them is costly every 75,000, along with noisy timing chain / tensioner. Keep a beady eye on the Mercedes temperature gauge, it might be the radiator is clogged with silt, then the Mercedes V8 will run very hot. Mercedes camshaft wear is unfortunately a common issue if the cars not been looked after correctly, the result a clicking from the Mercedes engine. If this happens then the camshaft followers and most possibly the timing chain will be affected too.
Mercedes automatic gearboxes are a popular choice. The earlier cars have a torque convertor or fluid flywheel that`s temperamental engaging first gear. With all Mercedes auto boxes, please check for noise or difficulties when selecting gears. Any vibration at all from the transmission will indicate worn prop shaft couplings. Mercedes replacement exhausts are expensive, so look for cheap or bodged ‘dual’ exhaust systems – if no balance pipe exists between the 2 front downpipes on V8 it`ll run rough. Mercedes Benz use a very different firing order to American cars and this little balance pipe actually helps tuning and smooth running. Mercedes stainless exhaust systems will last much longer, having said that, the lighter gauge metal means they`re usually a whole lot louder.
Sloppy handling, it`s usually tired shock absorbers that are faulty, but bushes do deteriorate quite noticeably, most especially on the higher mileage cars. Any worn sub frame mounts can also contribute to affect the handling, mostly on the bigger more powerful Mercedes V8 models. The steering damper also deteriorates; as well do the power steering boxes, commonly after only 90,000 miles. Beware of any fitting of aftermarket alloy wheels, – they’re not advised, because bigger than standard wheels can affect any feel of a Mercedes SL and how it should drive.
INTERIOR AND ELECTRICS
Mercedes have 4 different trim level options that were offered over the years: they are real leather, the MB-tex, the cloth or vinyl. The cloth is in fact the least durable, that`s followed by the vinyl, the leather and then finally the über resilient MB-tex. The seat covers are available surprisingly quite reasonably, even the original pattern ones too, in the leather aren`t too bad, but any tears or indeed split seams in say the driver’s seat, isn`t a deal breaker.