450SL - in general, how reliable were the 450SL's?????

In general, how reliable were the 450SL's? I am looking for one and wondered what are the major problem areas with these cars?

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I bought an early SLC myself a few months ago. While I was researching the car, I discovered that there was a factory recall because of cracks in the front frame where the lower "A" arms attach. If you contact a dealer with the VIN number, they can tell you if the repair has been done on the car you're looking at.
On high mileage engines, the timing chain tensioners tend to fail. Its not fatal, but platic pieces can break loose abd cause some problems. When they fail, its obvious. Lotsa noise from the front of the engine. Learned this from a local repair shop that specializes in these cars. He had one on his desk!
Other than this, I haven't heard of any other issues with these cars.
Steve

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The motors, if properly mainteined were one of the most durable ever built.
Rust is the main concern. Sl specific body (and interior) parts are very expensive. $250 ea for rockers for example. Other than the high cost of SL specific parts think of it as a 240D with the back doors welded shut and a V8, cause that's about what it is in both spirit and construction.
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Compared to 380 alloy engines, these iron block v8's are bullet proof. BTW, the plastic pieces Steve mentions are anti-friction "rails" the chain slides over as it goes around curves inside the engine. Cheap and easy to replace. I have a 450sl. Have had no major problems but rust in fender and rocker panels can show up on cars which live in snow regions.

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When you say the 450SL engines are superior to the 380SL engines, as a point of reference, how would the 380SL engine compare to some popular American car engines like say the old 329, 289, 437, 396, etc?

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Wow! Not sure if this'd be an easy comparison to make. The MB 450 engines are inherently more complex (OHC). The American engines you mention are (in production guise) very old, and very conservative push rod designs.
Steve

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You might wish to read through the March 1994 Road & Track article on the entire 107 series. It details what to watch out for year by year. I narrowed my search down to just the '77-'79 models in this way.
Click here: http://home.hiwaay.net/~gbf/107/rt.html
Jerry Wolfram '78 450 SL - 211K miles
Ptolemy wrote:

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