Hi there group.
Looking to get a 360,450 or 560 SL. Which is best and why? I like the style
and donΉt really care which model, but I want to get dependable model.
So please give some input on the models...if you have one to sell let me
know...(red) and I have 89 vette to sell/trade
There was no 360, but i take it you meant 380 instead of the 350.
The 450 has a cast iron block while the 380and 560 have an alloy
The first 380's (1980-81 models i believe) came from the factory with
a single row timing chain instead of the double the 450 had come with
before it. After 50-60,000 miles some of these chains became weak and
jumped a tooth on the cam sprocket and could cause major damage to
head parts. Most were soon replaced by dealers with the double row
chain. Some people did not have theirs converted and just had the
chains replaced on a shorter schedule than the double would need.
Something to check on if you look at a 380.
I am not sure, but since the 380 went back to a double, i take it for
granted the later 560 has it also.
The 450 and 560 get about the same mileage, 14mpg, while the 380 will
get a little better near 17. But the 560 has much better acceleration
over both the 450 and 380 models.
All models are bad about rust. Esp small bubbles under te pain over
the wheel wells and around the top cover.
I have heard the 450 is the most reliable of the 3 choices. But it is
also the oldest, so will be generally higher in mileage and possibly
in need of work soon.
hope some of that helps...and someone can correct anything i have
That's a valuable rundown, good one to keep.
I test drove an SL380 and an SL500, feeling that something with more kick
than a 380 would be better (good strong driver, plenty of power, but not
much once-in-awhile fun thrust there). I tried the SL500 for a couple of
weeks, it was very nice, what a car, but somewhat overkill on its power,
engineering and expense for the part-time car it would be in my life.
In deciding on a car like this, I originally started with an older SL, built
like a tank and maintained well. But as I investigate, I discovered if I
wanted dual airbags, auto-enabled roll bar, ESP, better sound and the
niceties of the later models, I'd need to look into the SL380/SL500 era of
the 1990s, I guess.
In my own research, there is that single timing-chain thing that should be
verified as corrected (it needed to be double-chained for durability,
certain models need to be checked).
Every time I worry about my 1960 190SL's engine getting overused, my
non-dealer MB mechanic (at least a six-month wait for a shop appointment
from him) tells me (when I ask about the timing chain) "Mercedes-Benz
engines are what the cars are built around; it's the reason they're on the
road like they are. The bodies are secondary; it's the engines they're
building. MB engines are bulletproof. If you wanted to break the engine,
did everything you could, all day, all night, you couldn't do a thing.
Nothing. Even at whatever mileage your 190SL is, it's still solid inside
that engine. We've taken care of this car for the last 15 years; the
engine's like new, don't worry about age, it doesn't matter here. Keep the
dipstick right and have fun."
In short, in my research, I test drove the models with the approximate
engine size I wanted (large six, small eight), to see how it felt to have.
Then I went to the ads and looked at the newest cars for best (not cheapest)
price, maintenance, mileage, condition, how it felt, and went from there. I
noticed that I started looking more and more at the dual airbags, ESP (late
1990s), pop-up rollbar, good handling, non-noisy suspensions when driving,
that kind of stuff. The later ones really are a little better for keeping
you safe, with a little more kick on the pedal than you'll probably always
need, but may occasionally want to have for the fun factor.
Good luck. Lots of advice everywhere on SLs, a real following in the world.
I'd need to look into the SL380/SL500 era of
the 1990s, I guess.
I think you are confusing the 380SL withthe SL300. The early 380SL engines
were the ones with the single row timing chain which did cause problems. No
problem with the SL300s or SL500s which started production in 1990. And
yes, if you want all the goodies like the pop-up roll bar, etc, then you
need a 1990 or newer model. The 450SL started with the 1973 model year and
was/is a very good, solid car. The 560SLs begin production in 1986 and have
more goodies and updates than the 450s and a stronger engine. Both the 450
and 560 engines are pretty much bulletproof......
Yes, thanks for the correction. After I posted, I realized I'd driven a
300SL and 500SL from about the 1992 vintage. The 300SL I drove had been
debadged, so I remember it was six cylinder, but couldn't place which exact
model it was.
So yes, the corrected car identifications should be 300SL and 500SL from the
early 1990s that I decided would be good choices for price versus goodies
versus usage as I was considering at the time.
Thanks for catching the details.
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