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GrayWolf
GrayWolf New Reader
3/16/21 3:01 p.m.

So I wasn't not looking for a project car and the algorithm on FB Marketplace dropped this right in my lap. When I scrolled through cars for sale I saw a picture of an SL55 on a uhaul trailer looking unloved. Seller was asking $5000, I messaged him and he balked at actually selling it.

A week later he updates the post dropping the price and he agrees that he's ready to sell it, new asking price $4500. He explains the story behind the fire sale. He bought the car for a girl he was seeing with the plan that she would put it on her insurance. Well the car got stolen out of her driveway and vandalized and dumped. They slashed the seats and dash and flattened the tires. At some point they drive into or over something taking out the left corner of the front bumper.

The car was located and towed home but with no insurance on it he didn't file a claim so the title remained clear. He decided to cut his losses and put it up for sale since he wasn't handy with cars and the Benz tax to put it all back together was too much for him.

I was buying the car, even knowing that there was no way it wasn't going to be a basket case I was bringing this thing home. I didn't even try and talk him down on price it's a running driving SL55 which is a car I had on my wall when I was a kid, I had to have it.

I met up with him after work to have a look at the car. The amount of things not wrong with it was shocking. It runs and drives, no check engine lights and even the AC works. I carfaxed the VIN and the previous owner had the ABC system replaced last year and the car was dealer maintained most of its life. Even the vandalism is minor in the grand scheme of things.

I paid him and brought it home and started "the list". My plan is to do all the maintenance and replace whatever wear items needs being sorted then we'll turn it up to 11. I built an E55 for my buddy years back and i'm familiar with how spicy the M113K can be with a little bit of sauce.

Mercedes is one of those brands that to me personally I have yet to see aftermarket wheels that I like over factory. The wheels on it are beat up and the tires are trash so back to FB for the only solution for an SL.

Found real SL65 19s with Pilot Sports

Did I mention it's loud? Like straight pipe with cats loud, it's a horrible job that has been added to "the list".

I jumped on FCP and filled my cart to the brim. I'm sticking to my plan of maintenance first but we know how that goes.

And so we begin...

It has the typical M113 valvecover and rear main leaks. So while everything comes apart everything that comes off is going back on new.

Seal was dry as a martini and leaked umm aggressively. First batch of parts showed up with more adding the "the list" as I go through the car but i'm very happy with it. 

Should be a good time hoping to have it rockin and rollin by next month since it's starting to get warm.

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
3/16/21 3:53 p.m.

Nice score. Too bad about all the cut up parts on the inside. Looks like they stabbed the nav screen as well. What's your plan for the interior? 

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/16/21 4:03 p.m.

Please tell me there's a Tremec replacing that automatic...

GrayWolf
GrayWolf New Reader
3/16/21 4:12 p.m.

I already ordered a replacement dash for the princely sum of $240 and I messaged a seller about a pair of AMG seats in damn near perfect condition. As far as the stereo goes i'm leaning towards deleting the D2B system and rewiring everything. There is no replacement head unit that works with the early MB stuff so it's all or nothing.

XF Motorsport does make a manual adapter for the m113 but for this summer i'm just going to get it back on the road then reassess come winter.

FatMongo
FatMongo Reader
3/17/21 8:32 a.m.

This is super cool. That car is one hell of a score - especially with the ABC system having been recently serviced.

 

ChrisLS8 (Forum Supporter)
ChrisLS8 (Forum Supporter) Reader
3/17/21 11:19 a.m.

Following. I love seeing cars being brought back from the dead

GrayWolf
GrayWolf New Reader
3/18/21 5:58 a.m.

New rear cover is in an sealed up, didn't have the right size rear main installer so I ordered one should be here today and most of my FCP order should be here by tomorrow.

First round of installs

Valvecover gaskets and Vacuum hoses 

Plugs and wires

Rear main seal and engine plate

Transmission conductor plate and service kit

ABC flush and filter

Driveshaft couplers

Oil change

 Burnouts 

dyintorace (Forum Supporter)
dyintorace (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/18/21 9:41 a.m.

What an awesome project! Will be following!!

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/18/21 10:01 a.m.

Yeah, awesome!

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports HalfDork
3/18/21 10:06 a.m.

Super nice find, i like these as well.  I keep seeing them get cheaper but not being very familiar with Mercs have always kept me away.  I wanted an E55 since I read about them in the rolling review in Car and Driver in the early 2000's

Mike (Forum Supporter)
Mike (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
3/18/21 10:55 a.m.
GrayWolf said:

I already ordered a replacement dash for the princely sum of $240 and I messaged a seller about a pair of AMG seats in damn near perfect condition. As far as the stereo goes i'm leaning towards deleting the D2B system and rewiring everything. There is no replacement head unit that works with the early MB stuff so it's all or nothing.

XF Motorsport does make a manual adapter for the m113 but for this summer i'm just going to get it back on the road then reassess come winter.

I've long appreciated these. I'll probably own one eventually.

Regarding the head unit, this video is from 2017, but at the time, I'd filed it away in the little pinterest of my mind.

 

GrayWolf
GrayWolf New Reader
3/18/21 12:50 p.m.

Ah yes the Seicane unit, they technically can kinda sorta work for the D2B cars but there is a lot of issues they can and do show up with them. Tried to put one in a buddies E55 years ago and it was dead out of the box and Seicane refused to take it back.

Im not against the idea of wiring up something snazz to replace everything but in the meantime i'll probably throw in another comand unit to just have something until then.

yupididit
yupididit PowerDork
3/19/21 1:28 p.m.

My buddy in North Carolina can make you a manual trans kit for that engine. 

noddaz
noddaz UltraDork
3/19/21 2:56 p.m.

Someone I used to work with had Mercedes parts experience.  He told my that AMG stood for All Money Gone.

GrayWolf
GrayWolf New Reader
3/19/21 3:19 p.m.

I'm $674 into for parts for pretty much everything maybe another couple hundred to round it out so it hasn't stung too bad.

GrayWolf
GrayWolf New Reader
3/19/21 5:56 p.m.

Ive done easier ones and i've certainly done worse ones. Took 3 beers, only said "oh how very Mercedes of you" twice and there was only one casualty to a rear trim piece. So overall a success.

GrayWolf
GrayWolf New Reader
10/10/21 9:22 a.m.

Back on task

ABC delete

Dropped the subframes and added sway bars as well

Then as things generally do it turned into "while i'm in here"

Motor mounts

Water pump

AC compressor

Alternator

Non-ABC power steering pump

Front pulleys 

dannyp84
dannyp84 Reader
10/10/21 6:30 p.m.

How enjoyable are these to work on compared to say, a rwd Toyota product? I'm also of the interested in MB but afraid of ownership costs camp. Any special tools that you definitely need to have around ?

cdowd (Forum Supporter)
cdowd (Forum Supporter) Dork
10/10/21 6:42 p.m.

There was one in the back corner of my subdivision.  The house had a fire and it melted the rear corner of the bumper. I kept looking for it to be for sale but no.  When I saw fire sale in your threat I was sure it was going to be it.  Good luck with the project!

GrayWolf
GrayWolf New Reader
10/10/21 7:47 p.m.

In reply to dannyp84 :

This has been as straightforward as any flavor of vehicle i've owned. I'd rank it on the level of wrenching on an F-Body or a late 90s Japanese car. 

Parts cost is very middle of the road as well. Very involved systems like the ABC struts and whatnot come with the "MB" tax but as far as most all the other pieces parts i've changed out it's really not painful and i'm sure I definitely could have save coin getting generic brand but I chose to go with genuine OEM for pretty much everything.

Going back through my receipts this is the cliffs notes 

Coilovers - $1200 minus the $800 I got for my ABC cores

Ignition Service Kit - $250

Oil Change - $80

Rear main/engine plate/fly wheel bolts - $90

Transmission conductor plate plus fluid - $271

Brakes - $500

Water pump and thermostat kit - $290

GrayWolf
GrayWolf New Reader
11/21/21 4:15 p.m.

Belt wrap kit a replaced all the plastic pullies

Switched to a non ABC PS pump 

New AC compressor

Longtubes

Pulled the blower 

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
11/21/21 5:50 p.m.

Those headers! Wow. 

84FSP
84FSP UltraDork
11/21/21 5:58 p.m.

Hmm this is getting good.  How bad is it to sort out the seat covers?  The rest of it is coming together so nicely.

GrayWolf
GrayWolf New Reader
11/21/21 6:06 p.m.

I don't see the seats being an issue, top and bottom sections pop up pretty frequently on ebay

yupididit
yupididit PowerDork
11/21/21 6:24 p.m.

I love this thread. 

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