Get the best from the sassy Mercedes R107

Practical Classics (UK) - - FRONT PAGE -

Model evo­lu­tion

The R107 road­ster and C107 coupé launched in 1971. The first came with 3.5-litre V8 power, but 3.8-, 4.2-, 4.5- and 5.0-litre V8s fol­lowed. Straight-six 2.8and 3.0-litre ver­sions also joined the range. The SLC coupé ceased pro­duc­tion in 1981, but the SL road­ster con­tin­ued un­til 1989. Bosch D- and K-jetronic me­chan­i­cal fuel in­jec­tion was used un­til 1985, when it was ousted by Ke-jetronic elec­tronic in­jec­tion.

What’s it like to work on?

Many as­pects are easy to ac­cess and work on. How­ever, the V8 does fill pret­ty­much all avail­able un­der-bon­net space, which means that some jobs – such as chang­ing the spark plugs or re-bush­ing a worn ac­cel­er­a­tor link­age – re­quire time and pa­tience aplenty. The same goes for some parts of the sus­pen­sion and run­ning gear, es­pe­cially if you find rusty fas­ten­ers.

Parts and sup­port

Orig­i­nal Mercedes parts are avail­able through deal­er­ships. The qual­ity is high – but so, some­times, are the prices. In­de­pen­dent spe­cial­ists such as The SL Shop ( and Starpartz ( of­fer parts and ex­per­tise. Strong club sup­port comes from the Mercedes-benz Club (mercedes-ben­z­ and Mercedes-benz Own­ers (mer­

This ap­plies to…

Our guide fea­tures a 1984 500SL, but most of the pro­ce­dures in­volved ap­ply to the rest of the R107 and C107 range. Track down a man­ual for data and spe­cific pro­cesses that ap­ply to your model. Many of the en­gine and trans­mis­sion as­pects are sim­i­lar for con­tem­po­rary Mercedes V8 sa­loons.

Thanks to Harry and David Hind­march, own­ers of this lovely 500SL; Phoenix Clas­sic Cars (phoenix-clas­

With Kim Hen­son

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