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Mercedes 190 SL maintenance costs: The pitfalls of the Mini-SL

Mercedes 190 SL maintenance costs
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D he good news: For someone who has been perfectly restored to the last screw For the Mercedes 190 SL, the maintenance effort is relatively low and manageable, even the costs remain within reasonable limits. The bad news: very few 190 SLs have been perfectly restored. The result: For many vehicles, one or two repairs are gradually due, and this can be quite expensive, even if it is only about the technology, which we limit ourselves to in the Mercedes 190 SL service station.

Increased dime level risk

For the complete restoration of a Mercedes 190 SL '' you can easily use spare parts for 90,000 euros ', says Eugen Meyer from Meckenbach bei Birkenfeld, who deals in parts and restores SL. Particularly cheap offers 'have a very promising potential to dig a dime, which the prospective buyer should take into account. But let's first consider the normal service work. Things like changing the V-belt, spark plugs or engine oil including filter insert do not cause any problems and are not more expensive than other cars.

A replacement of the breaker contact with the setting of the ignition and a distributor check is possible for less than 100 euros, provided that a dilapidated centrifugal force adjustment does not require a new distributor. But the built-in breaker contact can lower the price 'There were three different contacts, of which the last ones used with the large offset cost around 100 euros,' explains Mercedes 190 SL specialist Fritz Wallner from Munich. A cheaper replacement for this part is not available.

A science in itself: the 190 SL carburetors

The carburetors of the Mercedes 190 SL are often a problem. The service work also includes changing the fuel filter. There is a fuel switch valve on the left in the engine compartment. After loosening a wing screw, the paper filter and seal can be changed. 'We also always replace the cork seal that is accessible after the filter has been removed because it rots over time,' says Wallner. Although cars are rarely driven these days, checking and adjusting the valve clearance is not to be forgotten. It makes sense about every 5,000 kilometers.

If the timing chain rattles, it can be replaced without removing the engine. It is advisable to also take a look at the state of theThrowing sprockets. Replacing these on the Mercedes 190 SL requires a great deal of work, but often the engine needs a complete overhaul anyway if the sprockets are badly worn. The prices for an engine overhaul are between 6,000 and 14,000 euros, depending on the effort involved or the effort required.

The carburettors can be a significant cost factor, 'they are a science in themselves,' emphasizes Wallner. If the two Solex register carburettors and the entire intake system are OK, setting or synchronizing them is no problem. However, when the Mercedes 190 SL was being built, signs of wear and tear were already evident after around 60,000 kilometers.

Wrong air is a frequent cause of uneven engine running

In the past, Weber carburettors were often converted, but they did only work satisfactorily in idle and at full load. For a retrofitting to the original Solex of the Mercedes 190 SL you have to calculate 5,000 to 6,000 euros. A problem with the series carburettor is the knocked-out throttle valve shaft, which is noticeable in an unstable idling. Individual carburetor specialists advocate the theory that the shafts no longer rotate in the original center when the bearings are repositioned, and they try to compensate for this by designing the throttle valve accordingly.

'The However, 90 percent of the reason for poor running is due to air leakage that the engine draws in the area of ​​the intake manifold, 'says Wallner, because the carburettors are often incorrectly fitted. The support mounted between the carburetor and the engine block of the Mercedes 190 SL, for example, plays a key role and must be precisely adjusted. Often it is even forgotten, but it ensures that the carburettors are in a stable position.

In the Mercedes 190 SL, these rest on rubber flange seals that are drilled through in the edge area for the screws. Small bushings belong in these holes, which on the one hand prevent the rubber seal from being unnecessarily crushed when screwing the carburetor on, and on the other hand set a certain distance between the carburetor and the intake manifold. Exactly this distance is fixed with the help of the mentioned support. Hardened washers are provided between the small cans and the carburetor so that the cans do not work their way into the carburetor material. Because these discs are no longer available, Wallner uses bushes with a collar that he made himself.

Howling rear axles - Expensive undercarriage repairs on the 190 SL

But now to the undercarriage, where some expensive repairs are made to the Mercedes 190 SL owner. Some things can be prevented or at least delayed through appropriate care, i.e. greasing - like replacing the cardan shaft (around 1,400 euros) or the labor-intensive oneand special tools requiring swapping of the kingpin, which, including the new upper and lower support bearings, comes to around 1,600 euros.

But even durable things such as steering or rear axle drives are becoming repairs due to the meanwhile old age of the Mercedes 190 SL. Especially with the latter, one should pay attention to damage limitation. Howling noises require immediate action. Because if a tooth on the drive bevel gear breaks, the fragment can even cause total damage to the axle housing. New brake shoes are also relatively expensive. But an optimal braking effect is only achieved if you first carefully unscrew the drum and then turn the brake shoes down to the drum size. Know-how is important, but unfortunately only a few workshops offer that.

Service tip for the Mercedes 190 SL

The Mercedes 190 SL should be serviced once a year. It is important to lubricate and check the oil levels in the engine, the transmission as well as in the steering and rear axle drives. It also includes checking the ignition and, if the car has been moved a lot, checking the valve clearance. The choice of workshop is important, many repairs such as changing the kingpin, the rear wheel bearings or working on the rear axle drive require special tools.

Mercedes 190 SL purchase advice

If you are now looking for a Mercedes 190 If you are interested in SL, you should have some prior knowledge in addition to the around 103,000 euros a condition 2 copy costs. In our Mercedes 190 SL purchase advice is what we call the weak points and neuralgic points on the open sports car. Moderate copies cost a good third (in condition 4 around 36,000 euros), but buying such a vehicle needs to be considered carefully if you look at the maintenance costs in our table - and then add the costs for bodywork. The supposed bargain can quickly turn out to be a dime grave.


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