SL 500 Engine information required.

Discussion in 'Engine' started by LoTu5, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. LoTu5

    LoTu5 Active Member

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    I'm a big fan of the SL 500, 90's styling, even to the point of contemplating buying one when looking for a second car recently. It's inevitable that some time in the future, not just yet, with the prices falling the way they are I will seek out and find one of these well put together GT cruisers.
    The point of the post is, I need to be pointed in the direction of any 90's 500 V8 rebuild manuals, videos, memrobilia etc as one day I'd like to have a go at rebuilding one of these 4 cam motors.
    Are there any engine enhancement goodies available for the 90's era SL 500 V8.
    Do they respond well to upgrades.
    Thanks.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    LoTu5

    LoTu5 Active Member

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    By the way I used the search facility but couldn't find anything.
     
  3. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    The M-B V8 is pretty reliable, don't think there's much 'rebuild' info. about.

    Or much in the way of upgrades, although IIRC Kleemann and Renntech did supercharger conversions.

    Here's a thread on one with an Albrex supercharger:

    http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=44880
     
  4. OP
    OP
    LoTu5

    LoTu5 Active Member

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    Interesting, thanks, when I get time later I'll take that all in. Are there any weakness's regarding the 500 engine, I read in my search of a 96 SL500 with timing chain failure. I would imagine this to be an odd occurence as MB engines seem to be well put together and very well engineered although I know on some smaller MB engines the timing chains loosen on high mileage cars.
     
  5. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    Yes the timing chain can fail, but I think it's a pretty rare occurrence. SLs tend not to be used as everyday cars and high mileages are less common than with other M-Bs. The V8 is generally pretty well sorted, and was used in many M-B models for a good number of years.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    LoTu5

    LoTu5 Active Member

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    I read somewhere that the SL500's went from 4 to 3 valves per cylinder, how did this affect power and economy, do the later ones have Variable Valve timing and what year engine returns better power and economy ?
     
  7. IanA2

    IanA2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Only problem I've ever had was a belt tensioner, and that was because the previous one had been fitted incorrectly. As engines go I think they're pretty bullet proof.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2008
  8. IanA2

    IanA2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    5 litre V8 and economy in the same sentence....how quaint:devil: :D
     
  9. OP
    OP
    LoTu5

    LoTu5 Active Member

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    :D

    Can I go nerdy serious for a while :)
    As unbelievable as it seems some big V8's can return good MPG motorway driving which makes larger engined cruisers bearable. When my ZR-1 was a standard I managed over 30 mpg on a motorway run in 6th, even now since I modified it, *IF* I take it easy I can get 26.1 U.S. gallon dash indicator, from the four cam seven litre V8 with 3.54 final drive and 6 speed. I would imagine the SL500 to be maybe a little more thirsty with an auto box ? Build quality would more than make up for it.[nerdy serious mode off]
     
  10. W210 Fan

    W210 Fan Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    The merc M119 was produced from 1990 to 1999, the W220 S class (not square headlights, see my s class link below,) which was brought out in 1999 used the new M113 engine which is the 3 valve per cylinder model,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_M113_engine

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_M119_engine

    both reliable and I wouldnt worry about running either,

    I have read a book on tuning the Merc V8 (M117 and M119, the M117 was used in the SEC/SEL amongst others and is a 2 valve per cylinder model) as it was used in the all conquering Sauber C9 which won Le Mans and pulled everybodies pants down in the championship, when they first started tuning both those engines they bolted the turbos on and ran them without any other mods, both engines ran fine at around 700BHP, no titaniam forged con rods, no strengthened valve gear so the engines are strong,

    economy and merc V8`s should not be used on the same sentence, your old car, as with the monaro (similar engine I believe) have a very tall `overdrive` top gear to get round the emissions laws, ie, the car `can` achieve this MPG, in the real world you would have to drive like miss daisy to do it, the mercs, using only a 5 spd auto cannot achieve this, newer ones have more gears and so are better, as an aside the S500 can be purchased with a cylinder shutdown system which saves fuel, details are a bit sketchy as to figures and years of manufacture-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Cylinder_Control

    hope this helps,
     
  11. IanA2

    IanA2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    In fairness I don't find my 500SL that thirsty...I think!...I'd guess I get overall about 28mpg...but that's just a guess....others may have harder facts.
     
  12. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    Cruising, the SL500 is not too bad on fuel. I have got just over 29 mpg over a tankful, with a fair bit of motorway. Stop / start is another story - it's a 2 tonne car (near enough) with an autobox and a big V8.

    The later ('99 on) engine is a bit more economical. It has slightly less bhp and slightly more torque, with (I think) a slightly flatter torque curve.
     
  13. stats007

    stats007 MB Club Veteran

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    The M119 is generally regarding as the most solidly engineered V8 MB ever made, however the M113 whilst it loses the variable valve timing and a valve per cylinder does get twin spark plugs, is lighter and more economical. The three-valve setup means it can develop more low-down torque:

    [​IMG]

    Also bear in mind this is the same basic engine as used in the 55 Kompressor cars and also the smaller displacement unit in the 43s.

    The M119 went through numerous revisions and updates moving to coil packs instead of distributors in 1995 with the R129. Power for the cars varies depending on the revision.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    LoTu5

    LoTu5 Active Member

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    Some excellent information supplied, thanks. Why doesn't it surprise me how strong these engines are, probably something to do with MB making competitive engines from the year dot. Some engines are just put together well and it's alleged the standard supra bottom ends are similar in strength. The mpg is very impressive as well for a heavy-ish car with a 5 litre V8, it's definitely a car and a future classic on my 'I want list' in a year or so's time.
     
  15. Smiley

    Smiley Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I never got anywhere near 29mpg from my R129 SL500; I did not thrah it. The very very best was 25 or 26mpg on a long run - the average was a pretty consistent 22mpg and none of my journeys are in stop start city traffic
     
  16. Uberwagon

    Uberwagon Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Exactly the same for me.

    The best part is though that cruising at 100mph and speeds around that area don't give you a drop in performance.

    Driving through Switzerland and the low limits saw me get 600km from a tank.

    Driving through France the fun way gave me 550km from a tank.

    What hurts is lots of accelerative bursts, when up to speed they are very good for their age/ size.

    Dave!
     
  17. IanA2

    IanA2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    A little computer thing, in the M class tells me I'm getting 18.9 overall, I don't know how accurate this is, but it certainly seems to be thirstier than the 500 and the 60, still with fuel prices falling I think I'll hang fire on gas converstion, just more to go wrong!
     
  18. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    Compare the frontal area of an ML to the frontal area of an SL :D

    The SL is pretty sleek (particularly with the hard top on), and once rolling isn't bad on fuel. I had a 2.8L VW Sharan and that was significantly thirstier on the motorway than the SL.
     
  19. IanA2

    IanA2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yes ....and prettier too....:D :D
     

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