This Mercedes myth can't be true?! or can it?

RajHundal

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I was searchinf for R129 parts on google and came across this photographer's website where he chronicals his 129 ownership.

I began reading his page and was hoping if forum members could shed some light on the following from his page: Mercedes SL500

"Grille

The front grill slats are made from spare titanium Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace fighter jet engine blades. These are from the Eurofighter first flown in 1994 at Daimler-Benz' facility in Manching. The titanium blades are perfectly aerodynamic, are hollow and weigh less than painted plastic used on discount cars like Toyota's Lexus brand, and are stronger than steel for resistance to road grit at high speeds. Remember the SL500 is one of the world's fastest cars and at 150 MPH+ continuous cruising speeds in Europe abrasion from even the smallest grit, bugs and pebbles has the effect of sand-blasting lesser cars.

These blades individually sell for over $756.00 as replacement engine parts, but since EADS (the current name for D-B Aerospace, formerly DASA), gets them for free as blades falling just under the weight tolerance for fighter use it's your gain. This is another advantage to Mercedes: Toyota has no aircraft division!
"

Are they really titanium and were they from surplus jet engine parts? The sceptic in me isn't convinced - anyone else know?
 

Phil woods

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When I had an R129 sl 1993 a few years back the grill although undamaged had become stained,a mate who works in the blade finishing shop at Rolls Royce Derby offered to polish them so I stripped the grille and off he went a few days later he bought them back saying God knows what there made of but we can't touch them,so it's entirely possible.
 

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I have heard that they are manufactured from Titanium , as are the seat frames , because of its properties of great strength combined with light weight , but have never heard the story about being from surplus aircraft engine parts .

Incidentally , the other snippet I recall from when the model was introduced was that , because titanium was used , the cost of manufacturing each seat was equivalent to the cost of manufacturing a VW Golf back then !
 

BTB 500

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It was said that the development and approval of the rollbar (the first ever 'pop up' one) cost more than the rest of the car put together.

I think the stuff about the grille slats being turbine parts is rubbish though. Only approx. 500 Eurofighters were built compared to 200,000+ R129s, and turbine blades are not flat & parallel anyway. Plus the R129 went on sale in 1989 ...
 
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RajHundal

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I've heard about the seat frames being titanium - especially as they integrated the seatbelt into the seat (which I believe was a first). Them costing the same as manufacturing a Golf is astounding.

I've also read about the development costs of the rollbar.

As for the grille blades, I'll never look at them the same way again! The R129 is full of surprises.
 

poormansporsche

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Or what about the other 129 urban legend of people being decapitated by accidental misfiring of the roll bar :)
 

Peter T

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It was said that the development and approval of the rollbar (the first ever 'pop up' one) cost more than the rest of the car put together.

I think the stuff about the grille slats being turbine parts is rubbish though. Only approx. 500 Eurofighters were built compared to 200,000+ R129s, and turbine blades are not flat & parallel anyway. Plus the R129 went on sale in 1989 ...

And they're nowhere near that long, and they're not hollow!!
 

paterson12

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I doubt this is true if I'm honest. Although turbine blades are hollow with a core, most modern turbine jet engines aren't made from titanium (as far as I'm aware) but are made from a nickel-based superalloy which are more stable at high temperatures and rpm's.
Also incredible expensive and prehaps too complex for a merc grille.
 
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John Jones Jr

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I doubt this is true if I'm honest.

Agree. Especially when I read the words ''spare'', ''free'' and ''Eurofighter ''. More like a post to knock Toyota/Lexus. Whatever, it's uncalled for as the R129 doesn't need to be talked up.
 
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Or what about the other 129 urban legend of people being decapitated by accidental misfiring of the roll bar :)

I still fondly remember Clint Eastwood , after launching an R129 out of an upper level car park and deploying the roll bar ( in slo-mo ) in 'The Rookie' , commenting 'Engineered like no other car' .

As the great man would have said : 'Swell' . :D
 

def90cars

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I've heard about the seat frames being titanium - especially as they integrated the seatbelt into the seat (which I believe was a first).

Range Rover 1970
 

brucemillar

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When I climb out my C55. Young nubile nymphs wander over to me and start licking my face, undoing my trousers and trying to have wild sex with me.



















Then I wake up.
 

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Pub fact: Vauxhall Sinitra MPVs had magnesium seat frames to save weight.

Shudder to think what would happen if you were in one and it went on fire !

The model name sounds like the illegitimate child of Frank Sinatra and Sinitta !
 

Peter T

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I doubt this is true if I'm honest. Although turbine blades are hollow with a core, most modern turbine jet engines aren't made from titanium (as far as I'm aware) but are made from a nickel-based superalloy which are more stable at high temperatures and rpm's.
Also incredible expensive and prehaps too complex for a merc grille.

Bit of a misconception here.

Turbine blades are indeed as you describe. It's the compressor blades that are solid and made of titanium.

In a gas turbine, the front, cold, part of the engine is the compressor. This is made of a number of rows of ti. blades which gradually get shorter, squeezing the incoming air into a smaller and smaller space.

After the compressor, the compressed air passes to the combustion chamber where the fuel is injected. The fuel/air mixture burns continuously producing vast quantities of very hot/high energy gas.

The back end of the combustor is open and immediately behind this is the 1st stage turbine. Because of the high temperatures in this section of the engine, the blades/guide vanes are made of high temperature materials and are cooled by passing some of the air from the compressor through the hollow core.

So, to summarise, ti. blades in the compressor, nickel/cobalt based alloy blades in the turbine.
 

BTB 500

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Slight typo, it's Sintra (A Portuguese Town).

For anyone who cares...lol...... Car Reviews | RAC

I actually had one for 4 years and a very good car it was too. The only issue I had was one of the headlamp lenses coming off, which took me about 15 mins to fix (I bonded it back in place with epoxy).

The bad press came almost solely from the TG JD Power survey, which was based on a tiny number of returns (not many were sold in the UK in the first place), and hence was heavily skewed by a few critical ones. It also lumped both models (the 2.2 manual I had and a much more complex 3 litre auto) in together. I happily sold my Sintra on to a friend who ran it (trouble free) for a number of years before downsizing to a Focus.

Coming back OT, the back seats were remarkably light so I can believe they were magnesium alloy. The ones in subsequent vehicles I've had (VW Sharan and the Vito) weigh a ton - the 2-seater in the Vito is heavy even for two people to lift! The Sintra had an aluminium bonnet too.

 

bpsorrel

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Sounded like a dig at Toyota to me. Not sure I'd refer to Lexus as a "budget brand" LOL!

I wonder why it was written like that.
 

Doodle

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I've heard about the seat frames being titanium - especially as they integrated the seatbelt into the seat (which I believe was a first). Them costing the same as manufacturing a Golf is astounding.

If you ever have to lift the seat frame out, you'll quickly discover that it isn't titanium! They look very much like cast magnesium alloy.

Unfortunately Ken's SL review has a fair amount of poetic licence in it.
 

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