FAQs—Mercedes Benz 380SLC
I just bought a second-hand Mercedes Benz 380SLC yesterday. I removed the fuel tank to clean it, and I also replaced the filter and pump. I tested it by disconnecting the wires to the pump and attached it to a small battery. It fired up, and the engine worked fine. However, when I tried it again today, the engine ran good but died as soon as the fuel ran out. I suspect that there is no pressure at the fuel pump. What happened?
Your Benz is known to have a complicated fuel delivery system, according to owners of this particular model. Try to power up your fuel pump using another battery, but make sure to take all safety precautions before doing so. It only takes a small bit of dirt to stop the fuel pump from working. Check if the pump that you bought is in good condition. If your old tank has rust, keep it from the pump by attaching a magnet to the bottom of your tank. Check the vacuum lines if there are any leaks. Inspect the injectors and seals for cracks or signs of wear and tear.
I found out last week that some of the wires behind the dash of my Mercedes Benz 380SLC got chewed up by rats. I did some repairs, but I think some of the wires going to the ICU got shorted. Since then, I've been having idling problems with my vehicle. What should I do?
Since your wires were damaged, it is important that you replace them immediately. Once you've replaced them, then you may proceed to addressing the idle problems of your car. Check if the diodes in the ICU are already overheated. Replace them as soon as possible. You may want to try cleaning your idle control valve using a carburetor cleaner. A sticking ICV can cause the ICU to overwork, which can cause it to burn out easily. Once you have your ICV out, check the rubber hoses for cracks or leaks, and inspect the wires leading to the two-pin plug if they have shorted out. Vacuum leaks are also another cause of high idle. Check if the vacuum lines and joints are all in good condition. To confirm this, monitor your car's fuel economy gauge to know if something's wrong with your vacuum.
Both the power windows of my 380SLC stopped working. I checked the fuses, and they are still in good condition. I removed both the switches from the console, and cleaned the contacts, but to no avail. Could there be a problem with the window relay?
Yes. A faulty relay is usually the cause for your windows to stop working. You can find that there are two relays per side of the window: one to make it go up, and another one to bring it down. The relays can be found behind the kicker panel above the fuse, and two more behind the glove box up in the dash area. Check if there are signs of wear and tear among these relays, and replace them as soon as possible.
A Closer Look at the Mercedes Benz 380SLC
A variant sold under the C107 model, the Mercedes Benz 380SLC was known for its powerful engine, distinctly shaped exterior, and reliability. The SLC or SL coupe was in production from 1971 to 1981, but the SLC with a 3.8 L engine or 380SLC was in production for only two years (from 1980 to 1981). Despite having only two production years, a total of 3,789 Mercedes Benz 380SLC units were built. Today, this model continues to attract attention from Mercedes Benz fans and second-hand buyers looking for an old Bimmer with lots of personality.
1971: An SLC version for the C107 entered the market
The history of the Mercedes Benz 380SLC can be traced back to 1971, when the R107 (SL) and C107 (SLC) models were introduced. This series was the second-longest running one, further strengthening Mercedes Benz’s grasp on the global automotive industry. The SL was a two-seater roadster that came with a soft top (standard) and a hard top (optional), as well as optional rear bench seats that could be folded away. The SLC was basically an expanded version of the SL in order to accommodate regular rear seats. Engine variants for the SLC models were 350, 450, and 5.0. However, units with these engine configurations were discontinued to make way for the 380 and 500 SLC variants.
1980: The 380SLC was introduced
In March of 1980, the 380SLC variant was introduced. A minor upgrade was also done on all models; the original three-speed automatic was dropped to make way for the four-speed transmission. The 380SLC was equipped with a front-mounted V8 engine and a Bosch mechanical fuel system with an airflow sensor. The engine produced 218 horsepower and 224.3 lb/ft. of torque. It also came with an independent front and rear suspension, a diagonal-pivot axle and double wishbones.
The 380SLC’s exterior was distinctly styled, prompting many to consider this model and other units under the series as some of the best-looking vehicles made by Mercedes Benz. For US models, they had to be fitted with upgraded bumpers to meet federal standards. Throughout its two years of production, no upgrades were made on the 380SLC model. In 1981, the SLC variant was discontinued to make way for more SL units.
The Mercedes Benz 380SLC today
Nowadays, the 380SLC continues to be a reminder of Mercedes Benz’s achievements and success as it continues to raise standards in automotive engineering. Backed by a powerful v8 engine and reliable transmission, the 380SLC continues to attract fans and buyers searching for a classic Bimmer that oozes with style and personality. As a matter of fact, several clubs and groups have been established to cater to car owners who love to preserve, tinker with, and modify R107 and C107 models.