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On warm days in SoCal and driving in traffic, my car does start to run hotter. The radiator, and hoses are about 3-4 years old and look brand new (on the outside). Today I was loosing a little coolant from the reservoir cap. I ordered a new one and will have it tomorrow.

The clutch fan seems to be working perfectly. I've learned a few ways on how to confirm they are and it does seem to be working correctly.

The attached picture shows the needle position. If I sit in traffic for a longer than normal time, it will move just above the line the picture shows.

If this normal for the R129 of is it running hotter than it should like I believe it is? :(

Thanks in advance for any feedback and knowledge anyone can share.
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I have somewhat similar but not exact same cars, (2-129s with M113, and 3 124's with M119). So I have a good feel for temps. I don't think you have anything to worry about as long as it doesn't start trending too much over 100°.
Occasionally one of my 92 500E's will touch 100° in similar situations, our 94 E420 routinely goes to 100° on even cooler days in traffic, but they all run just over 80° when moving. You didn't say, but what temp does your SL run when it's not in traffic?
 

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I have somewhat similar but not exact same cars, (2-129s with M113, and 3 124's with M119). So I have a good feel for temps. I don't think you have anything to worry about as long as it doesn't start trending too much over 100°.
Occasionally one of my 92 500E's will touch 100° in similar situations, our 94 E420 routinely goes to 100° on even cooler days in traffic, but they all run just over 80° when moving. You didn't say, but what temp does your SL run when it's not in traffic?
That is what I was thinking. However, I went to the owner of a private parts business that specializes in the German cars. BMW. Mercedes, Porsche is their focus. They have been in business since the 80's.

I reviewed everything with owner and test a few things that he remembered from those days when the cars were new. We concluded that things seemed fine, but it did have an odor and felt like it was running hotter than it should. He recommended taking it to an old radiator shop and talk to the owners. They would know the car well from when they were new and suggested asking them to read the temp on the upper and lower hoses to see how effective the cooling system was working.

I went straight to the main owner and he outline the usual suspects on these cars. I told him that Jim and I had reviewed and checked all of that out and everything seemed OK. He questioned me again if we had really checked out the fan clutch. I assured him we had. Then he said "Let me show you something" and walked back into his shop.

When he returned he had a BIG thick glove on one hand and said start it up and come up to the front of the car. I did and got up front and stood right by him. He said watch this and stuck his hand down in back of the radiator. As the fan starting to hit his glove, it really looked and sounded awful!!! He continued and grabbed the fan and stopped it!!!

He looked right at me and said "if the fan clutch was working correctly, I would not have been able to do this. It would have broken my hand up. I was astonished and drove back to my friends parts business and ordered a new fan clutch.

Ever since the install, the car has never run so cool. It now takes awhile to get up to 80 and on a hot day in traffic and idling a lot ... it will sometimes reach exactly where my picture shows! :) WOW, it was really something to see this old guy do that. :)
 

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That is what I was thinking. However, I went to the owner of a private parts business that specializes in the German cars. BMW. Mercedes, Porsche is their focus. They have been in business since the 80's.

I reviewed everything with owner and test a few things that he remembered from those days when the cars were new. We concluded that things seemed fine, but it did have an odor and felt like it was running hotter than it should. He recommended taking it to an old radiator shop and talk to the owners. They would know the car well from when they were new and suggested asking them to read the temp on the upper and lower hoses to see how effective the cooling system was working.

I went straight to the main owner and he outline the usual suspects on these cars. I told him that Jim and I had reviewed and checked all of that out and everything seemed OK. He questioned me again if we had really checked out the fan clutch. I assured him we had. Then he said "Let me show you something" and walked back into his shop.

When he returned he had a BIG thick glove on one hand and said start it up and come up to the front of the car. I did and got up front and stood right by him. He said watch this and stuck his hand down in back of the radiator. As the fan starting to hit his glove, it really looked and sounded awful!!! He continued and grabbed the fan and stopped it!!!

He looked right at me and said "if the fan clutch was working correctly, I would not have been able to do this. It would have broken my hand up. I was astonished and drove back to my friends parts business and ordered a new fan clutch.

Ever since the install, the car has never run so cool. It now takes awhile to get up to 80 and on a hot day in traffic and idling a lot ... it will sometimes reach exactly where my picture shows! :) WOW, it was really something to see this old guy do that. :)
My 1993 SL500 runs at about the same as your gauge is reading in hot Spanish sunshine, so I think your reading is in the normal range.

Here are two modifications that can be made to the viscous fan clutch


And

 
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