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Old 08-16-2001, 04:31 PM
Posts: n/a
Thumbs down Avoid any Gray Market car at all costs.

I have a gray market car and it’s really great when everything works. I had an intermittent electrical problem and the dealer said he would “pass” on the car because it is not necessarily wired as the US model, it could be expensive and take a lot of parts and people don’t want to pay. (They would do standard parts changes, like timing chain.) The independents will do it by the hour but there is no guarantee. You could spend $5000 and not have it fixed. It took me 14 months and 100 hours to learn the electrical system and track down the problems then test and replace the bad parts. I have turned into an amateur mechanic, not by choice, but by force.

I bought this really cool looking ’85 500SL with complete AMG appearance package. But now that the springs and shocks are questionable no one can tell me what replacements will fit. Not the dealer, any parts supplier, not MBUSA or anyone I can find. Even my posts on this website go unanswered. No one knows what specs to use. Sure, I can find something that will fit but it won’t be to spec and could be a problem. Bilstein sells only 1 shock for the car but it may not be the one AMG used as they made lots of short run specials. If the shock bottoms out instead of the pad or spring, you break the shock body. These are often short run specials. IF it’s a US model, I am sure MBUSA would make it available. If you import it yourself they will disavow any responsibility for the car.

If you want to spend your free time and money trying to run around the system and hunting down specialists to work in the dark without the proper information, have at it but as much as I love the car, I wouldn’t do it again for anything.

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