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Old 10-18-2001, 11:49 AM
Posts: n/a
I think the most important thing you should know is that this type of vehicle is the perfect candidate for a pre-purchase inspection by either an experienced independent Mercedes shop or a Mercedes dealer. Spend a few hundred dollars for a professional evaluation. It will be the best money you have ever spent. You don't indicate if complete service records are available, and/or if major systems have been overhauled at least once during the life of the car. I would want to be sure that the timing chain (wears and slackens with use/age), chain guide rails (loose chain hits rails, which are plastic and embrittle with age, breaking rail and jamming pieces between chain and cam gear, breaking chain, causing pistons to hit and bend mistimed valves, ruining engine), and timing chain tensioner (weak tensioner allows timing chain slack to become excessive, slack chain abuses tensioner in turn, accelerating failure of tensioner which contributes to events described above)have been replaced within the last 50,000 miles. If not, either set aside +/- $1,000 for replacement of these components, +/-$6,000 for replacement engine, or just run away from the car. Often, but not always, the cosmetic condition of the car is an indication of the overall care lavished on it by the previous owner. A mechanical pig can be well detailed and fool you, but if the cosmetic condition of the car is crap, I doubt the owner fussed over mechanical maintenance. When you drive this car, it should ride smoothly. If the back end seems stiff or rough, certain components (such as the nitrogen accumulators) may need replacement. Verify operation of the cruise control and give the climate control system a good workout. The 560 is a well-made, but complex car for it's era. If it's in good shape, it's a great car. If it is in rotten shape, it's an unparalleled opportunity for personal bankruptcy. Spend the two dollars and find out what you have before you buy.
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