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  #1  
Old 11-18-2013, 11:05 AM
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Unhappy Sadly realizing Benz ownership might not be for me anymore.

I’ve had to do some soul searching this weekend. Finally decided that I like the idea of owning a classic Benz more than actually owning it. I love the W126 engineering and think it’s one of the greatest vehicles ever designed. I’ve put about 100 miles a week on it for the last 13 years. But for the last year or so it’s been feeling more like work than a fun hobby.

My big goal was to reach half a million miles. Only 32k to go and very achievable with the engine at 85k on a rebuild, the transmission at around 120k and the rust monsters largely avoided. But that goal is still 5-6 years away at the rate I’ve been driving it. So now I question the sanity of devoting that much time to just achieve a number on a gauge. (And pridefully point out to my Father-in-Law how long I’ve kept his old car running.)

I think the tipping point was moving to a house without a garage and my wife starting to work weekends. Now I find myself stressing about when I can work on it with daylight available and no toddler or dog to watch. I’ve kept up with the essential stuff: brakes, fluids, valve adjustments. Just seems like I never find time to fix the center vents or go to the yard to find a power seat switch. And those are the little things that you need to make the car feel enjoyable.

I want to thank all the members of this forum. I never could have kept the car for 13 years without this community. The level of support you provide is miles above anything I see on boards for other makes. People here have driven an hour to bring a part to a stranded person they’ve never met. Nobody on the Camry forum would do that.

When I first got the Benz, I was nervous to change my own oil. Dad never trained me to do much beyond changing a flat and checking the dipstick. Now I’ve built front ends, pulled manifolds and replaced wheel bearings. Thank you PeachParts for helping me develop a mechanical side to my skills.

I will think about it a little while longer, but most likely will put the old girl up for sale next week. I hope she goes to someone who’ll show her respect and get her to 500k. I will refuse to sell to anyone thinking of an unheated, single tank WVO system. She deserves a lot better fate than that.

I’ll get misty eyed as I hear that klata-klata-klata for the last time, but it will probably be for the best.

So long and thanks for everything,
Greg

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1983 300SD - 465,000 miles
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2013, 11:19 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
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If you can afford to do so perhaps you should park it as a daily driver and use it whenever it seems right. It'd be a shame to miss out on 500K!

A nice reliable rice burner can be your daily driver.

And besides you'll never get what its worth out of it anyhow.....
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2013, 11:32 AM
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wow, under 100K on rebuilt motor? it'd be a shame to lose the car, and unless someone here on the forum wants the car, you'll NEVER get decent money from a car with 468K on the odo... Full receipts may help...
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My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
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1987 300TD
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2013, 11:54 AM
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i might be in this same boat.

I recently have had to deal with a string of issues in both my cars. Although all issues are indeed fixable, it just takes time. Sometimes it takes time I don't have.

I am scouting CL ads now for a Toyota. Jeez.
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2013, 12:03 PM
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Well, since both of you guys are near me, keep me in mind when you sell 'em. Close to 500k on a clock or needing work doesn't bother me, and I've got room to store 'em while I fix 'em.

Kinda lookin for a W124 at the moment, only because of the very long work commute making the better fuel economy a plus over the w123...besides, I have two of those.
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  #6  
Old 11-18-2013, 12:15 PM
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Sorry to hear about the baby sitting combined with old car ownership stress - I can relate to that.

All I can say is that when the children get older it isn't so hard. You will find that there is more time and I think you'll be surprised at how quickly they grow up - based on the small amount of information you've given I guess you are more or less at the watershed - things can only get better!
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1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

I'm here to chat about cars and to help others - I'm not here "to always be right" like an internet warrior



Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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  #7  
Old 11-18-2013, 12:19 PM
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Maybe finding a good backyard mechanic to deal with some issues could reduce the apparent burden. Or a fairly skilled younger member in your area that likes to work on them.

That seems to be the local approach for quite a few people these days on their older cars.
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  #8  
Old 11-18-2013, 12:20 PM
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I think Ben needs a nice well sorted low miles Saab turbo convertible, 1st generation . One sitting covered in my barn waiting for spring selling season.
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Eric, CPO, Submarines, retired.
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Mine: '68 Corvette LS1/4L65E, 83 240D, 2000 GMC 4x4, 08 FLSTC Anniv
Hers: '72 Corvette 454/4spd, '99 MB SLK, '93 Metro vert, 78 240D, '92 Silverado, '65 Fjord Rustang, '59 Fjord Fairlane, '17 Slingshot.
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  #9  
Old 11-18-2013, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTStinger View Post
Iíve had to do some soul searching this weekend. Finally decided that I like the idea of owning a classic Benz more than actually owning it.
I can understand that.

When I was working, I had two classic MBs one of which (the 300D) was my daily driver. The R107 was kind of neglected until I retired.

I spent a lot of money on maintenance of the '85 300D. Luckily, my job took me regularly to an area where there was a top notch MB mechanic. I even had MB dealers do work on car when it was relatively new (I have owned car since 1990). The big plus for me, was that I was recompensed for almost all of the miles driven. Every time I drove, I would think about how many more $$ I would have to maintain my car! But those days have gone

Since retiring, like the OP, it seems all I do is work on cars All three (previously four) always need something done. Can't afford the local shop rates and don't trust them for many jobs. I have kind of got myself into this and just keep at it. I did sell one car this year (06 smart cdi)

As age creeps up, maybe the 300D and the E320 will have to go and we will get a newer small car for my wife. I don't think I would sell the 350SL.
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  #10  
Old 11-18-2013, 01:43 PM
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Downsizing does make sense for many people. Keeping one older car running well. Versus say trying to keep three older cars running well should be much easier.
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  #11  
Old 11-18-2013, 02:15 PM
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You really have to be bat**** crazy to be into these. I came to that realization about a year ago when I was in the depths of despair.
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  #12  
Old 11-18-2013, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barry12345 View Post
Maybe finding a good backyard mechanic to deal with some issues could reduce the apparent burden. Or a fairly skilled younger member in your area that likes to work on them.
x2. Except if you can be around to supervise, you don't necessarily even need a member, just someone who has decent skills and common sense.

I could not have got through this year without such assistance.

I have arthritis (back and knees) as well as an unstable lower back from previous injury(ies). I week ago I had to use a cane for two days to get to work and could not stand up straight even with that.

I use a guy off the beaten track for stuff that needs a hoist and/or shop air, who charges around $30-$40/hour, depending on the difficulty level and is open Saturdays. Crucially, he allows customers to bring their own parts.

I pay a neighbour who grew up around wrenching on stuff that requires long sessions of bending or do the work while I watch and provide the Benz-specific input.

Like the others said, if you sell the car locally, it will hardly be worth your while. I guarantee you will wake up three months later and wonder what you were thinking. Been there.

If you can find someone on the list, that is your only shot at getting what the car de$erves (and you being assured it gets the home it deserves).
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2002 e320 4matic estate│1985 300d│1980 300td
Previous: 1979 & 1982 & 1983 300sd │ 1982 240d

ďLet's take a drive into the middle of nowhere with a packet of Marlboro lights and talk about our lives.Ē ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
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  #13  
Old 11-18-2013, 04:17 PM
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Don't do it! Get the Toyota or whatever and keep the Benz as a hobby car. You probabvly won't get a fraction of the dollars you put into it, and in a few years when your life settles down and you realize you can have one again you'll be starting over at zero.

I curse the day I let my 1975 300D go, and the cunni of a first wife who robbed me of it.
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  #14  
Old 11-18-2013, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTStinger View Post
I think the tipping point was moving to a house without a garage and my wife starting to work weekends. Now I find myself stressing about when I can work on it with daylight available and no toddler or dog to watch. Iíve kept up with the essential stuff: brakes, fluids, valve adjustments. Just seems like I never find time to fix the center vents or go to the yard to find a power seat switch. And those are the little things that you need to make the car feel enjoyable.
i hear you on that. i live in a city, have no garage and not even a driveway to do work in. that means i have to do everything out on a busy street during daylight hours. no repairs that cause the car to have to sit for more than a few days because of street sweeping tickets. it irks me when some members here criticize people for taking their car to a shop to have something done not knowing that for some things its impossible to DIY depending on circumstance
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  #15  
Old 11-18-2013, 06:58 PM
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Good luck, Greg. Change is good.

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