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  #16  
Old 04-19-2005, 11:35 AM
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busy upgrading my 560$EL
 
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Location: New Jersey, exit 55 (287)
Posts: 255
Thanks Richard, that's encouraging.

I may trade up to a 140 at some point - do you have any exeperience or opinions? From what I've read here, the pre-1995 ones are better, so I was thinking 93 or 94 500SEL.

I saw a 98 S600 at the car wash Sunday, the owner loves it. There are a few 93 and 94 500SELs on eBay that look interesting.

-g
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  #17  
Old 04-19-2005, 11:53 AM
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W140

A friend is considering a 93 500SEL, is there a buyers guide on these of what to look out for?
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Al

Check out the W114, W115 enthusiast website.
http://www.stroke8.org

http://www.w108.org

Join the Mercedes W108 group
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My 280SL restoration

http://www.w108.org/gallery/albums/a...0959.thumb.jpg
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  #18  
Old 04-19-2005, 02:24 PM
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Indeed the pre-1995s are better in terms of quality and fit and finish. However, the post 1995s have simplified electrical systems and also from 1996, you could get stability control on them which makes it easy to drive the car all year round (this would only matter if you get snow and ice during your winter months). Do a search on W140s as there's more than plenty to read. Just remember that the W140 was a very expensive car, and probably the most overengineered car of all time. As a result, EVERYTHING is to watch out for when you purchase one. The electrical systems are the worst. They are very unreliable. Also, these cars have defective evaporators that will always need replacement around now given their current ages. This replacement is very labor intensive (about 40 hours) and so costs a lot of money. The key to purchasing a W140 is to research as much as possible on them so that you know what you're getting into.
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  #19  
Old 04-19-2005, 05:58 PM
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busy upgrading my 560$EL
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Jersey, exit 55 (287)
Posts: 255
Once again Richard your guidance is invaluable - thanks for the input.

-gil
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  #20  
Old 04-20-2005, 06:19 PM
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busy upgrading my 560$EL
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Jersey, exit 55 (287)
Posts: 255
Got the 560 back from the tune-up - mechanic said there was some oil carbon build-up on the spark plugs he removed. These plugs were only a year old.

He suspects valve seals.

He ran a compression test, gave me the print out - close to perfect on all 8 cylinders.

Next up - air conditioning!! Summer is coming.

-g
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1983 300SD (Sold at 198K)
1989 560SEL (205k) - slowly restoring
2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid (6k) - daily driver
1995 Colt Vista AWD (145k) - fun car! spare
1991 Buick Riviera 3.8l (85k) - fur die Kinder
RIP: 1965 LeMans/GTO Convertable -my first
RIP: 1968 GTO 400 HO w/ 400HP - ballsy!
(blew the motor racing a '69 GTX - bummer)
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  #21  
Old 04-21-2005, 08:53 AM
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Gil,

Glad you brought up the A/C stuff. Do yourself a favor and spend a little more to keep your R12 system!! Don't convert to R134a. I made that big mistake before I read all the resources here about A/C. If you wish to search around and read stuff on A/C here, search for posts by the username LarryBible. He's the expert at this stuff and always offers priceless advise.

A close to perfect compression on all cylinders indicates that the engine is, well, close to perfect and that the mileage on the car is genuine. However, such an early need for valve seal replacements leaves me puzzled. Like I said earlier, that engine M117 doesn't need that work until around 250K. Can you ask your mechanic for what he thinks could have caused such premature wear? Tell him the typical mileage at which that engine needs such work is 250K and let's see what he says.
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1999 Mercedes-Benz S600, 103K miles - garage queen
1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL, 89K miles - daily driver
2007 Hyundai Sonata Limited, 31K - daily driver
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  #22  
Old 04-21-2005, 11:59 AM
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What about R406

Who has used this before, in Europe, I think this is the drop in replacement to R12. No need to change oil or do anything else.
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With best regards

Al

Check out the W114, W115 enthusiast website.
http://www.stroke8.org

http://www.w108.org

Join the Mercedes W108 group
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/mercedesw108/

My 280SL restoration

http://www.w108.org/gallery/albums/a...0959.thumb.jpg
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  #23  
Old 05-04-2005, 02:50 PM
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Valve stem seals at around 130k to 140k is about right. Almost every 126 with a V-8 that I have come into contact with has had to have this work done. A few have had to have the heads pulled and the valves redone. My 420 was using a quart every 200 miles. One sure way to tell if it needs valve stem seals is if it produces a puff of blue smoke on a warm start.

Just reread your thread - did he say you needed valve seals or stem seals?
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  #24  
Old 05-04-2005, 09:09 PM
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Well in an e-mail Gil just informed me that an MB specialist said it needs new valve seals and gasket (not sure of which gasket - I surely hope it isn't the head gasket!!).

I do beg to differ with you on the issue of the right time for a valve job on those engines. I have come across a total of five MB V8 cars (including my own Euro 500SEL) with over 150K miles that don't consume any oil at all. I'm not insisting my information is the absolute truth, but I've read from credible sources that the right age for these V8 engines to require valve jobs is around 250K which is also the right time to change their timing chains, replace the guides and well, since you're that deep, pull the head, get it resurfaced and inspected and put on a new head gasket.

May I add that an engine needing a valve job at around 140K doesn't smack of superior engineering in any way. 140K is just too soon. Diesel engines from MB go for over 300K without needing anything and consuming no oil. A fellow forum member has a 190D with the 2.5L I-5 and with 291K it consumes no oil and has never had any work done on the engine.
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  #25  
Old 05-05-2005, 02:36 PM
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I did not say valve seals - I said valve stem seals. Big difference. You can put valve stem seals in without pulling the heads. Most - not all - M116 and M117 engines have tired valve stem seals at around 140,000 to 150,000 miles. My 420 had been meticulously maintained with oil changes every 2500 to 3000 - still has excellent compression but used an alarming amount of oil. Put in valve stem seals and I am adding maybe a 1/4 of a quart between oil changes.
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  #26  
Old 05-06-2005, 01:47 PM
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Thanks but I know the difference between valve stem seals and valve seals! Either way you look at it, having to do any of that work on an engine with just 140K miles isn't great engineering in my opinion. My friend has a Toyota Tundra with a 4.7L DOHC 32 Valve V8 engine that has 212K miles on it and doesn't consume a drop of oil and also has never had any such work done on it.
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  #27  
Old 05-06-2005, 04:14 PM
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braverichard, I knew that I have received a lot of good tips and advice from you in the past. - I wasn't so sure myself about what he was talking about - valve seals or stem seals.

Yes, I agree. It has something to do with the keeper(little spring looking part that goes around the seal itself. Is that what you call it?) and the type of material they used originally (at least on the stem seals).

Last edited by benzboy87; 05-06-2005 at 04:17 PM. Reason: add info.
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  #28  
Old 05-06-2005, 06:25 PM
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oh ok cool then.

I don't know which he was referring to, but from the e-mails he sent me I think I can safely assume he was referring to valve seals and not valve stem seals. However I can see why that wear would occur based on your explanation. Poor job by MB on that part.
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1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL, 89K miles - daily driver
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  #29  
Old 05-06-2005, 07:33 PM
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busy upgrading my 560$EL
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Jersey, exit 55 (287)
Posts: 255
Well gents, I got her back today. Valve seals and valve gasket. The MB mechanic showed me the old ones and some new ones so I could see the difference - man, mine were SHOT! All hardened and misshappen - no wonder I was going through so much oil.

The oil ate away at the motor mounts, which explains the rough ride I was feeling under the hood. My 2-week old Bosch spark plugs were covered in oil carbon residue. He put in new Titanium ones.

This mechanic (Karl from Star Service in Wantage NJ) is a Mercedes expert, trained in Austria and expert in all older (1999 and back) models of MB. His personal car is a old 300 4.5, a real beauty. He had a very old 2.2 (?) I think, I will have to look at it closer next time. Lots of 126, 124, 116s on the lot.

He carefully explained everything he did to me, showed me all the parts he pulled out and why they needed to be replaced. He then told me I would need a new fuel distributor (!), and we went out to my car. He popped the hood, took off the air cleaner (what a pain in the ass - pull the hoses, two bolts, shimmy just so - on my old GTO, it was just a wing nut!) and showed me the part on the right of the distributor that is leaking, but of course it is permanently attached to the distributor so I have to replace the whole thing. He then pushed open the vent and showed me inside the motor where it was leaking.

He said it would cost $1500 new. So I'll need to find one here used. Bummer, But after that he said I am done for 100,000 miles - the head looks great, gasket is fine, motor is strong.

Now check this out - I get the bill, 6 hours labor like he said - $420!!!! Only $70 an hour for an MB-trained Austrian enhtusiast/service tech extraordinaire?!? Plus he washed his hands (he was working on a 124 3.0 l diesel engine when I showed up) before he sat down with me to go over everything, and then he patiently went over the whole bill and repair.

I am severely impressed, and wish now I had taken the car to him in the first place. I feel very confident in his abilities, and also feel better now about keeping the car - which by the way runs so much smooother now!

So - anyone have a 5.5l fuel distributor?

-gil

Last edited by gilwave; 05-07-2005 at 01:21 AM.
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  #30  
Old 05-07-2005, 12:58 AM
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I've got a near-perfect one for a 500SEL. I don't think it will work well on your car though.

Good to hear that he sorted out everything.
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