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  #1  
Old 08-13-2007, 12:18 AM
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Location: Houston TX/ Kent England
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1989 560sl Should I or shouldn't I????

Hi everyone,

I'm a newbe to the forum and after many years lusting for a 560SL, I think I have found the right vehicle.

The 560 I'm (VERY) interested in has had only two owners, the first added 54k miles before selling the vehicle in 2002. The second owner has added just 5k miles, making a total of 59k miles, which is OK. The 560 has full Mercedes Benz service history and was last serviced in the summer of 2005. The interior is mint, the soft top looks unused. There is no sign of rust on the car.

If I pull the trigger (I'm 95% tempted ), what should I ask the person to have done to the vehicle before I collect it, or what allowance should I make in the price to cover the cost of work likely to be required? The car is in very good condition, the 2nd owner was ill for the last two years before passing away earlier this year, his wife only drove the car a few times before putting it up for sale. It has not been used in the winters as it has been a 3rd car for both owners.

I am aware the center A/C vents are not working, any idea what this will cost to fix, it seems from reading the forum it is likely to be the vacume actuators that will need to be replaced, but I can't find any estimated costs of getting the work done in a shop.

I would like to maintain the Mercedes Benz history, is this worth doing, do the franchised dealers know how to service the W107 or are they too old these days?

I live in Houston TX, so if you think a non franchised specialist is the way to go, any recomendations?

Sorry for all the questions or if I'm going over old ground. I'm so excited about owning my first SL I assume the information in this post isn't ringing alarm bells in your minds saying, STEP AWAY FROM THE VEHICLE Lord H and keep looking???

Last edited by Lord Hemming; 08-13-2007 at 12:35 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2007, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Hemming View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm a newbe to the forum and after many years lusting for a 560SL, I think I have found the right vehicle.

The 560 I'm (VERY) interested in has had only two owners, the first added 54k miles before selling the vehicle in 2002. The second owner has added just 5k miles, making a total of 59k miles, which is OK. The 560 has full Mercedes Benz service history and was last serviced in the summer of 2005. The interior is mint, the soft top looks unused. There is no sign of rust on the car.

If I pull the trigger (I'm 95% tempted ), what should I ask the person to have done to the vehicle before I collect it, or what allowance should I make in the price to cover the cost of work likely to be required? The car is in very good condition, the 2nd owner was ill for the last two years before passing away earlier this year, his wife only drove the car a few times before putting it up for sale. It has not been used in the winters as it has been a 3rd car for both owners.

I am aware the center A/C vents are not working, any idea what this will cost to fix, it seems from reading the forum it is likely to be the vacume actuators that will need to be replaced, but I can't find any estimated costs of getting the work done in a shop.

I would like to maintain the Mercedes Benz history, is this worth doing, do the franchised dealers know how to service the W107 or are they too old these days?

I live in Houston TX, so if you think a non franchised specialist is the way to go, any recomendations?

Sorry for all the questions or if I'm going over old ground. I'm so excited about owning my first SL I assume the information in this post isn't ringing alarm bells in your minds saying, STEP AWAY FROM THE VEHICLE Lord H and keep looking???
They are fairly robust cars, and buying an '89 is getting the best of the breed, as it's the last year for them. Those 227hp "Panzerwagens" were seldom the only car in their owner's family, so more often than not, they have low mileage and were gently used.

With an 18 year old one, though, even with low miles, it needs to be inspected carefully for rot and deterioriation of all rubber seals around the engine and drive train, and around the windows. (On the test drive a quick run through a carwash might be a good idea)

I'd certainly set aside a reserve for changing the fluids (oil, PS pump, coolant,transmission, windshield, rear diff, washer fluid) any rubber pieces, and perhaps a tuneup or belts and hoses. The original (Behr) radiator I believe on these had an unreinforced upper hose neck which tended to crumble after time, so a replacement could be due (The replacement Behr and Nissens radiators did not have this problem), and possibly tires, four wheel alignment and shocks.

These cars are getting older now, so many dealer techs don't know them too well, so there's no great advantage to main dealer servicing any more. Check the Texas section of "Good Mercedes shops" for ideas of good places to service the car.

May be time to shop for a good hardtop hoist or stand if you buy one of these cars.

Check the arm, shoulder and leg room before you buy, they are a bit cramped for big drivers.


See also:

www.oursl.com and www.slmarket.com

If you need more comments you could post up pictures.

They are good cars, I like them. From what you have said so far there is no reason to run away from this one - unless the color makes you want to throw up.
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1995 E 420, 170k "The Red Plum" (sold)

2015 BMW 535i xdrive awd Stage 1 DINAN, 6k, <----364 hp

1967 Mercury Cougar, 49k

2013 Jaguar XF, 20k <----340 hp Supercharged, All Wheel Drive (sold)
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:42 AM
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See if the timing chain has been done; it may needs to be done and that's why the current owner is selling it. When buying these older cars, I always ask who the mechanic was and call him to get the history.

You really need to get it looked at - I can recommend ******** Stuttgart near Antoine and Long Point owned by Hans. He's been my mechanic since the late 70s; he knows everything about these cars, especially the older ones.
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Last edited by POS; 05-29-2008 at 10:23 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-13-2007, 02:24 PM
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All a mute point now, after speaking to Hans, I called the guy selling the SL to agree to buy the car and he sold it late on Saturday


back to the drawing board!
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  #5  
Old 07-28-2008, 05:09 PM
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Posts: 1
I have a 89 560sl which i bought new on 89'
only 78k miles on it. stuff is starting to break weekly after all those years.
I stopped going back to the dealer years ago. found a shade tree mechanic
and learned to do a lot of things myself.
just recharged the a/c using enviro-safe R12 substitute and it worked well (Fl. heat)
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:31 PM
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zanetti2000: what is this "enviro-safe R12" you mention and where can it be obtained?
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  #7  
Old 07-28-2008, 07:13 PM
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Location: Greater Metropolitan Beaverdam VA
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You Should!

Congratulations!

I don't know (nor is it important at this point) what you paid. You have bought a fine car. At the low mileage you stated, I wouldn't worry about timing chain maintenance unless the preventive maintenance, particularly oil changes, has been neglected. Rubber items such as window and top seals should be o.k. unless the car has been outside it's whole life. Low mileage also means that the engine compartment hasn't had too much of a heat soak thus deteriorating rubber engine and vacuum components.

The center vent issue is something almost all of us deal with. In my case, I hold the center vents open with a 7/16 wooden dowel inserted through one of the vents from the front. I will get around to fixing it the right way some day but it is not very high on the priority list. The a/c will cool nicely through the side vents anyway.

These cars are very robust and you have bought well. I have an 88 560SL bought long distance on EBAY and found that the car had much less wrong with it than the seller thought. They are easy to troubleshoot if you are so inclined using a repair CD and/or ALLDATADIY. If you are not willing to do your own repair and maintenance, be prepared for some sizeable labor bills. Parts are readily available from many sources since they are a long-lived classic. Sort of like an old Harley Davidson.

Enjoy the Ride!
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:01 PM
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It cost me $250 in labor and $10 in parts for new diaphams for the vaccum solinod that controled the center vents. works great now
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