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Old 10-31-2009, 11:32 PM
iwrock's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Hella NorCal
Posts: 3,312
Shopping for a Pagodas (W113)

Need some pointers on what to look for when shopping for a Pagoda....

Any problems areas we should look for when looking at them? We are mainly interested in early 230SLs, but are have looked at a few 280SLs....

01 Honda S2000 - dogs dd
07 MB ML320 CDI - dd
16 Lexus IS250 - wifes dd

it's automatic.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:27 AM
Strife's Avatar
General Purpose Geek
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: KY USA
Posts: 2,238
This board is generally oriented towards 107's (not by design, it just is), but would be a place to start. From what I know, you really need to bring an expert with you. Some parts are 10X+ the price of 107 parts, and you simply aren't going to find much used that you would actually want to buy - so you might as well get the best one you can afford. Rust is a VERY serious problem, as are accidents that haven't been repaired properly.

This car is now so valuable that people I know who have one only drive them rarely - they really aren't "daily drivers", and barely "Sunday weekend" drivers. They certainly aren't fast by today's standards, but possibly not as "exciting" to merge onto an expressway with as a 190SL!
86 560SL
With homebrew first gear start!
85 380SL
Daily Driver Project
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:44 AM
TheDon's Avatar
Open Discussion Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 13,212
call my mechanic/friend.. Pierre Hedary 407 652 2867

He has one and knows the thing inside and out. I think he also has the workshop manual on microfiche
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:48 AM
rowdie's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: NE Oklahoma
Posts: 1,416
Try here. They provide a buyers guide and more.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:31 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,316
Like Strife said, is a great resource. They have very good advice on how to choose a car. I think your choice of an early 230 is a good one, but how early. The 63's and 64's have problems with the soft tops and engines that are hard to fix and they also have some unique parts that are impossible to find.

The basic rule is to find an unrusted car, which shouldn't be too hard in your area. People who are serious about these cars won't even look at one with rust.

Be sure the gaps are even, especiall between the hood and fenders. The hood should latch when dropped from about 18".

The soft top mechanism is expensive to repair, so make sure it goes up and down easily and fits in the well. Watch out for rust around the hatch cover seal. If you want a hardtop, better to buy a car with a good one, as they are expensive and most of the used ones need rehab, which is really expensive.

The injection pumps are another potential trouble spot especially on the 230. The engine should start easily and idle at about 1000 rpm, and come down to 800 or so when warm. You should be able to drive off immediately after a cold start.

Make sure that there aren't any major pieces missing from the interior or body. Again, expensive.

The rest is basic check out for stuff working right. The suspension and brakes are fintail stuff and fairly easy to fix.

Outside of the injection, the engine is uncomplicated. There are no more oversized pistons for the later 230s, so don't buy a smoker.

Seat and door covers and rugs are available. You can fix the heating and ventilation but it is a pain. Dashes can be recovered, but it's a lot of work. Wood is expensive. If you need a new windshield the wood needs to be removed.

They are fun cars, and do better than most on holding their value. I have really enjoyed my '66 230.
Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:50 AM
rowdie's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: NE Oklahoma
Posts: 1,416
I went to inspect one for another member. The car was in Tulsa for sale for $15,000.00. I know alsmost nothing about the W113 so he sent me the link I provided above. The buying guide was invaluable. The car was a great 15 footer but when he opened the hood/bonnet It was immediately apparent the car had been wrecked and rebuilt. And not done well. I pointed a few things out to the older gentleman that was selling it and told him I would not waste his time.
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:40 AM
jplinville's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Dayton, Ohio region
Posts: 302
I, too, have been in the search mode for one, but in the flavor of the 190. Ever since they featured on in the Star, my wife has been wanting one.

Thanks for the links above, I'm sure I'll be using that info.
1987 560SL
85,000 miles

Meet on the level, leave on the square. Great words to live by

Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread. - Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821.
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