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  #1  
Old 10-30-2002, 05:29 PM
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Question 1996 SL500 Opinions...

I will most likely pick up a 1996 SL500 this weekend, as long as it passes the Mercedes dealership inspection. Was hoping to get some opinions on the year and make. It has 33k miles, is in great shape, although I wont get to drive it until this weekend.

Anything I should watch out for that the MB mechanics might not pick up? Are these super expensive for labor and parts? I have had MB before and dont mind an expensive repair bill, but are these exhorbitant?

Thanx much, I cant wait to drive it.
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2002, 07:17 AM
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Congrats on your "new" SL! They are fine aotumobiles are very rewarding to drive. I believe the only thing to watch for is that the head gasket tended to leak oil and had to be replaced. I'm sure MB will check for this. Have you considered a Starmark Warrenty? You can purchase this from Benz and the car will then be certified. Enjoy the SL...post any pics you may have.
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Old 10-31-2002, 08:42 AM
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Thanx Dale!

Do you know how the warranty works? How much it costs ballpark, etc. I would love to purchase a warranty like this, especially if it covered the big things like engine and tranny.

It goes to the dealer this weekend, Im so excited I cant sleep!!!! Hopefully it passes all tests.
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Old 10-31-2002, 03:43 PM
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I trhink it costs around $1300.00. It's well worth it should anything go wong with the vehicle. If you go to www.MBUSA.com you can look under the Starmark warrenty and it will give you all the details. Keep us posted on how the test drive went, you're gonna LOVE that car!!
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2002, 04:22 PM
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congrats!

i've had my 96 for 8 months now and it is a dream. you can't get starmark if you buy from a private owner - but i bought an aftermarket warranty for major mechanical - 4 years/unlimited miles, about $2k.
definitely ask the dealer to run a vehicle report - you can also call mb up directly and they'll do it (vmi i think, vehicle master inquiry? you'll need a vin #). it lists all the dealer service that has been done. check for the evap - that's the most costly service item and was faulty that year.
good luck - and happy motoring.
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  #6  
Old 11-01-2002, 02:57 AM
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Check that everything works

Even though I bought mine from a dealer, it was still worth checking that absolutely everything was working. There were a few things the inspection did not pick up:
- Driver-side seat heating fuse had blown.
- Driver-side headrest adjustment motor turned, but did not move the headrest.
- Right front headlamp wiper had come loose and did not move until bolt was tightened.
- One front wheel was out of balance, producing slight vibration at 75 mph.
- Spare tire had a cut in it, caused by the funny way the jack has to be stowed.

On general expense, if nothing goes wrong, the cars are not expensive to run. If something happens to components that are not shared with, for example, the S class, it can be very expensive. Other notes in this forum show the roof electronics to be such an item. This is inevitable due to low volume production.

As you may also gather, hardtop leaks are not unknown, and very expensive to have fixed. Either test in a storm, or run a hose over the joins with the windscreen for a long time, I would suggest.

Whatever warranty you wind up with, I would certainly want to understand whether the soft top mechanism was covered, and roof leaks.

Momo
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  #7  
Old 11-01-2002, 05:22 AM
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Well turns out it was too good to be true. The seller balked at me taking it to a dealer and I had a bad feeling in my gut so I walked away. It was certainly too good to be true with an asking price of 22500. We also saw that it had been hit on the drivers side bumper, the hood did not line up, and it had been repainted. No frame damage, but the weird thing was that one of the blades on the fanblade was missing a big chunk, weird. The shroud was intact and all the screws lined up on the engine compartment body.

Im currently looking at a 1990 300SL. Im a little dissapointed in not having the V8. Any opinions on the 300SL's? Are they fairly quick? Worth the money? The one I am looking at is in great condition, 60k miles and is thru a dealer friend at $17,900.

For my money what do you guys think I should look at? Iwould like a somewhat fast, sporty feel. I have about 20k to spend.

Thanx much!
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2002, 05:26 AM
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Can anyone comment on how the 3.0 engine in the 300SL pulls the 4k lbs of weight?
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  #9  
Old 11-01-2002, 06:55 AM
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Wow!!!!.........Sorry to hear about the SL. However, where there's smoke there's fire, and to be sure this was the case under closer inspection. IF you have a dealer near you that you are comfortable with,....put him on the job to FIND you a vehicle that will be MB certified with the starmark warrenty. I know there certain criteria that a starmark warrenty will not cover, such as cars over a certain age and with too much mileage on them. Your dealer should be able to help you locate a car. I would be very cautious about purchasing an SL from a private owner unless they can produce the service records and agree to an independent inspection. If the deal sounds too good to be true....it usually is and for a good reason as well. Even if you talk to the dealer and give him your parameters, he will be able to guide you on what ypou can realistically expect to pay for the car.
Good luck on your search....keep us posted...
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Old 11-01-2002, 07:12 AM
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Thanx for the comment. I knew something was wrong when they didnt let me take it to the mb dealer. I would like to know more about the extended warranty. I looked at starmark vehicles and they are a good 6-9k more in price than private sales, I dont know if this is worth it. I wouldnt mind paying the 2k for an extended. I will bring this to the dealer also to make sure it is good to go, and will ask them about the warranty.

Any comments of the upgradeability of this 90 300SL? I see superchips UK lists a chip for it at 239 euro, is this a DIY job? It says 12hp, which would be nice for 240hp. I currently drive a front wheel drive 188hp at 3200 lbs and hope the 4200lb of the 300SL wont slow it down too much.

Thanx again!!
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  #11  
Old 11-01-2002, 03:38 PM
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Can't really help you with the upgradeability of the 300. Perhaps if you post this question in the tech forum, you may do better. Also, who is the dealer that is closest to you?
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Old 11-01-2002, 05:45 PM
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Im leaning a bit towards the corvette now, for 10k less I can get a convertible of the same year as the 500SL. Ill have to research a bit more and see if I can score a 500, I just dont think I could settle with a 3.0 engine pulling 4200 lbs. of weight.

My dealer friend says he has a line on a SL600, I think a 95, lets see how much that one is.
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  #13  
Old 11-01-2002, 05:55 PM
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Consider yourself inteligent Really, I'm happy for your decision about not taking the car. Been burned so bad before they had to skin gragh from my horse to cover it
About the 300SL...I own one. I bought it online from a retired dealer. It had minor (or what appeared to be minor) interior defects. Simple things broken like the drivers visor, scratch on the wood trim, etc. These were more expensive than an engine!!
I repaired or replaced all of those things and I can't put into words what this car does for me... I'll just say WOW!!
Some would say I need a life if I try to tell you how much I love this car. Awesome
As far as speed goes... Originally this car sold for $78K Most absolutely you get what you paid for. I am a Technical engineer who made machines for the Smithsonion Institute, NASA, and others. These cars are an engineering marvel. Oh, we were talking about speed, there are some that don't know how to make the 300SL go and then there's me. It FLIES!!!
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  #14  
Old 11-01-2002, 07:49 PM
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Damn you Marc!! Make my life hard why dont you? I can buy that 1990 300 for 17,900 off of a friend dealer, and he will let me bring it to MB for an inspection. Im just wondering, for that same 18k or so I can easily pick up a convertible corvette, possibly even a 1996 at an auction. Is the engineering marvel that is the 300SL really that good?

Hopefully I will get to test drive some in the coming weeks, thats when I will make up my mind.
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2002, 08:16 PM
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Hey,
Sorry to make you triple think your decision...Guess you won't be sleeping much
To answer your question Yup it is a fine machine.
I took it for the regular Massachusetts sobriety test and the poor guy that did the test had to do it twice because of the results. He said (and I quote) "It's cleaner than human breath"
Are you sure you want a Chevy??
The new 4 cylinder Mercedes (SLK) will smoke ANY stock Corvett!!
Four cylinders!! Review mirrors obsolete!
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