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Old 01-30-2003, 06:45 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Dallas TX
Posts: 28
Contemplating 88 560SL purchase (56K)...

Good Morning All,

Have an opportunity to purchase 88 model 560. Recently had all intake gaskets replaced. Are there any timing chain issues or other issues I should be aware of? Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-30-2003, 01:07 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 563
Certainly there are timing chain issues. You should have someone take off the valve covers and inspect the rails and chain (or just budget $1000 to have them replaced). This is the only problematic catastrophic failure for this engine.

At this age, the valve stem seals are probably leaking. Budget another $800 if it hasn't been done. Is it using oil? This is the most likely cause. Valve cover seals also tend to leak after awhile, but thats easy and cheap. It also doesn't lose too much oil.

You may also find that pretty much any rubber that is still original needs to be replaced. Suspension bushings, door seals, trunk seal, soft top seals, hard top seals, window seals, etc. Except for the suspension, this probably isn't a high priority.

Ideally, you'd like to have all the service records so that you know the manner in which it was maintained AND you know what's been replaced. A lot of owners aren't that meticulous though, so you'll probably have to compromise there.

Unless you've already owned a Mercedes before, don't look at fixer-uppers. You'll have no idea what you're in for. There are plenty of excellent examples of 560SLs out there, make sure you get one of them.
Mike Heath
1988 560SL Black/Palomino
1988 300SEL Black Pearl/Burgandy
1984 500SEC Anthracite Grey/Palomino
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