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  #1  
Old 09-18-2003, 05:51 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: JACKSONVILLE FL.
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Newbie

HI,

I am new to this forum and MB cars. It's time to sell the coorvette and I am looking to purchase an 87 560SL. This car appears to be in good shape(no rust) and all sysytems appear to work. Milage is about 105k.

Are there any potential problem areas that I need to be on the look out for.

Thanks in advance



87cab
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  #2  
Old 09-18-2003, 09:23 AM
Bruce Hat's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: springfield, Penna
Posts: 347
Welcome. Now your talking. Good luck with your purchase
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Bruce Hat
2000 ML320 50K miles
1997 Jaquar XJ6 41K miles
1992 300SL 70K miles - Mint
1995 E320 Wagon 105K miles "Sold" - 10-6-04
1998 E320 "Totalled" - 1-14-04

If you want to know how crooked a stick is, just lay a straight one next to it.

It's not the tall sails that bring a ship to the port of destination, but the unseen wind.

Uncle's quote to me at 12 yrs old "Why walk when you can Bogaloo"
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  #3  
Old 09-18-2003, 10:09 AM
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Location: Evansville WI
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No real problems I can think of. These cars, the 560's, I refer to as "tough bastards".
Check the soft top, including the plastic windows, make sure they look good. They all came from the factory with a removeable hard top, so if that's gone, I'd pass on the deal, unless the car is real cherry and a good price.
Look for signs of oil leakage, primarily the rear main seal, front crank seal, and upper part of the oil pan to the block, and also the upper part of the block by the left rear corner (there is a "weep hole" there and if it's dripping out of there it may be bad intake gaskets).
Check for coolant leaks at the radiator and water pump, both are expensive to repair.
Check for transmission leakage, especially in the bell housing.

See if you can find out the MAINTENANCE history, usually if there is a good service history, the owner will have it, or else you'll have to find out if there has been just one service provider and you can ask them if they can give you the run-down on the past upkeep on it. What I am referring to isn't the sort of thing MB has on file, I'm talking regular routine maintenance, not warranty type work.
Just be sure to look past the glittery paint and chrome, these cars can be made to look just outstanding in most cases in a day or two, you need to research the history of the car a bit to determine it's true worth.

Gilly
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  #4  
Old 09-18-2003, 10:15 AM
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Just a second thought regarding service history. Hopefully the owner has kept copies of everything, that would be ideal. Or if you end up looking at the service records at some shop (assuming they'll let you look at them; with the present owners approval you should be able to). If you're looking through them, and seems like it's mostly like this: "oil change, oil change, tires, brakes, oil change, maintenance service, oil change, brake flush", that's fine, if the pile of repair orders is 2" thick and it's all like that, you've got a keeper!
If on the other hand it's more like this: "oil change, engine runs rough, oil change, steering pulls left, oil leak, oil change, transmission shift hard" things like that, the guy might be looking to bail out on the car because of having problems all the time. Seems like some cars are just like that, "Monday cars" or something, always little (or big) problems.

Gilly
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  #5  
Old 09-18-2003, 11:58 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 563
At that mileage, make sure the timing chain guide rails have been replaced. Also see if the valve stem seals have been replaced. If they haven't, they'll need to be done soon.

Make sure the A/C is working. That can be expensive to fix. Don't fall for the "it just needs freon" ploy.
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1988 560SL Black/Palomino
1988 300SEL Black Pearl/Burgandy
1984 500SEC Anthracite Grey/Palomino
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  #6  
Old 09-18-2003, 11:15 PM
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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A strong second to all the above. Make sure ALL the little bits work, such as AC, cruise control, windows, and radio antenna (usually an easy fix). Sun visors are expensive to replace if deteriorated, but easily fixed as a DIY if floppy. Check for rust in the top well and in the spare tire well, on the rocker panels around the jacking points, and one spot I hadn't thought of--the bottoms of the doors on the horizontal part, inside of the exterior panel. Inside the car, if the carpets are loose pull them up to check the floor pans inside. Check the parking brake; it should release easily and completely. Check the neck of the ell fitting on the top radiator connector; it's plastic unless an all-metal radiator has been fitted, and is a known weak point. The fuel pumps often are mildly noisy, but it shouldn't be loud or unsteady.
No matter how clean it looks, sounds, and feels, plan on $1-2K to fix stuff if you need the shop to do all work; if it's got "a few things" that you notice, plan on $2-3K.
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Craig Bethune

'97 SL500, 40th anniversary edition

'04 Olds Bravada (SWMBO's)
'06 Lexus ES330
'89 560SL (sold)


SL--Anything else is just a Mercedes.
(Kudos to whoever said it first)
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  #7  
Old 09-19-2003, 01:26 PM
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Location: Convent Station, NJ
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Be aware of "loose" (excessive play) steering as it could be an inexpensive adjustment, coupler or as expensive as a new/rebuilt steering gear box.

Because these are heavy cars check all bushings, mounts, ball joints, sway bar links, shocks...all things rubber.

I'd absolutely suggest having a MB experienced mechanic do a PPI (Pre-Purchase Inspection) as well as a MB competent Body shop.
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'85 380 SL (sold)
'85 Carrera Flatnose
'71 280 SL Signal Red/Cognac
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  #8  
Old 09-21-2003, 07:30 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 766
And after all that...

Our first real trip in the Baron.
Just got back from a weekend up to northern MI; Friday up to Traverse City in time for a late latte and a browse in the bookstore, meandered over to Leland for fresh whitefish dinner, then down to Frankfort for a weekend meeting at Crystal Mountain. Today down the rest of M22 along Lake Michigan to Manistee, stopping to nose around as desired, and then the rapid highway pound back to Grand Rapids.
About 480 miles of perfect behavior; what a wonderful machine. I've never driven anything that becomes an extension of me the way a Benz does. Now to get the passenger seat a bit softer to SWMBO's taste!
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Craig Bethune

'97 SL500, 40th anniversary edition

'04 Olds Bravada (SWMBO's)
'06 Lexus ES330
'89 560SL (sold)


SL--Anything else is just a Mercedes.
(Kudos to whoever said it first)
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