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  #1  
Old 11-11-2003, 09:05 PM
jeffj
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SL500 or SL600

My wife and I are looking at used SL500's and SL600's.

the ones we're considering are 1994 to 1997 models all with less than 60k miles...

opinions?

are the V12's a lot more expensive to maintain than the SL500's ?

are there things we should look out for regarding either of the two models?

thanks in advance...

- jeff
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2003, 09:20 PM
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The V12 is real neat and a blast to drive, not too much more to maintain. It's the repairs that really can bite you on the V12 though. Insurance probably alot higher when you get into 12 holes. Probably not "alot" thirstier than the 500.
In general I'd look for a 500. Unless you've always always wanted a V12, in that case you could do alot worse than the SL600. The problems seem mostly fuel and emission related. Real rare to have to need one towed though. It's about like having 2 seperate engines under the hood-if one side of the engine fails it will often be driveable, the usual complaint is that it lacks power, usually idles just fine on a single bank, so that's kind of reassuring.
On these years, on either the V12 or V8, a few things I can think od to watch out for are leaking power steering gear boxes (major expense, a few thousand just for the part) and also AC evaporators, big labor time.

Gilly
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  #3  
Old 11-12-2003, 01:28 PM
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Go for the SL600 you only live once! That is one of my dream cars. Nothing like the sound of German V12 at redline as your going well into the triple digits. OOP's I hope no cops are reading this.
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  #4  
Old 11-12-2003, 01:47 PM
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LOL! Triple digits! "Honest officer, the speedo only read 64.9 mph!!!

Gilly
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  #5  
Old 11-12-2003, 01:58 PM
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I have driven both. I like both.

However, when it comes to selection the SL500s will be much more plentiful. You may have better resale (as a % of your cost) if you ever ever decide to let it go.

Find the nicest example of either you can afford
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  #6  
Old 11-12-2003, 01:58 PM
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Maybe if you could get one of the 85mph California speedos put in then you could say "honest officer it only does 85 thats what the speedo says."
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  #7  
Old 11-12-2003, 09:38 PM
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while maintenance for a 600 may not be much more than for a 500, the running costs are considerably higher. the V-12 is a thirsty engine and repairs can be quite expensive. a common problem with 600's is that the engine heat has a habit of burning out wiring harnesses. there's just too much engine in the space allocated and the airflow under the bonnet sucks.

i'd get an SL500.
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  #8  
Old 11-12-2003, 10:32 PM
mb4ever
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on concerns about the heat development

- is the S600 (w140) better at dealing with the excessive heat development of the V12. I am personally in the group of people who always wanted a V12 for the technical reasons.
I read that through the 90's, the MB V12, along with the ferrari was the only 4 valve V12 in production cars (The Mclaren F1 dosn't count for regular folks). And the MB V12 is the only one with knocksensors on each cylinder ensuring a smooth running operation??

I want one, but I was just wondering about the heat issue as well??

Jari
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  #9  
Old 11-12-2003, 11:39 PM
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I could be wrong, but i believe there are only 4 knock sensors on the M120. They only work with the ignition system, for misfire recognition it has a crank angle sensor.
It's mechanically a very durable engine.
Never seen any real serious problem in regards to the cooling system on either the 129 or 140 chassis.

Gilly
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  #10  
Old 11-13-2003, 05:06 AM
jeffj
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Price wise the SL600's are the same price as SL500's and in some cases less money. The gas cost is not much of a factor for me with either car.
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  #11  
Old 11-13-2003, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
is the S600 (w140) better at dealing with the excessive heat development of the V12
The larger engine bay area and exhaust routing of the 140 VS the 129 chassis contributes highly to the ability of the V12 to "breathe" and run cooler. Not that the engine temp tips on the w129, but you know what i mean. A large engine in a smaller space cannot dissipate heat like a large engine in a larger space can
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  #12  
Old 11-13-2003, 01:14 PM
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Gilly,

The cooling system is not the issue, rather it's the dissipation of hot air in the engine bay. There is no overheating problem with the V-12, per se. As aldedmon said, a large engine in a smaller space cannot dissipate heat like a large engine in a larger space.
__________________
'94 W124.036 249/040 leder; 8.25x17 EvoIIs
'93 W124.036 199/040 leder; 8.25x17 EvoIIs, up in flames...LITERALLY!
'93 W124.036 481/040 leder; euro delivery; 8.25x17 EvoIIs
'88 R107.048 441/409 leder; Euro lights
'87 W201.034 199/040 leder; Euro lights; EvoII brakes; 8x16 EvoIs - soon: 500E rear brakes
'70 R113.044 050/526; factory alloys; Euro lights
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2004, 12:14 AM
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Hi Guys,

Good input from everyone. Stuff I needed to know, which helps as I have put down a deposit on a 94 SL600 (pic). I had a 92 SL500 and while I was looking for another this one came which was to hard to pass by.

I have heard that harnesses are a problem due to heat build up under the bonnet, and am surprised that no-one makes a bonnet mod with extract vents. Might have a think about this as it would certainly reduce heat build up on the top of the engine. I will look around to see which look teh best and if I do the mod will post details here.

My guess is that the heat damage is done after you shut down, with airflow adeqaute while driving.

I also have 1992 600SEL (W140) and there is absolutley no problem there with heating/cooling. The engine does have a small oil leak from the front crank seal, but my mech says that a litre of oil per 10,000 kms is cheaper than the repair. It does however make a mess of of my drive.

I dont find the engine too thirstier than than the 500 and it is a bigger and heavier car. Consumption runs at 15mpg on the 500 and 13mpg on the 600. These figures are based on imperial gallons of 4.5 litres per gallon. I think a US gallon is 4 litres (or close to it).
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SL500 or SL600-resize-sl600a.jpg  
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