Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help



Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum > Mercedes-Benz Tech Information and Support > Tech Help

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-26-2008, 08:08 PM
tyl604's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 3,240
Which SL to purchase?

Thinking about buying an SL (380 or 500 maybe) for the wife. What is the newest model I should consider if my quest is to purchase one made before they had too much computer-gear on board? I want something that I can fix myself and I am more comfortable with the old motors before they began to be run by computers. She wants convertible and hardtop.

Appreciate the input - too bad they never made one with a diesel motor.

Thought I would post this in the tech section rather than the SL section to get a more widespread viewing.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-27-2008, 10:24 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Posts: 60
Hello,

Go for the r129 500SL.

Kr/
Jakob

PS: Diesel SL?????? hmmm....
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-27-2008, 10:36 AM
Dee8go's Avatar
Senor User
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 7,190
I'd go for a late model 129, if it were me. I will if I happen to come into some money unexpectedly. . . .
__________________
" The market, like the Lord, helps those who help themselves. But, unlike the Lord, the market does not forgive those who know not what they do."- Warren Buffett

OBK #55

1998 Lincoln Continental - Sold
Max 1984 300TD 285,000 miles - Sold
The Dee8gonator 1987 560SEC 196,000 miles - Sold
Orgasmatron - 2006 CLS500 90,000 miles
2002 C320 Wagon 122,000 miles
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-27-2008, 11:02 AM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
The R129 is nearly two model changes old now if you include the Batmobile-like '09 SL, and high-mileage versions can be had for around $15K.

The engine is pretty solid, and brake replacement is akin to the W124 setup, but your biggest headache will be the convertible top operation. Usually the front latch actuators leak and need to be replaced. But at least it's a DIY fix.

Those beefy tires aren't cheap though.

We've enjoyed our 95 SL before trading up to the 01 CLK. Spent very little on repairs.
__________________
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-27-2008, 11:15 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 3,726
Did you mean 380 or 560? If you're looking to avoid computers you wouldn't want a late model 129, or even an early model 129 for that matter. It sounds to me like you're looking for a 107 model, e.g. 1986 to 1989 560SL.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-27-2008, 11:29 AM
hitwtom's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maryland (Washington DC area)
Posts: 263
If you go to http://www.benzworld.org/forums/ They break down the forum by models. Search the different models you're interested in. Don't be too set on an earlier model to get away from computer controles. I've got an '85 500SEC and I think the mechanical fuel injection system is worse to figure out than an electrical one.
__________________
'83 240D (for sale)
'84 Harley FXRT
'85 300CD Turbo (Sold)
'85 500SEC (for sale)
'04 Dodge Dakota Quad
'06 Harley FLHTCI
'97 SL320
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-27-2008, 11:32 AM
Dee8go's Avatar
Senor User
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 7,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Benz View Post
. . . We've enjoyed our 95 SL before trading up to the 01 CLK. Spent very little on repairs.
How do you like the CLK, Gee? Sorry for the hijack.
__________________
" The market, like the Lord, helps those who help themselves. But, unlike the Lord, the market does not forgive those who know not what they do."- Warren Buffett

OBK #55

1998 Lincoln Continental - Sold
Max 1984 300TD 285,000 miles - Sold
The Dee8gonator 1987 560SEC 196,000 miles - Sold
Orgasmatron - 2006 CLS500 90,000 miles
2002 C320 Wagon 122,000 miles
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-27-2008, 01:19 PM
sd300td's Avatar
huh?
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee8go View Post
How do you like the CLK, Gee? Sorry for the hijack.
Yeah. I'd like to know too...
__________________
1982 240 D, 308,000 - 321,127 miles (sold)
1982 300 TD,166,500 - 226,000 miles
1998 E 320, 120,000 - 144,000 miles
2005 C 230 K, 26,000 - 77,000 miles (sold)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-27-2008, 03:19 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 2,156
how are the 107's?
__________________
1986 300SDL, 211K,Dealership serviced its whole life
1991 190E 2.6(120k)
1983 300D(300k)
1977 300D(211k)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-27-2008, 04:43 PM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee8go View Post
How do you like the CLK, Gee? Sorry for the hijack.
It's kinda like comparing apples to oranges.

We did the switch because for one, my wife's knees could no longer handle her climbing out of a low-slung vehicle...the CLK sits a bit higher.

The CLK has a rear seat...the SL does not. We have a kid who's growing up...case closed.

The SL has a hardtop included, so the ragtop has a plastic window. Ours split within six months of ownership (fixed under limited warranty)...the CLK has a permanent ragtop with a glass rear windshield (heck, even the old VW convertibles had glass rear windows!) The SL hardtop went on the car twice...upon delivery, and upon trade-in...it mostly dangled precariously over the car via the roof hoist during our ownership.

The 4.3L motor on the CLK seems more powerful than the 5.0 in the SL...still, the SL moved quite rapidly, but felt like a far heavier car. So this could all be perception. The CLK is a bit more stable when stomping on the gas...the SL was a total beast, breaking the rear wheels loose like a NHRA funny car!

The SL seemed to have a more robust chassis, which is paramount to any convertible lacking the extra support from a canopy. The CLK groans a bit regardless of pavement quality, so perhaps the R129 was built more solidly.

The CLK has a HUGE blind spot due to the vast area of the C-pillar. Best driven with the top down. The SL is plagued with the same, but the C-pillar is not as wide.

Both V8-equipped cars are all engine up front, so the battery for each car sits in the rear compartment. Weird sizes, so expect to spend a chunk upon replacement.

The R129 got lots of approving nods, as everyone recognizes the SL as the flagship luxury roadster. The CLK, not as much, as there are more of them around, especially the hardtop versions. The paint scheme on my wife's CLK along with the chrome AMGs do help it garner more attention.

But the R129 is looking dated, especially with R230s cruising the streets. The newer CLKs body lines didn't depart much from the very first model year, so the car doesn't look as old.


The cars:



__________________
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-27-2008, 05:11 PM
Pete Geither's Avatar
Half Fast Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Western Pa.
Posts: 2,417
Wow,, your 129 looked pristine. Hope you got your price out of it.
__________________
95 SL500 Smoke Silver, Parchment 64K
07 E350 4matic Station Wagon White 34K
02 E320 4Matic Silver/grey 80K
05 F150 Silver 44K
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-27-2008, 06:07 PM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Geither View Post
Wow,, your 129 looked pristine. Hope you got your price out of it.
...and then some. The car was snapped up by a customer who passed by the next day before the dealer could prep it for the pre-owned lot!
__________________
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-27-2008, 09:22 PM
A. Rosich's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Posts: 883
Avoid the 380 at all costs. This V-8 engine was highly problematic.

An early W129 500 SL would be a good bet if properly maintained.
__________________
A. Rosich
CL 500, 1998
S 500 L, 1998
E 320 T, 1995 [Sadly sold ]
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-27-2008, 10:08 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Posts: 439
you can find a great old 74-75 SL in great shape, low miles, and a classic at that. They are easy to maintain, and you still get that - Wow I always wanted one of those....go to http://www.thebenztrader.com/details.php?id=12630
__________________

Timothy Evans
TimEvans35@gmail.com
CELL 310 990 6780


1985 380 SL
2010 CL 6.3 AMG
*2009 CL 550 Sport 4matic
New addition-1984 380 SE
Newest Edition 1986 300E AMG
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-27-2008, 11:35 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 766
Sorry for the length, but I've owned a 560SL five years and researched fairly heavily, and what follows is a combo of my experiences and what seems to be the majority wisdom.

First point: If you're interested in low computer content, at least in relative terms, you want a 107. Yes, there's the fuel injection, but most of the rest is relatively mechanical, and the car itself has a directness in how you connect to it that feels pleasantly mechanical and immediate, IMHO. The 129 is definitely much newer technology; the basic design work was done 20 years or so after the 107, and it was intended to be the most highly engineered vehicle MB could produce at the time, so it should be no surprise that they're very different vehicles. The top is completely automatic--thanks to (IIRC) fifteen or so hydraulic cylinders and well over twenty limit switches, as well as a computer that looks at vehicle speed, window position etc in deciding whether to launch the top-moving sequence; not simple! What comparisons I've found, and my own observation, find the chassis of the 107 somewhat more rigid and the general feel of the car to have more of that Mercedes cast-out-of-one-block-of-steel feeling than the 129, which does have a little cowl shake sometimes.

Came real close to pulling the trigger this summer on changing from my 560SL to a '98 SL500 but couldn't give up the classic feel. I've been using the car as a daily driver through the summer, and the newer car is more pleasant in that role, but doesn't have the same feel--it's a really nice feel, but not the same feel--or quite the same classic wow factor.

Of the 107s, the 560SL is the most refined. The 380 is the most underappreciated and most maligned; if its timing chain has been taken care of properly it's as reliable as any of the others and the least thirsty--and any of the V8s need a new timing chain, upper guides and tensioner every 100K miles, though the single-row chain of the early 380s should be either converted to dual-row like the 450 and 560, or at least changed more often. Properly maintained, any of the V8 engines can last a very long time indeed; mine's over 170K miles and does need a quart of oil once between changes.

But ultimately it should come down to which gives you the biggest grin when you walk out to it, fire it up and get moving, which is entirely your decision. Don't rush; look at a lot of them, spend some time with both, and absolutely don't rush into any one particular car--there are a lot of them out there and a few that are really worth buying.

__________________
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)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page