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  #1  
Old 12-04-2002, 12:00 AM
EMB145Driver
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'86 560 SEL Purchase Advice

I am considering a purchase of a 'mint' '86 560 SEL on ebay. I have gotten awesome advice from this forum. Some of your advice kept me from buying what could have been a disaster about a month ago.

This car is flawless as near as I can tell. 84,000 miles and I believe it's the second owner. He hasn't replaced the timing chain or guides and the a/c is R12. Everything looks great otherwise, including a squeaky clean Carfax. Lots of pictures all looked good including wood panels around the shifter.

The seller listed a buy it now price of $6700 and a reserve price of $6500. I watched the auction end at $5800 and contacted the seller to see if he had taken that price. It's still for sale and I'm going to go look at it.

Kelley says private party price in excellent condition is $5975, Edmunds, $5240. If the car is as perfect as he claims, is it wise to pay as much as $6500? Does it bother anyone else that the car might have sat seeing as it has such low mileage?

Thanks for the help.
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2002, 12:13 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
Age is just as hard on a car as mileage, so even at that low mileage, there are a lot of items that should have been replaced or will need to be replaced in the future. If I was going to pay full Kelley Blue Book Excellent Value Private Party Retail price (or more), the car would really have to be nearly perfect. I would require to have a full, complete, documented history with receipts of all maintenance and repairs. And I would need to take the service history with me if I bought the car. The owner should have replaced over time many items like rotors, possibly a radiator, V-belts, various radiator and heater hoses, etc.
Make sure that at minimum the brake fluid was replaced every two yeas and the radiator coolant every three years.
If anything of the above was missing or incomplete, I would surely not pay full KBB excellent private party value.

Also, cars always look perfect in digital photo's, so be sure to look at the car very closely.

Last, at that age, even with the low miles, I would expect that the timing chain guide rails would need replacement as well as the timing chain tensioner.
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Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 12-04-2002, 12:27 AM
EMB145Driver
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Thanks for the reply. He claims to have full maintenance records but for some that means a few scribbles in the maintenance log. I brought up the timing chain issue and he responded in an email that his mechanic says it's not due until 100K. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it the vinyl guide rails that break? I know what my plastic mailbox will look like after 17 years!

Thanks for the advice re the fluid and belt/hose changes. What year did they go to the different upholstery? I really like that look and I want black on black anyway. This one is dark blue (close) on beige. Thanks a bunch.

-Josh
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  #4  
Old 12-04-2002, 12:48 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
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Right, his chain is probably fine, but the plastic rails are surely hard and brittle.

I have no idea about the upholstery.
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Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2002, 10:02 PM
ILUVMILS's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: New Jersey, U.S.A.
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560SEL? Rear shocks and bellows(accumulators)! A common failure that will make the car ride like a truck and expensive to fix.
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