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  #1  
Old 01-11-2003, 10:57 PM
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1986 560 SEL info needed

Hello all. I am new to this site. Looks like a great site. I am considering buying a local, southern, rust-free 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL 4dr. The car has 124K and is dark gray, with light gray interior. The car currently belongs to a doctor, who has supposedly maintained it well. It is currently at a Chrysler-Dodge-Lincoln-Mercury dealership, that is selling it for him. The saleslady said he was asking $4800. for the car, but may take less. According to KBB, the price seems close to the private party value. But not sure what most sell for. According to E-Bay- the prices vary drastically. Does anyone here have any input on the price? The car is on VGC, good paint and the interior is in VGC. I have not driven it yet, as the saleslady that was to show it to me was gone the day I looked at it. Another salesman showed me the car. The battery was dead and we had to use a booster to start it. When it started, the engine sounded good, but when I turned the steering wheel, their was a "growling" sound under the hood. I am guessing power steering pump. Either was low on fluid, or a bad pump. Any input on this? Also, aside from heat/AC and electrical, what other areas should I check? Are the 5.6L engines good engines? Is 124K a lot for this car? I know the diesels will go over 500K easy if well maintained, but not sure about the gasoline cars. Any info appreciated.
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1991 Lincoln Town Car Executive (33k miles)
1991 Cadillac Sedan DeVille (77k miles)
1992 Toyota Camry LE (177k miles)
1972 Chevrolet Caprice Kingswood Estate 9-passenger wagon (44k miles)
1973 Pontiac Grand Ville 4-dr hardtop sedan (94k miles)
1988 Mercedes 300SEL (was mine, now mothers)
(Prior MB's: 1974 240D, 1985 380SE, 1984 190D)
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Old 01-11-2003, 11:05 PM
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If this is a true one owner car.. I would think its a pretty good price. At 124K miles, I doubt anyone would call this a "high milage" benz. Just make sure that the timing chain and guides have been replaced. If not, these I hear would cost somewhere around $700 or so to replace. Then you would need to replace them every 100K miles. I would take the car to a mercedes benz dealership where they would to a PPI.. or an independent area mechanic that specializes in mercedes. The mechanic would probably tell you what these noises are and if they are serious. After doing so... I would then make my offer according to what the mechanic suggests. The 560 is the flagship mercedes for that year, and is also one of the strongest engines for a mercedes at the time of production. I have seen some people online that had way over 250K miles on their 560. So yes I do think that if the car is truely cared for, you will have many more miles on the engine before a rebuild. Good luck and let us know what happens!
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Old 01-11-2003, 11:25 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I think the lady told me it is a three owner car. A doctor bought it brand new, then another doctor bought it a few years ago- which is the current owner. I am going to ask to see the records to the car, to be sure it has been maintained. So I can expect to pay $700 every 100K for the timing chain? I am asking, because I am not sure of the maintainence these cars require. I had considered a hail damaged 1983 300 SD turbo diesel a few months ago. It had 224K and the seller wanted $1800 for the car. The interior was in mint condition. Car ran good too. I passed on it, as I thought it was not that much with the hail damage- but now I wish I had of bought it. I am trying to now decide it I would be better just finding a 81-85 300 SD. Do they require a new timing chain every 100K as well? Thanks again.
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1991 Lincoln Town Car Executive (33k miles)
1991 Cadillac Sedan DeVille (77k miles)
1992 Toyota Camry LE (177k miles)
1972 Chevrolet Caprice Kingswood Estate 9-passenger wagon (44k miles)
1973 Pontiac Grand Ville 4-dr hardtop sedan (94k miles)
1988 Mercedes 300SEL (was mine, now mothers)
(Prior MB's: 1974 240D, 1985 380SE, 1984 190D)
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Old 01-11-2003, 11:26 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by 86560SEL
[B]Thanks for the reply. I think the lady told me it is a three owner car.

I made a mistake. She said it was a two owner car. Not three.
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1991 Lincoln Town Car Executive (33k miles)
1991 Cadillac Sedan DeVille (77k miles)
1992 Toyota Camry LE (177k miles)
1972 Chevrolet Caprice Kingswood Estate 9-passenger wagon (44k miles)
1973 Pontiac Grand Ville 4-dr hardtop sedan (94k miles)
1988 Mercedes 300SEL (was mine, now mothers)
(Prior MB's: 1974 240D, 1985 380SE, 1984 190D)
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  #5  
Old 01-12-2003, 12:06 AM
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I am not familiar with the diesels.. you may try posting this in the Diesel discussion as you have plenty of diesel benz fans there that are knowledgable and will help you answer any questions about a diesel benz. The most important info you need about the car is its maintenance history. That way you will know what things were replaced or fixed. You don't want to end up with a car that will have a high priced part go out on you as soon as you buy it. I hope others here on the board can help since many of the people here have owned a Mercedes far longer than I have.
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  #6  
Old 01-12-2003, 12:58 AM
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560 SEL's are great cars. 124,000 miles is not a lot of mileage for this car.

What's most important is maintenance. You need to take this car to a Mercedes mechanic and pay for a PPI (pre-purchase inspection).

The most important thing about this car is the timing chain issue that Snibble mentioned. The interval to change the timing chain, tensioner, and chain rails depends on how often the oil was changed, but generally it should be replaced at about 120,000 miles.

The price also seems to be below market. If the condition is right, there are people that would pay $8k-$10k for this car. KBB usually underestimates the value of these cars.
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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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  #7  
Old 01-12-2003, 02:13 AM
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I have had my '86 560SEL for about 2-1/2 years. I really love it but it is a love-hate relationship. We have good days and bad days together...

Mine is the same as yours - dark drey on lite grey interior. A good look. I bought mine with 125 K - it now has 160 K.

I agree with the others with regards to the timing chain. Had mine done only after my mechanic talked me in to it and another one of his customers didn't do it - and paid the price of a rebuild!

I think you'll find that the tranny will be near the end of its life unless its been gone through already. Depends how it has been driven and serviced. I suggest getting it checked closely.

I replaced my accumulators also - part of hydraulic self leveling suspension. Expect it to be a $500 bill or so. Also did the radiator - only because the plastic on the top shroud got brittle and broke off. I've heard they just age this way.

My motor is strong and powerful. Does not leak and does not burn oil. It is a sweet motor. If you like a bit of power, you will like this motor - over the smaller ones. Gas mileage is OK. I have owner P/U trucks and Ford Explorers. I figure it to be about the same milage. However it does idel rough, even after new plug wires and distributor cpa/rotor, which I am trying to sort out.

Top quality factory recommended V rated tires will make it ride nicely. I just put new Michelin XVGA4+ tires on and it made a big difference.

Check to make sure the cruise control works. They usually don't in cars this old. Not a big deal if you don't care.

Keep in touch if you like. Would be interested to hear how you make out. Good luck!

$4800 sounds reasonable if the car has a good pedigree and is sweet. I keep driving new Acruras and Infinitis thinking of trading it in - but the old 560 is better in many ways - not to mention price of a new car!
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  #8  
Old 01-12-2003, 10:08 AM
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Location: Kingsport, TN
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Hi 86560SEL,

I bought an 87 420 SEL in August. I figured that these 15 year old cars are not exactly cheap to maintain. My brother drove MB's for many years so I knew. There are many rubber bushings that deteriorate with age and need regular maintenance.
The best advice is "have it inspected". Is the transmission leaking? Is AC working, etc.
Chances are you will not get much maintenance records but everybody will say it got good maintenance.
Rather than repeat all the items, do a search with "560 W126"
and enjoy reading.
Good luck
Reinhard Kreutzer
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2003, 12:12 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by woodroofguy !
I think you'll find that the tranny will be near the end of its life unless its been gone through already. Depends how it has been driven and serviced. I suggest getting it checked closely.

Thanks to all for the helpful replies. The part woodroofguy does worry me however. I would hate to buy the car and have the transmission go out. I would have thought they would go at least 200K if well maintained. I am supposed to go look at the car Wednesday. I think I will tell the saleslady I must have it checked first. The closest shop that specializes in Mercedes that I know of, is the next city to the west, which is about 20 miles away. If she says the seller will not agree for me to drive the car to have it checked, I will pass on it. Then, if everything checks out OK, I may make an offer, rather than paying the $4800 asking price. Maybe I can get lucky and offer $3500 and the seller will accept. The car really looks nice and it may even be worth the $4800. Seems like the prices vary quite a bit on these cars. About the timing chain- someone here said they had to change theirs at 125K. Do you recall how much this repair was? If it is not changed and the chain breaks, does it ruin the engine, or are these non-interference engines? Thanks again to all for the information.
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1991 Lincoln Town Car Executive (33k miles)
1991 Cadillac Sedan DeVille (77k miles)
1992 Toyota Camry LE (177k miles)
1972 Chevrolet Caprice Kingswood Estate 9-passenger wagon (44k miles)
1973 Pontiac Grand Ville 4-dr hardtop sedan (94k miles)
1988 Mercedes 300SEL (was mine, now mothers)
(Prior MB's: 1974 240D, 1985 380SE, 1984 190D)
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Old 01-14-2003, 12:31 AM
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These are interference engines.

A timing belt skipping a tooth on the sprocket will cause about $5,000 in damage.
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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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  #11  
Old 01-14-2003, 01:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by suginami
These are interference engines.

A timing belt skipping a tooth on the sprocket will cause about $5,000 in damage.

Wow. I guess I had better be sure it was changed and if not and I buy it- I guess I should plan on getting a new one installed. Thanks.
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1991 Lincoln Town Car Executive (33k miles)
1991 Cadillac Sedan DeVille (77k miles)
1992 Toyota Camry LE (177k miles)
1972 Chevrolet Caprice Kingswood Estate 9-passenger wagon (44k miles)
1973 Pontiac Grand Ville 4-dr hardtop sedan (94k miles)
1988 Mercedes 300SEL (was mine, now mothers)
(Prior MB's: 1974 240D, 1985 380SE, 1984 190D)
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  #12  
Old 01-14-2003, 02:45 AM
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I have an '89 560sel, the car drives great almost no problems its a two owner car me being the second one. If the previous owner took care of it the car should not give you problems. Make sure to check the climate control I heard thats an expensive problem and also be sure to check the self leveling suspension. Enjoy
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  #13  
Old 01-14-2003, 11:49 AM
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My car needed all that (chain, rails and tensioner) and every shop I called wanted at least 700 for it. So I said "f%&# that! Not for 150 bucks in parts!" So I did it myself! As an amateur! Got 'er back together and all 3 timing marks are right on the money. If I can do it, most anybody, except for the most mechanically inept, can do it. There's even a spectacular webpage on this procedure, that explains everything but the chain itself, but after you've done everything that's on that page, the chain isn't much more. Check out this webpage by thomaspin....can't get much better than this.
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Old 01-14-2003, 12:13 PM
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Cool

I have an '86 560 SEL which I bought used 7 years ago from the original owner. The car had 55K then, now 122K. It has been a great ride. I did replace the timing chain and related pieces. These chains seldom break unless the related pieces fail and then get into the chain links. It is more of a time issue than mileage with the chains. Frequent oil changes is your best prevention measure to keep the chain and the rest of the engine in top condition. I have also replaced the valve stem guides and the radiator. And that's about it other than regular service items. Your tranny should be good for well over 200K miles if it has been serviced and not abused. These older 560 SEL's have proven to be the most bullet-proof engine/transmission combinations in the MB line. You will have some things to replace from time to time....but what other car can you buy for under $5K and have the safety, power, comfort, and prestige that you will get with this 560 SEL? Think of the money you will save on car payments and insurance. That will more than take care of any normal expenses you will have. Buy it.....after you get a good inspection, of course.
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  #15  
Old 01-14-2003, 06:58 PM
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Thanks again for the replies. I am seriously considering buying the car. I had about changed my mind and was going to wait and find a low mile 83-85 300 SD (almost impossible to find one w/ low miles), but everytime I drive by the car lot and see the car, decide I want it again. As mentioned, I may look at it again tomorrow, drive it and check to see if they are any service records. If it does seem to run and drive good and no records available, I will point out to the saleslady that the car will need a battery (was low the day I looked at it and had to be boosted) and the growl from the power steering pump. Then I will tell her, if the chain has not been replaced- it will need to be and then proceed to make an offer on the car. I had originally planned on trading one of my cars- a 1995 Chrysler Concorde on the car, but then I found out it was still the doctors car and not the car lots, so trading im my Concorde may not be possible. Does anyone know the loan value on this car? I can only find trade-in value, private party value and retail value on this car. If I am not mistaken- I think loan value is very close to trade-in. Trade-in value on this car is only $2525 in good condition, according to KBB. I think I will offer $3000-$4000 for the 560- according to how well it runs and if whether or not it has the records.
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1991 Lincoln Town Car Executive (33k miles)
1991 Cadillac Sedan DeVille (77k miles)
1992 Toyota Camry LE (177k miles)
1972 Chevrolet Caprice Kingswood Estate 9-passenger wagon (44k miles)
1973 Pontiac Grand Ville 4-dr hardtop sedan (94k miles)
1988 Mercedes 300SEL (was mine, now mothers)
(Prior MB's: 1974 240D, 1985 380SE, 1984 190D)

Last edited by 86560SEL; 01-14-2003 at 07:05 PM.
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