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  #1  
Old 01-24-2003, 09:14 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
Posts: 856
1989 560SEL w/97K Miles ... what's it worth?

Been in the market for one ... prefers last of series (91), but willing to compromise ... but, don't have a feel for value of this version ... can anyone help me?

Any known bad-juju things to look for?

Assume most everything is same as my '91 350SDL?

Thanks to everyone!
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George Stephenson
1991 350 SDL (200K and she ain't bent, yet)
former 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon - good car
former 1985 300 CD - great car
former 1981 300 TD - good car
former 1972 280 SEL - not so good car
a couple of those diesel Rabbits ...40-45 mpg
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2003, 09:43 AM
engatwork's Avatar
busy
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,777
There was an '88 model in the local paper advertised with "low miles" for around $5300. Don't know if it ever sold or not.
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Jim
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2003, 09:45 AM
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George

For a 89 560SEL with 97000, its worth between 12,000 and 13,500 dollars depending on condition. That jumps to about 14,500 and 16,500 for a 90 with same mileage. Again the condition. This is for the deep south with no salt exposure or negative conditions.

K
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1989 420SEL 105575 miles
Pearl Black/Grey

1990 Chevrolet E-Cab C-1500
293,000 miles

1989 Olds Toranado Trofeo'
132,000 miles
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  #4  
Old 01-24-2003, 10:40 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 459
I've seen lots of them in the Washington Post for around $8-10K. Take your time and look for the right car. Tonnes of Mercedes in the DC area and you'd be surprised the really mint ones that are out there if you take your time. Last spring I drove an '89 with only 75,000 miles on it that was traded in at a Honda dealer of all places. It truely was like a brand-new car inside and out. I couldn't afford it a the time, but it was probably one of the nicest used Mercedes I've ever seen (other than one that's just a couple years old). The Honda dealer was asking $10,900 for it.

Take your time,

GregS
'84 300D, 173k
'90 300CE, 161k
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2003, 11:04 AM
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Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 563
At 97k, it's due for timing chain, rails, and tensioner replacement.

Quote:
Assume most everything is same as my '91 350SDL?
Uh, no. The engine doesn't need to be replaced. The body is pretty much the same though. Were dual air bags standard in '89?
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Mike Heath
1988 560SL Black/Palomino
1988 300SEL Black Pearl/Burgandy
1984 500SEC Anthracite Grey/Palomino
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2003, 11:07 PM
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Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
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Oh, Mike .... I am cut to the quick!

My 603.970 destructo motor is still in one piece, thank you ... however, I do chant for its extended life!
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George Stephenson
1991 350 SDL (200K and she ain't bent, yet)
former 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon - good car
former 1985 300 CD - great car
former 1981 300 TD - good car
former 1972 280 SEL - not so good car
a couple of those diesel Rabbits ...40-45 mpg
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  #7  
Old 01-28-2003, 11:37 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 75
Mike

Dual airbags were on most if not all, in 1989. It may have been an option though not really sure.

Keith
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1989 420SEL 105575 miles
Pearl Black/Grey

1990 Chevrolet E-Cab C-1500
293,000 miles

1989 Olds Toranado Trofeo'
132,000 miles
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2003, 12:16 AM
Dave Bunker's Avatar
tvbunk
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Elk Grove, CA. 95758
Posts: 90
420 gets better mileage

Why a 560.? 420's gets better milage and you don't have to deal with the auto leveling system, which is costly to maintain and can be troublesome.
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Dave Bunker
1987 420SEL, 180k strong Blu & Grey
2004 Road King Custom
Sacramento, CA
tvbunk@comcast.net
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2003, 12:20 AM
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Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
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Yeah ... been reading a lot about the hydraulic rear system ... sounds pretty expensive ... lots of downside potential!

How is the 4.2 engine? Heard there were some issues with longevity ....
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George Stephenson
1991 350 SDL (200K and she ain't bent, yet)
former 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon - good car
former 1985 300 CD - great car
former 1981 300 TD - good car
former 1972 280 SEL - not so good car
a couple of those diesel Rabbits ...40-45 mpg
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2003, 12:45 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Indpls.,IN. USA
Posts: 84
The late 126 cars were really the best. It seems that Mercedes always makes the best cars right when they change models. The 126s can be expensive to maintain if you don't watch who's doing the work, but the 140s are really! expensive and troublesome. Its hard to keep every little thing working at all times and those things like window regulators and AC evaporators and P/S leaks and door checks and radiators and control modules ect. ect. need immediate attention. That said if you are a big person the S-class cars are the only way to go. A 7 series BMW while also a great vehicle ( when right ) is even a bigger headache.
I'm sure if you take your time you can find a peach out there. I'd make sure to look at it on a lift though. Headgaskets and trans leaks are common and the T-chain can't be overlooked. Bad body repair also is easily seen from underneath. I'll bet you find a nice southern car for 8 to 10 K. Good luck and happy hunting!
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  #11  
Old 01-29-2003, 10:16 AM
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Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
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Thanks to everyone for great comments ... I am a bit picky on cars, so what everyone has said is consistent ... look for a good one! I will also usually pay a bit more for a nice one than many would - I keep 'em long enough to suitable amortize the marginal premium ...

Only thing dragging me is the poor fuel mileage issue ... have to figure some way to not think about it! Even though it has been 20 years, I still yearn for the 50 MPG I got with my diesel Rabbit ...

Thanks!
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George Stephenson
1991 350 SDL (200K and she ain't bent, yet)
former 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon - good car
former 1985 300 CD - great car
former 1981 300 TD - good car
former 1972 280 SEL - not so good car
a couple of those diesel Rabbits ...40-45 mpg
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  #12  
Old 01-29-2003, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: La Quinta, CA
Posts: 271
Cool

Thanks to everyone for great comments ... I am a bit picky on cars, so what everyone has said is consistent ... look for a good one!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Try to find one with all the paperwork......warranty work, service records, etc. You will pay a little more to start but save thousands of future dollars and have a nicer car all the way around. The older 560s are wonderful cars.....as long as they have been properly maintained.
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2003, 12:21 PM
Thomaspin's Avatar
pindelski.com
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: CA
Posts: 531
Get the best body and interior you can afford

When I got my 560SEL (my 300SD went to my mum) my dictates were, in order of importance:

1 - All service records, with nothing missed, especially oil changes
2 - A late model, for reasons stated in posts above
3 - The best possible paint and interior condition. It is very expensive to recover seats and properly repaint bodies.
4 - A warm, dry climate car which reduces the risk of corrosion, though the 126 chassis seems to be very good in this regard.

I was prepared to pay top dollar, anticipating 15-20 years of ownership. I had owned my 1983 300SD for 14 years and 150k miles and remain enamored of the 126 chassis design, aesthetics and execution.

However, I also recognised that the 420/560 engine has one Achilles heel - brittle upper chain rails that generally need changing at 100k or so (my car had 85k when purchased, now at 100k) and a cam chain that may also need to be changed at that time, though frequent oil changes seem to correlate with longer life. Given that I am comfortable with doing these jobs myself and the parts are inexpensive, lots of chain stretch and old rails were not disqualifying issues for me.

My 1990 has dual air bags, but sacrifices the very useful glove compartment for a much smaller console box with a fragile roll top cover. It has ABS. I think 1991 may have added ASR, and CD player capability through the Becker head unit, with the CD player trunk mounted. I have read that post 1987(?) cars have hardened cams which are less wear resistant, but have never seen anything definitive on this topic.

Yes, it's a gas guzzler - 14mpg (the 420 will be a little better) but gas is as cheap, inflation adjusted, as it has ever been in the US since J. D. Rockefeller was a lad.

I preferred the 560 over the 420 because of its heated and reclining rear seats (may be an option on the 420) and its low maintenance hydraulic suspension. The rear accumulators are easier to change than shocks (I replaced mine when I bought it) and the system has been tried and tested on the E class wagon for years. I will change the hydraulic fluid at 30k intervals, like I used to do on my 1980 300TD wagon and the accumulators every 80-100k miles, depending on the ride. Worn ones 'pogo stick'. As the system is self-bleeding, it could hardly be easier to do.

My 'must do' work has been: Accumulators ($200), front Bilstein shocks ($125), chain rails and tensioner ($100), EHA valve ($140). New belts - $75 or so. Labor was my own - so either free or very costly, depending how you prefer to spend your time.

Discretionary upgrades were: 8 hole 140 chassis style wheels to replace trashed originals ($600 for 5 from FRH International) - the interstices are much easier to clean than those on the OEM 15 hole ones, a Nakamichi MB-75 in-dash 6 CD changer/radio to replace the tired OEM Becker - $600, a cleaning and redye of the cream leather on the driver's seat ($100) and a Code Alarm remote entry system for $100.

Most of this is documented on this board which is an invaluable resource when contemplating the purchase of an older car.

Steve Brotherton has written that the bottom end on the M117 engine (420/560) is pretty well bulletproof, with lower chain rails routinely lasting 400k miles.

Problems? A bad fuel pump relay made starting hard at 95k - another common problem with these ($50 or so), 2 minutes to install. The EHA valve started to leak, with gas odor in the cabin ($140, 3 minutes) at 100k.

Anticipated problems? The chain will have to be changed in some 60k miles when it will have stretched 8 degrees (it's at 5 degrees now). The car is on its second OVP relay and I carry a spare - it will go out eventually ($60, plug and play). Sometimes you can fix the relays by resoldering the connections. The transmission on my 300SD started to slip at 135k miles, albeit that car suffered much more town use than the 560, but an overhaul may be due some time in the next 100k. And finally, if crude oil goes to $60/barrel, I might revert to the diesel.

If you do not do your own work, be prepared to pay the 'Mercedes premium', the result of the mistaken belief many mechanics have that the MB owner is so replete with cash that the world would be a better place were he to be relieved of it.

Finally, it bears repeating the wisdom of others - do not rush. There are lots of cars to choose from out there.

Last edited by Thomaspin; 01-29-2003 at 12:33 PM.
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