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  #1  
Old 09-02-2003, 12:54 AM
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86 560SEL- considering buying

Some of you may remember that I have been looking for a 80s S-Class Mercedes for a while. I have mentioned it before on another post- but I passed on one of the 86 560SEL's I had found. It was originally $4500- then mysteriously the price went back up to $5600., so I passed on it, just on that fact. Well, another Mercedes on a local classified site has appeared. It is also a 86 560SEL. It almost looks like the exact same car. It is dark gray. In the photo- it looks like new. They were originally asking $6995. for it a month ago (when I first seen it), then last week it was $5995., and now this week it is listed for $4995. Will it be $3995. next week? Probably not- but @ $4995. I think it is worth considering at that price. Does this seem like a fair price for this car? I am unsure of the miles, but will know more later in the week, when I call about it- or go and view it. I am also considering a 1992 500SEL, but do not know anything about the reliability of these cars? Anyone also have any info on these? Any advice/information 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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  #2  
Old 09-02-2003, 10:13 AM
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Well "what price is fair for this car" is a bit vague. I'm sure in your quest to buy a 126 over the last few months you have learned that condition and maintenence is crucial in these cars to determine their worth and desire. If it's an 86 with low mileage, been crazy maintained, the paint shines and whatnot, yes, $4995 is a deal. On the other hand of course, if the oil has barely been changed in the thing, the paint is fading, the rear window is delaminating, there's rust so on and so on, $4995 is a rip-off. That's just an invitation to drop another $4995 in repairs right off the bat. So whereas condition is not as important in jap cars maybe, it is absolutely crucial in these older Benzes. And condition goes much much deeper than what you can see with the naked eye, although it can be a good indicator. A PPI is essential.
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2003, 10:35 AM
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I have seen this car go anywhere from $4500 to $6800 in prime condition.
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2003, 11:37 AM
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Cool

I am also considering a 1992 500SEL, but do not know anything about the reliability of these cars?
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You will probably be better off going with a 1986 to 1991
560 SEL rather than a '92 or newer model if you are looking for reliability.
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2003, 12:27 PM
BlackE55
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Apples and oranges.

If you have deep pockets go for the '92. Otherwise, run away and find a 560.

When you narrow down the search, take it to a knowledgeable and trusted MB mechanic and have a PPI performed. Also, make sure the books are up to date and the more records that come with the car, the better.

Last edited by BlackE55; 09-02-2003 at 10:29 PM.
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  #6  
Old 09-02-2003, 10:25 PM
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Just my 2cents: I bought my 89 420sel on ebay with 165,000 mi.and paid 5,000.00 for it.So far i have invested 6,000.00 into it and i did most of the work my self.P/S I love this car! BTW you must love the car you try to bring back to new because i could never sell this great car for 11,000.00.
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  #7  
Old 11-10-2003, 01:17 AM
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To update- I was indeed correct, well almost. They marked the car down again last week. Now it is priced at $3960. I said $3995, since it was $6995, then 5995, then 4995.
This seems like a more realistic price for the car. I think I will call about it tomorrow and see if there is any records/history on the car and see if the chain was replaced. It has 127K, so if not- I am sure it is time to change it. I am thinking I may be able to offer them $3500 and they MAY take it. I do not want to offer $3000., because I think that may be insulting. This really looks like the other 560SEL I was considering that was at the Chrysler dealership, claiming it belonged to a doctor and they were selling it for him. At that time- they were asking $5500 for it.
So, if the chain has been replaced, it has records and it runs well- is $3995 a "excellent" deal on this car?
I was considering a 1990 Lexus LS400, with 225K for the same price ($3995.), but it had an occasional miss at idle and the dealer had no intentions of having it repaired- probably because it was something that was going to cost a lot of $$$. I am also considering an array of cars- from a 1993 Honda Accord with 118K to a 1994 Toyota 4-Runner. I am trying to find a good, reliable work car, as my cars are getting very tired. Transmission on the Taurus - which has 245K and the steering parts on the Buick, which as 151K.
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)

Last edited by 86560SEL; 11-10-2003 at 02:30 AM.
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  #8  
Old 11-10-2003, 01:25 AM
BlackE55
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In this market, sellers are determining the price.

The chain and rails should be replaced at 127k, run a Car Fax, have a reputable MB mechanic perform a PPI.

I can't knock the Toyos, but if you've put some time behind the wheel of a Merc -- no comparison.
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  #9  
Old 11-11-2003, 02:13 PM
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a more simplistic thought

I bought a 88 560 SEL about 2 years ago. I have put in quite a lot of my persoanl time and effort to get it to where it is. It all depends on how much you want to invest in your purchase - time, effort and money.

There are many many amenties on the 560 - recling rear seats to heated seats all around, a 236 HP engine, guzzles gas and oil - depending on it's shape. I get 13 miles to a gallon - city.

It is a great car and the room and comfort is simply delightful.

The catch is - there always something to fix or mend or tool around. If that is something you want - then this is the car for you. If not - then move on, get a good Japanese car and it will be reliable and less headaches.

Also, because it is a top flight Benz, the mechanics who see it charge accordingly and you can be led astray quite easily.

This is a great site and the folks here are very helpful and truthful. It will be your last resource.

Good luck either way.
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  #10  
Old 11-12-2003, 12:38 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I think the car was sold, as it is no longer advertised, but I am going to check tomorrow, as I am off work. I have also found a fairly local 1986 420SEL for about $3000., with 147K, so I may check on that as well. It has had the chain replaced, as well as some other 100K mile service. I am also considering a 1992 Acura Legend LS 4dr, with ALL options with 127K for the same price, so I definetly have some decisions to make. 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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  #11  
Old 11-12-2003, 02:35 AM
Provo Spain?
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by 86560SEL
Thanks for the replies. I think the car was sold, as it is no longer advertised, but I am going to check tomorrow, as I am off work. I have also found a fairly local 1986 420SEL for about $3000., with 147K, so I may check on that as well. It has had the chain replaced, as well as some other 100K mile service. I am also considering a 1992 Acura Legend LS 4dr, with ALL options with 127K for the same price, so I definetly have some decisions to make. Thanks again.
No matter what car you get (like everybody has said before me) make sure to have a tech look it over first.

I would check out that Acura Legend, that's a great car too!

I wouldn't compare it to driving a Benz, but they are nice cars.
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1990 190e 2.6 95k (Sold-Should not have)
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  #12  
Old 11-12-2003, 07:47 PM
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Also considering a 86 420SEL- is it worth it?

Thanks. I checked on the 92 Acura today- and either the miles are wrong- or it has seen an abusive 127K. I am going to pass on that car.

I am very interested in a nice 1986 420SEL for $4000, but I think that is a little steep for this particular car. It has 147K. Seller claims it has been well maintained (I have asked for records, but have not got a response yet) and the timing chain has been replaced and it has just had a valve job, as well as some other service and a new muffler. Body and interior are in VGC. One power window is inoperable. I may offer $3500 and see what happens. They say it was advertised in a local paper for $4500 and then said they would take $4000. The 86 560SEL here locally for $3900 w/127K may be a better deal, but I think it was sold. I cannot find it advertised now and I cannot recall the name of the car lot.

Thanks again.
__________________
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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  #13  
Old 11-12-2003, 08:24 PM
BlackE55
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At that mileage look to see if the heads a weeping, listen for clicking when the motor is running. That later could be indicative of worn cams or bad rocker arms. Luckily some of the "biggies" have been performed, also check into the A/C. If it's bad, could be nearly half what you paid for the car to repair it!
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  #14  
Old 11-12-2003, 08:32 PM
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Thanks. He replied and said that the A/C and heat are in perfect working order. He said it may have an occasional leak under it, but nothing that required adding any fluids. One peculiar thing is that he said it had service records that he viewed before he bought it and everything had been preformed , but the dealer would not let him have a written record of it. Perhaps he means the records of what the selling dealer done to the car? Said new bushings were replaced about 8 months ago and the transmission has been maintained and functions properly. Passenger window does not operate.

I have had people tell me a lot of things about the gasoline S-Class sedans. I do not hear about a lot of "check this and check that" when asking about the 300SD diesels. Do they typically require less maintainence than the gasoline models?

Would I be better off buying a 1981-1985 300SD?
Thanks again!!




Quote:
Originally posted by w126
At that mileage look to see if the heads a weeping, listen for clicking when the motor is running. That later could be indicative of worn cams or bad rocker arms. Luckily some of the "biggies" have been performed, also check into the A/C. If it's bad, could be nearly half what you paid for the car to repair it!
__________________
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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  #15  
Old 11-12-2003, 09:03 PM
BlackE55
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I'm not qualified to answer that one! Diesels do have some peculiarities, but most owners love them -- a few horror stories, but that's the case with any car.

I'd drive some diesels before you start any serious shopping. You may or may not like them.
Post your query in the diesel discussion, the guys over there really know their stuff.

It sounds like a lot has been done to that 420. Have the car checked out by an experienced Mercedes mechanic and negotiate from there. Not sure about the records. You should be able to get them from the dealer by supplying the VIN #.

Anyone else here have any ideas??

Let us know what transpires!
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