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  #1  
Old 10-12-2003, 01:16 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Beachwood, Ohio
Posts: 12
Looking at buying 1991 560SEL

I have an opportunity to purchase a single-owner 1991 560 SEL with about 69,000 miles. My independent Mercedes mechanic has serviced this car extensively and tells me it is "perfect" and has no issues, no rust, etc. The car has been diligently serviced. What should I look for and ask about when I test drive the car this week? Is it realistic to buy this car as a Daily Driver given the snowy/icy winters we get in Cleveland, OH? (not sure if this car has ASR). What are the chances this car could end up in the shop on a regular basis with major repairs? Owner is asking $12k; not inclined to pay any more than $10k. Any and all input is appreciated.
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Jon S.
1979 450 SL
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  #2  
Old 10-12-2003, 01:48 PM
BlackE55
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Sounds like a good buy. I assume it comes with all records? If so, I'd go for it. Offer him $10k and settle half-way (?)

At around 100-150k miles, the timing chain/rails should be replaced. Since you're in there, it'll probably need valve stem seals, maybe rocker arms and possibly and a cam or two. Top ends on these cars need careful attention!

A/C repairs can be pricey, $800+.

In regards to winter, you could always buy a set of winter skins. Never done that myself, since winters are relatively mild in southern WI.

When you drive it, pay attention to trans shifting, smooth? Any smoke at start, vibrations through the steering-wheel or brake pedal?

Oil leaks? Rear mains tend to weep -- maybe not at 69k miles, but it will.

I don't think these cars are shop magnets. They have relatively old technology, not all the gizmos like the W140s. Relatively easy to work on, parts prices are reasonable, what else can I say. I love mine and cost of ownership hasn't been much more than other cars I've owned.

*Edit: MikeTangas and Thomaspin are the resident 560SEL gurus on this forum. Over the years they have provided a WEALTH of information on their cars -- and be sure to check out Thomaspin's web site HERE and perform a search on their posts.

Best of luck!

Last edited by BlackE55; 10-12-2003 at 02:02 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2003, 01:11 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Beachwood, Ohio
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'Thanks all the input. Took it for a test drive today and it is immaculate. Only 58,000 miles. Never seen snow or salt. Only issue is the A/C - doesn't work great, especially on a 50 degree morning. Any ideas how much that could cost to fix ?
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1979 450 SL
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  #4  
Old 10-18-2003, 01:23 PM
BlackE55
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Well, depending on what it is? It could be upwards of a grand.
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2003, 11:55 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: oregon
Posts: 2,013
Thats got to be one of the best models MB ever made, the last of the grand 126's . I have two older 126's (81 SD &86 Euro 500SE) they are truly wonderful cars.In my opinion a well kept low milage 91 560 SEL is the prize of them all.........

William Rogers.......
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  #6  
Old 10-18-2003, 11:57 PM
BlackE55
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A few yrs ago I had to replace the evaporator, parts and labor were about $850.
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