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  #1  
Old 10-31-2003, 06:37 PM
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1987 560SEL - considering buying - need info

Hello again. I am still searching for a Mercedes. Today in the paper, I seen a 1987 560SEL listed. Address was listed and I went to look at it. The owner was not home, but I was able to view it. It is a very nice car, with 115K miles. The only exterior problem I seen was some very minor hail damage on the top, hood and trunk. The ad states that the car has been very well maintained. I am assuming it has the records with it. The price is unknown. In the paper and on the for sale sign - it says "make me a offer". The problem is, I have no idea what to offer. I would rather the seller give me his bottom dollar on the car. KBB says $4450. in good condition. The car is dark gray, with gray or tan interior. I do not recall exactly. It also has the body side moulding above the center of the car, which is something I have never seen on one of these. Assuming that it is a very well maintained car, with records- what would a ballpark figure be on one of these with minor hail damage? Othwise, it is in EC. Thanks for any 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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  #2  
Old 10-31-2003, 06:48 PM
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I just called and talked to the owner. They want $5000 for it.
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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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  #3  
Old 10-31-2003, 07:33 PM
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timing chain replaced yet?

hello

one should consider replacing timing chain at 100k intervals...ask him if he's had it done on the car.

as always, have a trusted and experienced mechanic give the car the once over....
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2003, 08:44 PM
BlackE55
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I'd check autotrader.com or the "buy now" prices on ebay for current market comparisons.
I never found kbb or nada very helpful except for an exteremely gen'l guideline.


Besides the t-chain/rails, make sure the A/C works. If not, repairing it could cost you have the price of the car.
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  #5  
Old 11-04-2003, 01:37 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I decided to pass on that car, as I thought $5000. was a little steep for that particular car. The 86 560SEL I was interested in a while back for $6995 (which I thought was way too steep) has been relisted on a local classified site for $3900. It is gray, 127K miles and looks to be in excellent condition. I am also considering a 1990 Lexus LS400 with 225K for $3900., but since I have seen this Mercedes- I am also going to consider that. I will check to see if the chain has been replaced.

What really get me is that there was a 1976 450SEL advertised locally for only $1000. It was in VGC. Seller sold it first day it was advertised.

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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  #6  
Old 11-04-2003, 01:40 AM
Newbie Benz Driver
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Between Oakland and Vallejo, CA
Posts: 253
Quote:
Originally posted by 86560SEL
Thanks for the replies. I decided to pass on that car, as I thought $5000. was a little steep for that particular car. The 86 560SEL I was interested in a while back for $6995 (which I thought was way too steep) has been relisted on a local classified site for $3900. It is gray, 127K miles and looks to be in excellent condition. I am also considering a 1990 Lexus LS400 with 225K for $3900., but since I have seen this Mercedes- I am also going to consider that. I will check to see if the chain has been replaced. Thanks again.
On the W126, the timing chain and hydraulic self-leveling supension are troublespots, as well the case with the radiator.
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  #7  
Old 11-04-2003, 08:11 AM
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On the up side, my '87 560SEL has 345,000 miles on it. With proper maintenance and the odd part failure now and then, I think the car could run forever.
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  #8  
Old 11-04-2003, 12:12 PM
Thomaspin's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2001
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I would not hesitate to pay $10k for a 100k mile 560SEL with perfect paint, upholstery and records, from a dry climate.

If you are into DIY, the key repair tasks appear on my web site and are inexpensive if you do them yourself.

Hydraulic suspension repair is easier, if it's just the accumulator spheres, than shock replacement, IMO. If the hydraulic suspension puts fear in your heart, consider the 420SEL. A little less power, generally fewer interior appointments unless they were special ordered (heated seats, reclining rear seats, etc.), a little less power, but otherwise every bit as good, plus you get 2 more mpg. Neither motor is efficient by modern standards - beating 20mpg overall would be tough.

New paint and upholstery can cost far more than an engine repair so find the best you can unless appearances do not matter to you.

Climate control problems are not too tough to fix, but it takes time - read $ - unless you DIY.

Except for the ritual 100k mile chain, tensioner and upper rail change, you are looking at a 500,000+ mile motor here.

These are generally very DIY friendly vehicles, in contrast to the ones that came after. A $10k post-1985 W126 is, IMO, a far better proposition than a $15k W140 - the reasons the latter are so cheap are extensively documented on this board.

You can decide which looks better!
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  #9  
Old 11-04-2003, 04:28 PM
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Location: KINGSPORT, TN
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560 consideration

Just to add a tad of advice, in case you ever consider the inline 6 in the 300se/sel, think about it first. I have a 300se and a 420sel. My 300, along with 95% of all other 300's out there, have an oil consumption problem. Mine consumes about a quart to a quart and a half every 800-1000. I have had a valve job done my a MB mechanic and the problem is still there. My opinion is that the inline 6 is not powerful enough to really pull that heavy of a car. Other than that, the 300 is a real good car. The oil problem is not a dangerous problem, but is more of just an inconvenience of having to stop on a 800 mile trip and add oil one or twice. I love the v8's, but as the others stated, make sure the timing chain service is done promptly because you can kill your motor to the point of a $3000-$5000 worth of damage if the rails break and cause the chain to jump. I will probably clean my 300 up come springtime and list it for sale and take the money and put into another 420sel for my wife. Also, the 92 model up, get a bit more expensive. IF the compressor goes out on the ac, you could easily be out $2k to fix. I hear also the service intervals such as brakes are more often and more expensive. IMO you just can't beat a w126 for wallet comfort($$). That's my 2 cents.
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  #10  
Old 11-04-2003, 08:38 PM
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Posts: 321
WELL-MAINTAINED W126's are the best.

and the pre-1988's are to be preferred as they only had a driver's side airbag, therefore also a glovebox.

my 1986 560SEL is my favorite. bought it new. it has 250,000+ miles. interior still looks like new. exterior could use a new paint job. basically front end chips from rocks and bugs. a few months ago i had it de-dinged by a master of paintless dent repair.

probably the cheapest car to operate over the long term. irreplaceable. nothing like it made today.

i also have a 1987, 560sec. another great merc. also bullet-proof mechanically.

lately though, with the cooler weather in houston, i have been driving my 1995 e320cab. a great little car.

my advice is that when you find a w126 vintage 1986-1987 with full records and one owner, try to get the owner to hold the car for your purchase until you can get it to a good indy garage. get the car up on a lift and go over it carefully. get an estimate for repairs.

if you are really paranoid, take it to a second indy for a similar inspection.

in closing, my old 560sel would be tough to sell for $5,000. on the other hand, to me it is still worth what i paid for it new. principally because there is nothing better than it on the market today. nor will there ever be. these were the last of a very special breed of automobile. daimler chrysler will never create its equal.

a votre sante
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  #11  
Old 11-04-2003, 08:46 PM
BlackE55
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There's the issue of softer cams used on the '88 (?) and older M117s. Was a topic of discussion years back and we never came to a conclusion as to what was the defining year. Or was it *even* an issue. (??)
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