Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help




Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes ShopForum > Technical Information and Support > Tech Help

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-07-2003, 08:29 PM
bhatt's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 421
Buying a repaired car..

Hello,

I'm about to buy an '87 560SL and would be interested in everyone's opinions on something..


BAD NEWS:
I have pulled the history on this car and it appears to have been in an accident. It looks like a law firm bought it and owned it for a year, then it was in the hands of the following in one year:

-Local auto wrecking company known for reselling "rebuildable cars" to body shops. Most of their cars are theft recoveries, minor damage, etc. Nothing they sell looks like it would need more than two body panels repaired (ie. door/fender/bumper but not hood, roof or any other doors)
-Auto collision shop (who presumably bought it to fix it up)
-Used car dealer.

Looks like a normal chain of minor damage/theft recovery, then a collision shop fixing it and finally a dealer selling it.

From then on, it has had four owners. A dealership known for selling used MB's in Toronto which has been around since 1955 owned it for two years. Someone bought it and only owned it for a month. Then someone owned it for six years, and the current owner bought it and has owned it for six years.

GOOD NEWS:
Car has been repainted but it was done 6 years ago when the current owner bought it. Looks like brand new -- obviously an MB dealer or someone similar did this paint job.. it's was done REALLY well. No rust or any fading or other problems. Has held up REALLY well for 6 years.

Current and previous owner have each owned car for 6 years.

Here is my question... if there were a major problem with the car, would the last two owners have owned it for a total of 12 years? The earlier history scares me, but if something was repaired in 1992 and hasn't shown up yet, do I need to worry?

Won't be doing a PPI for three reasons:
1. Owners is 2 hours away from my good mechanic
2. Looked over car and it looks totally fine. Checked all the usual W107 trouble spots and no problems. Has new softtop. Paint and wheels done 6 years ago.
3. Was first one to look at car and snapped it up for what I think is about $3k below what other ones go for. Winter is coming and owner needs a 4 door car for his wife quickly.

Any thoughts? I'm planning to go ahead with the deal considering 12 years seems long enough for a problem to arise... Somebody scare me out of this or I'm going to own a 560SL by mid-week!

Thanks!!!!
Neal
__________________
'83 300SD 335,000km (207k) mi SOLD
'87 560SL 163,000km (101k mi) SOLD
'86 300SDL 356,000km (220k mi) SOLD
'92 500SEL 250,000km (155k mi) SOLD
'90 300SL 140,000km (87k mi) SOLD
'01 S430 260,000km (161k mi) SOLD
'03 SL500 167,000km (104k mi)
'07 GL320 CDI 4MATIC 289,000km (162k mi)
'07 S550 4MATIC 170,000km (105k mi)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-07-2003, 09:00 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 19,743
If not doing a PPI doesn't scare you, nothing I can say will scare you.

Have you checked the paperwork - clean clear title, passes provincial inspections, your insurance provider will assume full coverage, etc? It's one thing to have a bumper fall off in six months, quite another to be stuck with a car you can't register.

Sixto
95 S420
87 300SDL
83 300SD ... $950, see cars forum
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-07-2003, 09:26 PM
bhatt's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 421
The car has a clean title and has been owned by the current owner for 6 years. He had an emissions test done earlier this year and will be giving me that since they're good for a year. The provincial safety certification will be done this week also.

If I have a provincial "used car package" for this car which states the current registration type, current owner, etc, etc.

This package confirms the current owner has had the car for 6 years, it is currently registered and plated, and has been passing the emissions test every 2 years since they bought it. It also confirms that the current title is not branded as salvaged, or anything else bad.

I will get the registration transferred (and therefore insurance) if I can provide three things:
1. Current "unbranded" title (which I know he has)
2. Emissions test (again, he will give me this)
3. Safety certificate (to be done this week)

I'll definately report back once I have the car home and have had some time with it. I'm convinced that I'm getting a deal because nobody wants to drive that far to see his car, plus it just snowed a few days ago and everyone is busy Christmas shopping rather than convertible shopping.

I'm sure I can put it on my driveway and make $2k by reselling it if I clean up the interior a bit (it's dirty as hell but everything works and is in excellent shape under the mud. Seller is in construction business and car has been to job sites this week...)

If I couldn't make that kind of money on it, I wouldn't even think of buying it. I may have hit a goldmine, but let's wait to see.... pictures coming soon!


Neal
__________________
'83 300SD 335,000km (207k) mi SOLD
'87 560SL 163,000km (101k mi) SOLD
'86 300SDL 356,000km (220k mi) SOLD
'92 500SEL 250,000km (155k mi) SOLD
'90 300SL 140,000km (87k mi) SOLD
'01 S430 260,000km (161k mi) SOLD
'03 SL500 167,000km (104k mi)
'07 GL320 CDI 4MATIC 289,000km (162k mi)
'07 S550 4MATIC 170,000km (105k mi)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-07-2003, 10:55 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: oregon
Posts: 2,013
The old trick I can clean it up and make 2K dosn't work on my wife anymore........

William Rogers.......
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-08-2003, 09:35 AM
bhatt's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 421
This car is for my wife. No really, it is to replace her BMW which has been nothing but problems (finally got her to leave the Dark Side and buy an MB).

Of course, that doesn't mean I can't borrow it in the summer... a lot..

Neal
__________________
'83 300SD 335,000km (207k) mi SOLD
'87 560SL 163,000km (101k mi) SOLD
'86 300SDL 356,000km (220k mi) SOLD
'92 500SEL 250,000km (155k mi) SOLD
'90 300SL 140,000km (87k mi) SOLD
'01 S430 260,000km (161k mi) SOLD
'03 SL500 167,000km (104k mi)
'07 GL320 CDI 4MATIC 289,000km (162k mi)
'07 S550 4MATIC 170,000km (105k mi)
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-08-2003, 10:32 AM
I told you so!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,790
It's not "how long" the previous owner had the car but "how many miles" the car has been driven since repair. A car that's seen 5 to 10K per year on it is more desirable than a car that sat 6 years in a garage.

Nice cars in good shape are driven more than problem cars.
__________________
95 E320 Cabriolet, 140K
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-08-2003, 11:10 AM
Wes Bender's Avatar
Retired User
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Alpine, AZ / Green Valley, AZ
Posts: 733
...and how much preventative maintenance has been done during the past 6-12 years.

If you don't do a good PPI, you have to be willing to accept fixing items that aren't readily apparent. (Don't ask me how I know this.)

Good luck with it,

Wes
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-08-2003, 02:41 PM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
Considering the age of the car, I would only fret about paperwork.

If it's a salvage title, stay away from it. Some vehicles can never be corrected depending on the nature of the accident and the repairs performed.

Abusive treatment or lackluster maintenance shows up pretty early in the life of a vehicle...
__________________
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-08-2003, 03:30 PM
bhatt's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 421
Guys,

The car has 155,000km and the current owner bought it 6 years ago with 120,000km. Previous owner also had it 6 years.

The current owner's wife has been using it but she's a housewife and doesn't make many long trips in it (they have 3 other cars in the family). Mainly trips to grocery store, kids school, etc. I'm pretty sure she drives it every day or at least every other day, just not for really far distances. They live in a small town and everything is a few kilometers away at most.

No salvage title here.. the car is currently registered and has a valid "unbranded" title. This is from a "vehicle information package" the government requires us to buy before purchasing a car. Sort of like Carfax, but it's 100% accurate since it's all data from provincial records. If there is a lien or branded title, it will show up in this package.

Here is what I've already looked at:
1. Coolant (rad) cap - clean coolant, no oil in it, green stuff (current owner probably didn't know better), nothing stuck to underside of rad cap (gunk, etc.)
2. Oil cap - no burnt smell, nothing stuck to underside of cap (ie. milky white coolant residue)
3. Oil dipstick - Relatively clean oil, at proper level, doesn't smell or look burnt. Dipstick has no burn marks
4. Trans dipstick - no burn marks, smells, etc. Fluid is bright red and almost looks too new but the guy is a maintenance nut so I'd think he changes it too often rather than he's trying to hide a problem.
5. Softtop - checked it, but it was replaced last year
6. Paint - glossy, straight lines, excellent job (done 6 yrs ago)
7. Rims/tires - perfect condition, tires about 50% worn and replacement time is coming up.
8. All power/electrical items work - antenna, radio, heat, etc. Couldn't try A/C because it was freezing out.. owner "says" it works fine. I'm willing to take the risk that it needs a compressor or something else reasonably expensive.
9. Engine/leaks - engine is clean but not TOO clean as if it were just shampooed. No leaks that I can see.
10. Driving - car runs fine, straight line, etc, etc.

Problems:
1. Banging noise from rear when driving. Sounds like a kid in the trunk banging a rubber mallet on the trunk floor. Checked trunk, but no kid found

He says he thinks an exhaust donut broke.. I tried to grab the muffler and swing it up & down, but it doesn't move (seems fine). I'm assuming an exhaust hanger let go in the middle somewhere and the pipe is banging. I'll look under the car for a broken pipe or exhaust part before I pay him.

Anything you can think of that I might have missed? I can't exactly pull a valve cover and check timing chain stretch, but if there is anything "quick" you feel I should have a look at, I'd LOVE to know before I hand over the $$$$!

Thanks guys.. you've been a great help!
Neal
__________________
'83 300SD 335,000km (207k) mi SOLD
'87 560SL 163,000km (101k mi) SOLD
'86 300SDL 356,000km (220k mi) SOLD
'92 500SEL 250,000km (155k mi) SOLD
'90 300SL 140,000km (87k mi) SOLD
'01 S430 260,000km (161k mi) SOLD
'03 SL500 167,000km (104k mi)
'07 GL320 CDI 4MATIC 289,000km (162k mi)
'07 S550 4MATIC 170,000km (105k mi)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-08-2003, 03:35 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 19,743
The AC compressor should come on in defrost mode.

Banging during acceleration could be a bad carrier bearing. Do 107s have a carrier bearing?

Sixto
95 S420
87 300SDL
83 300SD ... $950, see cars forum
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-08-2003, 03:41 PM
bhatt's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 421
Sixto,

Thanks.. that's a good idea about the A/C. Forgot that it comes on during defrost. I'll give that a quick shot.

The banging is actually during "driving" more than "acceleration". I wasn't able to go over any especially bumpy or smooth roads to find out, but the banging carried on any time the car was in motion. Didn't seem to get worse or better under braking, acceleration, or over bumps.

I had originally thought of subframe problems, but everything I'm hearing says the 380SL was the one with subframe cracking problems. If anything, maybe it could be shocks/subframe mounts? I still think the most likely option is a banging exhaust pipe.

Owner claims the car didn't do that the day before, but his wife drove the car the night before I got there to look at it and she reported the noise to him just before I got there. He seemed genuinely upset that she didn't tell him about it earlier so he'd have enough time to look at it before I got there.

Not sure if that's believable or not, but I'm assuming worst-case scenario that I have to replace one part of the exhaust system (ie. muffler).

Neal
__________________
'83 300SD 335,000km (207k) mi SOLD
'87 560SL 163,000km (101k mi) SOLD
'86 300SDL 356,000km (220k mi) SOLD
'92 500SEL 250,000km (155k mi) SOLD
'90 300SL 140,000km (87k mi) SOLD
'01 S430 260,000km (161k mi) SOLD
'03 SL500 167,000km (104k mi)
'07 GL320 CDI 4MATIC 289,000km (162k mi)
'07 S550 4MATIC 170,000km (105k mi)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2011 Pelican Parts - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page