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  #1  
Old 03-02-2004, 02:47 AM
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Location: east Tennessee (southeast USA)
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Who has a 86-91 560SEL? Highest mileage?

I am re-considering the local 1986 560SEL 4dr sedan, with 188K. They are asking $3500., but I think it can be bought for $2500-$3000. It is in really good condition, but it is a not-so-desirable (to me anyway) light yellow color. The body is 100% dent and rust free. The interior is in VGC, except the front bottom part of the passengers seat. The woman claims that it still runs perfectly and they are selling it because the owner is moving out of the USA. What is the highest mileage 560SEL that anyone has seen? Is 188K considered high mileage for the 560? I know that on the diesel, that 188K is still considered "low miles". Thanks for any advice/information.

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2004 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4wd
1991 Lincoln Town Car Executive
1991 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1988 Mercedes 300SEL
1972 Chevrolet Caprice Kingswood Estate 9-passenger wagon
1973 Pontiac Grand Ville
(Prior MB's: 1974 240D, 1985 380SE, 1984 190D, 1993 400SEL)
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2004, 08:00 AM
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Location: North Central Kentucky
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I have 349K miles on my '87 560SEL. Rust is getting to be an issue, but it runs fine. Now if I could just get that blasted cruise control to work right......
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  #3  
Old 03-02-2004, 08:48 AM
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Location: LaPorte, IN
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Bob K--my cruise was erratic when i got the car, then stopped working totally. Tried a used amp, no change. Turned out to be the switch--relatively inexpensive, but the steering wheel has to come off to change. Still have a spare cruise amp if you want to try that.

86560SEL--no intent to hijack your thread. I'm only at 116,000 on my '89. I would, in future purchases, accept higher mileage with better maintainence. But...this one has been a good training ground.
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Earl McLain
'02 C230 Kompressor
'89 560 SEL "Frau BlueCar" (retired April 2004)
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  #4  
Old 03-02-2004, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by greenacres2
Bob K--my cruise was erratic when i got the car, then stopped working totally. Tried a used amp, no change. Turned out to be the switch--relatively inexpensive, but the steering wheel has to come off to change. Still have a spare cruise amp if you want to try that.

86560SEL--no intent to hijack your thread. I'm only at 116,000 on my '89. I would, in future purchases, accept higher mileage with better maintainence. But...this one has been a good training ground.

I don't want to hijack this thread either, but greenacres2, I would love to borrow/purchase your know good cruise amp. If it works I'll buy it from you, if not, I'll pay shipping both ways..

86560SEL--From what I have read, the engine in that car can last for 500K or more if properly maintained. The timing chain should be replaced at 100K intervals, and some valve work will be required at some point. If you aren't a good DIY'r I would steer clear. The little things will eat you alive , in parts alone, if the car hasn't been immaculately maintained. Don't ask how I know??
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89 300SEL Money Pit

92 Blown Buick Ultra Pimpmobile 220K and adding 1K per week

88 Wagoneer Slightly modified (Not for soccer moms)

04 Kia Sedona with every option... NICE
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  #5  
Old 03-02-2004, 10:10 AM
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Location: Trenton, NJ
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I have 245K on my '87 with about 135K on the engine. I don't know why the engine was replaced as it was done by the PO. The car had 202K when I got it.

Overall, the car has been pretty good but then again I'm able to almost anything on it other than rebuild the tranny which ran $2,400 last spring (this was the first time it had ever been opened according to the tech). I've rolled a new timing chain, replaced valve stem seals, put in a new radiator, alternator, and replaced the main wiring harness. Drive train wise, that's been about it.

Other issues (body related) include some window and accessory switches that have needed replacement (and some that still due due to failed lights), door checks, front calipers, and the 'air cells' for the rear suspension. It will need a new muffler sooner or later as the bottom is rusting out of the current one.

In conclusion, 188K sounds fine to me IF you have access to some repair records (I did which is how I new about the replacement engine) and are able to get the car checked out.

Good luck!
jlc
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'87 560SEL 267K (177K on motor) Blue/Blue
'98 Buick LeSebre 60K (wife's car)
'56 Imperial Sedan 124K
Past Cars:
'67 Dodge Monaco 130K (Sold)
'87 Chrysler 5th Ave 245K and going strong (sold)
'73 Plymouth Satillite 175K (sold)
'96 Chrysler LHS 80K (totaled)
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  #6  
Old 03-02-2004, 11:24 AM
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I have a customer that drives 90k a year and has around 700,000 miles on a 1990 420SEL. I can't say for sure as the 646847 it showed on the 4th of last month is shy a few miles as his odometer was out for a period one year a few years back.

We have been servicing it since we did its first chain job at 294634. We did another at about a hundred thou later because when he first brought it we didn't know that the 120k it had on it was on the second speedo. The first failed with 150k+ on it. As a result we did the top rails and valve job only. If I had known as our records now show that he had almost 300k at the time we would have advised the lower right rail be replaced requiring the front covers removal. It broke a little over 100k later causing another chain failure and bent valves. That was about 300k and 3 sets of rails ago. We give him more miles to rails since there is so little time between changes; less than two years to 100k.
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Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2004, 03:52 PM
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Location: east Tennessee (southeast USA)
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84 300SD - more reliable? ATTN: STEVEBFL

Thanks for the replies folks. In addition to this 1986 560SEL, I am also considering a few other Mercedes- such as a 1984 300SD, with 336K (the one with the engine shake, LOW power at low speeds and harsh transmission), for about $1800-$2000, also good running 1983 300SD for $2995 (body and interior not as good), a 1990 300E with 188K in EXCELLENT CONDITION for $4300, as well as a 1986 190E for $1800 in VGC. I am really wanting a diesel, for better mileage, as my 90 Lexus LS400 and 92 Buick use a lot of gasoline. Also, the Lexus requires premium. I want an economical car to drive to work. I am also considering a few Japanese sedans, with V6 or 4-cylinders.

STEVE: You may be able to tell me something about this, that would be a big help. You may have already replied before, when I was considering this car back in November. I was looking at a white 1984 300SD, with 336K. The body is in MINT condition, as well as the interior. The problems are mechanical. At idle, the engine has a bad side to side shake. Upon the lightest acceleration- the shake goes away. When I test drove, at times, the shake would go away even at idle. With the transmission- I noticed a harsh 1-2 shift and a very quick 2-3 shift. I did not drive the car far, as it was low on fuel. When I was going back into the owners driveway- which is a 50% grade and is about .2 miles long, the car was very SLOW. I had the accelerator to the floor panel and was going about 5 MPH and not gaining speed until about 10 seconds, then it did speed up a little. Is this normal? Could this be linked with the engine shake? Any idea of what it could be? I have heard that the shake could be motor mounts, or a bad injector, but it did not sound like the car was missing, but there was some black smoke at idle. I also heard it could be some type of something (lol) on the side of the engine. I talked to someone who works on diesel trucks and they said to change ALL of the fuel filters first and to run some type of additive through the fuel tank. About the transmission- could this be something major, or maybe a hose problem? Radiator had a small leak- perhaps a hose? The current owner has owned the car since 1989 and he purchased it from the original owner. ALL service records are with the car and there are a lot of them. He was asking $2500, but now he is asking $2100. As mentioned- it has been for sale since November. Perhaps he would take $1500 if offered? Would I be better off steering clear of this car, or could these problems be minor? He said that the car was in the garage for a while and he said that he thinks it simply needs a "tune-up". Any advice appreciated on this!!

Also there is another early 80s 300SD for $2995, with fading dark blue paint, and then there is that like new 1990 Mercedes 300E for $4300.
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2004 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4wd
1991 Lincoln Town Car Executive
1991 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1988 Mercedes 300SEL
1972 Chevrolet Caprice Kingswood Estate 9-passenger wagon
1973 Pontiac Grand Ville
(Prior MB's: 1974 240D, 1985 380SE, 1984 190D, 1993 400SEL)
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2004, 04:13 PM
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86560SEL... My Park Ave Ultra gets about 21mpg in town, and 25-29 on the highway. It's coming up on 210K (about 800 miles a week) and running STRONG. Yours should get similar milage. Might not run as strong though
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89 300SEL Money Pit

92 Blown Buick Ultra Pimpmobile 220K and adding 1K per week

88 Wagoneer Slightly modified (Not for soccer moms)

04 Kia Sedona with every option... NICE
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2004, 05:43 PM
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Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by stevebfl
I have a customer that drives 90k a year and has around 700,000 miles on a 1990 420SEL...
Does he have the 1 Million kilometer badge? He should!!
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2004, 09:51 PM
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My 92 Park Avenue Limited (not Ultra) used to get good fuel mileage, but it has declined. Perhaps it is due for a major tune-up? I also really run this car hard, as I am usually always running late for work in the mornings these days. I would still think that I would get more than 140 miles out of more than 1/2 tank. I filled the car up the other day and put 140 miles and it is already below 1/2! Totally unacceptable for a 3.8L V6. Although my car is a little heavier than the base Park Avenue, it still should be much better.

Quote:
Originally posted by jay3000
86560SEL... My Park Ave Ultra gets about 21mpg in town, and 25-29 on the highway. It's coming up on 210K (about 800 miles a week) and running STRONG. Yours should get similar milage. Might not run as strong though
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2004 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4wd
1991 Lincoln Town Car Executive
1991 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1988 Mercedes 300SEL
1972 Chevrolet Caprice Kingswood Estate 9-passenger wagon
1973 Pontiac Grand Ville
(Prior MB's: 1974 240D, 1985 380SE, 1984 190D, 1993 400SEL)
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2004, 10:09 PM
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I turned 195K on my way home from the airport this evening. Got the car at 166K with no prior history (salvage yard). Runs great but needing to do the valve stem seals, might need to do a valve job. Hopefully I will be able to do the seals soon which will give me a chance to check out the guides...we'll go from there. See no reason not to roll on another 100K or more.
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'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2004, 10:33 PM
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Out of curiousity, how much does a valve job on an m116/7 engine run these days?
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'90 300SE 298k
-300K and it gets put into retirement.
'80 300D 255k Purchased new by family in 1980.

Had a:
1973 220 (gas)
1980 300SD
1992 400E
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  #13  
Old 03-03-2004, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeTangas
I turned 195K on my way home from the airport this evening. Got the car at 166K with no prior history (salvage yard). Runs great but needing to do the valve stem seals, might need to do a valve job. Hopefully I will be able to do the seals soon which will give me a chance to check out the guides...we'll go from there. See no reason not to roll on another 100K or more.

Are you back in Temecula Mike?

Welcome home.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #14  
Old 03-03-2004, 08:08 AM
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Location: North Central Kentucky
Posts: 1,068
If you are looking for economy of operation, the gas SEL or even an SEL in general may not be the car for you. It is a big, heavy car. When they designed it, MB did a lot of work to keep the COD down. Quite a bit of wind tunnel work I understand. Still, takes a bit to get the mass moving so city mileage is not so hot. I get 14-16 combined driving and 18+ for 65 mph highway only cruising. Parts are not cheap, but most things are durable. Lot of little motors and switches to go bad. Still, the ride is great, the handling fair, the brakes ferocious, and at least with the 560, the power is fun. Oh yeah, the look is classic MB. When you look at one, ask if the sunroof modification has been done. There is an upgrade you do when things break in the mechanism. Parts alone for the complete job are over $400. Then again, my daughters 300E is gonna need it done this spring. Ouch! I have four MBs and my parts guy is on the speed dial of my cell phone.
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  #15  
Old 03-03-2004, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by suginami
Are you back in Temecula Mike?

Welcome home.
No Paul, I'm back in Michigan. Ran home for the weekend to knock out the taxes and run a few errands.

BTW: did you go down to visit your Mom this past weekend? I thought I might have seen you traveling out toward her house on 79, I was in the Suburban on my way out to tend to the horses so you probably wouldn't have noticed me.

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Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
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