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  #1  
Old 08-20-2000, 04:12 PM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Buffalo, New York USA
Posts: 69
Found an '84 380sl, 39500 miles, in VERY clean shape. 2 questions. First, small leak on lower right side of engine, near front (near the radiator), is red in color. Is this tranny fluid being cooled by radiator? Doesn't look like it's coming from Power steering pmp, but it could be. Second, car doesn't start on its own, needed a jump, has been in storage for two years. Battery has a '98 date on it, ran engine for 20 minutes, still didn't start on its own. Is this the alternator, and i so, estimated cost to replace/repair?

Owner is asking $16,500. What would be a fair offer for this car? Repair histor is not available, but then again, there's only 39,000 miles on it.



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  #2  
Old 08-20-2000, 05:25 PM
ralfmalph
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Leak is likely a dry rotted trans cooler flex hose. Change both if u buy this ride.If the battery is not a good name brand (ie. Delco, Interstate) I'd suspect it has bitten the big one. If u have a volt meter, just check the battery voltage w/ the engine on.Should be at least 13 volts. I'm not going in the price room with you,but an '84 NY car is a pretty good bet to be a rust farm
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  #3  
Old 08-20-2000, 10:17 PM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Buffalo, New York USA
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The body on this car was extremely solid and clean, with no signs of rust beginning anywhere. Any other pricing experts (or negotiating tips) for buying a car already listed way above blue book?
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2000, 10:06 AM
CMCon98
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The 380s are the least desirable of the 107-body (72-89) SL cars. They are prone to comparatively early timing chain failure (very expensive) and the threads in the aluminum blocks tend to strip when the heads are removed. The timing chain can be converted to a stronger double row type, but this is also expensive. While the car you describe has low miles and will therefore probably not need major attention for a while, the 380 only had 160hp, which makes for a, uhhh, leisurely acceleration rate. For the price this seller is asking, you could get a later 560SL with higher mileage, which is a better car in every way than the 380. A late production 450SL could be had in excellent condition for less money as well. If properly maintained, the 450s run forever, and the body style is virtually identical to the later cars.

If you have your heart set on this 380, DEFINITELY have it thoroughly checked by a shop that specializes in Mercedes. Any old mechanic will not be familiar with the problem areas specific to this car, and could miss things that you should know about before you make a final offer. Good Luck and enjoy the car if you buy it.
Colin
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  #5  
Old 08-21-2000, 10:21 AM
mattsuzie
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Another thing is will you be using this as a highway or city driver? It may not be fine going stop and go in a 380, but OK in 450/560. On the flip side, you might get better mpg with the smaller engine and power won't matter on the highway.

I would say that that price is a decent price and would take it if you like the ride. That mileage is really low, like a brand new car!

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'89 420 SEL
'90 300 SEL
'68 Olds 88 Convertible
'84 300 SD (sold it)
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2000, 01:03 PM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Buffalo, New York USA
Posts: 69
This is 1 1984, which I believe already has the double row timing chain. I've driven 560's, and yes I could see the take-off was a bit slower. However, I drive mostly highway to work, and I'm not a jack-rabbit starting kind of guy. 0-60 diffeence from 380 to 560 is notable, though (11.5 to 7.5), and the point is weel taken. I has started looking at 560's with 65 or 75k on them, but asking price was around $22,000 on the ones around here. Abit steep for a working guy like me!
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  #7  
Old 08-21-2000, 07:13 PM
bf
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how is the interior? interior parts for these cars are very expensive, even items such as a carpet package is high.
FYI: I've got an 80' 450sl and love the 107 series. 16.5K seems really expensive to me though. In oregon that car would go for around 9-10K.
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  #8  
Old 08-21-2000, 09:45 PM
mattsuzie
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Go to "traderonline.com". I put in a search for 380 SL's and 15 came up. Around 5 were between 84 and 85 with 30 something thousand miles on it . The price range was about $15,000 - $23,000 like what I expected. The price drops considerable when approaching 100,000 miles however. Those prices are a good representation of the market value.

If you can find a Mercedes convertible period in the shape you are talking about from the early 70s to 80s < $10k JUMP ON IT! I never have seen a MB convertible in tip top shape , < 50 k miles, < 10 grand. Never. But I am sure there are always firsts out there. Just my $0.02.

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'89 420 SEL
'90 300 SEL
'68 Olds 88 Convertible
'84 300 SD (sold it)
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