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  #1  
Old 07-19-2016, 10:25 AM
tivoliman's Avatar
Happy with Mercedes
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 372
Smile Sort of Technical - Requesting input

I've had some older Mercedes cars over the years.

But - should I buy this one: 1995 SL500 (M113)?

My wife says - sure, go for it.

One situation:
I said it will replace the 1986 560SL
Wife said it will replace my daily drive (1995 E420)
Then there is the practicality of it...

I'm already comfortable driving a 22 year old car (1995 E420), but it has four doors; no air conditioning but is sweet to drive with the V8.

The 1995 SL500 has air conditioning, but 2 doors....

What are your thoughts about driving a SL500 as a daily driver? I believe the current (original) owner used it as a daily driver.

With the E420, I have replaced the engine harness, the electronic throttle actuator within the last 20,000 miles. The E420 is fully functional except for the air conditioning.

For the sake of argument, let's just consider the SL500 is in good shape (fully functional, including air conditioning) and has an attractive price.

Your thoughts please.

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Thanks for the help
Bill Fisher

'86 560SL (186K) - Now a 'classic' : Registered as an Historic Vehicle
'95 E420 (198K)
'99 E320 (80K)
'03 LS430 (Lexus)
- - - - -
'95 E420 (231K) Sold to a happy buyer, new to Mercedes
'90 300E (65K) Sold to an Mercedes Lover
'92 190E (215K) - retired to the salvage yard, sigh
'93 500SEL (214K) - Moved to another family, still runs like a young pup
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2016, 10:44 AM
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lied to for years
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: bristol,tn
Posts: 6,010
m119 is the motor.Plastic cam oilers will fail.Wiring harness issues too between 92 to 96.
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2016, 11:06 AM
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Location: Winston Salem, NC
Posts: 12
Bill,

My suggestions would be to start with the condition of the '95 SL and and maybe do a pre-purchase inspection. That will help with any decision to start with.

I can see that you would swap a 86 SL for a 95 SL due to lower mileage and better condition, but simply on looks, I still prefer the 86.

Your 95 E420 still has relatively low miles. I would keep the car and get the A/C fixed, since you have already replaced the harness and since it is clear you enjoy the car. Can you get the 95 SL without selling one of the other cars?

Only you can make that choice. BUT, you know what you currently have and don't know what you will get with the 95 SL. And sometimes what you have is still better.

The worst thing is to suffer from sellers' regret. I have been there and it cannot be fixed.

Good luck with your decision!
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2016, 11:35 AM
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Location: Palm Springs, CA
Posts: 781
Plastic cam oilers are easy and cheap to replace. Mine lasted 160K but I would be more concerned with the hydraulics that raise and lower the convertible top. And of course, the eco-fascist biodegradable wiring. But then a new harness is in the $5-600 range. And another thing about convertibles, while the wind and the bugs are caressing your face, remember that you are ALWAYS sitting in the sun. Been there, done that.
Anziani
'97 CL600 57K
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2016, 11:52 AM
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Location: Southeastern PA
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Bill, this is a highly subjective issue. If you are nimble enough to get in and out of a 1995 SL500 on a regular basis then it's probably fine; however, you need to consider how often you transport things in your 1995 E420, or have more than one passenger in the car. The SL500 lacks the space to transport much of anything ... a trip to the grocery store may be tight. Personally I would be reluctant to use an SL500 as a daily driver, but that's me.
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  #6  
Old 07-19-2016, 12:22 PM
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129 cars can be a WAAAY bigger money pit than a 107. beware, chuck.
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  #7  
Old 07-19-2016, 01:29 PM
tivoliman's Avatar
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Thanks - great thoughts

Ferdman - yes the issue of having that 3rd person to fin in the car is my greatest concern.

But the other suggestions about cost to repair and potential faults is what I was hoping for. Thanks
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Thanks for the help
Bill Fisher

'86 560SL (186K) - Now a 'classic' : Registered as an Historic Vehicle
'95 E420 (198K)
'99 E320 (80K)
'03 LS430 (Lexus)
- - - - -
'95 E420 (231K) Sold to a happy buyer, new to Mercedes
'90 300E (65K) Sold to an Mercedes Lover
'92 190E (215K) - retired to the salvage yard, sigh
'93 500SEL (214K) - Moved to another family, still runs like a young pup
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  #8  
Old 07-19-2016, 07:44 PM
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Posts: 7,515
I'd hardly call the 129 a money pit. Yes the top hydraulics can leak but are cheap to reseal, labor is the factor here. The top can be raised / lowered manually without much fuss so even a leaking system isn't a problem.

Other systems are somewhat separated, my remote unlock started to fail and not disarm the alarm system. This was solved by unplugging it and using the standard metal key.

In 2011 my 124 K mile 97 SL320 Sport was $ 6,000 and I put about $ 2,500 in parts ( + my labor ) to get it to my standards of reliability. ( I change parts when they get towards end of expected life rather then letting them fail at random. ) Next up is a transmission rebuild because at 132 K miles or so, it is getting doe for a freshen up.

Do you have a "good" car that can be relied on if one of the older ones goes down? Trying to DD an old car that you can't go to the local auto parts and pickup a set of brake or radiator hoses can be stressful.

I'd say the new SL should replace the old SL. The 129 is somewhat heavy and ponderous in town, the 97 C280 I put together for Mom is a much better car round town than my 97 SL320.
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  #9  
Old 07-20-2016, 09:13 AM
I told you so!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,848
The three issues mentioned - cam oilers, engine wiring harness, and hydraulic top cylinders - are all fixable. I believe that model has 12 hydraulic cylinders. Check for any other underlying issues. You just have to weigh whether the cost and repair time are worth it.
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  #10  
Old 07-20-2016, 10:26 AM
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This overrides any decision YOU might make!

"Wife said it will replace my daily drive (1995 E420)"
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  #11  
Old 07-20-2016, 02:42 PM
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Check for rust!
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I'm here to chat about cars and to help others - I'm not here "to always be right" like an internet warrior



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  #12  
Old 07-21-2016, 09:09 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 372
Great suggestions - a few more days

I was to test drive the '98 SL500 tonight, but got stuck in traffic and ...

So we rescheduled for Monday.

The current owner told me why she's selling it
1) with rear wheel drive, it slips in the snow
2) If she parks on a hill, the door can be heavy to open 'up hill'

Otherwise she would still be driving it. She has a new 2016 C class with 4matic.

The suggestions to consider
A) the ease of getting in and out.
B) functionality of the roof
C) my 'good car' or as I refer to it as "The Spare" is the '86 560SL My wife does have a more reliable, family friendly car (which is not a Mercedes)
D) Condition and miles of the SL500 is yet to be determined.

I will post pictures when I see the car Monday.
Thanks
__________________
Thanks for the help
Bill Fisher

'86 560SL (186K) - Now a 'classic' : Registered as an Historic Vehicle
'95 E420 (198K)
'99 E320 (80K)
'03 LS430 (Lexus)
- - - - -
'95 E420 (231K) Sold to a happy buyer, new to Mercedes
'90 300E (65K) Sold to an Mercedes Lover
'92 190E (215K) - retired to the salvage yard, sigh
'93 500SEL (214K) - Moved to another family, still runs like a young pup
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  #13  
Old 07-21-2016, 10:08 PM
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Posts: 7,515
Quote:
Originally Posted by tivoliman View Post

The current owner told me why she's selling it
1) with rear wheel drive, it slips in the snow
2) If she parks on a hill, the door can be heavy to open 'up hill'
1 ) The car should at minimum have ASR ( acceleration slip regulation ) that pulls the throttle down and eventually ( I think ) applies the slipping rear wheel brake. It might have ESP ( Electronic stability P ? ) that can apply brakes on all corners to stabilize the car in a corner.

2 ) Unless she just moved to her current location, this would have been a known factor all along.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tivoliman View Post
Otherwise she would still be driving it. She has a new 2016 C class with 4matic.
I wonder why she didn't trade it in / dealer didn't want it.

Be sure to take the car to a shop / dealer for an inspection. Sometimes sellers hide faults, other times they truly don't know. Regardless, condition determines price.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tivoliman View Post
The suggestions to consider
A) the ease of getting in and out.
The cars have memory seat / tilt wheel so you could have one of the three buttons programmed for a easy exit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tivoliman View Post
B) functionality of the roof
That is certainly a way to reduce purchase price if it does not work. All of these cars came with a hard top so if it is missing ask for $14,000 off. (According to these threads anyway.)

http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/mercedes-used-parts-sale-wanted/374592-metal-top-1995-sl500-sale.html

http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/sl-forum/375505-95-sl500-metal-top-reduced-price.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by tivoliman View Post
C) my 'good car' or as I refer to it as "The Spare" is the '86 560SL My wife does have a more reliable, family friendly car (which is not a Mercedes)


D) Condition and miles of the SL500 is yet to be determined.

I will post pictures when I see the car Monday.
Thanks
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  #14  
Old 07-22-2016, 09:53 AM
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Location: Southeastern PA
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I agree wholeheartedly with having a PPI (pre-purchase inspection) performed by a MB-trained tech who is familiar with that vintage MB automobile. Based on the inspection results you will know the condition of the car and any pending major maintenance items. Use that information to negotiate a fair purchase price. Very few folks are selling cars without some issues; otherwise, they would continue to drive the car themselves.

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