Looking at an SL600... - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Looking at an SL600...

Always wanted a 12-cylinder R129 and I've been bugging an older gent who has a one-owner triple black '99 SL600 to sell me his when he's ready. Last week he says he's ready, tells me it's not running well and he can't get the local MB dealer to tell him what it will cost to fix it. He's used it as his daily driver as long as he's had it and has put 155K miles on it.

He's willing to pay me $200 to plug my STAR diagnostics computer in to the OBD port and tell him what's wrong and give an estimate of what it would cost him at an indie. I promised that if we come to a purchase I'd deduct the fee from the purchase price.

What I need from this forum is what specific issues am I looking for with the 600 engine? I know all the non-engine issues (I've fixed them all on my '90 300SL) but need some expertise on this late model 12-cylinder. I assume it doesn't have the biodegradable wiring with this year...what else? Hydraulic suspension? What to look at to tell its condition? Etc...

Any pointers for me?

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'90 300SL-24 | '13 CLS550 | '10 ML350 Bluetec | '08 E350
Previous: '06 CLS500 | '07 ML350 | '89 560SEC | '85 300E
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 10:13 PM
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This was a great article on the MBCA Star magazine on buying a 129 - and there is a column just on the facets of the V12
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File Type: pdf r129_StarArticleon129Roadsters.compressed.pdf (1.39 MB, 107 views)
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 07:20 AM
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Start boning up on the ADS II suspension on this site. Nothing mysterious.

A 99 will already have the good front brakes. There's no degradable wiring issue with that year, but the V12 will come with 12 individual coils that may be nearing the end of their useful life. By all means, plug the car into your diagnostics and find out what's giving trouble. It could be anything from a MAF sensor to a few of the coils, or just a bad MOT.

155K miles, just a pup, not even really broken in yet. The drivetrain is still like new.

I hope the cabin was well cared for and the top used to spare the black interior.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mahunt View Post
Start boning up on the ADS II suspension on this site. Nothing mysterious.

A 99 will already have the good front brakes. There's no degradable wiring issue with that year, but the V12 will come with 12 individual coils that may be nearing the end of their useful life. By all means, plug the car into your diagnostics and find out what's giving trouble. It could be anything from a MAF sensor to a few of the coils, or just a bad MOT.

155K miles, just a pup, not even really broken in yet. The drivetrain is still like new.

I hope the cabin was well cared for and the top used to spare the black interior.
Good info!
For me, no 600. I'd like to have one, but no. I have 2 SL 500's...but the 600 with its hydraulic suspension system is COSTLY! Double the fees on engine issues. If the interior has issues, that means to me that the owner did not look after the other stuff as well. These cars are expensive to maintain and the 600's are twice as expensive. Not looking to discourage you. But you need disposable income for the 600.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 10:18 AM
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It looks to me that with the M120 virtually any engine work involves removing the intake manifold...
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mahunt View Post

A 99 will already have the good front brakes.

I've been trying to find information on the front brake change on later models but I'm having no luck. What was the change exactly and can we mount +99 brake calipers and rotors in older r129 easily?
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 12:01 PM
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It's quite simple and yes you can as I did it on my 96 MY. Search the forum as there threads about it.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 01:10 PM
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Slightly larger Brembo calipers and rotors on the 99+ cars. Direct swap. Have the parts laying here to do mine. Likely more of an improvement in handling heat than in braking power.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 05:13 PM
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Not all wants are practical when realized. SL600 is only slightly faster than already fast SL500. People originally purchased them to flash the cash, not because they are better SL.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 05:13 AM
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Oh I don't know...

Full (and I mean full) leather interior that seems to hold up better that the regular interior. Sometimes I just like to open the door and breathe in the nuances of that wonderful interior.

Stouter drivetrain. It's not just the engine that's different, from the V12 to the diff, everything is more heavy duty. Even the exhaust is larger.

Xenon lights standard. I don't really understand this envy, but then again, my car already has them.

ADS standard. For the folks that don't have this suspension or have NEVER even ridden in one, but still feel the need to comment; I can only say from personal experience its not that tough to service and the ride complements the chassis on the highway for comfort and stiffens it up a bit for cornering. All at the flick of a switch. I believe the front sway bar is bigger.

Its faster and smoother. Don't believe me, ride in one.

They are WAY more rare than the regular 6 or 8 cylinder cars. I've been daily driving mine for 16 years and still haven't seen another one yet.

The V12s were built to be special and they are. Thank you MB.
Chicky, macysum, Fritha78 and 3 others like this.
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