Date registered: Feb 2008
Vehicle: 2004 W220 (S430) ; 2001 R129 (SL500) Sport
Location: Alabama Gulf Coast--formerly Charlottesville, VA
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Has it got vertically stacked headlights, or horizontal ones? Does it have "3.5" or "4.5" on the right side of the trunk lid? It sounds like a very late W108 with the 4.5 liter V-8.
Changing the drive train is not an option. Sell the car and buy something that runs if you don't want to go to the trouble of getting the original drive train operational. Don't butcher a fine old Mercedes for convenience--let it go to someone who will try and repair it or part it out for other projects. There is nothing sadder that a Mercedes with a cobbled in American drive train.
Take it to an independent shop that specializes in MB and have them diagnose the problems. If she has been taking it to Pep Boys, it's no wonder it's a mess.
The car may be beyond a reasonable repair bill to fix. W108 V-8s are worth about $5k in good daily driver condition.
Pink? What, is she a Mary Kaye prize winning sales rep?
"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you."--John Steinbeck