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Old 01-25-2009, 11:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Mercedes 560 SEC / 500 SEC

i'm new here and I posted this in the introduction forums but it looks like for the most part the threads in the intro forum are overlooked. maybe a more specialized part of the forum will see it better:

I'm 17 years old and for years I have wanted a coupe with a big V8 in it. I would love an old chevelle, but the prices on american muscle cars are through the roof and I don't have that kind of cash. SO my uncle convinced me to buy a mercedes benz instead. I did not know that benz also made cars with lots of power and a V8. was a complete newb. then i found the 560 SEC and the 500 SEC. i found that I can buy a beautiful 560/500SEC for the same price as a rusted out chevelle with a ruined interior i was looking at. any tips or comments on these cars? reliability? things things to watch out for? I'm going to have about $5,000 to spend to buy it. i will turn 18 on april 29th this year so then I will be able to legally sign the title for it. absolutely cannot wait to have a car like this. i live in St. Louis, missouri so if there are any locals that could help me find one in my range it would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
Henry
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Henry - Welcome and congrats!... I have a 1991 560 SEC (Last year of production, and I can tell you first hand I can give pretty much any 60's or 70's muscle car a good run for it's money.

The 560 SEC is far and away the best MB had to offer then. My car new was over 85 grand. I picked mine up for 5 grand and then put another 19 grand into it restoring it to near showroom. Parts are not cheap and neither is a good mechanic but are well worth it.

The thing you will need to be careful about is speeding. These cars were designed with the Autobahn in mind. My car can do 140-150 easily all day long, and it's 0-60 times are very respectable. As a new 19 yo with power galore, you are going to want to stretch it's legs. I can only say, BE CAREFUL!!! I am 48 and have had over 20 speeding tickets since I was your age and they are EXPENSIVE, to say nothing if you wrap it around a tree.

Hate to sound like a parent here, but I am one, so...

Find as clean an example as you can, don't rush it. Get as late a one as you can with as little miles as you can find. Have it checked out by a reputable MB mech. That should be your first priority is finding a good and honest MB mech.

As Teutone will tell you, fill out your profile so we know where you are and can direct you to members near you.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. PM me and I will send you a link to my restoration page and you can see how these cars are put together.

Good luck and you can email me anytime with questions.

Michael
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Micheal, thanks a ton!

yeah, I've heard that parts are not cheap. however, maybe ebay or craigslist would be a possibility to buy parts from.

I am also extremely inclined to do service and fixing work on my own. although I do not have that much experience working on cars (especially benz) I am very good with working with my hands. I do a lot of fix it work on other electronic and mechanical stuff, and I am very into woodworking so if I could find a local to guide me through repairs it would be great.

I will also update my profile. i live in St. Louis, missouri.

i've also had my share of police incounters. last ticket was doing 95 MPH in a 60 MPH zone in my 181 HP 6-cyl volvo 960. (good car but not fast enough for me)

I plan on buying a Valentine model 1 radar detector when i get the benz.

henry
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Old 01-25-2009, 04:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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henry, remember the road to hell, is paved with good intentions! these cars are not a very good beginer car. but if you do your homework & find one that needs nothing but tlc. then you can have a tast of what its all about. but these cars can fall apart in your hands in a week, & to repair anything is so costly it will be sitting puking oil on the driveway for the summer! but if your a diehard like us then welcom to the unforgiving world of old sportscars.
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Old 01-25-2009, 05:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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+1 on granit My coupe IS LITERALLY puking oil right now on the street... I can't even keep itin the driveway... High Pressure PS hose. $165.00 and of course I'll save the usual couple hunski to put it on, by doing it myself.

Anyone in the Harley World knows that HD means "Hundred Dollar" everything costs a HD. I submit MB Means "Mega Bucks"
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Old 01-25-2009, 05:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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it must be the season for HP PS hoses to go west...
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Old 01-25-2009, 05:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleeves View Post
i'm new here and I posted this in the introduction forums but it looks like for the most part the threads in the intro forum are overlooked. maybe a more specialized part of the forum will see it better:

I'm 17 years old and for years I have wanted a coupe with a big V8 in it. I would love an old chevelle, but the prices on american muscle cars are through the roof and I don't have that kind of cash. SO my uncle convinced me to buy a mercedes benz instead. I did not know that benz also made cars with lots of power and a V8. was a complete newb. then i found the 560 SEC and the 500 SEC. i found that I can buy a beautiful 560/500SEC for the same price as a rusted out chevelle with a ruined interior i was looking at. any tips or comments on these cars? reliability? things things to watch out for? I'm going to have about $5,000 to spend to buy it. i will turn 18 on april 29th this year so then I will be able to legally sign the title for it. absolutely cannot wait to have a car like this. i live in St. Louis, missouri so if there are any locals that could help me find one in my range it would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
Henry
Welcome to the Forum.
Please complete your profile with the car mod and location, by clicking 'User CP' on the top tool bar, to make it easier for members to offer advice.
Mbcoupes http://www.mbcoupes.com/buyersguide/buyersguide.htm is good.
The $ you pay for an experienced Mercedes mechanic to do a post purchase inspection might be the best money you can spend.
Also, make sure to carefully read the 'Welcome to the Forum' announcement / tutorial sticky on top.
It will show how to run a forum search (needs words of more than 3 letters), etc., and save you, and others, valuable time.
The forum archive has a wealth of information available at your finger tips.
Cheers
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Mbcoupes Buyer's Guide is good.
Henry, definitely read this. Ditto on the pre-purchase inspection by a knowledgeable on W126 MB mechanic. These cars are built/engineered a whole lot better than a late 60's Chevelle ( I know, I had a 69 Camaro SS 396) but are a good bit more complex as well. Again, buy the newest, lowest mileage car with as many service records as you can find/afford, since a cheap Mercedes is the most expensive car you'll ever own. That being said, a nice well maintained SEC will give you an extraordinary driving/ownership experience. Good luck in your search.
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Old 01-25-2009, 08:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 420 SE View Post
it must be the season for HP PS hoses to go west...
Yeah, it was sitting in the Mojave desert for 2 years unmoved. Now that she's running every day, the warts are starting to show...

Like the leaves...

Oh yeah Henry - When you get one the first thing you should do is check for leaves down in between the firewalls. They collect there since there are two firewalls and it is not open to the ground much there. So they collect there over the years and on the drivers side under the Brake Master Cylinder. Under there is a A/C resister that can glow red hot.

Red hot wire+dried leaves=ENGINE FIRE on New Hears Day with your new GF in the car!

1st thing when you get it home is clean the leaves out of there. One of us will tell you/show you where to look and clean.

2nd thing to do is to get a good Halon Fire Extinguisher and KEEP IT HANDY. Know how to use it and make it second nature. If you get to the fanatical point that some of us are, we have the true Euro extinguishers mounted to the front of our seats like in Europe. Mine was not mounted yet, but it was close by. Get one and do not bury it. You can get one from Performance Products for like a hundred bucks...

Also, get a few of those little screwdrivers with the magnets on the end. The little tiny ones. Everything in a Mercedes starts pretty much by taking your little screwdriver out and sticking into somewhere and then that pops out or off and that starts the process of dis-assembly. The entire door panel starts by sticking your little screwdriver into the plastic piece behind the door pull. Pops off and your remove the screw behind. Same for the rear int panels. LSD into the window switch reveals the handle screw that needs to come out.

Big toolbox yes, but you need LSD's (Little Screw Drivers), Several.

If you are going to do your own work I would subscribe to EPC for 12.95 a year. You put your VIN in there and it will tell you every part number for your particular car. WIS you can get off eBay for like 25.00. That is all of the service manuals on disk.

I have the Electrical manual which I am scanning into PDF format and I think Ross knows the link to it online... (Ross?)

Like everyone has said, find a good mechanic FIRST.... One you can trust. That is invaluable. And when you start really looking at cars, be objective. It's like looking for a wife, because you are going to put out a significant investment in her and you will be spending a lot of time with her and you want that relationship to be a good one. Sounds corny, but it's true.

When you find a car, have your camera, take some pics and post them here. We'll all go over it, tell you what we think, maybe give you some questions to go back with, and perhaps tell you if we have seen or know that car. It's a small and tight community here and everyone tried to help out.
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Old 01-25-2009, 08:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sadly you can only get the great on-line EPC deal if you have a credit card issued in the US, our cc numbers are rejected.

Also RHD cars don't have that A/C fan resistor down where the LHD do, fortunately ours are on the RHD by the radiator overflow tank which keeps them a bit cooler.
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