Crisis of Faith - Should I sell or keep - Page 3 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 03:54 PM
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What @Sc00p said. Exactly. Try and do some of the work yourself; the money saved plus the satisfaction of knowing you somehow did it yourself is very satisfying.

If you can’t do any of the work yourself, then you have to ask yourself if you’re OK either (a) writing checks to your trusted indie; or (b) you don’t mind driving the car with its problems. If neither (a) nor (b) are acceptable, then you should get rid of the car.

I have an ‘89 300SE with nearly 185K on the odometer. Over the last three years I’ve put about $7,500 into what was a moderately neglected car, but it now drives like a dream and I completely trust it for longer road trips. At this point I average about $1,000/year for this, that or the other thing. Yes, it could use a paint job, and eventually its M103 engine will need a front seal and valve guide seals to stop the oil consumption—that’ll cost me probably $2,500 if I also throw in a valve job and maybe a camshaft if it needs one. But because there aren’t many cars like this on the road anymore, and because I spend WAY less on this car than I would on a new car, higher insurance, way higher registration, etc., I think I can afford a somewhat meaty repair bill now and then.

At the end of the day it boils down to two things in necessarily this order: 1) How much do you love the car? 2) How much are you willing to spend on it opportunity-cost-wise?
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post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-13-2018, 06:59 AM
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I have had the same internal debate and have gone both routes. I have become frustrated and sold cars after a few back to back hits and i have stuck it out with others.

Sticking it out is the way to go if you love the car. Otherwise you are basically sorting the car out and turning it loose to the next guy at a huge loss. You are driving a Mercedes-Benz SL for a tiny fraction of the cost of a new one.

With my little collection I decided long ago - they get what they need. Period.

Hang in there!

Dillinger, East Tennessee
2014 E350 4Matic Coupe
1995 E420
1987 560SL

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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-13-2018, 08:19 AM
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The good part:

Just got back from a flawless drive from Tampa to Asheville and back. No issues, pure enjoyment.

Top down driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway. GT cabriolet nirvana.

The R129 was initially a pretty expensive roadster and even though they can be acquired for very little now, they do shine when in their element. Just flat out magnificent. My car initially started out as my daily driver, but now that I'm using it for it's intended purpose, I wish I had started sooner.

The bad part:

Excellent 20 year old GT cabriolet roadsters don't come easy or cheap. There are NO shortcuts, everything takes time and money so you aren't disappointed or stranded 700 miles from home. If you want that $140,000 roadster experience, you will spend a bunch of money and expend gallons of sweat.

I've experienced all of your issues and much more (a lot of us have). Some stuff I've been able to do myself for less money and other things not so much. The more things you can do yourself (even the hard stuff), the more knowledge you gain of the car and an appreciation for the engineering.

When you experience a maintenance issue, troll through the archives (as we all do to gain insight) and if you are hesitant about doing something yourself, post a thread. Some of your repairs were of good value (brakes and alternator), the others not so much. I understand you live in a townhouse (hopefully with a one car garage), but all I have is a carport and I swapped out my evaporator this spring. When I had my Indy recharge the AC, he said I saved about $5000. $5k makes for a pretty good trip somewhere.
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post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-13-2018, 10:08 AM
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I have taken all my cars on the Parkway for their photos. I have a place in Bryson City, I wish I could have met up for the trip on the parkway.
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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 08:57 AM
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Hi Dough,

Sounds like you have been paying someone else to repair the car for you. Unfortunately, unless you are handy to tackle the problems yourself, this kind of car may not be the right type for you. My experience is that old German cars required a lot of maintenance that's why they are relatively cheap in the used car market. Once you manage to take care these problem, then you will be happy to own one. If I were you, I'd sell it and never look back. Good luck.
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