Whatís a good time to get rid of a 1998 sl500? - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 12:54 PM
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If it’s mint outside and inside then bringATrailer is your only shot to get anything close to that price
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Whatís a good time to get rid of a 1998 sl500?

Ok calm down fellas. I am just in the position of providing them advice and giving them free labor when the MB dealer provides them with high prices. Itís family. Theyíve expressed no interest in getting rid of it. I have not kept an eye on the market, and thought Iíd ask. I suggested this 1998 sl500 as a best of the best year to buy. Sure, maybe some m113 are better. In any case, I suggested buying the car, and want to make sure that I tell them if thereís a reason to sell.

I told them to be on the lookout for flakiness in the top functions before it dumps hydraulic fluid in their lap.

If they sell the r129, I might suggest some of the r107 beaters Iíve got around.


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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 02:07 PM
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Ok ca down fellas. I am just in the position of providing them advice and giving them free labor when the MB dealer provides them with high prices. Itís family. Theyíve expressed no interest in getting rid of it. I suggested this 1998 sl500 as a best of the best year to buy. Sure, maybe some m113 are better. In any case, I suggested buying the car, and want to make sure that I tell them if thereís a reason to sell.
I bought my 98 SL500 3 years ago with 52K I think on it. I now have 106K I put a new top, all suspension, Brakes, gaskets and what ever it needed to put it in new condition. Just normal stuff over three years. I just do the top cyls as needed. I expect to get many more miles and fun out of this roadster. I also agree with you that the 98 is the last and the best of the V8 R129.

John;
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 03:07 PM
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Ok calm down fellas. I am just in the position of providing them advice and giving them free labor when the MB dealer provides them with high prices. Itís family. Theyíve expressed no interest in getting rid of it. I have not kept an eye on the market, and thought Iíd ask. I suggested this 1998 sl500 as a best of the best year to buy. Sure, maybe some m113 are better. In any case, I suggested buying the car, and want to make sure that I tell them if thereís a reason to sell.

I told them to be on the lookout for flakiness in the top functions before it dumps hydraulic fluid in their lap.

If they sell the r129, I might suggest some of the r107 beaters Iíve got around.

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I don't think anyone is getting worked up, just confused based on the initial post and your later comments, that's all.

As you know Mercedes' all too well, I'm sure you told them to expect some maintenance costs regardless of the condition at the time of purchase. I would agree that 98 is probably the sweet spot of model years for the R129, and with that in mind, will be one of the more desirable models when the time comes (when and if it does) to pass it along to another owner.

If it were me I would just calm them down over the costs they've incurred an assure them that they're unlikely to have significant expenses after this point for a while. Certainly the top cylinders won't be cheap (about $800/set for rebuilts from Klaus plus lots and lots of *your* labor) but again, once this is done they're good for a very, very long time.

If they can envision long term ownership they should be in a pretty good position with the car now based on what you describe. They just caught the car at a point in time where it has needs, but once those are addressed it should be relatively inexpensive to maintain for some time.

My 1997 R129 has 134k on the clock and I've owned it for over five years. In the last two years I've done nothing more than put motor mounts, a transmission mount, both strut mounts and a tie rod end on it. It's the daily driver of a very aggressive and "spirited" driver, so it's run hard. It performs flawlessly and has been probably the most reliable Mercedes I've owned in almost 30 years. They should expect the same once the dust shakes out and everything is sorted.

As for BAT, well, nothing is a sure thing. BAT is very particular about what gets listed, and even with a nice car, there are no guarantees that they'll accept it for auction.

Sadly, the R129 chassis' cars have been overlooked and underrated for years. The styling is either loved or reviled by people, the haters who often refer to it as a "Mustang" because of the lines of the body. They have a point, but that being said, it's a diamond in the rough as the soft prices have made it a very affordable convertible for a long time. As long as one avoids the earlier years and finds one that's well cared for you can expect to have a fun, reliable and sporty car for a long time for a minimal investment. If you can factor in the value of usage, you'll probably come out on the back end at break even if not a little better.

As for getting douched by the hydraulics, well, they'll probably get a wet leg when the top locks in the windshield frame fail. It leaks out of the top lock cylinder and down the "A" pillar, usually exiting at the point where the trim meets the metal at the top of the pillar. Better yet, warn them to look for puddles around the rear tires. If the lift cylinders go first, the hydraulic fluid leaks down into the body cavities and drips out of drain holes in front of the rear tires, leaving a puddle.

Sucks that they had to lay out some serious coin on the car, but in the long term they should be fine. Just tell them to drive it and enjoy.
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 05:44 AM
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“If they sell the r129, I might suggest some of the r107 beaters I’ve got around. “

I don’t think one can even mention an R129 and an R107 in the same sentence. A ‘98 R129 with an M119, 5 speed trans, power top VS an dinosaur R107? Come on....
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post #16 of 41 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 06:01 AM
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The technology of the R107 even when it was new, was just a warmed over ‘60-‘70s design mechanically. even as they ran thru the production years, they only had some mild technical revisions. (Dare I say lipstick on a pig?)

The R129 on the other hand saw significant improvements with the M119, and the years with three engine management revisions in the M119 alone. The 5speed trans is light years letter than the old 4speed in the R107, and first R129s.
Not to mention the design and function of the power top. Once you have dissected and studied the operation of the system, it’s quite logical and straightforward.
As I’m getting older, I like my conveniences more and more.
I would never consider owning a car without air conditioning for instance, as would never buy a convertible without a power top.
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post #17 of 41 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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The technology of the R107 even when it was new, was just a warmed over Ď60-Ď70s design mechanically. even as they ran thru the production years, they only had some mild technical revisions. (Dare I say lipstick on a pig?)

The R129 on the other hand saw significant improvements with the M119, and the years with three engine management revisions in the M119 alone. The 5speed trans is light years letter than the old 4speed in the R107, and first R129s.
Not to mention the design and function of the power top. Once you have dissected and studied the operation of the system, itís quite logical and straightforward.
As Iím getting older, I like my conveniences more and more.
I would never consider owning a car without air conditioning for instance, as would never buy a convertible without a power top.


Different stroke for different folks. The r129 is loaded with creature comforts for 2, but I prefer simplicity. I donít even like 1986+ Mercedes for the additional computers. I like the cleaner exhaust smell from cars with catalytic converters, but less cracking plastic parts.

Iím just waiting for that ticking time bomb of a hydraulic system to fail and have that car right back in my driveway to send the cylinders off to Top Hydraulics. Heck, maybe I should actually send the spare (near) set I already have to them. Hmm...

I guess when the cylinders are redone, at that point there wonít be any other worries.


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post #18 of 41 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 07:53 AM
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Iím just waiting for that ticking time bomb of a hydraulic system to fail and have that car right back in my driveway to send the cylinders off to Top Hydraulics. Heck, maybe I should actually send the spare (near) set I already have to them. Hmm...

I guess when the cylinders are redone, at that point there wonít be any other worries.


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So far I've had my 98 for 4 years, it has 106k on the clock and only replaced 5 cyls as they started to leak. Been lucky they were all the easy ones. so if you have a spare set then only need to spend a little time once in a while

John;
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post #19 of 41 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 02:55 PM
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I sent mine in to Klaus on a Saturday (USPS Priority Mail), he got them on Tuesday. They were back in my possession the following Saturday.

Granted, this was in February, a slack time for him, but if you've got a spare set to send in and you're not in a hurry, that's definitely the best way to go cost-wise.

Be darned sure you have the same cylinder as their car, as there were variations in the hydraulic systems over the model run. Also, send the whole lock assemblies in to Klaus, as he'll do the R&R of the lock cylinders in the mechanisms as part of the deal. Much easier for you and saves a lot of time on replacement and especially final adjustments.

As an aside, I don't care for the styling of the 107s, personally. They look like a flattened shoe box to me, and drive in a similar fashion. That being said I don't care for the R129s, either. It's like a lowered W124, although with a much better drivetrain, but the proximity to the ground is too low for me. I'm a S class sort of person...that's why the wife drives the R129.

Dan
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post #20 of 41 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 05:35 AM
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Top Hydraulics is a world class business to deal with. Had personally done so many times, and the outcome is always excellent, both in terms of shipping and quality.
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