Newbie: Can a W126 be a daily driver? - Page 5 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #41 of 80 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 10:39 PM
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Ps 100,000 is nothing on these . We had one which we covered 690,000 and it was still a daily driver in the hands of it's next owner, 10 years after we sold it .


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post #42 of 80 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 10:10 PM
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There was a 1984 Euro SEC with about 265k miles for sale in Cali that never got the $5600 minimum bid on eBay. Black on black, original paint, interior is far better shape than you'd imagine. Engine and tranny rebuilt. Tons of service records. Waaaaay better than many examples with less than half the miles. But no one wanted it for fear of the "high" miles. Foolish. Would be a perfect daily driver. It would be mine if I was in the USA. Drive it until it dies and then part it out!!

No doubt some of the SEL owners out there who are trying to sell sniff lots of glue because they all want SEC prices. It's kind of silly. Tons of them on the west coast. Here I am in China, watching all of the auctions. Can't help myself. Just love these cars.
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post #43 of 80 (permalink) Old 12-27-2017, 06:44 AM
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SO true 1783, I'd much rather have a car with high(er) miles with a boatload of maintenance tickets and maybe a little wear showing (like my SEC) than to roll the dice with one that looks in better shape and no proof of anything done to it. As an example, I had an ex that bought a car, kept it pretty clean even considering we lived on a dirt road at that time, she drove that poor car like she was Mario Andretti on a dirt track and in two years time NEVER had the oil changed . Fluid levels were checked, so she said, but never changed, THAT would be the car I'd stay away from

Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints
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My Stable:
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'91 300SE (sold) "Sadie"
'11 Suzuki SX4 Sport Sedan
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Dif-tor heh smusma
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I'm surprised that NOBODY has asked me what this is / means
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LOL
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post #44 of 80 (permalink) Old 12-27-2017, 07:15 AM
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I can't remember typing that, I'm not not going to mention any names, but I think I know who hacked my post.


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post #45 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 01:00 PM
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From one young professional to another: do not use the 126 as your only transportation unless you are comfortable/have the following:

1. Adequate space to perform repairs on the vehicle.
2. Basic set of various tools and are comfortable using them.
3. Do you enjoy physical labor/satisfaction of maintaining mechanical items?
4. Unlimited funds to pay a mechanic/Uber if the answer to above is an emphatic "no"? Indy rates are $90/hr in my area. I think Jack's German Auto was $100/$115 seven years ago but I could be wrong.

Full disclosure: I owned a wonderful 300SDL for 7 years that was not my DD. The car was purchased in Orange County with the intent to drive back to Alabama with my five month pregnant wife. However, the plan derailed in Van Horn, TX and the car was trailered home. But that's another story.

If the above does not discourage maybe the following anecdotes will:

You just spend $850 on various service items and you think "ah, this is it for awhile". You decide to take a date to Big Sur for the weekend. You arrive by lunchtime on Friday and toss the keys to the valet. You and said date have a great lunch at Sierra Mar using the rest of the day to "relax" before dinner. Valet brings car around for the drive to California Market in Carmel but the Becker 754 has no power. You replace the fuse for the hell of it. Nothing. It's a nice evening for driving hwy 1 so you open the moon roof but that is disturbing your date's hair so it must be promptly closed. The silence would be deafening if not for the horrid amount of wind noise reverberating through the cabin. Diagnosis: awkward date and $175 for Becker to rebuild the radio. Oh and are you going to remove the radio and mail to Becker or pay the mechanic? Or replace radio with aftermarket unit?

Your driving to work on Burlingame Ave and all of a sudden the fuel pump relay gives out in front of Brentwood Country Club in the middle of the summer. You're not sure what the problem is so you call a flat bed and have to push the meeting because now you will be late. Your boss (or clients if you are the boss) is pulling in to the club for a morning round of golf. They stop to ask if you need help while simultaneously contemplating if the pit stains on your Brioni suit jacket are from the summer temps or the fires close by.

A/C suction/discharge hose develops a large leak. There goes all the freon. Yes, I understand most Californians do not use A/C but let's say you do. Oh, but wait! The hose is NLA!! Call a junkyard. Really, $400 for a USED hose!? I spent $2,000 on my A/C all told.

This time you take a date to The Edison. It's a new date because the last one dumped you due to the radio incident. You've had a great time and are walking back to the car. Insert key to ignition but wait....the key will not turn no matter how hard you try. It's the ignition lock/switch. Now figure out how to get that baby out of the parking garage to be towed for repair.

After market radio? Forget attempting to use Bluetooth above 55-60 mph as the person on the other end of the line cannot hear you for all the wind noise. Yes, these cars are noisy compared to modern day machines.

It sounds like I'm bashing the 126, I'm not. I really did love mine and took it on many a road trip. Ten hours round trip being the furthest driven with no issue but I spent a fortune on my SDL even with DIY. It absolutely eats up the miles and is very comfortable. I did an interior swap as well. Pulled a pristine Palomino interior from a 1991 420sel that had been rear ended. Updated interiors are the way to go. So go for a 91 model if you move forward simply because it will be the newest model.

Good luck and keep us posted on your decision.
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'85 300TDT Nautical Blue 126K
'87 300TDT Midnight Blue 188K
'87 560SL Anthracite Grey 65K
'92 600SEL Project in waiting 128K
'10 Ford Expedition 86K
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post #46 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by innovation560 View Post
From one young professional to another: do not use the 126 as your only transportation unless you are comfortable/have the following:

1. Adequate space to perform repairs on the vehicle.
2. Basic set of various tools and are comfortable using them.
3. Do you enjoy physical labor/satisfaction of maintaining mechanical items?
4. Unlimited funds to pay a mechanic/Uber if the answer to above is an emphatic "no"? Indy rates are $90/hr in my area. I think Jack's German Auto was $100/$115 seven years ago but I could be wrong.

Full disclosure: I owned a wonderful 300SDL for 7 years that was not my DD. The car was purchased in Orange County with the intent to drive back to Alabama with my five month pregnant wife. However, the plan derailed in Van Horn, TX and the car was trailered home. But that's another story.

If the above does not discourage maybe the following anecdotes will:

You just spend $850 on various service items and you think "ah, this is it for awhile". You decide to take a date to Big Sur for the weekend. You arrive by lunchtime on Friday and toss the keys to the valet. You and said date have a great lunch at Sierra Mar using the rest of the day to "relax" before dinner. Valet brings car around for the drive to California Market in Carmel but the Becker 754 has no power. You replace the fuse for the hell of it. Nothing. It's a nice evening for driving hwy 1 so you open the moon roof but that is disturbing your date's hair so it must be promptly closed. The silence would be deafening if not for the horrid amount of wind noise reverberating through the cabin. Diagnosis: awkward date and $175 for Becker to rebuild the radio. Oh and are you going to remove the radio and mail to Becker or pay the mechanic? Or replace radio with aftermarket unit?

Your driving to work on Burlingame Ave and all of a sudden the fuel pump relay gives out in front of Brentwood Country Club in the middle of the summer. You're not sure what the problem is so you call a flat bed and have to push the meeting because now you will be late. Your boss (or clients if you are the boss) is pulling in to the club for a morning round of golf. They stop to ask if you need help while simultaneously contemplating if the pit stains on your Brioni suit jacket are from the summer temps or the fires close by.

A/C suction/discharge hose develops a large leak. There goes all the freon. Yes, I understand most Californians do not use A/C but let's say you do. Oh, but wait! The hose is NLA!! Call a junkyard. Really, $400 for a USED hose!? I spent $2,000 on my A/C all told.

This time you take a date to The Edison. It's a new date because the last one dumped you due to the radio incident. You've had a great time and are walking back to the car. Insert key to ignition but wait....the key will not turn no matter how hard you try. It's the ignition lock/switch. Now figure out how to get that baby out of the parking garage to be towed for repair.

After market radio? Forget attempting to use Bluetooth above 55-60 mph as the person on the other end of the line cannot hear you for all the wind noise. Yes, these cars are noisy compared to modern day machines.

It sounds like I'm bashing the 126, I'm not. I really did love mine and took it on many a road trip. Ten hours round trip being the furthest driven with no issue but I spent a fortune on my SDL even with DIY. It absolutely eats up the miles and is very comfortable. I did an interior swap as well. Pulled a pristine Palomino interior from a 1991 420sel that had been rear ended. Updated interiors are the way to go. So go for a 91 model if you move forward simply because it will be the newest model.

Good luck and keep us posted on your decision.
Very well put

You have to be part masochist to drive an older car, that is just a fact. I enjoy turning my own wrenches, so the fun : pain ratio is still relatively high. Of course I refer to many different types of "pain" here, be it the pain on your wallet, pain from busted knuckles, or the pain in your ear drum coming from your significant other wining about you again lying under the "sh*t pile in the drive way"...
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post #47 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 02:42 PM
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So some girl broke up with you because your cars radio and sunroof were not working? Sounds to me like that car did you a HUGE favor. A high maintenance chick is way more trouble than a high maintenance car every time.
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post #48 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 02:49 PM
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I dont necessarily disagree with innovation560, but if you get a GOOD car and maintain it, you will only occasionally/rarely get stranded, and some of those can be avoided by learning thing that happen at high mileage, like the alternator brushes. I think I have only been stranded 2 times in 20 years with the car. 241K miles now.

BUT, you will need to occasionally spend a week or four performing a major refresh of some system. So you need to have a backup car.

I just spent 4 weeks (yeah, I work slow) complete front suspension rebuild, new front torsion bar weld on tips, brake lines, driveshaft donuts(3) , replace outside mirror and fix a rust spot and replace a few deteriorated plastic and rubber parts I found as I worked on it.

3-4 years ago I spent a couple of months replacing the head gasket and all the rubber parts involved and other parts while I was there.

I just drove my R129 instead, which I normally dont do in winter. Rest of this week I will change the trans fluid in the R129.

Like I said, W126 great daily, but have a spare car.
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post #49 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 03:15 PM
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I have had my 1990 560SEC for over 2 years now, It is approaching 269K and wears them miles like its got 80K. I do not daily drive the car and have a 14 year old BMW 530I for that with 120K Miles. I daily drove W124 series cars for 15 years without any major issues with regular maintenance. All old cars with require more attention for sure. I have learnt the hard way at times, Always carry a spare box with the correct fuses and relays. Some spare tools and just for piece of mind, Get a AAA Membership, Its worth its weight in gold.

I always have two cars, That's the trade off, You need one while the other is down for repairs and repairs done by yourself, but Its nice having two cars, Plus these are old now so insurance is cheap and they are easy to work on.

3 weeks ago the BMW was out for the count with a crazy issue, Took about a week to resolve, The 560 took daily duty during this period until i fixed that problem, It was a refreshing change.

Good Luck
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post #50 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 11:53 AM
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+1 on AAA membership, get the 100mi tow option

Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in
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