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97 S600 Coupe. Former 83 300D, 97 C230, 93 400E, 92 500SL, a few others
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Have mercy on us Jesus

just some thoughts.
the most reliable cars being sold then, were the Olds, Cadillac, and Toyota. this was 1993. The window sticker on my car says $136,500 back in 1994. for that price, one could have bought 5 Pontiac Trans Ams then, fully loaded. driven a few of them 150,000 miles, and they were faster, sportier, and handled better than a W140. and still not have driven them all yet. and the remaining undriven Trans Ams, would now be worth $50,000 or more.

My head is spinning. Who is this V12 GM guy?
1) that kind of money is not maintenance, it's major reconstruction of either a poor design
If you have a top of the line Benz, S-class, V12, or nowadays, would apply to any V8 and up AMG, a Maybach, etc, and you drive it a normal amount of mileage per year, let's say 15k, if it's out of warranty (aka over 5 years old) and you are going to drive it like that, you should expect $3k-$5k a year in maintenance and repairs, using OE parts. Mine sat for just 3 years and there's your $15k of deferred maintenance from rotting, which is as bad if not worse than putting 15k a year on one. The only thing I've done on it since the end of 2017 are oil changes, and perfecting the ride height and alignment - I don't call those "repairs," more of "I'm a freak perfectionist and everything has to be 100% right on this car"

2) the wiring for one, not only is the biodegradable wiring crap
The car in this post is a 97, and mine is a 97. There was no biodegradable wiring after MY '95 on any Benz

3) I've driven many a GM vehicle from years 1991-2008 well over 200,000 miles,
actually drove 5 of them, over 220,000 miles.
none of them have the problems this W140 has, at only 107,000 miles.
at 100,000 miles a GM car was just getting broken in.

I have a pristine 89 Cadillac Allante with 47k miles all records and documentation since day 1, everything done for 26 straight years at the dealer, now easily a top 2% car, was a top 5% car when I bought it. I also have a top 20% Buick Reatta, 89 with 46k miles, and these are the only 2 cars in my 27 years of driving to have broken down and left me stranded - dead alternators, dead fuel pumps, and don't forget 80s GM electronic battery drain - which
I solve by using an 880CCA diesel battery and not letting them sit more than 2 weeks without driving - but no 80s or 90s Benz has ever left me stranded. Even the V12, when I got it, needed coils, plugs, and accumulators. It drove like a limping dog with its tail between its legs, but at least it ran


4) or $20,000 you can buy 4 more W140 coupes, in very nice condition.
I've seen them for $6000 in showroom garage kept condition,
from NYC, to Los Angeles, on Craigslist.

Please, post the links. What is "very nice garage kept condition?" The paint looks glossy from 10 feet on your Windows 98 PC at 600x480 res? Let me post the recent Bringatrailer results for "very nice condition" S600s - coupes and sedans:
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19k-Mile 1997 Mercedes-Benz S600
Bid to $25,000 on 6/28/19

-1996 Mercedes-Benz S600
Sold for $18,250 on 6/24/19

31k-Mile 1998 Mercedes-Benz S600
Sold for $41,000 on 5/15/19

57k-Mile 1995 Mercedes-Benz S600
Sold for $18,750 on 5/7/19

1997 Mercedes-Benz S600
Sold for $24,250 on 4/15/19

No Reserve: 1997 Mercedes-Benz S600
Sold for $13,000 on 2/15/19

These are all in CY 2019. Here's a Hagerty article from this week listing the values of W140s this year - with the S600 Coupes, specifically, having the most surge: https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/06/27/cars-to-snap-up-before-values-climb-summer-2019


5) what they appear to be is an overly-complex car, with a lot of quality and design problems,
and so many add-on options, there's bound to be a few that won't work at any given time

Take any 2-decade old car when it's in "max depreciation" status, having been through a few owners, and it's for sale for a reason - it means the last guy didn't want to mess with it, and probably bought it on a whim to move up from his C class or from a 90s Lexus - W140s with V12s should be looked at as entry-level Ferraris or Rollses, not "everyday 90s Benzes"

6) the most reliable cars being sold then, were the Olds, Cadillac, and Toyota. this was 1993

Oh heavens, 1993. The Northstar which I love was a basket case where you had to remove the engine to change the starter. The head gaskets all failed, another engine removal. They are special cars, but they are not the "best." I sourced my red/saddle 89 Allante for several reasons, but it's a bonus that the 4.5 is well-established as the most-reliable Cadillac FWD motor of the 80s and 90s.

7) [/B]for that price, one could have bought 5 Pontiac Trans Ams then, fully loaded. driven a few of them 150,000 miles, and they were faster, sportier, and handled better than a W140[/B]
Oh my, where to begin. Yes, you could have chosen to "enjoy" 5 cars where you break your kneecap when you bang up against the Hot Wheels-grade plastic interior, you could "enjoyed" a mild concussion from the extreme poor structural rigidity, and you could enjoy doing burnouts and wasting the 19 year old in his CRX net to you. Cool. Hey, I liked the 93+ Z28s and Firebirds for what they were, but why are you on here trying to compare apples to kumquats?

MAVA:
1) The problem with these cars is they are a full blown restorations now, and different from "Muscle car era" of the 60's and 70's with domestic cars as "every Joe blow" under the sun makes some aftermarket part for that 50's/60's/70's/80's/90's muscle car part.
EXACTAMUNDO! I call my car a "rolling restoration" because that's what it's been. I even snapped up rare aluminum window trim - and a grill - NOS at not cheap prices. My hydraulic suspension as you know was rebuilt in 2017 with single-digit NOS parts from Germany. Low volume + 20 years old = no interest in making the rare parts and not ready for the "classic center" yet. Yet. I'm not sure I have any interest in owning a "classic" that I can buy all my Chinese parts for from Napa or Rockauto. Even my Allante and Reatta have a very small network of a handful of people dedicated to these cars who supply and rebuild rare, model-specific parts - you just can't find this stuff at the auto parts store or the GM Parts counter. What kind of exclusive fun would that be? I have something that turns heads, not something there are 50 of at every limp-dick get-together every weekend.

2) Most "European" shops cannot work on these cars as many parts are not available, and they are not in the restoration business where they have to engineer/repair the actual part(s).
See above post for some of that, plus I have no fewer than 5 different Benz and Euro shops I use depending on what needs to be done. I dont need a 30-year master tech for most stuff, but for some, I do

3) I work on both styles, but I just prefer a 722.6 over a 722.3 anyday
BINGO! Or as my old Spanish teacher used to say, "bean-ho." Why beat yourself up with pre-facelift wiring harnesses and burned clutches and reverse when you can have a .6 like mine that is still taking its beating from the V12 after 22 years and 186k miles? $300 every 30k for an eBay maintenance kit of MB fluid, a conductor plate, and pan seal.

4) I do wish I had large property, and the pocket book to swallow up these cars as they are joy to ride in them in long distances.
I have spent too much for my own comfort, but once you are old enough and go through enough in life, sometimes you have to take on some selfish endeavors. This is the only chassis I've ever owned that I can get out of after 300 miles and feel like I just sat down, and my ears don't ring, and I feel serene. Priceless

Sorry for the "SteveB" style post (I wonder if the Nutty Professor is still watching our posts?) and I'm sure glad I have a light workweek because I've just spent an hour on this, but it's all in need of highligting
 

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1994 S600 Coupe, 1995 S600 Coupe
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At least Mercedes acknowledged they had a wiring issue, fixed it in later cars, and made replacement harnesses and repair kits available. VW was still using the crap in headlite harnesses at least as late as 2005, which is where I first ran across it.

I've never seen anything that directly quotes Mercedes on the cause of 5he wiring insulation issue. The "biodegradable" theory has become almost mythic. What is of interest is not all wiring was affected. In the upper body harness on the S600, only the MAF wiring, and perhaps the CPS wiring was affected. Of course the fuel injection harness and throttle body actuator wiring was affected. In the lower body harness, only smaller gauge wires were affected. Why is that true? Outside rearview mirror wiring was also affected in many cases, but not the rest of the body wiring. The harnesses were subcontracted out, and I wonder if particular vendors made the decision to go with a particular wire type. Some people theorize that the engine heat caused the insulation to fail, but it fails in the mirrors also. I've seen other types of insulation go bad on other cars, but typically it fails in areas of high heat or oil leaks, and it hardens and cracks, but doesn't turn to dust. In low heat areas it remains flexible. The Mercedes wiring cracks and crumbles end to end, like it's got a disease, even in low heat areas. Why?
Oh, and this was an issue that permeated all Mercedes models of the period, not just the W140.

As far as things like door lock actuators and other pneumatic things go, yes they can develop leaks. However, electric locks fail regularly also; I've replaced two on one door on a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country, as well as some on other cars. If you want the accessories, you have to be prepared to pay the price when things quit.

The biggest issue with W140s I've seen is deferred maintenance. Rather than fixing things when they failed, people let them build up over time, until the car became undrivable, by which time it was deemed too expensive to have repaired. It seems people bought them secondhand, and didn't have the money for maintenance. The multiple issues make tracing problems that much worse as more than one thing may be wrong. My two coupes have proven this to me. Coupled with the relatively low production numbers compared to other Mercedes models, and loss of experienced of mechanics over time, only dedicated owners like us can keep them up. I'll also say that being well down the learning curve has made restoring the second coupe a whole lot easier. I do all my own work except for alignments and paint.

Window regulators are another issue. Our windows are extremely heavy, due to the dual pane glass. Mercedes, but better yet their regulator vendor, Brose, should have realized that single pane regulator designs were not going to hold up over time with the weight of the W140 windows. Regulator failures are common on the W123, 124, and 126 as well; just look at the Mercedessource videos on YouTube. W140 Coupes are particularly bad as the front and rear regulators operate everyone you open and close the doors. Fortunately, improved aftermarket sliders are available to repair front regulators, and some aftermarket parts are available for the coupe rears, as Brose used similar designs on other cars. All that being said, window regulators are failure items on most makes and models, just look at Rock Auto sometime.

I think newer cars of any make are going to be real nightmares when they get to be 25 or 30 years old. The sheer number of computers that can and will fail will overwhelm them long before then, I'm afraid. I think many manufacturers are enamored with technology for technology's sake, whether it is required for a specific function or not. If you want to see a particular example of what I mean, watch this video. It's about an independent shop that repairs automotive computers. Scary, when you think of the implications.
Compared to them, the W140 is simple.

I will say that once I got my first coupe back on the road, it has been remarkably trouble free. I've taken it on a couple of 1000 mile round trips with zero issues. It's smooth, extremely quiet, with wonderful seats. Everything works as it should, and I intend to keep it that way.
 

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93 SL500, 95 SL320, 96 S320, 98 S500, 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon & A little 91 5.0 FORD Mustang
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Jon,

I can so relate to your comments, but I can totally relate to the shop in the video. It is about "Reverse Engineering" I have a similar set up for pumps, amps, and radios to these cars.

It is just the nature of the beast to figure it out..

It is how the aftermarket transmission industry was formed, and it is the same approach why we have "aftermarket parts" for any car-some cars have more of a selection, and some have less of a selection in parts.

Like I said these cars are "dime a dozen" - No body wants them - No body wants to make aftermarket parts for them, yet like some old Chevy Pick-Up Truck or a Ford Mustang aftermarket parts are in large abundance..

The ride is like nothing else on these cars... I want the ride over the value of the car...

I will settle for figuring out the quirks...

Martin
 

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97 S600 Coupe. Former 83 300D, 97 C230, 93 400E, 92 500SL, a few others
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FYI, THE CAR WHICH STARTED THIS THREAD WAS SOLD TO CARMAX.
Oh, dear god. They probably gave him a grand for it. The employees will fight over it, someone will make it their yearly "employee wholesale purchase," and not know what they're getting into. If no one snags it, it will be at the weekly junk auction and for sale on your local buy-here-pay-here for $4,999, in other words, this is one less 600 coupe soon to be on the road, and makes the rest of ours worth that much more. Or at least, that much rarer
 

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1994 s600 coupe
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Dude 1. You sound like you’re having a gripe and 2. You’ve highjacked someone else’s thread to do it.

If you want to complain about w140’s start your own thread rather than derail one.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

when did you get promoted to moderator or forum owner ?

sit down, kid...we're talking from experience about repairing cars here, not attacking people for their experience repairing cars...

go take a look in the mirror next time before you post something like that
 

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1994 s600 coupe
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Oh, dear god. They probably gave him a grand for it. The employees will fight over it, someone will make it their yearly "employee wholesale purchase," and not know what they're getting into. If no one snags it, it will be at the weekly junk auction and for sale on your local buy-here-pay-here for $4,999, in other words, this is one less 600 coupe soon to be on the road, and makes the rest of ours worth that much more. Or at least, that much rarer

good post, a grand is more like it.
they couldn't get $4999 for a 4 door W140 today, unless they put about 3 ounces of gold bullion in it....
I was just offered one for $850, and I'm hesitant at that, even though it would be a great parts car.
 

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'95 S600
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Quality doesn't always equal reliability or durability, plenty of things on this earth that are such. When something has pioneered the use of many new technologies like the W140 (CAN bus comes to mind) of course its going to have issues, like many things new it take time to refine and first models of a chassis are usually guinea pigs to some extend, issues are usually found out in real world and fixed later in production.

You said it yourself and everyone knows by now Germans don't always make the most reliable vehicle so no idea why its a surprise and a shock to you. You bought a expensive car cheap but its still an expensive car with associated costs. Pay to play with cars like these like all premium brand names. Its probably one the cheapest V12's to own as far as they are concerned.

Edit: I'm no Mercedes fanboy or even owner now as i sold my S600 to my father. It wasn't suitable for my driving so i hardly used the thing. I respect all brands\cars that have stand out qualities that aren't a boring average A>B car.
 

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1992 500SL, 1993 300SE, 1997 S320L, 2000 C230K, 2003 E500, 2005 Smart ForFour, 2008 Smart ForTwo
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when did you get promoted to moderator or forum owner ?

sit down, kid...we're talking from experience about repairing cars here, not attacking people for their experience repairing cars...

go take a look in the mirror next time before you post something like that


Again you should take your own advice, you’ve hijacked a thread... and now you’re getting all antsy that people are calling you out for it.




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Again you should take your own advice, you’ve hijacked a thread... and now you’re getting all antsy that people are calling you out for it.



what's this BB rolling around on the floor ?? oh, you again...
knock knock knock- hello ? is there actually any...uh...technical advice ?? in any of your forum posts ?
or financial advice ??
seems to be a bit lacking....
put your earplugs back in, kid, and play your MP3 on that phone you're posting from. you'll be ok...:D
 

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97 S600 Coupe. Former 83 300D, 97 C230, 93 400E, 92 500SL, a few others
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Moderators, looks like we have a troll on our hands. Registered May 2019 to come on a Benz forum as a "new owner" to level insults at the car he owns. Is Schizo-SteveB back?
 

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1994 s600 coupe
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now, now...temper, temper...
you need to look up a few things, my friend.
I posted pictures of my car, in a thread titled "not a bad car for $1500"
and I just worked on it again today, for 4 hours.
maybe check out the rest of my posts as well
you're over-reacting, and jumping to conclusions.
whether you like it or not,
the W140's have a pathetically low resale value,
for a car that sold for $136,000 new.
I have my original build sheet, and dealer invoice,
got it from the local Benz dealer.
that's not trolling...it's called intelligence, and reality.
excuse me, for being good with math.
a well built car in many ways, yes.
an interesting challenge to recondition and restore, certainly.
somewhat powerful, sporty, luxurious ?? yes.
strong engine, tranmission, rear axle ? yes, within limits.
a good investment ? heck no. only if you get one running, for $5000 or less.
they just don't bring a lot of money, at this time.
the many wiring, electrical, mechanical, parts, repair costs issues,
are currently hurting their resale value.
a W140, is not in the same league as a vintage gullwing. never will be.
 

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1992 500SL, 1993 300SE, 1997 S320L, 2000 C230K, 2003 E500, 2005 Smart ForFour, 2008 Smart ForTwo
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Again you should take your own advice, you’ve hijacked a thread... and now you’re getting all antsy that people are calling you out for it.



what's this BB rolling around on the floor ?? oh, you again...
knock knock knock- hello ? is there actually any...uh...technical advice ?? in any of your forum posts ?
or financial advice ??
seems to be a bit lacking....
put your earplugs back in, kid, and play your MP3 on that phone you're posting from. you'll be ok...:D


Ohh listen to you, defeated by the w140 and having a whinge online about it boo hoo.

You complain about spending $150 on your previous posts and would rather glue it back together, sounds like you can’t afford the ownership of the w140 hence your frustration on this forum.

Here’s some financial advice, cut your losses a sell your heap, because if you can’t afford to spend $150 on a part you can’t afford a w140.


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1992 500SL, 1993 300SE, 1997 S320L, 2000 C230K, 2003 E500, 2005 Smart ForFour, 2008 Smart ForTwo
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Moderators, looks like we have a troll on our hands. Registered May 2019 to come on a Benz forum as a "new owner" to level insults at the car he owns. Is Schizo-SteveB back?


Agree, mods should delete this thread it’s completely irrelevant and of no use to anyone.


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93 SL500, 95 SL320, 96 S320, 98 S500, 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon & A little 91 5.0 FORD Mustang
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Guys, please keep it real here. I know you guys want to push-out your knowledge off your chests, but this are just stupid cars, and we cannot take them to the grave. The undertakers will not allow it in the " 6'x3' " coffins...

I do not want to loose you guys like we lost Steve... I do wish he would come back. We lost "mafiadon" a while back... He came back for a while, but everyone maters here.

Please do not call our old buddy Steve "Absent minded professor", obviously someone still has a thorn... The past is the past, and I do not hold on to it, and nether should anyone hold on to it, but learn from the past...

"We the people here" make this forum. Lets all learn from each other..

Have a awesome day fellas,

Martin
 

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M120, M119, W126*2 + Silver Avantgarde wagon
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l

...The problem with these cars is they are a full blown restorations now, and different from "Muscle car era" of the 60's and 70's with domestic cars as "every Joe b

Most "European" shops cannot work on these cars as many parts are not available, and they are not in the restoration business where they have to engineer/repair the actual part(s).

.....

I do wish I had large property, and the pocket book to swallow up these cars as they are joy to ride in them in long distances.

Martin
Martine speaks the truth...

and immensely reliable when well looked after...

A case in point I just got my 1999 CL500 back on the road. I have been off the forum for a couple of years and this car has been off the road for even longer as I have my M120...

At 165,000 miles one might expect to be disppointed. Thanks to great posters like Stryker and MAVA, my M119 coupe had rceived very good love over the years - engine all sorted, new transmission, AC finally running ice cold thanks to an expert in San Diego, but it sat one block away from the beach for the best part of 3 years...

But, on Sunday, she started first time. We took her to MB in San Diego on Monday and the very old tech who had W140 experience began climbing through the cobwebs under the hood. At first he looked at my car like it was junk. Then he saw the TT was aluminum. Next he asked about the cam oilers - same. Then he asked about the 722.6. Then he started it, brraaaa wooooof - and then he smiled and said - ah an M119. Let me look at it...

So off she went into the bowels of an MB Dealer and he came back an hour later and said it only needed a new belt. No hoses? - nope. Now, of course, it needs other things like a window regulator, some brake pads and so forth but this was to see if I could drive her, as Martine said - LONG DISTANCE... that night!

So one more stop at an indie friemd of mine in SD and he double checked it all and confirmed - fire away at will.

And so off we went on another of my trans continental W140 drives, and this time through 100 degree heat through the desert heading east to Texas from CA. And it was a delight...:thumbsup: Best of all, was the temperature gauge - rock solid... it didn't get anywhere near the 100 mark, but perfect just above 80.

And so now it is at the next planned stage of its journey getting a new OE window regulator and brakes, and perhaps a steering box adjustment by a tech I know who owns W140's...

So as Martine says, these are a joy to drive long distance, and if well cared for extremely reliable by skillful techs... :thumbsup:
 
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