Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
1997 e420 benz sport 2006 cls500
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of buying a sl500 sport what are some of the common problem of the sl500 i'm willing to wait as long i can to find the exact car i'm looking for it must be a sport. My personal opinon im in love with the v8's of this year the newer motors aren't the same. I already have a 1997 e420 sport that is in showroom condition. So is the car worth buying or is it to many problem to deal with or is about the same as the e420
 

·
Registered
Lexus LX470 06, Mercedes SL500 98 Sport pkg Panorama roof, Audi RS4 07
Joined
·
70 Posts
I have 98 'sport', all I figure this means is a bit different front bumber, side scurts, and 18" AMG wheels, 275 at the back, 245 front. The wheels are nice, the rest does not matter. Suspention etc is the same. So I can't really see any real difference, and I would not personally try to hunt down the 'sport' version specifically risking to miss an otherwise good vehicle with regular wheels. Panorama roof is a different story though, it is well worth it.
 

·
Registered
97 SL500
Joined
·
226 Posts
There were not many 97 Sport package cars. In 2001 almost all were Sport package, go figure.

Some common probelms with the 97 SL (and some other year models):
1. Transmission Valve Body goes bad ($2K at an independant)
2. Ignition Coil goes bad (only one dies but you should replace all since a bad one can damage the ECU) ($800)
3. Hydrolic Fluid leaks in windshield pillar, other soft top issues
4. Remote Door lock malfunctions (vacuum pump, electronic modules)
5. Motor mounts ($900 at dealer, $350 at indy)
6. Multi-function stalk (turn signal, high beam, wipers) goes bad. Some, like me, loose flash to pass which is no biggie, others loose ability to operate high beams or signals ($450).
7. Interior pillar trim adhesive will release (reglue/recover/replace...your choice, I'm considering matching suede for the pillars, visors and header).
8. Intake hoses collapse (cheap)
9. Vacuum hoses rot (cheap)
10. Hood liner crumbles (cheap)


Overall, it's a pretty bullet proof car but certain things can (and will) go bad as the car ages, so budget a few K/year for repairs on an older SL. I've had my 97 since November (83K miles) and I've already done the tranny valve body and coils. The PO (my dad) replaced the fogged rear plastic windows and spent $900 on fluid leak and top sensor repairs. He also changed the motor mounts. I got the car with a malfunctioning stalk and I'm not going to fix it until something more important stops working. I fixed the intermittant remote locking problem by installing an aftermarket alarm (this means my problem was not a pump problem or leak, but I knew that before I installed the alarm). It still needs new shocks soon ($1350 for Bilsteins). Also, Try PBR Ceramic pads when changing the brakes, they give a firmer pedal feel, stop better, have 90% less dust.

e420benz said:
I'm thinking of buying a sl500 sport what are some of the common problem of the sl500 i'm willing to wait as long i can to find the exact car i'm looking for it must be a sport. My personal opinon im in love with the v8's of this year the newer motors aren't the same. I already have a 1997 e420 sport that is in showroom condition. So is the car worth buying or is it to many problem to deal with or is about the same as the e420
 

·
Premium Member
Black SL 500 1994
Joined
·
1,026 Posts
lincoln said:
It still needs new shocks soon ($1350 for Bilsteins).
If you haven't made up your mind about the shocks have a look at these new Koni shocks - sounds very good to me and if I needed new ones I would seriously consider these ones:

http://www.koni-fsd.com/

(Sorry, don't know about the price...)
 

·
Registered
'05 SL65 AMG
Joined
·
505 Posts
lincoln said:
There were not many 97 Sport package cars. In 2001 almost all were Sport package, go figure.

Some common probelms with the 97 SL (and some other year models):
1. Transmission Valve Body goes bad ($2K at an independant)
2. Ignition Coil goes bad (only one dies but you should replace all since a bad one can damage the ECU) ($800)
3. Hydrolic Fluid leaks in windshield pillar, other soft top issues
4. Remote Door lock malfunctions (vacuum pump, electronic modules)
5. Motor mounts ($900 at dealer, $350 at indy)
6. Multi-function stalk (turn signal, high beam, wipers) goes bad. Some, like me, loose flash to pass which is no biggie, others loose ability to operate high beams or signals ($450).
7. Interior pillar trim adhesive will release (reglue/recover/replace...your choice, I'm considering matching suede for the pillars, visors and header).
8. Intake hoses collapse (cheap)
9. Vacuum hoses rot (cheap)
10. Hood liner crumbles (cheap)


Overall, it's a pretty bullet proof car but certain things can (and will) go bad as the car ages, so budget a few K/year for repairs on an older SL. I've had my 97 since November (83K miles) and I've already done the tranny valve body and coils. The PO (my dad) replaced the fogged rear plastic windows and spent $900 on fluid leak and top sensor repairs. He also changed the motor mounts. I got the car with a malfunctioning stalk and I'm not going to fix it until something more important stops working. I fixed the intermittant remote locking problem by installing an aftermarket alarm (this means my problem was not a pump problem or leak, but I knew that before I installed the alarm). It still needs new shocks soon ($1350 for Bilsteins). Also, Try PBR Ceramic pads when changing the brakes, they give a firmer pedal feel, stop better, have 90% less dust.
Except for the convertible top problem, you have pretty much described common problems of all mercedes benz of that era. I am curious about your failed valve body. That is not a common problem with the 5 speed automatic. A bad conductor plate is a common failure on early 722.6 transmission and $2K is very steep for that repair seeing how the part is about $200.00 and takes about an hour to change.
 

·
Registered
2001 SL500
Joined
·
192 Posts
Sport Makes big difference in looks

Sport package has only visual upgrades, but they provide totally different look of the car.
If it is silver, beige or white the difference is much more pronounced compared to black.
When you are buying 12 year old design anything that give modern look makes a difference.
If you only like the name than it doesn't matter plus 16" tires would give you softer ride.
If you want to get noticed, regular (IMO) doesn't inspire anymore.
Fatter tires on AMG rims make it look hotter and go faster too.

If you want to sell the car later, considering slow SL market you will do it much much faster.
My wife wouldn't consider buying non-sport regardless of price or condition.

It is a toy, and toy should please eyes too.

Keep looking, mechanically they are equal. Watch out for missing AMG trim pieces from front bumper - it will cost you.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
97 SL500
Joined
·
226 Posts
Every MB shop in my area claims the valve body is a common problem. I don't have the invoice here for detailed parts prices but three were replaced to perform the repair. The valve body (fairly large square piece of metal with lots of passages in it and some solenoid looking pieces) and two electronic modules that match the updated valve body, one plugs in at the shifter and I don't know where the second module plugs in. My shop commented to me about how cheap this part was compared to similar for many BMW models. Whatever it was it fixed the problem with tranny and I can now drive the car without it popping out of gear.

JimP said:
Except for the convertible top problem, you have pretty much described common problems of all mercedes benz of that era. I am curious about your failed valve body. That is not a common problem with the 5 speed automatic. A bad conductor plate is a common failure on early 722.6 transmission and $2K is very steep for that repair seeing how the part is about $200.00 and takes about an hour to change.
 

·
Registered
'05 SL65 AMG
Joined
·
505 Posts
lincoln said:
Every MB shop in my area claims the valve body is a common problem. I don't have the invoice here for detailed parts prices but three were replaced to perform the repair. The valve body (fairly large square piece of metal with lots of passages in it and some solenoid looking pieces) and two electronic modules that match the updated valve body, one plugs in at the shifter and I don't know where the second module plugs in. My shop commented to me about how cheap this part was compared to similar for many BMW models. Whatever it was it fixed the problem with tranny and I can now drive the car without it popping out of gear.
Sounds like the valve body and control module. They say you have to change them together and that the dealer has to program the module to your car. I have heard of problems with the transmission , but not as a "common problem" There was a service bulletin on the conductor plate and the "o"rings for the socket where the harness plugged into the transmisson. Again this is not limited to the SL either as the 7.226 transmission was used in many MB models.
 

·
Registered
97 SL500
Joined
·
226 Posts
There is no Koni application for the R129, as far as I can tell.

ErikFinn said:
If you haven't made up your mind about the shocks have a look at these new Koni shocks - sounds very good to me and if I needed new ones I would seriously consider these ones:

http://www.koni-fsd.com/

(Sorry, don't know about the price...)
 

·
Premium Member
Black SL 500 1994
Joined
·
1,026 Posts
lincoln said:
There is no Koni application for the R129, as far as I can tell.
Really? Are you sure? Hmmm... I would have thought they had at least the non-ADS shocks... But I haven't been in contact with them so I can't really tell...
 

·
Registered
97 SL500
Joined
·
226 Posts
I haven't contacted them but a few months ago and again now, I've checked their website for all their products (not just the new ones you posted) and found no applications listed for R129 MBs. I wish Koni made their double adjustable shocks for the R129.

ErikFinn said:
Really? Are you sure? Hmmm... I would have thought they had at least the non-ADS shocks... But I haven't been in contact with them so I can't really tell...
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top