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1992 500 SL
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Discussion Starter #1
I was looking for a 500SL but I came across a good deal on a 600SL. Low miles, looks like it was well taken care of.

I have read that the 600's are much more expensive on repairs, but one owner said he never had to repair anything.

So anyone have any info on the 600's? what are common repairs? how much are they to repair?

At what mileage should I start to worry? This one has under 70k.

I ran the data card, it has something called 561A, 500A exclusive black leather. Is that something special or do they all have exclusive black leather?
 

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a 98 is one of the best year 600s to get.

A huge problem with the v12s, up to 95-96 was that they used biodegradable wiring insulation. This was the biggest issue, as not only did a new wiring harness cost thousands of dollars, it caused all kinds of electrical shorts and thousands of dollars to repair burned out parts depending on what shorted out. The throttle acutator was a common failure item due to this wiring, another multithousand dollar problem. The 98 does not have this problem.

The sl500 also has the biodegradable wiring issue, but the heat and number of extra components of the v12 seems to make the problem worse

I have seen many of these cars with 180k miles still running like new.
 

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95 SL500, K&N, NEOKEN Ported TB, Custom Intake, RENNtech Sport Exhaust, AMG I Monoblocks
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I was looking for a 500SL but I came across a good deal on a 600SL.
Hi redomainname, an abundance of great insight regarding your concerns are contained within SL500 vs SL600 . :thumbsup:

Otherwise, I'd imagine that SL600 owners (such as Chris) will chime in with their additional thoughts and opinions on this previously discussed topic.
 

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Mercedes 1998 SL600 R129 Mercedes 2001 E430 W210 1997 Renntech E60 Dodge 2006 Power Wagon
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428 Posts
I love my SL600, with 67K on the clock. All the repairs I have made on mine, so far, did not cost me anoymore than an SL500 would pay for the same repairs.
 

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Outstanding Contributor
1997 SL600 Brilliant Silver Sport with grey/dark metal interior, 234K miles
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The average SL600 is a more complex car than the average (regular 'ole) SL500.

Everything on the V12 costs more to maintain and repair. Tires wear faster (heavier car), more oil for changes (bigger engine), leather requires more effort than whatever the SL500's interior is made of, ADS, brakes (heaver car), etc. To be sure there are lots of differences and most of them end up costing more.

But, none of that really means much from a SL600 car lovers perspective. You just have to ask yourself, do I like the car?

My '97 currently has 173K miles and I'm swapping out the tranny shift spring to fix my 2>3, 3>4 cold shift flare tomorrow. Actually looking forward to it, but then, I really like my car.

If cars are cars to you (point A to point B expending the least amount of money in the process) then wouldn't a Yugo (don't think there are many left, substitute a Trabant instead) do just as well?
 

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MB SL600, MB 380SE, Suzuki Grand Vitara, 38' Chris-Craft, Volvo V70XC, and my own two feet...
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Now that I have my ADS working finally the car's a dream. That's been the only sore spot on the vehicle actually, the construction and drivetrain are rock solid. ADS is such a pain, but even its a dream when it's working right.
 

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Mercedes 1998 SL600 R129 Mercedes 2001 E430 W210 1997 Renntech E60 Dodge 2006 Power Wagon
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Yes, Oil changes are more costly, but take the price of an SL500 oil change vs an SL600 oil change devide up by how many miles or days and you will find that the price per mile or day is very small. Also the SL600 weighs 200-300 punds more than a SL500, I dont see how that can accelerate tire or brake wear. 200-300 lbs is the difference between a passanger with groceries and not. Anyway I love my SL600, if I were looking at another R129 the overall condition would be more inportant to me that weather it was a SL500 or SL600
 

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87' 190E 16V / 93' 600SL / 02' G500
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Very inexpensive provided you don't drive it.... Just kidding we really love our 600's big HP super smooth and I can perform a lot the maintenance myself. I don't think you will be disappointed but do count on about 20% more expensive for maintenance.
 

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'91 300SL(sold) 2000 SL320 Edition '94 E220 T auto
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694 Posts
I agree with one of the above thoughts that general condition and how well the vehicle has been looked after could outweigh whether this 600 is preferable to a 500. It sounds a good car. However for me the thought of ADS suspension problems and one or two specific to the 600 engine problems (like the wiring harnesses and is it throttle bodies?? Correct me if i'm wrong there) may be enough to sway me slightly towards a 500. The slightly more costly general maintenence would not put me off. I do believe that for general driver enjoyment the difference would be negligible between the two models. I also would stand by saying that to a great extent the R129 is quite a heavy car and not really a sports car. Yes AMG's and Silver Arrows etc lean towards sportiness a bit more but generally the car is a drop top cruiser which offers real character. Feel and handling is older "MB" like. Which is great if you like it (I do) but some may be looking for a sharper more modern driving experience. Therefore having the model with the most power, for me at least, is not the be all and end all of the car.

If this is a good 600 and you buy it, you'll love it.
 

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MB SL600, MB 380SE, Suzuki Grand Vitara, 38' Chris-Craft, Volvo V70XC, and my own two feet...
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I agree with one of the above thoughts that general condition and how well the vehicle has been looked after could outweigh whether this 600 is preferable to a 500. It sounds a good car. However for me the thought of ADS suspension problems and one or two specific to the 600 engine problems (like the wiring harnesses and is it throttle bodies?? Correct me if i'm wrong there) may be enough to sway me slightly towards a 500. The slightly more costly general maintenence would not put me off. I do believe that for general driver enjoyment the difference would be negligible between the two models. I also would stand by saying that to a great extent the R129 is quite a heavy car and not really a sports car. Yes AMG's and Silver Arrows etc lean towards sportiness a bit more but generally the car is a drop top cruiser which offers real character. Feel and handling is older "MB" like. Which is great if you like it (I do) but some may be looking for a sharper more modern driving experience. Therefore having the model with the most power, for me at least, is not the be all and end all of the car.

If this is a good 600 and you buy it, you'll love it.
They eliminated the problematic all-in-one ETA setup by 1998 in favor of separate standard throttle bodies and MAF's, so no problems with that in the later years. Ditto with the wiring harness issues, those were resolved from 1996 onwards. FWIW, the 1993-1995 wiring problems affect the entire Mercedes lineup, not just 600s. The 600s have less engine bay space so they had to run portions of the harness closer to hot parts, so the problems showed up a bit earlier on them. But the same problems eventually affected the rest of the,Mercedes lineup from those model years, it was virtually every car they produced that had the problem. Still, if you can verify the wiring harness and ETA harnesses were replaced, then nothing wrong with those years. By the time the problems surfaced in most of them they had already changed the material they used to produce the harnesses.
 

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"NEW OWNER" of a 1991 SL 500 weekend toy. Hope I don't go broke maintaining it!
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If he never had to repair anything it means all the repairs are accumulating and waiting for you and your checkbook instead of his. Most of those systems are designed to last ten years. translation = 2008. the active damper system (ADS) went off on one I was thinking of buying while test driving it - potential cost is $4,000 just for that. If you have $1,000's - and are ready to sink it in - go for it.
 

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They eliminated the problematic all-in-one ETA setup by 1998 in favor of separate standard throttle bodies and MAF's, so no problems with that in the later years. Ditto with the wiring harness issues, those were resolved from 1996 onwards. FWIW, the 1993-1995 wiring problems affect the entire Mercedes lineup, not just 600s. The 600s have less engine bay space so they had to run portions of the harness closer to hot parts, so the problems showed up a bit earlier on them. But the same problems eventually affected the rest of the,Mercedes lineup from those model years, it was virtually every car they produced that had the problem. Still, if you can verify the wiring harness and ETA harnesses were replaced, then nothing wrong with those years. By the time the problems surfaced in most of them they had already changed the material they used to produce the harnesses.
Just asked this same question....couldn't find it under search...must have done something wrong...

Anyhow, you said "They eliminated the problematic all-in-one ETA setup by 1998".... Pardon my ignorance but I'm definitely a newbie...what is the all-in-one ETA setup??

And does this mean it was fixed in cars built in 1998? or 1998 models that were built in 1997?

Thanks again,

Brian
 

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'91 500SL, '92 300E, '65 Mustang
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305 Posts
I dont think anyone mentioned this besides the other thread, but to add on, I think the 600 has two of everything, so if you need a new ECU, you need to replace both.. spark plugs, u need 2 for each... etc. so it seems like repairs would be at least double for some things. Also, from my indy, I hear parts are astronomically higher than the 500, just because you can afford it.
And I agree with iresfrank, if he has done nothing, you may be fine for now, but it will be that much sooner that you to repair things. :)
 

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Greek God of the R129
SL500-500SEL-190E
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Al I see in the pictures is that he is doing 105 mph and the rpm are 5.700.

That is not normal.

Wrong gear?

What gives?

Yeap, I got my glasses on. Haha.

Regards,
aam.
 
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