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Discussion Starter #1
All,

I'm extremely excited to be writing post as I've just agreed a price on my first sl500 r129. Pick up is saturday morning hopefully.

With that I'd like to firstly say hello and secondly ask for a critique on the car in question. There will no doubt be some keen eyed members who would spot things that I wouldn't. As I'm a brand new member I cannot post a link but here is the ebay uk item number: 362822129799


Overall, at an agreed price of 6200, should I be doing this? Obviously I'll take it for a test drive before I hand over the money and have a good look at the underside. What else should I be thinking of?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Bob, UK.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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1998 SL500 Sport
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286 Posts
There seems to be a lot of fluff in the listing. Focus on facts: service records, timely maintenance, etc. the rust bubbles are worrisome but not detrimental. The fact that it has a dual exhaust with a bullshit aftermarket muffler on the left and a mismatched dual tip on the right would make me run. If something as simple as the exhaust has been messed with this much, I would wonder what else has been messed with. By a hack mechanic.

If it were my money, I would walk and keep looking. Especially for £6,200.


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94 SL320 98 SL500 99 SL600
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That car is going to need a lot to get it in decent shape. Those bubbles tell me it may have been wrecked and bad body work to repair If you're gonna go with it check wire harness for crumbling insulation, soft top cyl leaks, floor board rust, That car here would be about 2k max and a big wallet to make it rite. I say run Bob run:eek:
 

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2001 SL500
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69 Posts
It’s in horrible condition. Don’t buy it.
It really ticks me off when people don’t care for there classic Mercedes, especially the r129.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The fact that it has a dual exhaust with a bullshit aftermarket muffler on the left and a mismatched dual tip on the right would make me run.
I think the tip has just fallen off on the left, theres a Powerflow 'specialist' who can fit another on the way back to my house from this (small detour).

I'm saddened by the comments but totally respect the honesty! I really thought this may have been a good way into r129 ownership!
 

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Discussion Starter #8

Does this tickle anyones pickle?
 

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3 Mercedes'; 14 BMW's; 3 Other
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Calculate how much it's going to cost to professionally repair all the rust, paint defects, exhaust and just general cleaning, plus other unknown problems and deduct those costs from the selling price. That should be your starting point for negotiations. You need to decide if you really want to go down that road. Remember, the most expensive R129 in the world is usually the cheapest.

Good luck!

Mike
 

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94 SL320 98 SL500 99 SL600
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Does this tickle anyones pickle?
What does "The roof is very intermittent" mean? Also "Both distributer caps?
 

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1998 SL500 Sport
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286 Posts

Does this tickle anyones pickle?
This one looks cleaner. And supposedly has service history. I would still do a pre purchase inspection with an independent mechanic but this one seems like a better deal. I also love the wheels and color combo.


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I think the tip has just fallen off on the left, theres a Powerflow 'specialist' who can fit another on the way back to my house from this (small detour).

I'm saddened by the comments but totally respect the honesty! I really thought this may have been a good way into r129 ownership!
But my point is that these never came with a dual exhaust. So the fact that it has one and it’s in shitty condition makes me question what else could be wrong/done cheaply.


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1997 E420, 1999 E320 4MATIC, 1999 SL500
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The rust is a non-starter for me. You would have a lot of hours ahead of you sanding, priming, painting, buffing, swearing, spitting, etc. Especially with black, your paint match would be unsatisfactory. Unless you want to get a full repaint, which could cost around what you paid for the car.

Keep looking.
 

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R129 500 SL 1991
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936 Posts
There are much better examples out there for the same money. You see the mileages in the service history. 15 thousand miles per year means it’s been used as the main car. Try to find a lower mileage example that’s been garaged and used as a second car.

16 services stamps is woeful. A well cared for example would have 24 to 35+ stamps. My 1991 has 38 stamps.

I live in the UK, and I have worked on ‘project’ R129s with rust. I can tell you now that the car has been sat outside exposed to the elements to have rust like that on the bonnet and hard top. The latter is a known issue, but the car in question is the worst I have seen. This leads me on to the big question - what is it like underneath? I have seen very bad hidden rust around the jacking and drainage points, front chassis outriggers, floor pans and wheel arches. It hides underneath the under seal and paint. UK cars are prone to rust because of our damp weather. If you go to inspect the car, pry off the plastic covers of the jacking points at the sills. Poke the metal with something sturdy that’s not going to damage sound substrate and paint, but would reveal underlying rust. Like the reverse end of a plastic / wooden paint brush handles or other plastic utensil. I have poked a hole through the metal around a jacking point on a R129 with just a pencil before. If there is any rust underneath the paint here, walk away unless you’re prepared to grind out and weld in new metal. Such is the composition of the metal here, any surface rust will have eaten its way right through. The crystalline structure of the metal is is very vulnerable point. I don’t know exactly what MB did to alter the ductility of the metal at the jacking points, but my guess it was the heat from welding the jacking tube inserts and possibly also accelerated cooling with CO2 in their production line process. I am guessing. The rust munches it’s way through the metal here like no other pressed or stamped metal on the car. Also check for rust around the drainage holes underneath. There are two fore and two aft, one each end of the sills, and two (one each side) behind the floor of the rear wheel wells, and one in floor of the spare well well. Look for signs of loose under seal around the drainage holes. Feel around with fingers. I have seen a car where some of the rubber drainage grommets were missing, revealing rust around the edges of the drainage holes in the floor pans. Missing grommets is usually an indication that someone’s been there before you and I ts been subject to a similar, perhaps overzealous inspection and the grommets have been pulled off and lost. They do not fall off by themselves. If you spot missing rubber drainage grommets, be very wary. Suspect that there could also be hidden rust patches lurking underneath live areas of under seal too. Check under the bonnet (hood) where the sound insulation is riveted to the inner metal lining of the hood.

From the photos, the engine is missing the front engine top cover. That means it’s been messed around with by monkeys. Sorry, but it’s true. They don’t just disappear by themselves. Often when I see missing plastic trim parts I suspect that it’s been repaired by a shop who works to a cost and just forgot to put is back on. Sometimes it’s a sign of accident repair.

Is the external look of the engine commensurate with the rest of the car? So many donor parts cars out there. Be wary of swaps.

What can I say, it’s a mine field. If you have a mig welder, and the means to restore an example yourself, then you go in with your eyes wide open. If you intend to rely on garages, mechanics, and spray shops, and you spot any of the above signs, walk away.

Good luck. (y)
 

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2 things.
1. Mostly what Robm says. If you can, pay the 100 or so for a thorough advance inspection, with a focus on body integrity. Maybe check with the last shop, Bugsy :)
2. Based on US valuations converted to Sterling, he’s about 2K too high. 4 kiloquid would be more appropriate.
 

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1994 R129 SL500
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25 Posts
All,

I'm extremely excited to be writing post as I've just agreed a price on my first sl500 r129. Pick up is saturday morning hopefully.

With that I'd like to firstly say hello and secondly ask for a critique on the car in question. There will no doubt be some keen eyed members who would spot things that I wouldn't. As I'm a brand new member I cannot post a link but here is the ebay uk item number: 362822129799


Overall, at an agreed price of 6200, should I be doing this? Obviously I'll take it for a test drive before I hand over the money and have a good look at the underside. What else should I be thinking of?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Bob, UK.
Hi Bob only just seen your post hope I'm not too late with advice.Make sure everything electric works radio seats,windows.mirrors+ariel.Insist on removing the hard top + check a complete raise +lower cycle of the soft top (v expensive to repair) also check the aircon is ice cold + all directional vents work ( another v expensive repair) Do not fall for the old line it just needs a recharge if it "only" needed a recharge it would have been done prior to sale.Check for a tick noise coming from the back of the RH side of the engine it means the oil feed pipe is broken.These are all points I picked up when I bought my 94 SL500 in 2018 as a rolling restoration project.If everything is OK + you buy it put it in for a full service + check over then you know where you are with it.I did all this + have been to Turkey + back twice in it with no problems the SL 500 is a great long distance tourer.
 

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1994 R129 SL500
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Hi Bob only just seen your post hope I'm not too late with advice.Make sure everything electric works radio seats,windows.mirrors+ariel.Insist on removing the hard top + check a complete raise +lower cycle of the soft top (v expensive to repair) also check the aircon is ice cold + all directional vents work ( another v expensive repair) Do not fall for the old line it just needs a recharge if it "only" needed a recharge it would have been done prior to sale.Check for a tick noise coming from the back of the RH side of the engine it means the oil feed pipe is broken.These are all points I picked up when I bought my 94 SL500 in 2018 as a rolling restoration project.If everything is OK + you buy it put it in for a full service + check over then you know where you are with it.I did all this + have been to Turkey + back twice in it with no problems the SL 500 is a great long distance tourer.
Forgot to mention Bob join the Mercedes Benz Club which is UK based lots of useful info on theres forum and theres a US based one 500Eboard with lots of info on our M119 engines etc.
 
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