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Hi all, i've recently been looking at the purchase of a W126 1982 380SEL and just wondering a few things and thought it would be best to ask the experts.

I love the look of the car but i'm wondering about reliability and that sort of thing, what sort of things go wrong in these cars? are they worth buying? i love MB and have always wanted one.

What is economy like? what would be a reasonable price, the one i'm looking at is AUD$5000 australian dollars. and it's done 184,000 KMS. is this reasonable? It's roadworthy and has a few new things like battery, brakes etc. any helpfull hints of what too look for when test driving would be much appreciated!
Thanks!

Ickday
 

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definitely go for a 126....i'm not talking about the particular one u r mentioning.

if i were u, i'd swallow the bitter pill and go for a later model...sometime after 1987.

and having just bought a w210, i'm viewing the 126 is a whole new (brigher) light [8D]
 

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mercbuff - 5/8/2005 11:51 AM

...and having just bought a w210, i'm viewing the 126 is a whole new (brigher) light [8D]
Hey, mercbuff, that’s quite a statement…[;)]

I agree about the later model comment but a European market 380 might be cool; check to make sure its had the double row timing chain conversion.

Otherwise:

Start the engine and listen for any sounds from the valve covers – there should be no sound at all, if you hear anything, walk away.

Have an independent mechanic you trust check the car bumper to bumper. Put it up on a lift and check the condition of the following components:

Flex discs
Rear axle shackle
Axle shaft
Rear wheel-bearing
Drive line bearing and support
Propeller shaft boot
Drive line support and bushing
Exhaust hangers
Exhaust system
Engine mounts and shocks

Check for rust while it’s up there as well.
 

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My S600 has made me apprciate my 126's, 107's and 124's a Whole lot more.. You won't be dissapointed w/ the 380..in Euro trim that's quite the nice little motor!

if you check out mbcoupes . com you'll find a buyers guide..a lot of the stuff goes either way, SEC/SEL...

Jonathan
 

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Hello Ickday. Would you take the words from the lady who is selling the melon? Well, why would you ask a W126 lover if you should buy a W126? Most of the people will give you all the reasons to buy one because they absolutely love their w126. Not me.

Because my purchase of 1991 560 SEL was a bad experience and I can't get rid of it without taking a huge loss of money. I simply paid too much for mine and it has costed me an arm and a leg in repairs.

I agree that W126 is probably the best MB ever built and they look great. However, I think these cars are way over-engineered and it is very expensive to maintain.

USD 3800 (1 USd = 0.77 AUD) for an 82 is on the high side. Do a little search on this forum and you will find that most paid 2 to 4K USD for their 90 or 91 560.
 

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NewMBie makes a good point – I assume he did not have his car inspected before buying. Please have a knowledgeable MB tech check the car before buying. Also remember that the money you put in it is money lost 99 percent of the time, even if the car causes you no problems at all, you’ll never get back what you put into it.

As a counterpoint my 20 year-old 500 SEL has been little trouble since I’ve had it. I had a transmission cooling line rupture about two years ago but other than that she’s been reliable. The engine work I had done about a year ago (new chain and guides) was pricey but well worth it and the car has been trouble-free since.

(happy face)[:)]
 

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NewMBie - 5/8/2005 2:11 PM

Hello Ickday. Would you take the words from the lady who is selling the melon? Well, why would you ask a W126 lover if you should buy a W126? Most of the people will give you all the reasons to buy one because they absolutely love their w126. Not me.

Because my purchase of 1991 560 SEL was a bad experience and I can't get rid of it without taking a huge loss of money. I simply paid too much for mine and it has costed me an arm and a leg in repairs.

I agree that W126 is probably the best MB ever built and they look great. However, I think these cars are way over-engineered and it is very expensive to maintain.

USD 3800 (1 USd = 0.77 AUD) for an 82 is on the high side. Do a little search on this forum and you will find that most paid 2 to 4K USD for their 90 or 91 560.
with all due respect to you, and sympathies for your troubles, i would like to point out afew things.

you yourself have admitted that you paid too much money for your car....after overpaying, any repairs will be an irritation factor. be it a car or a house or anything else.

its a given that you must check out the vehicle properly, by yourself and your 'trusted' mechanic. maybe even take it to a main dealer and have him give u certificate of its condition.

but to blame a car (any car) for one's own faults (like overpaying), thats harsh.

i don't think anybody on this forum has ever blindly defended the 126...there are more than enough posts detailing the problems.

i hope u sort out your problems, as the 560 is one hell of a machine.

but as a rule, its; BUYER BEWARE!!!!!

good luck.
 

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NewMBie - 5/8/2005 2:11 PM

Hello Ickday. Would you take the words from the lady who is selling the melon? Well, why would you ask a W126 lover if you should buy a W126? Most of the people will give you all the reasons to buy one because they absolutely love their w126. Not me.

Because my purchase of 1991 560 SEL was a bad experience and I can't get rid of it without taking a huge loss of money. I simply paid too much for mine and it has costed me an arm and a leg in repairs.

I agree that W126 is probably the best MB ever built and they look great. However, I think these cars are way over-engineered and it is very expensive to maintain.

USD 3800 (1 USd = 0.77 AUD) for an 82 is on the high side. Do a little search on this forum and you will find that most paid 2 to 4K USD for their 90 or 91 560.
ok thats bullshit, it cost you an arm and a leg in repairs? how much you paid for your repairs?

you are a wiener würstchen, since you expected to get all the goodies of a top of the line sedan and the reliability of a honda civic...
 

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missing the point

we all i think are kind of missing the point here, ickday is looking to get some advice not to here quible about our misfortunes, i think the 126 is a great car but unless that 380 is near perfect, ickday, i am going to suggest that you might be able to find a better "investment" in a 560 with around the same kind of mileage at or around the same price, and like they said look for a post 86 one... the interior refinements are worth it [:p].
My 2 cents,
Jared
 

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NewMBie - 5/9/2005 4:11 AM
USD 3800 (1 USd = 0.77 AUD) for an 82 is on the high side. Do a little search on this forum and you will find that most paid 2 to 4K USD for their 90 or 91 560.
That’s irrelevant and futile, as the Australian car market and its respective values are not the same as the U.S market. AUS$5000 for a 1982 380SEL is considered a bargain. Similar 380s go for double that amount, here.


Ickday, It sounds like you found a bargain. Besides a full inspection, make sure the car has full service history and its books are up to date. And don’t worry about double-row timing chains, as Australian and Euro 380s came standard with double-row timing chains.

Good luck. You won’t be disappointed. The W126 is a fine car.
 

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NewMBie - 5/8/2005 2:11 PM
USD 3800 (1 USd = 0.77 AUD) for an 82 is on the high side. Do a little search on this forum and you will find that most paid 2 to 4K USD for their 90 or 91 560.
For that price($2k-4)... you're probably getting a car thats going to be border-line "beater" or is one. Before finding a gem.. I was looking for something in that range to do a M119 transplant, and all the cars in that range had significant defects.
 

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Hi Ickday
I suspect that this is a Hong Kong car which was imported into Australia about 1997, when it was 15 years old - the milage is about right.

There is a Russian website(I don't have the address handy but others no doubt can post it or I can post it later) which those of us outside the US can plug in the vehicles VIN No. and get the vehicle details, including which market it was made for. If it is was made for the HK market, it should be rust-free and probably pretty sound. If it came out of the UK second hand, don't touch it. Also don't touch 560's in Aussie as they usually also originated in UK and usually reach Aussie via HK, again rust is the killer.

$AUS5000 is reasonable for a merc in Aussie if it is a tidy car - better than a GM Holden!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks alot for all the info, it's been really helpfull, i should find out soonish if i'm gonna be the owner of a 126 but fingers crossed the engines in good nick, it looks pretty clean outside and in. I'll post pics if i end up buying it!!
 

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NewMBie - 5/8/2005 2:11 PM

Hello Ickday. Would you take the words from the lady who is selling the melon? Well, why would you ask a W126 lover if you should buy a W126? Most of the people will give you all the reasons to buy one because they absolutely love their w126. Not me.

Because my purchase of 1991 560 SEL was a bad experience and I can't get rid of it without taking a huge loss of money. I simply paid too much for mine and it has costed me an arm and a leg in repairs.

I agree that W126 is probably the best MB ever built and they look great. However, I think these cars are way over-engineered and it is very expensive to maintain.

USD 3800 (1 USd = 0.77 AUD) for an 82 is on the high side. Do a little search on this forum and you will find that most paid 2 to 4K USD for their 90 or 91 560.
Mercbuff is right on. I'd add a few more things:

If I were you, I'd sell the car now and cut the losses if your car makes you bitter and reminds you of $ down the drain everytime you look at it. Don't blame it on the car for one's unpreparedness (just how much $/year were you thinking it would cost to own a W126?). It won't be until 2016 when W126 will be considered a classic and the 560SEL was the model that was produced the most and still in abundance. You need to hold on to it for another 30 years before it has some meaningful value.

It's not a bad thing when you see it under a different light;
what you claim to have paid for purchase and repairs amount to first year depreciation rate on some new cars. Also, you claim that performing the DIY on the car has augmented your other DIY prowess. Some people pay tuition for classes that teach things you have done already.

Therefore, things are not so bad after all and you can be less cynical about the situation. My car seem to suffer the same things yours go through and it has been helpful reading your post - if you can keep up the post without bitching and moaning and reminding us everytime about how much you've thrown your money away, it would be more enjoyable to read.

FYI, I spent close to 11K total on purchase, repairs, and maintenance in 18 months of owning a car, but the car is mechanically near-perfect. Although I wish I could have spent less, I enjoy the ride and reliability knowing that it is well-kept.
 

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I ususlly don't wade into these subjects but here we go...
Anybody who buys a 15+year old car and expects it to be fully reliable and cheap to run is not thinking clearly. My old mans Toyota whatever is only 9 years old, has been babied all its life and is now suffering from ring rot. Burns 1 quart of oil every 1000kms. Has a little over 100,000 kms on it. He asked me what to do I told him to sell it and go buy a new one, it has been reliable but has grown out of that stage of its life and he really can't cope with something that is not.
My 88 560sel has 197kms on it and purrs like a kitten. i have done brakes, tires to it but find now the rear suspension is getting harsh and it needs an idle control valve among other things. I am a "car nut" as he describes me so spending this money on a car I will never get it out of does not bother me, and... they day it does I will go LEASE a new Chrysler 300 and call it a day, new car every 3 years.
Everybody has their reasons for owning what they do, but if spending money on a vehicle is painful for you, like my old man, get rid of it and go get something new that will not cost anything but the payments.

Sorry this was so long but my 2 cents....
 
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