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Im looking at a 1990 420 sel with 90k miles. Second owner. According to the owner it has been well maintained. The interior is in excellent condition.However, being in chicago, there are rust spots on various panels of the car. The asking price is $4500. Is it worth pursuing? What would be a good offer? What would a good paint job with overall rust treatment cost? I was thinking of offering $1500. I welcome any advice.
 

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99 Merc S420 (80k Mi) 07 Lexus LS460 (21k Miles)
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If you think the owner is going to bite at $1500 then you must be crazy. I'd look elsewhere if this thing is a mess. A good paint job could easily cost several thousand $$$ to $20 grand or more. If you run the VIN, you might quickly find that this car really has 290k miles on it or something much higher. These odometers are easy to replace or tamper with and this type of stuff is done all the time. This car could get real expensive real fast if it need lots of body work.
 

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thanks. Im always concerned when I come across rust. Were these cars prone to rust?
Rust on the quarter panels here in Chicago is peanuts. Get under the car, and check out the jack points for any major rust and if you have a wrench or something a little heaver, give the rear control arms a little thump by the shock mounts. If you feel like that's a little flimsy, get far far away from that car and don't turn around. Surface rust is nothing, anything deeper then surface rust, I'll say you're pretty much screwed.

$2800 is a pretty good haggling start.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Rust on the quarter panels here in Chicago is peanuts. Get under the car, and check out the jack points for any major rust and if you have a wrench or something a little heaver, give the rear control arms a little thump by the shock mounts. If you feel like that's a little flimsy, get far far away from that car and don't turn around. Surface rust is nothing, anything deeper then surface rust, I'll say you're pretty much screwed.

$2800 is a pretty good haggling start.
Thanks for the advice. Its always good to hear from someone from Chicago. Im looking for an sel either 560 or 420. I dont need a perfect one, but one that has been well maintained with a good body and interior. If you come accross one let me know.
 

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I have a few of each for sale, probably one of them would fit your needs. Email me at [email protected].

But mine are going to be more expensive than the typical needy W126, because mine are, well, NOT needy. I do everything they need so the next owner can just drive. Not perfect mind you (well, one of them is, and one of them is almost perfect), but look great, drive great, and very solid cosmetically and mechanically. And I can give you references from dozense of people that have gotten W126's from me...how many SEL sellers can do that? :)
 

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Im looking at a 1990 420 sel with 90k miles. Second owner. According to the owner it has been well maintained. The interior is in excellent condition.However, being in chicago, there are rust spots on various panels of the car. The asking price is $4500. Is it worth pursuing? What would be a good offer? What would a good paint job with overall rust treatment cost? I was thinking of offering $1500. I welcome any advice.
Offering $1,500 for a vehicle that is listed at $4,500 might seem a little agressive but hey, who knows how long it's been for sale or how badly the seller wants to sell? Seller might want a little more and if you like the overall condition of the vehicle, maybe it's worth a little more to you...

I recently bought a 1987 420SEL with 61k original miles; seller was asking $7,000 and sold it for $4,700. The interior isn't perfect and I'm still sorting out a few problems, but I look at the fact that it's 21 years old and vehicles tend to break and have problems, even if it doesn't have 100k miles on it. You can find dealers on Craig's List and eBay that sell Mercedes all day long; their vehicles are probably in far better condition, but of course, you'll pay far more for it, in part because your paying profit to the dealer.

With older Mercedes, BMW's and such, it's like the old saying: you can pay me now, or pay me later. One way or the other, it's going to cost you. Buy something really nice and pay top dollar today, or buy something older, and less expensive, and plan on spending more dollars on a regular basis.

I just came back this last weekend from a trip to Monterey; I was surprised just how many W126's you see in that area. Driving down and back on Hiway 1, I'd say at this point that spending $4,700 for this SEL was worth every penny. Great road vehicle and amazing how many people look it over at stop lights... classic body-style, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
At what point does mileage become an issue with a 126 is it 150k 200k. How strong are the transmissions, and how long do they last.
 

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1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
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At what point does mileage become an issue with a 126 is it 150k 200k. How strong are the transmissions, and how long do they last.
Have you tried a forum search? The archive has a wealth of information.

Please click 'User CP' on the top tool bar, and complete your profile with a location and model of your car.
It makes it easier for members to offer advice. MB produced different, and region / Country specific versions of our cars.

Welcome, to take advantage of all the forum features, please re visit the 'Welcome to the Forum' tutorial sticky on top of the W126 page, as well as the two DIY stickies.
It will show how to search the forum (3 words min.), and has a link to the Russian MB site where you can run a VIN#.
Cheers
 

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I just came back this last weekend from a trip to Monterey; I was surprised just how many W126's you see in that area. Driving down and back on Hiway 1, I'd say at this point that spending $4,700 for this SEL was worth every penny. Great road vehicle and amazing how many people look it over at stop lights... classic body-style, I guess.
Just come on over to Chicago. There are tons of old Mercedes driving around lately. Mostly diesels and W126's. ;)

At what point does mileage become an issue with a 126 is it 150k 200k. How strong are the transmissions, and how long do they last.
I recently sold my old `86 420 with something like 206k miles on it. Original trans was still in it and it was driven to the ground (of course I replaced that trans with one that had some 40,000 miles on it). The engine ran like my `00 E320 and the only thing that happened in my time owning it, was a stupid idle that was caused by the throttle linkages being bent keeping the air metering plate WOT.

After that sale I bought another `86 420 and it's sitting in the driveway as we speak.

The only reason I keep my sights on the 420 is that it's pretty much the perfect balance between power and fuel economy between the gas engines provided by Mercedes at the time and none of the luxury sacrificed. Besides, there are so many `86's here in Chicago.

Good luck searching for that Benz. :thumbsup:

Edit: Or you can go check this thing out. I'd put a nice offer on it but I'm not in the market for a coupe right now. Otherwise I would definitely be ALL OVER that car.
mercedes 500 sec classic colectors item
 

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What would you offer?
Only because I'm crazy, I'd start at around 3. I know for a fact that he wants somewhere around 8 for the car. I remember seeing it on Craigslist sometime in February.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Only because I'm crazy, I'd start at around 3. I know for a fact that he wants somewhere around 8 for the car. I remember seeing it on Craigslist sometime in February.
I was actually thinking of offering 3 and go from there. Its not worth 8 or anywhere near it. Its a nice looking car, but its an 86. I wonder if he has become more reasonable since he has been unable to to sell it since Feb? Im going to try and get in touch with him in the next couple of days.
 

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It can be worth 8 or more, or it can be worth 3 or less. hard to say without seeing/driving/inspecting/reviewing records.

and the risk is always that you get it for 3, and then it needs 6! so make sure you base your price on condition, history, and what's needed to make it right.

good luck, it looks nice in the pics at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It can be worth 8 or more, or it can be worth 3 or less. hard to say without seeing/driving/inspecting/reviewing records.

and the risk is always that you get it for 3, and then it needs 6! so make sure you base your price on condition, history, and what's needed to make it right.

good luck, it looks nice in the pics at least.
Thanks. Let me know what you have for sale!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Checked on that 1986 560sec on Craigslist. The car has been repainted, and apparently there were rust holes that the seller claims were filled with sheet metal. Im sure I could verrify that. Im a bit skeptical on the 70k miles in that a 70k sec should not have rust holes in it. When I asked the seller about the miles he said "thats what I was told by the guy I bought it from". He wants top dollar. Im not sure I want to continue pursuing this car. Any advice?
 

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Find a car from a salt free environment per say, California. ;)
 

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I bought a very nice 89 560sel for $3300, good body, good interior, and everything works. I had to replace the central lock pump ($100), front shocks ($150), rear accumulators ($250), and rear brake calipers and pads ($175), and I changed all the fluids for good measure. So for $4000 I have a near perfect car. So don't spend $3000 on a 420 that has a lot of rust. There are other nice 560's out there you just have to be patient. Remember some people are pricing the cars realistically and some people are on crack! I looked at an 88 560sel here in miami no clearcoat, rust in all the usual places, trashed interior, many things not working, asking $2500. To me its a $500 car. He is down to $1000 now.
 
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