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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,
There has been this 2000 S430 with 88k miles that has been sitting across the street from me for about 8 months. I finally got tired of seeing it sit there not being driven and went and talked to my neighbor about it. He told me water had gotten into the rear SAM module and fried it so now the car will not start. It cranks over fine but he says that rear SAM controls the fuel pump so it's getting no fuel pressure. The car also needs a new windshield and has some rust, other than that, seems to be in pretty good shape. He said he'd take $1800 for it which seems like a good deal to me. I'm just curious if it sounds like a good deal for you guys who know about these cars and if I should be concerned about any other issues these cars tend to have if any.
Thanks!
 

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2002 S430 AMG wannabe
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I would do it. But I like rescuing animals, and neglected MBZs. Get someone out there to confirm that the SAM is the ONLY problem, and you're good to go. If it's not driven, and the suspension is not sagging, your Airmatic (the biggest problem withe these!) is still working. Towing it to an Indy for a complete diagnostic is also a good idea. Money well spent.

Read EVERYTHING written on Airmatic (consider replacing it, like I'm doing), service the tranny, and that car WILL last you a long time.

Oh,.....and check ALL the drains, don't park under the tree, and you'll never get water in it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm, is there any way to test the Airmatic system without the car actually running? Currently the car is sitting pretty low to the ground all the way around, but as I said, its been sitting there for about 8 months so I would assume all the air would have leaked out.
 

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1991 560SEC / 2013 GL550
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Unless you have a decent budget (maybe 5k) set aside, I'd say forget about it. It would definitely be cool to bring it back... but usually severely neglected cars end up being a huge money pit.
 

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I hate to see a good piece of machinery go to waste, so I will tell you what I would do.

I would raise the front wheel (being careful not to overextend the strut), remove the right wheel, wheelwell cover, and the right side of the belly pan. I would unplug the Airmatic pump, pull the fuse #32, and apply the voltage straight to the pump (off of another battery on the ground, NOT in the car battery). This should raise the car. Then I would spray the soapy water on the top of the struts, on all Airmatic valve tubes and connections (mounted on the top of the pump, can't miss it!), and check for leaks. If the car stays up for few days, I'd get a mechanic there (or tow the car), and pay for the complete inspection. If the airmatic leaks (or the pump won't run), I would explore the cost of replacing the airmatic struts with Arnott coiled struts. I would also present the curent owner with the projected cost of making this vehicle roadworthy (renegotiate the price).

Anyway,......about ten years ago I "rescued" an abandoned XJS Jag. Did a complete restoration on it, and spent way too much money. But man, she's so worth it. Beautiful car. I'll never get the money out of it, but it will never be for sale either, so who cares. It's only money, and I am determined to keep spending my kid's inheritance.:thumbsup:
 
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