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1999 ML430; 1998 S420
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251 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I’ve literally come across about a thousand W163’s in junkyards and only once did I come upon one where the occupants died (it was a Nevada W163 that was going about 120 miles an hour and rolled). Came across this one today at picknpull in Sacramento (Mather field). Seems like it was a side hit, as front airbags did not engage. Note that there was absolutely no intrusion into the cabin. God damn I love these things.
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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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In the early years i was on a listserv group dedicated to the W163. It was geared more toward offroading, but there was also plenty of discussion about safety. This guy joined the group and started asking a bunch of questions about the roof structure and crumple zones and how strong it was. It turned out that he was a stunt coordinator working on the movie Swordfish and they were trying to destroy an ML in the infamous 360-degree explosion scene. They had it on a gimbal jig and were lifting it with a crane so it would flip upside down, then they were dropping it. They were wanting it to "splat" and explode on the ground, but it wouldn't. it just kept hitting the ground and keeping its shape. I don't recall the height, but I remember him saying they kept lifting it higher and higher and never could get it to crush when dropped on the roof.

You can watch the scene here:

 

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Premium Member
1999 ML430
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1,748 Posts
In the early years i was on a listserv group dedicated to the W163. It was geared more toward offroading, but there was also plenty of discussion about safety. This guy joined the group and started asking a bunch of questions about the roof structure and crumple zones and how strong it was. It turned out that he was a stunt coordinator working on the movie Swordfish and they were trying to destroy an ML in the infamous 360-degree explosion scene. They had it on a gimbal jig and were lifting it with a crane so it would flip upside down, then they were dropping it. They were wanting it to "splat" and explode on the ground, but it wouldn't. it just kept hitting the ground and keeping its shape. I don't recall the height, but I remember him saying they kept lifting it higher and higher and never could get it to crush when dropped on the roof.

You can watch the scene here:

Rudeney........thanks for posting. Now I gotta go out to find a copy of SWORDFISH ! That was one intense scene !
 

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Premium Member
1999 ML430
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1,748 Posts
I’ve literally come across about a thousand W163’s in junkyards and only once did I come upon one where the occupants died (it was a Nevada W163 that was going about 120 miles an hour and rolled). Came across this one today at picknpull in Sacramento (Mather field). Seems like it was a side hit, as front airbags did not engage. Note that there was absolutely no intrusion into the cabin. God damn I love these things. View attachment 2626570 View attachment 2626571 View attachment 2626572 View attachment 2626573 View attachment 2626574
demichae

Question is : what did you 'pull' off of this ML? Looks like some nice little bits and pieces !

No doubt that the W163 is one safe and tough vehicle. Most of that attributed to body on frame construction and all the R and D Mercedes has put into safety over the last seventy years.
 

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Registered
1999 ML430; 1998 S420
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251 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Rudeney........thanks for posting. Now I gotta go out to find a copy of SWORDFISH ! That was one intense scene !
I gotta see that movie as well! Here’s a video of an ML standing up pretty well (for awhile) to a crusher :
 

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1999 ML430; 1998 S420
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251 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I took the rear hatch molding, stereo and one of the d-pillar panels. I also took the rubber gasket from the broken roof antenna and the low range switch. It had perfect third row seats but I left those. I left the aftermarket hitch and aftermarket hitch wiring harness, as well as pretty much everything else.
demichae

Question is : what did you 'pull' off of this ML? Looks like some nice little bits and pieces !

No doubt that the W163 is one safe and tough vehicle. Most of that attributed to body on frame construction and all the R and D Mercedes has put into safety over the last seventy years.
 

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Premium Member
1999 ML430
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1,748 Posts
I took the rear hatch molding, stereo and one of the d-pillar panels. I also took the rubber gasket from the broken roof antenna and the low range switch. It had perfect third row seats but I left those. I left the aftermarket hitch and aftermarket hitch wiring harness, as well as pretty much everything else.
MAN, that video is PAINFUL to watch !

I'm surprised they left the wheels on...easy to remove and seems they would get decent money.....
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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1,564 Posts
I have told this story before, so If you heard it, sorry In advance.

We went on a trip to Spokane wa, stopped at the Benz dealer on the way home for a courtesy trans fluid check. I had just change the fluid and first road trip with it since purchasing a month prior.

It was late afternoon on a Monday, they were busy but everyone one staff customers was joking around. Told where to park and someone will be out. Did as instructed, out came the shop foreman.

He checked it, we started talking he said. “ I think the w163 is the safest car ever built” ! He then went on to say he was flown to the plant etc. then closed with “ I think they are so safe i have 3. I drive one , my wife has the 2nd , a third for my daughter “


We then purchase the 350.
 

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Premium Member
2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2015 C250 estate wagon, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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MAN, that video is PAINFUL to watch !

I'm surprised they left the wheels on...easy to remove and seems they would get decent money.....
Yer for sure. That’s one way to get to the air blend motor!!
They are one Tuff SUV aren’t they, I think it would of been pissing that excavator operator off. Lol


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Super Moderator
99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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22,144 Posts
In Dec of 1998 our rather new ML320 was hit in the drivers door by Lincoln Town Car that was doing 40-45 mph and blew a stop light. I was the driver in the ML and thank God I was alone.
The front bags did not fire. The ML was pushed into a large 3 lane stoplight pole and knocked it over. I walked away, Gave the first aid kit the occupants of the Lincoln. All 3 of them went to the hospital. The hood of the Lincoln was pushed up to its windshield. There used to be pics of the carcass here, but over the years they ended up missing.

I found a few of them but I had about 5 more including the interior. There was no intrusion at all. Needles to say the ML was total write off. The pics were scanned Polaroids. So forgive the quality.
Luckily the 99 ML430 we ordered had shipped from Alabama and was in our driveway 5 days later.
Post #5 in the thread link has the pics. Ours was the green one with the wheels snapped off from hitting curbs.

 
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