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· Registered
1991 R129 500SL
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi! I'm new and this is my first post.

I just purchased a 1991 500SL. I'm the second owner - it was purchased new by my brothers father in law (John) in 1991. It has been in the family since new. John died a few years ago, and his wife rarely drove it since. I've got complete service records on it since new. I've got the cancelled check where they paid $108,317.10. Ive got the window sticker for $91,780.00 with a $2100.00 California Gas Guzzler Tax and $6537.50 "luxury tax". Remember those days when you also had to pay a luxury tax? They bought it at Jim Slemons Imports in Newport Beach, CA.

It only has 51,800 miles on it. Everything works tops, hydraulics, etc. The hardtop has been on it for the last few years. The soft top is mint - has never been wet - vacuumed only. John used to wash it with distilled water.
It even has a cradle for the hardtop when it is removed.

It is completely stock except for 17" Lorinser Wheels. The oil was changed last summer and has only been driven less than 1K since, but I went ahead and changed it anyway just to be sure. I used RedLine - which has served me well in BMWs. I've got a pile of parts (Mahle Cabin Filter, Mahle Trans Filter, Mahn Power Steering fluid, as well as Redline D4 Transfluid, and RedLine 75/90 Gear Oil for the rear end). I will be changing those fluids this weekend.

I recently retired and moved from San Diego to Alabama to be near my kids. I had the Mercedes shipped by enclosed transport, though I'm sure it would have been fine to drive it.

I do have a few questions though:

I want a "paper" repair manual. I ordered a CD from Mercedes but it doesn't work on a Mac. Does anyone sell one?

The accordion slide that covers the cassette storage in the console is missing. Can this be purchased without the console?

Where it shows the outside temperature on the dash - it's LCD. Is this supposed to be backlit? I can barely see it.

The headlights are the worst I've ever seen on any car. Are the European Halogens better?

The receipts show it's had the AC fixed 3X. It still blows warm air. It's had new high and low fittings, recharged 3X, new evaporator, and new O Rings. Is this a common problem?

I'm 6'4". I have a perfect view of the sunvisor when the top(s) are up. Any suggestions for tall guys?

The driver seat will not flip forward. I saw the video of UTube to take the seat out - but you have to flip it forward and move it forward to get at the screws at the rear of the seat. Any suggestions?

Im glad I found this site - you guys seem very knowledgable about these cars.


· Registered
1993 600SL, 1973 450 SL,1998 SLK 230,2018 C300, 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie, 1968 Firebird,
5,392 Posts
Welcome to the asylum ! I'd like to say one thing: SCORE :thumbsup:. It doesn't get any better than that ! You really grabbed an amazing deal ! Nice to have all that information on a car that was taken care of properly. Actually to a obsessive point !
Your path forward other than your retirement destination is well thought out ! The tambour door crosses EBay occasionally. You can check with the online parts resource EPC I think and find the part number to see if it's available new. On a car as nice as yours, that might be the best idea.
My temp isn't backlit either. Not sure if they are or not. Again, EBay for the manual in paper.
The projector headlights are sought after and coveted by most. Also very expensive. New about $ 3,200 per pair :eek:. eBay as low as a few hundred but average I've seen is around $ 1,000.00 each. If the car came equipped with them, they are self leveling ! An expensive retrofit.
The air is a potential and big problem. You have the new evaporator which is at a dealer a 5,000.00 expense. Have a air-conditioning expert put dye in the system. If you get any dye coming out of the heater/air your " F'd". You might be yanking the dash out again ! Perhaps you'll get lucky and you have a leak at a hose connection or something accessible !
So far your batting a thousand here at the nut farm, you filled out your profile, posted pictures to prove the car existed and properly wowed us ! Again welcome ! You'll fit right in ! :D

· R129 HTT Founder Member
040 96' SL500, 368 08' E550 4Matic, 9147 13' Sprinter 2500
7,635 Posts
Congrats on your SL, looks beautiful! I am new here also so I don't know many answers yet. I do know the lights stink and many get Xenons or Euro halogens. I have ordered the euro lights recently on eBay but have yet to receive so I won't recommend seller just yet. Xenons are better but was having trouble finding ones that would fit in my budget so I went with the halogens.

I'm sure others will chime in.

· Registered
'96 SL500, Triple Black
1,655 Posts
Hi, looks like a great car, nice to always have it in the family.

All of your questions are pretty common, the answers can be found using the Search feature of the site. I'm not saying this to sound rude and putting off but if members don't get the time to reply to specifics before you want them, you can go here - Mercedes-Benz Discussion Forum - Search Forums to look around, you can also search the R129 section using the bottom right box of that screen... or use the Google search bar under the forum header.


· Undercover Moderator
2002 SL BRABUS 5.8 Silver Arrow; 1992 SL BRABUS B11; 1996 S Class diplomat ride
5,507 Posts
Welcome Nyati.... Your car look great....:thumbsup:..!!!

Look like my Matchbox toy..^^^.. Same color & year too.:p:D...

· Premium Member
2015 Jaguar XF R Sport Twin Turbo, 1992 500sl Pano, 1999 CBR 1100XX, Super BlackBird, Jaguar X Type
4,853 Posts
I very much doubt there is a paper version service manual out there. The upside to the Star Classic Disc now is that we have sorted how to run them on Vista and Windows 7, Adobe 9 etc instead of the original XP/Adobe 5.1.
Coupled with AllData DIY and this great forum you should be good to go on most things. Mac maybe pushing it a bit though. ;)

· Registered
Sold1990 500sl - 1992 300sl 1999 sl 500
1,546 Posts
Welcome what a find :) seat back problem is quite common and fix quite easy, for now try ajusting the back forward on the seat buttons and see if it will fold forward at some point , all the history from day one well done:thumbsup:
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