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Discussion Starter #1
I plan on purchasing a 1984 500sel. it is in good condition. It seems to pass the mbcoupes buyers guide. It has about 92000 miles.

good idea or bad idea?
 

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Good you have checked out the buyers guide, it will tell you a lot.

We would need a lot more information about the cars service history to advise whether it is good or bad.

Fill out your profile so others know your general location,

Oh, BTW, welcome to the forum.
 

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Welcome to the forums!
please fill out your profile so we can be a greater help!

pix please, and yes, it is a good idea, but like I said, pix please then we can fill you in.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey thanks. I will do so as soon as I learn to, ha ha.

Well the car is a nice car from the look of it. I drove it and it shifts and feels great, it is a US spec. I love all of them US and Euro the same so I decided to give it a chance.

I have been searching for some time and have learned a lot. It has all maintenance records from new, including window sticker. good carfax from 1992 on. etc.

Interior is immaculate and everything works.

I just need to know that it is a good engine and a good car overall seeing as I am more familiar with the 2nd gen.
 

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Someone here once said that the 5 liter V8 was one of Mercedes' most reliable engines - maybe because it is not loaded down with the electronics of the Gen II 126's. Howvever, it does have the desireable driver's air bag and ABS. The downside of a 500 is that the interiors don't hold up as well as the later Gen II cars. And they BEG for euro headlamps. Overall, if it is in nice condition and passes a PPI, it is a great choice.
 

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What's the price? Hard to say if it's a good deal without that piece of info. And what is condition of paint, body, and interior?
 

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Always Remembered RIP
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As the co-author of the mbcoupes buyers guide, back in 1998, from what you say it sounds pretty good.

They are good very cars, so long as the example you pick is a good one, and everything checks out.

92,000 miles is very low for a car that year, and if you have all the records, study them and make sure everything has been kept up.

You might want to run it through the car wash, and then check for leaks into the interior, and into the trunk. Make sure there is no rust and rot, and look at both sides of the cowl, at the front of the windshield, to make sure it's not full of leaves, dirt and gunk.

Please fill out the profile, and indicate your city, under the Avatar, and the car(s) you have.

And welcome, this is probably the best Mercedes Benz W126 resource that there is.

And you found it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well the car passes all inspections. It has been parked outside for a few months and water doesn't get inside or into the trunk. The paint is flawless, bumper has one scratch and it has the occasional, light, but i mean miniature, and not deep rust because there isn't even a single touch up. It has always been a southern car. Everything works down to the AC and heat, heated seats, reclining back seat, windows, sunroof, etc. this is an 84 so there is no airbag. The front windshield has the original white benz sticker. I mean the car is immaculate and it is about $4,000

I need to know what the highest someone would pay for a car like this, if it is worth it for the price, etc.

Also does this car have a hydraulic rear suspension like the 560? Is it a pain?

Thanks Guys, this benz site is amazing. As soon as I get the hang of everything I will be a whiz.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would put the euro lights but I like things stock. Would it be a good idea to put them on? I don't even mind those Ancient American-like headlights
 

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Always Remembered RIP
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My experience is that the hydraulic rear suspension lasts about 50,000 miles or so before you need to replace it.

But, the 1984 US spec. 500SEL doesn't have it, so in this case it is a moot question, isn't it?

From what you have said, it sounds like a really nice car, and without looking at it myself, or seen the pictures or the prepurchase inspection results, (you got one right?) it sounds like the car is worth $4,000

Not so much more, because the gas prices are down and these are no one's idea of an economy car.

The necessary advice to you in the end is the SAME as back in 1998 when the buyers guide for mbcoupes was written.

Buy the best condition one you can afford, it is always worth it, even if you pay more at the beginning.

At the end, many years from now it won't matter that you paid $4,000, if it still looks and runs good in 10-15 years.

Hell, mine cost me about $37,000 or something when I bought it certified pre owned, and it is worth a LOT less than that now.

Do I care? Hell no.

I bought it to keep. It cost $84,500 brand new, was the flagship 1991 model, and I got it a few years from new.

Had it a dozen years and run it about 75,000 miles.

Still looks and runs real good.

You can hammer the guy $200 or $300 if you want, but 10 years from now you won't care what you paid if the car is still running and looking good.

And with care, yours still will.
 

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Always Remembered RIP
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I would put the euro lights but I like things stock. Would it be a good idea to put them on? I don't even mind those Ancient American-like headlights
All right, then let's say you hammer the guy $500 off the $4,000

Go and put the $500 into a complete set of Bosch Euro lights and amber front corners.

Not only will they look stunning, these were what the car SHOULD have had in the first place, and DID, everywhere but the USA.

Yourr lights are the $hit sealed beams that the sealed beam headlight lobby forced congress and the DOT to mandate.

The Euro lights not only look fabulous, but are MUCH brighter, cast the perfect beam pattern on the road, and you will never be sorry, and you will absolutely love driving with them on at night.


There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep the car stock. Many enthusiast owners do.

The Euro lights are the one exception to this.

And in a way, putting a set on will in a way still BE stock. They were stock on every 500SEL except in the USA.

Definately buy a pair and put them on. This is for ANY W126 SEC/SE/SEL from 1980-1991.

Maybe the best single modification you could make. Even if you made no other, make this one.

I am pretty sure EVERYONE here would agree!!

Now, show us photos of this wonderful car!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm glad you see it that way. I plan on having this car for a very very long time, hopefully till the end. I will get some pictures up soon hopefully. I have the chance to return the car within 4 days of purchase so in that time I plan on examining the hell out of it (as I have already done but do as much as possible in those 4 days). My dad is very good with cars, though not the expert in Mercedes. As my dad puts it, it is what I want and it is my hobby so what else am I going to spend my money on, ha ha.

This car is fuel injection, does not have a carburetor, and has to run on premium, correct?

Does anyone have the technical specifications on it?

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
ha ha, well if you see it that way I agree. I just think it looks a little out of place with the oversized bumpers.
 

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The Euro lights not only look fabulous, but are MUCH brighter, cast the perfect beam pattern on the road, and you will never be sorry, and you will absolutely love driving with them on at night.


Definately buy a pair and put them on. This is for ANY W126 SEC/SE/SEL from 1980-1991.

Maybe the best single modification you could make. Even if you made no other, make this one.

I am pretty sure EVERYONE here would agree!!

Now, show us photos of this wonderful car!!!
ABSOFARKINLUTELY the best thing to do with these cars is getting the euro headlights. You'll actually feel sad for others when you see someone drive by with US headlights and you know what they're missing.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Money money. I will def get a pair of the euro lights when I get the money. There are so many little things I want to get for this car right down to the keychain, so little by little I will customize my Benz.

I hope to get some pics up later this weekend when my sis comes back with my camera.

So overall you all think this car is a good buy. I know they require maintenance and care and I will gladly do it all. But does everyone think that it is a good idea as a first car for a student with a hobby?

Thanks for all the interest and the help guys.
 

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I'm glad you see it that way. I plan on having this car for a very very long time, hopefully till the end. I will get some pictures up soon hopefully. I have the chance to return the car within 4 days of purchase so in that time I plan on examining the hell out of it (as I have already done but do as much as possible in those 4 days). My dad is very good with cars, though not the expert in Mercedes. As my dad puts it, it is what I want and it is my hobby so what else am I going to spend my money on, ha ha.

This car is fuel injection, does not have a carburetor, and has to run on premium, correct?

Does anyone have the technical specifications on it?

Thanks again!
Could you please list for us, on your CP user profile what city or state you are in? (MORE specifically than "USA"?) It can help with your later questions.

Sounds like you are really doing your due diligence, and have the ideal purchasing situation at hand as you have described it.

The experts who are here can't actually examine it or even help much without detailed questions and pictures, (though they will try) so put them up as you are able.

They have the Bosch KE-jetronic electro/mechanical fuel injection system.

Good preventative maintenance might include an inspection or possible replacement (as preventative maintenance, as you are into it for the long haul, you said) of the injectors, when you surpass 100,000 miles.

They like 91 octane premium gas (lots of it) and Chevron with the Techron in it really works to keep the injectors clean. I NEVER had a problem with them, using this running formula, though I did change out the injectors at 100,000 miles (to be safe). Every now and then (on a near empty tank) you could dump a small bottle of Techron (a few$$) in to the gas tank, it would help, also.

If it were me, I'd review the records on the car when you are testing it, and to establish your maintenance base line, pay attention especially to when the last time/mileage when fluids and filters were changed, and per the owners guide, plan to change and/or flush or lube whatever is needed soon after you buy the car.

That's just common sense.

With regular maintenance, good care and no abuse, the car could run indefinately, for many, many hundreds of thousands of miles.

Complete technical specs on the USA model 500SEL cars, are available in forum archives, here and on Mercedesshop, mbcoupes, and elsewhere, such as sales brochures and literature.

In your situation, it makes a lot of sense to me. They are uber safe, rock solid, wonderful highway cruisers, designed to be VERY mechanic friendly, will likely last forever, are built to the highest standards of German quality (cost no object), and are incredibly comfortable and pleasurable to drive , on long trips, and parts are always easy to buy, and usually can polish out to a beautiful, new looking finish.

No reason not to buy it, in your situation, I think, if you like it, the price is acceptable and the car checks out OK.
 

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I would get a good Indy(independent MB mechanic) to do a PPI,(Pre Purchase Inspection) Money well spent. Do this BEFORE you buy it. There should be somone here from your area(fill out the profile please so we can help you find a good Indy in your area).
Is that a picture of the car in your avatar?
It's really easy to post pictures here. First upload them to some website that hosts pictures. I use Photobucket and then you merely click on the box under thwe picture(I use the second block down) you want to load here. Mine saves it automatically if I right click it, then click on the little picture of the mountains above the message space. Then paste the saved picture and VOILA! it's here. I has to be easy.....I can do it. LOL!
 

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But does everyone think that it is a good idea as a first car for a student with a hobby? . [/QUOTE said:
There are quite a few of us 20 year olds (and younger) around. I guess it really comes down to if you can afford to keep it maintained. DIY really helps, and I've saved hundreds doing a lot myself, and many say that the w126s were the last cars that were DIY friendly. Just make sure you do all the preventative maintenance, but still have a good reserve of money, because no matter how well these cars were built, it's over 20 years old and has some expensive parts that don't last forever.

That being said, starting with a good solid car should keep those costs down, and I doubt any of your friends are driving such a cool car:thumbsup:
 

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Money money. I will def get a pair of the euro lights when I get the money. There are so many little things I want to get for this car right down to the keychain, so little by little I will customize my Benz.

I hope to get some pics up later this weekend when my sis comes back with my camera.

So overall you all think this car is a good buy. I know they require maintenance and care and I will gladly do it all. But does everyone think that it is a good idea as a first car for a student with a hobby?

Thanks for all the interest and the help guys.
Welcome. Have you tried to do a forum search? If you are not sure how, please visit the 'Welcome to the Forum' sticky on top of the W126 page.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So everyone knows, I am going to see the car today. I plan on doing everything everyone has told me to. My dad and I are checking everything out from top to bottom.

We are going to check all the service records etc.

Like I said I will get the pictures posted hopefully by tonight and then spend some time organizing my profile.

The car in the picture is not the one I'm looking for. This is my girlfriend's mom's 1990 300se(the first w126 I fell in love with).

I will be sure to do the PPI, as I mentioned before I have some time to return the car if it does not meet standards.

It may sound like I know little about these cars and it is true ha ha. I only know what I have learned in the past year from driving a 300se, chatting with the owners, chatting with all kinds of people, and reading and reading.

Thanks to everyone, especially Cascade. I will get info about the car and pics up soon.
 
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