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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all! I am new to the forum and am looking to purchase a 1989 560sl. This would be my first Mercedes (this car has been a dream of mine for a while now) and I'm hoping that I could get some of your guys' opinions on my potential r107.

The lowdown:
Signal red/ palomino leather
Listed at 142,000 miles for $12,500 (I think I'll be able to negotiate)
  • The front end has been rebuilt
  • Fuel pumps replaced
  • New Mercedes floor mats
  • New BT stereo
  • Tune up 3 years ago
  • Recent transmission service- fluids changed
  • The car was stolen in California in 1992 and recovered the next day
  • Repainted at some point
The seller has detailed that the A/C does not work (they have been aware and never cared to fix it)

The dashboard is from a 380sl and matches the interior of the car (I'm assuming the steering wheel has been replaced along the way as well being as it also matches the interior which may be normal but I've never seen one with a tan steering wheel)

A few cosmetic issues regarding the burlwood trim (seller has replacement kit)

Seller says that they are the 3rd owner and will provide a carfax

I've also asked for additional photos of the undercarriage to ensure that there is no rust ( seller boasts "not a spot of rust")


I'm hoping you guys can help by advising what issues I should look for/ask about. Thank you all in advance for your help!

--Jules
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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Welcome to the forum.
I'm guessing it is signal red. Never heard of siren red 107.
Inquire about timing chain service. If not recent plan on $$$ for shop to do it or around $400.00-$500.00 DIY.
If steering wheel has been replaced the SRS is useless. Possibly someone just painted it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to the forum.
I guessing it is signal red. Never heard of siren red 107.
Inquire about timing chain service. If not recent plan on $$$ for shop to do it or around $400.00-$500.00 DIY.
Oof, an embarrassing mistake to make as my first impression...

Thank you for your input regarding the timing chain
 

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1983 380SL, ivory/dk brown, 46k miles, dual roller timing chain. 1986 560SL, red/white, 190K mile.
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This concerns me ...
"The dashboard is from a 380sl"
"The front end has been rebuilt"
... I would want to know about this.

Is that 560SL in running condition? I'd want to drive it to make sure.
Might make an interesting project car bringing it to where everything works and addressing any cosmetics.

I think $12.5K is a little steep. What do the rest of you forum members think????
 
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See my ad in the "For Sale" section. 1988 Signal Red 560SL for sale. Lower miles than what you are looking at, and needs nothing. Timing chain service has been done.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This concerns me ...
"The dashboard is from a 380sl"
"The front end has been rebuilt"
... I would want to know about this.

Is that 560SL in running condition? I'd want to drive it to make sure.
Might make an interesting project car bringing it to where everything works and addressing any cosmetics.

I think $12.5K is a little steep. What do the rest of you forum members think????
It is in running condition! I test drove it a few days ago. Everything about the car seems to be in good shape. The dash is from it's previous owner, seller assumes that the original black dash cracked and was replaced with a 380 dash to match with the interior color. I will make sure to ask the seller about the "front end rebuild".
 

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1983 380SL, ivory/dk brown, 46k miles, dual roller timing chain. 1986 560SL, red/white, 190K mile.
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Wow ... maybe you are on to something.
That interior tells me somebody put a lot of money and time dolling it up.
To replace a dash in these SLs is a complicated and time consuming job.
Not only that, the owner went to the effort to replace the instrument faces in white.
My thinking is that somebody with some skills has worked on this Mercedes.
Looks interesting. Drive it to make sure.
And remember these cars are all over 3 decades old which means there is likely
expect some tinkering. If you like working on cars and enjoy reading about what
other folks have done to them, you might find it an enjoyable hobby. This forum
is most likely to be the MAIN RESOURCE for information on all the repairs and
idiosyncrasies about these vehicles.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Wow ... maybe you are on to something.
That interior tells me somebody put a lot of money and time dolling it up.
To replace a dash in these SLs is a complicated and time consuming job.
Not only that, the owner went to the effort to replace the instrument faces in white.
My thinking is that somebody with some skills has worked on this Mercedes.
Looks interesting. Drive it to make sure.
And remember these cars are all over 3 decades old which means there is likely
expect some tinkering. If you like working on cars and enjoy reading about what
other folks have done to them, you might find it an enjoyable hobby. This forum
is most likely to be the MAIN RESOURCE for information on all the repairs and
idiosyncrasies about these vehicles.
The instrument faces really struck me when I first saw the car! I haven't seen many r107's with that detailing. I'm glad these photos helped you see what I see! I will be having a PPI done by THE Wayne Carini (any Chasing Classic Cars fans out there????) himself and I'm excited to show this car to him. If I do purchase, this is a car I will keep for life and I'm really excited to begin my journey in such a rewarding hobby. Really happy that I stumbled upon this forum.. feels like home.
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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That is a SRS wheel so probably just a painted 560SL wheel. Gauge faces look similar to these:
100_1180 1.JPG
 

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1986 560SL
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This is an interesting one. I would want a carfax as the whole stolen for a day and front end rebuilt and dash from 380SL (why?) tells me this car MAY have been crashed. How important is originality to you? Lot’s of folks on this site go out of their way to keep their SL 100% original (like me) - others like to modify their SL’s. I think that mileage, price point and modifications don’t add up to $12.5K - my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This is an interesting one. I would want a carfax as the whole stolen for a day and front end rebuilt and dash from 380SL (why?) tells me this car MAY have been crashed. How important is originality to you? Lot’s of folks on this site go out of their way to keep their SL 100% original (like me) - others like to modify their SL’s. I think that mileage, price point and modifications don’t add up to $12.5K - my 2 cents.
Thank you for the advice, although the seller has told me that it hasn't been in any accidents I'll bring those points up with them next time we speak! I'm not too concerned with originality with this car, I'm saving that kind of money for when I can purchase a nice 450sl. In your opinion, what would be an appropriate price point range for this vehicle?
 

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1986 560SL
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Purely my opinion - the timing chain work has been done $8K-$10K. If not take $2K off those numbers. If you can do the timing chain work yourself - maybe you have some wiggle room. If a service center does the work it will cost you at least $2K.
Others with more experience may chime in.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Came across a signal red, palomino interior 1985 380sl for $7,000 w/ 99,000miles.... still need to hear about service records and rust but if things look alright I'm thinking I might put the dream of owning an '89 560sl on hold for now.. Seems like I would get more "life" out of the 380sl. Any common issues to look out for regarding a 380 that you can recommend I look out for?
 

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1983 380SL, ivory/dk brown, 46k miles, dual roller timing chain. 1986 560SL, red/white, 190K mile.
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380SL not as powerful as 560SL but still sufficient.
380SL has chrome metal door handles, 560SL has plastic.
380SL doors close with a nice bank vault feel. 560SL doors seem lighter to me.
560SL has more comfortable seats.
380SL will run on regular gasoline, 560SL requires premium.
380SL has shitty sunvisors, not as nice as on 560SL but if you like you can replace with 560SL styled ones.
380SL is usually less expensive than the 560SL.
560SL is newer and has the latest Mercedes improvements.
 
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You may want to confirm timing chain service has been done - not sure if the 85 380SL has single or double chain - either way it needs to be serviced.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You may want to confirm timing chain service has been done - not sure if the 85 380SL has single or double chain - either way it needs to be serviced.
Timing chain has not been serviced, seller keeps telling me that when they inquired about it at their last inspection mechanic insisted that the timing chain issue only occurred prior to 1985. The car has 140k+ miles so it gives me slight pause that they haven't considered servicing them regardless..

They're also "firm" on the price of $12,500 which is also slightly frustrating but oh well, whadaya gonna do when it's a car you love. Despite the timing chain issue-- is still a stunning vehicle
 

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...
They're also "firm" on the price of $12,500 which is also slightly frustrating but oh well, whadaya gonna do when it's a car you love. Despite the timing chain issue-- is still a stunning vehicle
Because they are reluctant to budge on price makes me think that they are not hiding any major defects that makes them want to dump the car.
Hmmm. I wonder if you offered him $10K Cash ... just bring Title and Car and come with me to my Bank and we make a quick deal.
 

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1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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Their mechanic is an idiot. The 560SL timing chain system parts are the same as the 500SL from 1981-1989.
 

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I suspect this mechanic is ASSUMING the change to a double chain (1984?) means no service required. This obviously is wrong.

As a point of reference my 86 560SL has just had a weak tensioner replaced this week - even though a prior timing chain service was done (by the PO) - this with just over 100K miles.
 
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