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1999 500SL, 1988 SEC
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1,159 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A while ago in the R129 forum I posted all the parts I had put into that car, along with the part numbers and costs and I decided to do the same with this car to help all of you. The costs were after I looked usually at a couple of places and I tried to be competitive yet staying with MB for the most part. I am not suggesting any of these vendors are better than another, just that I found them to fit my needs. I do think having a sheet like this in one spot might help others when they go to do a job or think about cost of operation. All of you have been very good btw of helping me with some of these tough to find numbers and I really appreciate it. Right now I still have the front end work to do (parts are purchased) and to install the new transmission. I suppose one could look at this and say I could have looked for a better car, but I have to tell you that after working on this, age is the destroyer not miles. Sooo many of the rubber parts were so brittle I just could not leave them. They simply would disintegrate in your hands. When I did the timing chain I found hoses, sensors, grommets, etc all in failure shape. I simply wanted to fix what I saw was wrong when I had it apart since my labor was free. I also want a car that is very dependable for long trips so maybe I error on the side of caution. Did it need new H&R springs, no, but while I am replacing the ball-joints, why not? Could I have gone longer on the control arm bushings, probably but when I have it apart, I don't want to do things twice. Just my call and everyone has a separate opinion, and that is fine. Also from my perspective if I would have spent the same money on a better car, I still would have had to do a lot of these things. My guess is there are very few cars out there with all I have done and if so, really expensive. Remember, this is a California car so I have it better than some. So at any rate I hope the numbers help when you go to do a large job. Maybe it will save you digging around the various sites. I hope so. Right now I am almost done, but running out of steam. This weekend almost all the interior was freshened with SEM Color Coat which was a big job. Taking the console out is fun....and while its out its getting LED lights. Yes I took everything out to dye it, not simply taping stuff off. Same with the dash, that is getting LED lights. oh yes have to change the odometer gear...... one of those things age took its toll on too. I think there is light at the end of the tunnel but who knows.:eek
 

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84 500SEL AMG, 90 560SEC AMG, 85 500SEC AMG Widebody
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1,768 Posts
What color interior?
 

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Premium Member
1999 500SL, 1988 SEC
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1,159 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Its called elpaca but really the SEM medium gray is real close. Just a tad lighter. However there are a couple of different shades of stuff. The welting almost has a green tint, and the leathe door inserts are a little darker. I can give you the paint cose if you want
 

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1984 300SD 1989 300SE 1998 740iL
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1,128 Posts
I think there is light at the end of the tunnel but who knows.:eek
Kudos for the detailed documentation. Very few actually know how much parts and maintenance they have in a vehicle. Most don't want to know..................

That being said, I also have some fairly complete documentation for both the SE and the SD over the past 10 years. Suffice it to say that there is no real light at the end of the tunnel. 25 year old vehicles have a knack for demanding parts on a semi-regular basis. None of the parts is typically a show stopper but they do add up. Similar to doing a plumbing job. When you get done, you're amazed that all the little pieces added up to over $1K.

With these vehicles, I don't see anyone really able to get by at less than $.10 per mile unless they simply avoid the repairs. Find anyone on here that stays up with the maintenance and repair and that's going to be their number. If they get really extravagant, it can go a bit higher and if they contract out the labor it is going to be significantly higher.
 

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SuperModerator
1986/1990 W126
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13,659 Posts
Hehe, I can see why some people would rather not know. I have every single receipt even for nuts and bolts. I need to start a second folder soon..
Still, I went uber proactive with the maintenance so it's been very plain sailing since then.
Last time I added it up it was a few thousand, but less than the car had gained in value. Which made me feel OK about it.
 

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Moderator
1991 500SEC sub 50K mi. 1987 560SEC Now 150K mi. 2018
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4,283 Posts
Ignorance is bliss in this instance, I have a box of receipts and no desire to do the math. I enjoy certain mysteries in life and classic cars is one of them.
What everyone said above too....

This is my file on my '87 560SEC.

It spans two owners and 31 years, nearly to the day!

I just added the slip from yesterday's self leveling spheres replacement, maintenance check & annual Massachusetts vehicle safety inspection...

What a joy to drive...

MBL
 

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'91 560SEC, '91 300SE (sold), '98 Yota, '02 S-10 Hauler
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8,934 Posts
Ignorance is bliss in this instance, I have a box of receipts and no desire to do the math. I enjoy certain mysteries in life and classis cars is one of them.
I have a rough idea on what I've spent on my car, have all the receipts on what I've bought and labor is "free" plus getting a parts car I have many items I hope to never have to use (body and glass). I also have the shop tickets from repairs the PO had done to her, all of these tucked (alright, PACKED) into a 2nd zippered MB pouch, almost time to install a file cabinet in the boot :grin

Initial cost of 91 560SEC, $5,000
Parts and parts car, approx $4,000
Reactions and compliments from people who see it (25 yo car, mileage, mods done, etc), Priceless
 

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62,656 Posts
I can see merit on both sides, personally I keep no records at all so all I can add is to each its own.

But if you love these classic beauties... does it really matter?
 

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84 500SEL AMG, 90 560SEC AMG, 85 500SEC AMG Widebody
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1,768 Posts
MB parts (and used Holy Grail AMG parts) are expensive. Especially when a full mechanical restoration is done. I am sure the parts investment in my 84 SEL AMG is massive.
 

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Premium Member
1999 500SL, 1988 SEC
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1,159 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
There is no right or wrong on knowing costs. I can't put a price on my enjoyment and my r129 has given me 40,000 miles of pure driving pleasure. I know the sec will too. But, I do want others to understand that these take effort and love that will usually have to go into them. Also I hope the part numbers help. Of course some can do what I did without all the stuff I did. Even if this car eventually finds its way to another, I know I have saved a piece of art from a potential tough end. BTW, I did not find any "coke" when I took the door panel off��. What I did discover is that the door lock must have taken 10 very talented german engineers at least one year to design the lock mechanism. I think a swiss watch has less parts. My what a piece of engineering. You try and figure it out. Well its clean and working now so that was an interesting excercise!!!! Last if any of you want the spreadsheet pm me and I will send it to you.
 

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68 250S, 91 300se, 98 SL500, 450SEL 6.9, 14 CLS550 Past MB's; 300SD, 300E, 300TE, 190E, ML420
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4,220 Posts
Last 10 years maintenance costs - includes license and insurance
300SE $12091
250s $5951
450SEL 6.9 $15292 (only had 2 years car is under restoration)
 

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'91 560SEC, '91 300SE (sold), '98 Yota, '02 S-10 Hauler
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8,934 Posts
As a "funny" side note to all of this I remember my step-mom making the comment that I "didn't need to buy a Mercedes, they are too expensive for YOU" :eek I want to think that she is simply jealous of my car (both the SE and now the coupe) and what I paid for them. She has had the "privilege" of driving two brand new Saturns out of the showroom and I know she paid a LOT more for the 2nd one than I paid for and maintained BOTH of mine PLUS (IMHO) I have a better car that even after 25+ years still looks good and holds it's own out on the road. Sure I could have "sunk" my money into someones worn out crap cars (who knows how many) and still would have ended up with a crap car. I'm so glad my friend Linda talked me into buying the SE from her 14 years ago and she LOVES the coupe even admitting it was better than the SE
 

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SuperModerator
1986/1990 W126
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13,659 Posts
All good points. Another thing worth bearing in mind is agreed valuation insurance.
Having been burnt by car insurance before, I have agreed value insurance these days. They want proof of any significant work etc. But even for normal insurance, some proof of what you sunk in would help you argue if the worst happened.

It's good for fending off friends/loved ones who want to do an intervention on you too. "I haven't spent more than it's worth, honest... " :)
 

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420SE
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359 Posts
Ian , I like your come back.
's good for fending off friends/loved ones who want to do an intervention on you too. "I haven't spent more than it's worth, honest... " :)
My daughter In law has a very low opinion of the 420 Merc. Seems to think of me as a Nazi for driving one. It's hilarious and I have a lot of fun with it, German anthem, Adolf in a Merc .ect.
 

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1991 420 SEL
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172 Posts
That's awesome, thanks!

I'm in around 13-14k now, more than I've ever spent on any car. But almost finished with a pretty thorough refresh and hoping for 5-7 years good use out of her.

Pete
 

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85 500SEC (Euro), 87 560SEC (now sold)
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1,154 Posts
Bought my SEC end of July 2018.
$6900 for the car.
$2000 to ship.
$2700 for BBS RA rims plus four new tires (I could be off on that by a hundred or so).
$4200 in maintenance since I purchased it, about $3200 of that with Pierre Hedary, April 2019.

My SEC was a nightmare out the gate. Lots of crazy insane bad luck that defied logic and reason. But it all came together for my after about 4 months and the visit to Hedary really sorted the car out. I will see him again Spring/Summer for a final sorting.

Then onto cosmetics and a custom exhaust. :)
 
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