Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 20 of 98 Posts

Registered
2000 sl320 black mb stepped
Joined
254 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks, I am a happy owner of an r129 sl320 v6 2000.
Looking around theres a lot of 107s in various states of repair or not in the UK from 5k-35k.
Looking on BW theres a lot of posts with lots of problems so do i really want a bottom less money pit project 馃.
The thing is i do like them. A lot.
 

Registered
1979 450SL UK spec
Joined
2,157 Posts
If you spend 5k you will have a money pit project. 拢35k and you should be able to get a good car without problems if you buy wisely. Ideally you should get prospective cars inspected by an expert before you buy so you know what you are getting in to.

Of course though things do go wrong on 40 year old cars. That just comes with the hobby.
 

Registered
1988 560sl
Joined
254 Posts
They are older cars and will have a constant stream of things to do. I am not sure it is good to get one and expect everything will work perfectly. The basic mechanicals are actually pretty robust (watch the timing chain guides!) and the vehicles seem to keep on going even sub-optimally (something to be aware of when buying - the problems can lurk hidden for a while). I feel like they are a car that rarely leaves one stranded. Rather it is a chronic ongoing refreshment of subframe bushings and leaky seals and the like.

I don't have everything perfect on my car. I am happy I get cold AC or hot air - even if I can't control the location it comes out or any gradients other than cold, outside temp, or hot. My vaccum operated locking system doesn't work. I supsect I have a borderline ABS sensor and I know my SRS module has a code that won't clear. But I can pull out of the driveway every time reliably, drive around town or halfway across the continent and get back home fine. And there are lots of great interactions as other people love the car, too.
 

Registered
1974 450SL (US), 2005 SLK200 (UK)
Joined
960 Posts
If researching and repairing the car yourself is not your idea of fun then it's maybe not the car for you. Andy
 

Registered
2000 sl320 black mb stepped
Joined
254 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the quick responses. I guess i was very lucky to get my sl320 without to many problems. I wouldn't be spending more than 8-10k on one so I'm thinking now for that sort of money i would be buying into a future basket case or money pit. I am up for doing all the work myself, its just the reliability of the thing that worries me. The 129 isn't that much better but as long as you preempt any problems your ok to go and parts are relatively easy to get hold of. The 107 is a beautiful timeless classic, whereas my 129 is just a classic. I suppose you get what you pay for. Thanks again.

Tony
 

Registered
1974 450SL (US), 2005 SLK200 (UK)
Joined
960 Posts
I had two major reliability problems with mine so far, both easily fixed:

1. Previous owner broke the post on the distributor center point so they hot glued the ignition wire on -> replaced distributor cap and wires ($180 or so for full tune up kit)

2. Ignition points stuck open stranding me 200ft from my house -> replaced with Pertronix ($100). Tow truck guy laughed because it was the shortest tow of his entire career :D

I have an issue with the starter motor not engaging with the engine (Bendix problem?) 25% of the time but I just let it completely stop moving and try again. When the engine does turn over it always starts on the first try.

A common reliability problem is failure to start when hot. I don't have that problem so I don't know too much about it. A search should reveal more info.

In regards to you get what you pay for - I'm not sure that applies. You could spend a fortune getting a low mileage example but these cars do not like to sit. I know my tranny seems to leak less with more usage. In fact everything seems just happier with more usage.

Andy
 

Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
83 280 SL- 5 speed-The PIG
Joined
30,804 Posts
Typically forums, in general, are where folks come to find solutions to problems....or bitch about something.

I've see new members exclaim in post #1:

I've owned my car for 25 years! It was running great for 25 years! Until yesterday! Please help!

So....I bet if I went to the R129 forum...I might draw the same conclusion. :)
 

Premium Member
1986 560SL with M120 V12 Engine, 1988 560SL Stock
Joined
11,747 Posts
Comments you see on the 107 forums. "I wish MB would have made a power top like the 129's"

Comments you see on the 129 forums. "I wish I had a manual top like the 107's"
 

Registered
1974 450SL (always needs something!) new djet engine 1991; 1961 Besasie X-3 (being restored)
Joined
1,210 Posts
I had two major reliability problems with mine so far, both easily fixed:

1. Previous owner broke the post on the distributor center point so they hot glued the ignition wire on -> replaced distributor cap and wires ($180 or so for full tune up kit)

2. Ignition points stuck open stranding me 200ft from my house -> replaced with Pertronix ($100). Tow truck guy laughed because it was the shortest tow of his entire career :D

I have an issue with the starter motor not engaging with the engine (Bendix problem?) 25% of the time but I just let it completely stop moving and try again. When the engine does turn over it always starts on the first try.

A common reliability problem is failure to start when hot. I don't have that problem so I don't know too much about it. A search should reveal more info.

In regards to you get what you pay for - I'm not sure that applies. You could spend a fortune getting a low mileage example but these cars do not like to sit. I know my tranny seems to leak less with more usage. In fact everything seems just happier with more usage.

Andy
Probably the trans doesn't leak as much when the car is used more often is the gaskets getting wet with trans fluid and swelling. Use keeps the gaskets from drying out.
 

Registered
2000 sl320 black mb stepped
Joined
254 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
For 10k in the UK it will almost certainly have rust or hidden rust so take care.
That was my thinking. I might have to pass up on a 107 and concentrate on minting up my 129. Slowly getting to know its quirks and not a clue about 107s, only what i have gleaned from you guys.
Thanks for all your thoughts and contributions.
 

Registered
'72 450SL, 107.044-12-000422
Joined
363 Posts
If researching and repairing the car yourself is not your idea of fun then it's maybe not the car for you. Andy
Agreed.

Is it worth the effort? Only If you enjoy the effort. I like working on it as much as driving it. Over the years, I鈥檝e refreshed most everything and learned a lot in the process.

As a result, I have a reliable (hasn鈥檛 left me stranded, knock on wood) driver that I wouldn鈥檛 hesitate (and I do) take on long road trips.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Registered
1983 380SL, ivory/dk brown, 46k miles, dual roller timing chain. 1986 560SL, red/white, 190K mile.
Joined
7,818 Posts
That R129 is a lot more complicated car than the R107.
I consider the R107 more old school mechanical while the R129 more electronics and hydraulics. Still the R129 is not as complicated as new Mercedes.
 

Registered
1974 450SL, previously 1986 420SEL
Joined
204 Posts
I think that's right - you have to want to have the effort.

In my case I have wanted a W113 since I can remember, but that isn't really practical anymore. So I see an R107 is a close second as long as it is old. Mine is a '74 and not a great example, but it is reliable enough for me to serve as a daily driver. I would not send someone who does not know the car out on a long road trip. Mine has few automatic accessories and even fewer that I care about. I get plenty of compliments.

It seems every 107 flavor has its challenges to reliable operation. To me the thing with the early ones is the D-Jet fuel injection and related problems like hot start. I really feel like I have that sorted (with help from cushjbc and this forum) and it is no longer a worry.
 

Registered
1974 450SL (always needs something!) new djet engine 1991; 1961 Besasie X-3 (being restored)
Joined
1,210 Posts
The 107, especially the earlier ones, can be worked on by a shade tree/backyard mechanic. They are fairly simple. They do get somewhat more complicated as you get into the late 70s and 80s due to emissions control. I do have a 4(?) volume paper service manual that helps. As long as I don't have to take my 74 450 too far apart, all I need is some metric tools, a timing light, spark plug wrench, and, maybe, a dwell meter. I usually set the points with a piece of a manila envelope and the timing by ear. I set the timing so it barely doesn't ping on 91 octane and find myself wishing 100 octane was still available. Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. You WILL need a metric screwdriver.....
 

Registered
300 CE 24V Sportline
Joined
1,219 Posts
The 107 is a beautiful timeless classic, whereas my 129 is just a classic.
I understand that personal taste is an issue, so please don't flame me!

107s are rust buckets. 129s are better cars. You already have a 129. Keep your spare cash for the inevitable investments in the 129.

There, I've said it!

Oh, and looking back at your posts, you seem to have already arrived at that conclusion.

Good luck.

RayH
 

Registered
1985 280SL (Euro)
Joined
356 Posts
I understand that personal taste is an issue, so please don't flame me!

107s are rust buckets. 129s are better cars. You already have a 129. Keep your spare cash for the inevitable investments in the 129.

There, I've said it!

Oh, and looking back at your posts, you seem to have already arrived at that conclusion.

Good luck.

RayH
Back when the 107 was the epitome of style, just about every car on the road could have qualified as a rust bucket. The fact that there are so many 107 survivors is partly due to enthusiastic maintenance, partly the availability of dry environments here and there and partly due also to the fact that the car is so drop dead gorgeous that people (many of whom are members of this forum) will go to the ends of the earth to keep them on the road and looking good. I doubt if any of those statements will ever be made in reference to the 129 which is merely a nice run of the mill sportster.
 

Premium Member
1983 380 SL
Joined
3,977 Posts
I bought my '83 380 new in '83 and have kept it for 38 years. I will never give it up as long as I can still take a breath. That's how much I love my 107 and working on it is something I love doing... the more I work on it the more I love it and the better I get at it.

Of course knowing the car and having the tools needed to repair and maintain it is 75% of the battle. As long as you have the facility and the tools and the knowledge of how it's supposed to work, it's a pleasure... but if you don't know the car, don't know what to look for and lack the tools required to maintain and repair it... it can be your worse nightmare.

Take the time to know the car.
 
1 - 20 of 98 Posts
Top