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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
My first thought is that the dealer is probably asking too much money for that car. Why else would it sit there for a year and a half? And you have to assume that at least a few serious buyers have looked at it and passed for one reason or other. Obviously in most cases, everything has its price, and that car looks very nice, but it still strikes me as likely that whatever the issues are, that no one was willing to pay the dealer's ask. And the dealer is obviously willing to wait, so consider that.

Second, you almost certainly will have to replace the tires despite tread depth because they will probably be too old to be safe. At the very least, you should check the date codes on the tires before setting off at highway speeds.

Third, the car is likely to need suspension work if it hasn't been done already. Sitting around is hard on shock absorbers, and with the mileage noted, the front end is likely getting long in the tooth. OEM parts for a front-end rebuild -- ball joints, tie rod ends, guide rod bushings, control arm bushings, etc. -- will run about $900 here in the USA, and putting it all together is probably a 10-ish hour job. Shocks will likely run you $75-100 per corner, depending on what you choose. Oh, and you'll likely also need new engine mounts, flex discs, possibly drive shaft bearing, and a steering stabilizer/damper, the latter of which is cheap and easy.

Fourth, given the above, and the comments made by other members, I'd be very loathe to drive that car a long distance until I had some confidence in its overall mechanical capability. Sure, the front-end stuff won't be a problem, and yes, you can likely easily get new tires on the car before driving, but I'd be worried about fuel and electrical gremlins popping up at inopportune moments.

Maybe you can post some more pictures?

Cheers and welcome to the forum!

Kim G
Boston, MA
Where I'm still a W126 wanna-be, and about to drive my C280 to Mexico City.

P.S. I did write this post as general advice on some of the tradeoffs between buying fully-sorted and a project car. You might find it helpful.
Thanks Kim, these are all good, salient points. It’s helpful to know ballpark costs for the items you mention too. I have mostly pics of the outside and the velour wear-points, which I specifically asked for. There are a couple of wood defects of course and one of the seat belt ‘butlers’ doesn’t work. To be expected. At the end of the day I’d like a good looking SEC which drives well and is reliable. Not looking for a mint cars as it’s so hard (and often heart rending) to keep it that way. I enjoy bringing things back to life with my own hands but of course I don’t want a money pit either. After a discussion about old age timing chains and guides he offered to split the cost of the work with me, so I think we are on the right foot with each other atm. The car is in for it’s inspection today so I can share the list of issues with you all later if you’re interested.
cheers
James
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Hi all, well the ppi has been done and the only major issues appear to be that one of the bottom mounts of the rear suspension 'rams' is worn and clunking, plus it is leaking. And the sway bar mount is worn out. This is a SLS rear car it turns out. There is a question mark over the spheres as 0.9 litre of oil had to be added to the system making me think there's a leak into a sphere(s).
Lots of little things including front lower outer ball joints starting to wear, slight leak at transmission pan gasket.
gearshift bushes need replacement,
drivers seat collapsing(!) etc but none of these appear to be 'today' jobs.
The oil pressure switch is leaking oil - is that something that can go very bad if not attended to immediately I wonder?
I'm looking at prices here in NZ for these parts and they are somewhat eye-watering, plus the rear shocks seem to be unavailable, can they be rebuilt?
 

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Cool, all those are kind of normal things. The strut thing is a bit of a problem as they're not made any more. Pretty sure spheres are easy peasy.

Does it drive well?
 

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The sls strut can leak for years and it’s not a big deal I wouldn’t worry until it becomes a severe leak which might be never

yes the oil pressure switch can quickly become a large leak so it would be a first thing to fix

changing the spheres is normal maintenance at this age as are the suspension bushings
 

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The driver seat springs collapse is very common in pre 1989 cars and can be fixed for $3 with a pool noodle floater as foam support
2689794
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
The sls strut can leak for years and it’s not a big deal I wouldn’t worry until it becomes a severe leak which might be never

yes the oil pressure switch can quickly become a large leak so it would be a first thing to fix

changing the spheres is normal maintenance at this age as are the suspension bushings
thats very good to know, thanks, I’ve been worried about this as they seem to be NLA. My local dirtbike shop revalves and repressurises gas shocks, so I was thinking they might be able to refurbish these struts too. Has that avenue ever been explored I wonder?
would there be a less expensive than MB parts route to get parts for the rear anti roll bar bushings and fixings?
 

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MB rubber is definitely the way to go usually.

Let us know about the rams, people are often looking for a repair solution for these.

So you're buying it obviously?
 
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
MB rubber is definitely the way to go usually.

Let us know about the rams, people are often looking for a repair solution for these.

So you're buying it obviously?
I’ll check out the local price if can find other sources. Stuff expensive here. Are there cheaper sources in the US or is dealer the only way?
Yes, I’m buying it! 😀
 

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Oh welcome to the club I hope she does you proud.
 
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Fcpeuro.com or autohausaz.com are good parts sources
If they won’t ship to you maybe a friend in the USA can take delivery and Reship to you
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Just driven it 450 km home. Weird thing with the HVAC. Can get it to blow cold on the min setting but anything over that and it’s red hot air coming out. Set back to min and it slowly changed to cold again.
many ideas?
2. Slightly difficult to start, ie not just immediate catch, slightly lumpy idle, when overtaking on full noise in kick down second at 4K rpm plus, clouds of blue smoke out the back. I tested this several times on the journey back 😀 but no improvement. 😢
 

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At least you made it. So fresh non ethanol fuel?
If you haven't already I would get some good quality fuel treatment in there. There's one by Wurth called Fuel cure that claims to be able to deal with any moisture and make it burn able. Not sure how but I've used it and it seems good.

Driving it more will really help it. Fresh oil of course.

The more highway trips I took in mine when I got it, the better it became.
 

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Blue smoke under heavy acceleration is usually piston rings. You can try one of the commercial snake oil flushes. Meanwhile, keep an eye on the oil level until you get a feel for how much it uses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Blue smoke under heavy acceleration is usually piston rings. You can try one of the commercial snake oil flushes. Meanwhile, keep an eye on the oil level until you get a feel for how much it uses.
It used 2 litres in approx 500km! I think the engine must be toast. 😢 I’m a bit gutted actually
 

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Oh no really?? It would be unusual, is it not just leaking out? Rings and bores on these are normally seemingly impervious.
Lack of running, sticky rings perhaps?
 

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Did the ppi not include a compression or leak Down test ? If not those need to be done now

yeah most likely piston rings .
 
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