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M113 SL500
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532 Posts
Why don't you just sell it? When exactly did you buy your M119 R129 after your terrible experience with the ML since buying it new around 20 years ago? You keep touting your years of experience being the smart guy for all these big name companies but did you do your research when you bought the car? M119 and R129 specific problems have never been a secret. I wish you had known beforehand as well. You can stop trying to justify your regret.

I don't know if it's a generational thing, but what's with you always trying to recite your resume? It didn't help you make better choices for yourself as far as your R129 goes and it doesn't make fixing your cars any easier does it? It just makes you sound pretentious.
 

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Premium Member
2002 Black SL500, 1998 Red sport SL500, 2005 Silver (A209) CLK500
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1,066 Posts
I've a 98 and 2002 SL500....2002 we purchased new. 98, second owner we are...6 years now.
My opinion...and not worth much....but....same owner I think...less headaches...same driver, not racing from red light to red light, maintenance done as recommended, fixing items immediately, even minor repairs such as a torn seat,
Not abusing or showing off racing down the road...the car gets....
accustomed to the same driver.
New driver gets in and starts messing with the seat switches and something goes wrong, etc. Or tries using the climate control and unfamiliar with it, host of scenarios.
Then the top, uses too much pressure on the red opening switch and breaks it.
Multiple owners...car gets...abused.
Not saying entirely that one owner has no problems...just...perhaps....less issues.
 
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Let me see,
Are you guys saying that for a glass of milk,
you bought a cow?
Regards,
aam.
aam, I am not saying that at all. Can't speak for anyone else but for me I have to say that if I need to rely on an old Mercedes to get me that glass of milk I will quit drinking it. If you love your old Mercedes and are willing to put up with everything it takes to keep it on the road god bless you who am I to argue. I replaced my Mercedes with a 57 year old Pontiac convertible. It has a hydraulic top that still has the original hydraulics. I do have to manually (HORRORS) release the front top latches but once released the top retracts without incident. If I need to work on something behind the dash I can remove the dash top in 10 minutes. The original wiring is still intact and not disintegrating. When I take parts off I do not have to spend hours with JB weld gluing them back together because they are made of a marvelous invention called metal. I could go on but I believe that I have explained my position.

So again I say if you are willing to put up with all the B.S. connected with driving an old Mercedes great! I for one am not.
 

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Greek God of the R129
SL500-500SEL-190E
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8,458 Posts
For the last 40 years, I run on Mercedes.
On the SL the plastics are a pain. Modules, switches, and some other parts, if you open them up, are repairable.
I run them daily, the yearly cost is about $300 for parts, plus my labor.
I understand your frustration,
age, eyes, ears, arthritis, lifting a wheel is not like it used to be...
Mercedes, is NOT a car that I would give to my grandchildren.
On the other hand,
I am particular.
If I hear a tick. I don't wait for tack.
Regards,
aam.
 

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Premium Member
2002 Black SL500, 1998 Red sport SL500, 2005 Silver (A209) CLK500
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1,066 Posts
I have a winter beater.....'08 chyrsler sebring convertible.
Some have these cars are have problems and others don't.
This soft top operated flawlessly....and quietly. You hardly hear the front latches unlock. Retracts very quietly.
Power everything; locks, doors windows, seats, cup holders are both hot or cold. For a seemingly cheap car...a chrysler...not a single issue in 11 years.
 
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With regards to granddaughter/ Mercedes second biggest mistake I ever made, but she loves the car so I will get it up and running. It served me relatively trouble free for about 12 years after I put it together out of a basket but as I am learning when Mercedes goes wrong it really goes wrong. If it gets her through her last year of high school and her 4 years of college I may yet have the pleasure of turning it into a charcoal briquet.
As for me If I ever replace the Pontiac it will be with a similar piece of US steel.
 

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1995 Mercedes S420, 1995 SL320, 2000 Land Rover Discovery II, 1985 Lotus Turbo Esprit
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1,932 Posts
These are collector cars now. All collector cars have forums. Like I said earlier, either you appreciate German over-engineering as something worth preserving, or not. I mean, some people wear Casio watches and some people have collections of intricate and expensive mechanical timepieces. It's just a matter of what you're into. But a Casio will tell time just as well as a Rolex.

I drive my W140 every single day and it's always been a great experience for me, even though it's in the shop about every four months and there are perpetually at least two things I want fixed at any given time. I restored my R129 from nearly non-drivable condition last year and it's been a fantastic weekend car ever since. The previous owner was about to part it out because he ran out of either time or patience and I took it off his hands. His loss, my gain. These cars aren't for everyone, I get that.

But if you REALLY want to see unreliable, try my Lotus... it gets about a month in the shop for every week of driving I put on it.

Honestly if we're going on pure reliability, my old Land Rover beats them all. Go figure.
 

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1999 ML320, 1998 SL500
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989 Posts
Land Rovers- When I worked in The Netherlands in 1963 the observatory had an old Land Rover, (right hand drive, that spaced roof cover), that had been bought back from South Africa. It had survived the Out-Back and then survived the Dutch brick-paved roads. I used it randomly for a year and thought it was the toughest car I had ever seen.

Some 30+ years later my youngest daughter bought a Land Rover. She had to dump it within a year.

I guess it depends on the vintage.
 

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Collector cars? I was going to sell mine and found out that it is worth more at pick a part for scrap than on the retail market. That is why I gave it to my granddaughter for a throw away first car. The tag line built like no other car in the world, from my vantage point it should be meant as a disclaimer sort of like poison keep out of reach of children, or do not use without protective equipment, and any other warning you have seen on different products.

As for German overengineering, I am a German as they come and grew up around a bunch of crazy krauts. I know how their mind works. They are more than capable of simplifying their automobiles and building in more reliability than anyone else, they choose not to otherwise how could they get the average person to pay the repair prices they charge.

I started working in my dads shop full time in 1962 and had been there part time for at least 5 years at that point. I worked automobiles until '89 when I got tired of it and went into structural steel. During those years British automobile engineering was legendary for it's unreliability. Best bumper sticker I ever saw was, "The parts falling off of this car are of the finest British craftsmanship". The joke about Jaguar was you needed two, one to drive while the other was in the shop.

If you want tough get a Toyota. My neighbor is a contractor and has an 04 Takoma. If you have ever been around a contractor you know how they use their trucks. At 480,000 miles he replaced the trans, that was about three years ago and it is still running on the original engine. It was the Japanese reliability that forced the American manufacturers to step up and build reliable cars.

They did meet the challenge. The L83 that now resides under the hood of my Pontiac came out of a 2015 Silverado with 140,000 miles on it. I had to take the heads off to delete the variable displacement and replace the cam and lifters. There are still machine marks in the cylinder walls and no measurable wear with a dial indicator. I am anticipating the Pontiac to see me out with a minimum of down time.
 

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Greek God of the R129
SL500-500SEL-190E
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8,458 Posts
I also own an old Chevrolet.
Remember like,
the one you can repair, with a pliers, and a screwdriver?
And,
Of course a Camry.
Regards,
aam.
 

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Moderator
1995 Mercedes S420, 1995 SL320, 2000 Land Rover Discovery II, 1985 Lotus Turbo Esprit
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1,932 Posts
Collector cars? I was going to sell mine and found out that it is worth more at pick a part for scrap than on the retail market. That is why I gave it to my granddaughter for a throw away first car. The tag line built like no other car in the world, from my vantage point it should be meant as a disclaimer sort of like poison keep out of reach of children, or do not use without protective equipment, and any other warning you have seen on different products.
Yes, they are indeed collector cars. As with most cars, examples that have sat unmaintained for years are unlikely to be worth much, but yes, any quick examination of values over the years will demonstrate that the collector market is indeed interested in the model, and values are on the rise.


As for the rest of your comment, I get it, you're not really into Mercedes and think they're overly complex and a waste of money. You prefer Toyota and Pontiac. That's fine. As I said earlier, some people prefer to wear a Casio than a Rolex. Nothing wrong with that.

But this is a Mercedes enthusiast forum, and you cannot expect people to respond well to someone denigrating the cars they enjoy and pour time and money into as a hobby. It's just impolite and invites an argument.

As a moderator, please regard this as a reminder to keep your comments constructive and in the spirit of the forum.
 

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You are absolutely correct. I came here for information on my old 129 that has been driving me crazy for going on 5 months now mostly electrical, and I believe that I have gathered enough to finally get to the bottom of the issues. I allowed my frustration with the whole situation to get me into areas that were really none of my business. For that I apologize. However I do believe that we may have to agree to disagree on which is the Casio and which is the Rolex.
 

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Departed 1998 SL500 (and the Pano is in Bogota)
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Should try the OT form, you can say just about anything there.
Can even insult the Mod :devilish:
 

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1994 Mercedes Benz SL500
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73 Posts
Funny that I happened across this post. I have been thinking about selling or trading my SL for a C4 or C5 corvette.
 

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1999 ML320, 1998 SL500
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989 Posts
Would love a C5.

What are your comparisons between the two cars. I love my SL but I want something with a little more grunt.
There is absolutely no comparison between the two cars. The C5 was my 4th* Corvette and it was superb. I never took it over 150 mph but could have easily gone faster because the reserve power indicator said I could. I was on a decomposing part of HY 8 (Driving east from SD to El Centro on a business trip) and it was like driving at that speed on loose gravel and the car began to skate a bit so I decided that 150 was enough. It had superb handling and stability.

I used to be invited to an annual Corvette session when I was still living in California and was able to drive one on a water slick surface. I did hit one pylon but did stop before hitting anything solid. Then a professional driver took me around the course and I was sort of like being in a NASCAR race. He did things I couldn't have done. At one of the events I met Larry Shinoda of Williams and Shinoda. They were an independent company at one time. If you don't recognize the name, just look him up.

Some time later I was in the middle of one serious accident in California before I bought the SL from my son-in-law. I was driving peacefully on the 3rd lane of a 4 lane highway. (I am counting from the center/left lane). I saw a sequence of brake lights in lane one up ahead and thought I was completely safe, but I was wrong. Cars were spinning all around and one hit my front and moved me over one lane. The car stabilized itself in the new lane and I was feeling fine but then I was hit from behind and knocked up an off ramp where I went half way through a Toyota pickup. (no one in the passenger seat of the Toyota). Of all the cars in this event the Vette was the only car that didn't have to be towed. I took it to a dealer and they completely stripped it and only replaced one structural member, a cross frame up front. It had only a 1/2" dent in it and I said to ignore it but they replaced it anyhow. The Vette did not need a front-end wheel alignment after that event. I have pictures of the car at various stages of rebuild and it's clearly superbly built. The final step was paint. DuPont sent a rep down to San Diego from LA to supervise (or maybe do, not sure) the final paint job. The car was just like new. If anyone wants to see what a Vette looks like when naked just sent an email address and I will send pictures.

Now, my son-in-law had this 1998 SL500 and I was impressed with the brand so I sold the Vette and bought the SL and now you know why I am on this forum. I really appreciate the forum for all the help it has given me and will stay here to keep the SL and ML running. Now long retired at 88 and living on a retirement budget I need to do as much maintenance on the two cars as I am able and the forum has saved me a lot of money. Finally, and I don't mean this in a cruel way, I have spent more money and effort on the 1999 ML320 (bought new) and the 1998 SL500 than I did in owning 12 years of Corvettes. Actually, thinking back and looking at my car folders, I didn't pay for any repairs on any of the Corvettes, just oil, lube, etc.

*I didn't actually buy 4 Corvettes. The insurance company bought one for me after one was lost in a house fire so I really paid for only 3.
 
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