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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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Sounds like you have done all the past due maintenance. Now drive and enjoy the car!
 

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97 SL500, 98 E320 Wagon, 2002 ML500 - former W108/W112/W114/W123/W124/W126/W140/W220
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Top Hydraulics is a world class business to deal with. Had personally done so many times, and the outcome is always excellent, both in terms of shipping and quality.
Klaus is, without exception, the MAN when it comes to top hydraulics. There is no equal.

Dan
 

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1989 560 Sel
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93 Posts
Just sold my 1998 500sl 120k miles, nice cosmetic shape but all the same kinda looming issues a 1998 has for what I would have said was a shockingly low, but by the end of the process, a happy I could get it $4100 by auctioning it off on ebay..



 

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1998 SL500 Sport
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244 Posts
Just sold my 1998 500sl 120k miles, nice cosmetic shape but all the same kinda looming issues a 1998 has for what I would have said was a shockingly low, but by the end of the process, a happy I could get it $4100 by auctioning it off on ebay..









What issues?
 

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Outstanding Contributor
450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500seAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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21,908 Posts
Discussion Starter #27
Just sold my 1998 500sl 120k miles, nice cosmetic shape but all the same kinda looming issues a 1998 has for what I would have said was a shockingly low, but by the end of the process, a happy I could get it $4100 by auctioning it off on ebay..









Ok. So it’s clear that 120k miles (and whatever issues the car might have), make the car far less valuable than a 65k mike car that’s just had all its maintenance done, top still works, and it’s just passed inspection, plus got new tires.

Maybe this fall would be a good time for me to recommend they get rid of it, or at least have the conversation with them about whether it’s been a good car for their desires, or if they’d prefer something different.

I feel that letting it hit the 100k mark will turn it into a “keep it forever” car because it will be pretty devalued on the market.

I guess if the top seals end up getting done next, there shouldn’t be too much maintenance beyond the visor area plastics that crack when you look at them the wrong way.

Has anyone considered trying to 3-d print replacements for these parts?




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450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500seAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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Discussion Starter #28

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1989 560 Sel
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93 Posts
"So it’s clear that 120k miles (and whatever issues the car might have), make the car far less than a 65k mike car that’s just had all its maintenance done, top still works, and it’s just passed inspection, plus got new tires."

In Very Good condition with 65k miles..
Trade-in
$4837
Private party range
$5810 to $9300

I guess $1700 is "far less valuable" but it ain't that far. I started asking $8k I ended up $4100 (low private party for 120k miles)
 

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1989 560 Sel
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93 Posts
1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
Condition: Used
Ended: May 28, 2019, 07:22:59 AM PDT
Price: US $6,910.00
“1998 Mercedes 500sl Excellent Low Milage (67,000) All Original Garage kept Arizona Car. No rust, No Accidents, Near perfect interior, Soft top Chocolate brown, Hard top in perfect condition. Every thing works as factory, Ice cold Air conditioning. This car looks and drives Beautiful. AMG wheels new tires in rear 70% front tires. Has updated Pioneer stereo with Car Play. (Stock Radio comes with Car). Car needs NOTHING get in and enjoy the summer weather.”

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1998-Mercedes-Benz-SL-Class-/173909677770?_trksid=p2047675.m43663.l10137&nordt=true&rt=nc&orig_cvip=true#viTabs_0
 

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97 SL500, 98 E320 Wagon, 2002 ML500 - former W108/W112/W114/W123/W124/W126/W140/W220
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This is the "curse" of the R129 chassis.

Yes, there are those models that command far more, but for the most part our cars have minimal value despite being a Mercedes and a convertible. Maybe it's the styling, maybe it's the numbers, who knows?

The R129 has never had the cachet that the earlier modes have, and probably never will. Prices have always been soft with the exception of the "special" models and ones that are garage queens with low mileage - and even those don't always do that well in the market.

I look at the other side - cost of ownership and enjoyment. A well maintained SL500 is a joy to drive and relatively easy to maintain. Sure, you're going to have to replace top cylinders if they haven't been done, but that's a one-time expense. Otherwise, the M119 engine and 722.6 transmission (96 and up) are known for reliability and being trouble-free.

Knock on burl my 1997, which I bought almost six years ago with 70 some thousand on the clock for $4k now has 134k on it and I've spent almost nothing to maintain it other than a set of top cylinders and regular maintenance. It's never failed me, either.

So rather than bemoan the market value of these cars, consider them a bargain and well worth what's paid.

Dan
 

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1989 560 Sel
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The "Lexus Effect" of having to compete with cheap asian luxo imports is quite obvious when comparing quality my older mercs. (1972 250c, 1974 350sl 4-spd manual, 1983 300sd, 1985 500sec, 1989 560sel) to the r129.The drop off in materials quality and engineering is quite obvious, I always said my merc. was built like a bank vault where as the r129 is built more like a piggy bank..
 

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97 SL500, 98 E320 Wagon, 2002 ML500 - former W108/W112/W114/W123/W124/W126/W140/W220
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The "Lexus Effect" of having to compete with cheap asian luxo imports is quite obvious when comparing quality my older mercs. (1972 250c, 1983 300sd, 1985 500sec, 1998 560sel) to the r129.The drop off in materials quality and engineering is quite obvious, I always said my merc. was built like a bank vault where as the r129 is built more like a piggy bank..
I don't think that's necessarily true...

The fit and finish on the R129s is excellent. The materials, however, can leave something to be desired. We've all dealt with the deteriorating plastics, but again, that may be a victim of the times and not necessarily a result of cost cutting.

And the requirements for a convertible are far more stringent than any other car, such as a sedan. Think about it - the interior has to be designed to withstand the ravages of the outdoors, whereas a sedan does not. A really good example of a failure in this area is with the SLK230 models. Rather than use injection molded colored plastics for the interior, a base piece was made and painted to match the desired interior color. Within a few years of exposure to UV and temperatures those pieces failed, and failed miserably. There are few SLK230s out there, short of ones that spent most of their time in a garage, that have decent interior plastics.

I'm not sure that Mercedes "cheaped out" on the R129. Compared to other cars of the era, such as the W140 or W124, they seem to have been built as well based on my experience - and I've owned multiples of all of these models.

Dan
 

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1989 560 Sel
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93 Posts
I don't think that's necessarily true...

The fit and finish on the R129s is excellent. The materials, however, can leave something to be desired. We've all dealt with the deteriorating plastics, but again, that may be a victim of the times and not necessarily a result of cost cutting.

And the requirements for a convertible are far more stringent than any other car, such as a sedan. Think about it - the interior has to be designed to withstand the ravages of the outdoors, whereas a sedan does not. A really good example of a failure in this area is with the SLK230 models. Rather than use injection molded colored plastics for the interior, a base piece was made and painted to match the desired interior color. Within a few years of exposure to UV and temperatures those pieces failed, and failed miserably. There are few SLK230s out there, short of ones that spent most of their time in a garage, that have decent interior plastics.

I'm not sure that Mercedes "cheaped out" on the R129. Compared to other cars of the era, such as the W140 or W124, they seem to have been built as well based on my experience - and I've owned multiples of all of these models.

Dan
My to "after the fall" cars R129 and my s430 (w220) both were disappointments, the r129 materials and having part literally come off in my hands. Whereas I don't recall ever being left on the side of the road with a major "system failure" my s430 left me f'kd for $1k+ repair each time (3x maybe 4) the "airmatic" suspension got a flat tire.

The Rise and Fall... and Rise of Mercedes-Benz...
https://www.autoevolution.com/news/the-rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-mercedes-benz-22445.html
 

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97 SL500, 98 E320 Wagon, 2002 ML500 - former W108/W112/W114/W123/W124/W126/W140/W220
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My to "after the fall" cars R129 and my s430 (w220) both were disappointments, the r129 materials and having part literally come off in my hands. Whereas I don't recall ever being left on the side of the road with a major "system failure" my s430 left me f'kd for $1k+ repair each time (3x maybe 4) the "airmatic" suspension got a flat tire.

The Rise and Fall... and Rise of Mercedes-Benz...
https://www.autoevolution.com/news/the-rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-mercedes-benz-22445.html
Heh.

You've nailed it with the W220. I owned a really pristine 2003 S430 for about three months. The first time I connected my SDS to it and saw the 150+ different menus for it I panicked. I decided at that point to rid myself of the car and never buy anything that new. However, the W220 chassis cars were trash, not to mention the styling was so "meh". That's another reason why I got rid of mine.

That being said, the W210 chassis cars are quite robust - I currently have two of them in the stable, and both have been some of the most trouble free and reliable cars I've ever owned. They are true "gas and go" cars, which is why I bought them.

I recently bought a 2002 ML500 as a backup/spare/towing vehicle, and knowing what I was getting into I did it willingly. Granted I only paid $1400 for the vehicle, and it had issues I knew I could resolve for minimal cost.

But for my daily drivers I'm not going past the W210.

Dan
 

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1989 560 Sel
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But for my daily drivers I'm not going past the W210.

Dan[

Not familiar with the w220 never liked front end look. And being 6'9" intersection of good cars and ones I can fit in are pretty limited and 20/30 years old if it's a merc.

At least from 70's through the 90's merc. built the cabin then built the car around it. So my 350sl was a little snug because of limited rake on the seats but still fit and was my favorite, a German convertible 6800/rpm V8 w/4-speed manual ;-)

Compared with the r129 (a hand me down never would have bought one for my self) with the hard top on? As long as I pack my head in the trunk, top down? Think Tommy Boy "Big guy in a little coat".
 

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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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My '96, I've really had to go though it in 5 years of ownership. One thing I did learn; that was the first year of the 722.6 transmission and at about 150K I needed a new one. They made 3 major revisions to it. By 2000, they were near bulletproof. Mine was still running but making noises when I put it in reverse. I've replaced the cats (a few weeks ago), top hydraulics, coil packs, power steering pump , shocks (twice), seat covers just to mention a few things.

That being said I still enjoy the car - have put 80K miles on it in 5 years and will keep driving it.

I don't believe they will permanently be in the value cellar but all of the junky ones have to get off the road, first.
Just enjoy the car.

Mine's going on a 2,000 mile jaunt up the OR and WA coast in a couple of weeks.
 

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1984 500SL (two), 2001 E320 wagon (two), 2006 S500 only one!
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Can you supply info on 'Klaus'? I spend winters in Bradenton and summers in Canada. Have two 107 euros and two 210 wagons (one for each country) and a 220 for migrations! Thanks.
 

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1998 SL500 Sport
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My '96, I've really had to go though it in 5 years of ownership. One thing I did learn; that was the first year of the 722.6 transmission and at about 150K I needed a new one. They made 3 major revisions to it. By 2000, they were near bulletproof. Mine was still running but making noises when I put it in reverse. I've replaced the cats (a few weeks ago), top hydraulics, coil packs, power steering pump , shocks (twice), seat covers just to mention a few things.

That being said I still enjoy the car - have put 80K miles on it in 5 years and will keep driving it.

I don't believe they will permanently be in the value cellar but all of the junky ones have to get off the road, first.
Just enjoy the car.

Mine's going on a 2,000 mile jaunt up the OR and WA coast in a couple of weeks.


I agree with this. They are in the weird spot where they are too old to have any real value but too young to be real collector cars. Once all the crappy ones die off or become our parts cars, that is when values will start to rise. I give it about 10 years. In 10 years, well documented and maintained models will be sought after. As we know, mileage is just a number of documentation supports the number.


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1999 SL500; 1984 300D Turbo Diesel
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So far I've had my 98 for 4 years, it has 106k on the clock and only replaced 5 cyls as they started to leak. Been lucky they were all the easy ones.
I've a '99 and one of the lift cylinders just failed last week end; I've got the puddle in front of the rear wheel. Doing the research re: removal so I can send it in to Top Hydraulics, and really hoping to not have to send them in all at once. Was thinking the leaking one and its counterpart on opposite side, at least. How much time did you get in between cylinders failing when replacing them one by one? I'm tempted to do the same, especially as I use the hard-top 90% of the time anyhow.
 
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