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'91 560SEC, '91 300SE (sold), '98 Yota, '02 S-10 Hauler
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You're welcome. :)

Oh boy, problem areas. Where to being?! :LOL:

If the a.c. doesn't blow cold it's not "just a Freon refill." It never ever is. It's going to be a $2500 ac rebuild. Every time. :sneaky:

Front end stuff is almost always neglected so expect to need control arms, ball joints, etc. Buying a 126? Time to rebuild the entire front end!

Rust underneath the rear window is a big one. Pull the rear hat tray and also get in the trunk and inspect by hand. You typically cannot see it with the naked eye, even when it's catastrophic. You need to get in there and feel by hand. Plenty of threads here on this topic. Both of my 126's are rust free, but both were always garaged (one in CA and one here in NC) and never driven in snow.

One huge piece of maintenance that is always avoided is the timing chain, plus guides and tensioner. Again, lots of threads on this. If that has been tackled in the last ten years or 50k miles and genuine Benz parts were used that's a huge plus. If not you WILL need to do it. And expect to pay around 2 grand, depending upon where you are located. Absolutely NO non MB parts for this job! Non MB chains can snap and guides shatter or split. Save and buy Febi? Enjoy your engine when it grenades. Genuine MB parts for this and drive worry free.

The rear SLS suspension tends to get neglected and a lot of shops don't have a clue hot to fix it or even diagnose it. Lots of threads here on this.

$6500 is not much of a budget these days. Three years ago you'd be fine. You will no doubt need to spend thousands to sort out whatever example you find (unless you find one like mine that was just given a huge sorting). I don't want to discourage you, but I want you to be realistic and understand that you need to be patient and careful. Don't rush! It can take time finding a good car.

Being on the east coast makes it hard. Most of the good ones are out west.
An excellent rundown on critical issues with 126 cars. Let's not forget the old rubber fuel lines both under the hood and out back at the pumps. Several have lost their cars due to old rubber rupturing and the resulting Car-B-Ques weren't pretty. One of the biggest things about these 30-40 year old cars is/are they ARE old and if not properly maintained over the years they will eventually bite the current owners. I'll agree 100% that when properly sorted these TOP of the line road machines are a dream to drive and ride in. What other car can you do a 400-500 mile road trip and not be exhausted on arrival at your destination.

My present 560SEC came with a stack of repair/maintenance tickets but right off the bat I had to change the old rubber fuel lines, flex discs on the drive shaft, and several parts on the front end. I guess all told I've spent in 6 years almost what I paid to buy the car and it's very well sorted now. Not meaning to scare but just a heads up to find the best mechanical shape car you can afford and take care of any issues as they come up
 
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'91 560SEC, '91 300SE (sold), '98 Yota, '02 S-10 Hauler
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9,394 Posts

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'91 560SEC, '91 300SE (sold), '98 Yota, '02 S-10 Hauler
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9,394 Posts

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1999 C280 (sport), also 2001 SLK230
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542 Posts
@14e350 Hey there, welcome to the forum. Most of your question has been answered, particularly the weak points of these cars specifically. @1783pictures covered the Top 5 that Pierre Hedary's channel covered not too long ago.

Here's a recent thread where I asked "why replace so many parts on a low-mileage W126," which was prompted when I found a 420SEL with 80-something K miles on it that had a new transmission, something I thought shouldn't be required at such low mileage. I got a lot of very good responses from folks.

Here's a post I wrote in someone else's thread about likely repair items on a W126. You might find it helpful.

Keep in mind that the 560SEL is the biggest gas guzzler of a not particularly efficient bunch. Personally, I'm looking for a 300SE for that very reason. Plus I love the sound of inline sixes anyway.

One thing you didn't mention is your level of mechanical skill. If you're handy with a wrench, a lot of this becomes much more manageable. But if you're dependent on a mechanic to change spark plugs, you really need to find the best-sorted car that you can. Indeed, if this describes you, you'd honestly probably be better of with a younger car. Even the best-cared for 30+year old car is going to have a lot of issues, as noted above.

Anyway, best of luck! I hope you find something you like. There are a few 560SELs on the west coast. You know you can hire folks to check these cars out for you, and it might be worth your while to spend on a one-way airline ticket to get a car that's lived in a dry climate all its life.

Cheers,

Kim G
Roma Sur, Mexico City
Where I think I've seen maybe 3 or 4 W126s over the years.
 

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That goes without saying, IF I had to rely on having a dealer or a shop to do all the work on my car(s) I wouldn't be able to afford them and certainly don't want any of these new ones that have computer and / or gizmo controlled everything. I even had a MB dealer service manager tell me once that "you couldn't afford what I'd charge you" for swapping lower ball joints, he obviously didn't hear that I had the knuckles in my truck outside, a 20 minute job at best
 
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So any cars out there I’m in ny currently . Pm me or email me . I’m still actively searching and would like to get one before Xmas
You'll just have to keep looking using the same sources that we have available. I don't know of any sites that sellers actively seek out buyers of anything, cars included. Folks list what they have and wait for you to find them. When I was looking for a coupe I was looking coast to coast with the reality of just a State or two away to drive one home, turns out mine was a mere 50 miles away
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Its an 1987 420sel. I just fell in love with this color combination and the condition which is immaculate . I can’t describe how much I love this car right now . Needs some suspension work but that’s ok. I didn’t exepect a 35 year old car to be in such amazing condition . The 4 hour drive home really had me smiling the entire time !!!!
Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Car seat cover Steering part

Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Car Vehicle

Automotive parking light Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle

Automotive parking light Wheel Automotive side marker light Tire Car
 

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'91 560SEC, '91 300SE (sold), '98 Yota, '02 S-10 Hauler
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Anyone have palomino foot rests for sale ?
Those are but one of the many coveted items on these cars. Good looking ride right there, Congrats. In the morning before you put a lot of miles on it DO check your rubber fuel lines under the hood and also out back at the pumps. Just one of several overlooked items that especially due to age needs to be taken care of. Did it come with any service records ? Those would tell you a LOT of what has or needs to be done. Check the flex discs on the drive shaft also
 
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560SEL 560SEC E320 Cab. MB Metris Van ML 320 ML320CDI/gone 300TD 300TE 300SDL, 300D, Unimog 406
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Thank you sir it will be heading to Mercedes’ dealership for a complete check up . Let’s see how bad the list is !!
Someone should know a competent independent. Every dealership hates a 35 year old car and they will make you pay for it.
 

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Someone should know a competent independent. Every dealership hates a 35 year old car and they will make you pay for it.
Very nice. I would say the same thing as wilson. Even if your dealer is trustworthy on this, they just do not have the mechanics that understand these cars. Most are kids who need a computer diagnosis to sort it out. And really, really do not avoid checking the fuel lines as soon as possible.
 
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I don't know how thorough a dealership will be, especially as wilson an Stewpot said about them. My own experience with one, the service manager told me "you can't afford what I'd charge you" when I asked about swapping lower ball joints, and that was after I told him I had the knuckles outside. I don't know if he was even listening to that last part or just "assumed" that this long haired old man with grease under his fingernails couldn't afford it

I was giving YOU a heads up on what to look for and now to possibly point out to them some common issues with your new ride. These ARE old cars and the "new guys" aren't familiar with them because they are older and not nearly as many around anymore
 
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