Considering a 20 yr. old 5.0 CL advice please.

51315

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A160 (2009) CLK270 (2005) SL230 Pagoda (1964, long gone)
Investigating a couple of 2000 -1 and a couple of 2004-5 5.0CL 500's - both seemingly with good service history and miles between 75k - 120k. Would you have any preference or things to look out for. I don't think there was any change in facelifts. But rust, reliability etc...? Appreciate any help here.
 

grahamcol

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Lovely cars but with an unfortunate reputation for being vastly expensive to maintain and repair. My mate had one and it cost him a fortune. Eventually our local indie removed one of the undertrays to reveal advanced corrosion. He got rid soon afterwards.
 

mioba

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Rusty arches. An era of mercs with rubbish steel.

Reliability, a car can fail any anytime so go for one from someone who has been devoted in looking after them.

Cars of that genre, easy to buy, costly to maintain.
 
OP
5

51315

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Many thanks - I think it's best to look for something else - something a little less hungry, both for fuel and maintenance. Useful knowledge.
 

bembo449

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Rusty arches. An era of mercs with rubbish steel.

Reliability, a car can fail any anytime so go for one from someone who has been devoted in looking after them.

Cars of that genre, easy to buy, costly to maintain.
pretty sure the CL is Aluminium , no ?
 

bembo449

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if the
Many thanks - I think it's best to look for something else - something a little less hungry, both for fuel and maintenance. Useful knowledge.
word "fuel" is something you need to consider , a 5.0 V8 is most definitely not for you , they aren't that thirsty imo but certainly only do 40mpg when at idle :)
 

Naraic

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2005 CL500.
I will have mine 5 years in May.

It has cost me a huge £5 - 600 to maintain in that period. The plastic front wings are full of rust and the aluminium body shell similarly so. I'm not sure I'll get another 10 years out of it.

The fuel is expensive I might buy a new car at, say, £500 per month, to save on the some £150 per month I'm wasting on the beast.

Tongue now out of cheek.
 

Craiglxviii

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W215 CL500 Motorway Queen; W251 R320L Familybenz, S211 E320 Avg Designo Edition now sadly missed.
Body corrosion can be kept on top of by suitable application of Dinitrol and Waxoyl...

My now 21yo CL500 HAS cost me, to mainly get the ABC system rebuilt and fix one engine problem- but then I paid very low dollar for the car in the first place...

£2400 purchase
£9000 total repairs & maintenance since 2015, of which £5k was straight off the bat (and £2k was wasted using a poor choice of workshop to start with).

Not man-maths but real numbers here. Over a typical 12,000 mile year, year on year this car has cost me £0.02/mile more than my mk.4 Golf TDI, to give you an idea.

Just don’t buy one if you’re concerned about fuel efficiency. 25-28mpg on a run.
 

brandwooddixon

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Known issues are mainly due to lack of maintenance.
ABC is great, but maintenance cannot be ignored, many people baulk at the cost of an oil change which then leads to pump failures. Typically the accumulators need replacing at 10 years/75k miles as the internal gas membranes can fail. Its generally more reliable on a W215 than an R230.
Preventative maintenance is king with ABC. I had 1 pump, one line and all accumulators replaced on mine during ownership.
Windows can delaminate (double glazed), as mentioned front wings are plastic and the rest of the body is aluminium. Body panel area to check for possible corrosion is where the C-pillar meets the main body (galvanic action).
The boot opener can wear, causing minor alignment issues and the gas struts may need replacing (about £20).
Soft close may stop working, dealers will say that this needs a lock replacement, but usually due to a diaphragm split in the lock mechanism and can be fixed.
As with any car of this age electrics could be temperamental, just check that they all work.
Wiring breaks at the door hinge concertina common, but DIY fixable, this can lead to issues with front windows, wing mirrors and speakers.
Seat heater elements may break after all of this time, but again the heated pads are available and there's a DIY upgrade on the web to replace ventilated seat fans with PC style ones if the option is fitted but not working.
I found corrosion to be nowhere near as bad as the W210, underneath just remove covers and Waxoil. Tin, exhaust heatshields can be fixed back on with penny washers and instant gasket. The exhaust itself may never need replacing, just get new hanger brackets welded on!
I think that the engine is pretty bomb-proof, the only problem that I ever had in 120k miles was a crankshaft sensor.

All in all the car was £90k when new with a 5 litre V8, so don't expect it to be economical on fuel or with non-wear parts. Town economy is 14-16mpg, motorway is best (even topping 31!), expect 24-25 mpg mixed. I used to go by 400 miles per tank mixed, 250 maximum town, £90 per fill.
 

Ragrant

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CL500 W215 2002
Known issues are mainly due to lack of maintenance.
ABC is great, but maintenance cannot be ignored, many people baulk at the cost of an oil change which then leads to pump failures. Typically the accumulators need replacing at 10 years/75k miles as the internal gas membranes can fail. Its generally more reliable on a W215 than an R230.
Preventative maintenance is king with ABC. I had 1 pump, one line and all accumulators replaced on mine during ownership.
Windows can delaminate (double glazed), as mentioned front wings are plastic and the rest of the body is aluminium. Body panel area to check for possible corrosion is where the C-pillar meets the main body (galvanic action).
The boot opener can wear, causing minor alignment issues and the gas struts may need replacing (about £20).
Soft close may stop working, dealers will say that this needs a lock replacement, but usually due to a diaphragm split in the lock mechanism and can be fixed.
As with any car of this age electrics could be temperamental, just check that they all work.
Wiring breaks at the door hinge concertina common, but DIY fixable, this can lead to issues with front windows, wing mirrors and speakers.
Seat heater elements may break after all of this time, but again the heated pads are available and there's a DIY upgrade on the web to replace ventilated seat fans with PC style ones if the option is fitted but not working.
I found corrosion to be nowhere near as bad as the W210, underneath just remove covers and Waxoil. Tin, exhaust heatshields can be fixed back on with penny washers and instant gasket. The exhaust itself may never need replacing, just get new hanger brackets welded on!
I think that the engine is pretty bomb-proof, the only problem that I ever had in 120k miles was a crankshaft sensor.

All in all the car was £90k when new with a 5 litre V8, so don't expect it to be economical on fuel or with non-wear parts. Town economy is 14-16mpg, motorway is best (even topping 31!), expect 24-25 mpg mixed. I used to go by 400 miles per tank mixed, 250 maximum town, £90 per fill.
Hi - can you explain what you mean about the penny washers and instant gasket to fix the heat shields? I was going to take the bolts out and refit with bigger washers but the bolts were so rusty they just sheered and now I can't get the stubs out.

Thanks
 

LostKiwi

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A penny washer is a washer that has a large outer diameter with a small central hole.
Think old fashioned penny in size with an 8mm hole (hence the name).
Usually the heat shield gets a big hole rusted in it do falls down past the head of the bolt. Fitting a penny washer resolves it and using instant gasket will prevent it happening again through galvanic corrosion.

If the bolts are broken you'll probably need to drill them out and re tap them.
 

peterws1957

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For prospective owners of the 215 CL, it might be useful to have a look at the 215 CL55 subforum on MB World. There is a lengthy list on there of Technical Information Bulletins and Recalls. Whilst I seem to recall that you can't access the docs themselves, there is a brief description of what is covered for each one, which gives a flavour of what problems were experienced in the early years of production.
 

brandwooddixon

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CL500 Bluefficency 2012
LostKiwi is correct, from what I recall the heatshields are not actually held on by bolts, but a type of nut.
The nut is merely a shaped cap that includes a flange that acts as a washer to hold the heatshield in place. These sit over a threaded stub that is welded to the underbody and the nut/cap is pressed onto the stub and held in place with the help of some goo (underbody sealant?).
They can generally be removed with pliers by twisting back and forth and pulling.
When replacing just fill with a blob of instant gasket, put instant gasket on the side of the large washer that will touch the heatshield and push back over the stub.
 


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