Possible R129 500SL purchase..

MarkGolf

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Hi Guys,

I'm new around here, will do a welcome post but I'm in a bit of a hurry...

I have been offered a 1991 Mercedes 500SL for not very much money. It isn't my ideal colour combo but I can't say no for the cash. It has a few problems, nothing which I can't handle as I enjoy DIY no matter how much of a job it is but to a degree...

So, I;ll let the pictures show the car, it is a rare (hate or love it) colour combo, it has had 4 owners, full Mercedes stamped service history up to 85k miles, it currently has 107k miles and it drives superbly, no knocks, rattles, engine is almost silent and pulls very very well. There is a sqeak from the belt area but perhaps thats a worn belt or tensioner?

All metal mainbody panels are perfect and never been removed or painted, it is a very genuine used car and doesn't appear to be hiding anything.

The bad bits.

Needs a new windscreen (can claim on insurance for £50)
New PVC rear windows (£225 to have replaced)
Headliner in hard top is sagging (Can DIY)
Drivers bolster is worn (£150 to resolve)
1 key. ????
Rust bubble on front wing (Friends paintshop will solve for £120)
Needs 4 tyres (can get new pirellis through a friend for cheap)

The above is all good, I can deal with that. My 1 concern is that the car has not been used much and when I tried to put the roll bar up, it moved about 2 inches and froze, it wouldn't go up or down. After 10 secs, I could put it down, then I tired to lift it again and it got stuck in the same place.. Eventually, I got it to come up but then it wouldnt go back down..

Then I tried the roof, it came up but got stuck half way, at the point of the rear deck lid reaching 90 degrees... Waited a few seconds and then it went all the way, the red light on the button was flashing at 1 point. I then tried to put it down and on the way down, it froze in same position... After this, the roof worked perfectly but I did walk away feeling a bit concerned...

Does this sound major or is it a case of a reset or using it a few times due to lack of use??

The car is £3300 so I think it is cheap but I dont want to be stuck spending £000's on the roof.. Seems good seeing as the cheapest 500 I can find online is 7.5k..

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Stuck roof position

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Thanks for any advice!
 

robparker

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I like the colours!
Roof issues are almost always the ECU. My friend just got his repaired for his 129 for £200, it took the company two attempts (we had a known working unit to try so we knew it was the ECU). It too got stuck, stopped, worked, then windows didn't etc, now smooth as silk
 

JBell

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Looks lovely, like the colour combination

I would put Goodyear Efficient Grip tyres on it, they are considerably better than Pirelli and will be very quiet
 

LostKiwi

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It can also be failing microswitches.
To be honest at £3300 I can't see how you can go wrong. It would be worth that easily in parts if the worst came to the worst.
 

John Laidlaw

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I’m with Steve and Jon, I like the colour combination very much!
And +1 for the GY, much better ride for your car.
Is this a weekend car then?
 
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MarkGolf

MarkGolf

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Thanks chaps, I've agreed to go for it and I've begun my restoration parts list and booked her in for a new rear window set and bolster repair already.

Tyres, Orange front indicators (If I can find some original ones), sunvisor trim, original headunit, carpet clean, underbody clean and protection, drivebelt, oil change/full service (may book in somewhere for the sake of a stamp) all 4 calipers refinished, full body detail and protection.... I've got a lot to do :)

Good shout on the Goodyears, I actually just put the Efficient Grip performance tyres on my recently restored Porsche 964 and noticed a reduction in noise and improved ride.

This will join the weekend car fleet, always wanted an R129 since I was a kid and am very much looking forward to getting this in mint condition. I will keep this thread updated.

I'm new the the Mercedes world aside from an old w123 280e a few years back, so may asked some newbie questions. Where do you guys recommend buying parts from? I'm fairly used to using 3rd party sites which have parts diagrams and images of parts online which saves a trip to the dealer, are there any sites like this for Mercedes parts?

If anyone knows the name of the colour, I'd love to know.
 
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John Laidlaw

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It looks like Garnet/Almadine Red
 

JBell

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Orange front indicators (If I can find some original ones)

Nooooo, looks so much better with white indicators :cool:

Drivebelt, oil change/full service (may book in somewhere for the sake of a stamp) all 4 calipers refinished, full body detail and protection.... I've got a lot to do :)

Where are you based?? Will be able to find a good local Indy to do it
 

John Laidlaw

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Oh and you can check- there will be a plate on the car (somewhere LK will know), with codes on which can be checked
 

LostKiwi

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Also consider Uniroyal Rainsport 3s as a tyre option. I run them on my 129 and also my 210 and wish they did them in sizes for the 230 as well.

The only thing is they won't last all that long on the rear of a 500 but then at the price its not really a problem!

You will struggle to find orange indicators - they are like rocking horse droppings and if you can find them they will be very expensive.

Check the condition of the top strut mount - any cracking at all and replace them. They aren't expensive and are an easy change.
The 129 is a great car - I prefer it to the 230 to drive strangely.... it just feels more 'special'.....

Where are you getting the windows done (mine need replacing too)? I'd be interested to know what you think of the job they do.
 

JBell

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Also consider Uniroyal Rainsport 3s as a tyre option. I run them on my 129 and also my 210 and wish they did them in sizes for the 230 as well.

They are brilliant
 

John Laidlaw

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Also consider Uniroyal Rainsport 3s as a tyre option. I run them on my 129 and also my 210 and wish they did them in sizes for the 230 as well.

The only thing is they won't last all that long on the rear of a 500 but then at the price its not really a problem!

You will struggle to find orange indicators - they are like rocking horse droppings and if you can find them they will be very expensive.

Check the condition of the top strut mount - any cracking at all and replace them. They aren't expensive and are an easy change.
The 129 is a great car - I prefer it to the 230 to drive strangely.... it just feels more 'special'.....

Where are you getting the windows done (mine need replacing too)? I'd be interested to know what you think of the job they do.
Wow- indeed expensive https://www.bestpartstore.co.uk/7701447-magneti-marelli-indicator
Not sure if these are the correct ones but seem to be for a 129?
 

LostKiwi

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John Laidlaw

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To be honest thats a lot cheaper than any others I've seen - They usually list at over £100!
Some discounts at the moment too, which allegedly run out ‘soon’
 
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MarkGolf

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I'm based in Sutton, Surrey, I haven't tried to find any merc specialists but non come to mind..

That is still expensive for the indicators compared to how much the clears are but may need to be done, I have seen that you can get some with a small orange patch but I'm not decided on those.

I found a seller on ebay who has a workshop fixing rear windows in Croydon, £225. I think I typed in Mercedes SL PVC window and his listing popped up.
 
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MarkGolf

MarkGolf

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I haven't got the vin yet but I'm looking forward to using the VIN decoder! Will be interesting to see the options.

Thanks all
 


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