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Thinking of "upgrading" my R231 SL to an R129. Am I sane?

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by gez, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. s5tuart

    s5tuart Senior Member

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    I think they’re aftermarket wheels on it which do look unusual
     
  2. 51315

    51315 Senior Member

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    What's the equivalent of this with two proper seats in the back - 1995-2000 ?
     
  3. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    No SL has proper seats in the back (unless you're a midget or have no legs).
    If you mean has seats instead of a shelf and year can have seats. On earlier ones I think it was standard for UK but possible option for later ones.
     
  4. s5tuart

    s5tuart Senior Member

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    My year 2K 129 had the rear “seats” that the backs could be folded forward and turn the whole area into a parcel shelf.
    Those seats were hardly the height of luxury being padded with quite hard foam.
    I certainly wouldn’t have driven with anyone sat in them, not that anyone ever could without the front seats being uncomfortably forward.
    I imagine they were just for aesthetics.
     
  5. Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Interesting regarding the rear seat commentary here... I remember Harry Metcalfe said he would (in a pinch) be able to collect adults from the airport in South France in his 129 SL 600. He is a tall guy so they must have a bit of room? :/
     
  6. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    I've had one adult in the back of mine - once.
    To get any leg room the front seats must be put forward at least 6". I'm 6ft. MrsLK is 5'11". That makes both of use extremely uncomfortable.
    When we took MrsLK's friend home (she's around 5'5") she sat across the back seat and complained about how uncomfortable it was. Kids no doubt would be fine. Or double leg amputees. Or anyone suffering from dwarfism. Adults? Not a chance is it a viable 4 seater.
    In my normal driving position the back of the drivers seat is around 1" away from the rear seat base. To complicate matters there is no space under the drivers seat for toes due to the motors and support frame for the drivers seat.
     
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  7. s5tuart

    s5tuart Senior Member

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    I second the above! When I went to buy the SL I took a very good friend with me. He was of very slight build but really wanted to come on the test drive. he tried every way to get in the rear but failed. When I say slight build think 5’4” and skinny.
    I don’t think that even kids would get in there unless the were under 3
     
  8. SL55 Mark

    SL55 Mark Senior Member

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    The 129s are highly thought of, and look increasingly nice to my eye. I used to think they looked boring, but there is a subtlety abouttheir shape that is quite attactive. I think one day they will be real classics, like all the older SLs. The only thing that would put me off would be the roof. The soft top looks a bit fragile, can't be put away wet etc, and the hard top is a major faff and requires forward planning/assistance. The 230 roof is so much more convenient in that respect.

    The only other drawback with the 129 is lack of parts. I am told that light lenses and some plastic panels are no longer available from MB, so if you get a crack in your indicator lens it could be a show stopper come MOT time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  9. 51315

    51315 Senior Member

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    Sorry I didn't quite make myself clear - I really meant the equivalent two or four door Merc. seating four, of that period (1995-2005 if you want to stretch it) that would give the same kind of satisfaction as the R129's, which clearly and deservedly are 'special' cars for their owners.
    I remember being able to sit in the back of my 1964 Pagoda-top if I sat lengthwise (it was a totally flat and low area) provided it wasn't for more than 30 minutes or so. I suspect there's no answer to this, just get an SL and hope you don't need to give an extra lift to anyone - or have two cars. BTW is there a great difference between the late '90's SL and that revision (2001-2005, not sure of exact dates)
     
  10. Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Fair enough.. It feels like harry was being a bit to kind to the rear "seats" then..
     
  11. Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Interesting... I wonder has an enterprising fellow started stockpiling the parts that intersect "no longer OEM available" and "MOT requirements" and holding them for a few years..
     
  12. SL55 Mark

    SL55 Mark Senior Member

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    Well your best hope is a breaker, but I suspect parts will be either very expensive or unobtainable.

    It would be interesting to hear a 129 owner's perspective on this.
     
  13. s5tuart

    s5tuart Senior Member

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    Any parts I needed for mine, not many to be fair, either came from the main dealer, (with surprising prices at both ends of the scale) or from USA.
    The vac pump unit came from the states and was a bargain compared to prices over here in UK
     
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  14. ajlsl600

    ajlsl600 Senior Member

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    Stick with the early car, before Dtf and Benz business model changing to the "reel them into the credit card reader" and fitting rubbish parts.
    Sometimes going back ain't Daft. And motoring pleasure is, for me anyway, dirived from, simple to fix and known maintenance costs. Not crap sensors at 600 a pair, rubbish chains, gears and, mostly crap service from dealers. Also lots of known wriggles on the early models and you may not even need a laptop to fix it, or a F update!!!!
    Go for it.
     
  15. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    There are a number of parts I've encountered that are unobtainable new. The most concerning being remote key fobs (however my car uses a metal blade to start and doesn't need the remote for anything other than unlocking). I think I have a workaround if it ever bothers me.
    Another part that unobtainable new is the vanity mirror flap. Also the PSE pump is no longer available new.
    The issue with NLA parts is the used price then skyrockets.
    I've not found any issues with sourcing light units (indicators, tail lights etc) . There do seem to be some third party manufacturers about for those.
    Parts can be eyewateringly expensive (over £1000 for a MAF!!!) or very reasonable (under £10 for a genuine metal encased fuel filter with proper threaded ends).
    As time goes on I suspect electronic modules (and there are more than a few even on a car this age) will become increasingly difficult to source. I equally suspect someone enterprising will develop modern equivalents possibly using Arduino to replace them. Roof control modules (for example) would be easy to replace with something Arduino based as would ignition control modules (also eye wateringly expensive and NLA). If the worst came to the worst for engine management there are generic mappable ECUs available such as MegaSquirt with M119 maps already written.
     
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  16. ajlsl600

    ajlsl600 Senior Member

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    Maybe some of those modules are repairable?
     
  17. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Perhaps. Not had to worry (yet).
     
  18. ajlsl600

    ajlsl600 Senior Member

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    Hope it stays that way. Sure there will be plenty of known wriggles for that model
     
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  19. SL55 Mark

    SL55 Mark Senior Member

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    Unavailability of parts will almost certainly become a problem for 230 owners in the future.
     

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