Buying an s500

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hi ho
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Buying an s500

Post by hi ho » Mon 27 Oct, 2014 11:46 am

Looking at buying a 1994 s500 - 198k km. Seller says it is in excellent condition, no logbooks available.
He says vac pump has been replaced, all the vac operated stuff works well and there is no rust

I have a few Mercs 1 x 116 and 2 x 126 all V8's. Have always been intrigued by the 140 but a little fearful...

Haven't seen the car as yet. Will be putting the car on a hoist to inspect it.
What should I be looking for?

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m48pro69
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Re: Buying an s500

Post by m48pro69 » Mon 27 Oct, 2014 12:01 pm

Its in the Bio degradable wiring loom years so check its been replaced or is pliable 1k plus fitting. Check air works if evaporator has failed common they do on series 1 dash out 7k plus to fix. Vacuum pump needs to work for soft close doors cheap fix is pull fuse to reset works for a few weeks . But it will cause pump to ultimately fail. I would be very careful with out history. And you must have it checked by someone who knows them it will be cheapest cost you will ever get with a W140. Personally I would not buy anything built before 96 series 2 . I have a 96 S280 its been good so far this year since buying. Hope this helps. :dance:
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AMG
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Re: Buying an s500

Post by AMG » Mon 27 Oct, 2014 12:23 pm

Have a read through a few threads first, there are a lot of things that can be expensive fixes / potential wallet emptying outcomes.
Nice engine though.
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
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m48pro69
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Re: Buying an s500

Post by m48pro69 » Mon 27 Oct, 2014 12:46 pm

I think I listed main concern with wiring loom and evaporator failure. If wiring loom shorts it takes out ignition control unit which is NLA . There are a few over seas independents refurbishing them but cannot say how successful. The vacuum system while needing careful checking is not the elephant in the room that evaporator replacement is. If you cannot do the work it could be more than you pay for car. So get it checked by experienced Mb Workshop that knows the model. I took 2 years of looking before deciding on my S280 its the most refined car you could ever imagine. But make sure its the right one and you said this one doesn't have service history. Alarms should be sounding it needs to be very carefully checked.
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Re: Buying an s500

Post by Giles » Mon 27 Oct, 2014 2:08 pm

AMG wrote:Have a read through a few threads first, there are a lot of things that can be expensive fixes / potential wallet emptying outcomes.
Nice engine though.
Could a 1993 S500 engine be a donor to another car? Or is one of those complex jobs that everything has be connected nightmares.

Rumour going around these woods I'm collecting a complete car with some rebuilt heads but has a radiator or thermo fan problem. It only gets hot at idle.

Regards,

Giles
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Greg in Oz
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Re: Buying an s500

Post by Greg in Oz » Mon 27 Oct, 2014 5:20 pm

m48pro69 wrote:I think I listed main concern with wiring loom and evaporator failure. If wiring loom shorts it takes out ignition control unit which is NLA ...
Isn't it a pity that such fantastic cars have become a risk for owners due to complex, no-longer-available, or expensive-to-repair issues. I have often thought how nice a W140 or R129 with that sweet M119 would be to own but am turned off by the potential for expensive and difficult problems. For me, MB ownership must allow for DIY maintenance and repairs, including being able to purchase and replace any faulty parts at something resembling a realistic price. To be told that parts are NLA or priced at thousands of dollars (for something I know should cost no more than hundreds) rules out a car as something I wish to own.
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124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
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Re: Buying an s500

Post by Giles » Mon 27 Oct, 2014 7:54 pm

Well some may say you couldn't give away a S500. Yes, you can. Picking up this roughy on Wednesday.

Purchase price $000.00. Old fuel no battery so I'll drag it home and see what happens.
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1975 280CE Signal Red Long term Project Ginger
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TheMadRacoon
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Re: Buying an s500

Post by TheMadRacoon » Mon 27 Oct, 2014 8:21 pm

Giles wrote:Well some may say you couldn't give away a S500. Yes, you can. Picking up this roughy on Wednesday.

Purchase price $000.00. Old fuel no battery so I'll drag it home and see what happens.
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Giles
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Emad,
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Ivanerrol
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Re: Buying an s500

Post by Ivanerrol » Mon 27 Oct, 2014 10:46 pm

Giles wrote:Well some may say you couldn't give away a S500. Yes, you can. Picking up this roughy on Wednesday.

Purchase price $000.00. Old fuel no battery so I'll drag it home and see what happens.
image.jpg
image.jpg
Giles

Sad isn't it. A car originally priced at around $230.000 reduced to zero dollars because of the complexities and spare parts costs.
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Greg in Oz
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Re: Buying an s500

Post by Greg in Oz » Mon 27 Oct, 2014 11:00 pm

Giles wrote:Well some may say you couldn't give away a S500. Yes, you can. Picking up this roughy on Wednesday.

Purchase price $000.00. Old fuel no battery so I'll drag it home and see what happens.
image.jpg
image.jpg
Giles
Amazing yet a bit sad. I can remember my wife and I being invited to "The Party of the Decade", a huge and expensive extravaganza hosted by Mercedes-Benz Australia to celebrate the release of the huge and expensive W140 S-Class in Australia. It was a party like no other with endless entertainment, food and drink held at the Convention and Exhibition Centre at Sydney's Darling Harbour. W140s were on display everywhere for party goers to admire. Here we are not 25 years later and unloved W140s are being given away for free and that Convention and Exhibition Centre at Darling Harbour has recently been demolished. Whether it's electronic equipment, home appliances, cars or even buildings, we really have become a society of want it now and throw it away later. Giles, I hope the loss of the previous owners becomes your gain.
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Giles
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Re: Buying an s500

Post by Giles » Mon 27 Oct, 2014 11:11 pm

The M119 engine has had some serious dollars spent on it, supposedly.
I'll try to get it running and then decided what to do.
It would nice to know what it could be transplanted into.
I'm also keen to find out when the engine harness has been changed when the engine work was done.

Giles
1981 500SLC (Colour Black) Keeper car Lola
1975 280CE Signal Red Long term Project Ginger
1999 W163 ML430 MB Search & Rescue Vehicle Mary-Lou
1987 W126 420SEL Melb based long hauler Erwin

http://www.kudoscc.com.au

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kimrh
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Re: Buying an s500

Post by kimrh » Tue 28 Oct, 2014 12:53 am

Replacing the engine harness wiring with new wires is no big deal if you have got half a brain. The wiring breaks down most where it is subject to heat across the top of the engine.
Running new wires to the harness plug towards the rear of the engine bay and forward from there to the throttle body etc is not that difficult and encasing in a new harness can be done very cheaply if you do it yourself.
Its the electronics and various sensors that MB installed in these models that is a pain in the arse if they play up.
Giles the engines are solid and also a bit confusing as different models M119-960 / M119-970 / M119-980
960 is a closed deck which can be bored out if you were chasing 6ltrs as AMG did. Later they went to open deck in about 1996 (more water jackets for better cooling -but can't be bored out)

I am heading down the path next year of a custom tuned Haltec ECU running my M119-980 and a stand alone TCU running the electronic 722.620 5 speed trans and avoiding the factory electronics altogether.
Haltec's new Elite ECU with FBW capability would be the perfect match for this engine if you wished to retain the electronic throttle or go aftermarket throttle - if cable is preferred in an engine conversion.

The 5litre engine itself is brilliant in construction
Tim over in Service European in NZ cut the intake manifold down and and bolted up throttle bodies off another another older Merc (he mentioned his track club category would only allow 4 otherwise he would have put more t/bodies on - "now 8 would be nice" and he got some serious power out of his engine with a custom tune using a Lynx ECU (M117 crank and rods -ported heads -cams -headers)
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Re: Buying an s500

Post by m48pro69 » Tue 28 Oct, 2014 5:16 am

Post no longer required. Best off luck Giles.
Last edited by m48pro69 on Thu 13 Nov, 2014 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Moopere
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Re: Buying an s500

Post by Moopere » Tue 28 Oct, 2014 2:05 pm

Greg in Oz wrote:
m48pro69 wrote:I think I listed main concern with wiring loom and evaporator failure. If wiring loom shorts it takes out ignition control unit which is NLA ...
Isn't it a pity that such fantastic cars have become a risk for owners due to complex, no-longer-available, or expensive-to-repair issues.
I often think about this, in relation to modern cars in general not only top shelf MB models. It seems to me that the days of lovingly keeping a modern day vehicle on the road essentially eternally are fast coming to an end - at least in stock condition.

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Re: Buying an s500

Post by Alsclk » Fri 01 May, 2015 8:40 am

It is truely sad because our 140L was the best car we have ever had!! Nearly 10 years of fantastic travel, cost less to repair than a new XR8 I had and my wife, all 5'2" of her loved to drive that massive car. We still may go down that path again one day should the right one surface.
Found one very nice '75 450 SE
previously 380 SE, 220E, S420L, CLK500

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Giles
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Re: Buying an s500

Post by Giles » Fri 01 May, 2015 9:54 am

Now after 6 months of ownership, some serious blood sweatsz and beers, my W140 is my daily by choice.

I still have a few minor niggles to sort out, but this car constantly amazes me with its drivability, comfort, handling, serene quietness and when you press the gas pedal you know you've awaken a 5 litre quad cam beast.

A word of warning, they're not for the faint hearted nor tight fisted owners. If you're savy with a spanner, have another car as a back up for emergencies and can spend some time tracking down parts you'll do well. You'd also do well by joining a MB Club to gain access to the EPC to look up part number and the WIS program to find out how to work on the car.

Giles
1981 500SLC (Colour Black) Keeper car Lola
1975 280CE Signal Red Long term Project Ginger
1999 W163 ML430 MB Search & Rescue Vehicle Mary-Lou
1987 W126 420SEL Melb based long hauler Erwin

http://www.kudoscc.com.au

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