1990 560 sel

Approx 75k miles, good shape. How reliable is this model year and what major maintenance items (cost?) can I expect? I can get it for $3,000 but I'm
concerned one or 2 repairs may well cost that much.
Thanks
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Milage means nothing. A car with 2-3X those miles but WELL maintained is far far better than a low milage one that has not been maintained properly.
It's a gas sucking pig, but you probably already knew that. Cosmetics are what cosmetics are. Irrelevant IMO.
If it were me I'd have somebody WHO KNOWS THIS TYPE OF CAR (not just "some mercedes, but a 126 expert) look at the car and they'll tell you very quickly what's up and what you can expect. For example clousing of the rear windshield at the bottom corners looks minor but can get real expensive and may be big trouble.
Assuming the car passes inspection, I'd change every freaking bit of rubber you can find. Belts, hoses, suspension bushings. This alone will cost you more than $3k BUT it'll run and ride like a new car - for a long time.
Here's some other notes on this chassis:
    http://articles.mbz.org/buying/checklists /
It isn't always true that they cost a fortune to run. OE/OEM parts via web or phone can be cheap and a goof independant mechanic that regularly works on these cars is going to be your best bet. Simple stuff (filters, plugs, hoses, brakes) you can VERY easily do yourself; some people spend hundreds of dollars on this. Silly.
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This is a fine cruiser but also a complicated car that was the "top of the line" in its time. It has a hydraulic rear suspension that while not terribly expensive to fix (if one knows something about it) is an added cost over say a 420SEL which has conventional steel springs. Remember, this is a limousine - the model that governments bought for the head of state - so it wasn't designed to be an economy car. Its astoundingly low price is telling about its running cost. If this is to be a daily driver in a tough environment I'd suggest you think about its running cost but if this is a car that will be driven at your option and kept in a garage then its a steal at $3K, IMHO. Who cares about 12 - 15 mpg if its only driven a few thousand miles per year?
Such cars, BMW V-12s first come to mind, depreciate horribly due to their high running, repair & maintenance costs. Great deals for a Sunday driver but otherwise not something to take on.
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Over here in the UK the 560SEL was popular with company directors and business men.
Currently the local consulates are mainly driving S55's these days. They change them every year or so via the local main dealer so there is always a supply of good used ones (mainly bought by wedding car companies!)
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Yeah, I'd agree with that but you can't compare the 12 cyl bmw's and mercedes with a 560. Teh 12 cyls are unmitigatd disasters that have LOTS of propriety to tne gine (read expensive) parts. Just imagein what a valve job would cost you.
The rear suspension is indeed hydraulic, but it's an easy job for almsot anybody to repair in a weekend unlike earlier MB hydraulic suspensions that were a bit of an expensive nightmare. I think it's like $300 for the parts to overhaul one compared to $2000 ea for five valves for the older ones.
As a daily driver this thing would bankrupt you in gas prices but if that doesn't scare you away or it's an occasional car I'd say go for it. It's one of the best cars made in the 20th century and farily timeless.
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Martik wrote:

Can you say "MONEY PIT"?
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No. We're Benz fanatics and blind to fiscal reality. Hey, how bout a nice 300SEL 6.3?
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