Mercedes w126 question

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hello everyone, i'm new on this newsgroup
i need some help, and it is about merc w126. the car is '82. and i'm plannin on buyin it. it's a 5.0l i wanted to ask, if the car is known to have some problems, is it reliable,
if someone here is an owner, can he tell me is it good? i mean, any info would help
thanks
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At a car this old, rust is a big issue. Beides that you should have a close look at the engine valve seals (blue smoke is an indicator for oil in the exhaust), the condition of the automatic transmission (does the ATF oil level tip smell burned?) and at worn out suspension components at the rear axle. Is the owner able to show a complete service history? If not there may be a lot to do, which can be awfully expensive. I do not know where you live, but your GMX adress indicates somewhere in Europe, maybe in Germany. If so you should be aware of the emission class of the car. If it has no catalytic converter or an old one, it will not be better than Euro 1, this may be awfully expensive in terms of car tax.
Frank
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the car has gas installed so i think it doesn't need to pass the smoke emission testing, i'm from croatia, it is a country south of germany.the guy who would sell me the car said it is a bit rusty on the sides (under the cromed plates just above the wheels, i don't know what's it called in english). blue smoke from exhaust, i know, it means oil is leaking into the cylinders, so i'm gonna check that too. the state of transmission oil is unknown to me, i must ask that. and what about suspension? could you be more specific?
thanks
haute in die Tasten:

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Hm, nice place to live. I love that small fish restaurant in Fasana, a small village just north of Pula;-)

In German this part is called "Radlauf". Usually a W126 does not have chrome here. If it was added afterwards, you can bet that the original parts have been destroyed by rust. Maybe you should try to lift the car with the lifter used for changing a wheel. If the holes for attaching the lifter are too rusty, then the car itself may be too rusty to buy.

I do not own a W126 myself, but I have heard that these cars have problems with the supension of the rear axle due to their high weight. So you should check the springs, the shock absorbers and the bearings of the rear axle. If the seller asks for a high price, you should have a mechanic do the check.
Frank
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http://buying.articles.mbz.org/checklists/126 /
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I believe that only applies to the hydraulic suspension, which IIRC was not introduced until 1986. My 1985 has the original suspension on it and it's perfectly fine. Richard
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Are you talking 70s or recently?
Only a few years ago I was quite near there: Portoroz (Slovenia) (for a scientific meeting).
Unfortunately I had no time to visit Pula, which I had last seen in 1970... :-) (Almost on-topic: I had driven there in -- my father's -- Opel Rekord 1700...)
DAS
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Recently. Munich-Pula is roughly 610 kilometres and a seven hours trip if you count in a break for lunch. Did it two years ago with my BMW convertible with the top down and loved every single mile.
Frank
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It took me a lot longer and many more miles, but then I went the pretty way ... via CH, IT and Dubrovnik...
IIRC Pula has a 'Top 5' Roman amphitheatre.
I wonder if Filip is from anywhere near there...
DAS
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My way is via Austria, Slovenia (passing Dubrovnik), Opatija (too much tourists) and the new freeway across Istria - very nice.

Yep. been there, visited it.

Didn't he mention that he has been ther once, but does not live there?
Frank
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yeah, i live in the country, Croatia, famous for the amphiteather in Pula, but i never visited it :) i'm about to! I'm from Zagreb, it is the capital
haute in die Tasten:

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... and I may visit Zagreb in near future... (am planning a visit to Ljubljana and shall try for meeting with potentail client in Zagreb)...
But I shall not go in my Mercedes but 10 times faster in a product made by The Boeing Company or Airbus Industries... :-
DAS
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Things that typically go wrong (outside of the normal things that wear on every old car) air conditioning - climate control system vacuum leaks aren't that big a deal, but the air conditioner parts are, so make sure it puts out cold air with the A/C on. sunroof - when it breaks, it's expensive to fix fuel distribituor - if it starts up quickly and idles smooth, it's probably fine check for rust on the control arms and check for rust on the doors (the corners and the bend in the door where it meets the plastic lower panel) If it has those chrome covers on the wheel arches, I bet it's got rust there. You might want to take them off and have a body shop find out how much rust is there. Richard

reliable,
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filip wrote:

Take a look here: http://home.concepts.nl/~vlimmere/index2.HTM
and here: http://www.mb-oldtimer.net/ - look under tips - kaufberatung. If you know german that is.
I own a 126 - an 85 280SE - which has some rust, some vacuum problems and an old engine with a rebuild engine head. Here are some of the things you should look at:
Corrosion in the trunk area, under the trim, in and under the doors, in the fenders and in the sun roof area.
The w126 has a problem with "delamination" of the rear window - which you will notice around the lower corners of the glass. Delamination takes out the heat wires in the window, and shows as a milky white color in the corners.
You would take care to check the transmission as it is the second most expensive part of the car. How does it shift?
Is there a hydropneumatic suspension? It is quite expensive to maintain I understand, and has a tendency to leak when old.
Climate control systems seem to be very expensive to maintain too. Also they really add to the complexity of the car.
Most of the vacuum system is inexpensive but it may leak and be a course of trouble.
Do you plan on fixing things yourself or will you have your mecanic do the work? The more extras - especially "power" extras - you get, the more things will eventually fail to function. It is not an easy task to find errors in the electrical system if you have power windows, power seats, heated seats, power and heated side mirrors, cruise control, automatic climate controls, door lights etc.
You can get the techical manuals on ebay - on CD-ROM or in print. I like the print ones, but the CD-ROM contains PDF files which can be printed so...
It may be quite expensive to own a car with such a powerful engine, however there are a lot of cheap spare parts on ebay.
All of the above information is correct to the best of my knowledge. However I'm not a mechanic and I am not an expert. So seek professional advice if you need that. It is always cheaper to buy your mechanic friend a sixpack and have him spend 10 minutes with the car, than buying a car you don't know much about. A profesional can tell a lot about a car after just 10 minutes inspection.
Best Gunnar
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If the rear windscreen is mily white at the lower corners it means water has got past the seal. From there is goes into the trunk and usually rots the trunk deck lid out, then it goes to work on the rear tailights. Ask me how I know.
If the rear windscreen is mily at the bottom corners, take off the plastic trunk deck lid. Chances are you'll find a big rusty hole there, from there water gets in the trunk and starts rotting that out. All for want of a bit of sealer. Bleh.
Curiously you can tell the relative wight of the occupants based on this. If the left corner is milky the driver weighs more than the passenger. If the right one is mily it's the other way around.
Also look out for a circle of missing chrome on the top of the rear bumper, this means water has been dripping onto it and if this happens you can almost certainly find rust elsewhere in the car.

That's not what I've heard. $75 ea for the nitrogen spheres and you can replace them easily in your driveway in an afternoon. No?
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When you say "plastic trunk deck lid," what are you referring to? I have the milky white and a leak into my trunk, so I'm curious to take off this decklid and have a look see. Also, I don't think your side the milky white is one = side of heavier person thing is accurate. The car almost never has a passenger in it, when it does the driver is heavier, but the milky white is on the right corner. Richard

bumper,
almost
replace
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Well, if you spray water on the roof where does it go?
Open the trunk. See that flat plastic surface that you can now see because you opeend the trunk? It's right above the key and goes the length of the trunk. It's black and about 4" deep.
Take it off and prepare for the worst.
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Richard wrote: > Well, if you spray water on the roof where does it go?

Richard, Thanks for your good info on rusty trunks. My car has rust around the right backlight, and I know that the PO did some welding work in the trunk area. I did not know that the white in the rear window indicates that water goes into the trunk. I thought that it went into the trunk via the backlights, so I've tried to seal those.
I also heard that leaks in the sunroof sealing would result in water running inside the roof into the trunk area. How much truth is there in this?
It's really a problem for me as my car is suffering from this and I plan to take it apart in the spring to see what can be done. It needs a little rust work and a little paint job here and there. But I would p prefer to be able to stop the water from entering the trunk.
Best Gunnar
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Nah. My car came from Georgia, completley rust free 7 years ago. 7 Canadian salty winters caused the window seal to be compromised THEN the trunk lips rots out then water gets in the trunk.

I've heard that too but it hasn't happened to me. Apparanly if you keep the sunroof drains clear and the seals are ok you won't have a problem.

It's been suggested that kevlar cloth from a hobby shop (for model airplanes) soaked in POR-15 might patched it up nicely. Of course the proper way is to cut a section out of a rust free car and weld it in.
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Don't know, I guess I'll have to find out next vacation. I know that when it rains, the bottom of those side cubbies in the trunk get wet, but it seems like the source of the water is closer to the front of the car. I know what your talking about with the deck lid now, I'll have to check that out at some point. When yours all rusted, how expensive was it to fix and did it do any structural rust? Thanks, Richard

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