Should I buy this E55?

I have a chance to buy a 2000 E55 AMG from a family member. It has high miles (80,000) mostly highway. Price is $20,000. Condition is very good and has all of it's service records. I'd love to own a car
like this and there is no way that I could get into one for this price. What should I figure for yearly maintenance? Is this a fair price for a car with this many miles on it? How do the E55's hold up over the years if well maintained? Any known problems with this car? TIA, -cadjak
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How much should you figure for yearly maintenance? That all depends on how many miles you intend to drive the car. Most Mercedes owners would not consider 80,000 highway miles high mileage. I don't know of any problems specific to that model. However, worn or stretched timing chains are not uncommon with the mercedes 8 cylinder engines such as the 4 valve/cylinder 4.20 and 5.0 liter engines. I would expect the E55 engine would have the same weakness. But you can check the timing chain for wear and you can have the chain replaced if necessary. Usual maintenance will include brake work and lubricant changes. It should not be much worse than any other mercedes using synthetic oil.
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However, worn or stretched timing chains are not uncommon with the mercedes 8 cylinder engines ___________________________________________ The rule of thumb on timing chains is: 100K miles or 10 years, for changing. The chain usually is not a problem, it is the chain guide rails which get brittle and break and then get in the chain teeth and that's when the problems began. If the car has had regular oil changes many cars can be safely driven up to 125K miles or more. A mechanic can measure to see if the chain has stretched. You might want to do that before putting in a new chain at this point if the car has had good service. _________________________________________
(cadjak) Writes:

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The mercedes factory manuals spec 2 degrees of chain stretch at 20,000 km on their double roller diesel engines. It's time to think about a new chain when you start seeing higher amounts of chain stretch like above 6 degrees. I popped a chain on a 617 diesel engine at 208,000 miles but I didn't have any chain noise prior to the chain breaking. My machinist tells me that it's usually the plastic chain guides which break off and damage the chain. I tend to agree with him. The upper guides would be the ones I would pay attention to as they get hot bolted to the heads. The chain tensioner and lower guides don't seem quite as delicate.
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On 03 Jan 2004 00:43:29 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (VCopelan) wrote:

Why? It's a totally different 3 valve/cylinder engine.
FWIW, I've never seen any variant of this V8 (113) engine ever need a timing chain replacement.
E55s are expensive to maintain, here in the UK consumable parts like brake pads and discs (rotors) are between 3 and 4 times as expensive as the same components for other model E class.
Big wheels means big tyres, and the big engine makes short work of them, especially on the rear.
Personally I wouldn't worry about the mileage, 80k is no big deal in this day and age. Its going to cost more to keep an E55 than any other E class, but think of how much fun you are going to have driving it...
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These are pretty good MBs although with 80,000 miles you can expect some maintainence problems. Possible water pump replacement, things like that. The engine and drivetrain are just about bulletproof...but you can have problems with AC evaporators, automatic door closers, sun roofs, etc. Getting a car with all the service records, as you have, is very important. and the fact that it is from a relative is even better. Sounds like a good buy but keep some money in reserve as you should with any used car. If you take care of this car you can drive it 250K miles or more.

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IMHO the thing to be concerned about in a specialty model vs. its standard version is the cost of its specialty parts. I don't know what exactly these are on a E55 vs. an E500 but you can bet that whatever they are they'll be expensive.
You ought to get a quote on the cost of insuring this car before you plunge.
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Good advice! I can't imagine the insurance cost on a E55 could be much worse than a E500 but you should check before you write a check to buy the car.
Parts prices are anothe matter. Parts prices on the limited production cars tend to be much higher than the regular production models. A cracked cylinder head on a E55 is likely to be very expensive but if the car is well maintained you shouldn't have problems. But I did have a friend with an S class AMG and he had a rear axle damaged in an accident. The new axle was over $10,000 (well at least that's what he claims).
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Thanks to all for the information. Insurance will run about $1200 per year. I have a great Merc mechanic locally. Unfortunately, the car is 2000 miles from where I live, so I'd be buying a car that I haven't had checked out. If the car is all she says it is, I "should be" okay. I'm figuring about 20% of the purchase price as a safety cushion for repairs and clean up. I'm trying to decide whether driving it back home or shipping it, is the way to go. I have had some pretty bad luck with auto transporters in the past (damage and late delivery). -cadjak
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (cadjak) wrote:
I'm trying to decide whether

If you pay my airfare from Oz, I'll drive it over for you!! I own a 500SEC so the E55 should be a blast.
Mac
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The price is excellent for a car that sells for a huge sum of money! There is no better car sold by MB than an ////AMG! Follow MB's maintenance in the manual and enjoy a fabulous machine. P.

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