Has 192 thousand on it. Stills runs like a dream. There is enough space to hold 5 and keep the comfort. Interior is just like new being 20 years old. It can easily out power many cars. Trunk space is extremely plentiful. The sunroof is huge. This car has features and power most cars do not have today. Best of all, it runs forever.
My 84 500 sel, it is a Grey market and has 72000 miles on it. I'm told it has hardly been broken in. when I got it, it had been stored in garage for 4 years.the leather is cracked on front seats, but the car is a rocket. I am right now having both ball joints replaced and had Tranny serviced, nothing major and wires replaced I did have the leveling system pump replaced due to leaks, a few broken vacuum lines, but overall no major problems. the parts for this car are very inexpensive. the car flies with and past new Bmw's new Mustangs and new Audis, oh yeah, those Porsche cayennes are nothing also. this former autobahn cruiser still squeals the tires if I want to show off. I have been offered money from strangers and find notes on it asking if its for sale. never! the paint is good and dent-less. oh yeah a set of H rated tires last month due to its weight and my heavy foot.
I have an 84 500 sel in Australia with 78000 miles, perfect gold duco and excellent tan interior. It is the German variety (grey in the U.S). I have a 2.42 diff (tallest you can get) and it quickly attains 7000 revs in first at an excellent speed of 80 kph. 2nd gets 163 kph and 3rd 210 kph. I cannot try fourth as it would make headlines if I was caught.
Problems are cruise control defective, headlamp attitude dial defective, and ball joints need replacing. Brake discs were replaced with discs for a Falcon (U.S Mercury) and they lasted 6 months. The only aesthetic problem is the chrome window trim. It is filmy looking and I can't shine it with anything.
I hear the back window busts unexpectedly in hot weather at a certain age.
I have a 1985 500SEL and am amazed at the looks I get in traffic. A big black Mercedes makes quite an impression on other drivers no matter what year it is. It has 128,000 miles and is so quiet and smooth that I used to think the engine had stalled out at lights. As is the way with Mercedes, the fit and finish is excellent. It belonged to a high profile individual in my city who babied it and spared no expense maintaining it. I only drive it about once a week when I want to feel special and yes I feel like a million every time I put the key in the ignition!
I almost weep when I hear comments like yours. You will be well aware that Mercedes quality has slipped from about 10 years ago. Mercedes used to build cars like Maytag -- they were expensive, but once you bought them they were indestructible, very durable, and you can clearly see where the money all went. Not anymore. If you read the latest reliability surveys and owner satisfaction reports, you'll see, and Mercedes' share of the traditional taxi market in Germany has dropped from 75% to only 50%. The value of the "good, proper" older second-hand Mercs has increased as people have started buying them and fixing them up. I hope they recover, but they already lost much goodwill. And though their pistons may never break, the cars are now loaded with so much electronics (solders fail with time!) that I doubt they will ever be held in the same esteem for a long time. Rolex is the benchmark, has never failed; once they slip, they become no better than a lesser brand.
I bought a black 1985 mercedes 500sel today new tires new brakes for a great price.
Solders do not degrade with time.
However, the wires leading into solder joints can suffer metal fatigue.
With solder points, you can get hairline cracks with age (and heat). Happened to me, car had problems re-starting, electrician came out, took out a relay, opened it up, showed me the very slight crack, and soldered it. Off went the car. He said his girlfriend's Subaru Legacy's automatic climate control had a similar problem on the computer PCB.
The 500 SELs are indeed wonderful machines. Most people have dream cars as 10 year olds, the one they wish to own someday, and mine was this. Very few cars give the same ownership satisfaction as big black Mercs of old. I have located a person here in Pune (India) who is willing to sell his immaculate 1985 500 SEL for what I think is a good price. However, I am apprehensive about buying it even though it was my life time dream to own one, as whatever you may say, its still a 20 year old car. I already have two other compact cars, a Maruti Zen (wife's car) and a Ford Ikon (my daily driver). The current owner of the Benz says he is absolutely in love with the car, but can no longer drive it much because of age and health. He wishes to keep the car in town because he would love to have a look at it from time to time, even though he may no longer own it. I need to make up my mind quickly about investing, because buyers from Mumbai are already calling him. Can anyone comment on whether it is safe (investment wise) to buy one?
If it changes up a gear when you lift off the throttle and drops down a gear when you apply throttle it may be that your transmissions brake bands have burnt-out and failed
This would require a major overhaul or replacement of the transmission.
I have an '85 500SEL(black of course)
The only regular problem I have is with rapid front brake pad wear, due to it being a reasonably big, heavy car and maybe a little to do with me always going fast(custom freeflow exhaust system and performance air filter to help me along)
Also a recent replacement of a front left ball-joint.
Yeah mines black too. Looks the best in black
I got the trans fixed, but it switches gears by itself now?
Also how much do the ball joints go for? I need them repalced
What do you use on your 500sel?
Sorry for not replying sooner.
Maybe you might want to click this link for more info on my car.
I am considering buying a 1985 Merc 500 SEL. The one I'm looking at is in excellence condition and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it, but I have a few reservations. Is the HP actually only 184? Everyone says how powerful this vehicle is, even with only 184HP? It weighs 2 tons, right? Also, if anyone could tell me what a reasonable price is for an 85 500 SEL with 51k miles on it, I would greatly appreciate it. The guys is asking 13k. Thanks in advance! jason.