28th Nov 2005, 15:53

Most MB W126 series enthusiasts steer clear of synthetic oils. Since 2000 I have put 90,000 km on my 1983 500SEC (Euro). See review "Magnificent and handsome." Now 325K! Replace timing chain (380SEC only has single width / 500 has double) and chain tensioner every 150,000 km. Engine oil every 5,000 km. And ENJOY!

17th Mar 2006, 23:11

Related to the above comment that "380 has single width" timing chain.

I'm told that only the US market 380 V8 engines got the single row timing chain, and even then M-B switched to the dual row in 1984 and made a kit to retrofit the single row chains with the dual row - aka double row or duplex.

For example, my 1984 Australian-delivered 380SE was equipped from new with a duplex chain.

27th Oct 2014, 01:00

I agree that this kind of car is made to last, and proper maintenance is a must. While some parts cost more than other imports and domestics, they can last a long time.

I recently purchased an 1985 380SE with 139,000 miles. The car was obviously well maintained; every 1-2k miles it was given an oil change. In other words, I was very lucky the previous owner meticulously took care of the car. I paid $3,000 for the car, more than the other cars advertised at the time, but so far I have enjoyed every mile I have driven.

I tinted the windows, replaced the battery and detailed the interior, and it looks fantastic! I drive 45 miles each way, mountain and freeway, and once it gets going, it cruises at 70 mph like any new car out on the road.

I hope to keep this car for some time. It's 29 years old with only 144k miles.

28th Oct 2014, 08:46

And yet this theory applies to other models with impeccable maintenance. I owned 2 Mercedes 450SL and a diesel sedan model. When something does go, it can be shocking. In time you will need suspension and other components. And parts alone may push you towards the domestic camp. Which is exactly what happened to me. A 5 grand air conditioning replacement was an eye opener. You see a lot of late models going for low prices. The complexity and wear is likely a very strong factor. Emission sensor issues plagued a friend of mine who bought a so called deal.