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W116 Euro 6.9: Fix or Part-Out?

Started by Armor, 13 January 2023, 03:59 PM

Armor

Hello everyone!

I'm in the difficult position of having a sentimental 6.9 that needs a whole lot of work. This was used as a bodyguarding vehicle in the 80s and 90s for Hollywood. Regular guests were Ellen, Whoopi, Archie Bunker, Jenny McCarthy, etc etc.

Unfortunately at this stage of her life, she's got a salvage title from getting rear ended in 2011, 180k miles, and hasn't been used since 2015. But between 1979-2015 she was regularly used and maintained. The past few years sitting have been rough though. There's a mold smell in the interior, the seats have collapsed, wood is ruined, and I dont think it'll ever have a chance of feeling luxurious again.

I'm here because I think it'll cost far more to get this thing safe and running than what it's worth. I see the cost of 6.9 parts, and I can't help but think it should be parted-out. Am I wrong? How much do you think it should sell for as a whole? Should I attempt to take the motor out, headlights, and suspension and then sell the rest as a shell?

Any insight would be tremendously helpful. Thank you!


daantjie

Short answer is part it out.  Cannot tell from just 1x pic but going by your description I would say this ol' girl has been around the block too many times.  Getting a neglected Benz back to former glory is always a very costly and frustrating expericence.  Even more so with a 6.9.  My 2c.
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

daantjie

#2
Just to expand a bit more.  There is very little appetite for 6.9 engine/trans to be honest.  I have seen units sit for years on ebay.  I think the reason is that the engine is very stout and overbuilt, so this is usually not a part needed by someone fixing up a 6.9.

There is value in the hydro suspension components if they are not too roached.  They can be rebuilt, but usually this means the buyer will need to get them cheap as the rebuild cost is pricey.  Other than that, there is not much on a 6.9 which is bespoke over the regular 450 SEL.

There is some money in the Euro bumpers and headlights, again if they are not too crusty.  But do not expect a windfall here either, there are usually tons of units for sale online and such.
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

rumb

My car was way worse than this. The cost to restore a worn out car is not that different than a better car if you really "restore" it as you will replace everything either way. But that will be $50-60k if you do your own work.

If you just want a good driver then condition is way more important. Must fix vs want to fix.


More pictures needed.


If you want to entirely disassemble then you would get more than whole, but you have to clean, store, photograph, sell and ship. All 6.9 specific parts are worth something, but engines buyers are few.

If you really go all out cut up body for repair panels but will need years to sell. At some point someone that wrecked theirs would be gratefull to find inner fenders, rad support and other sheet metal.


As is? Maybe $5k??  Or fix into decent driveable for $15-20k??

Id say it all comes down to rust condition. If solid then worth $$ spent  to get in driver condition.
'68 250S
'77 6.9 Euro
'91 300SE,
'98 SL500
'14 CLS550,
'16 AMG GTS

rumb

Btw, i dont see the front spoiler under the bumper, but if there is one let me know.
'68 250S
'77 6.9 Euro
'91 300SE,
'98 SL500
'14 CLS550,
'16 AMG GTS

andrewk

This is a good question and something I think about often. I am working on a neglected 6.9 (see thread in Mechanicals) but it doesn't have accident damage or rust, and the interior is basically immaculate. I'd never part it out, but would buy another car to feed mine parts and have spares.

With a 6.9 you are essentially faced with parts cost, labour cost (if not doing the work yourself) and then also the matter of parts availability.

Given that I am not an automotive trimmer or panel beater/autobody guy, the quality of the interior and body is extremely important as it is expensive to renovate properly. Water ingress from bad seals is a fast way to ruin not only the interior, but also electrical components, wiring and body work via corrosion.

The question is; do you want to make money, or do you want a 6.9 for longer term ownership.

It might cost several tens of thousands to partially restore a 6.9, but if you don't spend that on the car, you might even be able to make money.

That all being said, the parts are also quite valuable or useful to existing owners of 6.9s. For example, i'd be interested in buying the suspension components, potentially the engine and so on. But it does not make sense to part out a car that is otherwise a good specimen.

Points for restoring; you have a Euro 6.9 which you might be able to obtain for a very fair price, if you want a 6.9 then it seems a good Euro spec car is the one to own.

Points against restoring; your car does not have a clear title, has existing body/chassis damage, water damage and probably rust. You might serve yourself better if buying another, better condition car and using this one as a parts mine. Or sell some of the parts to other 6.9 owners who could make good use of those parts.

Other questions; how deep are your pockets? Restoring any classic car is expensive, moreso with a classic Mercedes - and with a M100 engine, even mores but you will have far greater enjoyment and satisfaction as a consequence of seeing a restoration through. It will be more your car, and what doesn't break you - makes you stronger.



1979 450 SEL 6.9 (#5532) - silbergr√ľn metallic

Armor

#6
Thank you for the feedback everyone. I already have two old Mercedes projects going. As much as I appreciate this car, the previous owner, and it's history.... I technically am not in the position of bringing this back to like. Plus i got my second kid on the way. I dont have the patience, time, skill, or pockets to get this thing on the road again and be safe. I dont have a garage right now either.

There's no underbody rust, it's been Los Angeles / San Fran car since the 80s.

There's a local mercedes shop that has 6.9 customers, and the owner said I should pitch him a price for me to sell it to him. What do you think I should ask?

He said it would cost me conservatively around $10k to get it driving - and that's IF the hydro suspension just needs fluid.




daantjie

#7
Highly unlikely that it just needs fluid but that's of course pretty easy to check.  Just eyeball the fluid in the hydro tank and add as needed if you want to see if the suspension pumps up under engine power.  Febi ZH-M fluid.

Check basics like oil level etc. Then see if it'll fire up.  Nothing to lose really.  If it's running then I'll concur with the $5k valuation.  It's essentially a parts car at this point and as stated the salvage title makes it a bit of a moot point to be honest.
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

Neil4speed

#8
As much as I try to rationalize, I have to agree that cost to get going is probably going to end up more than it is worth (mostly due to the mileage and the salvage title). In my head, if this car was in fully restored condition, the value would still be only at most $20k.

My thought initially (since it was running up until relatively recently - 2015), it might make a reasonable restoration project with the caveat is if there is no significant rust (it is a California car, so it may be the case). It also has some fun provenance and is a Euro model in a good color combo. In a sense though, if someone was keen to have a 6.9 to drive and enjoy (not restore, and understand that it is not going to be perfect), this would make a great candidate.

Question to the mold smell, etc. Did it have some water/flood damage?

Armor

Thank you for the feedback!

Rust isn't an issue here.

It does NOT run currently.

The water damage is from leaky sunroof or door/window seals. Not flooding. It's been parked in San Fran.


daantjie

If it's not running I would not try and drag a dead horse across the finish line personally.   If you have space/time part it out, or pass it on as is for whatever you can get for it whole.
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

nathan

sadly I think this one may be best moved on. I would think set the whole thing for a few grand and be done. parting out as Daniel said, is a nuisance unless you are a business. pulling bits off, climbing under the car, pulling it, posting it then having someone upset its not new is not really worth it.  sentiment to me means family attachment, I dont think anyone would care too much it was used to chauffeur people around.  as has also been said, the suspension is extremely unlikely a top up and run scenario.  im also doing up a 123 wagen, and have a 460 G (nice wolf) too Armor. restoration of one of our 6.9s took several years and blindness to our wallet, and its not really worth it unless you are in love with the car.
regards
Nathan
1979 116 6.9 #6436
2018 213 e63
2011 212 e63
2011 463 g55
2007 211 e500 wagen
1995 124 e320 cabriolet
1983 460 300gd
1981 123 280te

rumb

Before you write it off, perhaps connect inlet and outlet fuel lines from fuel disti, run pump for 20 minutes and see if gas is clear. Then try starting it.

If it runs then fill hydro tank and see if it rises.


Running and rising is worth a lot more than non functioning.
'68 250S
'77 6.9 Euro
'91 300SE,
'98 SL500
'14 CLS550,
'16 AMG GTS

revilla

That's the spirit!
Before jumping into conclusions and potentially making the wrong decision, this car deserves a closer look. Inspection of the usual things costs only time. To make it roadworthy it might be a set of simple things to repair. If not, selling it to someone with the time to save her would be my choice rather than breaking it in pieces. There aren't many left...
Good luck.
Robert
W116 1977 280SEL & 1979 280SE
[img width=150 height=100][url="http://revillagodfroy.com/MB%201977%20280%20SEL/album/thumbs/IMG_0371.JPG"]http://revillagodfroy.com/MB%201977%20280%20SEL/album/thumbs/IMG_0371.JPG[/url][/img]

rumb

Hastening other 6.9's to their grave is a poor way to increase the value of the remaining ones.
'68 250S
'77 6.9 Euro
'91 300SE,
'98 SL500
'14 CLS550,
'16 AMG GTS