Author Topic: Cars for sale that don’t start  (Read 229 times)

90077merc

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Cars for sale that don’t start
« on: 23 January 2021, 10:07 PM »
I see many w116s for sale that are non-operational. If they can’t test drive the car how can they detect problems that might be dependent on a road test? How do you decide whether to buy a car that is non-operational?

daantjie

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Re: Cars for sale that don’t start
« Reply #1 on: 23 January 2021, 10:12 PM »
Easy.  You don't buy a car you cannot personally test drive.  Ever.
Daniel
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Squiggle Dog

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Re: Cars for sale that don’t start
« Reply #2 on: 23 January 2021, 11:00 PM »
Or... you buy it as a parts car, or check the body to make sure it's not rusty. And then you get it for practically free, with the expectation of having to rebuild everything. I hardly ever see any running, let alone driving W116's for sale--and those that are, are usually a mess, and they almost without exception end up in a wrecking yard and get picked over by me. Properly maintaining a W116 can be a Herculean task in dollars and/or time, unless a person is really dedicated and knowledgeable.

I don't really care so much about mechanicals, as I figure everything's going to be worn out on a car this old, anyway. The condition of the body is the most important thing to me. Of course, if I was going to be spending any real kind of money, that would change. I usually buy my cars completely broken and slowly nurse them back to health. I actually have one non-W116 Mercedes project that I'm going to make from cutting two cars in half and welding them together. And patching up rusted-out panels. Did I mention there's no drivetrain, either? It will all come together eventually.
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

revilla

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Re: Cars for sale that don’t start
« Reply #3 on: 24 January 2021, 12:21 AM »
Or... you buy it as a parts car, or check the body to make sure it's not rusty. And then you get it for practically free, with the expectation of having to rebuild everything. I hardly ever see any running, let alone driving W116's for sale--and those that are, are usually a mess, and they almost without exception end up in a wrecking yard and get picked over by me. Properly maintaining a W116 can be a Herculean task in dollars and/or time, unless a person is really dedicated and knowledgeable.

I don't really care so much about mechanicals, as I figure everything's going to be worn out on a car this old, anyway. The condition of the body is the most important thing to me. Of course, if I was going to be spending any real kind of money, that would change. I usually buy my cars completely broken and slowly nurse them back to health. I actually have one non-W116 Mercedes project that I'm going to make from cutting two cars in half and welding them together. And patching up rusted-out panels. Did I mention there's no drivetrain, either? It will all come together eventually.

The merit, and fun, and learning, and true skills comes usually precisely from that path. Can’t agree more. The alternative sounds boring to me. But luckily there are options out there in the market that cover the full spectrum from dull to exciting projects.  I’ll buy that car in a heartbeat, without even seeing it.
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thegreg92

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Re: Cars for sale that don’t start
« Reply #4 on: 24 January 2021, 12:40 PM »
I buy a lot of non-runners. I won’t pay over $800 for a good looking one. You have to expect the worst and hope for the best. And this price point you can sell or scrap the car for minimal loss on your end if it’s too far gone
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karmann_20v

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Re: Cars for sale that don’t start
« Reply #5 on: 24 January 2021, 01:16 PM »
This is somewhat similar to when a seller tells you that the AC is not working "but only needs a Freon charge", or there's an oil leak and the replacement rear main seal comes with the car so you can install yourself LOL. You basically expect the worst and the price should reflect that.

Now there is an instance when you don't even want anyone else to try and start a non-runner that's been sitting for ever, because most people will simply put in a good battery and crank 'er up. No bueno!

Nabstud

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Re: Cars for sale that don’t start
« Reply #6 on: 25 January 2021, 05:18 PM »
Agree with above, non runner = parts car value. The owner may genuinely not know what is wrong, could be a bad coil or a snapped crankshaft or any other million other things.
1975 280S - Australian delivered