Author Topic: First post... Looking at a 6.9  (Read 11062 times)

John Hubertz

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #15 on: 15 August 2012, 01:32 PM »
Looks like the real deal to me.  (A good value and a car worthy of consideration).

It almost looks to me like the front tire is a bit larger than the rear...  probably just a trick of the light/angle.  I've had personal experience with several long-storage MBs and I can tell you that for some reason they seem to "come back to life" if driven regularly for a while.

I think the plan of changing all the fluids is a good one, and if it runs - put an air filter on the car and drive it while you work the bugs out.

John Hubertz
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
(Hunter S. Thompson) 

1977 450SEL (Max Headroom)

graham

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #16 on: 15 August 2012, 06:37 PM »
John - I like that approach! 8)

My wife has the ubiquitous 4x4 soft roader - a Mazda Tribute V6 (for those in the US, it's a Ford Escape) - but as we live in a very rural area I hope she can be forgiven; at least ours has lots of mud on it, unlike the Cayennes, X5s, Q7s etc that we see around town.

I'm looking at a Centenary edition MB 190E 2.0 for daily duties, and the 6.9 for driving as often as possible.

graham

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #17 on: 16 August 2012, 01:35 AM »
Quick question - where do I find the option codes on a W116 (6.9)?

Edit: I was getting confused with other makes of car where the manufacturer hasn't kindly stamped them into a plate! D'oh...  ::)

And where on the engine is the engine number?

Edit: The engine number is stamped into the ledge of block behind the cylinder head on the motor's left. OK... Is that readily seen while the engine is in the car? Probably not? (Although this pic is of a 6.3.)



Ta.
« Last Edit: 16 August 2012, 03:19 AM by graham »

s class

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #18 on: 16 August 2012, 04:33 AM »
You can see the engine number while the motor is in the car - you will need a torch though, and probably some spray-on carb-cleaner of the like to clean the area. 

'76 6.9 Euro, '78 6.9 AMG, '80 280SE, '74 350SE, '82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro , '81 500SL

TJ 450

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #19 on: 16 August 2012, 04:43 AM »
Indeed, it is in that exact location (as on the 6.3).

Tim
1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500

graham

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #20 on: 16 August 2012, 04:56 AM »
Thanks guys.

graham

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #21 on: 18 August 2012, 02:21 AM »
So, today I went to have a look at this 6.9.

First impression - it looks better in the metal than in pics. That said, the rear left side door shut (that's the passenger side for those of us in NZ, Oz, UK, etc) looks a different colour to the rest - it is a much more 'green' colour. I couldn't get a photo to show the difference.

The car was parked up about 17 years ago, when the (then) owner bought a Lexus. Maybe for fuel economy reasons?  :)

For a subsequent couple of years it was taken out very, very occasionally. Then the owner died and it was parked up, and has sat in dry storage almost ever since. There are a number of other very nice cars and motorcycles forming a part of the deceased estate in a pseudo-museum environment. The car is being sold on behalf of the estate and museum.

When it was to be moved, the suspension had (understandably) collapsed. Sufficient thought wasn't given to this as it was initially moved without pumping up the suspension first, and damaged the front wheel arches in the process. D'oh.  ::)

It was then taken to a bodyshop where the arches were repaired and primed, but not repainted. Allegedly this was due to uncertainties about the car's future, but I suspect someone finally saw sense and realised that matching 32 year old metallic paint wasn't going to be easy.


It's a similar story on both sides. And there have been a couple of knocks to the bumpers. For instance:


There is also a little rust showing through behind the lower arch of the drivers' side front wheel. Common problem, and in this case far from beyond saving. The paint has broken, but I was unable to deform the metalwork with my thumb.

There is no other rust, anywhere, that I could find. I had the spare wheel out (someone has been in the boot already - the panel covering the fuel tank had been fitted upside down) and the wheel well was perfect.

The PO fitted a stainless exhaust system. This was done about 20 years ago; the seller described the 'tinny' sound a new stainless system makes, and how over a couple of years this went away.

There are other issues. The footwells are wet, and in at least one case full of water (under the carpets and sound deadening material). This is not a normal case of blocked sunroof drains, either - there is no sunroof. The seller says it is due to the seals in the vents behind the rear door windows having perished - he pressure washed the car when it came out of storage and a lot of 'dead' rubber washed out from the vent area.

The tyres are original Michelin XWX. To be fair they don't look in bad condition, but after 15+ years surely they must be flat-spotted?

The seats are very springy, and the drivers seat shows wear to the outside:


But I'm picking holes.

The biggest issue (for me) was not being able to hear the engine run. There was no battery in the car.
The battery isolator was installed, as it is in all of the cars in the collection, so that the battery can be electrically separated from the car and maintained.
The car has recently been started twice - it was run once for a couple of minutes, and once for 10-15 minutes. On neither occasion was fuel put in the fuel tank; it was started using Avgas and petrol poured directly into the engine (which is why the airfilter was removed in earlier pics). On both occasions it would not tickover and ran at ~3500rpm, while belching clouds of black smoke. The engine did run smoothly (I'm told). I asked if a battery was available and was told that would be up to the buyer, but that if the engine was not as described, I could take the car back for a refund. The seller described a steel/aluminium interaction and subsequent seizure which prevents the 'plunger' (his word) part of the throttle from moving up and down. I'm not sure if he was referring to the WUR or something else.
This video on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZzuEmr-a_A - shows and describes how it should be done, but I suspect this procedure may not have been followed this time.

There is oil on the under side of the engine, but while wet this appears to be older. The oil on the dipstick is very dark grey and quite thick.

So. The bodywork is good, much better than the majority of cars of this age. The chrome is all good. The interior is good and while it is currently damp - this wetness is recent; there is no odour of long-term damp.

The suspension appears to have held 'up' very well indeed. One of the accumulators has been replaced and when I saw the car today, I was assured it had stood for at least a couple of weeks, but it was no lower than shown in earlier pictures.

There are no 'fancy' options:


So, a Becker radio, automatic antenna, tinted and heat-insulating windows, and a reading light in the rear. And the colour is blue/grey metallic.

Two more pics: chassis number:


VIN plate:


Info re other documentation may be forthcoming early next week.

I suspect I will regret it if I don't make a real effort to buy this car. What, based on the limited info I have been able to glean, do people think this might be worth as-is?

nathan

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #22 on: 18 August 2012, 05:57 AM »
awesome graham. their is always something about the thrill of the chase in finding a 6.9.  sad story. i bet the PO loved this car, very sad its sat wasting away.
as you said, without running the car its hard to say. i would have no doubt it was very well looked after. any man that runs XWXs loves his 6.9 and im sure that
mentality was used on all aspects of maintenance. however, 15 years is a really long time for a car to sit and their would likely be a lot of stuff to be done.
upload a few more overall pics, what were the km's again?
very cool
keep us all posted
6.9 79 #6436
6.9 79 #6290
6.9 79 #6181
6.9 78 #4764
6.9 77 #3096
6.9 76 #1741
6.9 76 #0902
6.9 75 #0018

graham

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #23 on: 18 August 2012, 06:03 AM »
According to the speedo, it's covered less than 135000 km.

Unfortunately I've uploaded all the pics I have. I'm not sure exactly how long the car has been outside, but it's less than 4 months in the last 15 years.

TJ 450

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #24 on: 18 August 2012, 06:05 AM »
I would have changed the engine oil before starting it up, particularly after 17 years.

Not hearing the engine run is a good bargaining point though.

Lucky they did pour fuel down the AFM, but did they remove the fuel pump relay? I'd be asking those questions because the fuel in the tank would be disgusting.

The guy may be referring to the fuel distributor plunger... These are likely to seize if left for a long time, but the can be freed by removing the device and soaking etc.

No sunroof is most interesting for a 6.9.

It certainly still looks a good car if you can get it at a reasonable price... Is it registered?

Water on the floors could just be the screen seals, or firewall rust (proabably unlikely if it has been stored inside for all this time. The vents at the rear don't have any seals as such, it's just sheet metal. The stuff that fell out was just an open cell foam that it is there from the factory.

Tim

1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500

graham

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #25 on: 18 August 2012, 06:27 AM »
I would have changed the engine oil before starting it up, particularly after 17 years.
Me too!

Quote
Not hearing the engine run is a good bargaining point though.
It's an auction... But it is certainly something to bear in mind.

Quote
Lucky they did pour fuel down the AFM, but did they remove the fuel pump relay? I'd be asking those questions because the fuel in the tank would be disgusting.
Not sure... But the seller was adamant that the fuel tank would have to come out and be cleaned. (Something I would do anyway.) Maybe something was done and this is why the in-boot cover over the fuel tank had been removed? The seller didn't know anything about that.

Quote
The guy may be referring to the fuel distributor plunger... These are likely to seize if left for a long time, but the can be freed by removing the device and soaking etc.

No sunroof is most interesting for a 6.9.

It certainly still looks a good car if you can get it at a reasonable price... Is it registered?
Rego is on hold 'til next year. And price... That's a big question! What is it worth? At the moment, I don't know.

Quote
Water on the floors could just be the screen seals, or firewall rust (probably unlikely if it has been stored inside for all this time. The vents at the rear don't have any seals as such, it's just sheet metal. The stuff that fell out was just an open cell foam that it is there from the factory.

Tim
I wonder how so much water got into the car... The rear driver's side footwell could have had fish in it! The water was clean and while the carpets were wet, there was (as I said) no smell of damp, so it's fairly safe to assume the water is fairly fresh. Very odd.

TJ 450

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #26 on: 18 August 2012, 09:51 AM »
Cool, it sounds like the seller would have taken some care then if he recommends removing the tank. :)

I'm not sure about the NZ market, but a car like that registered here is probably worth a few grand realistically. Seeing as it's an auction I'd just play it by ear and see if there's much interest.

What it really depends on is how badly someone wants it, and what they're prepared to pay.

Tim
1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500

graham

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #27 on: 18 August 2012, 02:25 PM »
Bidding is up to NZ$3.5k... I've seen much worse ones sell, in the UK, for the equivalent of at least twice that.

I'll give it some serious thought. There's plenty of time.

oversize

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #28 on: 18 August 2012, 06:48 PM »
If you can get it for less than $5K NZ then you've done well.  If you consider the Aussie exchange rate, it's bugger all.  But budget on the fact you'll need to spend another $5K to get her on the road and be reliable.  And that's if you can do some of the work yourself....

Given the oil's 17YO you're probably wise not to start her at all!  Unlikely she'd run well anyway.  All you need to know is she's not seized.  Hopefully the odd coloured oil isn't indicating a blown headgasket?  She'll need a thorough flush of the old oil and a total going over of the whole fuel system.  Is the tank still in there?

I'd have another look at the car and check the firewall for rust.  Make sure all that water's drained out and all the carpets are removed to thoroughly dry.  On these cars even the sound deadening under the carpet will absorb water and take a long time to dry.  The car should be kept under cover with the windows open and a bar heater kept inside.  It doesn't take long for mould to grow and you'll never get rid of the smell.
1979 6.9 #5541 (Red Bull)
1978 6.9 #4248 (Skye)
1979 6.9 #3686 (Moby Dick)
1978 6.9 #1776 (Dora)
1977 450SEL #7010 white -P
1975 450SEL #8414 gold -P

graham

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Re: First post... Looking at a 6.9
« Reply #29 on: 18 August 2012, 07:15 PM »
I'd be quite happy to get the car home, strip the seats and carpets out and leave it to dry out for a week or two. That'd give me time to get the fluids changed, too.

The oil looks OK, but dirty - this is hardly a scientific or technical evaluation, though. There's no sign of emulsification inside the filler or on the dipstick, and no sign of oil in the water.

I'm trying not to put my rose-tinted specs on, but this does look a good project... If it can be had at the right price. 6.9s aren't common anywhere, but are particularly rare in NZ. And this one is a 'NZ new' - it was imported by a MB distributor/dealer and sold as a new car here.

Bodywork has minor problems to be sorted. Mechanics are complete and (currently) appear that they should work, although I would expect the brake calipers to have seized. The seals in the aircon have likely long-since dried out. (Is the aircon pump driven off it's own belt?)

Buying it and expecting to drive it would be silly. My guess is 4-8 weeks from purchase before it could be used.