Here's the details:
Recently a friend (Stacky) lost his battle with Liver cancer and I was helping the family with an Estate sale.
One of the items they wanted to sell is a 1990 500SL. Stacky's son gave him the car when he returned from his Military service. The car was running but needed some TLC.
Over the next year he spent over $27,000 getting the mechanicals and cosmetics in order. I told him he was spending way too much money on the car and he would never get his money back. He said he didn't care about that – the car had lots of sentemental value to him.
He drove the car for 6 months then it started hard shifting (trans didn't shift at normal rpm's, it only shifted at higher rpm's).
Stacky was diagnosed with Liver cancer and 2 years later he passed. During this time the car sat in his garage.
While preparing for the Estate sale my wife said 'Lets buy the Mercedes, get it running good and sell it for a small profit'. I was reluctant but agreed.
I checked the fluids (all looked ok)
Purchased a new battery
Started the car and the engine raced to a high rpm and stayed there (after some research I discovered this is the high idle problem). I tried to drive the car but the hard shifting issue made me think I might damage something.
Stacky kept all of the receipts for the work he had done to the car, these receipts totaled over $27K.
Many of the receipts were from one shop so I called this business to see if they would fix the trans issue so I could sell the car. They said they no longer work on anything older than 1992 and they don't work on transmissions. The mechanic said he remembered diagnosing the trans issue – it needs the Valve Body and Kick Down Solenoid replaced.
I looked and looked and finally found a shop that said they didn't work on transmissions but they could fix the high idle issue. $600 later the car idle was better but I still had the trans issue.
I found an independent Mercedes mechanic who quoted me $2,500 to rebuild the transmission. I asked him if he could just replace the Valve Body and Kick Down Solenoid. He said no.
I researched 1990 500SL values and was shocked to see how little these cars sell for so now I'm concerned that I may not be able to recoupe my investment($3K for the car and $1K in repairs so $4K total).
So here's the big question –
1-Do I attempt to sell the car as-is and hope to get some/most of my money back
2-Put more money into the car (proly $3K) I'll have $7K into the vehicle
P.S. - It's taken me 4 months to get to this point and I started the car yesterday and the 'high idle' issue returned
Your comments are greatly appreciated ...