Had a brief experience with a SLK350 that taught me a number of things. First I loved the nose styling, DOHC6, the memory tilt steering, and the 7 speed automagic but in retrospect those were the best things about it (and the engine had a potential balance shaft flaw that is very difficult to fix - the engine needs to come out). Others like the proprietary CAN and MOST busses linking everything made any DIY difficult.
For me the biggest problem with the later one was the dash that lacked guages and was hard to read in bright sun with the top down. Also the screen was not touch and there were many many buttons that did not do much. Digital part was nice but small and not bright enough. Also the drivetrain (M272 engine) did not match any of my other cars which makes spares more difficult.
Keeping in mind that my Crossfire coupe is almost entirely made from R170 parts, I decided for a retractible to look for an earlier SLK320 which has the identical engine/dash/interior as the Crossfire and the same transmission as my Jeep (also a product of the Daimler-Chrysler partnership. Also had many parts that would fit.
So looked at over 100 SLKs for sale in central Florida, most either black or silver, most with black interiors, most at dealers. Target rich environment
In the meantime I found some invaluable resouces for buying a used Mercedes:
- Vindecoderz that can show exactly how a car was built.
- VehicleHistory for the history of the car.
- Florida DHSplus the Florida VIN checker to show any liens
Let's just say that I now have complete histories on many cars.
But am always mindful of "close every door except the right one". It happens to me a lot.
Was looking at a lot of things, Craigslist, Auto Gurus, Auto Trader, etc. and found this one in Lazulithe (Sapphire) Blue, a very nice Medium blue similar to my Reatta Coupe, also Sapphire Blue but this is really more of a Petty Blue.
Not perfect. Low 68k miles for an '01 OTOH missing antenna, odd tires, & has "check engine" light (MAF sensor) but priced accordingly. Very nice 5/5 car that presents very well.
Now in the process of making it suit me. One thing a PO had changed was the addition of a proper Bluetooth head unit (stock radio and CD changer is now removed for more trunk space & are stored). My phone mount now clips on glove box crack for handsfree/GPS/tunes/diagnostics.
Have made a few changes/additions:
- Spyder Projector Headlamps
with Silverstar Ultra H1 bulbs
- OxGord Sheepskin Seat Covers
- LH-22C single bar Grille
- Daimler-Chrysler factory wheels
225x40x18 on 18x7.5 front
235x35x19 on 19x9 rear
- Cobra Hood Bra
- Ecoman HUD-GPS display
- Okra Magnetic Cell Phone Mount
- Billet Stub Antenna
- Eugizmo Cigarette Lighter Splitter
with 6.5A USB Car Charger
-Torque Pro on Galaxy S5
Just to make a bit more to my liking
So have a new resident in the garage and hope it will be here for a while. Such a life.