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Old 02-02-2017, 10:18 PM   #1
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Just bought an SL55....Need some advice.

Hello All,
So last summer I got a job in London and thought I could survive without a car....Fast forward 6 months and due to car deprivation I was forced into buying an SL55. Its black with red leather has Bose, Pano roof & massage seats. It has 64k on the clock, a full MB service history and most of the common faults have been sorted. Its also Colin Montgomery's old car. I got a pre purchase inspection with Alex Cross in Stowmarket and apart from a few minor niggles they gave it the thumbs up. The car has ben lowered using the modified drop links, mapped and secondary cats have been removed.

So here are some of the things i want to tackle start away.
  • Boot Struts are not keeping boot open - Will go with OEM replacement.
  • The central locking and hazard light buttons have become tacky and look very grubby. Its as if the wrong cleaning chemical was used on it. Can this be fixed or should i look at getting a replacement from a breakers?
  • Whats the best way to clean the top of the super charger without taking it off and getting it blasted?
  • The only error which came up on Star in the PPI was the Sun Sensors for the automatic air con. Does anyone know where they are located and what is involved in fixing them?
  • On the drivers side mirror the glass has become a dark brown shade. I believe this is common enough and related to the auto dimming function. I got a quote from MB for a single replacement glass and they want £295 per side!!!! I see you can buy cheap non dimming glass on eBay for £20 but I want to retain the auto dimming function? Is the stealers or a breakers yard my only option?

I also plan to get the following done.
  • Steering wheel recovered at Royal Steering Wheels.
  • Go through every hinge, moving part, seal and clean/grease/lubricate as needed.
  • Replace the alloys to the SL65 style ones(AMG Style IV 2-Piece i think) or I may leave the alloys that are on the car as they are growing on me already but they need a refurb.
  • Exterior detail as there are a lot of swirl marks on the paint.
  • New OEM Mats to freshen up the interior.
  • New wiper blades.

Potential Upgrades.
  • Supercharger Pulley
  • Long Tube manifolds.
  • LSD



Regards,

Johnny
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyAMG;2416527
Potential Upgrades. [LIST
[*]Supercharger Pulley[*]Long Tube manifolds. [*]LSD[/LIST]


Regards,

Johnny
You forgot the remap
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:38 PM   #3
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I think someone is selling the wheels you want here somewhere, great great car by the way.
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:47 PM   #4
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I think someone is selling the wheels you want here somewhere, great great car by the way.
Yea, mabz had a set but I missed them by a few hours and they were a great price.
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Old 02-02-2017, 11:08 PM   #5
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Just parked it up to find a really nice navy with cream leather C63 in the spot beside me.
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Old 02-02-2017, 11:30 PM   #6
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Also have SL55 and here are a few recommendations based on my experience.

1. AMG Type IV alloys look great and have fitted them to mine.
2. LSD makes a big difference especially if you are going to tune it. Fitted the Quaife to mine when they had a group buy.
3. Replaced ic pump with new bosch 010. More efficient and aids cooling.
4. Fitted uprated heat exchanger to help with cooling.
5. Eurocharge remap and pulley
6. Removed secondary cats and resonators.
7. Fitted updated steering wheel also covered by Royal.

Would recommend you regularly treat all the rubber seals with silicone based lubricant.

ABC suspension is likely to be the most expensive maintenance cost. Have replaced 2 x corners so far.

Use battery condition charger for battery in boot if not used regularly.

Last bit of advice. Find a good mb specialist. I use PCS near Portsmouth but depends where you live.

Let me know if you have any questions

Great car but needs lots of tlc!!
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:00 AM   #7
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Also have SL55 and here are a few recommendations based on my experience.

1. AMG Type IV alloys look great and have fitted them to mine.
2. LSD makes a big difference especially if you are going to tune it. Fitted the Quaife to mine when they had a group buy.
3. Replaced ic pump with new bosch 010. More efficient and aids cooling.
4. Fitted uprated heat exchanger to help with cooling.
5. Eurocharge remap and pulley
6. Removed secondary cats and resonators.
7. Fitted updated steering wheel also covered by Royal.

Would recommend you regularly treat all the rubber seals with silicone based lubricant.

ABC suspension is likely to be the most expensive maintenance cost. Have replaced 2 x corners so far.

Use battery condition charger for battery in boot if not used regularly.

Last bit of advice. Find a good mb specialist. I use PCS near Portsmouth but depends where you live.

Let me know if you have any questions

Great car but needs lots of tlc!!
My last car was a C63 PP which I was very fond of but thankfully the SL55 is giving me the same warm fuzzy feelings. I enjoy maintaining and fixing cars so I am not overly worried about giving it lots of TLC. I know i may end up getting a few big repair bills but will deal with them as they arrive.

The main reason i bought this car over higher spec and more expensive cars was the huge history file with it. Thankfully its been well looked after up until now.

I will certainly have more questions soon. Thanks for the info.
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:12 AM   #8
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Alex Crow is a good start, he knows his stuff!

the switch should clean up, old toothbrush and a sutable interior degreasing cleaner, don't overspray.

good luck with the car!
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:08 AM   #9
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Handsome looking car - love the colours, provenance & extras like the Panoramic roof. Low mileage and Montgomerie as first owner have certainly caught my eye. Classic "tick all the boxes" rich man's third car. Wouldn't have done the big miles with him because he always ran 7 series or Lexus for his Scottish trips and in touring the UK - needs the boot space. This would have been his "pop down to Wisley at the weekend" car. (BTW Montgomerie, not Montgomery)

The boot lift is a straightforward OEM replacement. It's just the combination of age and probably not enough use. Given that the boot lift part of the shenanigans which is the double hinged roof, with the added importance of avoiding any form of damp intrusion, it's worth giving the job to a proper Mercedes Specialist.

I recommend AMC in Wandsworth as a London based Mercedes specialist. Well established with decades of experience, they know what they can do.

As regards the wheel replacement, those wheels are unique on the car, and probably have been on them from new. To me, they add character, so I would keep them as they were. Maybe properly refurbishing if necessary

Finally, you probably know this anyway, but make sure the boot stays bone dry. Any hint of damp intrusion must be addressed immediately, of it's kiss goodbye to a couple of grand as a result of damp in the spare wheel void. Look at your service history to see if it's already been done / addressed. If it hasn't been an issue, it's worth getting it checked out at the next service. If you need more detail, you can quickly search it on this the mbclub website.

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Old 06-02-2017, 07:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeInWimbledon View Post
Handsome looking car - love the colours, provenance & extras like the Panoramic roof. Low mileage and Montgomerie as first owner have certainly caught my eye. Classic "tick all the boxes" rich man's third car. Wouldn't have done the big miles with him because he always ran 7 series or Lexus for his Scottish trips and in touring the UK - needs the boot space. This would have been his "pop down to Wisley at the weekend" car. (BTW Montgomerie, not Montgomery)

The boot lift is a straightforward OEM replacement. It's just the combination of age and probably not enough use. Given that the boot lift part of the shenanigans which is the double hinged roof, with the added importance of avoiding any form of damp intrusion, it's worth giving the job to a proper Mercedes Specialist.

I recommend AMC in Wandsworth as a London based Mercedes specialist. Well established with decades of experience, they know what they can do.

As regards the wheel replacement, those wheels are unique on the car, and probably have been on them from new. To me, they add character, so I would keep them as they were. Maybe properly refurbishing if necessary

Finally, you probably know this anyway, but make sure the boot stays bone dry. Any hint of damp intrusion must be addressed immediately, of it's kiss goodbye to a couple of grand as a result of damp in the spare wheel void. Look at your service history to see if it's already been done / addressed. If it hasn't been an issue, it's worth getting it checked out at the next service. If you need more detail, you can quickly search it on this the mbclub website.
Thanks for the info. I wasn't too mad on the alloys when I got it first but they are really growing on me so as you advised I am going to get them refurbished and keep them for now. The previous owner had just replaced all 4 tyres and might as well get value out of them. I also find the ride hard enough without going up to 19"...and I also like the dish on the rears. I have contacted Lepsons for a quote. They will collect and deliver for free but turnaround is up to 2 weeks which is a long time to go without the car. I will research some local companies.

Being an ex pro-golfer’s car was a plus when I was looking at the car. It doesn’t guarantee anything but in my mind there is a better chance it was looked after as it should be. I have copies of the Montgomery’s V5 as proof which won’t add value to the car but it’s a nice memento. I know another pro golfer from Northern Ireland with an SL55 with only 13k on the clock sitting in his garage. The car hasn’t moved in 4 years. Along with an ultra low mileage SLS sitting beside it that rarely moves. I think this particular golfer uses a GL63 as his daily, great for a golf bag.

So after 4 days of ownership I have to say I am really smitten with the car. It ticks every box for what I need in a car(weekend work, V8, relatively low cost, luxury, performance, looks and comfort). We went down to the New Forest yesterday and it was a joy. I even got the roof down for an hour. Completely unnecessary but couldn’t resist.

Generally the car has been well looked after which is evident by the massive service and history file that came with the car but it is still not at the OCD level I like to be at.


Here is the list of jobs/tasks I have already tackled.
  • New Boot struts installed and boot is operating as it should.
  • I got an low oil warning the day I collected it and added 0.5lt of oil. WTF is with the lack of dip stick?
  • New MB wiper blades installed.
  • New AMG floor mats ordered.
  • One of the rear number plate bulbs is blown and I noticed that the lenses are cracked so ordered two new ones.
  • The sun blind in the Pano roof was sticking so freed that up and lubricated.
  • Carried out a light Interior clean to an acceptable level but certainly not a deep clean.
  • So I have started working on the boot seals. I obviously had a good look at the boot area during my PPI and there is one tiny area of the jack with some light rust but this may have been caused by using it on a rainy day and putting it away damp. I pulled all the installation away from around the pump and the electronics and there is zero evidence of water/rust. The previous owner said the car was never driven in the rain however this may not be the case with me. I checked the two drain holes and one was totally blocked while the other was almost blocked so cleaned and flushed them out. I washed the car on Saturday with a power washer and did not make any concessions around the seals/rear window area. Before I started I put two absorbent clothes in the boot to mop up and catch any ingress however when I opened the boot afterwards I am unable to tell if the few drops that were there were from the washing or just dripped off the boot lid when I opened it. The car is parked in an underground car park so rarely gets wet but I want to make sure I have no issues with water ingress. The investigation continues.
  • I went around all rubber/plastics and applied silicone lubricant.
  • New fuel cap filler. Small rubber cord that attaches the cap to car was broken.
  • Bonnet opening handle was sticking so freed it up.


What’s next on the list.
  • Get rid of condensation in the wing mirrors
  • Exterior paint correction
  • Alloy refurbed.
  • Leather treatment.
  • Recovered steering wheel.
  • When I got the PPI done there was one fault on STAR. “Communication error of AC bus with component B32/2 (AAC sun sensor (4 in total))”. I noticed that the auto AC was a bit erratic yesterday. Not sure if this is how it is supposed to function but at times it seemed to blow very warm then quite cool especially after opening a window etc.
  • Check when ABC fluid was last changed and booked it in if it hasn’t been done in the last 2 years.
  • Try and find a replacement glass for the drives side mirror. (MB charge £300 for them)

And the good news is that the Mrs loves the car.

On a side note called into MB Brentford and their parts dept in next to the body shop. I counted at least 4 C63 and a GT-S all crashed. Sad to see so many AMGs in a bad way.
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Last edited by JohnnyAMG; 06-02-2017 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 06-02-2017, 07:45 PM   #11
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"All over it, like a rash...."

Wow - in such a short period of time, that's a lot of progress. All good moves.

Some of those issues simply reflect the lack of regular use.

Haven't used Lepsons for a few years but they used to offer a storage option if you have time to deliver the car to them. Might be worth asking the question.

Curious about the need to recover that steering wheel. At what I'm sure is a genuine 60k, that original wheel should look fantastic and original once a detailer has been at it - unless Gaynor has left some "ring" damage to it from her exotic jewellery, If the colour is tired, or tainted by creams and sun oil, it might make sense to spend less money and keep it completely original by getting it cleaned up by an steering wheel / detailing expert.

Best wishes. Great car.

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Old 06-02-2017, 08:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MikeInWimbledon View Post
Wow - in such a short period of time, that's a lot of progress. All good moves. Some of those issues simply reflect the lack of regular use. Haven't used Lepsons for a few years but they used to offer a storage option if you have time to deliver the car to them. Might be worth asking the question. Curious about the need to recover that steering wheel. At what I'm sure is a genuine 60k, that original wheel should look fantastic and original once a detailer has been at it - unless Gaynor has left some "ring" damage to it from her exotic jewellery, If the colour is tired, or tainted by creams and sun oil, it might make sense to spend less money and keep it completely original by getting it cleaned up by an steering wheel / detailing expert. Best wishes. Great car.
Thanks again. I am really happy with it. I was lucky that MB Brentford had most of the parts in stock apart from mats which are due in tomorrow. Totally agree about the lack of use. Another small thing i did which made a big difference was applying lubricant to the hinges of the door arm rest/storage compartments. They were slightly creaky when you rested your arm on them and now they are silent. There is nothing particularly wrong with the steering wheel but I just want to freshen it up. I would prefer the feel of new leather and a slightly thicker profile as I find it quiet thin after the wheel in the C63. Jack at Royal steering wheels charges £250 which is manageable. RE: detailing experts do you know any trust worthy detailers in west/south-west London that could do a machine polish? The paint is generally in very good condition but there there are a lot of age relates swirl marks from washing and a good polish should work wonders on it. A friend recommended Topaz near Wembley but their detail runs north of £1,000.

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Old 06-02-2017, 08:32 PM   #13
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Had a few deliveries waiting for me when I got home.
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Old 07-02-2017, 08:28 AM   #14
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Detailing

Detailers talk a different language to you when it comes to looking after cars like this. I'll PM you the website of the guy that I use, so that you can see the range of options.

In general, no-one will let you prepare so that they can machine polish / drop a layer of polish on top, they're too OCD to let that happen. But have a look at the options and see if anything hits the mark. You'll be amazed by what they can achieve.

There's two things to consider: initial rectification / protection, and then long term maintenance.

As an indication, my two get seen three times a year, even though they live in a garage.

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Old 07-02-2017, 04:20 PM   #15
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Detailers talk a different language to you when it comes to looking after cars like this. I'll PM you the website of the guy that I use, so that you can see the range of options. In general, no-one will let you prepare so that they can machine polish / drop a layer of polish on top, they're too OCD to let that happen. But have a look at the options and see if anything hits the mark. You'll be amazed by what they can achieve. There's two things to consider: initial rectification / protection, and then long term maintenance. As an indication, my two get seen three times a year, even though they live in a garage.
Got the PM thanks. I will be in touch with them.

And I know how crazy it can get with car detailers. I used to have to live with a 1967 mustang with a show car finish. Looking after it was more complicated than open heart surgery.
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