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Lioninstreet
Lioninstreet New Reader
8/14/19 11:35 p.m.

That's interesting, different style hitches for different markets. Who knew? Not me. Great tip to confirm my VIN.

I was just thinking outside of the box on the two car solution.  So just for kicks I went on Car Snip and found a reasonably low mileage (65k) '06 gas R350 for 8k  and a 05 SLK with less mileage than the R350 for 12k. Granted this is in Sterling not Dollar

But on that, a few other 2nd car options might fit the bill and are just as quick or quicker than the 63 and might also work: SLK32/ Crossfire SRT6 Cabriolet (good examples of both are really affordable now), CLK55 AMG Cabriolet, BMW E39 M5 Cabriolet, most early 2k Lotus,  and the early-mid 2k TVR (if you get lucky). There's a pretty robust list to sort thru on the site www.zeroto60times.com

If this leads you to a dead end or your stuck on getting the speed fix with the unicorn, here's wishing you can find what fits for you.

 

matthewmcl
matthewmcl New Reader
8/16/19 12:39 a.m.

Just curious, what does it cost to replace the Aygo with something that can tow and drop the hitch requirement from the R63?

Matthew

1955W196S
1955W196S New Reader
8/16/19 5:14 a.m.

Thanks for the link.  Interesting site.

In my research on trailer hitches, I just came across a company that offers to make and install a custom hitch free of charge for 1 (and only 1) R63 owner in the U.S.  Since I live in France (and don't have an R63 yet), I can't benefit from this offer, so if there is an R63 owner out there who is interested in a free custom hitch, and who is willing to make a trip to Arizona, click on this link: https://www.uhaul.com/Trailer-Hitches/2007/Mercedes/R63-AMG/4-Wheel-Drive/?ddl

Then click on "Find Hitches" and read the offer.  They are making this offer in order to be able to sell a tested hitch to the vast multitude of other R63 owners, so I wouldn't mention how rare the R63 is when you contact them.

1955W196S
1955W196S New Reader
8/16/19 5:22 a.m.
matthewmcl said:

Just curious, what does it cost to replace the Aygo with something that can tow and drop the hitch requirement from the R63?

Matthew

That is an interesting question.  The Aygo is our small (4 seat), economic vehicle that we use to run around when we don't have people or materials to haul.  There are no vehicles that meet that criteria that is also capable of serving as a tow vehicle (although even a not so economic vehicle would be much more economical than an R63).  Our current tow vehicle/people mover/stuff hauler is a 2004 E320 station wagon that we would like to sell when we find an R63.

I don't know, can you tow with a SLK 55 AMG?

Lioninstreet
Lioninstreet New Reader
8/23/19 5:28 p.m.

It would take a custom made hitch for a '05-'11 SLK.

Curt makes a hitch for the '12+  but it's only a Class 1. 

There's a few folks on the forum SLK World that have installed them, but for all practical purposes,  no there is no hitch for serious towing hitch pre made for SLK's.

1955W196S
1955W196S New Reader
8/28/19 4:33 p.m.

Can someone tell me how difficult is it to verify if the headbolts have been replaced on an R63?  Can you get the valve covers off without dropping the motor?

1955W196S
1955W196S New Reader
9/4/19 7:10 a.m.

I have an appointment to go see an R63 next week. smiley  Could this be the One?  I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much after my previous experience.

Any suggestions for specific things to check out?

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/4/19 9:19 a.m.
1955W196S said:

Any suggestions for specific things to check out?

Find out if it was owned by mazdeuce-Seth.   if yes, then buy.   if not, then proceed with great caution.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
9/4/19 9:30 a.m.

Maintenence history. Headbolts and lifters. Failure rate on both is fairly low, but also quite expensive. It would be nice to let it sit overnight and make sure the airbags don't leak. Brakes. If it has the stock rotors the dimples are wear indicators. Not cheap. Last transmission service. 

Check the orange reflectors in the front bumper. They all break the corners off. If they're NOT broken that means that someone cares and has replaced them. This is more of a "what type of owner" check. 

Check sunroof operation. It's huge and expensive. 

Check codes. It would be nice to have something that would check all the Mercedes specific codes to make sure all is well, but general OBDII is a good start. 

Look for leaks, especially at the back of the motor. Front of the motor leaks should be mostly caught by the plastics, but good to check anyway. Put the van in monster truck mode and it will give you an couple of extra inches to slide your head under. 

Power tailgate. It gets fussy. 

Make sure all of the power seat functions work. 

 

1955W196S
1955W196S New Reader
9/4/19 1:38 p.m.

Thanks very much mazdeuce - Seth.  I will have a day and a half to check it out.  I plan to see it in the morning and watch the exhaust when the owner starts the cold engine.  I've contacted the seller and he is going to schedule a full inspection at a local inspection center.  I'll have to see if they can check the codes.

By "airbags", I assume that you are referring to the airmatic suspension.  I know it can be a pain if something goes wrong (we have it on our current E320 wagon and the front right went out and we had to have the car towed to the local Mercedes dealer), but when it is working, it is a pleasure to drive.

The European models don't have the orange reflectors, so that's not an issue.

It does have a sunroof, so I will check that, but I don't think that it is the panoramic sunroof.

I really appreciate the help on this.  I have contacted 10 or more people selling R63s here in Europe over the past year and I have yet to find an R63 that has had (or admitted having) a problem with the headbolts, or that has had the headbolts replaced.  People here don't seem to be aware of the problem.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
9/4/19 3:18 p.m.

Yes, I was referring to the air suspension. I agree that it's lovely. The cars are pretty robust. I think your'e going to have a fun day. 

1955W196S
1955W196S New Reader
9/5/19 4:07 p.m.

I have an iCarsoft MB V2.0 on its way.  It should arrive before I go see the R63.  It should make it possible to check the codes.

1955W196S
1955W196S New Reader
9/7/19 2:47 p.m.

The code reader arrived today.  So that's one thing ready to go for the trip.

NoahWeb
NoahWeb New Reader
9/8/19 1:38 p.m.

Few notes on scanning for the Transmission/ABS.  Check the ABS module for wheel-speed sensor signal.  If there is a code for intermittent signal, than the R63 likely has the out-dated Wheel-Speed Sensors installed (~$800 to get current).  If this code is paired with a fault in the Transmission for a Turbine Speed Sensor intermittent (P2768), than be ready for a full Transmission Valve Body w/ Conductor Plate ($2,000+).  The latter being AMG specific and the AMG version is not sold as seperate items (ie Valve Body or Conductor Plate).   

 

Good luck!  Can’t wait to read the updates!! 

 

1955W196S
1955W196S New Reader
9/8/19 4:15 p.m.
NoahWeb said:

Few notes on scanning for the Transmission/ABS.  Check the ABS module for wheel-speed sensor signal.  If there is a code for intermittent signal, than the R63 likely has the out-dated Wheel-Speed Sensors installed (~$800 to get current).  If this code is paired with a fault in the Transmission for a Turbine Speed Sensor intermittent (P2768), than be ready for a full Transmission Valve Body w/ Conductor Plate ($2,000+).  The latter being AMG specific and the AMG version is not sold as seperate items (ie Valve Body or Conductor Plate).   

 

Good luck!  Can’t wait to read the updates!! 

 

Thanks for the input.  I hope that I can figure out how to get the information from the code reader.  I've never used one and the instruction manual makes it sound really simple, so that scares me.  Does the code reader provide information on what the codes mean?  Or does someone have a like to a site that explains all the codes?

It seems that we have our future purchase down to a choice between two cars (at the moment).  One is the R63 that I am going to see this week.  It has about 75,000 miles.  Although the ad says "fully equipped", it appears to have a standard sunroof rather than the panoramic sunroof, no keyless go, and no reverse camera.  It is not my favorite color (nor my second favorite), and has the silver/aluminum(?) trim (I prefer wood trim - but I think it's possible to switch that out).  The other possibility is an R500 with 63,000 miles.  It seems to be better equipped than the R63, is one of my two favorite colors and has gorgeous wood trim.  The asking price of the R63 is $4500 more than the R500.  When you add in the registration taxes, the price difference grows to $10,475.

My wife prefers the R500 simply because of the costs (lower purchase price and registration tax, better gas mileage, and cheaper insurance).  I prefer the R63 because, well because it's an R63!  In my mind, at the end of the day, an R500 with all the options possible is still an R500, and an R63 woefully lacking in options is still an R63.  Rightly or wrongly, I believe that the R63 will hold its value and someday increase in value, while an R500 will continue to go down in value until it is eventually worthless.  So in the long run, I think that the R63 should more than make up the price difference (unless of course the motor blows up).

Big decisions coming up.  I'll keep you all posted and hopefully have some photos to share after I get back.

jfryjfry
jfryjfry Dork
9/8/19 4:26 p.m.

Eager to hear how it went!

Lioninstreet
Lioninstreet New Reader
9/15/19 12:41 a.m.

So do tell...

1955W196S
1955W196S New Reader
9/15/19 6:02 p.m.

Sorry for taking so long to post.  I got back home on Friday, totally exhausted, and have been busy since.  I left on Tuesday with a 3 hour train trip to Bordeaux, followed by a 1 hour bus trip to the airport, followed by a 2 1/2 hour flight to Copenhagen (the airline ticket cost $7!), picked up a rental car and drove 2 1/2 hours to Karlskrona, Sweden, arriving just after midnight.

The next day (Wednesday), the owner of the R63 picked me up at the hotel and took me to his house where I got to see the R63 for the first time.  The exterior is Iridium Silver and the interior is black/anthracite, with aluminum trim.  There was light rust on the brake disks (most of which was gone after the test drive), and the calipers look like they need to be sandblasted and repainted.  The disks are aftermarket replacements that are not drilled/ported, or whatever it is called (sorry, but I'm typing this at 1 a.m. - gotta get to bed).

The engine was cold (as I had requested) and when he started the car, there was no exhaust at all for several several seconds, then just a little whispy white exhaust smoke.  There is surface rust, with paint peeling along the bottom edge of the rear door/tailgate that was the result of snow setting and melting at the back of the rear bumper.  That will need to be attended to, and will probably require a respray of the tailgate.  The other minor concern is that when the aftermarket trailer hitch was installed, the rear diffuser was hacked up pretty badly, rather than cutting the diffuser and adding the factory trailer hitch cover.  Because the electrical plug for the hitch extends outside the diffuser, it is not just a matter of finding a diffuser with the trailer hitch cutout and cover.  It will require a more in depth check to see if it is possible to move the electrical plug so that it does not extend beyond the diffuser.

The interior was immaculate, with no holes, rips, tears, or wear on any of the seats.  The two front seats are electric with all kinds of adjustments for side and lumbar support.  The front seats are both heated and cooled.  I am not aware of all of the possible options, but this R63 lacks the keyless go, the panoramic sunroof (it has a "standard sunroof that either pops up in the back or slides back), and the separate air conditioning controls for the second row of seats.

We took the car out for a drive and it drove very smoothly.  The engine was quite responsive.  It was easy to not drive fast (with all that power, I had wondered if this might be a problem), but when you press down on the gas pedal, it takes off!

When we got back to the house, I plugged in the code reader and ran the diagnostics.  Quite a few faults popped up, but most of them were listed as "Historical" (I assume that means they were not currently a problem), and they all seemed to be related to low voltage, and the owner told me that he had changed the battery a few months ago, so I think they were probably related to that.

He then informed me that just before I came, the light came on saying that it was time for a service D.  In the afternoon, we took the car in for a full inspection, and it was discovered that there was the beginning of a problem with the front passenger side wheel bearing.  While it was up on the rack, I got a good look underneath and it looked clean and rust free.

After the inspection, we talked about price.  He wouldn't budge on his asking price, but he did agree to get the D service done and to have the wheel bearing replaced.  He said he had three other people waiting if I didn't buy it, one of whom had offered him more than the asking price sight unseen.  He very generously gave me a few hours to think about it and get back to him.  1 1/2 hours later, I called him back and told him I would buy the car.

On Thursday morning, we filled out a sales contract and went by the bank so that I could give him a deposit.  Then I drove back to Copenhagen, flew back to Bordeaux, took the bus back to the city center and spent the night at a hotel (there were no trains until the next morning).  On Friday morning, I took the train home.

I still have to send the rest of the payment, get all the papers together to get the car a provisional registration in France so that I can drive it back from Sweden, and then get it inspected in France in order to get it formally registered in France.  This has already been quite an adventure, and I don't even have the car yet.

I'll try to figure out how to add photos tomorrow.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
9/15/19 6:17 p.m.

Welcome to the club. laugh

NoahWeb
NoahWeb New Reader
9/15/19 8:11 p.m.

Awesome! Can’t wait to see the photos! Congratulations!

Lioninstreet
Lioninstreet New Reader
9/16/19 12:13 a.m.

Congrats!

 

spacecadet
spacecadet GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/16/19 12:30 a.m.

Awesome! I was starting to lose hope this wouldn't pan out. I'm so happy it did! 

1955W196S
1955W196S New Reader
9/16/19 6:06 a.m.

Here are some photos:

1955W196S
1955W196S New Reader
9/21/19 5:08 a.m.

While I'm waiting for funds to be transferred to my French account so that I can send the final payment, I'm working on all the paperwork that will need to be done to get a temporary registration here in France (so that I can get the car back to France), and the additional papers needed for the full registration, once the car is in France.  I've also been looking at prices to have a transporter bring the car back to France and comparing that to the cost of picking it up myself and driving it back to France.  The advantage of a transporter is that it would keep about 1400 miles (2200 km) off the odometer.  The advantage of driving it back myself is that I would get to drive it on the autobahn.  Oh, and checking the best route, I discovered that I would pass within 30 minutes of a small town called Affalterbach.  Might be worth a detour.

1955W196S
1955W196S New Reader
9/25/19 4:02 a.m.

Making a little progress on the paperwork.  It's clearer exactly what papers I will need and anything that is not in French will have to be translated by an official government approved translator (google translator not accepted).  The funds should arrive in my account today or tomorrow for me to send on to the seller.

So once I send off the funds, I will have to wait for the papers from the seller, then wait for them to be translated.  After that I will take them to the French authorities who will probably tell me that there is some other document that I need that wasn't listed on the government's web site.

Waiting is difficult, but I have plenty of other stuff to keep me busy and six months from now this will all be in the past and the R63 in my garage.

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