I’ve become one of those sellers I swore I'd never be... a guy who dumps a ton of money into his rig and turns around and sells it in just a few short years because he's got a baby and is buying a house. I will be very upfront about everything good and bad with the truck. I have really gone through this with a fine-tooth comb and ironed out most of the trouble areas. I worked with a Mercedes specialist to do all the repairs: Marc Beyer of OCD out of Santa Fe. He did over $14k worth of work to dial this thing in. Additionally, another $10k+ was spent with Russ @ Europa, from whom I purchased the vehicle. Russ did the cosmetic work. The truck has been seen by these two gentlemen and a third mechanic in Los Angeles where it currently resides. All three have commented on how impeccably clean it is- not a spec of rust.
Here's a little story about my G500 and then I'll get into the details. I hope to convey to you my absolute passion for this particular vehicle.
This G is the first G500 to have been purchased by Europa and was used to federalize all other G500s coming across from Germany. Marc Beyer was actually one of the original technicians who worked on the swapping out of components and modifications to help the G500 pass spec here in the US. The G spent the majority of its life in the arid climate of New Mexico. A university professor owned and babied this truck for many years until his life was cut short in an automobile accident. His wife took the truck and moved to Colorado where it mainly sat in a garage until her daughter decided to enlist Russ to help sell it. It was in 2018 that I entered the picture. I picked up the truck for $30,000 with 168,000 miles on it. Everyone thought I was nuts. But you've never seen a car with that many miles look so damn new. The truck spent many months with Russ at Europa having a slew of modifications made. Here is the general gist of what was done:
- Wheel arches, front grill, rear bumper Painted Black semi-matte paint (to match side mirrors)
- Powder coated original MB rims
- Update stereo w/Bluetooth & microphone (crystal clear calls)
- Add steel front bumper with 12000lb winch (synthetic)
- 2” lift with Old Man Emu springs & shocks
- 33” Duratrac Wranglers
- Add rear storage to spare tire (matches black paint all around)
- Add LED fog lights (VERY BRIGHT)
- Add Slimline2 roof rack & ladder
- Steel Brake lines
- Add Light guards
- Replace headlights with high intensity LED
- Replace turn signal lightbulbs
- Update rear cargo lighting with LED (bright & useful)
- Add diamond-plated black walk-on accents to hood.
- AC Recharged
I took delivery of the truck a year later in September of 2019 with 169,000 miles. I was working in Albuquerque NM for a few months and Russ was kind enough to drive the truck down from Colorado for me. I spent a month getting to know all the little quirks and brought the vehicle to Marc Beyer in Santa Fe to refresh, update, and conduct preventative maintenance. We didn’t skimp on repairs and adjustments.
- front axle bearing overhaul & new CV joint kit
- new front brakes (rotors/calipers/pads)
- fixed cruise control & replaced stalk/switch
- replaced faulty parktronic backup sensors & wiring
- fixed all cabin lighting
- replaced faulty cable hardness for interior lighting
- replaced worn shift shaft bushing
- installed and wired emergency vehicle siren in front bumper (i’ll post a demo at some point)
- fixed a transfer case seep
- added window tint: 70% transmission front windshield, 4 driver/pass windows at 35%
- replaced all speakers in truck with Kenwood speakers
- replaced 3 of 4 door armrests (known to fail at weak point)
- wheel alignment at 171,000
- Rear door 90 degree opening hinges
- replaced rear seat bungie pockets
- added cup holder
We diagnosed a transmission shift flare and determined it could not be corrected with a minor fix. It was Marc’s recommendation that if the shift flare got really bad then the vehicle should receive a full transmission replacement. The transmission flares on shifts from 2nd gear to 3rd gear. It is noticeable if you’re pushing the truck quickly through the gears. It hiccups on the shift and revs up approximately 300-500 RPM before shifting into 3rd gear. If you’re driving responsibly, you’ll notice a small shift flare. I’ve done a lot of research on this topic and the conventional wisdom is this: eventually you’ll need to replace the transmission but if it’s not a major problem (which I don’t deem it to be) then you can comfortably drive many more miles without issue. I’ve added 5000 miles and the shift flare has not worsened.
*The other defects are paint chips on the hood. The silver paint is original and is in really great condition. It shines- and reflects color and light in a way that is super special to that model. The rock chips are noticeable up close, and some are deep but there are no dull spots on the truck otherwise. And some of the rims have minor chips where the black powder coat flaked off.
* Another defect is that the driver seat lumbar deflates after about 15 minutes. The seat leather is worn but not cracked. The driver seat cushioning is 5/10. The passenger seat cushioning is shot. 2/10. Again, no leather cracking…just worn. The rear seats look really good and are comfortable. Get yourself a chauffeur.
* There’s a small windshield crack from a rock hit. And a few small specks on the glass. Nothing bad enough to require a replacement. Looks good when washed.
* small rumble from roof-rack that I haven’t bothered to diagnose yet. I notice it at low speeds when the stereo isn’t playing.
* Hood insulation has worn out. I purchased a new replacement hood insulation and will have installed for you before sale.
* Driver’s side door needs a little grease and sometimes requires a much firmer slam than the other doors. I have purchased a new door-lock mechanism but will not install at the moment since it’s not an issue. Included with sale ($250).
Additional stuff included in the sale:
- original fire extinguisher (probably doesn’t work after 21 years)
- various hooks & towing straps - all stowed under rear seats in storage compartments
- Red Hi-Lift jack (not pictured)
- Front Runner jack mount on roof rack (not pictured)
- Ball towing hitch (not installed but included)
- rear tow hitch has a heavy-duty D ring installed at the moment. Can be easily swapped for Ball hitch.
- Rubber weather mats designed for g500 (and original soft cloth mats included)
- Hi-Lift balancing plate
- Original First Aid Kit & MB Emergency roadside beacon (i can’t imagine this works nor do I want to shlep around 6 heavy D batteries) both look cool and fun conversation starters about 90s technology.
- cell phone mount and iPhone cable & usb charger
- Front Runner D hooks and bungie straps for strapping down cargo
Unless otherwise discussed here, everything is in very good working order. AC and Heat are great. AC was recharged in 2018. Seat heaters work in front/back with High/Low settings. All 3 lockers engage quickly and work very well.
For those with garages, this is no tiny truck. With the 33” tires and the 2” lift you’re looking at a vehicle height of 7’2”. I love the height. It’s never been an issue of drivability on highways either- no weird lurching or instability. It drives super smooth and straight. The wind noise is a bit loud but that’s what I got the nice speakers for…. I cruise this thing between 60-75 MPH (or closer to 80mph because of the tire compensation). I could push it faster, but it just gets louder and probably way more expensive.
Fuel consumption is 11.3 MPG. Premium only. I have been tracking obsessively and praying it’ll get better but alas, no such luck. Highway driving averages 13-14 MPG.
Synthetic Oil just changed at 175,500 (and changed every 3500 miles)