What is happening at Merc, all the parts I ordered today was the lowest prices of all the quotes.
I started off by searching the forum for suppliers, then rang all my usual and the forum suppliers, and just as I was about to order I though of giving Merc a call. I saved over £100 on
New 50mm steering damper.
New brake disks.
New wheel bearing.
New belt tensioner.
And best of all, they have all the parts in stock!
Know what you mean.
I have had a lot of parts and the one thing Merc don't seem to have is a mid price. They seem to be either surprisingly affordable, or massively expensive.
I use Merc Poole and they agree the prices are a bit of a lottery, but In my experience is pays to start with Merc price and availability and go from there.
Two points 1) On back order can mean 'have run out and need to get a batch made' - 2-6 months! 2) Some parts for older G's are being listed as 'Classic Part' which also means no longer going to be replenished, and getting expensive.
On back order
When a uk Merc parts Dealer checks the UK parts computer and there is no stock and says 'its on back order' it means there is no stock in the UK and has to be ordered from Germany.
If he then checks the Main parts computer in Germany and there is no stock, it is usually possible to get an indication of availability.
If there is no UK stock, but stock in Germany, then in my experience I usually receive the parts within 5 days.
Parts are always delivered to the Mercedes Dealers Parts dept quicker if ordered VOR (vehicle off road) usually next day.
If ordered VOR then the dealers margin is less than if its an ordinary stock order.
If parts are only in stock in Germany and you are desperate then its possible to 'Hot Bird' order them early AM and they will be flown to UK and delivered to Dealer next day (again my experience at no addition cost)
I apologise if I am going on about something you are all aware of.
'HOT BIRD' Sounds really fast, better than any courier company for sure.
All experience is greatly appreciated. Agree with your comments on back order as this usually the case.
My comment was related to two occasions where back order (Germany stock vs Milton Keyes) gave a 2 week lead time, which moved on 2 weeks every 2 weeks for 4 months, until a quick registered personally addressed letter to the UK Merc Service MD was sent :-). One investigation later and a reply talking about remanufacture probs and the bits arrived 4 weeks later.
But as you say back order is usually only a 3-5 day wait depending on where you hit the delivery cycle.
All in all though not bad for service for bits for a 27 year old car. I used to have an 85 429SL as well and bits for that were always available!