Date registered: Jul 2011
Vehicle: Mercedes W210 E430 Avantgarde 1999
Location: Sydney, Australia
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My W210 1999 E430 Avantgarde
Having six months ago purchased a second hand W210 E430 Avantgarde and using this forum for invaluable assistance I thought I'd finally register and post some information that others may also find useful.
After twenty years of buying Japanese and Australian cars, and at the insistence of several friends I took the plunge and went "euro" with my W210 1999 E430 Avantgarde, and, of course, I am over the moon with its quality, solidity, engineering and power.
Since purchasing this car in February 2011 from it's second owner I've embarked no a project to gradually return it to absolute factory condition, as well as gradually repair some of the little niggling problems that ten year old cars accrue. The bones of this car are fantastic, as well as the appearance and inside it feels as good to me as a modern car.
The projects/repairs I have undertaken to date:
Replace non-genuine wheels with genuine factory MB 5 spoke SADOR 8 x 17 ET37 with Michelin Pilot Sport 3. The wheels were purchased from alloywheelsdirect.net, saving me $1000 from buying fron local Mercedes dealership
Replace non-genuine exhaust with original, she is so much quieter and refined now, I love it
Fix power steering leak - costly, required rack tear down and rebuild
The projects/repairs I have yet to do:
Replace non-genuine Eibach lowered coil springs with genuine OEM coil springs to return ride to factory Avantgarde specification. The ride is too harsh for me as the springs were replaced without replacing the shock absorbers, and it bottoms out. I also have an aggressive driveway which means I bottom out unless I get out the set square and calculate my tangents and trigonometry every time I reverse. Seeking to source from Mercedes in Germany, can't bring myself to buy from a wrecker
Replace A/C evaporator - the Mercedes quoted price for this brings a shudder, have found a friendly local Mercedes mechanic whom has given me a reasonable price, still an ouch factor
Replace non-genuine stereo head unit with OEM original (2nd hand). On the lookout for a great condition replacement (I just can't stand the non genuine look for a classic like this)
Bluetooth phone kit - looking for a solution that is invisible and does not change the original look of the car, will keep looking, any tips appreciated
Minor electricals, the front left window wont wind up, and the front right headrest wont wind down
Quite a list, but a man needs something to obsess over. Even with this list of changes I am expecting that it will have ended up costing me half of a similarly sized Australian car, and if I can do a reasonable job of restoration then the resale should remain reasonably solid for a classic like this. And the engine is absolutely silky smooth and awesome.
Thanks for reading, and good luck with your Mercedes!
PS - I had the opportunity to visit the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart recently, wow! Recommended!