Date registered: Feb 2010
Vehicle: '02 E320 4matic Wagon
Location: New Jersey
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
The rust in the photos doesn't look bad to me. Looks like rust started on the components that were not painted or on the painted parts where the paint is thinnest (edges). Unless there are some structural components badly rusted, which I can see, I wouldn't worry. The only issue you may have is if something fails, you deal with trying to remove rusty bolts, etc. But that is a challenge of any car this old. But on its own, I dont think you will see any catastrophic failure issues from the rust.
With the crap they put down on the roads now, which they just did out in NJ last night for the first time, expect more degradation. Just use the car and get your moneys worth, without trying to make it a show car.
As for the sheet metal rust, all your personal choice of what you can live with vs what you can afford to fix. You can go the quick grind and fill route, which will make it look good for a couple of years. I wouldn't dump too much money into it.