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190E oddball?

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In my quest to find a 190(E or D) I came across a 1984 190E with cloth seats, no sunroof, 4 speed manual, black steel spare wheel, crank windows, no tach. ID plate showed it was made in Germany in '83. Owner said it had about 200k, odometer showed 50k. It ran fairly funky in 3rd and 4th gear -- may need transmission work. Owner put in new clutch not long ago. Owner put in a new cat conv recently to get it to pass smog. The AC worked well! Owner wants US $2600 but I think it's probably worth around US $1200. Without a number of the more common amenities, particularly the sunroof, this is more of a curiosity, and the 4-speed manual was odd though the clutch was smooth. Could this be one of the first 190s put out there for the US market? I think it may have been in a major wreck as the passenger side has been repainted and is now alligatoring from exposure. It's a fading red. It looks as though the vehicle ID plate under the hood has been replaced using phillips type screws. The cloth seats were comfortable and in extraordinarily good shape for a car this age. The cushion and backrest surface were of a very tight material and in a black and white plaid-type pattern. The driver's seat had a small bit of damage, otherwise the upholstery was in good shape. The engine looked ok by comparison to others I've seen of this vintage. Still, I had the feeling this was a nightmare ready to hatch.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It just sounds like it was a cheapie. No sun roof?! Weren't those thrown in for free? Cloth seats is pretty cheap too. But not a major thing.<br> <br> It just sounds like it's on the edge until it starts plummetting into the repair shop black hole! That's a rather high price too. If it was me, I'd keep shopping.
 

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Re: Further headscratching...

I think it's best to leave oddball alone. I looked at another '84 E today. I talked to the owner yesterday and everything seemed to be fine. He didn't know if the AC worked (it seems everyone out here in the SF Bay Area does not use AC except for my wife). Anyway, I get a somewhat frantic message from him today that he just found out the car needs a new differential. Well, I'm curious about this car with 130k miles so I go have a look this morning (he's dropped the price from US$2500 to US$1500). The body of the car is in very good shape for an '84 (I've seen a lot of these guys the past couple months). The car has obviously been garaged most of its life. So I go for a drive and the racket from the diff is loud. I guess people get used to these things if their onset is gradual. (I'm used to driving a mint '86 300E with 70k miles on it so I know what quiet is.) The AC works good though the switch only goes 2 blower levels. Antennae is taped together. Sunroof switch is loose in its socket. Motor is dry and sounds ok and tranny seems tight enough. The owner tells me a wholesaler offered him US$1000. I go see the guy who diagnosed the differential problem and he tells me it's about 1200 to fix that plus if I want to put the AC/Heat switches back in order it will run around 500. Another case closed. Did I tell you about the test drive I did on an '84 a couple weeks ago that didn't go very far because the tranny went out right then and there...that's another story but the guy rebuilt the tranny and has it back on the market for US$3500 (he said he'd let me have it for 3000). 'ave a good one, mates!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Further headscratching...

HA ha ha !!!!!!<br> $500 to fix a switch????<br> <br> Ok, I bought blower switch from thebenzbin for around $55 (germanstar has it for $65), and replaced it over a lunch break (see my post 'fan switch fixed' below).<br> <br> The loose sunroof switch is more difficult, because the switch is held in place by two notches in the dashboard panel. The notches break off, and then you have to replace that panel. However, I used a piece of cardboard with a cutout for the switch. The cardboard fits between the panel and the foam backing providing support for the switch. <br> <br> Differential is another story, but I'm sure you can get it rebuilt or used for WAY less. I would not dismiss that 190 just yet!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Other questions

Piotr, I think you're right about the fix quotes but I think this car may have not been taken care of properly. Unfortunately, the owner will not let me bring the car to my mechanic (about 25 miles away) so that I can get somewhat of an objective estimate. The only other thing that bothers me is the owner says he has to add oil every 2 or 3 gas fills. I guess that would mean a quart every 500 - 750 miles. The engine looked dry so maybe it's a burner. I get suspicious of the maintenance habits of MB sellers who don't know what grade of oil they use when they change it (this owner used Jiffy Lube)!! Thanks for the input.
 
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