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2000 e320 4matic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning. I've had 126 envy even before I bought my 124 and it still consumes me. I have always wanted a 560SEL but I now have the opportunity to buy a one owner low mile (60k) 1989 300SE. I'm familiar with the M103 engine from my TE but I'm not that familiar with the rest of the features of the SE. Apart from a shorter wheelbase is it substantially similar to the 560SEL in terms of interior detailing? Does it have the self leveling suspension? Thanks for your time.
 

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i HAVE A 1989 300se. No self leveling that I am aware of. Which could be considered a blessing. We have had the car since new, and my wife loves it. I feel it quite peppy, but if you've been a 560SEL, you may think it is underpowered. The interior is appointed very well.

Good Luck!!
 

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Personally, if the 300SE is in very good shape, I'd take that. As a 560SEL owner, I can attest to some of the common problems V8 comes across like high idle and timing chain issues. Also, v8 uses two fuel pumps as opposed to one. I do not know much about suspensions, but I do notice many 560sel owners scrap their self-leveling suspensions and exchange them with those of 420SEL - do a search on this matter since my description on this matter is a little iffy.

Interiorwise, 560SEL was designed as a chauffered car so there was a little more done to accommodate passengers in the backseat - heated rear seats, recliner, footrests, reading lights, etc. As for general interior, I don't think there's any substantial difference (perhaps zebrano wood veneer for 300 as opposed to burl walnut used in 560sel?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input. It's a southern car, black over tan leather. The owner is a 70 year old wealthy woman who prefers to drive the chevy tahoe so the poor benz sits. Her husband (drives a 600) wants her to sell the car to me but the damn dealer keeps telling her "dont ever sell this car." I told her if she sold it to me I would name my first child (male or female) after her. What would a fair price be assuming less than 70k miles and outstanding condition?
 

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I would say around $8000-8500 range is fair and a good deal. Sounds like a nice car[8D]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You've hit on my concern regarding the extra weight. I am by no means a leadfoot, but I do find that the TE has trouble getting off the line. It, however, has 225,000 miles and that may have something to do with it. I can always drop in a V8 later I suppose... :)
 

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deathrattle - 1/26/2005 11:50 AM

If you haven't test driven the 300SE then i think that should be your next move.
I used to have a 300TE and although i think the engines are basically the same,due to the extra weight,the SE seems significantly slower off the line.I think the inherent torque of a V8 suits that big chassis better.If you floor it to get it going in 1st gear it will be quite quick,but it feels frantic,jerky and less dignified than an 'S' class should.Once you are up and running the performance is fine,the engine pulls hard from abt 4k rpm as you will know.I also find the lack of torque a bit noticable if you drive around town in economy mode.I think ultimately its a matter of personal taste.My old Dad never took it out of economy and drove it like he was on his way to a funeral.I on the other hand got used to the neck bending,tyre shredding punch of my dearly departed P.928.S4.However,I've seen over 140 mph on the clock many times so top speed shouldn't be an issue.
Also,i believe U.S. spec 300's make about 22 bhp less than Euro models so you may notice the bulk even more
The US spec has 8 less hp at 180 DIN bhp.

In the US, SE's are set by default for "economy mode". I just let the revs build up in 2nd to 5K rpm's or so before I allow the automatic to shift up. Whenever traffic permits.
When emergency power is needed, I drop it to 1st gear and let it start from there.

There should be plenty of pep in the SE: Thanks to the differential, almost as much as a US spec 420SEL. But you need to know it's powerband or where the engine feels the most comfortable.
 

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1991 300 SE
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I can’t add much more except to say I enjoy my 300 as much as my 500. The 300 SE is a great driving car; it’s solid and stable and can cruise at 80 all day. The 560 will be much quicker but the M103 will be much easier to live with.
 

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Before I bought 420 SEL, I test drove most of them, 300 SE, 420SEL, and 560 SEL. Definitely, 300 SE feels heavier and slow in acceleration.
So, I would say that it is your choice depending on driving styles of your town.

For my experience, I live in Phoenix, AZ and lots of people around here drive pick-up truck or huge SUVs with big v8 engines. Literally, those are faster than most of passenger cars. They are popping forward like bullets as soon as light turns green. [xx(]
That’s why I choose 420 SEL (v8) over 300 SE (v6).

I asked several mechanic who specialize Mercedes-Benz, and they said 560 SEL has different suspension from 420 SEL or 300 SE(L). It is some kind of air-riding suspension or something like that. As ‘naomilla’ mentioned, 560 SEL is more chauffer driven car. It has all the gadgets in the backseat.
 

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i thought the 300s are I6s? Most luxury SUVs are faster than stock 560s off-the-line anyway.

the self-leveling suspension consists of nitrogen cells floating on special hydraulic fluid, which then flows through a hydraulic strut (assisted by a shorter spring).
 

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I6 = Inline 6. I, not 1. Six sylinders in line.
 

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Ehmmm - cylinders of course, not sylinders. But I think his name must have been Fritz og Herman og something like that. Don´t believe that God was puzzling with car engineering, but you newer know... [:D]
 

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1990 300SE
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It's not a British/American thing. Just a couple synonyms.

Also, I can say that the 300SE can seem somewhat slow until you learn to drive it right. Gotta learn to play with the gas pedal so it won't shift into the next gear right away. And use the shifter on hills, like a manual. Only way you can get the full potential outta this car.
 

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I'm very happy with my M103 motor -- then again, I didn't buy mine to race around town. It's got plenty of power to cruise on the HWY.
The low mileage would be a good reason to buy that 300SE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Alas I believe the question is moot. The owner told me her daughter is "interested" so I'm out of the running. Damn. Well I really want the 560 anyway...
 

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NOW: '90 560SEL WALD & SEC front Conversion. EOL:83/500SEC 5,6l 86/300SE 86/420SE 87/420SEL 87/260SE
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heh...

most cars here come with 1,3 litre, 1,6, 1,8 and 2,0 litre engine because of the tax stages increesing with the size of the engine volume.

so my 260 SE is without a doubt alot more powerfull then the average cars we have on the road.

As mentioned, the 260/300 really needs to be driven with the shifter. tourque is a bit little compared to the weight, but take into consideration that the weight of the 260/300 is lower then on the V8's!

my 260 only weighs 1530kg!

Engle
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Looks like I'm back in the game. Owner convinced the daughter it was not the right car for her kids. I hope to acquire it this spring/summer. 1989 SE with 76k. Black over tan. All records. Now I just have to convince the wife to keep the TE as well...
 

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That's great!

You'll like the fact that the inline 6 is so compact it seems like a small child could practically sit on top of the passenger side tower draping their legs near the header pipes.

Beautiful car to work on/with.[:)]
 
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