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2000 E320 88K
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Discussion Starter #1
Guys,
Driving a 500E tomorrow that has 210K on it. It has been owned and maintained by a local Indie for the past 11 years. New paint two years ago - very nice job in original charcoal.

The threads seem to highly recommend (even more than usuall) service records, but don't illuminate any specific issues.

What should I be looking for, and what questions should I ask specific to this 124.

Initial price discussed in passing was 7K. I haven't really showed interest in the car. KBB list $7300 for fair condition.

Opinions appreciated
 

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'04 G500, '00 E55 AMG, '90 300TE 4Matic, '82 240D
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1,952 Posts
New paint?

Be careful of a prior accident.
True, be sure to check that each panel has a matching VIN sticker, though the "charcoal" aka 199 Met. Black is very prone to clear coat issues (peeling) and that could also be the reason for the repaint
 

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2000 E320 88K
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Where would the VIN tags be located?

Thoughts on price & Mileage?

Thanks in advance
 

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E550W4
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1,879 Posts
My car has a VIN stamp on the middle of the inside of the lower front and rear bumper. That will tell you if the bumper has been replaced.

Often a repaint means accident damage... usually. Sometimes it's restoring an older car... sometimes.

Run a CarFAX for the vehicle, too.

How is the suspension?
How is the A/C
The heater?
Do all the lights/buttons work?
Is the leather worn?
How does the oil look?
Is the battery brand new (could indicate car wasn't driven)?
Does it pull to one side when you hit the brakes?
Remove the spare tire and carefully examine the well for rust/dents/repaint/repair

All the normal stuff you'd check.
 

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'04 G500, '00 E55 AMG, '90 300TE 4Matic, '82 240D
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The VIN stickers were placed at the factory and are located in spots that are easily accessed, though not obviously visible. I'm not that versed in 500E's but on my W124 sedan they are located on the inner side of the fenders near where they bolt to the subframe and visible with the hood open, the inside of the front bumper cover, on the trunk lid behind the license plate, side of the hood, etc. they aren't too hard to find just look around the panel, you want to make sure the last few digits match the cars VIN, otherwise you're probably looking at accident damage..
 

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W124
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Do a Carfax. This will help point to crash history. As others have said, pay close attention to the quality of the repaint. The usual 124 compression points still apply to a 500e so look for indications the chassis might have been pulled back into shape if you suspect crash history.

Mechanically, and with a car that has 210k miles on it, I would expect that the following have been replaced already. See if they have:
- radiator
- transmission
- all three engine harnesses
- power steering pump
- headliner
- Electronic Throttle Actuator

Check the color of the brake fluid and Self Leveling Suspension fluid. If its dark its not been changed in a while so you can throw any claims of "well maintained" out the window.

Listen closely to the engine on cold start up. Tell the owner you expect the car to be "ice" cold when you come to inspect it. Listen for noise in the timing chain other than a slight low volume whine.

The rear suspension should not make any noises. If you hear what sounds like worn bushings when going over bumps, the SLS cylinders are shot and need to be replaced.

A well maintained M119 will not use any oil so look for low oil level on the dipstick. Its not a bullet proof indication but its a clue.

Be aware that at 210k miles there are a fair amount of suspension components that have been due for replacement. They are:
front lower control arms
front struts
sway bar bushings
rear outer lower control arm bushings
suspension links
forward flex disk (on the driveshaft)

Personally, I don't think $7000 for a repainted 210k mile car is a great deal but it is a great opportunity to see if you would like one of these beasts. Good luck, and as John said, take lots of pictures.
 

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97SL500R129, 01ML320W163, 94E320W124 & 93500EW124
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If you can obtain the VIN, post it on the 500Eboard. Gerry may have a record of the car in his data base.

Good luck!
 

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2000 E320 88K
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Discussion Starter #10
Update:

Drove it this morning - I liked how it handled - everything worked - A/C, windows, mirrors, turn signals, but . . ., two blocks from the shop on the way back the radiator neck (where the upper hose connects) broke off. Luckily close to shop, did not red line temp.

Headliner sagging.

wood vanier around consoles cracking.

Owner, of course said he will be putting a new radiator in early next week. We talked about the car while he worked on three seperate turbo Ds; and at the risk of being a pain in the ass while he was working, this is what I was able to ascertain.

Car has been in NC since new.
He is third owner; purchased at 140K in 2001.

Replaced Radiator, water pump and fan clutch at 150k
Rebuild of transmission at 170k
repalced hydraulic pump for rear suspension
New brakes

"regular maintenance" performed by him
Oil = 20 W 50 conventional

Didn't want to hang out to long. But did buy a Mann fuel filter and that pesky transmission socket above the T-Pan for my 210 before I left.

Told him that I had a little interest in the car, but would have to see it on the rack and delve more into the maintenance detail.

took some pictures - can't figure out how to upload them right now, and the old lady wants me to take her to the pool! Its her birthday . . . so I better.
Will upload later.

Thanks for all the comments so far
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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Siince this radiator only lasted about 60K (210K now - 150K when owner replaced radiator) tells me he is going bottom dollar on the parts and using substandard materials or the car has been living a very hard life these last 10 years.

That should be a HUGE clue to the maintenance history.

Remember, there is no such thing as a cheap MB and a cheap 500E/E500 is (most likely) a bottomless money pit.
 

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E550W4
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I'd run a compression check and, as you said, put it on the rack.

He is a mechanic which could be good (upkeep on the car was performed) or could be bad (he knows the tricks and how to cut corners).

Pics and a VIN will help us help you.
 

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W124
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Based on what I am hearing, he sounds like someone I wouldn't buy a car from.

He is in the car servicing business but has no records for his own car of 10 yrs?

He doesn't use synthetic oil in the motor (what else doesn't he believe in?)

He seems to be rather reactive in how he services the car.

If the car is as nice as you seem to think it is, and it only needs some very minor service work, the car is worth $5000 tops with those miles and a repaint. Just my opinion.
 

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2000 E320 88K
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Discussion Starter #14
I appreciate all the comments, please keep them coming.

I ask about the oil - he said that 20 W 50 conventional was the commonly used oil for that period european car. MB went to synthetic later. In my experience, I have always tried to run the oil that was previously being used.

Also, he said that he had alot of paperwork for the car - just didn't have it on hand. Remember, I stopped by the shop unannounced and asked to drive the car. He didn't know I was coming.

The previous comment concerning the raditor may have merit . . . Although, the radiator was in the car for 11 years?

I don't know the man personally, but he appears to have a steady flow of loyal MB customers. Thats all he works on. Shares a shop with a Volvo and British car specialist that I have recently met over some Jaguar/Healey business.

I'll get those photos up as soon as I can . . . off to birthday dinner for the wife.
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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If the proper BEHR radiator was used, it should have had the steel reinforced upper neck to prevent the neck from breaking as you experienced.

Aftermarket radiators may not have this reinforcement.
 

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2000 E320 88K
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
20120907_111726.jpg

20120907_111811.jpg

20120907_111954.jpg

20120907_112020.jpg

20120907_111750.jpg

Guys,
here's a few. I don't know if I did this right - so someone please let me know. Photo's were not the best for detail I know.

Will get the VIN tomorrow and post.
 

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R.I.P. Never Forgotten
1983-2007 MB's
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Not sure I like seeing all that oily splattering in the engine compartment.

Interior looks like its sat out in the sun quite a bit.

How much is he asking again?
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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Car looks a bit rough around the edges, assuming the splattering in the engine is coolant when the upper radiator neck let go.
 
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