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'94 E320 (just over 112k mi.)
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been researching W123 and W124's for awhile, especially the diesels, and thinking of buying one as some point. I am continually amazed by the engineering quality and longevity of these cars. Most of my questions have been answered via forum searches, but I did just come across an '87 300D Turbo on Autotrader, not too far away from me, that apparently has only 23,300 miles.

First of all, the $12k price is extremely high (I might pay half that). I would also be afraid it had only been driven on short trips- of course diesels love highway miles and need to be sufficiently warmed up. I suppose it could also have the AC evap. problem, though not sure if those are due more to age or mileage. Of course I'd get a qualified mechanic to inspect.

Any other thoughts? Not sure what they're smoking as far as the price goes... wonder if they would come down that far. KBB only goes back to 1990, but the retail value on a '90 300D with similar mileage is in the mid-$5k range.
 

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2008 E350 4M, 2016 Audi Allroad, 2019 Audi Q5
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5,447 Posts
It is going to be worth more than $5k....I'd shoot for $8k and bag it.
 

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About a dozen 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991 sedans, wagons, 4Matics and 1 coupe
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5,466 Posts
Those thing bring very good money. Just 23k miles is unbelievable and I sure hope the thing hasn't been parked under a willow tree for the past 20 years!
Make your best offer your first.
 

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1999 ML320
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350 Posts
I'll second the broken odometer!! They all go,... some sooner, some later.

Make sure the engine is cold to touch when you get there. The OM603 will hold heat for an eternity. Try to start it with a single short glow cycle. If it starts OK then your compression is likely good. If the glow light (far right light at the bottom of the instrument cluster) doesn't come on, then there are two or more dead glow plugs and disregard this test. Otherwise have a mechanic do a compression test. Make it a mechanic familiar with older Mercedes.

Pressure test the cooling system at the very least. Look for a bouncing needle on the pressure gauge or slow drop in pressure. This can (not definitely) help indicate if the head or head gasket is damaged.

Count on a vacuum pump replacement sooner than later unless they can provide evidence that it has been updated.

I would factor in a $1000 to get the car back up to snuff even if it is low miles. It's an old car and bushings will deteriorate, ball joints, engine mounts, mufflers, flex joints, brakes, E-brakes, etc... Then there is tires if you are picky...

I'm not saying you shouldn't buy it, just factor these things in when you negotiate the price.

Good luck.
 

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1966 250SE Cab, 1989 500SEL euro
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3,570 Posts
If the condition is spectacular and the issues are minor, $,8000-$10,000 isn't outrageous for a car with that few miles.
 

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'90 124.128
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241 Posts
NADA

I go over THERE with $6,000.00 U.S.D. in CASH and offer it to Her/Him.

You're gonna be replacing about $1,500.00 to $2,500.00 in rubber parts
(Maybe more) ,at a minimum, just due to age.

The Age issue overtakes the Mileage at this point.
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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17,407 Posts
I bet it needs an engine bay harness ;)
And you would have lost that bet. The engine wiring harness issue only affects MBs produced between MY 92-97.

All the earlier cars used a different wiring insulator which lasts a lifetime but was suddenly deemed toxic to the planet by the treehugger community.

If I was in the market for a '87 diesel with those miles (provided everything checks out OK), I'd go $15K easy on it (especially a wagon) and then probably put another $2-3K into it to do a minor restoration.
 

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5,787 Posts
my comment was made tongue-in-cheek ;)

that price is stupid expensive. it's not like you gotta find one with that low of miles to have a nice interior and exterior... and if you're gonna drive it you're just gonna kill that resale that the car has because of the low miles.

like others have said... a car with more miles and a fistful of receipts can end up being a much better car than one with no miles and so little servicing due to the fact that it's not been driven.
sure would suck to spend that kind of cash on a lemon.

besides, who would purchase a w124 and NOT drive it [especially a diesel!]?
it's not like it's a 911 that you'd only drive on weekends.
 

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'94 E320 (just over 112k mi.)
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for all the great advice. Been busy and haven't been able to get over there to look at it yet. Car is ~3 hrs away. The asking price is quite a bit higher than I'd want to spend, and before any restoration or repairs. I would definitely drive it almost daily. I'll probably keep looking and researching. I love learning about these cars and will hopefully find the right one at some point.
 
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