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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I am new to the forums and fairly new to working on cars....few years experience...Not afraid to research and tackle new projects.

I am looking at buying a 91 300te 4MATIC. The car really is in great shape- body and paint nearly flawless with no rust, paint fading, dents. Interior is also pretty good. just over 200k Mi. Asking 1200, but im thinking more in the ballpark of 800.

Engine's strong. Car rides well. The issue is that the transmission is not shifting when it should. It rides through all the gears, but you need to let off the gas and give the car a chance to shift. Im pretty sure the issue is into 4th gear only (does this model start in second gear?). Now what gets me is that the current owner had already swapped the transmission out because of issues (ill have to confirm with him if the issues are still the same. seems that he has some knowledge of cars but no expert). The trans does leak and the owner says the pan and seal need to be inspected.

Also- On the highway I was getting a ton of white smoke pouring out the back- not necessarily from the exhaust. On the highway only. And the strong smell of burnt rubber. Is the rear axel not spinning at the rate it should and tires dragging slightly?

Could I be looking at issues with the 4matic? Transfer case?

The current owner is selling because he is fed up with troubleshooting/ having a mechanic tell him that he needs a transmission rebuild after he has already gone through it.

Phew! Thanks. Please let me know if I could help clarify anything.
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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12,758 Posts
The hoped for selling price of $800 will only be the beginning of thousands to spend on this car. Do not call the seller back. Save your money and find a real good example that has a service history and few, if any issues.

Jayare

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80 280SL, 85 300SD, 87 300TD, 90 300TE 4Matic, 90 300D 2.5 Turbo, 92 300D 2.5 Turbo, 92 300TE 4Mat
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1,469 Posts
The hoped for selling price of $800 will only be the beginning of thousands to spend on this car. Do not call the seller back. Save your money and find a real good example that has a service history and few, if any issues.

Jayare

Sent from my DROID2 using AutoGuide.Com Free App
x 2
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Talked to him further...He had a parts car that he stripped a ton of parts from....He will throw in transfer case, axel assemblies, radiator, main computer, transmission computer, etc etc etc. He does not have another transmission, so if this one needed to be rebuilt, i would need to remove the existing one. Would this sweeten the deal? Im leaning to "not worth the risk" but im sure I could get my money back on some of the misc parts not needed.
 

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2002 Mercedes-Benz E320
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239 Posts
I bought my 1990 300E for $1200.00. Obviously, I expected to and have poured thousands into the car since then but to me it's worth it and I enjoy the 'restoration' process. Once you get things up to par it's not bad. However, I would NOT want to deal with any W124 4Matic system considering the age these cars are at.
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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12,758 Posts
Don't lean toward "not worth the risk". Run towards "not even close to worth the risk". As an example... Should you find the transfer case is shot, you'll need to find $4000 to replace it and someone who can actually rebuild one.

FORGET THIS DEAL because it isn't one.

Jayare
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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17,407 Posts
+1 on what Jayare said. The 4Matics are arguably the most complicated, troublesome and expensive in the W124 stable if anything goes wrong. Think of them as MB All Wheel Drive version 1.0.

Unless you found an example that absolutely needs nothing and a PPI proves that everything is good and has the updated transfer case and other components, I would steer clear of one.

If you truly need a good AWD wagon, get a Audi Quattro Avant instead.
 

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1998 Audi A8, 1990 JDM 300TE 4matic, 1989 VW Cabrio, 1991 500SL
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114 Posts
+2 on senior members replies. Up here at Great White North with long winters & snowy icy roads, my 4matic works well when maintain properly ($$$). Do not have experience on later model 4matic though. Audi Quattro Avant is great, but they are having a lot of problems with transmission last few years (same with Volvo SUV) just my experience.
 
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