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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I've been looking at the '98-'01 wagons, but came across this one and thought it might not be a horrible idea. Here are the details, as I've heard them:

-196k miles!! I know, I know, this would make most people run!
-European mechanic owned and serviced
-No dents, no rust, clean Carfax
-Moonroof (the front and back kind...don't know what it's called)
-Leather seats (front are heated)
-"Runs like a dream"
-"Everything works perfectly" (all electronics, etc.)
-3400 obo

Am I crazy to go have a look?
 

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you're not crazy. i bought mine with 209k.
 

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If you post in the w124 section, they would be able to give you better advice.
Since I've owned one (not a wagon) I'll attempt.
1. See if head gasket has been changed fairly recently. They tend to go south every 80-90K miles, very expensive. If not done, then run away.
2. See if the wiring harness has been replaced, otherwise lots of problems.
3. AC system is also a weak area. See if the evaporator has been changed.
Otherwise, a great car and much better built then the w210 IMO.
 

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3. AC system is also a weak area. See if the condenser has been changed.
Change that to evaporator. We don't know (yet) whether the 210 has a high evaporator failure rate, but we do know that this is true of the 124. However, not all of them will fail, so you can't really only look at a 124 which has had that changed. Just consider it to be a risk with the 124, that so far, appears to be a higher risk than the same job on the W210. The job is expensive at the dealer, but you could do most (or all) of it yourself if you have more time than (a lot of) money.
 

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Change that to evaporator. We don't know (yet) whether the 210 has a high evaporator failure rate, but we do know that this is true of the 124. However, not all of them will fail, so you can't really only look at a 124 which has had that changed. Just consider it to be a risk with the 124, that so far, appears to be a higher risk than the same job on the W210. The job is expensive at the dealer, but you could do most (or all) of it yourself if you have more time than (a lot of) money.
Thanks, just changed it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I appreciate the help. I completely spaced on the fact that this isn't a W210. I guess I'll mosey on over to the other forum...but I'm so comfy here. You've all given excellent advice on the threads I've posted and have been more than patient with my complete ignorance!

I'm sure I'll be back here!
 

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$1000

inspected,Everything.And it might be worth it.It may have the oem harness and that alone will run you 800bucks just for the harness if the one on the car was a defective one.Just had a friend buy a 120k 1995 wagon for a grand in top shape.Don't pay too much for your whistle.
:bowdown:
 

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Craigslist

and he knows what to look for.It already had the upgraded harness and the bad oe head gasket taken care of.The leather is perfect the body is great and rust free.Black on black.Don't even look at a W124 unless it had those issues taken care of before you buy it.
The head gasket and timing covers only go south if they were not replaced by the upgraded unit,same with the wiring harness.
happy hunting
:bowdown:
 

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Ohlord,
If you can find me a wagon as she described for $1000 or a W124 sedan as your friends I will buy it and give you a nice comission.
The W124 is better built than the W210 but it does not drive as smoothly. I would prefer a W210 wagon (also larger)
Also, as noted, the '95 W124s can be expensive to fix IF:
a) the headgasket has not been replaced
b) the engine wiring harness has not been replaced
c) the AC evaporator is hit or miss. My W124 with 219K miles has the original evaporator and the AC works great.

I would be worried about the transmission since they TYPICALLY last 200-220K miles.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sergio, I will arm wrestle you for that car, should ohlord find one!

I'm now a bit nervous about the car with 196k, but did find one with 120k that might be a better buy. That seller has not yet returned my phone call, so I have no info.

I also found a '98 for $5500 that I'm going to take a look at, I think. That's the lowest price I've seen yet, so I'm not going to count my chickens.
 

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Just be aware that a cheap Mercedes can turn into a very expensive Mercedes.
For any W210 with more than 100K miles I would check that the tranny fluid/filter has been replaced and that there are no fluid leaks. If it's NOT a 4-Matic, I would take a hard look at the spring perches for signs of rust.
For any '94-'95 W124 vehicle, regardless of mileage, I would check that the headgasket and engine wiring harness has been replaced.
At 120K miles, many other repairs could be due such as ball joints/control arm replacement, water pump, etc.
I deal with a MB which I trust. If I was in your shoes, I would try to persuade the seller to allow such dealership to inspect the vehicle even if it means paying a bit more for it. No inspection=no purchase. Since I've been repairing these vehicles for almost 9 years, I'm at a point where I can inspect many things myself.
Regardless of which vehicle I would buy, I would request for service records.
Is the '98 a 4-Matic?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The '98 IS a 4-matic. It's at a small dealer's in Chester, so we're wondering if it came out of the area...my husband is concerned about how beat down this car may be. We're going to take a look at it tomorrow morning.

On the upside, they give a 3 day return policy, so, if, by chance, I feel compelled to take the car and run, I should be able to get it to an MB specialist in that timeframe???
 

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3 days may not be enough but you could try calling a couple of dealers. As a matter of fact, I believe there is one in West Chester. I would call them prior to seeing the car and asking them how soon they could inspect it if you chose to buy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'll make some calls today to see when someone could fit us in.

We tried to go see the car yesterday, but the shop was closed (took a long holiday, I guess). The lot is completely fenced in, so we didn't even get a look at it.

It looks like the place is a transmisssion shop...so there's the hope that the car has had any transmission isssues dealt with?
 

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I'll make some calls today to see when someone could fit us in.

We tried to go see the car yesterday, but the shop was closed (took a long holiday, I guess). The lot is completely fenced in, so we didn't even get a look at it.

It looks like the place is a transmisssion shop...so there's the hope that the car has had any transmission isssues dealt with
?
Could be that the tranny has problems and they did a quick fix to get rid of it. You may also want to take the car into the dealer to get inspected BEFORE you buy it. If it is at a tranny shop, personally I would run. I don't trust any dealers and always buy from private sellers who have the service records. Never fall in love with a car before you buy one. There are just too many out there to choose from.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hmmm...you may be right, researcher. This place looked kind of shady, if I'm to be honest.

When I called, I spoke to a guy who called his business "Dealer to Dealer" something or another. He then gave me the number to the actual lot, but told me that they'd take a commission if I didn't let them know that I had spoken to him first. What the heck does all that mean? Shadier and shadier?

Oh, it might help everyone to know that this car is currently listed on eBay as well:

eBay Motors: Mercedes-Benz : E-Class (item 230315883072 end time Jan-02-09 11:26:02 PST)

So, maybe he's the one listing it for them? Or the other way around?
 

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72 hours

or not. You do not take the car and run by paying for it first:eek:
You make them let you take it and have it fully, morally, ethic'lly ,Spiritually, physically,Positively, absolutely,Undeniably and reliably inspected first:thumbsup:Before you lay own the cash.
98 4matic with 130plus and that price sounds like problems that need splainin
:bowdown:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So, we went and took the 98 out for a spin and these are my findings:

Pros:
-New brakes on front and rear.
-Engine is so quiet that I thought it didn't turn on when I turned the key. It was almost unnerving!
-Very smooth ride with no hesitations, etc. during gear changes.
-Clean engine...no drips, no crud.
-Head gasket looked new(ish)...but nothing on paper indicating that this is the case.

Cons:
-Very few service records...none containing anymore by way of repairs than a repaired window mechanism and lights.
-A distinct "CLUNK" when turning the car off...this cannot be heard inside the vehicle, but is very noticeable outside.
-Sunroof doesn't function properly (gets "stuck"...my husband's MB does the same and this is not a deal breaker for us).
-Needs a serious detailing of the interior...kind of dirty and stinky.

The owner (who quoted me the $5500 cash price) is on vacation, and the guy he has running the shop for him quoted $7500.
 
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