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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently drive a 84 300SD W126, and have been in love with the S Class ever since I rode in my first one as a child. I am graduating this month, and the Parents have offered to help me obtain a newer model car. I basically have a price limit that is near 20K, but would rather spend 16-17K. I have been looking at both cars, but don't really know which would be better. I know they are different animals. I like the styling of the "E" but am aware of a few rust and other quality problems because that was the first car built to a price point. I know that an S is expensive to fix, but I assume most of the problems with earlier models were worked out by 98 or so. My Father owns a German auto shop, so when something does go wrong, it will be a lot cheaper for me to fix than most people (but I hear those S Class parts are still very expensive, how about the E's? ). Basically, if I have my heart set on an S, but get an E, will it live up to mercedes standards? Are the "thunks" there when you close a door, or does it feel like an accord door? We also have a 2000 W208 430 Cabrio that has been in the family for 2 years this summer. So far, aside from minor electrical gremlins (windows...) and the harmonic ballancer, it seems to be up to Merc Quality standards that I'm used to.

Also, has anyone had to replace their trans yet bc of the "life time seal" 5 speed? How has that held up over time.

Thanks for any input!
 

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111/123/124/126/140/201
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Also, has anyone had to replace their trans yet bc of the "life time seal" 5 speed? How has that held up over time.


it is not SEALED for life, treat it as a normal tranny and replaced the oil like regular tranny.

and if ur dad own a auto shop, i dont see why u shouldnt for the S
the parts are not that horrilbe compare with E i guess....
 

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W212 M276 DELA 30 ; W211 OM642 ; R107 M117, W163 M112 E32
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He owns a shop, but I've been mooching off of him for so long that I'd try and keep my visits down. Hes getting older, and I would feel poorly having to have another shop tech divert their attention from a customer's car for mine...

an S is definitely what I would prefer, how do you think the 430 engine stacks up to the 320,420 & 500 lineup ?

I know the techs have nothing but praise for the M117 & M119 engines, can that be said for their replacements?
 

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1993 600 SEC, 2001 G500
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I think a 140 S500 under 100k is your best bet for overall reliability.
And bro, your pop owns a German Auto Shop! For cryin out loud.... Tell him you love him every day and take full advantage of such a gift.....lol
Best of luck
 

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Obviously biased but go for the W140. They are the last of the proper built Mercedes. Go look at some Mercs and compare. I think you'll be dissappointed in the build quality of the W210. A good friend has a S430 2002 I think and the quality of the leather is real 2nd rate when compared to the W140's. Good luck with your choice. As far as engine go the bigger the better but again I am biased
:)
 

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I drive a '92 600SEL absolutely mint FMBSH not one bit of rust and drives like a dream.My other half drives a '97 E320 FMBSH - riddled with rust and an absolute 'bag of nails'! - BUT she loves it and doesn't want to change it!Thats women for you!
You pays your money and you takes your chances - just look at this and other forums about the corrosion issues on E classes and then make your mind up!
 

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1989 500SL (R129);2001 R170 230SLK; 1992 320CE
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I have owned two W210s and three W140s and whilst I had zero issues with the either E Class the W140s are understandably in a completely different league.

I have owned an S280,S320L and S500L an all of them, even the smaller inline six,have been brilliant cars. If you accept that these cars do require timely and comprehensive maintenance and that there will be expense involved,albeit that for you it may be less onerous, then I would unreservedly recommend the W140

Views differ here but my pick would be one of the V8s preferably the S500.

Happy hunting.
 

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1995 S320 SWB
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You are an S-class sedan man, just like the rest of us. You are considering lesser MBZ because you feel you should consider the cost of maintenance? Man, I feel your pain. If you are just about to be graduated (high school or college?) I have a few years on you, so for what it's worth, here's my advice.

Get what you want. Get the S-class. Live with its idiosynchrosies and expense, but most of all, live with its glorious ride, astounding presence, and the sheer joy that owning and driving it will bring. If, in the real world, it turns out to be a mistake, you can always sell it and move on to something else.

Years ago, I denied myself the cars I truly wanted because of finances. Today, with the opportunity to own and drive what I truly want, I would never consider settling for a lesser car. Personally, I chose what makes me feel good over what I've heard may be more reliable or cheaper. You're a car guy, get what makes you happy to drive!
 

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Mercedes 300E 1991
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If its is not a 99/00/01 E55 W210 then go with a 98/99 W140 S500 and nothing less or more, in my opinion. I believe the biodegradable wiring harness is not part of the 98/99 models? So I guess that should mean that you wouldnt have to worry too uch about the melting wires!!!!!!
i have an S320 and it is only because gas is so expensive in the UK it would make you US fellows shed a tear or two!! If gas was not an issue it would be an S500 undoubtedly. I am a graduate also and I am studying for my second university degree at the moment. I am actually considering an E55 99/00/01 model. I asked reliable sources and they appear to give around or better gas mileage than my S320. Thats because I do not drive slow much (I dont abuse the car, no wheel spinning or flying over bumps etc, it is maintained to a very high standard and everything is repaired as soon as it surfaces, unless its a trivial thing like the soft closure doors!) Its very cool on the freeway but I am only unhappy when I go up inclines or for that real kickdown at 90mph and above. Apart from that its very smooth and extremely comfortable and I have 19s on.
I have driven so many cars and almost all variants of the W220 (including the noisy S65 here, mindblowing performance, what a rush!) and I must say they do not have that, dare I say 'heavy' Mercedes feel to them. The W140 has it but nothing compares to the 560sel W126, in my opinion. Phenominal ride. In my opinion the w126 and w124 were the last real Mercedes. Hopefully the W221 will take us back to the heights of the 80s, now that Dieter has taken over Mercedes.
In all cases man you have a garage to take any serious problems to. Man if I was you I would be having some real modification time in that garage, after hours!!!
Best wishes,
SAMM
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Tbilisi79 said:
Spoiled brat.

I appreciate everyone's advice, even the very helpful insult by Tbilsi79. A W140 is definitely what I want, and I intend to keep the car at least 5-7 years, so I'm looking for something rust free. I've always liked the look of the 210, but I don't feel as though it has aged as well as the 140. This is something that I think plagues the newer models. Now that they are releasing newer models every 4-5 years, some of the timelessness goes with it. Theres something to be said for the W126 which looked great from 1979-1991, and still draws envious glances from other drivers!

As for Tbilsi79... I've paid my dues, my first car was a 1980 Volvo 240, and when I graduated high school I was given my mothers old 300SD with 200k on the clock. I've driven it for years now back and fourth between Va and WVa, on very steep mountains, and as much as I love the car, 125 HP in a 4400 Lbs car going up massive hills while loaded full of stuff can be difficult. I've learned how to drive it like an 18 wheeler.... building momentum is key to staying above 70 MPH on a 4 mile 5% grade.. I think spending less than 20K on 7-9 year old car is suitable for me considering my newest car ever has been less than a year younger than me.
 

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In my opinion the w126 and w124 were the last real Mercedes.

i cant agree more! Although the W140 is so great! I still like the ride in a 560SEL... i dont know why, W140 is a lot heavier and quieter, but the 126 just give me the feel of mercedes...and i dont even know how to describe it. just a feel.
 

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420SEL
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Dub, no insult.
I was only joking. You are lucky to have a dad own a europen shop thats all. Take advantage of it and enjoy whatever you get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My Bad, sorry about that. I had been out and came home a bit tipsy, didn't mean to come off as a dick...
 

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1996 S320
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DubVBenz, I would echo Friendly Ghost, first class comments, go and enjoy life, it only comes once!!!

Dodgy. !!!!!!!!!!
 

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1991 300SEL W140, Brabus, W220 facelift
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Listen to your heart.

Yes, there is problems to fight with or play with, when you have W140. And it is whether you feel it as play or fight that matters.

W210 has problems too, in particular with rust.

I had to make the same choice, and I don't regret W140.

Yes, W140 parts are expensiver, because W140 was produced in a relatively little number, and because engineers had more power than economists in the design (that is also why it is called a tank). So the higher prices on spares are compensated by the higher quality.... just my humble opinion.
 

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420SEL
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Yeah, get a w140, they are still around in good condition. You can always get a w210 later as they are newer.
 

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A few years ago, as a sop against a (late) mid life crisis, I bought a 1995 S320. I liked it so much that I then bought a 1996 S600. Then I bought a 1998 S320. Now I have all three, all silver. You can consider that as an endorsement of the W140s or evidence of obsessive/compulsive behavior. In any case, if you like the car (and I think you should), buy it. But the comments of others on the expense and maintenance requirements, are correct. Especially be aware of the potential for an AC evaporator leak - that has a $3500 cost associated with it.

Good luck,
Rudy Boentgen
 
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