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Registered
2002 ML320
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323 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is a extremely well respected shop in Philadelphia, Benz only. On any day you can find cars from way back to quarter million dollar v12's. Anyway, I asked what he thought of W163's. I never spoke to this mechanic before, he was showing me that I needed rear bearings as there is play. So he then says, "there quite possible the best Benz's built". He then went on and on, and mentioned you can not compare there frames to anything of the time or even today. Extreme tough, Extremely safe car. He was talking about double C-channel's welded frame with front and rear sub frames bolted to it. On and on. He then said there is 3 in his family ;) Including one he owns. He went as far as to say no X5, MDX, 4runner, jeep can even be considered on the same league and all he's gotta do is hoist it up to prove it.

It was something, to hear a master mechanic say this stuff. Especially with the bad rap the w163 received over time largely due to bean cutting, plastics and the first American build. I don't know, maybe this car set a new standard for American builds :)

Just thought I would share, I drove the truck home smiling.
 

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Premium Member
1999 ML430
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1,744 Posts
Yep, I'm sure all of us 163 owners are a little prejudiced, but I have always been impressed with the ML body-on-frame design. Before I took delivery of my 99 ML430, I went to the plant in Vance, Alabama and did the tour of the ML assembly line. Very, very impressive and I would recommend the tour to anyone in the area.

There are a few of us that have early ML's that have been relatively trouble-free. I would not hesitate to buy another one with the proper documentation and history. They are a real bargain in the used car market and as long as the owner can do routine maintenance and stay on top of issues, they can be economical to operate.
 

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Registered
1990 190E 2.6,.... 1998 ML320, 2005 ML500SE
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3,103 Posts
That Philadelphia mechanic is a real pro. I don't know about his mechanical ability but his personal and marketing abilities are very sharp. He really knows how to keep customers. Human nature will cause people to dislike anyone that bad-mouths their vehicle and will take it as a personal attack on their inelegance on purchasing that vehicle. I wouldn't let anyone work on my vehicle that claim they think it is a POS because I feel they will treat it accordingly. Conversely, anyone that praises your choice of vehicle confirms your inelegance an builds trust in that person.
This guy is good.
Mike
 
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