Mercedes-Benz Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
1993 400 SEL Black
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I am new to posting on this forum.
I drive a 1993 400 SEL. By far, it is the best all-around sedan I've owned.
I have grown a deep appreciation for this car since acquiring it four years ago.
Literally, every time I drive it, I am in awe of the forward-thinking engineering which allows this car to drive like new, despite much neglect, at over twenty years in.
I've owned a 1987 300 SDL, as well, and it took a few years before I got to the point of appreciating the 400 as much as the old diesel.
I'm not into flash, but I value strength and reliability, comfort, elegance and style.

Anyway, I knew years ago that these were amazing cars, but only later appreciated how all these years later, with all the money being spent on
modern technology, that these cars are superior in almost all ways aside from gadgetry, electronics, etc.

So getting to the point of the post, I have heard and read much conflicting info on the w140's.

My main questions are regarding the building.

When was the last of the hand-built/hand-assembled models in Germany where there were still humans alongside the machines doing things from sanding and buffing, etc. and very good quality control?

Were the German-built models considered better(one would think)?
I have found this to be the case. People I've known have some of the later years' models and I've found that they don't hold up the same way.

Which year was the height for the w140 S class and why?

Do the many quirks and electrical issues with the 93-95's outweigh the quality in their other respective areas?

Were S500's any more reliable or built with any more care during these years?

I've read many of the threads on these topics, but none I've found mention specifically the changes in location and the ramifications in manufacturing.

I look to you knowledgeable forum members to shed some light on this.

Thank you for taking the time.
This site has been very helpful and enjoyable to me.
 

·
Moderator
1995 Mercedes S420, 1995 SL320, 2000 Land Rover Discovery II, 1985 Lotus Turbo Esprit
Joined
·
2,215 Posts
The consensus seems to be that the early cars are constructed better than the later cars (particularly pre-facelift), but the later cars definitely have the known glitches worked out of them (electrics, ignition, climate control, etc.).

Most people on this forum, I believe, would take a well-sorted early car that has had its known issues already dealt with over a later car in equal condition, but would likely opt for a later car if the service history was mostly unknown (depending on the individual and what their tolerance for repairs and downtime is, of course).

The single biggest ticking time bomb on the early cars is the A/C evaporator. Everything else can be sorted fairly easily and reasonably by a qualified specialist. But the evaporator, when it goes, is a multi-thousand-dollar proposition to repair (can be over $4000, depending on where you go). And that is something most owners would prefer to avoid, all else being equal.

I don't know that any particular trim level was assembled with more care than the others, except perhaps the 600, and I don't believe that the US market received W140's that were built anywhere other than Germany.
 

·
Registered
1993 400 SEL Black
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. I was told that they started manufacturing in the states, but that didn't sound right.
I was also told that the production process on the whole was thinned out, to say the least, and that the later 90's S class Mercedes were not built to the same standards.
This sounded right. After owning and having family members own several Mercedes S class cars, I've found this to be the case.
 

·
Registered
96 S500, 98 Celsior
Joined
·
233 Posts
Thank you. I was told that they started manufacturing in the states, but that didn't sound right.
I was also told that the production process on the whole was thinned out, to say the least, and that the later 90's S class Mercedes were not built to the same standards.
This sounded right. After owning and having family members own several Mercedes S class cars, I've found this to be the case.
My W140 S500 gave me hard times providing me terrible problems. One of them was the flaking wires as below. Both the engine main harness and the ETA assembly required me to spend extra money and the time twice. The car was registered in 1996 here in Japan but I think it's a 95 USM. I wonder why 95 US models are that bad.:crybaby2:











The second time when I encountered the same problem, I decided to use Yazaki's wires supplied to Toyota.:surrender:
 

·
Registered
99 s320,and 83 300sd
Joined
·
2,072 Posts
I like my 99 just oil,gas,brakes,and ignition switch for 170,000 miles
s
 

·
Registered
1997 V140 S420 LWB, 1992 R129 300 SL
Joined
·
348 Posts
I don´t think Mercedes have ever made a car where the older ones are better than the newer ones. Yes, they did save in some areas with the W140, but all in all "the later, the better". I don´t miss my old ´91 400 SE a minute when I compare it to my recent ´97 S 420. It´s a better car. Simple as that :)
 

·
Registered
1993 400 SEL Black
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the replies. If I'm understanding Yamae correctly, he seems to think that there were w140's manufactured in the states.
Can anyone confirm this to be true or untrue?
This is an area of interest for me.
Thank you.
 

·
Premium Member
1999 S600 Sedan, 1999 S600 w/ 4-pl seating, 1995 S600 Coupe, 2-1992 600SEL's, 2002 ML55, 1998 SL600
Joined
·
2,438 Posts
They manufacture SUV's and vans in America.

S-classes are made only in Sindelfegen, Germany.
 

·
Premium Member
SL55, 300SE, GL450, Daytona 955i
Joined
·
10,292 Posts
Not so. S-Classes are made in Egypt and Malaysia. S600 protection and police models are also manufactured in Mexico.
Not sure where is your source of info, but S class (as Mercedes-Benz S-class) was only assembled in Germany, and carried a vin number of WDBAxxxxxxxxxx (made in Germany).

Egypt-Nasr did assemble E class, but not S that I am aware of.

Other manufacturers purchased the rights to the chassis mule, after 1999 when the S class production seized....
 

·
Registered
2004 S500. 2000 CLK430 Cab, 1999 C43 AMG. 1999 S500. 1999 S320. 1977 230 4 spd, 1972 280SEL 4.5
Joined
·
186 Posts
In my opinion, the 1999 Grand Edition S500 is the best.

Followed by a 1999 S320 long wheel base.

Even better, both cars with less than 70 K Miles and one owner.

Mercedes will never build anything that can come close to the W140.

The executive program manager on the W140 - 2 Billion spent - lost his job due to the cost over runs. Thankful to him for building the best platform ever which is still in use underpinning the Maybach.
 

·
Registered
92 300CE/1996 mustang cobra (supercharged)/12 Civic/15 F150/04 F150 mud truck
Joined
·
8,116 Posts
what do you guys think about a 1998 cl500?
 

·
Premium Member
SL55, 300SE, GL450, Daytona 955i
Joined
·
10,292 Posts
what do you guys think about a 1998 cl500?
I looked at the bank statement and got a green light, but then looked at my driveway, and got a red light...

I just don't have the room for it :( :(
 

·
Premium Member
1999 S600 Sedan, 1999 S600 w/ 4-pl seating, 1995 S600 Coupe, 2-1992 600SEL's, 2002 ML55, 1998 SL600
Joined
·
2,438 Posts
I disagree, young grasshopper.

Each year and each model has its positives and negatives. Let the proponents of each year have their say to qualify their ownership/investment of the model they own.

As much as I may disagree with those who malign the M120 motor, I respect their right to the table to share their disagreements with everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I've been reading this thread trying to reconcile my MAS (Mercedes Acquisition Syndrome)...
I've run across a 96 S500 for a ridiculously low price (<$2500), 14k miles (verified). Bumper covers need refinishing, but drives well, no CEL and overall the mechanical condition is consistent with the mileage.

So, either I'm the luckiest SOB in the area, or I'm missing something obvious. Any suggestions?

Erie Patsellis
 

·
Premium Member
1999 S600 Sedan, 1999 S600 w/ 4-pl seating, 1995 S600 Coupe, 2-1992 600SEL's, 2002 ML55, 1998 SL600
Joined
·
2,438 Posts
This is a terrific example of sellers who know not what they have.

Use their niaevete to advantage.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top