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94 s350, 93 dodge cummins 250
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, nice to be aboard. Just bought my first w140...its a 97 s 320 long wheel base, 68000 miles, mint shape, $7500.
Think i stole it.
Bought it in massapequa new york and drove it home to new bedford ma.
It ran very hot ...just under the red
when i got home i changed the thermostat and now alll is fine except the clutch fan has no resistence at all so i guess im gonna change it before summer.
anyway i will post pics when i take some

Steve
 

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1989 560 SEL, 1993 400 SEL, 1986 420 SEL, 1977 450 SL, 1984 300D, 1981 380 SL, 1983 500 SL
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606 Posts
Problems have only begun!

What you purchased is equivalent to having a handicapped child. I've owned a w126, w107, and currently own a w123 as well as a w140 body style and none of them has given me more grief than the w140. In my opinion, the production of this model was rushed and every owner of this model, no matter what engine size is going to pay the price to keep it running. I would never, and I mean never own a w140 model again! Good luck with your car though, you're going to need it. If you don't believe me, read all the problems everyone has had with these. They are a prescription for "breaking the bank"!
 

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1998 S600 LWB 2011 GLK 350 4matic 2013 Sprinter 2500
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412 Posts
Wasn't to long ago that a post featured all the happy W140 owners, high mileage and all.
Our S320 SWB is a daily driver. Enjoy
 

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1993 300SEL (Sold) 2007 X5
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7,218 Posts
What you purchased is equivalent to having a handicapped child. I've owned a w126, w107, and currently own a w123 as well as a w140 body style and none of them has given me more grief than the w140. In my opinion, the production of this model was rushed and every owner of this model, no matter what engine size is going to pay the price to keep it running. I would never, and I mean never own a w140 model again! Good luck with your car though, you're going to need it. If you don't believe me, read all the problems everyone has had with these. They are a prescription for "breaking the bank"!
I'm sorry you're not happy with your W140 but I could not imagine anything more demoralising and annoying to a new owner than a post like this. People come here to share their cars and get advice, not to be pulled down by people who are unhappy with their car.

Shame, shame.

I've had my W140 as my daily driver and only car for the last 5 years, they are a good car and are not too bad in terms of reliability relative to other European cars of the same vintage.
 

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93 500 sel - 95 s500
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612 Posts
From a daily driver for 5 years I trust you will enjoy your 140!!

Kevin
 

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1989 560 SEL, 1993 400 SEL, 1986 420 SEL, 1977 450 SL, 1984 300D, 1981 380 SL, 1983 500 SL
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606 Posts
I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder

I'm sorry, but having the opprotunity to drive the older sedans, it is my opinion that the w126, by far is superior. The facts are that the w140 model was, indeed rushed to production, that, you cannot deny. In doing so, it under powered, for its weight, except the 600 series. With that, I mean, this car weighs close to 5000 lbs and Mercedes used virtually the same engines that it did in previous models, yet the previous models weighed 1000 lbs. less. The cooling system in the w140's is sub-par, at best. Who here on this site hasn't had problems with their car overheating, and the ones that have, and say they haven't are unaware that this vehicle is made to run at 82 degrees celcius and not 100 degrees. If you have an a/c problem, it will cost you more to fix it than you paid for the car! Not to mention the accumulators, transmission, coils, fuel pumps, ect. that the vast majority of people on this site have had problems with one or more of these in the past. I feel compelled to let prospective buyers know of the problems that might occur with the vehicle they are looking into buying, instead of giving them "dilusions of grandsur" and telling them that they are making a "good investment" with money they have worked so hard for and the future money that they should plan on spending if they so choose to buy a vehicle like this. Now, don't get me wrong, when this w140 is running as it should, it is incredible, however, don't have any illusions that this car just requires oil changes and gas. If you do, you are sadly mistaken. Because of the sheer size of these vehicles and the relatively small powertrain, these cars are inherintly cursed with constant repairs. If you have the time to do these repairs yourself, and you enjoy this, then by all means, buy one. If you cannot do the necessary repairs by yourself, then I would think twice, otherwise the "stealerships" will take you to the bank. I personally can do all my repairs, and therefore, I can live with my purchase right now, but I would trade her in a New York minute for a 1990 560 SEL! That's just my thought...take it for what it's worth!:)
 

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1993 W140 500SEL Black/Black, 12014 Ford Fiesta ST Blk/Blk
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1,128 Posts
Lol. Virtually the same engines. Wow.

no.

Cooling system sub par? Larger radiator, three fans. Does just fine. Mine does, has.

Rushed production? yeah I guess 8-9 years is rather fast.... right. Fuel pumps?
Yup I have a customer with a 89 560SEC with 68k that needs em. Not my 162k mile 500SEL though.

But I guess a w126 as nice as they are, and they can be, still lack a level of refinement that allows things to go to shit and not notice them. The W140 was a first and last of it's kind, all the bells and whistles, the glass, the front suspension, magnificent engines... I could go on and on.
Take a pic of your W126 and place that as a profile pic, don't be a chassis whore. And don't complain when you have a 900USD W140 with 221,000 miles, you don't even know what it should feel like. Really.
 

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W140 Moderator
"CHRIS" Merc 92 600SEL / Sold > 93 600SE / 93 S500 / 89 560SEL / 413CDI / B180-CDI /A170-CDI
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7,642 Posts
:thumbsup:" +1 Andrew ":thumbsup:
W126 Nice Car ,would i go back to it "NEVER" ,after the W140 it is either another W140 (S600 maybe & most likely ) a W221 or a Bentley .
Your Post "Bradscooter" tells me and sends a strong Message to Buyers to stay away from the 6 Cyl Engine ,and i agree with that due to the Weight it has to carry around ,of course Headgaskets go all the time ,you had a cheap bad example of the w140 ,you should try one of the bigger 5.0L V8's or maybe V12's in the condition a W140 should be running ,your Opinion will change quickly .
Let me take you for a Drive for about a quick 1000Km's 9/10 Hours and you would'nt even know you did that ,i did the same in the W126 ,i was almost dead on arival ,almost .
W126 falls apart while the W140 dosnt ,i better keep quiet .
Ciao :thumbsup:
BTW: Mine didnt cost 900$ it cost me 24 times that and have enjoyed without a second of Regret every single Kilometre of those 22 times and still M .
 

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W140 Moderator
"CHRIS" Merc 92 600SEL / Sold > 93 600SE / 93 S500 / 89 560SEL / 413CDI / B180-CDI /A170-CDI
Joined
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7,642 Posts
Hi all, nice to be aboard. Just bought my first w140...its a 97 s 320 long wheel base, 68000 miles, mint shape, $7500.
Think i stole it.
Bought it in massapequa new york and drove it home to new bedford ma.
It ran very hot ...just under the red
when i got home i changed the thermostat and now alll is fine except the clutch fan has no resistence at all so i guess im gonna change it before summer.
anyway i will post pics when i take some

Steve
Hi Fireman
Congrats on your W140 and Welcome on of the Forum ,Hope you got yourself a good one wich sounds like that it is .
Let us know how you go with the clutchfan ,i'm pretty sure it is your Overheating Problem my Nissan had the same Problem took me ages to find out it was the Clutchfan but i ended up in the End with an all new Water system ,and then i sold it , LoL .
Ciao :thumbsup:

(AT least you know how to fix the water in the W140 ,lOl )
 

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W140 Moderator
"CHRIS" Merc 92 600SEL / Sold > 93 600SE / 93 S500 / 89 560SEL / 413CDI / B180-CDI /A170-CDI
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7,642 Posts

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Premium Member
1997 S600 (sold)
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4,660 Posts
Congrats fireman on the purchase. Hope it treats you well. Stick around. You may have some of the problems bradscooters mentions, but we'll be here to help you through it as much as possible. As you already noticed there is already a ton of info in the searchable archives.

I have to give kudos to NZbenz for diffusing this thread and getting us back on topic. Well said and well done.

Brett
 

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94 s350, 93 dodge cummins 250
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
thanks for all the kind words...i am not afraid, its just another car though nice as it is i know it will break, they all do.


although my 84 sd just keeps going...

Steve
 

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1994 S420
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310 Posts
I too am new to MB in the last month, welcome to the forum and my first advice is find a good independent mechanic to help you along.

My 60,000 mile and 15 year old S420 needed engine mounts. Dealer wanted $1200. Independent shop did it for $425 including OEM parts. He showed me the parts he removed without my asking. They were squashed flat.

The mechanic at both my pre purchase shop and current shop talked about how durable and reliable the cars are. They do require attention and maintenance.

Both shops talked about keeping engine and transmission properly lubricated. Attempts to shortcut could be expensive.

I can't speak to the poster complaining about over weight and underpowered. Mine does fine and I am not racing on Talledega anytime soon. Car rides smoothly and effortlessy.

I can get 20mpg in town and plus 23 hwy cruising at 75mph. My 6cyl Nissan can't do that !

I am confident I will replace an alternator, fuel pump, water pump in the next 50,000 miles. A couple I might do myself, and if the price is right, I will let the independent guy handle since I trust him.

All in all, I have a Benz for for about $10,000 less than I paid for a 55k mile Nissan Xterra. I could spend $5000 on repairs in the next three years and still be about half the cost of the Xterra. What is the problem with that ?
 

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Registered
2007 ML 350 Iridium Silver/ Ash (Sold)
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568 Posts
Hi all, nice to be aboard. Just bought my first w140...its a 97 s 320 long wheel base, 68000 miles, mint shape, $7500.
Think i stole it.
Bought it in massapequa new york and drove it home to new bedford ma.
It ran very hot ...just under the red
when i got home i changed the thermostat and now alll is fine except the clutch fan has no resistence at all so i guess im gonna change it before summer.
anyway i will post pics when i take some

Steve
Welcome to the W140 group,Sounds like you got a good find! ENJOY YOUR RIDE!
I will agree that our MBZ W140s can be troublesome at times,we did not purchase a two or three or even a 5 year old pre-owned car.
I have a S320L 1996 107,300 miles, a few problems, but I'm determined to keep everything in my cars in working order and Original Equipment,this does come at a price.
I really enjoy this car, the difference between my W140 and W220 is night and day.
This forum has been a great wealth of knowledge for me, I do not do the work myself, but it gives me the right info on what to tell my tech what the trouble is.
My advice to you is find a good indy,and come here first with your problem BEFORE you head to the service dept.
 

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Registered
1989 560 SEL, 1993 400 SEL, 1986 420 SEL, 1977 450 SL, 1984 300D, 1981 380 SL, 1983 500 SL
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606 Posts
Wow! I guess I fired you up a little! And yes, the cooling system is sub-par. This vehicle has a design flaw, in that, you cannot sit in traffic without the engine temp climbing rapidly to, and above, 100 degrees celcius. This problem has been consistant with the W140 since it rolled off the line. Take your car down to Atlanta, GA and try to run your A/C, on I-75 at 5:00 p.m. on a Friday, in July, and tell me that your car is not going to approach the "critical temp" indicator. The cooling system is not just the radiator. It is the overall ability to disipate the heat generated by the engine, and it is, if fact, a poorly designed system. And, I do agree that these cars "feel" great when riding down the road, I do not dispute that fact at all. Just because I paid $900 for the car, doesn't mean that it rides like a bucket of bolts! I got a good deal on the car because the previous owner couldn't get it running and it turned out that all I needed to do, was to get spark plug wires, so don't be so quick with the assumptions. It is true that this "W140" project started in 1981, however due to pressure brought on by other luxury car manufacturers, Mercedes did rush at the end to complete this project and because of the "billion" spent to create the W140, mercedes did go into areas that they avoided before and these areas were to lower the production cost, which, now has resulted in the "recycled material" used to make the wire harness that virtually every W140 ower has had to, or will have to replace at a high cost. Most of us on this site purchase our cars to drive on a daily basis, and when purchasing a car for a daily driver, will want to know what problems will occur with "said" vehicle, so I do not think that I was out of line in offering my opinion on this post. I myself wouldn't want people "blowing smoke up my a** telling me that what I bought is "the best thing since sliced bread" when they themselves know of the impending problems that might, and most likely will occur. Not all of us have the luxury of putting our car in "winter storage" for 6 months out of the year. That's great that you can, and my hat goes off to you, but for most of us here, we need a car that will get us through the 12 months of the year, and hell, lets face it, we bought a "used" car because we tried to save money, but you're not saving money if you average $300 in repairs a month, which with these cars is quite possible, considering age and mileage, and if you can't do the repairs yourself!
 

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94 s350, 93 dodge cummins 250
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
still snowing here so no pictures yet....

I do all my own work so no dealer for me except for parts i guess.

women have loads of nice qualities but because some have high maintainance i am not put off ...same applies here....some things are worth the trouble they may bring

We all feel the same otherwise we would not be here

Steve
 

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Registered
94 s350, 93 dodge cummins 250
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Bradssccooters

It has been my experience that factory cars with cooling problems have an issue and not factory flaw.

blocked fins, timing,fan clutch, radiator,thermostat,etc etc

the mercedes design is great with the thermostat that bleeds in coolant from the radiator slowly until the engin is completely warm then blocks water flow forcing all the coolant through the radiator thus eliminating temp fluctuations like in most vehicles

your car may infact have a factory flaw as u say but i dont think they all do

my 84sd diesel will get hot in the summmer with the air on and so will my wifes toyota and so does my dodge diesel, over 200 is not uncommon and my 55 chevy seen 220 a few times without issue though it made me uncomfortable

anyway cars can be a burden but if u like them u put up with the problems for the reward but when a particular car beats u down in can sour you so i sympathise

Steve
 

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Premium Member
1996 S320 (Kuro) 1998 S600 (Weiss)
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2,886 Posts
Fireman, first of all congrats on the purchase.

bradscooters; you didn't honestly expect joyful feedback after walking into the W140 enthusiasts area of BW and posting negative comments did you? :)

I've got a 96' 320 for taking the kids to school and a 97' 600, both of which are modded to death (as some of the older members around here can attest to putting up with my endless mod threads haha) and have had various issues with both cars, but nothing that has ever swayed me towards getting rid of them. There are of course horror stories out there, however with a bit of pre-purchase reading and a good maintenance schedule - you should have many many years of happy motoring out of your W140.
 

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Premium Member
M120, M119, W126*2 + Silver Avantgarde wagon
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4,742 Posts
Fireman, first of all congrats on the purchase.

bradscooters; you didn't honestly expect joyful feedback after walking into the W140 enthusiasts area of BW and posting negative comments did you? :)
+ 1

- Bradscooters, he had already bought it so raining on him was harsh - not nice. Warning him ahead of time maybe, and besides you bought a 93...! - early in the range can have more probs per capita so to speak. I learned my lesson when I bought an 86 420. First years are often more kinked. Although in the 2000 - 2006 s class it went on for longer than usual. I own a pair of W126's - and agree they are great to drive, especially on the twisties, opposite lock et al - but I love the W140. Stately.

- Anyone out there regularly get the W140 into oppposite lock? - is it even possible? It seems highly inappropriate somehow!

At my age it's all getting inappropiate! :D
 
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