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First Time Buyer 300SE 1993 w140k

3047 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  JFKennedy
I found a 1993 300SE with 140k for $13.9 at Luxury Motors in Downers Grove, IL.

I have owned SAABs in the past and did much of my own work due to the cost to repair. eventually, I parted with them due to the "love/hate" relationship-Love the car/hate to maintain it.

I have always longed for a Mercedes S Class. Saftey is a big appeal, as well as the simple beauty and engineering.

-What are the maintenance costs on a car like this, generally?
-Are there "mileage flags" such as Water Pump @ 100K, Master Cylinder @ 150K?

Bottom line...will a car like this nickel and dime me?

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2001 E430, 1973 280SE 4.5
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89 Posts
The early W140's had tremendous quality problem.The biggest problem would be leaking a...

The early W140's had tremendous quality problems.

The biggest problem would be leaking a/c evaporators, which cost about $4,500 to replace.

Further, even though this car is badged 300SE, it has the 3.2 liter M104 engine as used in the W124 and W210 chassis E320. The '93-'95 3.2 M104 engines had bad engine wiring harnesses. The insulation of the wires breaks down due to heat and causes terrible driveability problems. This engine also had a bad head gasket design that manifests as an oil leak at the right rear corner of the head (passenger side).

If the a/c evaporator, the engine wiring harness, and the head gasket have been replaced then it's might be worth buying.

If you have no proof that any of these have done, budget $4,500 for a new evaporator, $850 for a new wiring harness, and $1,500 for a new head gasket.
 

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280Sw116/380SELw126
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341 Posts
The 'incorrect' badging is just as correct as the 280 SEL 4.5, 300 SEL 6.3, or the 450 SEL...

The 'incorrect' badging is just as correct as the 280 SEL 4.5, 300 SEL 6.3, or the 450 SEL 6.9! The numbers just don't match and it dosen't make sense. Same deal with the next level up 400 SE/L, it has a 4.2 engine. Mercecdes has quite a history of "misbadging".
[:D]
 

· Registered
92 500SEL to 01 E320T current 2014 lexus LS460
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3,885 Posts
300 se

If you want to do work on this mcar beware, there are no manuals available whatsoever. These early 140s had a common vibration problem at about 45. The AC is very expensive due to evaporator failures some dealers/factory have assisted on parts. The Bose sound system has bad capacitors, Becker and some others are selling rebuilts 400-500. The closing system for doors and trunk also problematic. Parts are expensive. Great comfortable car!
 

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300 SE
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27 Posts
93 300 SE

I just purchased a 92 model last month with 144,000 miles. I paid $10,000 the car looks and drives great. I had to replace the door close assist(which you don't have to have but is nice) was able to purchase from Perfromance Analysis Company for $185.00 rebuilt with 1 year warranty phone 865-482-9175. My AC does not work yet, but the freon is full so no leaks. I had to replace the wiring harness at a cost of $575.00. These are all DIY projects and very easy to do. There is enough help on the internet to make up for no manuals. Join the Mecerdes Benz Club of America the best resource for information that you can hope to find. It costs around $40.00 per year. I would get the dealer down on the price because you will need the money to make some repairs. It is a great car. Just buy it right and do check out the AC, head gasket and radio. You will find those are real issues that you may have to contend with.
 

· Registered
2001 E430, 1973 280SE 4.5
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89 Posts
Re: The 'incorrect' badging is just as correct as the 280 SEL 4.5, 300 SEL 6.3, or the 450 SEL

The 'incorrect' badging is just as correct as the 280 SEL 4.5, 300 SEL 6.3, or the 450 SEL 6.9! The numbers just don't match and it dosen't make sense. Same deal with the next level up 400 SE/L, it has a 4.2 engine. Mercecdes has quite a history of "misbadging".
[:D]
Yeah, look at my signature. All 1993 300E's got the 3.2 liter engine, but the badge still read 300E. They should've badged it as E320 (which they did the next year), or 300E 3.2 (like they did the 300E 2.6 and 300E 2.8), or even 320E.

The 1992-1993 400E's always had the 4.2 liter V8, and the badging was correctly changed to E420 in 1994.

Heck, the current C240 sedan has a 2.6 liter six cylinder.

Go figure...
 

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Current: '14 S550, '99 S500, '10 Prius; Previous: '93 400SEL, '98 Corolla
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105 Posts
I found a 1993 300SE with 140k for $13.9 at Luxury Motors in Downers Grove, IL.

I have owned SAABs in the past and did much of my own work due to the cost to repair. eventually, I parted with them due to the "love/hate" relationship-Love the car/hate to maintain it.

I have always longed for a Mercedes S Class. Saftey is a big appeal, as well as the simple beauty and engineering.

-What are the maintenance costs on a car like this, generally?
-Are there "mileage flags" such as Water Pump @ 100K, Master Cylinder @ 150K?

Bottom line...will a car like this nickel and dime me?
I would definitely suggest you look at this seriously. The W140 S-Class cars are great (albeit all the problems noted by the others here, which are all valid). One thing I would add is that the price is definitely on the high side (I'm assuming no major work was done - A/C evaporator, Suspension, etc.). You should probably look at $10K or so....definitely not 13.9 (K - I'm assuming you omitted the k). If you can't get the price down you should probably pass...There will be other W140s you can look at if you really want one. And yes, they get addictive after you get your first S-Class (especially a W140). Hope this helps..
 

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Re: 300 se

The Bose sound system has bad capacitors, Becker and some others are selling rebuilts 400-500.
That's absolutely correct. I decided to open the Bose Amp. after the speakers started making popping sounds and other weird noises. The amp has a motherboard and 7 daughterboards attached to it. I inspected all 7 boards carefully and did not find anything abnormal. Then I looked at the main board and found two blown capacitors. I purchased several 16v 47uf Hi-temp (105C) capacitors, (they are all over the main board and daughter boards), replaced the blown capacitors and voila! problem solved. The radio performs like new.
Before doing this I had called Becker of North America and enquired about the repair cost on the amp and they quoted me something like $400 given my symptoms and based on a exchange repair.

NOTE: This is just my personal experience and does not guarantee that my advice will be suitable for your current of future problems. Use my advice at your own discretion.
 

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1992 300SE
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8 Posts
I have one myself...

These cars are great but one has to be careful. With 140k, your looking at a reliable car. i shall explain. When new, these cars had their flaws. The a/c's failed at around 100k, the trans needed rebuilds no later than 120k, and the speakers for the stereo would malfunction and needed updating. With 140k on the ticker, you are looking at a great car that will not take you for a nasty ride. I am 99.9% sure that the a/c has been done, along with the trans. and the stereo, note any popping noises when you turn it on. My 300se had all these simptoms when new, and i payed the price. My trans just went at 123K miles. After this, i plan to enjoy the car without problems. I would replace the alternator and starter motor at 150k for preventative maintenance and a water pump and timing chain @ 200k. other than that the car is awesome. It is meant to be driven and enjoyed. The car is probably 13.5k because it has had all the necessary adjustments. I would go for it, ur not putting urself in a bad spot.
 

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1995 MB S320V: 2006 kawasaki vulcan 900 lt
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414 Posts
Re: 93 300 SE

JFKennedy:
When you say wireing harness, are you refering to the plug wires or the complete ignition system?
Just curious.

Barry
I just purchased a 92 model last month with 144,000 miles. I paid $10,000 the car looks and drives great. I had to replace the door close assist(which you don't have to have but is nice) was able to purchase from Perfromance Analysis Company for $185.00 rebuilt with 1 year warranty phone 865-482-9175. My AC does not work yet, but the freon is full so no leaks. I had to replace the wiring harness at a cost of $575.00. These are all DIY projects and very easy to do. There is enough help on the internet to make up for no manuals. Join the Mecerdes Benz Club of America the best resource for information that you can hope to find. It costs around $40.00 per year. I would get the dealer down on the price because you will need the money to make some repairs. It is a great car. Just buy it right and do check out the AC, head gasket and radio. You will find those are real issues that you may have to contend with.
 

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300 SE
Joined
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27 Posts
Wiring harness

I bought it from the dealer (Jackie Cooper) here in Tulsa. It is really a snap to install and that is not intended to be a play on words. But all the connections snap on. I just pulled the cowling loose on top and laid the new one beside it and removed and re-installed in order. It does not take long at all. It took me longer to go to the dealer than it did to install. The injectors are at the correct length that you can't confuse that. The other two connections are senders from the front of the motor having to do with temp senders. They are different and can not confuse either. I belong to the Mercedes Benz Club of America and the dealers give us a 15% discount. A good deal for $40.00 a year membership.
If you have any other questions, give me a call.
By the way I was able to have my A/C fixed for less than $200.00. It was a broken wire on the compressor.
 

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300 SE
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27 Posts
Wiring harness

Barry,
This was the harness that pertains to the fuel injectors, temp senders, etc.
I also replaced the plug wires, I was able to get them from Autozone (Bosh wires) for $350.00 for the set. I also intalled the platium plugs only to take them out and go back to factory spec plugs. The others did not work well.
 
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