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1977 W123.123 1995 W124.034
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3,875 Posts
I think the author must be "one of us" :cool:
 
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W124
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Nice write up. IMHO though the W124 isn't only the best car Mercedes built; it is the best car ANY manufacturer ever built - for longevity, durability, build quality, cost performance. How many '90 Lexus coupes do you see on the road these days?
 

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04 odyssey (265k) 1995 E320 wagon (295k)
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Discussion Starter #5
Always love your intellectual commentary.
Thanks for the contribution.

Love ya buddy
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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I consider the following as the "fantastic 6", R107, W116, W123, W126, W124 and finally R129 listed in order of vehicle release.

For sheer reliability, at the expense of creature comforts, is the W123 with the OM617 5 cylinder diesel bar none. Indestructible unless you do something really stupid like knock a hole in the oil sump.

The best all rounder is the W124 due to the various versions offered.

The W116 is the best S class especially the 4.5L M117 V8 with K Jetronic or better yet the 6.9L M100 V8, the W126 has the dullest interior. I consider the W126 the least desirable of the 6.

For a sportier fun ride, the R129 is tops but the R107 beats it on the reliability and cost of ownership fronts.

Everything that came afterwards were accountant and marketing specials.

And I left the W140 off the list because even though it is a great car, the facelifted version also got hit by the accountants. Quality of leather, reduced power outputs, certain engine and drivetrain components to name a few. Also parts prices are one a whole different level. Example, the mirror (glass only) for the side mirrors are over 1K per piece just to give an idea. Everyone looks for the later cars, I prefer the early cars BUT it is a car that can be a blessing or a curse if you can't work on it yourself due to its complexity.
 

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1999 E320, 2000 E320, 2003 E320 Wagon, 2005 C230K SS, 2010 Accord LX w Eibach & Koni FSD's
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3,140 Posts
At the risk of being blasphemous...............the W124 was far from perfect. I like the successor a lot better!
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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At the risk of being blasphemous...............the W124 was far from perfect. I like the successor a lot better!
You mean the W210? Those were better . . . if you like your cars brown, as in rust brown.

2644492
 

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1999 E320, 2000 E320, 2003 E320 Wagon, 2005 C230K SS, 2010 Accord LX w Eibach & Koni FSD's
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89 300E; 00 E320
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Same in GA, the 2000 has a minor bit of rust on the bottom corner of the muffler, that's it.
 

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W124
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Show me how many W210s make it to 300k miles.
 

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1999 E320, 2000 E320, 2003 E320 Wagon, 2005 C230K SS, 2010 Accord LX w Eibach & Koni FSD's
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Show me how many W210s make it to 300k miles.
Oh come on! You of all people know that any car can make it to 300K. It's all about cost.

A W210 will make it there a lot cheaper than a W124. M112/M113 engine are practically "bullet proof". How many head gaskets or valve seal replacements will be needed for a W124 to reach 300K?

One big reason you hardly see any W124s on the road anymore is that they are notorious difficult to have pass smog inspections. A W124 will literally emit 100X more pollutants than a W210.
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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The rust problems with the W210 is on multiple levels.

You have the use of 1st gen water based paints, combined with subpar sheetmetal and undercoatings and the results are like this. This is the rear subframe perch from a pre facelift W210 that from the outside looks all right, but dive underneath and it feels like you are watching a National Geographic documentary on the erosion effects on the Titanic.

These cars, when exposed to real 4 season climates, just wither and decay away. Here in Belgium, you hardly ever see a W210 any more and when you do it is riddled with exterior rust as if somebody paintballed the damn thing.

It reminds of me Italian cars from the 70s. Those things started rusting while in transit to the dealer.

2644609
 

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04 odyssey (265k) 1995 E320 wagon (295k)
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Discussion Starter #16
W124, W210, both good cars.
I like heavy metal of 124, but agreed 210 (despite conductor plate issues) are very reliable. My wagon spent 14 yrs in NC, rest in Pennsylvania...w124 is not rust proof by any means. After all 210 is an evolution of 124.

But it doesn't change my love of the 124.
 

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W124
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It reminds of me Italian cars from the 70s. Those things started rusting while in transit to the dealer.
The only thing I can ad is in the case of Alfa Romeo, the metal was rusting on its way to the factory.
 

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'92 300TE 4matic 280,000miles, '92 300TE 4Matic 'Ice Blue Metalic' 101,000miles
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10,496 Posts
There is a HUGE constituent base for the W123's. I think they were fine cars as well. My sister-in-law bought one new with the diesel. She had it forever and it always looked like new inside and out. The suspension system on the 124 is more advanced as are some other features.....notice I didn't say 'better', just a logical progression by the Germans to the next series. The W210's were OK cars....certainly if you can find a 'deal' on one today, but at this point MB was starting to turn the cars' fate over to bean counters. And yes, buy one from the desert because they DO rust.

My biggest beef with the 124 is nothing mechanical, although the M103 CIS-E system has its 'moments'. My problem is with the paint. All of us that have peeling clear coat are stuck with a problem that is almost insurmountable in cost. Unless you have a buddy with a body shop or are in the biz, the cost of a good paint job exceeds the value of the cars. This is a problem I can't resolve, although Jim says f--- it and get out the rattle can.:p

And I'm sure as hell not going to disturb a good headliner to get at removing the luggage rack for repainting...nay, nay.

Kevin
 

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W124
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Oh come on! You of all people know that any car can make it to 300K. It's all about cost.

A W210 will make it there a lot cheaper than a W124. M112/M113 engine are practically "bullet proof". How many head gaskets or valve seal replacements will be needed for a W124 to reach 300K?

One big reason you hardly see any W124s on the road anymore is that they are notorious difficult to have pass smog inspections. A W124 will literally emit 100X more pollutants than a W210.
You are very right about that. If you have deep pockets you could keep practically anything running. But here on the East Coast W124s are a daily sighting. We don't smog anything over 25 years so all we have to worry about is the aging of Bosch's fuel injection components. Straight up, I'll take a W124 ungaraged against an ungaraged W210 any day of the week. The driving experience in the 210 is more enjoyable but with the inclination to corrode, its bizarre transmission issues, and Teutonic exploitation of OBDII, it won't last as long IMO. As far as the M112, true its a solid powerplant but it too has its stupidity. Ignition coils that fail with regularity, catalytic converters that won't make 100k miles, oil level sensors that require the oil pan to be dropped; it has a ways to go before its bulletproof.
 

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'92 300TE 4matic 280,000miles, '92 300TE 4Matic 'Ice Blue Metalic' 101,000miles
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10,496 Posts
W124, W210, both good cars.
I like heavy metal of 124, but agreed 210 (despite conductor plate issues) are very reliable. My wagon spent 14 yrs in NC, rest in Pennsylvania...w124 is not rust proof by any means. After all 210 is an evolution of 124.

But it doesn't change my love of the 124.
I think once they got away from CIS-E and went to V-6's and V-8's that the drive train got more reliable/serviceable. But I'm a gasser guy and so cannot speak for the various diesels they used over time.

Kevin
 
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