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91 Puch 300GE, 08 E320CDI 4m, 98 VW Polo Classic 1.6
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153 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have noticed several G400CDI owners, so I would like to ask about their experience with the car. I live in eastern Europe and the G400CDI was very popular here when new. Now there are a lot of used cars on the market for very nice prices(I have found for example a 2001 LWB, full option, black on black, 175t kms and after a big service for 16K Euro) as people are afraid of the high maintaince costs. Any other models, like G500 or a G270CDI are much harder to find.

So my question is, is it really so bad? What are the most common problems(expect electrical gremlins, which can be found on all Gs this old)? How much should I prepare to pay for maintaince and service annually? Can anybody compare it to a G500?

Thanks in advance.
 

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2001 G400CDI
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322 Posts
Hi, try to search this forum for G400 in the recent threads. I own a G400 and I am happy with it. Some guy was very annoyed with it and had lots of weird electrical problems which causes I cannot understand. He sold it. The rule of thumb is try to stay out of MB dealers with it. As soon as you do that and you do it yourself or go to a good sense mechanic all your service pays and problems should drop dramatically.

There are a few investments that you will have to do when you buy the car. Most probably the previous owner instead of doing those decided to sell it knowing the costs and that is a 100k+ kms. Just hearing the strong crank noise is enogh to make you sell the damn car. It has a profound psychological impact. Plus MB never does a job half way, meaning they will never replace just the chain tensioner but propose to replace everything in time case (~2k euro). It costed me in 2 years ~10k euros to replace everything i felt like it, but bare in mind that i am paranoic ie the car has to work perfect. the only problem that made the car unusable was the transmission due to its faulty conductor plate which made the car go into LIMP mode.
For that ~10k euros I got: new bushings, new springs, new hydraulic unit in transmission, new transmission computer (i wanted the new version, the old one was ok also),new headlights and projectors, new A/C radiator, new chain tensioner, new trasmission belt+tensioner+idle pulley, new 4 16" MB original rims for offroad, new brake pads, and a new cv between gearbox and t-case, new back window power regulator, new door sill lights + the labor for some of them which i couldn't do myself, + all the possible fluids this car has.

please do not hold me responsible if you get a 'haunted' car. like that first guy i told you about. that could happen with any model (even g55, you'll find on these forums also) and any make.

feel free to search using advanced search by the user names of the g400 owners you see around here.
 

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G 500 06 / 300 GE Cab 91 / 300D 83 Turbo/ 300GD 1980
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1,318 Posts
People use to say that early 400 CDI ( 2000 ) are more problematic than late (2005), i would go to 270 CDI for other reasons , like better consume , good torque 400nm , etc....Very low experience with 400CDI on this forum as it has never been imported in the US
 

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G270cdi 2004
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130 Posts
It would be a gamble if you can't be sure who is previous owner, how the car is mentioned and a detail inspect drive shafts u-joint, cv joint, posible demages etc.). G is a very strong vehicle but if some service instruction are mised it could be very very expensive. Especialy if your service support is the official MB.
 

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91 Puch 300GE, 08 E320CDI 4m, 98 VW Polo Classic 1.6
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153 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
For that ~10k euros I got: new bushings, new springs, new hydraulic unit in transmission, new transmission computer (i wanted the new version, the old one was ok also),new headlights and projectors, new A/C radiator, new chain tensioner, new trasmission belt+tensioner+idle pulley, new 4 16" MB original rims for offroad, new brake pads, and a new cv between gearbox and t-case, new back window power regulator, new door sill lights + the labor for some of them which i couldn't do myself, + all the possible fluids this car has.
Interesting, only a very few things seem to be G400CDI specific. Just for my information, what was wrong with the driveshaft? I am only asking because we had center driveshaft problem on a G350DT, which caused vibration at low speeds(until about 40 km/h). The MB shop told 1250 euro for the shaft and 200 euro for labour. A truck shop rebalaced the driveshaft for 16,60 euro...

To enlighten my situation a little bit. From the summer I am G-less and searching a 2000 G500, but during the last week we got about 20 cm of snow, so I have to quicken my search. In about 500 kms circle around my home(I don´t have the time and mood to travel further) those cars are available:
- a 97 G300DT which seems to by used offroad a lot for 17t euro,
- a 98 G500 which used to be a VIP taxi at a mountain hotel for 20t euro,
- a 93 500GE which was parked at a dealer lot for 2 recent years and has no front difflock for about 13t euro,
- a ex-Firefighter 95 290GD with manual gearbox for about 11t euro

and two one-owner 2001 G400CDIs, which look like they were never been offroad(street tirez on 18 inch rims, no offroad equipment, no scratches or body damage form offroad driving), one for 18t euro and the second one(I like more) for around 16t euro.

One more thing, I forgot to ask. A friend of mine owned a 03 G270CDI and had a few smaller problems with the car. The MB shop was not able to do anything, so my friend picked up the phone and called to Graz. From Graz they sent him a list of upgrades(I remember there was something with gearbox computer, a RACOR military style fuel filter, an upgraded water pump and some smaller things). Does anybody know if there is a similar list for G400?
 

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2001 G400CDI
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322 Posts
The driveshaft had pretty big play in one joint.
I think you should also consider what you prefer diesel or not. Me I'm a diesel addict.
Where do you live BTW? 'Cause those G400 are much more cheaper than the ones in Germany or Romania. In Romania at least their price is around 24k euros and depending on condition up to 30k.

I'm not suprised about what MB shop told. First time I had LIMP I took it to MB shop. They told me the gearbox is trash and I need to replace torque converter, gearbox, and control unit. The total price would have been around 12-13k euros with a discount for giving in my old parts. They forgot to mention that the "new" gearbox would have been a factory reconditioned one probably just like my own would have become with minor parts replaced.

From your list, the G500 seems to be the most cared for one, but 3 years older than the G400. With G500 you'll find extensive information on this site

Whichever you choose test for fluid leaks, weird noises and difflocks operation at least.
 

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91 Puch 300GE, 08 E320CDI 4m, 98 VW Polo Classic 1.6
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153 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
The one for 18 000 euro is in Dunajska Streda, Slovakia and the one for around 16 000 euro is in Prague, Czech republic.
 
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