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1992 W140
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87 Posts
I've only ever seen one early W140 up close, a 300SE. It seemed everywhere I looked, felt and listened was an improvement over the later models. The M104 looked very handsome without that crossover intake pipe cutting through the valve cover, and it even has a float gauge at the front for the window washer bottle.
I have a pre and post-facelift and 110% agree the earlier cars are superior. Everything is cheaper: paint, carpet, leather, plastic. When you drive them back to back you sense the updated car doesn't ring true as a traditional Mercedes like all the W126 were. My least favorite downgrade is the updated door design (which also has the door heating deleted).
 

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MY96 S600
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3,199 Posts
Re. doors the early Bose system has larger speaker enclosures built into the doors vs later MY94+ with the revised interior & door cards.

In theory I'd love a well sorted 600SEL but at this stage in life a late model S500 and S600 is plenty to chew on.
 

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MY96 S600
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3,199 Posts
Melb140 that post you quoted of mine is pretty old and I've since owned a 600SEL. It needed work that I didn't have the time for so I passed it on. Overall I prefer the MY96+ cars, as for me the updated transmission and engine management give the later cars a clear win overall. I still would like a 600SEL as a 2nd or 3rd M120 equipped 140.

Managed to own at the same time a late S600, late CL600 plus an early 600SEL, that's the perfect combo for M120 W140s imo, unless you are prepared to also own and maintain a 600SEC.
 

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1994 S600 Coupe, 1995 S600 Coupe
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2,280 Posts
I have a pre and post-facelift and 110% agree the earlier cars are superior. Everything is cheaper: paint, carpet, leather, plastic. When you drive them back to back you sense the updated car doesn't ring true as a traditional Mercedes like all the W126 were. My least favorite downgrade is the updated door design (which also has the door heating deleted).
So that's what that ducting in the early cars door panels is for. My 94 S600 coupe had it, but when I upgraded the interior to Exclusive spec, the 95 door panels did not. However, I don't know how much heat they'd provide, since mine, and a 93 600SEC I'm working on, have no outlets! They ran all that plastic ducting, and it's blanked off at the end behind the door pockets.

Jon
 

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1992 W140
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87 Posts
However, I don't know how much heat they'd provide, since mine, and a 93 600SEC I'm working on, have no outlets! They ran all that plastic ducting, and it's blanked off at the end behind the door pockets.
Jon
On long runs in the cold it's enough to noticeably heat up the doors and keep the interior warm for longer after the car is off. Mercedes had been doing this for a long time before the W140.
 

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1992 W140
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87 Posts
Re. doors the early Bose system has larger speaker enclosures built into the doors vs later MY94+ with the revised interior & door cards.
The updated sound system is inferior IMO. I didn't realise the speakers themselves were smaller. An argument at the time was that people thought the original version had too much bass and that's why it was changed. That was probably sales speak. There was also a change to the amplifier with the update. The newer one is reliable compared with the original BOSE composed of several modules which has been a major headache to get repaired. As to the sound quality the updated version is better than the standard system available in the BMW E38 at the time but not as good as the V12 750 DSP system. I would like to upgrade the system in my facelift car if I can keep the original head unit.
 

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1994 S600 Coupe, 1995 S600 Coupe
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2,280 Posts
The speaker size in coupes is identical between the 93 system with the original style Bose amp, and the 94 and up version.


Jon
 

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93 SL500, 95 SL320, 96 S320, 98 S500, 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon & A little 91 5.0 FORD Mustang
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8,088 Posts
1st gen is too low in bass, and that noisy front to back pot. 94-95 are major step up, but the 96 and above just sound better to me.

Seat buddy who died not to long ago replaced the entire sound system in his 92 with a 97 system with wire harnesses with brackets and antenna. The inside left carpet panel.

One those 1/2-off days at the junk yards one can get the whole system for under $100..

Martin
 

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'89 300SE, '98 S500, '12 CL63, '17 AMG GTS
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29 Posts
The Bose system in my 1998 S500 sounds superb, even by today's standards. It's just as clear if not clearer than the Harmon/Kardon in my C216 CL63, but also has better bass and a "fuller" sound than the C216. I haven't listened to a pre-1996 W140 though, so I can't compare to those.
 
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