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Hello guys and gals, hope everyone in the benz community is doing fine. the reason for my post is that i will be looking at two different 1995 e320's tomorrow. One has 100k miles with a new harness and one has 130k miles but owner doesnt know if the harness has been replaced. My question is how do i know if the harness was replaced or not, because i had a look see on ebay and paying 1000 dollars for a new harness is ridiculous. See im coming over from the world of LEXUS where the only expense ive had for the past 7 years and 5 different lexus cars is brakes oil and fuel.

I would appreciate it if you folks could fill me in, to what i should look for in the harness and or leaking head gasket and any othre issues these cars have I have done my research on the web as much as i can so please do not think im trying to take the easy way out and not search. Thank you all in advance.
 

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You will not like the world of 124 Mercedes if you are used to a Lexus. My mom has a '98 ES300 with 198k mikes on it and literally nothing put into it other than an alternator at 135k, timing belt too of course. Where as I am constantly replacing parts on my 124s with about the same mileage.

Late model 124 issues include: engine wiring harness, electronic throttle actuator harness, transmission, evaporator and headgasket. Having any one of these done at a shop will be over 1k (in some cases well over) so it really pays to do your own work on these cars.

If you aren't planning on turning your own wrenches I highly recommend finding a car with all the above issues taken care of. These cars are great once they are sorted and will last quite a long time. Just don't expect anything near Lexus level of maintenance on a car with little to no records.
 

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Those are 17 year old cars, so if you're already balking about maintenance, you should probably look elsewhere for something newer and different.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Those are 17 year old cars, so if you're already balking about maintenance, you should probably look elsewhere for something newer and different.
Your post makes absolutely no sense in regards to the questions that i have asked. I dont need something thats newer i already have 3 cars one dd lexus one weekend lexus and one weekend mustang. Im looking for a benz because i was born and raised in europe and was driven home from the hospital in a w123. I want a w124 because im an enthusiast, not lOoking to buy one as major transportation but that does not mean i can just buy one without knowing about 1 thousand dollar engineering defects. The harness problem is not maintanance its an engineerig disaster and i would love some feedback not a life lesson.


Furthermore, do the updated harnesses have any sort of marking or numbers that differentiate them from the oems? I mean im thinking since this car is so dang old it has had to have been replaced.

Will let you all know tmorrow how the test drives go. Im really excited i could see myself driving one by next week. :)
 

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My post makes perfect sense, as you prefaced this thread by indicating that your other vehicles had only required brakes and oil; these 17 year old vehicles will more than likely need those items, plus the usual maintenance stuff that comes along with age. Just attempting to ensure that your expectations match the reality of what you're embarking upon. These are fabulous vehicles, but they're not "point and go" appliances at this point in their aging cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes sir i completely understand. I do apologize for the negative vibe in my post above. I have owned 3 mercs personally. A 1984 w123 300d that i sold because it wasnt perfect, a 1991 300d that was lost in an auto accident and a 2003 ml. I love these cars with a passion. Every single day i look at the classifieds not because im looking to buy a car but because without a pre95 mercedes in my stable it just doesnt feel right.

With my 91 300d i never knew of any harness issues, but with the gassers upon doing some further searching it seems as if these harnesses are a tickig time bomb. Now if i can find out if its been replaced or not that would be great news.
 

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I'm quite partial to the '90 - '93 300Ds, which as you mentioned don't have harness issues, but the '95 E300D would also be an excellent option. These have been known to suffer from the harness thing, but since it's a diesel, the harness is much simpler and less expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The diesels are dang near impossible to acquire. Thats just how it is. I like the w124 regardless because of its styling diesel or gasser. Im going to check out the diy section as i noticed on a thread someone had mentioned of a diy on your own harness. To be honest i dont know how they can charge so much money for some wires.
 

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If you think a W124 harness is expensive, try this on for size.

I'm in the process of replacing the bottom seat cushon on
a W221 S550. The leather covered cushion with heating elements
& cooling fans is..................$3500.

I see unbelieveable parts prices every day on the new models
at my dealer where I work.

Parts prices on my 400E pale by comparison, that's why I drive one.
 

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I'd be far more concerned with the evap, transmission and headgakset than the wiring harness. Not that it doesn't need to be checked, but it isn't that hard finding a replacement for less than a grand. But that's just me...
 

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Amazing, on to the second page and no answer to your question yet:surrender:

The replacement harness should have a tag on it. I think most will have been made by Delphi. Some more searching should net you a more specific answer, and probably even a pic of where to look for a tag on the harness. I think if it has an MB tag, it is original. Good Luck
 

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Amazing, on to the second page and no answer to your question yet/QUOTE]

I was just thinking the same thing. :(

The original harness label (follow the positive terminal cable as it snakes across into the engine compartment) has two dates on it: the date of design and the date of manufacture. One could be 95, but likely both list earlier dates.

I have not seen an update harness label, as both my 93 300CE and 95 E300 have original harnesses. Presumably, the update has a newer than 95 manufacture date, but might still list an early 90's design date.

Hope that helps.
 

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Hello guys and gals, hope everyone in the benz community is doing fine. the reason for my post is that i will be looking at two different 1995 e320's tomorrow. One has 100k miles with a new harness and one has 130k miles but owner doesnt know if the harness has been replaced. My question is how do i know if the harness was replaced or not, because i had a look see on ebay and paying 1000 dollars for a new harness is ridiculous. See im coming over from the world of LEXUS where the only expense ive had for the past 7 years and 5 different lexus cars is brakes oil and fuel.

I would appreciate it if you folks could fill me in, to what i should look for in the harness and or leaking head gasket and any othre issues these cars have I have done my research on the web as much as i can so please do not think im trying to take the easy way out and not search. Thank you all in advance.
It looks like others have answered your question on the harness. As far as what to look out for, a transmission rebuild is usually needed before the car gets to 150k. See if either has already gotten a replacement. As far as head gasket, the place to look is the passenger side of the engine, at the parting line between the head and block. If there is oil running down there, it is a sure HG failure. Also, you can look in the coolant to ensure you see no black oil in it.

A lot of people like Lexus but I can count on one hand the amount of times I have spoken to a Lexus owner who had any passion for automobiles. They (the car) are cold, and appliance-like; much like anything the Japanese manufacture. Lexus will also not be a very economical car once you get into the 225, - 250k range, whereas a Benz will just be hitting its stride.

Post up any questions you might have once you've shaken both cars down.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I talked with the owner as the weather didnt permit for me to look at the car. He said he had all dealer maintained records for the car from may 95' until he bought it 3 years ago with 90 on it and it has almost 130k now. So harness is more than likely original.

As for the whole lexus thing i have tons of friends from all walks of life that have turbos on their second gen gs300's running tens in the quarter mile. Thats what im building up as we speak on my 2jz gs300. Check out clublexus.com if you ever get a chance.

Anyways what about the evap is there any tell tale signs of it bring on its way out? Thanks guys youve been a great deal of help, and i please ask you to keep the thread on topic.
 

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Im going to take a look at 92 300te 4matic this weekend... Is this model have same issues as those included in post #2 ? i a bit scared i wanted a diesel but i cant find one. Any suggestions? I know that blower motor needs to be replaced and antena doesnt work. But i know those arent hard to do. I wrench my car myself. Thanks
 

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I talked with the owner as the weather didnt permit for me to look at the car. He said he had all dealer maintained records for the car from may 95' until he bought it 3 years ago with 90 on it and it has almost 130k now. So harness is more than likely original.

As for the whole lexus thing i have tons of friends from all walks of life that have turbos on their second gen gs300's running tens in the quarter mile. Thats what im building up as we speak on my 2jz gs300. Check out clublexus.com if you ever get a chance.

Anyways what about the evap is there any tell tale signs of it bring on its way out? Thanks guys youve been a great deal of help, and i please ask you to keep the thread on topic.
If the car was dealer maintained, then there should be a record of the harness being done in the car's history or in the records.
 

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Im going to take a look at 92 300te 4matic this weekend... Is this model have same issues as those included in post #2 ? i a bit scared i wanted a diesel but i cant find one. Any suggestions? I know that blower motor needs to be replaced and antena doesnt work. But i know those arent hard to do. I wrench my car myself. Thanks
I sold my 4matic, because that system is known to be difficult to work on, few local mechanics have ever repaired/replaced one, I worried about facing the $4000 repair AND if the repair failed in a few years after repair...no mechanic would likely stand behind it.

I loved having the 4x4, and in 4 winters, I had no issues whatsoever. (Except that extra weight, wonderful car, slow as molasses)

IMO, I would not buy a 4matic as an entry 124. Although, I did. And I cannot explain what has happened since but my sig pic tells the story. :)
 
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