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Discussion Starter #1
I have read the W124 buyers guide, but I figured I would post here in case anyone had some specific advice regarding this car. I found an '89 300E with 58k miles on it. What are some of the things I should look out for when I go and take a look at the car? From the pictures posted it doesn't look like there is rust, but I will still look carefully. I tried posting the link to the car but as it was my first post it didn't let me.
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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3 things you should look and ask for right off the bat.

1) Service records, more service records, and lots more service records. A 33 year old car should have lots of history to validate that sort of trailer queen mileage

2) Look for any signs of odometer rollback. The digits should all line up perfectly, and with such "low mileage" the last 2 digits should be perfectly lined up with the first 2 and the color should be uniform across all 6 digits. IF the last 2 look grayish or dirty, suspect rollback.

3) For a car living in the rustbelt, check for rust everywhere. Demand to see the car up on the lift for a closeup examination from underneath
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank for the tips. The mileage did seem a little too good to be true. I have actually found a mechanic who works on these old Mercedes that I can look at the car and put it on a lift before I buy the car.
 

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Good move having a Pre Purchase Inspection (PPI). These cars were built so well and with such hearty materials, that a 150,000 mile example can look just as nice as one with 50,000. Check the windshield for two things:
In the lower right hand side of the front windshield, there should be an off white sticker Mercedes Benz put there with a facsimile of a signature. This usually is not transferred or replaced when a windshield is replaced. Second, check the windshield for stone chips, evidence of sandblasting. At the mileage this car is supposed to have, the windshield should be clear and relatively unmarked. Good luck
 

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89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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I would also check the month the car was built/left the factory which is in the driver door plate. You want post 2/89. I have a 10/88 car. The camshaft/rocker are entirely different between pre and post 2/89. This car is low mileage and may not be an issue (wear with the old design shows up around 150K miles but still ...) for a few years but it is a ticking time-bomb.
 

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Looking more deeply, I would be very suspicious of this car. It is red which you really have to love but few do. The windshield has been changed, which is extremely odd with a car like this. My 400e has had over 100,000 miles on New York area roads and has its original windshield. This car did 40,000 of its 57k miles on Missouri roads. Where did all the salt damage in the engine compartment come from?
Finally, if you are looking for an '89, this is the wrong car; its an '86, which in my opinion is the worst year for these cars.
 

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If you are casually looking for the "right car", I would rec looking at 1990-93 second generation cars, or the 1994-95 face lift cars. Better appointed, factory improvements under the skin, etc. My 2.5 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm not really tied to a specific year, the '89 in the title of this topic was a typo. I think I am still going to look at this car but I'll be suspicious and ask my mechanic about these concerns that you all have mentioned.
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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If it is an 86, strike my comments, it has he crappy camshaft and rockers. If you really want to know the true mileage on that engine open the valve cover (10 min job and the gasket is re-usable) and have a peak inside. Pay attention to the wear marks on the cam lobes particularly first and last lobes in the camshaft. You may even missing lobe pointer. You may have to rotate the engine to see that though for the last lobes.

But as others pointed out, 90-95 models of these cars are the desirable years. I would be patient and look around some more.

- Cheers!
 

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A factory update on the Series I cars (an '86 falls in Series I) was to install a flat metal clamp on one of the center cam towers to hold the oil sprayer bar down. This would be an indication as to whether or not the car had dealership care in the first four or five years of its life. The cam and lobe wear is usually due to the sprayer bar lifting and starving the cameshaft lobes of oil. The end cylinders suffered most. The flat metal clamp was a simple fix to hold the sprayer bar in place.
 

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You really want the newest model to avoid the mechanical injection headaches, old R12 Freon A/C gas, and other issues.

The later years had twin cam engines which are far more desirable.

My pick is 93-95. The only downside is the eco junk wiring potential, but that is a easy to overcome and can be readily spotted before purchase.
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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A factory update on the Series I cars (an '86 falls in Series I) was to install a flat metal clamp on one of the center cam towers to hold the oil sprayer bar down. This would be an indication as to whether or not the car had dealership care in the first four or five years of its life. The cam and lobe wear is usually due to the sprayer bar lifting and starving the cameshaft lobes of oil. The end cylinders suffered most. The flat metal clamp was a simple fix to hold the sprayer bar in place.
Yep, certainly something to check. Mine was refitted at about 60K miles and 5 years old. Even so, the camshaft wore out at 160K miles. But the missing V washer in the center would be an indication if the car was cared for.
 

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So I went and looked at the car and right away the car wouldn't start so I walked away without driving it.
 

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Probably for the best. If it won't start at "58k miles" it's not gonna start any easier 100K later.

I tried to look at the car online, but their site won't pull up.
 

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Thank for the tips. The mileage did seem a little too good to be true. I have actually found a mechanic who works on these old Mercedes that I can look at the car and put it on a lift before I buy the car.
Very low mileage for an ‘89. Little old lady who only drove it to church? Obviously have to check underneath to see if the massive oil leak all of these had had been taken care of. Pretty hard to hide this as it’s not a little drip. There would be oil everywhere. Unlikely the wiring harness hasn’t been replaced after all these years but check anyway. Many interior bits will be brittle and replacements are hard to find. This vehicle obviously sat at lot so I’d wonder about the exhaust system and hoses.
 

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Glad you checked it out and made the right move. For what its worth for future candidates, you don't have to be worried about the harnesses on the early cars like this one.
 

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The associated Carfax shows 300 miles in last 5 years. I am going to guess the odo is broken.
 
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