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1985 190E 2.3-16
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've settled a price on my barn find: $1500. Here it is:















Dusty, but the anthracite paint appears to be in very good condition, except for the one chunk gone out of the skirt. Yes, those are Ronel wheels. Photos don't bring this out, but the front fogs have a distinct yellow tint to them.

The power accessories all worked, all windows and sunroof operated. So much for the annoyingly expensive but not totally necessary things that might be wrong. Lap timer is bleeding, so it's officially a 2.3-16.

Doesn't appear to be any corrosion around the wheel wells or skirts. Seats are in good condition, the guy just liked his sheepskin covers. I guess that's the original Becker radio.

Now, it gets interesting. The battery actually did have a charge. It cranked, but wouldn't fire at all. Was able to get it to fire with some gasoline on the air cleaner, revved just enough to produce a mean growl, what a sweet sound. Ignition is good, compression is good, no fuel at all being delivered. Start with the fuel pump and work my way forward until I can figure out why fuel isn't getting into the engine.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to get back to it for at least a month, maybe two (going to take that long to dig up the toy funds). Frustrating...

This is going to be fun. Not only have I found a hidden jewel, but I get to learn all the details about a fascinating vehicle.
 

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2000 :W220 - 1986 W201: 16v Nam,16v Euro- 2002:SL500 Silver Arrow.2002:Avalanche-
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2,226 Posts
Absolutely this is an Euro model , straight body so far just missing third brake light but gain cold air intake ... lucky you..car need quite a bit of TLC but heh excellent barn finds for that price .. congrat keep all of us fresh update..
 

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1986 190E 2.3-16, 1992 190E 2.3, 2014 CLA250 and 2015 GL350 BTC
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2,355 Posts
I like what I see.

This car has excellent potential.

Don't fail it. Keep up the progress and keep us posted all the way.
 

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1996 Volvo 855GLT, 1993 MB 190e 2.3 8v, 1998 Subaru Outback SUS, 1991 BMW 525, 1998 MB C230
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9,228 Posts
nice find make sure u have the proper funds to properly restore it to its former glory. what year is it?
 

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I've settled a price on my barn find: $1500. Here it is:
Dusty, but the anthracite paint appears to be in very good condition, except for the one chunk gone out of the skirt. Yes, those are Ronel wheels. Photos don't bring this out, but the front fogs have a distinct yellow tint to them.

The power accessories all worked, all windows and sunroof operated. So much for the annoyingly expensive but not totally necessary things that might be wrong. Lap timer is bleeding, so it's officially a 2.3-16.

Doesn't appear to be any corrosion around the wheel wells or skirts. Seats are in good condition, the guy just liked his sheepskin covers. I guess that's the original Becker radio.

Now, it gets interesting. The battery actually did have a charge. It cranked, but wouldn't fire at all. Was able to get it to fire with some gasoline on the air cleaner, revved just enough to produce a mean growl, what a sweet sound. Ignition is good, compression is good, no fuel at all being delivered. Start with the fuel pump and work my way forward until I can figure out why fuel isn't getting into the engine.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to get back to it for at least a month, maybe two (going to take that long to dig up the toy funds). Frustrating...

This is going to be fun. Not only have I found a hidden jewel, but I get to learn all the details about a fascinating vehicle.
nice find:thumbsup:
Appears to be a lot of cleaning/cheap restoring you could do in 3 months
where are you located in KY?
 

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1985 190E 2.3-16
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I'm about 20 miles SW of Lexington.

It's an 85, so it pretty much has to be a Euro model - weren't imported into the US until 1986.

Actually, the body is in a lot better shape than the photos indicate, just has about two years of dust on it. There's one small dent in the trunk lid, a piece cut out of the left rear skirt, but otherwise, it really looks sharp. I saw it sitting in the barn and just fell in love with it. It's just right, has a sort of understated elegance to it, as opposed to the rather garish, 'hey look at me' appearance of most sport sedans.

Driver's seat has one seam coming loose, the other seats are near perfect. Leather on the driver's door is puffed up just a bit about where one's arm would be, rest of the interior is very sharp and quite clean.

BTW - reverse is to the left and up, isn't it? I couldn't get it into reverse, but as the engine wasn't running that may have been just gear alignment.
 

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1984 190D 2.2
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2,458 Posts
Very nice find! That is a true euro model right there. Once you get it cleaned up, im sure it will look amazing!
 

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89 300CE, 62 220SEb
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272 Posts
You must be in D'ville, H'burg area. How did I miss that one?! I live in Richmond most of the time. Gary at Silverstar Motorwerks in Winchester is my car's Daddy.
 

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1985 190E 2.3-16
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1,583 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
A few miles outside of Versailles, actually...

It was owned by a fellow interesting/inexpensive car lover who died recently. This one wasn't running, so I picked it up cheap.

He also left behind an 82 diesel G-Wagen I'd love to have had, but just didn't have the money. That one is in fine running condition, I tried out the diff locks recently, and they definitely work. Might be listing it for the widow on here in a couple of weeks.
 

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1996 Volvo 855GLT, 1993 MB 190e 2.3 8v, 1998 Subaru Outback SUS, 1991 BMW 525, 1998 MB C230
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keep in mind its a nice find but like the old saying goes theres nothing more expensive like a cheap mercedes... ask me how i know...
 

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96 E-320, 91 190E, various and sundry Euro and American vehicles
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12,141 Posts
Yeah. Good point, but still a nice find.
He can part it and make double what he has in it.
 

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2.3-16 | A3 2.0T | 986 Boxster
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5,048 Posts
keep in mind its a nice find but like the old saying goes theres nothing more expensive like a cheap mercedes... ask me how i know...
Lol, not true! The one I paid the closest to market value for had the most problems and was least reliable (1990 2.6). My $2500 '98 has been a champ!
 

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1985 190E 2.3-16
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Yeah, don't be too envious - I'm not out of the woods on this yet. (literally, it's sitting in the middle of a forest) Still have a dead fuel system, the back end is definitely sitting down, transmission is unknown, and I haven't really heard that exotic engine run yet, just a brief surge. On the upside, all the right lights lit up when it was switched on, body looks very clean, and everything appeared to be working on the inside.

I remember my old 450SEL. Wonderful car, but it ate expensive parts for breakfast.

I believe it was running when it was parked there about two years ago. Might just need a fuel pump. Might need a lot more. But, that's the fun, isn't it?

I suppose I could part it out, but it's such a handsome vehicle, that would be almost a crime. It's going to run, just a matter of how much agony that will take.

Hmmm.... I'm seeing comments about the fuel pump relay going out on these cars, and it's critical as it's a partially mechanical injection system that relies on variable fuel pressure from the pump, presumably set by the relay. Any info on what the operating characteristics of that relay are, or just where it is on the vehicle?
 

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'85 2.3-16 '99 C280 '11 GLK350
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4,805 Posts
Best of luck with your reconditioning. Go slowly and carefully.

BTW, you might have a hard time finding some parts in the future, like valves, hoses, the smaller radiator and euro specific fuel distributor. Also, the smaller wiper blade under the main blade. It took me a couple months to snag a bag full of NOS from a dealer in Houston, TX.
 

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1985 190E 2.3-16
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1,583 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Yes, the more I read about the FI system on this car, the more I realize that it's going to be a very interesting diagnosis session, and I won't really know anything until I can actually get my hands on it and start looking.

Seems the Euro fuel pump relay goes to 7k rpm, while the US version cuts off at 6700. And if you can find one, it's $300. Maybe the fuel filter is just clogged up, that's been known to happen. Well, if it was easy, anyone could do it.

I do wonder if they dropped the compression ratio when they federalized it. If not, it should have a few more ponies.
 

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'85 2.3-16 '99 C280 '11 GLK350
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It will have "the ponies" that a 26 year old used and neglected 2.3-16 has . . . until the work is done to bring it back. The compression ratio should not have been tampered with during federalization.

Compression check; leakdown test; valve adjustments; making sure the timing gears are set correctly; maybe even a boroscope inspection of each cylinder . . . before even thinking about running fresh gas into it and starting.
 

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1985 190E 2.3-16
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Discussion Starter #20
Actually, this wasn't a random barn find - I knew the previous owner. A long time Benz owner who meticulously maintained his vehicles. It went in the barn when he first fell ill about a year and a half ago. Unfortunately, he departed this world last fall. One of the main reasons I wanted to get it was to get his last vehicle back on the road, because he's not here to do it.

So I have a reasonable expectation that nothing serious was wrong with it then. It was only in the barn because his garage was full, his G-Wagen and his wife's Honda that she demanded garage space for. (was that unreasonable, or what?) Doesn't mean this one won't have issues, just that it's not something that was pre-existing. He knew his cars too well to leave one in disabled condition for long.
 
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