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Discussion Starter #1
I am strongly considering buying a W124 wagon, and after driving one it seems perfect for what I need. There is a local 300TE available, which has 4Matic, and while the majority of it seems nice I do have some apprehensions which I hope you can help me with here.

The first and largest one is the 4Matic system. I did do a search on here to read about it, but there are so many threads containing "4matic" that I as yet can't find exactly what I am looking for. I do understand they are heavy, can be problematic, and are ridiculously complicated and/or expensive to fix. This I can tolerate if the car will go 20,000 miles or more. Is there a way to check the TC condition, or the 4matic system overall? Can a good knowledgeable MB shop inspect this with any accuracy? Also, the PO has mentioned he has seen the 4Matic light come on the dash on occasion to show it is working. Is this what is supposed to happen? I am worried it flashing has actually been showing a problem.

My only other serious concern is what feels like a hard shift from 1st to 2nd gear. If driven right (or wrong) it gives a little jerk after what seems like a hesitation, though all other shifts seem good.

I am trying to make a decision on this vehicle today. If it's a no go, I will like look for another in the near future as I really liked the drive. FWIW, asking price is $3000 but I think he will go lower.

Thanks for any feedback
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
thank you

Thank you Jayare. I actually have been reading that thread. What I couldn't find was if it is possible to tell the TC condition either by me or a knowledgable mechanic.
 

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04 odyssey (265k) 1995 E320 wagon (295k)
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1-2 shift will be very firm to bordeline jerky if trans is cold.
When you take it out (if you do again) for a spin, see if the 1-2 calms down a bit once the trans is warmed up (which takes longer than an engine to warm up)
You could always try to get wheelspin (all four) on a gravel or muddy road to check 4 matics functioning. (but be mindful, dont thrash it) Or if you can get it on a lift and engage drive while running you might be able to get all four wheels to turn (at least this was a way to check for the volvo awd).
Far as being able to "estimate" the TC's remaining life...I dont think there is a way to tell.
Only thing is testing to see that it functions.
 

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80 280SL, 85 300SD, 87 300TD, 90 300TE 4Matic, 90 300D 2.5 Turbo, 92 300D 2.5 Turbo, 92 300TE 4Mat
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A quick way to check at least one condition of the transfer case is to slowly drive in reverse with a slight steer to the right and then to the left. Some roller bearings eventuall give out and this may cause the rear wheels to try to turn at the same rate - which they can't because you are turning. If you sense a grinding or jerking of the drivetrain attempting to compensate for the difference, then that is a good indication of a transfer case problem.
 
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