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Discussion Starter #1
I found a 95 W124 at a price low enough to buy... I have yet to check it out but my curiosity needs help.

Is it a bad idea, especially as a daily @ 200K miles?
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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I found a 95 W124 at a price low enough to buy... I have yet to check it out but my curiosity needs help.

Is it a bad idea, especially as a daily @ 200K miles?
Take the time to read the buyers guide we have linked in our DIY sticky. I have 217K on my 95 320TE and have zero hesitation to take it on a trip of any distance, any day. It is my daily driver.

If the car has been regularly maintained, you'll be able to tell. Another question to ask yourself is who's going to do the maintenance? Are you a DIY person or will you need to rely on an independent shop?

Jayare

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Discussion Starter #3
I've timed an old Camry far too many times... so I am up for work if its just a tad more expensive if it means a better ride quality
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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What sort of purchase budget do you have?

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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There is nothing as expensive as a cheap Mercedes. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

The key to buying a MB is having service records, service records, and more service records.

Being a '95, make sure the eco junk wiring disease was addressed (new engine harness and throttle body). Ditto on checking that the headgasket has already been replaced.

On the inside, make sure the HVAC system works flawlessly. Repairing a faulty A/C can easily blow and exceed your budget for the whole car.
 

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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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I would add the transmission. If it is original, it will be pretty worn by now. Have that checked by a MB professional. The transmission replacement will be at least double of what you will be paying for the car at $1.5K. The reverse clutch seal is a wear item. If it does not engage in reverse in less than a second when the transmission is hot, pass up on the car. It's life will be limited and no remedy for it either.
 

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Premium Member
'92 300TE 4matic 280,000miles, '92 300TE 4Matic 'Ice Blue Metalic' 101,000miles
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10,176 Posts
Once the cars are sorted, they are a very good DD......that's all I've ever done with them. BUT....you've got the sloppiness of PO's to deal with and how the car was maintained/serviced. And.....the more 'mechanics' that worked on it, the more trouble you're going to have with it....quite frankly.

As an example.....when I bought my last TE, it came with a pretty good supply of service records. This is what you want....but on closer examination, the gal that owned the car in St.Paul-Minneapolis spent thousands at a foreign car service only to find out they were hacks. So then she found someone more adequate at repairs and he had to do most of the previous work all over again. And although he might have been a competent mechanic in other marques, his strong suit was not Benz cars. So there you have it......every system I've been into so far was ham-handed hacked with mediocre success.

You also have the issue of the quality of parts used......just read here in depth and you see the two camps clearly emerging.

Kevin
 

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04 odyssey (265k) 1995 E320 wagon (295k)
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My DD has 303k..95 e320t,
If it was taken care of, and you can turn a wrench you will be happy. Just pay particular attention to items above. Engine harness, hg, trans, suspension, ac. Also 94-95 had issue with rust on front fenders ( lower front corner). Water collected, then they rusted from inside out. Parts are cheap, but availability in good brands has been declining.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That was interesting... the reverse gear was so bad it shook the entire car and the transmission slippage was in the low gears...

Front end shakes from some cut coil job. Honestly the car AC worked great which was a total salt in the wound! Would it be worth rebuilding if one gets it for less than $600? Or is it scheiße? :D Asking was 15.
 

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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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I would walk away. As I mentioned previously, you will need a new transmission and that will cost you $3K - $4K depending on your location. Would you buy that car if it was $3500 with a good transmission?

There are plenty of fine W124's around for a lot less than $3500.

- Cheers!
 

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1995 E320 wagon
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It's not even theileage that's soich of an issue as it is that the car is now almost 25 years old. Common issues are all over the site and have been mentioned here. Transmission, head gasket, worn suspension parts all common on a w124 and espicslly one of this age with the suspension parts. For me it's things like plastic bits that are starting to break from age that are no longer available new. Like the c pillar covers for the wagon. Sunroof rails, other bits etc etc. It's an old car now.

I payed 4k for mine 4 years ago, it was cosmetically clean and "well maintained". It needed everything. Full suspension rebuilt front and rear, rear window regulators, full maintenance service. Rember the wagon also has self leveling shocks in the rear. And at 26 years they are work out, they are about 700$ a pair. I've got a few threads on em here. Also after a few years rust became apparent at the rear windows, top of the windshield and paint started to come off the roof above the windshield. This was a goergous car when I got it. So keep this all in mind, it's an old car haha. Mine only had 150k when I bought it
 

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1993 300e 2.8
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My two cents. I am at one year of ownership of my first W124, a 93’ 300e. It had 200,000 miles when I got it. I’ve spent an entire year sorting it out. I’ve spent around $3500 just on parts and that doesn’t include paint work On the A pillars which had rust. I completely rebuilt the suspension including sub frame mounts. The rest has been mostly odds and ends. I have not touched high dollar items like the transmission. I’m on borrowed time with an original throttlebody as far as I know. After installing a new AC condenser this summer I discovered that my compressor is leaking at the shaft and the front seals so that needs tending. I still have nice cold AC, but the reality is that it is slowly leaking. The car runs great drives beautifully and it’s my daily driver. And I’ve only put 6000 miles on it in one year. I don’t know the condition of my catalytic converter but both of my mufflers need replaced. The entire interior is sagging so that all has to be done. So I’m spreading all of this out over about three years and I have chunks of time that I can work on it so I don’t mind it.

But just add all of that up and I’ll bet I’ll be somewhere between five and 6000 when I’m done. Yes I will be proud of it and it’s all my work so that’s good. But go look on bring a trailer and see what you can buy for $6000 in a W124 and you’ll see what we’re talking about here. I paid 500 bucks for mine.

I could’ve been selective about some of the parts that I chose to replace but there’s nothing like knowing that everything is new in your suspension, new motor mounts, new fuel pumps, new radiator, thermostat, hoses… All that stuff makes me more confident to take this car on long journeys knowing that it’s been taken care of. you just have to know where your comfort zone is that’s all. Well, that and your budget. I thought replacing my crusty dry-socket ball joints would fix my stiff steering but it didn’t. So now I’m looking at steering box and/or a new power steering pump. Hundreds of dollars just waiting in the wings LOL.

good luck !
 

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1995 E320 wagon
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The other thing to consider is parts quality. As stated before for some things it's dwindelong and you have to spend the big $ for a part you won't have to replace every year. The steering box for example. Yeah, you can have your local shop reseal or "rebuild it". But there is only one company that I've found that does it right. And it's a 450 dollar box after the core charge. But ya know what, you spend the money once and it's done right and it's not a problem for years and years. Mine has been in the car 4 years, no slop, no leaks. Worth every$. Suspension parts, lemforder for most everything, febj for some stuff, but even then some febi stuff is reboxed garbage. Front lower control arms at 20 to 25 years old with original ball joints. Mine are still ok, but still...only arms I'll put on that I know I won't have to replace in a year or worry bout a failed ball joint on are factory ones. Which are not cheep.

Any Euro car will not be cheep to fix up. Plan on spending $ when buying one, even one that's got all the service records. You can find that 150k miles car that's been maintained that needs shocks, control arms, rear subframe bushings, rear window regulators that are getting tired, a sunroof that's hardly been used and sticky. Just gotta spend the time and look for the right car
 

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If it's cosmetically near perfect, and you're comfortable doing most of the work yourself, that might be worth a gamble. (But I would pay less.)
That's two conditions, and notice I didn't say buy it, I said it might (only you can decide) be worth the gamble (implying positive outcome not a given.)


If you aren't comfortable doing most of the work yourself, walk away. If it's going to be your only means of transport, find a better candidate. If you don't have the time to do the work yourself (kids, school, elderly parents, whatever) find a better candidate. If it's going to be parked outside for long periods, don't bother; you'll be aging a lot of parts while it sits.
The axiom "there is nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes" is oft repeatd for a reason.
 

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There isn't anything in this thread that is off the mark. These cars can be tanks but you need to do the service yourself. As far as rust is concerned, be very careful. There are plenty out there with no rust so don't settle. To me, any rust is a non-starter.
 

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Premium Member
1993 300CE Cabriolet (mine) ; 1994 E320 Wagon (wife's) ; 1990 Benz 300E 2.6 (son's)
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my wife's E320 wagon has 275K miles (75K are our miles) and has been quite reliable, but thats after we spent several $1000 catching up with deferred maintenance, then a couple years later, replacing the transmission we knew was weak when it finally died. all told we're about $10K into the car, but its in great shape now.
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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^What he said. Due to the age of the cars, and ignored maintenance, it takes a good $10K to bring a W124 (more for the V8s) into great shape.

That's why people shouldn't get into these cars based purely on the low purchase price, unless you're willing to commit. Otherwise it will be a regretful experience that turns sour pretty quick.
 

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'92 300TE 4matic 280,000miles, '92 300TE 4Matic 'Ice Blue Metalic' 101,000miles
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There isn't anything in this thread that is off the mark. These cars can be tanks but you need to do the service yourself. As far as rust is concerned, be very careful. There are plenty out there with no rust so don't settle. To me, any rust is a non-starter.
Amen on the rust comment. Too many out there still with no rust. Mechanicals are not the deal breaker, it's rust......always has been.

Kevin
 
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