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Discussion Starter #1
I appologise if this question comes up quite frequently.

I am in Perth, Australia and am looking to purchase a 1989 300E, the majority of cars have around 200,000km on the clock (except for the Jap and Singapore imports).

At these sort of mileages what do I have to look out for? Also, does anyone have any experience or advice on purchasing Japanese Mercedes imports? I've been warned in the past due to the high humidity over there messes with the electrics.

Any imput will be greatly appreciated.

Jack.
 

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2002 CL55 AMG, 1993 190E 2.3L, 2004 SLK320 Sport
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I could give you some advice in general about some things you probably will have to replace on a 300E(200,000km & up)!
-Idle Control Sensor
-OVP relay
-rear bushings
-air cond.
-head gasket
-motor mounts
-steering dampner
etc....
These are some of the major things I have replaced in the past!
own and owned 1989 300CE, 1987 260E, 1987 190E 16v, 1993 190E.
 

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300TE 4-Matic 300GD
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330 Posts
Hi Jack. (Glad we are not in a US plane)

I don't know exactly what the differences are between different markets. That's the main reason why I'm here. To suck and learn. So I shouldn't really be answering you, but I couldn't resist the urge.

You see, I had a real seldom bird in my hands the other day. It was a 1989 300E with LHD bought new in Japan by a Norwegian, and taken home later. It's now owned by a surgeon, who likes it a lot. Could this be one of a kind?

Last weekend it just died on him, and he called for assistance. Normally I fix and send away as fast as possible. But this one called for full attention. A LHD Jap in Norway is cool. So I listened to the complaints and tales of joys and all that other normal MB stuff. I just knew I had to give this baby a personal full service, and the owner was thrilled.

I had it for 4 days, drove it a bit. Took the service, with new pads all around, new springs and shocks with shock mounts in the front. All fluids and filters, exept the transmission, as it was just done in december at the importer. New battery and voltage regulator, and I swapped some wires I know often fail.

But I never fully grasped how that CIS worked. It had the lambda, but missed a few sensors, had no EZL wheel, and a strange ECU. Well, I don't know if strange is the right word, but I suspect it had some differently configured EPROM's. In any case it had a very nice torque at the bottom, I would say probably the best I've ever felt in a ordinary sedan 300E. The system worked so perfect, I didn't dare to peek. You know. If it ain't broke, don't fix.

I had to weld just a wee bit of rust. I didn't charge any extra, I think when changing springs on older ones, one must clean and techtylize the upper spring mount. And it's wise to strengthen it with a rod. That's what I always do. For me and my friends.

If the Austrailan ones are equipped like the Japanese, and was fine with rust, I would buy it in a heartbeat. Look for rust, but I suspect dry conditions keep them nice and hole free. The engine is a real mile quencher, and if properly maintained, will never fail you. I have been hauling around many miles, snow and sunshine, with 260 and 300E, and in pretty rough conditions, and not had a single incident.

But you can't take the Toyota approach, just drive till it drops. Because if you do that to a Toyota, you'll come out with a small bill. If done to a W124, you'll bleed.

When testing, make sure the car is warmed up real good. During the test, take a brake for full 10 minutes, and see how it starts afterwards. If it starts well, it's a good indication of good injection health. And good injection health means good electric health.

If it doesn't jolt when you put the auto transmission in gear and when shifting, you can assume the drive train is sound. But it has to be fully warm to sneak out the bugs. And you have to be hard and demanding with the transmission. In the beginning, the bad stuff is felt at the extreme end only. And it isn't yours untill you buy it.

Good luck.

Regards

Geir
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the informative information. I'm still quite indecicive, imports have just over half the ammount of kilometers as the Australian deliveries have.
 

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1994 E320
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Hi Jack,

I have a 1987 300E which I had imported from Japan a year ago. The car had only 72,000 kilometers on the clock at the time I got it (I just passed the 110,000 mark last night.) And, I might add, it's LHD. My car came from a used-car company called Yanase, which claims to be the biggest in Japan.
Personally, I'd recommend doing the same, i.e. importing a low-mileage car from Japan, as opposed to getting one locally. Like Hyprr said, some things might need to be replaced, but only if they are broken. When I first got my car, I replaced brake pads and front rotors, as well as all shock absorbers, steering linkage, ball joints, and whatever else that was worn out. Other than that, I didn't need to do anything special to the car pertaining to the fact that it was originally meant for the Japanese market (except for that damn A/C, which broke on me in the first month and cost me almost as much as the car itself to fix [:(!])
I didn't get any electrical/electronic porblems whatsoever so far. However, I agree with Gier on the engine control module being different. I looked long and hard for the EZL wheel, and found one burried deep behind the battery and the OVP switch. Also, a friend of mine who specializes in Mercedes told me that there's another EZL wheel hidden behind the trip panel right in front of the passenger door under the dashboard (!!!) but I didn't check that out yet.
Another strange thing about Japanese import 124s is that the fuel lines run through the A/C compressor before they go to the engine! Now as to why that is, is really beyond me. However, this is no longer the case after I had the A/C completely reconfigured to Saudi specs.

hope this helps,
Shady
 

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300TE 4-Matic 300GD
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Hi Shady.

So the lovely redhead has a bleak sister. Interesting. A Yanase sticker was in fact on the back window.

Concerning the A/C and EZL wheels, I'll check that out next time I see her.

She ran way too perfect for me putting my butter fingers in.

Regards

Geir
 

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500E, E320, 190E, E55
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My daily driver is a 89' 300E California U.S. car.
218,000 miles and driven hard (high speed) daily.
This was one of the better examples of a 124 as the
only things I have had to replace in the last 60,000 miles of driving were: Battery, alternator, tires, aux. fan, repack front wheel bearing grease, serpentine belt and the rest was all routine maintenance, fluids and filters. These were all normal items to replace. Extremely reliable, great on gas, and able to pull close to 140mph. routinely.
 

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1989 300 TE
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"Another strange thing about Japanese import 124s is that the fuel lines run through the A/C compressor before they go to the engine! Now as to why that is, is really beyond me."

Based on the shop CD this is an option that keeps the fuel cool. At least that is what the manual says is the reason. Doesn't really seem like a good idea to me. What if the A/C doesn't work and it actually gets hotter.
 
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