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Old 08-08-2013, 10:31 PM
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TylerH860 TylerH860 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Wichita, Ks
Posts: 5,188
A Tale of Two CDIs. 2005 E320 & 2007 ML320

After being out of MB diesels for quite some time, I have just found myself with 2 of the new ones.

I had been casually shopping for a nice 211 CDI for a few months, not wanting to pay out the nose for one, missing a few good deals, but it worked out great. I found one somewhat close to me in my favorite color, right miles, and great price. Seller took it to her local dealer for a PPI, and it passed mechanically with flying colors. Had a few interior electrical codes though, which were quoted at about a grand to fix. She knocked it off the price before I could ask. 165k miles. $8200.

I had the car all of 2 hours before getting in an accident. At a merge point a speeding motorist basically PIT maneuvered me. I never her saw her until I was spun around looking at her. Still was able to drive it home, averaging 42mpg. Insurance gave me a check with an estimate for replacing the rear quarter, bumper and tail lamp. Check was for a bit over $3000. My great body guy was able to save the existing quarter and bumper, I found a lamp cheap, and we had it fixed for less than half that. Other than some soreness, and being without the car for 10 days, I came out rather well.

I finally get it back on Monday. Love the car, everything about it, just really wished the US got a wagon version. Then today....

The local Hyundai dealership has a weekly wholesale offering for dealers for all of their trade ins. It is a sealed bid type of sale in which you put your best offer in writing and hope you come out on top. Very seldom does anything of interest come up their, but I do well with their cheaper trade ins.

Today they were offering a 2007 ML320CDI with 120k. The air suspension was completely collapsed, not even trying to raise the car. An ominous hissing noise could be heard from the rear and front right of the truck. Otherwise it was in really nice shape, and well equipped.

Initially I had not even thought of making a bid, as it was probably going to sell for well out of my league. Since I had nothing better to do that day and was bidding on other cars their, I thought to at least give a very, very conservative bid on it in hopes of a big score.

I needed to pick up a part from the Mercedes dealer, so I wrote down the VIN in hopes they took it to the dealer for a diagnosis. Turned out they did. The owner was told they needed to replace their front right air strut right away after a routine service, but ignored the warnings. Otherwise the vehicle checked out. Pump had been replaced previously. They returned when the suspension was completely collapsed, hoping the $1500 fix would cure it, only to find they had blown out the rear airbags as well from repeatedly bottoming them out. That doubled the bill.

I imagine they were disgusted enough to just trade it in on a more simple Hyundai. With my cheap labor and lifetime warranty Arnott rebuilds I could have it going again for under $1500.

The cheapest recent sale at Manheim, a national dealer only auction network with over 100 locations, was $13000 with 138k. That was listed in below average condition so I imagine it needed some work. Cheapest completed ebay sale was $14,000 for a 110,000 mile example, but who knows if that was real. Cheapest one on autotrader has 160k and they are asking 15k. Next cheapest are several around 100k miles and asking 18k.

I was not eager to take on the project as it would tie up money and lift space, and bid it at $10500. Given dealer's propensity to look up NADA and bid off what that says (22k retail book by the way) I did not expect to win.

Well I did... Quite a surprise. Now I need to figure out which vehicle is a better fit for me, and sell the other.

1985 500SL Euro w/ AMG bits 130k
1984 300SD Turbodiesel 192k
1980 240D Stick China 188k
2001 CLK55 AMG 101k
2007 S600 Biturbo 149k Overheated Project, IT'S ALIVE!!!
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