About your '97 E300
Unfortunately, I cannot contribute to your posting, but I would like to converse with you about how you have liked your E300D. I have a '96 E300D with 69k still under warranty and would like to find out more about your ownership experiences.
I have had some bad experiences but I think that they are due to poor MB Technicians who were servicing the vehicle at the dealer.
Please let me know!