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  #1  
Old 02-13-2006, 12:47 AM
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Pros/Cons of buying a W124 E300 with 400k miles on it?

This '95 W124 is being sold locally for $2000. Has a short in the wiring (affecting the dash and driver's side window) and 400k... Thoughts/Opinions?

The car in question:
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2006, 12:51 AM
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Wow, 40K miles/year. That is doing some driving! It seems cheap enough, however, electrical problems are never my favorite.
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2006, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyL
Wow, 40K miles/year. That is doing some driving! It seems cheap enough, however, electrical problems are never my favorite.

No kidding, I get to work tomorrow on my uncle's '96 cavalier with the 4cy 2.2 liter eco-tec, its been having "sputtering" probs when idling and threw a service engine code for the "sparkplugs/ignition wires/etc...." Ah well, I'll fix the thing. 112,000 miles on it and burns no oil, has never had any mechanical failures except a bad rear brake drum(rusted) and a minor issue with cold starting around 90k, a tune up fixed that.....our van is 32,000 miles shy of that, and its had its service engine light on over half the time. J-u-n-k.....
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Old 02-13-2006, 04:02 AM
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The pro is that it is broken in?
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2006, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawoSD
No kidding, I get to work tomorrow on my uncle's '96 cavalier with the 4cy 2.2 liter eco-tec, its been having "sputtering" probs when idling and threw a service engine code for the "sparkplugs/ignition wires/etc...." Ah well, I'll fix the thing. 112,000 miles on it and burns no oil, has never had any mechanical failures except a bad rear brake drum(rusted) and a minor issue with cold starting around 90k, a tune up fixed that.....our van is 32,000 miles shy of that, and its had its service engine light on over half the time. J-u-n-k.....

I hated working on my aunts 00 pontiac sunfire (cavalier) 3rd time the engine mount snapped i guess GM decided to make the design easy to break so the owner can buy new ones to make them more money. 120K on that POS and starting to burn oil. shocks are shot so when it runs over a pebble your bouncin in the seat. transmission started leaking god after seeing that im not going to buy any chevy or GM car.

they really are pieces of *****. goodluck on that cavalier!
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  #6  
Old 02-13-2006, 05:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aklim
The pro is that it is broken in?
With 400K on the clock? It's still got 600K to go!
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2006, 09:52 AM
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Buying one of these cars with 400K might be a reasonable thing to do IF; the price was REALLY cheap (cheaper than $2,000) and the car was otherwise in perfect shape. Even then I would have to be convinced that the engine uses no oil, the transmission is in great shape etc. Any one single major component will require you putting more money into the car than it would be worth even if it had much lower mileage.

The engine in that car is NOT inexpensive to rebuild and it will indeed need rebuilding at some point.

A high mileage car is different if you personally or someone that you know REAL well put those miles on so that you know how it has been cared for. Buying it blind, with an unknown electrical problem to boot, is a big risk.

My $0.02,
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2006, 12:43 PM
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maybe take it to a dealer for a PPI- pre purchase inspection and send a sample of the oil out for analysis... Would be money well spent

Zack
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2006, 01:45 PM
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I would like to second what Mr. Bible said. For $500 maybe, $2K, no way. RT
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2006, 02:35 PM
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I think this could be an awesome deal actually. How else could you get a '95 E300 for only $2K? That seems below the typical market value even for that mileage. To me mileage is only a small factor when it comes to purchasing a car. Condition is what you want to evaluate. I'd rather take a well-maintained high-mileage car than a low-mileage car with questionable maintenance history. I suppose this is a high-mileage car with unknown maintenance history. In that case a very thorough inspection is essential. Check the fluids, check for residual pressure in the cooling system, blowby, abnormal noises, shifting, AC/heater, steering/tracking, braking, smoke output and power (these engines don't have much power, but should be smooth). I don't know about the electrical problem, but if everything else checks out, I'd snatch it at that price right away.
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Old 02-13-2006, 06:09 PM
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If the suspension has not had any rebuilds, then you could easily spend more than the selling price. The drivers seat is probably mush as I would imagine most of the rest of the interior. Weather stipping will probably be bad. Look for rust as well. While you could rebuilt the engine for a reasonable price, you've still got accessories that will need replacing and that be expensive. Oh yes the ABS. Make sure it works as that is $$$ to fix.
If you want a 124 bad enough, you can find older ones with half the mileage for the same price. A 124 is not a 123. I've never heard of a 124 reaching 1000K.
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2006, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lietuviai
If the suspension has not had any rebuilds, then you could easily spend more than the selling price. The drivers seat is probably mush as I would imagine most of the rest of the interior. Weather stipping will probably be bad. Look for rust as well. While you could rebuilt the engine for a reasonable price, you've still got accessories that will need replacing and that be expensive. Oh yes the ABS. Make sure it works as that is $$$ to fix.
If you want a 124 bad enough, you can find older ones with half the mileage for the same price. A 124 is not a 123. I've never heard of a 124 reaching 1000K.
Depending on how the car was taken care of, I'd imagine that many interior bits and seals, etc, have the potential to be in better shape than a 1985 W123, solely because the E300D is 10 years newer. Remember, many parts wear due to age, not just mileage. Yes, a 124 is not a 123. It's better! But where are the 1000K W123's? I don't see many of those either.
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2006, 06:41 PM
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speedy300Dturbo is right, rubber mostly wears with age, not mileage. If the 400K is almost entirely highway mileage, and I imaging it is, then the suspension and the rest of the car could still be in good shape.
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  #14  
Old 02-13-2006, 06:59 PM
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The head is aluminum, im sure there is some warpage. The w123's had cast iron heads which made it very difficult for them to warp, and cause damage. The 606 is not as robust of a motor as the 617's or 616's, I would highly doubt that this car is in good condition. There is a reason he is selling it for 2k and if it was a creampuff at 400k miles, I am sure he would have said so. The electrical problems are also something to take into consideration, it is very rare for a w124 to have these kind of electrical problems unless they were invloved in some sort of accident.
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  #15  
Old 02-13-2006, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselAddict
speedy300Dturbo is right, rubber mostly wears with age, not mileage. If the 400K is almost entirely highway mileage, and I imaging it is, then the suspension and the rest of the car could still be in good shape.
How can the suspension be any better with almost entirely highway miles on it? In my experience the 124 rear suspension arms degrade with use as the car is driven. And the diff mounts get worn. I have a whole pile of stuff I have in hand already to change in my '87 300D (the blue one) at 260K miles.
On a car with 400K I would expect that these certainly would have been changed and maybe even twice!

The front steering components wear with how much the car is steered, ie. in lots of city driving where parallel parking is used it will wear the ball joints.

You should also look at possible worn wheel bearings, things like that all add up to expensive repairs but hey, if the car is in good shape its the love of restoration that makes it worthwhile!

That said, I have seen some nice gassers in fine condition like a '90's 300E going fairly cheap it seems. $3K or so. That seems cheaper than one that costs $2000 but needs $2K worth of parts.
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