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  #1  
Old 06-12-2008, 08:35 PM
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Newbie looking at a '98 E300 Turbodiesel

I'm a BMW guy but have occasionally thought about getting a Mercedes Turbo Diesel. I'm not completely naive as I had a 2002 VW TDi for 5 years and loved it.

I visit my mechanic today and he has a '98 E300 Turbo Diesel for sale. It has 110k miles, had the injector pump rebuilt and main power relay (?) replaced. Mechanically, it appears to be well sorted. Cosmetically it has a lot of big dings and scratches, but no major dents. The interior is a little dirty but nothing major. The asking price is $10k. It sounded like a good price.

I always thought one of the better diesels was the "91-'93 E300 2.5 5 cylinder. My mechanic disagreed and likes the six cylinder versions better. This car did have great midrange power and was very smooth.

Can someone tell me the weak spots for this car? I always thought the '98 E300s were among the least desirable of the E series since they had teething problems being a new model. Any help is appreciated.

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  #2  
Old 06-12-2008, 08:45 PM
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Do a search, lots of info here. Main problems are rusty spring perches, fuel leaks, the K40 relay (which I think is what your mechanic mentioned) and glow plugs getting stuck.

Sounds like a great price. I'm curious as to why the IP was rebuilt. Performance-wise these are the best diesels of the 20th century (at least in this country).
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Past MB's: '96 E300D, '83 240D, '82 300D, '87 300D, '87 420SEL
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2008, 09:13 PM
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As far as the pump, he just said the seals were leaky and decided to redo the pump.

I would think the spring perches are fine as this car has been in So. Cal. all it's life.

One more question, I noticed the "TURBODIESEL" and "E300" badges are in opposite positions on the trunk lid. The TURBODIESEL badge is always on the passenger side, right?
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  #4  
Old 06-12-2008, 10:16 PM
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Location: Walnut Creek, CA & 1,150 miles S of Key West
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Correct, engine numbers are opposite of BMW.

Check on the history of the GP's if possible. The cost vs mileage is pretty reasonable. You'll have to take into account how "rough" it is.

At around 100K they can need LCA bushings. The only other things that DA didnt mention are oring seals at the fuel lines. I doubt your mech opened the IP any further than simply doing the delivery valave seals and crush rings as there are very few people who will do so in the USA.
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09' E320 Bluetec 77k (USA)
09' Hyundai Santa Fe Diesel 48k (S.A.)
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2008, 10:39 PM
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The '98 isn't really new. The W210 first came out in '95, so you're three years into it. The transmission in the '98 was introduced with the '97 MY, so even that's not on the first run.

But do check those spring perches, no matter where the car has been. The problem is that water gets trapped behind the mastic and rusts out the welds. You have to pull some of the mastic away to look, or you won't see the damage until it is too late. If you see rust, negotiate the price down by at least $500. More likely a grand.
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  #6  
Old 06-13-2008, 01:43 PM
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I agree with the above, including that replacing the o-rings and copper washers does not constitute an IP rebuild but it's useful nevertheless. Regarding the perches it seems that most people can get MB to pay for the repair completely even without having extended warranty. I was only able to get 50% out of them though.
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  #7  
Old 06-13-2008, 03:03 PM
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Look for collapsed motor mounts; the two in front are hydraulic and can fail and go flat. You can do that job yourself but should use the cost of repair as a negotiating lever. There are several threads here with pictures so you can see what to look for.

Jeremy
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"Buster" in the '95

Our all-Diesel family
1996 E300D (W210) . .338,000 miles Wife's car
2005 E320 CDI . . 113,000 miles My car
Santa Rosa population 176,762 (2022)
Total. . . . . . . . . . . . 627,762
"Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz."
-- Janis Joplin, October 1, 1970
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  #8  
Old 06-13-2008, 03:22 PM
Gene
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMAllison View Post
Correct, engine numbers are opposite of BMW.

Check on the history of the GP's if possible. The cost vs mileage is pretty reasonable. You'll have to take into account how "rough" it is.

At around 100K they can need LCA bushings. The only other things that DA didnt mention are oring seals at the fuel lines. I doubt your mech opened the IP any further than simply doing the delivery valave seals and crush rings as there are very few people who will do so in the USA.
Terry, most Bosch shops will. We even have one here in the hinterlans. But tis a $1200 job.

10K sounds good if its a good runner and of sound "mind and body! "
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  #9  
Old 06-13-2008, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by WINGAS View Post
Terry, most Bosch shops will. We even have one here in the hinterlans. But tis a $1200 job.

10K sounds good if its a good runner and of sound "mind and body! "
My point, which was poorly made, was that virtually no general MB mech would have the bench test equipment or training required to open a pump and do anything other than look at the mess they had made.
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09' Hyundai Santa Fe Diesel 48k (S.A.)
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  #10  
Old 06-13-2008, 04:31 PM
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Love my 97, and it's N/A. Unfortunately my wife has now taken a liking to it as well, so my DD has drifted back to the 83 (the "old ladies car" as the wife calls it).

$10k is a good price.
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  #11  
Old 06-13-2008, 05:21 PM
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We paid over $10K for our '96 NA with a quarter-million miles on it but it was in great shape and came with complete service records covering all previous owners back to Day One. A lot depends on where you live -- diesels in some parts of the nation/world are much more desirable. If you can find one without rust, everything else is fixable, especially if you can DIY some of the repairs (well, maybe not a blown engine but you know what I mean).

Jeremy

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"Buster" in the '95

Our all-Diesel family
1996 E300D (W210) . .338,000 miles Wife's car
2005 E320 CDI . . 113,000 miles My car
Santa Rosa population 176,762 (2022)
Total. . . . . . . . . . . . 627,762
"Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz."
-- Janis Joplin, October 1, 1970
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