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  #1  
Old 05-04-2009, 11:40 AM
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1997 e300 diesel with 65k mi

Good morning everyone. Wondering what is a good price for a very clean, black on black 1997 e300 diesel with very low mileage (64.3k) in very good condition. Looked at the car on saturday and inspected quite carefully. The car is very nice condition, drives really well, transmission is tight as well as steering/suspension. Only problems I found were some scuffs (light) on the front lhs fender, looks buffable and a little ding on passenger's door from being struck by another car's door. Second, the sunroof does not slide back 100%, get's stuck half way. Lastly, there is an issue with the compartment below the radio, does not close. Should be simple fixes. Mechanically, the car looks in very good shape and everything else works.

Can anyone estimate what this car's should cost in this condition?

What are the issues I should look for in the `97 e300 diesel?
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2009, 01:18 PM
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I have a 96 E300d that I bought 3 years ago with 196,000 miles on it for $7000. Condition was good, and the car had been maintained by the prior owner. First thing I would do is get a Carfax report on the vehicle to insure that it has not been in an accident. The thing about the sunroof and compartment could have been the result of an accident, or lack of use, but it is better to be safe than sorry. As far as issues, the only thing that does not work in my car is the fuel gage in the cluster. Gage itself is bad, but no big deal. The 96, 97 are non-turbo, and are not fast off the line to say the least, but at highway speeds, the car handles like a dream. Pay special attention to the "spring perches" up front, as they have a tendency to rust out in this model. And last but not least, the engine is bulletproof, with the exception of the glow plug issue. Removal is a major problem in some cars, and they have a tendency to break off in the head which can be an expensive proposition. As for mileage, I get 28 mpg city in the summer, and 35 mpg highway. Overall, I am very satisfied with the car, and when you compare the safety features, and overall creature comforts, it was way ahead of its time in those two departments. Good luck with making your decision.
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  #3  
Old 05-04-2009, 02:51 PM
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$6-7k.
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09' E320 Bluetec 77k
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  #4  
Old 05-04-2009, 03:18 PM
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I agree with Terry. Maybe a little more if its really clean and you really like it. I have seen them go as high as 10,000 because of really low miles.The sun roof and the interior compartment doors are common to the fleet. I have the same problems on my 98. mine came with the parts to fix the sun roof but I like my air to be conditioned so I have not done anything with it yet. I can be a bit impulsive so I often pay too much.
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  #5  
Old 05-04-2009, 04:27 PM
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Well, I have an 85 300d NA so this car drove a lot faster than it, albeit not a fast car in gerneral. The car is very clean, looks nice and has very low miles (65k mi). I'm not worried about the interior compartment or sunroof; I'm sure I can fix that without much problem.

Also, perhaps somebody can correct me, but what I understood about the spring perches is that when they rust, it's normally relatively early in vehicle life (some even just a year old). MB had implemented a water-based paint system and had some kinks to work out. Is this a problem that would develop this late in the cehicle's life?

How can one check for this rust? From what I understand, the rust-barrier coating has to be removed at the spot welds to see if there is rust at the perches. Is there any other non-destructive way to check besides removing that coating?

Thanks.

The asking price is $9.5k, I was planning on offering a few grand less. Does that seem reasonable?

ATLD
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  #6  
Old 05-04-2009, 04:32 PM
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The perch issue effects cars later in life too. The undercoating ought to be removed to inspect properly, then reapplied. Seems to effect cars where salt is used on winter roads and in beach communities more than other locals.
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  #7  
Old 05-04-2009, 05:25 PM
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What is the fix? A better rust-coating or replace and reweld in new perches?

What was the fault, the paint, weld, metal prep or rust-coating?

thx,

-Adam
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2009, 06:18 PM
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To best of my knowledge, metal primer and sealcoating was the issue.

The fix is having the existing rust cleaned up, new perch riveted on using 3/16" steel rivets, and new sealer applied.

Body shop normally does the work.
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2009, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLD View Post
Good morning everyone. Wondering what is a good price for a very clean, black on black 1997 e300 diesel with very low mileage (64.3k) in very good condition. Looked at the car on saturday and inspected quite carefully. The car is very nice condition, drives really well, transmission is tight as well as steering/suspension. Only problems I found were some scuffs (light) on the front lhs fender, looks buffable and a little ding on passenger's door from being struck by another car's door. Second, the sunroof does not slide back 100%, get's stuck half way. Lastly, there is an issue with the compartment below the radio, does not close. Should be simple fixes. Mechanically, the car looks in very good shape and everything else works.

Can anyone estimate what this car's should cost in this condition?

What are the issues I should look for in the `97 e300 diesel?
Between $4,000 to $5,000 tops.
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2009, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLD View Post
Well, I have an 85 300d NA so this car drove a lot faster than it, albeit not a fast car in gerneral. The car is very clean, looks nice and has very low miles (65k mi). I'm not worried about the interior compartment or sunroof; I'm sure I can fix that without much problem.

Also, perhaps somebody can correct me, but what I understood about the spring perches is that when they rust, it's normally relatively early in vehicle life (some even just a year old). MB had implemented a water-based paint system and had some kinks to work out. Is this a problem that would develop this late in the cehicle's life?

How can one check for this rust? From what I understand, the rust-barrier coating has to be removed at the spot welds to see if there is rust at the perches. Is there any other non-destructive way to check besides removing that coating?

Thanks.

The asking price is $9.5k, I was planning on offering a few grand less. Does that seem reasonable?
No.

Not when you can pick up a '99 E300TD with less than 100K miles for $9,500 or less.
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  #11  
Old 05-05-2009, 09:46 PM
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Joe and others,

Thanks for your responses. Does anybody have a picture of the spring perch showing where I should look for rust? Thanks.

Joe, just a thought from looking at other postings regarding this subject, I see that your name comes up quite often when people ask about the w210 and you have some hard opinions against the `97 e300 diesel. Have you had some bad experience with this model that has made you determine that the `98 is greatly superior in terms or reliability and engineering? From my understanding, there are very minor differences between the two model years, most notably the turbocharger increasing engine hp from 134 to 175 (and torque by about 100 ft*lb) while slightly reducing fuel economy, the ignition circuit and some other even less important changes. Can you comment on your experience with the `97 that has led you to this conclusion you repeatedly emphasize?

Secondly, I noticed that some of the suggested prices for the vehicle on this site are far less than the KBB even for a trade-in and well below what you'd see online if you research eBay completed auctions, car websites and classifieds etc. $4,000 i.e. doesn't seem right for a clean car with only 64kmi. From my experience buying and selling diesel MBs (which I've owned for years) in this area you usually can never get a decent diesel for less than the KBB; usually buyers have to bid against each other and pay well more than asking prices if the car is in nice shape, but this may just be a freakish thing in my area. It is the main line after all...

Lastly, I saw Joe's note regarding a `99 e300 turbo for less than $10k with under 100kmi. I have not seen this and I am always looking at car trader sites etc. Where are these cars being sold that cheaply; maybe I'm looking in the wrong market... or are you referring to cars that require lots of work, have body damage etc? I have pretty strict criteria that I use when I search for my vehicles and I'm not looking for a project.

Thanks again to everyone for answering my questions and for reading my drivel.

ATLD
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  #12  
Old 05-05-2009, 10:34 PM
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I've seen perhaps 5 1999 e300's in the last two months priced around 10K.
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  #13  
Old 05-06-2009, 08:37 PM
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if it really has only 65k miles, you will be hard pressed to find similar model much cheaper. if you can get it for 7500, sounds like good deal (w/carfax ofcourse!)

be careful on the sunroof issue, its not as easy to fix as you might think. not at all uncommon to end up cost 1-2k, and its a real chore to diy (bargaining point:

my only qualm (aside from no turbo) is its a northern car.
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  #14  
Old 05-07-2009, 09:35 AM
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I have a E320/97, the electronics of this model year are going to be your main problem, If I had any idea of what kind of cheap/crappy electronics were installed in this particular model year I would have walked away from this 1997 MB.
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  #15  
Old 05-09-2009, 04:12 AM
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I don't believe that the electronics of the 1997 E300D are cheap or crappy. I own two 1997's .... one with 180k and one with 245k on the odometer. What is different about these models and their electronics is that the computer communicates to the driver much more than eariler models ... for those owners that aren't technically inclined this increased communication can be worrysome. For me I like to know what is happening and appreciate the communication about intermittant faults since it gives me a "heads up" as to what may need attention. Plus with a realitively inexpensive code reader pluged in, and putting the A/C control unit in to diagonstic mode, I can easily retrieve problem codes and look them up, as well as check status of individual electronic systems and sensors, and quickly asertain and replace the offending part. In my opinion it is much easier to trouble shoot problems in the '97 than in older models. The only real troublesome part is the K40 relay, which is essentially a power distribution component. The K40 relay costs a little more than $100 and should be replaced should a series of intermittant issues pop-up all at once or the engine stumbles (usually under accelleration). I've replaced the K40 in both cars once .... so over 12 years the part isn't all that troublesome. What is a pain is the 30+ blubs in the instriument cluster and dash. It's my suggestion when one or two go out to just pull the instrument cluster out and the appropriate dash panels and replace them all at once.

I also feel that a low mileage 1997 E300D in excellent condition is worth at least $7,000 (probably a little more) even in todays uncertain times.

That's my two sense.

David Roseman
Long Beach, Ca
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