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  #1  
Old 02-10-2014, 11:43 AM
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1996-1999 E300D questions

Without doing a search and reading through a ton of stuff, can anyone give me some basic info on these W210 cars? My wife is looking at a couple and seems genuinely interested. Since I am a W123 guy my questions are about reliability, known issues to look for, any maintenance PITA's, etc specific to the W210. If you could find one at a decent price would you put your wife in one? Aslo, was the Turbo engine only from 1998 on?

Thanks,

Glenn
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2014, 12:20 PM
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Only thing I can contribute is that yes, turbo from 98 on.

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Chris W.
'95 E300D, 412K
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2014, 12:22 PM
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96 OM606 NA/722.4
97 OM606 NA/722.6
98-99 OM606 turbo/722.6

I picked up a 97 last week with 218k miles on it. Despite being slower than my 87, the more I drive it the more I like. Like every other old car maintenance history and condition is everything. You need to get comfortable using OBD2 for diagnostics. Jeremy5848 has made some excellent how to posts about his 96 which I found really useful.
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  #4  
Old 02-10-2014, 12:33 PM
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Make sure the glow plugs have been done recently, verify that it starts smoothly cold. If a glow plug was broken off in the head, don't get caught holding the ball.

There's also a thing about the front spring perches rusting out.
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2014, 01:36 PM
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+1 on all of the above.

Having both a W210 and W124 (and formerly a W123) I can tell you that systems wise the cars are night and day.

W123 there is no electronics to speak of
W124 there is basic electronics, more so in Gen II. Diesel engine control is still direct control with EDS idle smoothing.
W210 everything runs over CAN bus and the engines are drive by wire.

The basics can be done with OBDII (anything that is emissions-related, has to be, by federal law, accessible by a standard OBDII reader). In fact I recommend getting a cheap (~$25) OBDII reader (look around online) and keeping it in the glove box. It has saved me from getting stuck in limp-home mode. Or get an OBDII bluetooth dongle and use your phone as a reader.

Anything more than the basics requires STAR DAS. True STAR DAS from MBZ is insanely expensive but there are gray market clones out there. An exception is the climate control, the self diagnostics on the climate control are accessible from a hidden menu on the climate control screen.

One other thing that stinks is that MBZ has made available service manuals online for up through 124 but has not posted the 210 manuals yet. It is necessary to sign up for Startek to obtain manuals. There is a 24 hour pass for $20, I would get a big hard drive and a day when you have nothing else to do, and a fast Internet connection and download and save everything you can find.

Do watch out for spring perch rust as stated. It is not always obvious so if the car has lived in the north be very careful.

Also be careful about the automatic transmission. The 722.6 is a great transmission but it is not "sealed for life" as originally promised. Fluid/filter changes every 50k should be mandatory. Also while you are in the transmission, change the electrical plug (cheap). It can leak, wick the transmission fluid up the wire harness, and destroy the electronics in the control box under the hood.

Cars of this age are starting to need suspension work so be prepared for that.

Glow plugs - the OM606 is notorious for stuck glow plugs in the head. Can't stress enough that if your PO successfully changed the GPs and, better yet, reamed the holes and put anti-seize on the new plugs, that is worth gold.
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1998 E300 DT for sale http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/mercedes-benz-cars-sale/399019-1998-e300-turbo-diesel.html

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  #6  
Old 02-10-2014, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psaboic View Post
Without doing a search and reading through a ton of stuff, can anyone give me some basic info on these W210 cars? My wife is looking at a couple and seems genuinely interested. Since I am a W123 guy my questions are about reliability, known issues to look for, any maintenance PITA's, etc specific to the W210. If you could find one at a decent price would you put your wife in one? Aslo, was the Turbo engine only from 1998 on?

Thanks,

Glenn
Go with the 98/99 they have the turbos, and are blinding fast as contrasted with previous models. They're priced all over the scale, get the one you feel comfortable with.
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  #7  
Old 02-10-2014, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Skid Row Joe View Post
Go with the 98/99 they have the turbos, and are blinding fast as contrasted with previous models. They're priced all over the scale, get the one you feel comfortable with.

We have 3 MB's and their nicknames

The 87 300TD - the yacht
The 98 E300DT - the rocket
The 08 ML320 CDI - the beast

What is the most important is to find the one with the best service history.

100 k miles and no history makes the car much less valuable than one with 200 k maintained with thorough records.

When I bought my ML320 the thing that sealed it was the dealer producing the VMI showing that the PO brought it in like clockwork every 10 k like they were supposed to.
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2014 ML350 Bluetec (wife's DD)
2013 E350 Bluetec (my DD)
2008 ML320 CDI (Older son's college DD)
2008 E320 Bluetec (Younger son's college DD)

1998 E300 DT for sale http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/mercedes-benz-cars-sale/399019-1998-e300-turbo-diesel.html

1987 300TD sold to vstech
----------
gone but living on
1983 240D (body to greazzer, engine to t walgamuth)
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  #8  
Old 02-10-2014, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay_bob View Post
We have 3 MB's and their nicknames

The 87 300TD - the yacht
The 98 E300DT - the rocket
The 08 ML320 CDI - the beast

What is the most important is to find the one with the best service history.

100 k miles and no history makes the car much less valuable than one with 200 k maintained with thorough records.

When I bought my ML320 the thing that sealed it was the dealer producing the VMI showing that the PO brought it in like clockwork every 10 k like they were supposed to.
Jay, I add CONDITION to your cogent post. CONDITION of the car 360 degrees.

As contrasted with a similar model MB car that has been bandied about here lately, I found that it was night and day between the condition, records, care, etc. that my old CDI had undergone before I bought it.

The CDI I bought had ALL records with the complete VMI from the MB dealer that sold it new and serviced it since day one. The CDI in my garage is as if I had bought it new, with the exception that I paid $35K less for the car than new. It's in that great of condition everywhere on the car, and nothing was amiss or busted when I bought it.

3 weeks ago, I had the chance to remove it's belly panels and get a good look at the entire underside of the CDI.......it was as if the car was with less than 1/2 the miles of what the odometer has registered. A total circumspect inspection of it has confirmed everything the car was represented as, I am pleased to report...

I cannot emphasis how important records and condition is. If one doesn't care about what they get when buying used, then they'll be in for surprise after surprise, and they won't be good, I'm afraid. To me, it's worth hand-picking what you want when buying used, and even paying a little more for the right car.
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2014, 04:18 PM
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Plastic hose fuel line parts. It is the biggest hassle with those cars. I like the 98-99 turbo. I work on a 99 regularly. We used copper anti seize for the new glow plugs. And purchased the reamer.

But I much prefer the W211. For a little more money you get a lot better car. I like the CDI better. Even the 99 feels old the 05 feels like a brand new car.

Just my two cents. Beside I run WVO in all of mine so my opinion is skewed.
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2014, 04:51 PM
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The OM606 seems a lot more DIY friendly than the CDI engines plus seeing how you can pickup a good W210 diesel for $3500 makes for a huge price gap to the CDI cars. Too bad they never imported the wagon.

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  #11  
Old 02-10-2014, 06:50 PM
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Thanks for link regarding wagon diesel. I'd be all over one of those wagons if it were LHD and available in US.
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  #12  
Old 02-10-2014, 10:43 PM
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X2 on the comments about service records. Too many people stop caring for the car once it's off warranty. Watch for rust on Eastern cars. Check for problems with suspension bits -- they're easy to ignore but can be expensive. Note the comments on stuck glow plugs. I haven't had problems but horror stories abound.

Jeremy
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  #13  
Old 02-11-2014, 03:16 AM
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The OM606 seems a lot more DIY friendly than the CDI engines

Nut-uh....no way.

Sorry, but your statement is just not true. You don't sound like you've owned both, nor worked on both, right? I've owned BOTH, and wrenched on my '99 E300TD for 14-years since new.....

Even though I am a newby, I am learning that the CDI is worlds more DIY-friendly than the W210 diesel.

Almost without exception, everything about the I6 CDI; A) makes more sense, and B) is WAY easier to get to R & R than the OM606.
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  #14  
Old 02-11-2014, 11:04 AM
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Try swapping out cdi injectors.
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  #15  
Old 02-11-2014, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
Try swapping out cdi injectors.
I have seen a mechanic remove them from an e220 cdi, all it took was to undo the high pressure pipes from the rail after depressurizing it.

undo the little bolts holding the feet for the injectors, use a little slide hammer and tap them out. They would be really hard to remove without that slide hammer.
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