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  #1  
Old 08-29-2017, 10:29 PM
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considering purchasing 98E300TD

I own a 99 E300TD with around 212k miles. This seems crazy but I am considering purchasing a 98 E300TD with 188K miles. My girlfriend currently needs a car and this one seems like a really good deal. I have always thought that its obnoxious when couples have matching cars, but if its as good of a deal as it seems it will provide her transportation and also serve as a backup if a major component fails on one of the cars. The car is supposedly in perfect shape except it needs a rear bumper. I have found a rear bumper at a local pick and pull junk yard for $75. Since I already own one of these cars I should know the answer to the questions I'm about to ask but it always helps to hear others opinions.

1. Was there anything different/new on the 99 model vs the 98 model?
2. I have not seen the rear end of the car, but I have been told that it just needs a bumper. Is putting a replacement rear bumper on these cars pretty straight forward, or is it complicated?
3. Can anyone suggest anything particular that I should take a close look at when inspecting this car?

Thanks to everyone who provides feedback.

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  #2  
Old 08-30-2017, 07:38 AM
jay_bob's Avatar
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The 99 has these features that a 98 does not:
- side air bags in the back doors as well as the front doors (98 is front only)
- the stereo has been changed, instead of the analog Becker 1692 it is the first generation fiber optic (Audio 30?) with everything integrated on a D2B fiber optic ring.
- The LCD in the cluster is updated to a menu driven system with steering wheel controls.

Mechanically the cars are the same. Same engine, transmission, and controls.

The only thing to watch for on pulling the rear bumper is if the car has Parktronic, and also watch out for the old analog cell phone patch antennas in the rear bumper.

I'm assuming as a current owner of a 98 you know where to look for the trouble spots for rust (spring perches, door penetrations, molding mount points, etc).

If you end up buying it I would do a couple things on principle when I got it home:
- rubber brake hoses, they are 20 years old
- front wheel bearings (so much cheaper and easier if you catch before the bearing seizes and ruins the spindle that it is worth it to take care of it regardless)
- service the transmission unless you have proof it was recently done, with the proper fluid
- new low pressure fuel lines (they should be clear, if they are opaque it is time to replace) don't forget the o-ring behind the shut off valve
- new fuel filters
- Verify all the retention clips are in place on the high pressure fuel lines to the injectors

Good luck
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The OM 642/722.9 powered family
2014 ML350 Bluetec (wife's DD)
2013 E350 Bluetec (my DD)
2008 ML320 CDI (Older sonís DD)
2008 E320 Bluetec (Younger son's DD)

1998 E300DT sold to TimFreeh
1987 300TD sold to vstech
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gone but living on
1983 240D (body to greazzer, engine to t walgamuth)
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  #3  
Old 08-30-2017, 11:22 AM
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Thanks jay_bob. I actually own a 99 and i'm considering purchasing a 98. What exactly is "parktronic?" Also, as far as the "trouble spots" you mentioned, I don't have any rust on my 99 so I'm not exactly sure where you are are talking about. I am assuming the door spring hinges and the areas where the body panels meet...is this correct? And thanks for the suggestion to replace the front wheel bearings as this is something that I have not done on my 99 so I will definitely be doing this soon.
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  #4  
Old 08-30-2017, 12:23 PM
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The '99's also have a different 3rd brake light. The '98's and earlier have the more square-ish assembly that gets roasted by the sun and cracks...
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  #5  
Old 08-30-2017, 01:01 PM
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Sorry I got the years backwards.

Parktronic is the MB trade name for the sonar parking assist system that is prevalent on just about everything today. The W210 was first MB that had it. The sensors are about the size of a quarter and distributed about the front and rear bumpers.

Anyway the trouble spots for rust on a W210 on the body are the penetrations behind the door molding, the door handles, the trunk lock, the trunk emblem, etc. Basically anywhere there is a painted surface with a hole in it, covered by something else. The constant vibration of the covering item wears through the paint and opens up an entry point for rust.

They used an environmentally friendly new paint process that unfortunately did not adhere as well as the prior processes.

The other big problem with a W210 is the spring perches by the front wheels. They were welded to the front body and the joint covered with mastic. Sometimes the mastic gets a hole in it, water gets in, the joint corrodes, and one day *pop* the perch separates from the car body. This is very difficult to see under the mastic until it's too late. It is repairable.
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The OM 642/722.9 powered family
2014 ML350 Bluetec (wife's DD)
2013 E350 Bluetec (my DD)
2008 ML320 CDI (Older sonís DD)
2008 E320 Bluetec (Younger son's DD)

1998 E300DT sold to TimFreeh
1987 300TD sold to vstech
----------
gone but living on
1983 240D (body to greazzer, engine to t walgamuth)
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2017, 02:52 PM
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Thanks again jay_bob. I am going to take a look at the car tomorrow. It is located about an hour away from me. I asked the owner to send me a picture of the damaged bumper. There is also a dent/surface rust on the body below the passenger side tail light. Does this look like it is something that a good body repair person can fix? I know that where that dent is located is not just a small quarter panel, its a very large section of the body...
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2017, 03:44 PM
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This should be able to be taken care of by a good body shop.

Link to video showing the production of the 210, at about 4:30 you can see how much of the side of the car is made from one contiguous piece of steel.
https://youtu.be/dPNR44R9gX8
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The OM 642/722.9 powered family
2014 ML350 Bluetec (wife's DD)
2013 E350 Bluetec (my DD)
2008 ML320 CDI (Older sonís DD)
2008 E320 Bluetec (Younger son's DD)

1998 E300DT sold to TimFreeh
1987 300TD sold to vstech
----------
gone but living on
1983 240D (body to greazzer, engine to t walgamuth)
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2017, 05:02 PM
I told you so!
 
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There's a lot to gain by have two of the same vehicle in your stable. The big one is familiarity with the car. The other is commonality of parts. You could always substitute parts for diagnosis. Then there's special tools... parts source for ordering... shop manual... etc.
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2017, 06:58 PM
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If you end up getting the 98 and it still has the original Becker 1692, here is how to add hands free and music streaming to the existing stereo using a Parrot adapter:

Analog Cell phone update - 1998 W210
__________________
The OM 642/722.9 powered family
2014 ML350 Bluetec (wife's DD)
2013 E350 Bluetec (my DD)
2008 ML320 CDI (Older sonís DD)
2008 E320 Bluetec (Younger son's DD)

1998 E300DT sold to TimFreeh
1987 300TD sold to vstech
----------
gone but living on
1983 240D (body to greazzer, engine to t walgamuth)
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  #10  
Old 08-31-2017, 12:56 PM
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If you end up with two 210's, you need a parts car. Between two friends of mine, they have three. Having a parts car has been a good thing, and has played off. One of the cars needed a radiator and other parts. The cost would have been about what was paid for the parts car. From now on, the parts are free!
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  #11  
Old 09-25-2017, 02:50 PM
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I didn't end up buying that car...it was complete junk
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  #12  
Old 09-25-2017, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay_bob View Post
The other big problem with a W210 is the spring perches by the front wheels. They were welded to the front body and the joint covered with mastic. Sometimes the mastic gets a hole in it, water gets in, the joint corrodes, and one day *pop* the perch separates from the car body. This is very difficult to see under the mastic until it's too late. It is repairable.
This concerns me with my 99 E300TD. Are there any symptoms of these failing? On my car I have a squeaking noise in the front end that I hear whenever I go over speed bumps or any other bump. The best way to describe the sound is that it sounds like a squeaking worn bushing. I have had my front shocks, engine mounts, and lower ball joints replaced received recently. Any idea what could be causing this sound?
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:20 PM
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Sway bar bushings. Spray some wd40 on them until you replace them. Do the end links as well.
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  #14  
Old 09-26-2017, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graysilm View Post
This concerns me with my 99 E300TD. Are there any symptoms of these failing? On my car I have a squeaking noise in the front end that I hear whenever I go over speed bumps or any other bump. The best way to describe the sound is that it sounds like a squeaking worn bushing. I have had my front shocks, engine mounts, and lower ball joints replaced received recently. Any idea what could be causing this sound?
Let me tell you my tale of woe with my 96E300d. Car was solid as a rock, quiet, good handling and a motor and tranny as smooth as silk. Driving on a local road, heard what I thought was the car running over a small tree branch. No big deal, and no problem with the car. Parked the car overnight, and when I woke up the next morning, the car was leaning to the passenger side as if I had a flat. Low and behold, the passenger side spring perch had totally given out, taking almost the entire passenger side engine compartment with it. The front spring was also broken in half. The ironic part of the story was that I had the car in to have the tires rotated, and while it was on the lift, I made a point of inspecting the spring perches, and there was no sign of any corrosion and the factory application was totally intact. If I had been driving the car at highway speeds, I would have totally lost control, as the front fender had dropped right onto the passenger side right front wheel. Don't know how Mercedes got away with that design feature!!!!!

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