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  #1  
Old 06-09-2003, 01:18 AM
edge's Avatar
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New to Me 94 E320!

Added a 3rd car to the MB stable...tried to find a 90's diesel but they were priced 30-40% more than their equivalent gas E models. Just droved back from Ft. Lauderdale to CT cruising effortlessly at 80-90mph, still took 2 day-20 hours with the traffic in NJ.
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New to Me 94 E320!-e320.jpg  
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85 300CD Signal Red/Tan sold
83 300D Manganese Brown 109K
97 E420 Midnight Blue 197K sold
98 BMW 328i Vert White 100K, sold
95 BMW 525i White 125K, sold
93 BMW 525iT Red 193K, sold
95 E320 Green Wagon 125K, sold
94 E320 White 127K, sold
85 300SD 156K Grey (Annie), sold
84 300D Lapis Blue 170K (Judy), sold
99 ML 320 Black (lease), 1998 C230 White (lease)
00 Honda S2000 Red (lease)
86 Mercedes 300E (sold)
84 Porsche 911 Red (sold), 1965 Porsche 911 White (sold)
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2003, 01:32 AM
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Edge,

Congratulations on a find! The car looks nearly new in the photo.

I am looking at similar cars as I am about to give up on finding another 1988 300E with a manual transmission. I have read on the Tech Forum about various problems with certain models and years of manufacture. I was wondering if you have a model year by model year list of issues to look for like the wiring harnesses and head gaskets that seem to be common failures in certain cars. For the most part these cars are very reasonably priced, with pretty low miles.

Once again, that is a beautiful car. Good luck, Jim
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Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #3  
Old 06-09-2003, 05:11 AM
turbodiesel
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Jim,

Last I looked, Bill Ditmire (well-known MB mechanic and dealer in southern, NJ) has two '87 300E 5-speeds for around $5,000. One black, one smoke silver both with around 200k. Check out www.ditmire.com
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  #4  
Old 06-09-2003, 06:22 AM
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Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
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Jim,
If I remember reading in here correctly, the wiring harness issue was on the '93-'95 W124's. The head gasket issue is applicable to the 104 engine (dual overhead cam, 24 valve).
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  #5  
Old 06-09-2003, 08:17 AM
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Turbodiesel,

Thanks for the leads. I will have to make a road trip as Southern NJ is definitely within the range of a weekend drive to scan for vehicles. My youngest son will be "inheriting" the 1988 unit in a year or so, and that car took me about 9 months to find. So I am starting now. I believe they were only made in 1986 and 1988 model years (5-speed 300E's, that is). I would like a low mileage car if I can find one. Thanks again.

engatwork,

So both issues plagued the 3.2 liter engines on E320's of the last few model years for the W124? I was kind of hoping the 1994 and 1995 cars had at least the head gasket or the wiring harness addressed in production. Is the issue with the wiring harness something you can detect visually? Thanks, Jim
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Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #6  
Old 06-09-2003, 08:33 AM
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Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
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Jim,
You have to "peel" back the black outer layer covering the wiring harness to see the bad insulation. The predominate one as far as I can understand is the one running along the black plastic channel above the valve cover. I think too that it "goes bad" when it is disturbed like when the head gasket gets changed and stuff like that.
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  #7  
Old 06-09-2003, 09:14 AM
edge's Avatar
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Thanks, Jim. My 16 year old son just got his license so he is driving my 84 300D (which is in tip top driving shape although some rust in the wheel well is begining to start) that I bought 2 years ago. Originally I was looking for a 90's 2.5 Turbo but they seem to be priced at $10K+ with high mileage. The 96-97 non-turbos were $15K+ so I resorted to finding a low mileage gas E. I wanted the 94-95 year because that's when MB increased the displacement from 3 to 3.2 liters, changed the moniker to E320 from 300E, updated the grill to be more like the S-class sleeker grill, updated to eurolights and added the chrome tunk handle also like the S-class. I really like the Coupe version but they were priced $10K+. So I got lucky paying only $7500 for this baby with 79K miles, Carfax verified. Good luck on your search but with prices where they are, I believe the gas models are a better buy than the diesels nowadays. With the 94-5 models, they are new enough that you won't have to deal with water leaks, sagging seat cushions, worn rubber seals- in short, the car feels like it is new and is probably good for another 200K miles!
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  #8  
Old 06-09-2003, 02:52 PM
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edge - sounds like you got a good, low mileage car for a real good price. If I am not mistaken your model is one that you can make up your own code reader and read the codes. Do a search on "code reader" and somewhere buried in this forum are instructions on making one.
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  #9  
Old 06-09-2003, 03:24 PM
edge's Avatar
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engatwork, very interesting about the fault codes. I have alot of reading up to do, thanks. The seller said that's the last time he's going to schedule an end of auction on a Sat night! He almost cancelled the auction the day before because of the low price but decided to let it stand. He then didn't want to cancel on the last day because people get pissed, he wants to maintain his "no negative feedback" profile.
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2003, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by edge
I wanted the 94-95 year because that's when MB increased the displacement from 3 to 3.2 liters, changed the moniker to E320 from 300E, updated the grill to be more like the S-class sleeker grill, updated to eurolights and added the chrome tunk handle also like the S-class.
1993 is the first year the 3.2 liter or 2.8 liter M104 gasoline engine was used in the W124 cars. 1986-1992 300E's have M103 engines: either a 2.6 liter or a 3.0 liter M103 single overhead cam engine.

1993 300E's either have the 3.2 liter M104 engine or the 2.8 liter M104 engine. This is the same 2.8 liter engine that was used in the 1994-1997 C280. 1993 is the only single year that the 2.8 liter engine was offered in the W124 chassis

1993 is the first year of the chassis change, even though the badge didn't change. Most people assume it happened in 1994 because of the badge change to E320. 1993 300E's and 1994-1995 E320's have the same chassis code (124.032) and the same engine (104.992).

1993 300E's are inexplicably missbadged. This car has the same 3.2 liter engine as 1994-1995 W124 E320's and 1996-1997 W210 E320's. Mercedes Benz decided not to call this model a 320E (like in the rest of the world), a 300E 3.2, or E320. It is curious to me why they didn't call this a 300E 3.2, because they sold this car with a 2.8 liter engine and badged it a 300E 2.8. Except in the U.S, 1993-1995 W124 chassis cars with the 3.2 liter engine were all badged 320E.

I will point out that while 1993 300E's have the same chassis code and engine, there are small exterior cosmetic differences between this year and 1994-1995's.

The interiors are exactly the same: they all have the passenger side airbag, which goes where the glove box used to be. Instead, for storage, there is an armrest which has a flip up lid with a compartment to store sunglasses, pens, etc. Below this compartment in the center console, there is a box with a wooden door that slides and locks.

The differences between 1993 300E's and 1994-1995 E320's, therefore, are all exterior:

1. 1994-1995's have a slightly updated hood and grill, with Euro-style headlights (but not real Euro's)

2. clear front indicators with yellow strips (1986-1993 are all yellow).

3. body colored bumper impact strips (1990-1993 impact strips are black)

4. clear / red taillights (1986-1993 are clear / red / amber).

5. Sedan E320's got a chrome strip on the trunk below the Star logo. 1994-1995 E320 wagon, coupe, and cabriolet's have the same black strip as 1986-1993 W124's below the star on the trunk that extends horizontally along the trunk between the two tail lights.

I would also like to point out that all 1992-1993 300SE's and 400E's are incorrectly badged. The 300SE's all have a 3.2 liter engine (just like 1994-1999 S320's), and all 400E's have a 4.2 liter engine (just like 1994-1995 E420's).
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Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".

Last edited by suginami; 06-09-2003 at 09:11 PM.
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  #11  
Old 06-09-2003, 11:56 PM
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suginami, nice rundown on the E-class. With all your differentiation, the 94 is the right choice for me. I've only had it a short time but the car is marvelous. Better stereo, more comfortable seats than the 87 I had and...it starts off in first gear.
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  #12  
Old 06-10-2003, 10:50 AM
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All things considered, 1994-1995 is the better choice because most people like the updated hood / grill / headlights.

One thing I also forgot to point out is that 1994-1995's got a filter for the HVAC system, I guess to reduce allergens or foul odors, etc.

It needs servicing from time to time, I think every 30,000 miles.

You might look into this if you have no record of it not being replaced.
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Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #13  
Old 06-12-2003, 10:53 PM
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Paul S., unfortunately the car did not come with any records and only one key. I had MB cut me 2 extra keys. Now I have to methodically change the oil & filter, air filter, power steering fliud and filter, ATF & filter, your HVAC filter (where is it?), fuel filter (only one-where is it?)...did I leave anything out? I have some serious reading up to do on "wiring harness" and "code reader."
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85 300CD Signal Red/Tan sold
83 300D Manganese Brown 109K
97 E420 Midnight Blue 197K sold
98 BMW 328i Vert White 100K, sold
95 BMW 525i White 125K, sold
93 BMW 525iT Red 193K, sold
95 E320 Green Wagon 125K, sold
94 E320 White 127K, sold
85 300SD 156K Grey (Annie), sold
84 300D Lapis Blue 170K (Judy), sold
99 ML 320 Black (lease), 1998 C230 White (lease)
00 Honda S2000 Red (lease)
86 Mercedes 300E (sold)
84 Porsche 911 Red (sold), 1965 Porsche 911 White (sold)
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  #14  
Old 06-12-2003, 11:20 PM
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The HVAC filter is hard to access. I don't have one, but I recall that it is where the HVAC blower motor is. The blower motor is actually accessed by removing the windshield wiper arm and wiper motor.

If you have no records, then I would change all of the fluids and filters in the whole car just to start out with a clean slate.

In any event, all of the fluids / filters / spark plugs are changed at 30,000 mile intervals.

There are two fluids that are changed in time intervals instead of mileage intervals:

1. Brake fluid - must replace every 2 years.
2. Radiator coolant - must replace every 3 years.

I'd see if the dealer has any record of the engine wiring harness being replaced. You can go to any dealer and have a VMI (vehicle master inquiry) run, which will show all of the warranty / recall work done on the car.

If it is original, it is certainly bad, even if you haven't noticed any symptoms, yet.
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Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #15  
Old 06-12-2003, 11:32 PM
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Edge,
Congrats on the nice purchase! I remember you telling me that the best car you ever owned was a W124 car. Enjoy! Bring it to the next GTG.

Alex
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2012 VW Sportwagen TDI Manual
2001 Miata SE
1962 Chevrolet Corvair Rampside
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