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  #1  
Old 04-10-2002, 01:07 PM
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Location: Calgary, Alberta
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W210 E430 v's E320

I am considering buying a used W210. I will purchase something between a '98 and a '00 model year.

My question is whether I should buy a E320 or a E430. I will do about 25% highway travel (but reasonably long distances on each trip) while the rest of the time is around town.

My concern regarding the E320 is that the V6 motor is relatively new and may not stand the test of time whereas MB has years of experience building various V8 motors.

Any comments, suggestions or opinions appreciated.

Also any comments on W210 vehicles in the 98 - 00 model year range with regard to build quality, driveability, etc. appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 04-10-2002, 10:36 PM
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Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
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My E320 has the inline 6, so I can't comment from personal experience, but I've read enough discussins on the merits of the newer V6 with the old inline 6's, and the new engines appear to be incredibly well designed, and there doesn't seem to be any complaints about them. Those that have had them apart say they had cross-bolted main bearings and seemed very durable.

I think one of the advantages is that they don't leak oil from the head gaskets like all of the inline 6's do.
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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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  #3  
Old 04-10-2002, 11:22 PM
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Location: ajax, ontario, canada
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the W210 E320 engine is a 90-degree V6, made so as to leverage most of the same manufacturing facilities and parts as the V8.

that this V6 is turning out to be very reliable could be testament to the V8 building knowhow of MB.
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  #4  
Old 04-11-2002, 10:31 AM
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Location: Chesapeake, VA
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I have an E430. I drove both and just liked the way it"felt" compared with the E320. Try both and then decide. The only issue I have heard of on the engines is that a few V-6s have had failures of the crankshft pulley/vibration damper and that damages the timing cover at the same time. The 210 E-Class has been pretty reliable. Keep in mind that no car is perfect.
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  #5  
Old 04-11-2002, 11:26 AM
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One of the girls at my office has a 98 C280, which is also a V6, and at about 85,000 miles, she had a failure of the crankshaft pulley / vibration damper and had to have the engine rebuilt.

I don't think this is indicative of the vast majority of owners of these vehicles, though.

Fwiw, my mother's 1999 E430 has 45,000 miles, and has needed replacement of a leaking transmission seal and pump, twice. It's at the dealer right now getting it fixed for the second time, and to say the least, she's not happy. It was covered by the Starmark Warranty, but it would've cost her about $2,500 to repair on her own. She's now looking into extending her warranty to 100,000 miles, at a cost of around $2,650.

These cars are great, but no car is perfect.
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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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  #6  
Old 04-11-2002, 01:09 PM
BlackE55
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The guy who owns the MB shop I occasionally visit owns a late model E320. We discussed its merits vs. an older E420 or E430. He said that if and when you need to take it in for work, (maint or repair) the E320 is much cheaper to work on than the V8.
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  #7  
Old 04-11-2002, 01:14 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Calgary, Alberta
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Sad but true, nothing is perfect (except maybe MB Owners ).

I am planning to keep this car for a long time (I am looking to sell my 15 y.o. 1987 190E 2.6) so want somthing that is built to last (that's why we're in MB's in the first place).

I was concerned about track record of the V6 but I have read several threads now that mention the physical strength of the internals on the V6. I did not know it was modeled on the V8 platform - that helps give some comfort.

I guess another question is whether the V6 has enough get up and go to 1.) Move briskly from standing starts in city traffic and 2.) run comfortably for extended periods at high (for Canada) speeds.
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  #8  
Old 04-11-2002, 01:45 PM
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I think you'll find the performance of the E320 is exhilerating. You could probably cruise all day long at 100 mph and not even know it.

The E430 has enormous power is goes like a rocket ship.

If you drive an E430, you might get ruined, and not be satisfied with anything else, but the E320's are more than adequate.

Drive 'em and you'll see.
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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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  #9  
Old 04-21-2002, 10:46 AM
Ronnyng
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So which one is to go for? THey are about the same price

THe E420 and the E320 seems to be about the same price.
What are the common problems on these car so I can look for it before buying it? Are they reliable?
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  #10  
Old 04-22-2002, 10:08 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Calgary, Alberta
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Ronnyng,

Your question is similar to mine. I live in a small town and don't get to see many examples of the W210 so am hoping others can help fill in the gaps.

What I can say is that I do not see many W210's on the used car lots and those I do see are usually the E320. Their owners seem to hold onto these vehicles so that tells me that they do not have a lot of fundamental weaknesses or issues.

I contrast that with the ML series (the SUV) where I will see 10 - 12 vehicles on the used car lot at any one time which is telling me their owners are getting rid of them as soon as they can.

A couple of people have posted on this and other threads about some issues but that seems to be fairly isolated instances as best as I can see since there was not a rush of "yeah, me too" type postings.
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  #11  
Old 05-05-2002, 02:13 PM
keoniahlo
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Thumbs down E320 Problems

My harmonic dampener did, indeed, break and wreak havoc on my timing cover and oil pan. My local MB dealer took care of the problem (my car was one month out of warranty) at no charge. Mind you, it took a few phone calls and threats of "going back to Lexus" conversations to get them to cover the cost of repairs. The cost to replace the pulley is approximately $420, labor included. The cost to replace all the damaged parts including the pulley AFTER it fails is aproximately $3,300.

LESSON #1: Check your MB's service record if you're buying a used E320--if the pulley wasn't changed yet, have it changed to the newer replacement pulley (it has a new part number, superceding the old one). If you purchased your E320 new, have your dealer change it out at no cost. INSIST on this!

LESSON #2: If you're driving an E320 that has the original pulley and smell burning rubber, pull off to the side of the road and have the car TOWED. Don't try to make it all the way home like I did. What happens is that the outer metal ring of the harmonic pulley detaches from the inner ring as the rubber that holds the two rings together fails. The outer pulley is driving your belt system and it starts to move inward toward the engine case, resulting in the belt rubbing agains the case. This is the first sign of pulley failure--burning rubber smell from the friction. If you drive for another 20 miles, the pulley will move closer and closer to the case, eventually grinding into the timing cover.

Save yourself a lot of time and money and have it changed out. Don't take chances on this one! I feel that MB should have been more proactive on this issue and sent out notices to all E320 owners to give them the option of replacing the defective part.

Aloha,
Keoni
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  #12  
Old 05-06-2002, 11:01 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 17
Test drive is done

It was an interesting day at the car-yard Saturday. I did a test drive of a '98 E320 with 85,000 Km (approx. 53,000 mile), a '97 E420 with 42,000 Km (approx. 26,000 miles) and a 2000 E430 with 33,000 Km (approx 20,500 mile). All three cars were running winter tires (Yes, I know its May but we have about 12 - 14 inches of fresh #%@ snow on the ground this morning) and I took all three on the same route of city, street and freeway driving

This has confirmed my opinions that the E430 is the way to go.

The E320 was quite light in the steering and was, in my opinion, struggling to accelerate briskly. Once it got to cruising speed, it was fine but there was always a doubt it was going to have enough "oomph" to merge and overtake crisply. It reminded me of the old 190E with the 2.3 litre four cylnder. The gearbox is making up for the limitations of the engine by having to do a lot of changes and hard work.

The E420 was interesting. Good power but I got the feeling the whole thing was a little unrefined. There was a harshness and noise that I did not expect. Also it did not feel solid.

The E430 was a whole different kettle of fish. Right from the time of closing the door, the car felt more solid and better quality. The engine is smoother, quieter and refined. I appreciate it is several years newer but the mileage is basically the same. A much better vehicle I think.

So, questions:
Does anyone know if the rigidity of the W210 was improved in the 2000 model year make-over? It certainly feels like it was.

Also, does anyone know what else was done other than cosmetic stuff on the front end, the indicators in the side mirrors and addition of ESP as standard?

Thanks,
Scott.
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  #13  
Old 05-14-2002, 06:48 PM
Ronnyng
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E430 is the way to go??? But is there any problems on this engine?

I am looking on the 1998 E430 and it has the new V8 engine. I heard the new V6 is better than the old one, but what about the V8. I am a little concern on this issue. Mostly they are priced around 28-34Gs..
Is it worth the money? The E420 are usually below 27Gs. Any comments will be appreciated. Thank you

Ron
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  #14  
Old 05-17-2002, 03:02 PM
apb apb is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 447
I have a 1997 E420 and have absolutely no complaints!
The 4.2 is generally thought to be stronger at high rpm, while the 4.3 was optimized for low to mid rpm torque.
I think both are great cars, remember that the 4.2 was used until 99 in the s class.
I thought I had read, when I chose to buy my car, that the 4.2 was generally a smoother engine than the 4.3. However, the 4.2 engine is heavier and adds some weight to the car for acceleration performance.
One thing is clear, however, the 4.2 is hard to beat in cold weather when high density cold air enters that engine (the same is true for the high perf e500/500e)
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