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Old 05-28-2016, 06:49 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 325
Our 1987 Euro 4SPD w201 190D 2.0L 4cyl is for sale

Well friends, after all these years it has become time to pass our beloved 1987 Euro 4spd W201 Diesel (190D) on to a new owner. We have moved ½ way across the country for work and here we don’t have enough room for another vehicle, and won’t for some time. Our friend and neighbor has had the 190d at his place since December, and has agreed to show it to interested parties for us. I apologize for the length of this post but I want to give as much info that I can think of, because I’d like to pass the 190 on to someone here who will appreciate it before resorting to selling it on Craigslist.

Schatze is a Euro 1987 W201 190D (Diesel) with the 2.0L 4cyl and 4spd transmission. I bought it for long commutes while in grad school, and we were very thankful to have it when diesel was $5 a gallon in the Midwest recently. Our 190d consistently returned 42 mpg or more on the highway. My worst tank was with the ac running in stop and go street traffic in Chicago when one of the highways was closed, and I still got 32-35 mpg which wasn’t bad for driving mostly in 3 gears. One of the best things about the car was that I always got around 600 miles per tank of fuel with highway driving at reasonable speed. All of the decisions made about parts, etc. were based on the intention to use it for commuting, and it did this very well for us. We have many fond memories of trips and good times we’ve had in it (from cross country trips, to camping), and now it’s someone else’s turn…

So, it is a true Euro model, so it doesn’t have the push button climate control box, but the rotating dials and slide switches. It has crank windows and the euro model manual sliding sunroof. It has power door locks and trunk lock which still work, and a single wiper. As you can see in the pictures, the body is in good shape and the paint is about what you would expect for a car of this age. There is one area where the paint is faded in the center of the roof above the rear windshield, which was there when I purchased the car. It was garaged for the time we have had the car, except for the last year.

I removed the terrible, retro-fit US sealed beam headlights that were mandated when it was imported in 1987 and installed Glass Euro headlights with Philips Vision Plus bulbs imported from Germany (NOT the same as the US version). The fog lights are Hella Yellowstars (which are amazing in mist, snow and fog).

The car came with a sunroof deflector that I initially wanted to remove, but decided I really liked for highway drives with the sunroof open. With the deflector, air enters the cabin but isn’t a 70mph wind whirling around or hitting back passengers in the face, and it cuts down on wind noise so I could still hear the stereo or talk on my hands-free headset without problems. Also, I thoroughly enjoyed driving through light rain with the sunroof open- with the deflector, no rain entered the car even though the sunroof was partly open, which was very cool. I remember that before we moved I had to push up on the sunroof to get it to slide back after lowering and twisting the handle (loose cable?), so it will probably need attention. I am including both my US w201 Haynes Manual and the European w201 Haynes Manual (Hardcover, English) and the W201 cd of pdfs to help sort things like this out.

For sitting in the car and driving for hours, I removed the broken tape deck and installed an aftermarket cd radio. I picked the unit because it plays mp3 discs as well as cds, has an auxillary input, and provides power output to the amp and the antenna. The original speakers were fried and all were replaced with nice CDT speakers. I installed a small amplifier, bridged mono to a sub in the trunk. The subwoofer loudspeaker was matched to the ported enclosure but the enclosure was scavenged from a previous project. The sub provides a nice extension to music, but is not designed or powered for crank it up contests.

Schatze ran on Diesel I bought at nearby truckstops, that moved a lot of fuel being close to the highways. Specifically, Flying J, Pilot, and Marathon, and she always got some Power Service with every fill-up. Like I mentioned previously, I always managed to get around 600 miles per tank, but always filled up before running out of fuel. I do remember having to go well over 600 once years ago (620 or 630?) on a long desolate highway years ago. I might have posted on here about it? After white-knuckling it for miles until I spotted a run-down quickie mart, I was always sure to fill up around or before 600 miles, usually when the prices dropped, of course.

As she is a diesel, she acts like a diesel, and she is obviously not a good quarter-mile race car. Schatze will cruise along at 70mph or more without a problem, but it will take a while to get there, which was not an issue with my highway driving. It is significantly faster than the US model 190d with the automatic transmission, but it is slower getting to highway speed than a lot of other cars on the road. And like other older diesel benzes, it intermittently had vacuum leaks that would cause the motor to continue running for a while after it was keyed off. Mercedes must have anticipated this problem or they wouldn’t have given us that special button on the intake. Roy previously helped us narrow the problem down to the headlight levelling system, which isn’t hooked up. He tapped off the offending vacuum line for us, but it may have loosened because word from Ron is that it started doing it again.

The car came with a set of aftermarket wheels that you can see in the pics. I always thought they looked nice and matched the car well, with a factory-ish look without any… bling. The recent all-weather tires have little wear on them.

The ball joints have been replaced, the suspension was upgraded and H&R sport springs were installed. To avoid significantly changing the suspension geometry, the rubber spring insulators were changed to a larger size in order to improve ride height and stay close to spec. Adjustable Koni struts are installed on the front, and KYB shocks are on the rear. These changes firmed up the suspension nicely and the 190 made you smile thru highway curves, but not at the expense of a comfortable ride. I actually have never firmed the struts up all the way, I found a “middle of the road” setting and was always happy with it. Someone once asked me if it “rubbed” on tight turns and if the car is loaded on a tight turn it can, but it did that with the factory springs on it too. I think the wheels/tires are bigger than came from the factory, and when I replaced the tires, was told that I could install “fender washers” or “spacers” for a nominal charge to get a different (read larger, more expensive and unnecessary wheel/tire set up), and I declined. Just in case the next owner wants them, the original springs will be included.

Probably the biggest, meaning most labor and time intensive, repair jobs that have to be done on these W201 cars that I know of has already been completed. One of our very own MB gurus, (Roy) here on our board, did all of the labor and replaced the heater core in this 190, and did a wonderful job for us. So whoever picks this one up shouldn’t have to worry about coolant leaks in the cabin, fogged windows, or hot coolant on their feet or legs…

All of the glass is intact, and all of the windows work, with the exception of the driver’s side front. When temps were below freezing last winter after pulling into the garage, I rolled up the driver’s window, and there was a “click” or “pop” and the window began to slide down. I called the shop near work and he told me it was not a big job that wouldn’t cost much, but that he was too busy with other big jobs to work on it. So it will need attention, and I’m sure there is info on how to diy this repair in the manuals or here on the board.

As you can see in the pictures, our 190 has the same rust as other 190s develop at the jack points, but there aren’t any rust holes. There is also one small spot on the trunk deck lid that was there when I bought the car. The man I bought the car from said it was from when he pulled the “D” decal off of the car, and it pulled off a spot of the paint. It has been there since I bought the car, and doesn’t seem to have gotten any larger.

I almost forgot about the glow plug project. I actually did a post and posted pics on this board about my glowplug upgrade on Schatze. I installed the Bosch Duratherm (Fastglow) set and upgraded glowplugs on the car years ago, and the system has worked beautifully. Phil provided some guidance for that project. I think this was one of the first and best upgrades, besides the headlights and suspension that I did on the car. She fired up on the first crank every time, even in cold weather.

Speaking of cold weather, and we had a lot of it, I would plug the 190’s block heater into a lamp timer in the garage so it would warm for 15 or 20 mins before leaving for work or school. The 190 would start right up and I’d have heat for the drive.

The only other thing I can think of to mention is that I don’t know what symptoms are associated with worn subframe bushings, but when Roy worked on the car he mentioned that our 190, like all 190s, would need them because they were originally made out of rubber. I suspect that at 230K it would be time to consider changing them.

Well, that’s all that I can think of to say about our 190D. I know there were several other repairs performed, other than routine stuff, but I can't think of any more right now. I talked to our neighbor to ask if I could give out his contact info and he said I could. Apparently after the car sat in his driveway for several weeks, the battery died apparently. I guess he tried to jump start it with his Buick, but it wouldn’t start. Now he changed the battery and the starter is cranking but it sound like he blew the fuse to the glowplug relay because it cranks but won’t start. I suspect someone with a multimeter and some fuses will be able to get her to fire up. Wiring diagrams will be in the manuals, with the w201 cd and other goodies in the trunk.

$850. Sorry, I can’t do a trade, will NOT part her out or sell our 190 for scrap.

The car can be seen/purchased at Ron’s place in Northwest Indiana.

He can be reached at (two one nine) 628-510-one.

Thanks, John

Attached Thumbnails
Our 1987 Euro 4SPD w201 190D 2.0L 4cyl is for sale-pass-side6.jpg   Our 1987 Euro 4SPD w201 190D 2.0L 4cyl is for sale-rear6.jpg   Our 1987 Euro 4SPD w201 190D 2.0L 4cyl is for sale-dr-rear6.jpg   Our 1987 Euro 4SPD w201 190D 2.0L 4cyl is for sale-side6.jpg  
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Old 06-05-2016, 10:32 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 78
more pics?

I, for one, would like to see more pics, esp. of the interior, under the hood, perhaps inside the trunk. The car would be a 5 hour drive for me just to take a look, so need a little more enticement. The price is very cheap, but could still work out to someone spending a lot to see it and still not be successful. After all, "There's nothing as expensive as a cheap Mercedes."
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:15 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 325
Car has sold.

Oh and fyi- interior, trunk, etc. were in great shape with MB floor mats (including the rubber snow catchers), even had the euro hazard triangle with exclamation mark...

Sad to see it go. Owning that car kept me on this board for the last 10+ years...

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