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  #16  
Old 06-27-2002, 09:43 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
Posts: 856
My $0.02 worth ...

An old MB is just like any other old car ... it can be expensive to own ...

I do my own work because I have always felt "in season" (read it however) when even talking to MB service folks. I am not saying they are all like that ... I felt the same way with VW service.

I do not feel that way with US service departments - perhaps it is a difference in impression on their part - MB dealers assume their clients have bucks so they are always trying to make sure everything is perfect, knowing there is enough money to make it so ...

Per this thread ... I can't IMAGINE buying any car that old unless I knew enough to do so - I particularly can't IMAGINE doing so with a MB ... this means, to me, either I gotta KNOW or I must pay someone else for their expertise ... if records were presented that matched it would help, but I would still have to KNOW something. This is rule # 2 for my kids ... "it's good to know things."

Maybe this is a good time to learn how to do your own work ... next time you will have a very good idea about you are buying.
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George Stephenson
1991 350 SDL (200K and she ain't bent, yet)
former 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon - good car
former 1985 300 CD - great car
former 1981 300 TD - good car
former 1972 280 SEL - not so good car
a couple of those diesel Rabbits ...40-45 mpg
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  #17  
Old 06-29-2002, 08:55 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Texas
Posts: 21
But wait, there's more!

This has troubled me so much, I went back to our e-mai correspondence and found an interesting gem...

Did our unhappy new owner mention that when his mechanic say the "lemon" he wanted to buy it?

In the unhappy owner's words "That's always a good sign!"

Can't believe everything you hear - or read.
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  #18  
Old 06-30-2002, 02:12 AM
piccolovic's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: FL
Posts: 777
Take the car to Shackelford's garage, near Fredricksburg and have him re-look at it. You'll find that the work can be done cheaper. Also, a lot cheaper ways to do the brakes and shocks, like earlier posts have suggested.
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  #19  
Old 07-01-2002, 11:16 AM
Jim B+
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The guy I bought it from just posted...

and the car LOOKS very good...but was still presented as having no major mechanical issues.

As of Friday, $2,000 worth of engine work done. Still another grand or two to go on one-time stuff for state safety inspection...but that's my worry. Had it more than a month, as yet have yet to drive the first mile in it for pleasure.

Have not had time to pursue the matter due to clearing up a family problem that has taken me away from home for a while, but if the buyer truly is "worried so much," he'll try to make it right.
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  #20  
Old 07-03-2002, 02:41 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas
Posts: 330
Re: The guy I bought it from just posted...

Sorry to say it, but I'm on the side of the seller here. There is no reason to expect a 15 year old car is going to be a cream puff. I would like to hear how you had the damn work done and how much you love the car. Even with your initial investment plus repairs, you're going to have a more satisfactory, more solid, more reliable vehicle than anything new from a dealer. I don't think you can get a Hyundai for what you have in this thing. Get it fixed and DRIVE it. I sold an old BMW to my good buddy. He has had all kind of problems. It is an 88 model 735. He just laughs and fixes it. If he gets stranded, I give him a ride. He still got a deal at $3,800, what I was offered on trade.
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  #21  
Old 07-03-2002, 10:50 PM
piccolovic's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2002
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The day I spend $245 just to change brake pads, or that horrendous amount just for back shocks, is the day I hope someone on this forum will put me out of my misery!!! I brought my 190D in for an inspection before buying the car, and the mechanic who looked at it also tabulated $2,000 worth of repairs, which included $400 just to change brake pads!!! I picked up the pads myself, handcarried them to a trustworthy mechanic I knew, and got the job, with new 4 rotors to boot for about $300!!!! Guess what, . . . the likelihood that I would ever use that mechanic that was inflating the prices and quoting non-existent problems . . . well, he'll never get work or referrals from me. As for the burnt valve at low idle, you can drive the car until the wheels fall off before it would present a real problem!!! I went about 75K on a burnt valve without noticing any reduction in power. Only had the work done because I was moving to location without mechanic and also needed a clutch. My trustworthy mechanic did the head and complete clutch for $1600. Now that's cutting a customer a break!!! Some other idiot tried to convince me a basic, no frills valve job would cost $3,000. He must think that because I'm a blond female, that my father spawned a fool!!! Another mechanic without a referral or work from me!!!
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  #22  
Old 05-28-2004, 01:48 PM
d.delano's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: DC
Posts: 1,466
Bought mine in GA, father evaluated it, knew it probably had some issues, didn't care, still don't. It starts easy, idles pretty smooth, exterior is nearly perfect. It's a little slow. Probably needs valve adj, diesel flush, filters, so on, maybe more. Don't know anything about a possible burnt valve. Can I check for that while I have the valve cover off adjusting the valves?
I bought it because my Mom died last year, my Dad's an awesome mechanic even though he doesn't know jack about MBs, and I want to spend quality time with him working on this car. Only got one parent left; he's 72. The car isn't the most important thing in my situation. But it will remain with me after he's gone as one more reminder of my love for him and vice versa.
A Toyota Camry would have been a less hassle for a dude in my situation, but I hate those. They have no character. But this thing does. Yes I own the problems, but they will be solved.
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  #23  
Old 05-28-2004, 02:16 PM
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Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
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Jim B+,

Not to badger, but are you getting the sense that you may not have your head screwed on right on this one?

I had to go back and review to make sure .. we are talking about a car that is over 20 years old with lots of miles?
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George Stephenson
1991 350 SDL (200K and she ain't bent, yet)
former 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon - good car
former 1985 300 CD - great car
former 1981 300 TD - good car
former 1972 280 SEL - not so good car
a couple of those diesel Rabbits ...40-45 mpg
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  #24  
Old 05-28-2004, 03:54 PM
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Location: Santa Monica, CA
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you all know that this is a two Year OLD thread? The car is either running great, sold, or dead on the side of the road by now.
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  #25  
Old 05-28-2004, 10:08 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 157
We're waiting on the sequel

Quote:
Originally posted by jbaj007
you all know that this is a two Year OLD thread? The car is either running great, sold, or dead on the side of the road by now.
Good stories remain timeless.
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I'm wanted in four states, but it's all good. Got me a new driver's license and a sweet new pickup. V-8, Baby, five-hundred horsepower. Oh, and four of them mudflaps with the naked ladies on them. GRRRRRRRR, MAMASITA!!! And the best part is, it's all free!!! Yeah, well, for me at least!!!! HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!
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  #26  
Old 05-30-2004, 04:08 AM
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Zen And The Art Of Diesel
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 2,042
Re: We're waiting on the sequel

Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Dandy
Good stories remain timeless.
Very true.


And it's a good reminder for this forum.

Personaly, I don't have a heck of a lot of sympathy for a grown man that follows *this* forum buying an old MB that ends up needing more work than they thought. That's just silly.
Not to be un-PC, but if it were a woman or elderly person, sure you should go out of your way to make sure they don't get in a mess, but come on. I automaticly assume every old MB will need a complete suspension and brake rebuild from the start unless there overflowing with service and part records. Anyway..



Carry on..
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  #27  
Old 05-31-2004, 01:02 AM
WANT '71 280SEL's Avatar
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Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 3,378
I agree. I bought my '79 SD. Since then I've redone the entire front suspension. Drives like a dream. She had all calipers replaced in '98, so I'm not worried about that. But I'd never go back to her complaining that my oil cooler is now leaking, etc.
David
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  #28  
Old 06-02-2004, 04:21 AM
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Posts: 803
Smile

i think most of us are so addicted to this forum, we even dig up 'real old' posts and reply back.
i've found myself just going through three year old posts at times only realizing afterwards that they were 'that old'...
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  #29  
Old 06-02-2004, 10:18 AM
Jim B+
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A three-year update...

I've been in the car hobby for 20 plus years. I've never expected ANY old (or new) car not to have some issues, which would likely require some extra money to smooth out. I've also walked away from some obviously misrepresented vehicles. But the point is that this medium-mileage 300CD turned out to have a LOT of problems I was "led" not to expect.

The seller HAD to know the car had engine issues, and yet he put me on the road for a 2,000 mile trip at the start of a Texas summer, knowing I was diabetic. This goes beyond simple "sharp dealing". The car could quite easily have left me stranded somewhere in the great Southwest on a Memorial Day weekend...and that could have resulted in a life-threatening medical emergency as well as inconvenience.

Knowing what I know now (and much from reading posts on this forum) I would have asked for a PPE by a local Mercedes mechanic. Enough would have turned up so that I likely would have passed on the car, or requested a SIGNIFICANT reduction in the asking price.

I've still got the car, and problems (generally costly) continue to crop up. So be it. It's still rust free and LOOKS nice (it's been in a Mercedes Enthusiast photo shoot)...but looks continue to be its strong point.

The seller wasn't some tattooed sleazebag in a trailer park. I met him at his home in a nice Dallas suburb. He was a graduate of a service academy and a successful businessman. He introduced me to his nice family...and invited me to church! It seems that I "bought the seller, not the car," and that was my mistake. And he's never offered to adjust what I paid (too much) to help with the "medical bills".

As an additional note, comprehensive service records from the first oil change should not be accepeted as a clean bill of health.

Caveat emptor.
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  #30  
Old 06-02-2004, 12:06 PM
Left Coast, Right Brain
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Seattle
Posts: 201
Bad Benz

Jim-

I had a similar experience with a '66 300SE sunroof Coupe. Advertised in Hemmings as "rust free western driver" by a character (charlatan?) in Mich. Seemed a reasonable guy. Taught at the local Community College, married with a couple kids. Found an independent garage in Travers City to do the PPI. Talked to owner of garage. Listed particular areas to look for problems (leak down, compression, frame rails and trunk wheel well for rust). Got report faxed to me and contacted my wrench to go over report. Sounded, tested and looked great. Flew back to get car. Described as a "10 footer" it was. But if rust free and the M189 solid, I could handle the interior and paint issues.

Began to drive back to Seattle and got as far was Chippewa Falls, WI first day. Used 2 quarts of oil in about 450 miles. Got up the next morning and the air suspension had settled. Called spouse and tried to stop pay on cashier's check for $9K and personal check for $500. No on former, yes on later. Seller is "on vacation" and not reachable. Drove to Minneapolis and dropped car at T'nT depot. Flew back to Seattle. Called owner-not home. Called garage-complete denial. No recourse on cashier's check. Shipped car to Seattle and took to my garage. Leak down showed 50% wear (in other words engine was toast). Rust discovered in frame rails and trunk well. Contacted Attorney General in Michigan and field complaint. Got into "he said, she said" deal with seller and garage guy. Seller had the balls to suggest that I'd defrauded him!! Couldn't even stop Visa charge the PPI!.

Found out later the car came from Kansas to Virginia to Michigan. The seller paid about $5,000 and put nothing into the car. Didn't even have MI title.

Spend the summer driving the POS and working the MB boards. Found a re-build engine in FLA (thanks to CTH) and had shipped to the upper left hand corner. Installed over the winter and it ran like a dream. Still the rust issue. I'm in this thing now about $13K and it still needs rust abatement, paint, chrome, interior, etc, etc, etc.

Advertised on AutoTrader for $4,500 with full disclosure of sad saga and photos of rust. Sold and shipped to a guy in Hawaii who viewed it as a fun car for a low price and a car that would eventually simply go away.

That was my tuition or ante into the MB experience. Learned a lot and have the scars to prove it.
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'04 E500 Brilliant Silver/Ash (50K)
'01 ML320 Desert Silver/Parchment (67K)
'99 C230 Kompressor Black/Black (62K)
'93 Mitsubishi Montero (134K)(Home Depot Express)


'70 6.3 Gold/Tobacco (128K) (sold and now in Germany)
'94 E420 Silver/Blue (80K) - Sold
'97 E320 PearlBlack/Parchment (77K) - Sold
'66 300SE Coupe (owned 2002-2003)
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