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  #1  
Old 12-31-1999, 10:38 AM
Klam
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was interested in a 1996 C36. Is there any maintenance issues i should be concerned with? What about reliability? Any prone problems to this car?
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  #2  
Old 12-31-1999, 01:20 PM
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Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
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All around this is a good strong car. The only thing that I have seen with the 104 engine is the cronic head gasket failure (resulting in an oil leak). Just get the extended warranty in case of water pump or head gasket failure. Other wise, a good fun car.

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  #3  
Old 01-02-2000, 05:56 PM
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yup..i agree with mr mac..i had a head gasket failure with my 1997 c36. but i also have many chronic problems that have arisen.
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2000, 07:13 PM
Klam
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quote:
Originally posted by Rocky:
yup..i agree with mr mac..i had a head gasket failure with my 1997 c36. but i also have many chronic problems that have arisen.


what type of chronic problems have you been experiencing?

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  #5  
Old 01-03-2000, 09:36 PM
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I have 21k miles on my 1998 C43 and have not had any problems other than the fuel gauge....

I hope this info helps you.......
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  #6  
Old 01-04-2000, 05:55 AM
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The C43 and the C36 are very similar externally, but the engines are as different as can be. Both are wonderful cars, anyone who owns either is one lucky SOB.

Even though the C36's engine is bored, stroked, ported/polished, yadda yadda it is still a M104. (DOHC I6) MANY M104's had head gasket trouble. Though I will agree with Rocky in that I've seen at least one C36 developing more problems than one would think normal for its mileage and otherwise condition. Still, those cars are too much fun. Driving anything AMG is simply addictive. Though still MB durable, the extra thrashing they get has to take its toll somewhere. One other downside, engine parts can be expensive, scary-expensive....(head gasket for about $800+ if memory serves) An extended warranty is a godsend should things go wrong.

Hope this helps...Lee
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  #7  
Old 01-04-2000, 10:28 PM
whan
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great car!
i am sad and happy that i letting my 95 artic white C36 go...
i am happy because it means i am looking for a '97 C36 or '98 C43
so far, my 95 is so much fun to drive. i have gotten used to shifting with the mercedes knotched shifting automatic console. i have a 4 speed, so crusing at 50 mph, i drop it to 2 gear, the car shoots up and then i quickly shift to 3rd then D gear...on the long island expressway last week, i blew away a '99 M3...

so, lee explained it accurately, very fun and agile car to own. in some ways, i would prefer a C43 over the E55 solely because of the agility and size. not the mention the amount of money you can save!

best of luck..and kick some butt on the road!!

whan
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2000, 07:06 AM
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Know whatcha mean whan...those 95 C36's are still wicked little cars, even without the 5-speed auto. Had the fun of scaring the snot out of a M-roadster not long ago in one. It was close, but the AMG won by a "real" amount.

Though a C36 does not quite posess the 1/4 mile trap speeds and highway top end (read: triple digit+) power of a 500E, the 1/4 or less they are pretty stout, very close to an equal. Both the C36 and C43 both seem to sort of scoot off the line vs the unending, unholy rush of the 500E. As whan said, the real fun of the W202 AMG cars is the handling. Not just the grip but a very tossable, nimble feel. They also seem to be much more predictable and balanced at the limit vs the W124 V8's. I'd love to see what one of the C36's would do with a pair of turbos or an Eaton... Heck, even a Vortech style supercharger would be wild. With forced induction it would be 500E/E55 powerful AND do the light/nimble.

Lee

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  #9  
Old 01-06-2000, 02:22 PM
John B
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I recently went to the Talledega superspeedway for the MB Drive for excellence car show etc they had at the track. BTW my 190E 16 won it's class! Anyway, for the winners we got free hot laps around the track. I had already paid to go out in the E55, mighty fime but too soft. As it was near the end of the day, my girlfriend got shotgun another guy was in the back with me and a girl from skip barber was driving , we chose the c43. I told our driver that we loved to go fast and we did. Top speed 160 with the windows down and four people. I don't know if it was without speed limiter or what, but all three passengers saw 160, no bull, even with my eyes watering. I was very impressed and the dang thing felt like it had 170 in it.
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2000, 04:54 PM
pokemon
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How accurate are the speedometers on these cars, cause i know porsche speedometers are over-rated on the top end?

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  #11  
Old 01-06-2000, 05:47 PM
JP
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The C43 is an fast car, but there is no way it could beat an M roadster.
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2000, 07:49 PM
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JP, I think I might agree. Lee had mentioned the car he was driving was a C36. Considering if this was a stock car, the C36 is heavier and has less power and torque than the C43, so I would find this even harder to believe.

All I know is that I drove a 1996 C36 before I drove and bought my C43, and I almost did not even consider buying the C43 because I was so disappointed in the performance of the C36! Something must have been wrong with the C36 I drove. It was an original owner car with only 16k miles! (I test drove it with two other people in the car, but that could not have been the reason! hehehehe)

I don't know, but I can only go by my experiences.

I also have heard from some that the C36 and C43 are similar in performance (while also hearing how the C36 is even faster and quicker than the C43, in some tests, somewhere..) I find this hard to believe with the C36 being heavier and having less torque/power than the C43.

I am not trying to get in a debate here and I really do not care, I am just trying to be a realist and trying to encourage an open dialog without egos or preferential biases.

[This message has been edited by abalto (edited 01-06-2000).]
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  #13  
Old 01-07-2000, 09:47 AM
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The "XXX couldn't be faster cause it is rated with less power/torque and weighs more than XYZ" (BMW?) debate has merit on paper. However, anyone who has driven a 500E at 10/10ths against a variety of other cars knows just how much "rated" power and accel specs mean. (read: not much at all) Though the 500E's are the most extreme overachievers in the MB lineup that I've seen, the same principal applies to the other cars to a greater or lesser degree. (especially the DOHC cars)

Not to mention there is always the most important factor in any auto event...the driver. The MB auto's are very consistent in their performance. Especially from a rolling race... Even if the accel of two cars are equal, if you can pull a car length by having a quicker kickdown/shift then all you have to do is hang onto that lead.

By that same logic it would be "impossible" for a heavy-underpowered 500E to beat a C5 in the 1/4mile. Since the 500E has "only" 322HP/354lb-ft and tips the scales at approx 3850 lbs vs the similar power yet much lighter curb weight of the Vette. Except for the minor detail that I've personally driven a 92 500E faster than a C5 on the same track, same conditions, in a repeatable fashion. (not to mention ripped a bunch of them on the street) The C5 was an automatic who's fastest times about equalled the 500E's slowest (once the engine got too hot) Talking to other 500E owners, this is not an isolated incedent. (Michael, I know your out there...) (Ditto for Lou...)

As for the C36 vs C43, I've driven both a good bit and the C36's are at least a match for the C43's if not quicker. Perhaps the C43's will gain some speed with time as all the C36's were well broken in while the C43's were literally off the showroom floor. Though I've seen a couple magazine tests where the C43's were not even making the usually conservative MB spec. I do know that performance on the DOHC engines is heavily temp dependant. In the worst of cases they seem to be at "rated" spec, in cold ambient conditions they seem to pick up LOTS of power. Like I said before, I've G-Tech timed the same 500E at 6.4 secs 0-60 with a 14.7 @ 97mph 1/4 mile time, then timed the same car at 5.2 secs 0-60 with a 13.6 @ 107mph 1/4 mile. The only difference was ambient temp as this was done on the same stretch of road, in the same direction, same # of people/stuff in the car, etc. The hard data from the G-tech confirmed the "butt dyno" impressions. To make the big a difference in accel takes a huge change in power. Putting the same C36 under the G-Tech has yielded 0-60 in the 5.5-5.8 range with the 1/4 in around 14.3 @ 101mph. That has been under approx 40 degree temps, have not had a chance to time it in the 95+ F of ATL summers. Though I can't completely explain it, I've seen raw data, felt the butt dyno, and suprised more than a few "high performance" cars with factory hot-rod MB's.

Lee

PS Have pegged the speedo past 160mph in the same 500E. (92's seem to not always be limited to 155mph) Didn't have a whole lot of revs left but had it another gear it would of easily kept going. Have not been able to test the C36 similarly but it doens't have the triple digit+ power anything close to the 500E.

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  #14  
Old 01-07-2000, 01:29 PM
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I just drove from CT to NH and back....all highway. Man, it's tough to beat a 500E on the highway, I'm telling you... so I'm behind Lee 100%. I'm very tempted to bring my car to a dyno soon, becasue I'd really like to know the actual number. I do know, though, that at 100 MPH a Mustang Cobra (320 HP??) appears powered by an underachieving four-banger. I actually let him get a small jump on me, and I never had to dip all the way into the throttle to embarrass him.

After 4 or 5 of these taunts, he begrudgingly went to the slow lane, and he left the highway at a considerably slower average rate than the one he'd been sustaining when I reeled him in. I'm sure it was just a coincidence...

Not to worry, all...the highway was deserted so all this fun was had at no one else's peril. And for the record, 130 MPH is a nice, relaxed cruising speed, don't you think??

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Best regards, Michael
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  #15  
Old 01-08-2000, 01:01 AM
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I do not think any of us here are disputing the performance of a 500E...I do not know how this has switched to being the topic. I think what we were questioning was the statement of how (Lee) "Had the fun of scaring the snot out of a M-roadster not long ago in one. It was close, but the AMG won by a "real" amount." Now Lee was talking about a C36, and I had to agree with the other fellow that this seems like a stretch!

Also, I just got the new issue of Motor Trend and the test the 2000 M roadster and quote 0-60 times in the LOW 5's and 1/4 mile in the 13.7 range (they also mentioned that the 2000 seemed to be a bit slower than the 1999 model)....I have to say that this seems to me to be a bit stronger than a C36....and keep in mind that I AM Mercedes brand-loyal.

I can tell you that I am selling my Lamborghini this spring and the M roadster looks like a fun replacement candidate!
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