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  #1  
Old 05-26-2005, 09:03 PM
KylePavao's Avatar
Diesel Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tiverton Rhode Island/University of Rhode Island
Posts: 400
Thinking of a 300E...I'd value your thoughts.

Alright...

I have two old diesels sitting in my yard that need a lot of work. I am 19, and the idea of throwing a lot of money into one of these/buying another diesel that may have trouble in cold climates is not a risk I really want to take..

I really like the W124 body style. And I've looked at a few 300E's. Stately looking cars, very nicely made. But looks are only skin deep...

From my experience with my gas powered Impreza (the Boobaru) I know that exhaust problems can run into $$$$.

Some questions...

How prone to failure is the catalyctic converter/other exhaust parts?
Headgaskets seem to be an issue on many aluminum head cars. Is this a big worry item on the 300E?
The are all automatics, so when exactly do these transmissions look to crap out.


I am allotting myself around 3500 dollars to get one. It seems most cars in this range have 140-160 thousand miles. What are issues at this mileage?

These seem to be rated well by consumer reports, but I'd like to get the skinny before I dive out of the Diesel Benz realm and into the gasoline powered realm.

Thanks, and input appreciated.

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1976 300D
190,000 Miles
Colorado Beige

1975 300D
Parts Car
78,000 Miles
Rustbucket
Also Colorado Beige

1984 190D 2.2 (Dad's)
156,000 miles
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  #2  
Old 05-26-2005, 09:28 PM
Botnst's Avatar
What knockers!
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: There castle.
Posts: 37,629
I bought a 300E without doing any research and without knowing anything about B-B except for an assumtion of quality engineering and manufacture. Spent $3K for the car and another $4K on repairs and such--repaint (cheap), new exhaust, transmission work, new water pump, new distributor, new A/C evaporator, and new engine mounts. Work that needs doing includes repairing the rear windows, new alternator, new grille, and new console wood. If I had a lick of sense back then I'd have found this sites FIRST and used the search function: Every problem I experienced was predicted or described on this site. Then I'd have had the knowledge to let that car go and look for another. I really like the car, but it sure isn't worth $7k to me or anybody else.

Having learned an expensive lesson, I hunted and found a great E320. It is rock-solid, low maintenance and looks great. I spent less on it than I did on the first car.

Of the two cars I own, the 300E is more comfortable but the E320 is better handling (both are W124's), IMO. Someday I'd like to own a W124 300D turbo. I really like the handling of the W124. Of these cars, I think the 126 wins for looks, hands-down. It just speaks of elegance and honest power without being pretentious. The 124 wins on handling.

However, I have only driven 126's, 123's, and 124's so my experience is very limited.

Hope that helps.
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  #3  
Old 05-27-2005, 01:41 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 1,264
If you can't keep up with the repairs on a 123 diesel, a 300E will probably destroy you.

Head job- $1800
Trans- $2000
AC- $1000-$2500
Suspension rebuild- $2000.

Unless these things have been done, the car will need it eventually.
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  #4  
Old 05-27-2005, 01:47 AM
djugurba's Avatar
say: Jook-Ur-Pah
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Lake Boon, MA
Posts: 987
I recently bought an '89 300TE m103 gasser. It came with the original window sticker, and all reciepts since it drove off the lot. That was comforting, but did not prevent the alternator from failing four days after I brought it home. I guess the reason the car was being sold was because they were not using it for a couple of months...

I searched all over this site before I bought it, and asked questions I didn't have answered through searching. I talked to my indy, who said to make sure it had already had a head gasket and complete valve job... otherwise I should expect that sooner or later. But again, you never know exactly what you're going to get until you actually own it yourself.

I like the 124. I really liked my w126 300SDL. But, in my divorce, I'm keeping my w123 300TD '85, and giving the wife the newer 300TE.

Good luck!
Kevin
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  #5  
Old 05-27-2005, 12:44 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,292
You've already got a great car in that 1993 Impreza. Put your
$3,500 into the Impreza and you will really have something. Get a suspension kit, Group N bushings, some WRX 16-inch wheels, and some good summer tires. Keep your original rims for winter. For my money, that will be a nicer car than the 300E and it will get you another150,000 miles, no sweat.
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  #6  
Old 05-27-2005, 01:00 PM
Bigpete123's Avatar
300ce
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 130
Yup

I strongly second (third/fourth) everything people have said above. These gas cars are not going to hold up as well as the diesels. They sure are fun, though.

Over the last year, I've had major repairs done on my CE (1990 with about 180k mi). Head Gasket, Valve job, O2 sensor, fuel distributor, belt pully, tensioner, serpentine belt, timing chain rails, plugs, wires, an ignition coil, distributor cap, distributor rotor, rear main seal on transmission and transmission service, all new injectors, lots of miscellaneous hoses, motor mounts, voltage regulator, spark plugs, and I can't remember what else. All in all, I have owned this car for a little over a year, bought it for $5,500 and have put $7k into it. They're known to be maintenance heavy, but my case is definitely extreme. Lots of things had been swept under the carpet with this car for the 3-5yrs prior to me taking ownership. The interior is in great shape, and now I have pretty darn close to a new Mercedes for $12,500 (+ all of the stupid little hop-ups I've done!). I'd say it's a decent deal. Problem is, I had to pay that whole amount in one year. It's also a little stressful to have unexpected repairs arise.

What worries have you concerned about a diesel in your cold climate? I know that you can get one of those electrical plugs to keep them warm while they're in the driveway/garage... That way they'll start right up. However, what other problems are you worried about? If you're a diesel guy, why not stick with it?
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  #7  
Old 05-27-2005, 01:42 PM
KylePavao's Avatar
Diesel Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tiverton Rhode Island/University of Rhode Island
Posts: 400
Hmm

Well the diesel's I've had have been total crap...so maybe thats why I am not to keen on them..

The 240D would never start in temperatures under 20 degrees, but when it did run it was reliable and trouble free.

I have a 1976 300D right now I really love, but it needs so much work body wise (two new fenders) and exhaust, the brakes don't grip..so much sh%t to do.

But maybe a gasoline one is a bad choice. I dont have tons of money to blow on a maintenance heavy machine.

I just haven't found a W123/W126 in good shape around here for like 3K. I may travel down south and look for an SD, or just take a couple of grand and throw it into the 300D. I have about 4 grand to play around with.

And I HATE the Subaru. I just threw 500 bucks for two new CV joints since I couldnt repair it at school, or move the car..and now the o2 sensor is toast. And it rides like garbage.

I just want another MB very badly but not something that is going to crush me on maintenance.

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http://www.betten.mercedescenter.com...n_banner_1.jpg
1976 300D
190,000 Miles
Colorado Beige

1975 300D
Parts Car
78,000 Miles
Rustbucket
Also Colorado Beige

1984 190D 2.2 (Dad's)
156,000 miles
Champagne Metallic Clearcoat
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