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  #1  
Old 05-12-2006, 04:50 PM
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1997 E320 replacement.

I have a 1997 E320 that I am replacing with a newer vehicle. I am having a hard time deciding between getting a newer 2000-2001 E55 or 2003-newer E320. I have always loved the E55 but am having trouble deciding if I should go for a W211 or stay with the W210.

Thanks,
Steve

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  #2  
Old 05-12-2006, 06:56 PM
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I don't have a lot of seat time in the W211 chassis but my initial impression is that is that the newer E-class is a considerable advance over the W210 in the area of chassis dynamics and driving feel. It almost feels like a BMW 5 series - which seems to be the prepetual gold standard for a sport sedan.

I'm not sure how the W211 would compare to the W210 in the area of reliability - both are too complex for the average DIY'er to handle without lots of special tools and training.
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  #3  
Old 05-12-2006, 07:42 PM
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The W211 is a nice car. I want to get one in a couple of years, maybe end of next year.

W210 is pretty simple to wrench on. The interior comes apart so easy! I swear who ever built that car had a lot of time on the W126 and improved the interior design.

Never worked on a W211, but its a MB so I'm not worried.
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  #4  
Old 05-12-2006, 08:37 PM
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I think the W210 is a little more of a driver's car than the W211. The W211 has things such as overboosted rack and pinion steering and sensotronic brakes (which I don't care much for).

Go with the E55, you probably won't be disappointed.
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  #5  
Old 05-12-2006, 09:07 PM
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Or you could go with the CDI. While not the powerhouse of the 55, it's supposedly quite fast, and gets just plain awesome fuel economy. Over a 700 mile range on a tank of fuel.
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  #6  
Old 05-12-2006, 10:36 PM
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Didn't MB dump those brakes and go back to a normal braking system in 2005 or 06?
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2006, 12:14 AM
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HAHAH!!!

My bosses daily driver E500 is cool. The Airmatic and the Active Body Control make it one of the best handling sedans I have driven. Although, it doesn't have they power that his E55 does, it still does like to get up and go. However, the E320 only had airmatic, and not the Active Body Control. I am willing to venture that his E500 and his E55 are some of the best handling Mercedes I have ever driven.

All in all, it is a fairly easy car to work on. Everything is straightforward, and I would maintain it myself. Although the electronics do tend to get harry!!! I help him with the regular maintainence, such as oil changes, and just routien maintainence.

If I were a DIY looking for a newer Mercedes, I would probibally just go with a 2000-2002 E55. Less complicated in the longrun. Plus, with the E55 you have a whole lot more aftermarket options open to you.

And as it was once said, there is no replacement for displacement...
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  #8  
Old 05-21-2006, 09:43 PM
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I think I have decided to go with the E55. More smiles per hour. I have a set of 18X8.5 and 18X10 Carlsson 1/6 on my E320. Will they bolt on the E55? Any problem areas on the E55 I should look our for?

Thanks for all of your input.
Steve
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  #9  
Old 05-23-2006, 05:30 AM
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What are your goals for the car? Answer that and the rest of the issues become simpler if you can be honest with yourself.

If you can get a reasonably short/stiff sidwall and tire/wheel size remember that every pound of unsprung weight equals about 10 lbs of curb weight. Thus a shorter sidwall (19's or 20's don't necessarily help handling or performance).

The CDI has its own issues. Certainly a very tempting choice! Especailly with Kleeman or silimilar upgrades. Again, up to your preferences.

I will say "careful" with the 1997 model year....older tech engine management and newer (at the time) tech transmission management don't always get on the same page which puts the durability of the motor vs the durability of the transmission. Ususally the engine wins first. Shift manually or buy a later/earlier model year. THere are too many excellent opions either way.

Hate mail too....Botor
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2006, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve190E 2.3
I think I have decided to go with the E55. More smiles per hour. I have a set of 18X8.5 and 18X10 Carlsson 1/6 on my E320. Will they bolt on the E55? Any problem areas on the E55 I should look our for?

Thanks for all of your input.
Steve
One *BIG* problem with the E55 to watch out for: Flashing red lights in the rear view mirror. You stand warned!

Truly a scary fast, comfortable ride, an excellent choice. I only tested one once, and I just loved it.
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  #11  
Old 05-23-2006, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve190E 2.3
I think I have decided to go with the E55. More smiles per hour. I have a set of 18X8.5 and 18X10 Carlsson 1/6 on my E320. Will they bolt on the E55? Any problem areas on the E55 I should look our for?
Steve
Yep, they will bolt right up. There are no blaring issues with the 210 E55 but they do have some items that will fail. The MAF's fail every 50,000 to 60,000 miles but that's a Bosch issue. Rear window regulators fail but it's fairly cheap part and extremely easy to replace yourself. The dash's tend to crack around the airbag and defrost vents but that happens on pretty much all of the 210's. The brake switche's have been known to fail from time to time but it is a cheap part that any DIYer can do in 10 minutes.

There is one serious issue. If the car has been driven in salty road conditions, the front strut towers have been known to fail due to rust. You can have the dealership look at that and they should fix it free of charge if needed.

The 210 E55 is a great car. I drive mine day in and day out and have over 100,000 miles. It has been extremely dependable and very easy to work on. I'd say it is easier to work on than my 126 SEC. Not to mention, I'd say the E55 was more reliable and cheaper to operate than the 126 too.
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  #12  
Old 05-23-2006, 04:43 PM
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Yep, forgot about the motor mounts. It was another DIY project that wasn't too terribly difficult.
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  #13  
Old 06-15-2006, 03:04 PM
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I purchased a 2001 E55 yesterday. The more time I spend in the car the more differences I notice from the 1997 E320. I am very happy with my decision and thanks for all your input.

Steve
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  #14  
Old 06-16-2006, 06:33 PM
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Hey, congrats!!!! Now, get that V1 hardwired, and watch out for those flashing lights in the mirror!!

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