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  #1  
Old 06-26-2004, 01:36 PM
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Isn't the 96 E320 and the 94-95 E320 basically the same car?

Isn't the 96 320 and the 94-95 E320 basically the same car but with different exteriors?

I plan on buying a 96 or 97 E320 some time early next year. Currently I'm driving a 86 300E and I'll probably keep it so I'd like to get the newer body style for my next car. I want to stay with the in-line 6 engine because all the "bugs" seemed to be worked out. I always read about owners of the 94 and 95 not having too much problems. I did some research and I now know the 96 has the same engine and transmission as the 94-95 E320, only difference is the exterior styling. What are some common problems in the 96' 320E?

In 97 the transmission was changed. Should I avoid this model since that was the first year the new transmission was used or is the transmission just as good (or better) than the old one?
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2004, 02:32 PM
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first year cars usually have bugs.

years with wholesale engine switches (from inline to vee) usually have bugs too.
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  #3  
Old 06-26-2004, 04:07 PM
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neanderthal,

I understand that...that's why I'm skeptical about the 97' 320E (1st year with the new transmission). I posted this question for those who actually own these cars or worked on these cars. I'm sure the Mercedes mech would be able to tell you what cars are problematic. I'm interested in the 97 only because the new transmission is a 5speed.

But as far as the 96 goes...same engine and transmission as the 94-95 E320 and from what I've read these engines and transmissions are pretty reliable and most of the "bugs" have been worked out. Exterior styling changed this year, but I have not read too many complaints about it's exterior styling.
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  #4  
Old 06-26-2004, 05:18 PM
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You would be very hard-pressed to find anything comperable between the 124 and 210 chassis. I like the 210 chassis, not that hard to work on and much better looking IMHO than the 124 chassis. I'm not a big fan of the M104 motor for different reasons. The 210 chassis with the M119 motor (E420) is a fav of mine though.
Have been seeing some upper spring supports snapping off on the V8 and Diesel versions though, just break w/o warning, so a search on the topic here. Watch for leaking differentials on all of this vintage, especially 210's and 202's. Even the spring supports can be repaired of course, other than that they're pretty nice. If you are dead-set on a E320 inline, watch for head gasket leaks.
I like the 722.6 automatic, lots of grumbling about failures, but really by now, if it's gonna fail it probably has already.

Gilly
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  #5  
Old 06-26-2004, 06:05 PM
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With 98-99 E320 4-matic's coming onto the used market, I have been thinking, WAY BACK in the back of my mind, about swapping the C230 for one. I like the M112 V-6, despite some minor issues, as the head gaskets don't leak like the M104's. I also really like the 722.6 tranny, and with 99.9% of the them updated (some minor issues on 97-99's) they are pretty safe bets now.

I really liked our 98 W210 despite all the problems it gave us. Most of them were related to the diesel engine, so personally I would not have another one.

96 W210's have unique tuning to the rack and pinion steering, so make sure you drive a 96 and a later car just in case one is preferable to you. The 96's are "floaty" at high speed compared to later cars. The racks were retuned to be more "Mercedes-like" and they are.
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  #6  
Old 08-23-2004, 05:24 PM
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I have a 96 W210 and it is a great car.
It is my first MB and have been for the most part I have been happy with it.
As someone mentioned, the differential seal leaked 3 different times but were covered by warranty and is fine now (almost 4 years now).

Many people have mentioned the head gasket leaks but to my knowledge, no one that actually has this car that I heard of had a leak. Mine is fine as well. Maybe they fixed the problem on this model.

My car is solid at all speeds including up to 125 but then I have European AMG E55 springs on them so I can't speak for the stock suspension.

I currently have 148,500+ miles on the Odo and planning on driving it till it dies. Hard for me to buy a newer model when my W210 has been fun to drive and still drives well.

I have seen ads for this model selling in the $10K - $12K range for cars with under 100,000 miles.

Best of luck.
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  #7  
Old 08-24-2004, 09:42 PM
dtf dtf is offline
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I wonder how a '96 E320 with rack and pinion steering would be like compared to the same engine and transmission but recirculating ball steering in my '94 W124 wagon? I really prefer the wagon steering to the '99 W210 I also have. Not that anybody cares...
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2004, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtf
I wonder how a '96 E320 with rack and pinion steering would be like compared to the same engine and transmission but recirculating ball steering in my '94 W124 wagon? I really prefer the wagon steering to the '99 W210 I also have. Not that anybody cares...

The only to find out is to test drive one.
Everyone has different opinions about feel so only you can answer this question after a test drive.

By the way, the transmission is fine too although a 5th gear would have been nice.
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  #9  
Old 08-26-2004, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrmd01
Isn't the 96 320 and the 94-95 E320 basically the same car but with different exteriors?
1993 300E (3.2's) / 1994-1995 E320's use the same engine and transmission as the 1996 E320.

1997 E320's use the same engine, but got a 5 speed transmission, which was apparently very problematic. Many upgrades were implemented to this transmission in later years.
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