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Old 10-29-2000, 12:04 PM
Ron D. Harriman
Posts: n/a

Found a very clean and uncrashed but
high mileage (190K) 500E recently. It
has been dealer-serviced for its whole life
and seems like a fine fast vehicle. Asking
around $19K.

However, what gives me pause is that I
know that this car is on the back end of
engine -and- transmission life expectancy,
even assuming no overheating or abuse.

For any other E-classe of that generation
I have a fairly good idea of how much it
would cost to rebuild. For the Porsche-
built mill and special slushbox of a 500E
I'm clueless and kinda nervous. The rebuild
shop I've used won't even quote it. A friend
bought a late-life BMW M5 once and found
himself hit with a $11K bill after the
head was warped at rebuild time -- just
for a new head, excluding the rebuild!

While I think the 500E is an exciting car,
I'm not up for quite that much excitement :-)

Can any of the shop-experienced 500e owners
fill me in on what to expect in this line?
(Frankly, given that my local rebuilders
aren't up for the job, I'm perfectly ready
to pull, crate and ship the cores if needed.)

Ron H


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Old 10-29-2000, 12:58 PM
Posts: n/a

You might get some additional feedback if this is also posted in the "Hot Rod" section. The 500E owners are generally active in replies.

As for any advise from myself, depends on what you want? Do you want a car to work from or do you want it to go another 100k? These cars if maintained, do very well, but..., like you said, a lot can happen in that many miles.

If you are close geographically and have a "Warm Fuzzy Feeling" about the car, spend the $125 on a thourough tech inspection at a trusted MB shop and go from there.

Good Luck.

Ross Newcomb
96 C280, Greenish Black
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Old 10-29-2000, 09:55 PM
Posts: n/a
I would look at that like an to have Renntech or someone work over the engine or go for the 6.0!
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Old 10-29-2000, 11:25 PM
Senior Canadian Member
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 827

I can understand your concern, however you've made one small error. The 500E engine is a stock MB engine. The fuel injection system was upgraded from the Bosch CIS, but that was an upgrade that, if i remember correctly, applied to the SL's as well. It was not built by, nor was it altered by Porsche. In fact, almost the entire drivetrain was donated by the R129 series SL, so the cost of reworking the engine and transmission should be identical to the cost of doing the same work on a 500SL.

And as Eric said, if you have the inclination, this could be an opportunity to go to an aftermarket shop and have some "extra" work done.

One thing I will warn you of, and I'm speaking from experience, modified vehicles and become very difficult to sell if you need/want to. If the car is a collector, it is usually easier to sell a good original example than a restored.
Just my 2 cents :-)


Yen-Hsen Liem
'93 500E black pearl/black leather; 89,000km; 245/45-ZR17 Michelin Pilot SX; 17x8.25 factory EvoII
'93 500E bornit(blackberry)/black leather; 69,000km; european delivery; 245/45-ZR17 Michelin Pilot SX; 17x8.25 factory EvoII
'88 560SL desert taupe/dark brown leather; 89,000km; Euro headlights
'87 190E 2.3-16 black pearl/black leather; 55,000mi; Euro headlights
'70 280SL white/red; 135,000mi (original); factory alloys; Euro headlights

[This message has been edited by yhliem (edited 10-29-2000).]
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Old 10-29-2000, 11:25 PM
unkl300d's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: San Francisco, Ca
Posts: 2,275
Use the search function and look up rebilt
motors or Metric Motors (shop)
which is some where in Calif. Some member recommended them.
Definitely have it checked over
Look at Good shops section
of this forum-somewhere that will give you the
time of day!
Good Luck.

1979 300D
133K miles
1989 300SE
1995 C280
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