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Old 01-11-2005, 01:52 AM
towbarn's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: VALLEJO CA
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Cool up grade to s class

I am thinking of trading in my 86 300E . For a 94 S class. I love my 86 but its small. IS the S class a good idea? any input would be great.
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Old 01-11-2005, 02:51 AM
towbarn's Avatar
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I would love a newer one but i must stay in my bugit
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Old 01-11-2005, 07:58 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 24
Don't Hesitate to get a W140 S Class

Here are some links to various discussions that should help you get smart about this fast:

S-Class Fiasco: W220 vs W140

The short answer is, in my opinion, to go with a '97-'99 W140 420 or 500. I would not recommend the 600 since you mentioned the word "budget" in your posting, and if you find a 320 you like, make sure it is the long wheel base version or your will always be looking at every other W140 you see in envy. If you go before '96 you have to worry about the evaporator, which you don't want to have to even think about. Make sure that you pay the money to take the car you want to buy to a good Mercedes dealer and have them spend an hour going over the car to tell you what is wrong with it. It is only a $100, but you are a fool if you don't invest this much in making sure you know what you are getting. Make sure they check shocks, bushings, brake lines, etc. You should already have checked every single electronic switch and feature to make sure they all work as they should, or you know which ones don't.

Good luck. You will never own a finer car if you buy a W-140, and you will never regret it a single day.
David Foley
'97 S-500
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Old 01-11-2005, 08:50 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Ashland, KY
Posts: 365
Previous repairs

Insist on seeing previous repair records. If it has been maintained by a dealer they will have the info for you. Have them "translate" it for you and take notes. A car with a lot of electrical items "repaired" will continue to have problems and will nickle and dime you to death (or $50 to $100 in this case).

Having it checked out by a mechanic who knows these cars is well worth the money - but keep in mind that any car can have problems that may not be seen when having it checked out. Budget accordingly.

Yes, the newer cars are "simpler" as far as electronics go but the components are cheaper and, therefore, not as durable. The '94 and '95 models had the biodegradable wiring harness. Check to see if it has been replaced. The early 140 body cars had problems with the front suspension which led to a class action suit. Most of these cars have been modified gratis by MB - check to make sure there are not ongoing front suspension issues.

Stay away from the S600 or 600SEL if you are budget conscious. They are great cars but are built for people who have an open check book (or revolving line of credit!). If you get an S320 be sure to get the long wheel base. What was mentioned before is true. You will be envious of every LWB car you see - I know this from experience. For this reason stay away from the 300SE or 400SE. Also, STAY AWAY from the diesel models - 300SD and S350. If you do a search on the diesel forum you will see why! Hope this helps.
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Old 01-11-2005, 09:30 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Milford, CT
Posts: 19,295
What ever model you buy make sure the evap core has been done, every W140 will go through one at some point. $3k job. I6's had weak headgaskets, also you mentioned 94 that would have the bad wiring harness. Just find the best taken care of example you can that has had all of the above problems taken care of. I would still be ready to spend a few grand a year keeping it up.

W140's are nice cars but not for the faint of wallet. Since you mentioned the word "budget" maybe a mint 1991 560SEL?
2017 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ

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Old 01-11-2005, 03:45 PM
towbarn's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: VALLEJO CA
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Talking thank you everybody

I really appreciate everyones input I never heard of a biodegradable wiring harness. the one i have a chance to get is a 94 i will have to look in to it a bit more
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Old 01-11-2005, 04:29 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,160
Originally Posted by towbarn
I really appreciate everyones input I never heard of a biodegradable wiring harness.
No kidding.
Many years ago, european car manufacturers signed an agreement to utilize a certain percentage of recyclable materials in the production of their vehicles.
Items such as certain plastics ( used on bumpers & wiring harnesses ),are included.
Of course they have learned since then how to make these items last, and still be recyclable.
2007 C 230 Sport.
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