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  #1  
Old 12-30-2000, 06:50 PM
emr50
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Hello everyone and happy new year.I'm new to this website.I bought a 1987 300E a year ago.It had 72,000 miles.I brought it to a mechanic, and he said it was well maintained.I've put at least a couple of thousand dollars into it--minor electrical problems,replacing all 4 tires (originally Pirellis that had very little tread--replaced them with Michelin MXV4 HR Enrg-Watt--these are 16"--the Pirellis were 15",replaced the original wheels with 8-hole reconditioned Mercedes 16" wheels--the kind that are on the later 124's).I was reading about the later 124's in Frank Barrett's "Illusratated Buyer's Guide/Mercedes Benz":specifically the 93-95's.He stated:"Displacement was nudged from 3.0 to 3.2 liters, and a new four valve head utilized variable intake cam timing.Power jumped from 177 horsepower to 217.Peak torque increased,and variable cam timing provided a flatter and fatter torque curve.The four speed automatic transmission, which had previously started in second gear,was altered to start in first gear,improving takeoff.The transmission is electronically klinked to the ignition system so that timing is momentarily adjusted to smoothen shifts.These changes make a '93-95 300E/E320 more enjoyable to drive."My car now has 82,000 miles.I was thinking about trading in to the '93-95 124's.Do you think it is worth it?Is the change that dramatic from the '87?I was thinking about either doing that or waiting until I could afford perhaps a '96 E320 which had even more changes.My car runs wonderful, but it does shift kind of rough, and it starts in 2nd gear, so it feels kind of sluggish.Any advice about this?
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2000, 01:18 PM
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the key to any buying spree is the same question, "Can i afford it?"
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Old 12-31-2000, 02:46 PM
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emr50:

If you want your car to start in first gear, you can either shift it manually, or stomp hard on the gas, or do the following: While stopped, shift down into first for a moment and then back into drive before acccelerating. By putting the selector into first momentarily, the car will start in first even if it is in drive.

Regarding a trade up, the 94 has more horsepower, but also several hundred pounds more weight! Read the section on 300Es under the car tab above. The tester felt the later models lost some of their sporty handling due to the extra weight!

I have a great '87, and I wouldn't trade it for a 94 unless the 94 was in "as new" condition, had substantially fewer miles than the 72,000 on mine, had all records, and was Starmarked. Even then I would think long and hard about trading. If it works well, why replace it?

If your 87 is worth $8000, and a 94 is about $20,000, the money you would loose in the trade would have let you buy a great stereo, rims, and handling package, or a supercharger for your 87, depending on your priorities.

If none of the above are important, I would personally still think of it as saving $10000 I didn't need to spend on a car that was very similiar to what I already owned.

Trading up to a 400E or 500E would be a different proposition, and worth thinking about if you want something newer with more performance, but still want a w124 chassis.

just my opinion, of course. Have a good New Year.

[Edited by JCE on 12-31-2000 at 01:50 PM]
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2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
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1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

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Old 01-01-2001, 11:55 AM
emr50
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'87 300E

JCE, I appreciate your post.Could you tell me mor about this "supercharger"?Is it like the Mosselmann turbo that Clinton posted in the Performance section?How much more horsepower could I get. Also, when you said I could shift manually--I have an automatic (so I guess I couldn't shift it manually?)Would stomping on the gas all the time to shift it into first harm the car?Also, I heard that the transmission can be adjusted to start in first.However, the '87 has a 3.07:1 rear axle ratio, while the '93-95 has 2.65:1 rear axle ratio.What is this rear axle ratio anyway, and why was it changed in the later 124's--I read that the earlier 3ooE's had higher rear axle ratios to make up for the lack of lower end torque.Would you advise adjusting my transmission in my '87? BTW , my car is smoke silver with palamino interior--I'm not sure if it is MB TEX--the seats are in super shape--how do I determine if the seats are leather or MB Tex?
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Old 01-01-2001, 01:11 PM
MitchLampson
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If you're patient, you can find a 94 or 95 (E320) for $15 or 16K (usually high teens to low 20's). You could also find (same years) E420 for under 20. Since they changed body styles in '96, prices for those are still around 30 or higher
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Old 01-01-2001, 01:30 PM
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emr50:

The "supercharger I referred to was the Mosselman unit - I understand they make both turbos and superchargers. I would by a 400/420 or 500 before I did a supercharger on a 300E.

On your auto trans, I understand (correct me folks if I'm wrong) that the auto was designed to be shifted manually when desired. I occasionally downshift with mine, and occasionally at a stop light I will put it in the "first" position for a moment and then back into "drive" while the stop light is still red. This 'tricks' the auto into starting in first gear without stomping on the gas. Sometimes I will up or down shift it through all 4 gears manually (watch your tach and the warning marks on the speedometer). No problems.

The rear axle ratio is the ratio of the final drive gears, and can be adjusted to improve acceleration, OR to improve economy (not both at the same time, unless you have an old Laycock de Normanville 2 speed rear axle. Boy, showed my age on that one! )Changing your rear axle would be an expensive proposition as well. It sounds like you want more performance - so again I would just find a clean 400E or E420 in the w124 series.

On MB-Tex, Mercedes has a code plate on the metal strip in front of the radiator under the hood, with a lot of numbers on it, some of them 3 digit numbers. If you go to the site http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Speedway/5350/mbcodes.htm the codes are explained (paint, upholstery, suspension, etc.), but basically a number in the 170's is MB-Tex upholstery. 171 for black, 172 for blue, etc. Leather was an option on early 300E's, standard on later ones. I personally prefer the MB-Tex as more durable in the long run, and less upkeep. The leather is supposed to be a little more comfortable, however.

Have a good New Millenium.


[Edited by JCE on 01-01-2001 at 12:35 PM]
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2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
2015 Palladium Silver/black mbtex GLK 350
1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

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  #7  
Old 01-01-2001, 01:57 PM
patsy
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JCE, I just want to thank you for posting that incredible link!!! That is the stuff I love. Thanks.
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  #8  
Old 01-01-2001, 03:31 PM
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Patsy:

My pleasure! I found it under the "Links" button at the top of the page. I could spend hours looking around on sites that have arcane technical or historical trivia! Have a good new year.
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2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
2015 Palladium Silver/black mbtex GLK 350
1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

Click to see 87 300E
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  #9  
Old 01-02-2001, 11:45 PM
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JCE,

How do you access 2nd gear when you're shifting manually? It seems like the transmission always stays in 1st so long as the shifter is at "2."

anthony
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2001, 02:26 AM
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Anthony:

On mine, if I start off with the selector in 2 at the stop, the car will start in 1, and not upshift beyond 2. Moving the selector to 3 lets the trans shift from 2 to 3, but no further. Moving the lever to D lets the trans shift from 3 to 4. Try accelerating moderately while it is in 2. You should be able to hear it shift from 1 to 2 fairly quickly. The harder you accelerate, the longer it will stay in first.
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2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
2015 Palladium Silver/black mbtex GLK 350
1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

Click to see 87 300E
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