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  #1  
Old 06-05-2001, 07:05 PM
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A while ago my neighbor was thinking of getting a W124 diesel, but no one around here is selling one. He has now spotted a 1993 300E that has a 3.2 liter, 24 valve engine. How are these engines, any trouble spots, etc. The partciular car he found has 120K on it and the asking price is something like 13K. The dealer is in Northern N.J., about 1 hour from here.
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2001, 07:11 PM
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My favorite two series W124s with 6-cylinders were the early 3.0L M103s (86-88) and 2.8L & 3.2L M104s (93-95). The M104 has a lot more crap to deal with, as it is a more complex engine. M103 is simpler. As long as you get an 86-88 300E (the ones with perfect axle and gearing), you won't miss the extra power.
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  #3  
Old 06-06-2001, 01:11 AM
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i've read somewhere that the 1993 300E
is best of the 124's.
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  #4  
Old 06-06-2001, 02:00 AM
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What dealer has this car?

I've worked with most of the dealers in central / northern NJ at one time or another. Some are good, most are eh...., some are run for your life. I would be curious to see which dealer has the car. It may say alot about whether to buy it or not.

Best wishes and take care,
George Androulakis
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  #5  
Old 06-06-2001, 09:55 AM
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I believe it's a place called Auto Haus in the town of Elizabeth. My neighbor has only talked to this place over the phone. He spotted the car on Auto Trader On-Line. This place apparently sells alot of Benzes. Have you heard of this outfit and should he avoid doing business with them?
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  #6  
Old 06-06-2001, 10:27 AM
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They arent bad, but...

Okay they arent bad, ie they are a pretty big lot with a wide selection of cars. They do have a lot of older MB's. Most if not all are auction cars, having come from manheim, adessa, or rarely NADE. This is the case for i'd say 80% of the used cars out there on independent dealer lots. Dont let it scare you on it's own, but just know to keep your eyes open. When a dealer buys a car at an auction, it's a 30 second decsion. I've been there many times. And sometimes all that glimmers isnt gold. Granted they are buying wholesale, but chances are their cars arent from the MBCC lane, but rather from some other independent. MBCC often times practices the MB dealers only policy when it comes to the newer stuff, especially anything that can be starmarked, even though you'll never find an MB dealer that admits going to the auction, they're there.
They probably wont know the true history on anything they have. Dont believe any one owner trade stories. Get everything in writing, service history etc. Also take the car to a good independent, I Recommend the German Car Shop in Edison, NJ, just for proximity reasons, but be forewarned that they are often very busy.
They cater to a more "urban" if you will clientelle, hence the plethora of older luxury cars. They are one of these no credit no problem dealers, and henceforth most of their clientelle is ignant to anything but the 3 pointed star on the hood, and getting approved, so dont be surprised if their knowledge of MB's is average.
Im not saying that there is anything wrong per se, i.e. no "rumors" if you will about their practices are circulating in the industry. Things often dont get fixed right the first time though, and they will use the cheapest parts they can get their hands on. 99% of the time non OEM. They are big time negotiators, although whatever you intend to do, tell them you are paying cash, and want an out the door price, once you settle on the price, then arrange financing if needed.
Since they are heavily involved in sub-prime financing, they will often make the numbers seem attractive, only to make a few points on the back end, off the loan.

I hope this helps. Again, I havent personally bought from them, but just to give you a little bit of an insider's perspective into the industry, and to the type of operation that they run.

Personally stay away from the Newark / North Arlington area dealers - Regardless of price. There are a few exceptions, but if you've heard about it, for the most part, it happens in Newark.

Let me know if I can be of any further assitance
Best wishes and take care,
George Androulakis
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  #7  
Old 06-06-2001, 10:48 AM
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George
Quote:
Also take the car to a good independent, I Recommend the German Car Shop in Edison, NJ, just for proximity reasons, but be forewarned that they are often very busy.
.

Are you talking about the european motorwerks?.Im planning the bring my car there for head gasket job.If not, do you know a good independent mechanic in central NJ?Thanks

Ron
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  #8  
Old 06-06-2001, 11:18 AM
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As an owner of a 93 300E 3.2, all I can say is that once I got to the 100K mark, the heat and wear has taken its toll on a number of items.

I have replaced the radiator, water pump, and resovoir tank not long ago, and had the defective wiring harness replaced last year. OVP, temperature sensor, and belt tensioner has also been replaced.

The air conditioner evaporator also died last year, so make sure you have the A/C checked out thouroughly.

I just lost another window mechanism last night (rear passenger), and it failed the same way that the same unit on the other door did last year.

Some dash bulbs have burned out, but I haven't replaced the burned out illumination bulbs in the radio.

Most of the items I've mentioned have not been expensive (under $300) except for the evaporator, but that was fixed under an extended warranty. I have done a lot of these repairs myself (thanks to the forum).

Fortunately, I haven't had any drivetrain problems yet. I think proper maintenance keeps that in check.

This is my daily driver, so I expect that as the car gets older it will require a lot of attention.

My guess is that the previous owner got tired of chasing down all of the annoying little problems and decided to cut his losses (that's how I got rid of the Jag). So definitely have the car check out by a trusted mechanic, because many of the above parts have not been replaced...
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  #9  
Old 06-06-2001, 11:39 AM
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European Moterworks

That's the shop right off of route 1, basically across the highway from the Edison Diner right? I think it has rod iron gates around the lot. They are ok, and do competent work, albeit a bit pricey from what I have heard. They also sell a few MB's and BMW's as well as the occasional Porsche.
The German Car Shop, is on rt 27. Basically to get to them from Rt1 take the Highland Park / 514 exit from rt 1, basically in front of European Moterworks. Come down the ramp, you'll see a bunch of used car dealers. Make your first right. You'll be traveling through a neighborhood. GO 23 in the 25! Highland Park cops are ruthless. Absolutely ruthless. When you come to your first light (about a mile) make a right. Keep on this road, (should be 4 lanes, two in each direction of travel) Stay to the left. The road will narrow, The German Car Shop is 4 or 5 miles down on the left hand side, right before a railroad underpass I believe. I dont have a Plainfield / North Brunswick phone book handy, but I'm sure they are in there.

I would take it to them, get their opinion, and see which works out better for you, financially. Also if it is a head rebuild, you may be better served to buy a remanufatured head, and swap it yourself if you are mechanically inclined.

Let me know your experiences with each shop, and how it works out,

Best wishes and take care,
George Androulakis
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  #10  
Old 06-06-2001, 12:12 PM
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George,
Thanks,Yes European motorwerks are a little bit expensive.I will give German auto shop a try, btw do you have the exact adress so i check it on Mapquest.Thanks

Ron
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  #11  
Old 06-06-2001, 12:57 PM
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Is that engine a V6 or an in line 6?
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  #12  
Old 06-06-2001, 01:14 PM
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Here You Go..

German Car Shop Inc
2229 State Route 27, Edison, NJ 08817
(732) 287-8959

Good luck with your car,

Best Wishes and take Care,
George Androulakis
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  #13  
Old 06-07-2001, 12:21 AM
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Iron block & Aluminum head

You know MB isnt the only manufacturer to have problems mating a cast iron block to an aluminum head.
My first car which I saved the proceeds from many summers of what seems like slave labor now was a 1988 Olds Cutlass Calais coupe. It had the at the time somewhat modern 16V dohc Quad 4 2.4l 4 cyl in it. And the infamous cast iron block and aluminum head.
I got it in 92 with 56k miles. Well needless to say, at 58k a couple months later, it blew a lower radiator hose, and overheated pretty bad.
Well I finally had it towed home, went to the parts store got the hose bla bla bla... started it, and what do you know, plumes of white smoke. Head gasket had failed.

So, I called a bunch of Olds dealers, and I found out that it had been a chronic problem with that motor, and there was a goodwill warranty till 6 years 60k miles, and they took care of the head gasket. Talk about cutting it down to the wire.

Anyway, from what I was told back then, and what I have discovered, basically any significant period of overheating, or consistently running the motor hot will cause the head gasket to fail. This has to do with the different expansion properties of the two metals. As they get hot (beyond normal operating temps), they expand differently, and the head essentialy begins to warp, and break the seal between the head and the block. Hence the head gasket issue. In an extreme overheat, It will warp the head, at lower temperatures, it will cause premature failure of the gasket.

Best wishes and take care,
George Androulakis
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  #14  
Old 06-07-2001, 01:12 AM
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I like the engine. Runs very smooth gets pretty good economy.

Two major common problems are the headgasket leaking and the faulty insulation on the wiring harness. Other than these two issues the engine is very reliable.
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  #15  
Old 06-07-2001, 01:32 AM
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George, my nieghbor says thanks for the heads-up about Auto Haus. The point you made about the clientelle at that type of dealership was a very good one. My neighbor is like me and not looking to buy a "lifestyle", just the best engineered car. The owner of the independent shop I bought my car from said he often gets people who have "stars" in their eyes. He said he was impressed that I knew all the cars by chassis number. My neighbor said he may still take a drive up that way to see what they have. Thanks again for the heads up. Now all I have to do is to get my neighbor to join our on line club, here.
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