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  #1  
Old 06-07-2007, 12:19 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southern IL (by St. Louis)
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Seeking advice on: W123/W124 models

Hello all. Been a while since Iíve lurked around here, but Iím in need of some advice and information. A job change has increased my one-way daily commute from 17 miles to 50 miles. My old 1987 GMC with a 187K is not up to the task, so Iím shopping for a car. Have always had a soft spot in my heart for the W123 and W124 style sedans & wagons. Especially the wagons. The budget is about $5K.

Iím open to a diesel or gas, but is it realistic for me to expect to get about 30 mpg with a gas model? Surely not a problem for a diesel. The number of miles is not near as important as the year, mechanical & physical condition. Iím very picky about rust. Seems the diesels listed on ebay have gotten way out of hand on price. Iím scanning Craigslist now and see some possible contenders and a lot of 190ís. I think at 6í3 and 200lbs+ Iím too big for a 190. I want reliability & comfort.

Anything I should watch for when looking? Iíve heard of problems with certain years and equipment (harness? 4Matic?). How about any for sale by other forum members?

Thanks,
Cliff

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  #2  
Old 06-07-2007, 12:59 PM
Parrot of Doom's Avatar
1997 W210 E300TD 243,000
 
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Diesel vs petrol is a simple calculation.

Just calculate the original price of each vehicle + running costs, add to this your annual fuel costs based on mpg and annual mileage. Then subtract the resale value.

Basically, diesel cars cost more to buy but are cheaper to run - but you must allow enough ownership time to recoup that extra cost.

If you can't recoup the extra outlay in buying a diesel, then you either buy one because you like it and are willing to pay more, or you buy a petrol.
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  #3  
Old 06-07-2007, 01:55 PM
Texholdem
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homeline View Post
... The budget is about $5K.

Iím open to a diesel or gas .... I think at 6í3 and 200lbs+ Iím too big for a 190. I want reliability & comfort.

Cliff
check this one out

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1987-300SDL-W126-LWB-TURBO-DIESEL-WARRANTY-LOW-MILES_W0QQitemZ120129379951QQihZ002QQcategoryZ6330QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
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Other MBs (sold): 1992 300E-24 - 1979 350SLC - 1984 230E - 1990 300CE
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  #4  
Old 06-07-2007, 02:34 PM
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I have often heard that the 1985 300d is one of the most reliable and simple to maintain of the diesel benzes.

that said.... with your size you might want an sdl... or a 300se...
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1997 s320 154k (what a ride). Sold with 179k miles. Replaced with Hyundai Equus

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  #5  
Old 06-07-2007, 02:57 PM
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Watch out, that guy is a notorious dirtbag who talks alot of crap about the cars but never really says anything about the condition of the car for sale. I can recall at least three eBay user names he has had. Every one of them has 15 or 20 positive feedbacks because he is buying dollar store items to get his rating up. IMHO:DON'T EVER BUY A CAR WITHOUT LOOKING AT IT IN PERSON FIRST. It may seem hard to believe, but people will lie about or omit negative aspects of cars they are trying to sell.
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  #6  
Old 06-07-2007, 03:46 PM
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30 mpg is not a realistic expectation for either gas or diesel in your price range.

There are no USA 4matic diesels, and no diesel wagons after 1987.
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  #7  
Old 06-07-2007, 03:56 PM
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As an aside, the SDL has been hit..trunk doesn't line up right nor does the paint look 100$ kosher.

I'd think for 5K this guy could find an 85 300D...he should get 30mpg on the highway if he's good;-)

I would look for the CD though...coupes make life much nicer for those over 6 feet tall (I'm 6'2).

Jonathan
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  #8  
Old 06-07-2007, 04:10 PM
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The w123 is easier to work on.
The w124 is a better driver.

After that, you won't win the mpg game unless you go diesel. In the w123diesel, you'll see low to mid 20s for mpg, with the w124 diesel, you'll see high 20s for mpg (depends on the year). For a w124 gasser, you'll see low 20s, for a w124 wagon you'll see low, low 20s.

I would love to commute a wagon, but when the thing gets 19-20 highway and my suburban gets 16, there isn't much of a reason to buy one. Shame that.
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  #9  
Old 06-07-2007, 04:57 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southern IL (by St. Louis)
Posts: 71
Thanks for the comments. Heres some of my thoughts to them:

My old GMC gets 16-18, so anything from 22-26 mpg would be great. My wifes '95 Caddy with a 155K gets 25mpg @ 60mph.(BTW, wouldn't buy one of those again!), so I'd hope a Benz would be about the same. As far as buget being $5-6k, thats what is doable with liquid assets ermarked for a vehicle. Something comes along at a higher price that I like, I will need to decide if I want payments.

Have never bought a car without seeing it person. Not saying I wouldn't, but chances are that I won't.

I like the W126 class and currently have a 500SEC, but would like to down size to a smaller platform. Plus coupes generally bring a little more $$, and I'm wanting some practicality with 4 or 5 doors. I'm going to look at a 190 to at least see what one is like.

I found the thread relating to the wire harness issues, so I'll study that tonight.

Cliff
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  #10  
Old 06-07-2007, 05:35 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
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four cylinder diesel will top 30. also a 124 300d five cylinder will top thirty...just.

i think a 190 will have equal space in the front seat to a 124. although the 123 has more room and is easier to get in and out of.

one of the reasons i sold my 124 was that i tended to get stuck gettin in or out and had no problems with the 123.

i found if i adjusted the seat just right in the 124 i was ok. but on a long trip i would adjust it differently for more comfort.

nothing will equal the reliability and economy of operation of a 240d stick. get a good one and they are as close to free to run as you will find in a car.

really good ones are hard to find though.

tom w
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  #11  
Old 06-07-2007, 08:41 PM
Texholdem
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Dallas
Posts: 756
Thanks for the warning!

Quote:
Originally Posted by riethoven View Post
Watch out, that guy is a notorious dirtbag who talks alot of crap about the cars but never really says anything about the condition of the car for sale. I can recall at least three eBay user names he has had. Every one of them has 15 or 20 positive feedbacks because he is buying dollar store items to get his rating up. IMHO:DON'T EVER BUY A CAR WITHOUT LOOKING AT IT IN PERSON FIRST. It may seem hard to believe, but people will lie about or omit negative aspects of cars they are trying to sell.

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1996 E320 since 1/16/08, 171K miles as of Feb 2011

---------------------------------------------------------
1989 300CE - R.I.P. Dec 29 2007
Other MBs (sold): 1992 300E-24 - 1979 350SLC - 1984 230E - 1990 300CE
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