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  #1  
Old 05-16-2008, 08:36 AM
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thinking of Buying MB 300 wagon from early 90's

I have been toying around with buying a MB wagon from the early 90's (90 to 94) and was trying to glean from the forum if there are any issues that I should be looking out for on the cars (i.e. - get or avoid the 4matic, parts that fail, etc)

From what I have gathered, I would be best served to keep away from the newer, more electronic models, plus I dont drive a hell of a lot, maybe 5 miles/ 9 Km a day, so I thought a good old fashion tank might fit the bill well. I also like the idea of being able to run a car up to 500 to 600Km

Any input/advice would be appreciated for a novice MB buyer

thanks

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  #2  
Old 05-16-2008, 09:54 PM
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I might skip the 94's, unless you can verify that the engine wiring harness has been replaced. Many people love their 300TE's
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  #3  
Old 05-17-2008, 08:37 AM
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much thanks.........what years was the wiring harness an issue on
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:12 PM
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This reply might be kinda late - sorry...forgot to check thread.

The years seem to be mostly 94 & 95, although I thought I read somewhere about some late 93's - but I'm not certain about that.
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2008, 04:20 AM
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much thanks..........still looking.........trying to avoid a 4matic
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  #6  
Old 05-22-2008, 02:14 PM
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moved

for more answers.
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  #7  
Old 05-22-2008, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razorboy View Post
much thanks..........still looking.........trying to avoid a 4matic

Why avoid the 4Matic? all wheel drive is a great asset unless the MB version is trouble prone. My Subaru was a fantastic wagon with AWD...

do tend to agree with you that simpler is better, but does that mean skipping antilock brakes too? I tend to look at things in two catagories Things That Help in an Accident (or help to avoid one) and Useless Doodads

antilock = TTHA
awd = TTHA
crush zones = TTHA

etc.

power door closers = UD
DVD players = UD
heated seats = UD

I can live without the UD, but would want the TTHA stuff...

Good luck in your search
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  #8  
Old 05-22-2008, 03:03 PM
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The two big issues for that engine will be the wiring harness and the engine head gasket, 1993 to 1995 for both issues. Even if the head gasket was replaced early in the car's life, it could leak again. MB did a redesign of the gasket that added extra strength to the problem area (there is an excellent article in the DIY Articles on M104 head gasket replacement written by Steve Brotherton that provides more info on this whole issue) but if your car didn't get the redesigned gasket it could leak again.

Everything I've ever read about the first generation 4Matic system says to steer clear of it - it is overly complicated, prone to problems and very expensive to fix. The second generation 4Matic, found on W210 and newer E Class cars, is much simpler and much more reliable.
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  #9  
Old 05-22-2008, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlomon View Post
Everything I've ever read about the first generation 4Matic system says to steer clear of it - it is overly complicated, prone to problems and very expensive to fix. The second generation 4Matic, found on W210 and newer E Class cars, is much simpler and much more reliable.

I see now
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Current
Monika '74 450 SL
BrownHilda '79 280SL
FoxyCleopatra '99 Chevy Suburban
Scarlett 2014 Jeep Cherokee
Krystal 2004 Volvo S60
Gone
'74 Jeep CJ5
'97 Jeep ZJ Laredo
Rudolf ‘86 300SDL
Bruno '81 300SD
Fritzi '84 BMW
'92 Subaru
'96 Impala SS
'71 Buick GS conv
'67 GTO conv
'63 Corvair conv
'57 Nomad
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2008, 11:24 AM
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Three other concerns regarding a "wagon".
1] The rear side windows often rust at their bottom edge. To check: remove the rear access panels and peel up the rubber moulding.
2] Self leveling [rear only] To check: Eng off, load about 300 lbs in rear. When engine is turned on, the rear should rise to unloaded weight.
3] Rear Seat Back release. To check: Remove head restraint. Raise rear seat cushion [pivots back to front], pull top of seat back forward and down so it rests on the 2 pins of the seat cushion. Pulling up on the red handle at bottom of seat cushion releases it. These pins are often broken or the seat cushion brackets are bent.

There are many posts on these three.

Bob
PS Wagon has cargo area of 6' with seat cushion folded and 6" more with cushion removed.
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  #11  
Old 05-23-2008, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Delor View Post
I might skip the 94's, unless you can verify that the engine wiring harness has been replaced. Many people love their 300TE's
I would venture a guess that there is a much better chance of finding a 94 already fixed than one that 'still' has the bad harness.
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2008, 01:10 AM
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Answer

Quote:
Originally Posted by 94Wagenmeister View Post
I would venture a guess that there is a much better chance of finding a 94 already fixed than one that 'still' has the bad harness.
No.

IMO the odds are , if it is for sale the vehicle will need a harness + three - seven other issues.

A good PPI = Pre Purchase Inspection is worth every penny.
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2008, 06:47 AM
Roger Jones
 
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Wiring harness:

http://tinyurl.com/8nx7v

http://www.peachparts.com/Wikka/M104WireHarness

The MB E-class owner's bible suggests that shielding the affected wires with taped pieces of pliable plastic (e.g. from a factory coolant bottle) can be an effective repair. That seems worth trying if the insulation breakdown is limited, but I've seen photos of spectacular general degradation:

http://tinyurl.com/24m42n

Nevertheless, there's no sign of it yet in my 1996 Coupé, which is checked for this problem at every service.

One overlooked source of repeated problems with a head gasket is that some get done without skimming. My mechanic says that the heads all warp and he's never found one that didn't need it. Here's the article referred to in an earlier post:

http://www.continentalimports.com/ser_ic100345.html


Last edited by Roger Jones; 05-24-2008 at 08:20 AM.
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