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  #1  
Old 11-25-2009, 04:22 PM
Diesel forever
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 291
300E - does this sound like a deal?

From a local ad. I don't need a car, but thought I could fix this up for one of my kids. Does this sound like a deal? Thanks!

Description Mercedes Benz 300E 1987. Automatic 4-door. In-line 6 cylinder engine. 300 000+ km. Odometer is broken, but my mechanic read the mileage from the engine last year at 285 000 and the car was driven sparingly since. This a great car for a student or enthusiast looking for a project. Complete with records.
The bad: This car is currently not running. Needs new alternator, maybe new regulator as well, and fluids. Small crack in windshield that will not extend. Radio does not work
The good: Body is perfect - west coast car that has been kept in a garage. Battery one year old. $2500 worth of work last year (basic repairs). Two sets of tires included (snow tires at 80% but not on rims). This car is a tank that will last forever.
Not saftied. No e-test necessary because it is classified as an antique.
Asking $1000 OBO (No fair offer will be refused). Moving so must sell ASAP.
Trades welcome (furniture, electronics, bicycles).
Will tow car for free!


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Old 11-25-2009, 05:48 PM
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I'd need a lot more information as to the "mechanic read the mileage from the engine" claim. Bad alternator won't keep it from running long enough for a test drive. Will a cracked windshield pass safety test? Seller may not be completely honest so you need to check it out, learn what works, what doesn't, and which are important to you. If you do your own work, I'd go for it. I like the part about perfect body. Assuming that's true, its easy to do the mechanicals (I don't do body work, consider someone who does it well as a true artist). Alternative is if you have the "free" time and space, you could double your money by parting it out. We were in the same situation...My daughter's first car is our recently acquired 93 300D. It has a few cosmetic issues but mechanically almost perfect. Reasonable purchase price plus new shocks, struts, pads, and rotors and it drives like new at 200K miles. Had to replace the oil pan also (whole other story), but I wouldn't hesitate to go cross country in it, or for her to depend on it. Look, learn, offer $500 cash if towed to your garage and see what happens.
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'79 6.9 Sold (after 27 years of ownership)
'83 280SL, 5 spd.
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  #3  
Old 11-25-2009, 05:54 PM
Diesel forever
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 291
Quote:
Originally Posted by hanno View Post
I'd need a lot more information as to the "mechanic read the mileage from the engine" claim. Bad alternator won't keep it from running long enough for a test drive. Will a cracked windshield pass safety test? Seller may not be completely honest so you need to check it out, learn what works, what doesn't, and which are important to you. If you do your own work, I'd go for it. I like the part about perfect body. Assuming that's true, its easy to do the mechanicals (I don't do body work, consider someone who does it well as a true artist). Alternative is if you have the "free" time and space, you could double your money by parting it out. We were in the same situation...My daughter's first car is our recently acquired 93 300D. It has a few cosmetic issues but mechanically almost perfect. Reasonable purchase price plus new shocks, struts, pads, and rotors and it drives like new at 200K miles. Had to replace the oil pan also (whole other story), but I wouldn't hesitate to go cross country in it, or for her to depend on it. Look, learn, offer $500 cash if towed to your garage and see what happens.
Thanks, I share your thoughts. He said his mechanic said there was a way to read the mileage from the engine, which I found rather mystifying!?! Is there a CPU there that registers mileage? It has about 180,000 miles. Like you, I don't do body, and can fix some mechanicals, so that's why I thought picking this up for a few hundred could produce a running and road-worthy car next year. My trusty 82 240D is in the garage for the winter, so this thing would have to sit outdoors in the driveway until I could get at it in the Spring. He says he spent $2500 since acquiring it a year ago from a family friend who owned it for many years (it originated in California apparently, though odometer is in kms). He's eager to get rid of it because he's moving out of his apt this weekend. A couple of mechanics have shown interest but probably offered him next to nothing. I may go look at it and see if I can boost-start it and take it for a spin, make sure the tranny works etc. Then who knows, make an offer and get it towed for free to my driveway... Cheers.
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1983 300TD 240K - 1982 240D 215K - 1996 Dodge Cummins 70K
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:28 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New Castle County, DE
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Sounds like a plan. I've never heard of "reading the mileage" this way, am tempted to say BS, but am willing to listen and learn (and be entertained).
What you need to do is drive a decent W124 to see what it's about. I don't think you'll look back. Every time we've need another car there are all kinds of options, but seem to come up with another W124 series. Have fun!
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Hanno
'79 6.9 Sold (after 27 years of ownership)
'83 280SL, 5 spd.
'94 E320 Sdn. 5 spd conversion
'95 E320 sedan
'02 E320 Sdn.(on loan to mom!)
'87 300E (5 spd. conversion) Sold
'05 E500 Wagon
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  #5  
Old 11-25-2009, 07:42 PM
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Location: Chandler, Arizona
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I would be cautious based on the fact he mentions it needs fluids.

How do you know it was not run low on oil, or the oil was not changed for 20k miles?

Just don't expect a perfect car for $1000. I would plan to at LEAST another $1000 to get it back to where it needs to be, probably a lot more.

I'd offer $700 cash if it drives without any major noises in the engine, or any transmission slippage. If there are any bad noises or the transmission slips walk away the car can very quickly put you $2k+ in the hole for the transmission alone.

Mileage from the engine is BS. Odo is broke, end of story. You are taking a gamble. Check the VIN BEFORE you buy it to compare mileage at smog checks for authenticity.
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  #6  
Old 11-25-2009, 07:42 PM
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Reading the mileage from the engine. I call BS. I am new to Mercedes, but not new to turning wrenches. Lol!
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  #7  
Old 11-25-2009, 08:17 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
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a quick look at the pedals will tell you more than a quick look at anything under the bonnett.

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