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  #1  
Old 03-14-2002, 08:49 PM
jgomezsc
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Buying a 1992 300 SE with high milage

I am buying a 1992 300 SE with 188,000. It looks and sound great and it is in mint condition. Is it safe to buy a car with such a high milage?
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2002, 09:49 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 576
Three words: records,records,records. If it has been maintained, I wouldn't hesitate. You should be aware though, these cars are expensive to maintain. That's a warning to you for two reasons: first to prepare your wallet and make you aware the previous owner may have skipped doing repairs or service.

These deliver an incredible ride, just know what you are getting into. My 300SE is a '90 so it's a different bodystyle. I highly recommend a 126 like mine, they are amazing. Mine has 274K miles on it and drives like a new car.

Good luck!
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91 300E 120K
90 300SE 275K (sold)
92 BMW 525iM 120K
90 BMW 525iA 175K
85 300D 175K (sold)
84 300SD 245K (sold)
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  #3  
Old 03-15-2002, 06:57 PM
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smoke gets in your eyes
 
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FYI: The W126 300SE has the 3.0l M103. The W140 300SE and S320 have the 3.2l M104. I don't know if the later S320s had the V6 (M112?) but I doubt it.

Sixto
91 300SE
81 300SD
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  #4  
Old 03-15-2002, 07:42 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
My guess is that the M104 engine was last used in 1997. Even the 1998 C280 went to the V6.

As for buying the car, I haven't heard anything negative about the longevity or durability of this engine.

One common problem with this engine would be oil leaking from the head gasket, which should've been addressed by 180,000 miles.

Another complaint of this engine is the dreaded wiring harness problem, but this only affected 93-95 models, and only (I believe) W124's, so this wouldn't affect this car.

A third complaint of this engine is check engine warning light issues, but they are usually related to low EGR flow, and the fix to this is quite easy and pointed out many times on this site.

All of the other issues regarding these W140's are related to the incredible cost of repairs, particularly with a/c and leaky evaporator cores. It seems the whole car was built around the evaporator, and it costs $3,000 in labor just to get to the part.

If this doesn't deter you (it wouldn't me), then on any car with this much mileage (mileage in itself doesn't bother me) I would need to have documented maintenance, either at the dealer or a Mercedes only shop with receipts stored in a file that I could go over.

Fwiw, I've been a passenger in privately owned taxi's in NY city that were W140's (always black) that had 400,000 - 500,000 miles that looked and felt brand new. I've driven in many Ford Crown Vic taxi's all over the U.S. with this much mileage, but man, did they feel it. You could feel every mile the cars have driven.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #5  
Old 03-15-2002, 11:36 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Lakewood NY
Posts: 85
92 300SE

My '92 300SE has about 270K miles. The car looks, runs, and drives perfect.
I plan on keeping it going for 5 more years or 500K miles which ever comes first. (un less I find another one that I like better)
I do all my own repairs and buy my parts wholesale from the FAST LANE or a MB dealer in CA. Even doing it that way the car is very expensive to maintain, but no other car in the world beats the feel of a W140.
Bill
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NY State Dealer 7014303DLU
Registered repair shop R7014303
82 300SD modified for waste vegatable oil
92 300SE 270K miles perfect
79 450SEL (2 tone custom paint for special occations) SOLD
80 450SL
79 450SL 69K Miles FOR SALE
86 Carver 28 Voyager twin 270 Crusaders (SOLD)
94 CARVER 32 Voyager(SOLD)
67 Chris Craft 40' Aft Cabin(twin ford 427 side oilers)
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  #6  
Old 03-15-2002, 11:53 PM
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smoke gets in your eyes
 
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Location: SF Bay Area
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Re: 92 300SE

Quote:
Originally posted by riske
... the car is very expensive to maintain, ...
Bill,

Why owuld you say the car is expensive to maintain. Parts for my 91 SE are priced such that I consider it inexpensive to maintain. Do W140 parts cost that much more than W126 parts?

Thanks,
Sixto
91 300SE
81 300SD
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  #7  
Old 03-16-2002, 12:54 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Lakewood NY
Posts: 85
Sixto...

There is a HUGE difference between the W126 cars and the W140 cars. not only in the way they ride and perform, but in the cost and frequency of repair.
I have driven and maintained several 126 cars for many years , and they are much eaiser to work on and and the parts cost less.
Bill
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J. William Tarbrake
NY State Dealer 7014303DLU
Registered repair shop R7014303
82 300SD modified for waste vegatable oil
92 300SE 270K miles perfect
79 450SEL (2 tone custom paint for special occations) SOLD
80 450SL
79 450SL 69K Miles FOR SALE
86 Carver 28 Voyager twin 270 Crusaders (SOLD)
94 CARVER 32 Voyager(SOLD)
67 Chris Craft 40' Aft Cabin(twin ford 427 side oilers)
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