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  #1  
Old 06-03-2002, 08:59 AM
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What preventive maintainance for $1K?

Ok, I posted in the general section about a potential 91 W124 I might be purchasing soon, so won't go into details here. I am thinking, to drop some money into it on things that will probably go wrong, or just wear and tear items. 70K miles-one owner

Need a memory refresher; its been a while since I was on here and did a search of the archives. I am at work now so can't spend too much time searching .

I know about the head gasket deal...... That can wait till it happens. Timing chain- too soon likely at 70K miles. Radiator - Just go ahead and change it if the original with the plastic neck? ( I am in south florida and so it is very hot!). Hmm.... those are the only major things I remember that could go wrong with the M103, right?

What about fuel pump, water pump, fuel regulator? Guess, I want to make the usual wear and tear items (as much as I can) problem free.....would not want to wait until I break down on the side of the road and / or on a date with one of these items, for example. Any a/c parts to change for now?

Seems $1K would cover a few of these items maybe. I would be doing most of the work on these things, so would only pay for the parts.

I am going to have the car checked prior to buying so ball joints and other things might show up, I know.

thanks

Orlando
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2002, 09:18 AM
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If you look at a car as the sum of all parts (repair risk), your estimate is too low. There are plenty of text telling one how much to expect to pay per year. If you were to spend your time here and your money appropriately, you will cut the consumer's report figures by 75%, even if you pay someone else to do the work.

Your real risk in that car is the A/C. Does it do good now!? Is there a history of repair? In your area it is real easy to spend a couple g's on A/C.
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  #3  
Old 06-03-2002, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by stevebfl
If you look at a car as the sum of all parts (repair risk), your estimate is too low. There are plenty of text telling one how much to expect to pay per year. .
Oh, no I know from reading on here how much to expect to spend per year and that number has a big range. I printed all those messages from before. I was just asking about initial spending....... I have taken into consideration that annual maintainance / repair costs.

Thanks for the heads up on the a/c.

I am going to call the dealer today to see how much they charge for the prepurchase inspection. I might check a local shop or two, but don't know of references on any local shop, so the dealer is the safe bet, unless they (Bill Ussery - Coral Gables) are going to charge an exhorbitant amount to do so.

thanks
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  #4  
Old 06-03-2002, 10:46 AM
Chris17H
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CHECK A/C!!!

Mine went out a year ago, got a quote at $1500-2200. HAHA, yeah right i'll keep the windows down.
Also be sure u get the rails on the sunroof greased often, mine broke due to not enough grease ($600).
There are no other real risks that i can think of...Just of that damn plastic radiator neck that broke yesterday, only $200 i'll live

Have fun with the new/used w124
good luck
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2002, 11:07 AM
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OK, a/c........ I'll will check to see what service has been done to it. What consists the $1K-$2K to repair it? The compressor is like $400-$500 I think, no? Evaporator? Labor? Hoses? Blower motor?

I had the a/c compressor changed my my Chevy a few months ago, and last month I changed myself the blower motor and fan, so some of the a/c stuff I am familiar with on the american car side.

I will have the shop double check the a/c system since it is soo hot down here and that is my most important part of a car!
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  #6  
Old 06-03-2002, 12:50 PM
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I think the big expense on a/c's on MB's (i.e. 124's, 140's, 202's) is the evaporator, which is buried underneath the dash.

I've read it's about 15 hours of labor on a 124 to replace one, plus whatever the evaporator costs.

I've also read that it's better to use an aftermarket evaporator from a company called ACM, as their units are made from aluminum.
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  #7  
Old 06-03-2002, 02:12 PM
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Plastic thermostat housing

If it's plastic, replace it with a metal one, and change the thermostat while you're there.
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  #8  
Old 06-03-2002, 02:18 PM
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Good thought Jim,
I just did that 3weeks ago, hose kept poppin off...It's like $7 off FastLane
Heres the part # G4011-39361
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2002, 03:43 PM
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The evaporator set me back about $2100 about three years ago (fortunately I had a coverage plan so I was only out about $250)...most of the labor involved the removal of the dashboard and associated trim. Otherwise, the OEM unit can be had for around $900.

All other items already mentioned in this thread will call themselves to attention soon enough during your ownership...I'm not one to replace components unless they actually fail, or show impending signs of doom.

No one has mentioned the wiring harness, although I think the problem started after '92. Also the belt tensioner will wear out, usually at the shock bushing. When it does, your engine will sound as if it's going to throw a rod at idle!

Haven't experienced the inevitable head gasket failure yet, but I lost the coolant pump, expansion tank, and radiator within months at around 100K.

Check window switches and all electric window operations. The rears usually go first. The motors are fine, but the sliding track mechanism self-destructs all at once, leaving you with windows you can only raise halfway. Not much preventative maintenance you can do there, but atleast parts are cheap and it's DIY.

The OVP is a known electrical component flaw (hot start problems, rough idle, etc.), but again, unless it is the source of a problem, leave it alone.
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  #10  
Old 06-03-2002, 05:30 PM
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Just a note on aluminum evaporator cores. You don't want one. ACM makes a fine product, but if you ever have to replace an evap. core use an aftermarket COPPER one(they all have alum. fins, though). This is one area where aftermarket is superior to dealer or OEM. The reason is that the PAG (particularly) and ester oils used with R134a absorb moisture that forms HCl in the system. Pinhole leaks in an aluminum (reactive with HCl forms AlCl2) core are the result. This is why the failure mode for many newer cars A/C is leakage at evaporator. A/C warranty on many new cars is now limited to one year , because of this. Copper, oddly enough is non-reactive with 6 molar HCl. Even if you are using R12 with mineral oil, it's wise to plan ahead for possible conversion. Four Seasons, Murray, and their two sister companies (under one corporate banner) sell junk compressors but decent evaporators (Cu). Hint: always pressure test a new A/C component for leakage PRIOR to installation. (guess how I know)
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  #11  
Old 06-03-2002, 05:35 PM
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As an owner of a 300E, I can attest to its indestructible nature. Since the car is pretty old, check motor mounts and driveshaft play. Ask the owner to show you some history of the car. All cars need some wear/tear items but there is no car that wont need some preventive maintenance. I think the best test of a 300E is a simple ignition at the morning when it is cold. If it starts up strong then you have a keeper. Open the hood and look at the engine. Idle should be strong and If it shakes and dies, it's liveable but it can be fixed.
This car is a mechanics favorite car. My mechanic owns one and he says it is the best and easiest car to repair. Summer is coming, so have the AC Tested and have someone perform a roartest on the engine to make sure for no overheating. If it overheats, repair is no big deal; either thermostat or water pump.
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  #12  
Old 06-03-2002, 07:17 PM
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The wiring harnesses were bad from 93-95, so your safe with a 91 or even 92 model.
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2002, 09:06 PM
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About the alluminum evaporators , sorry they are the best from ACM. I have replaced so many I cant count and I have never had any problems with them. They dont make noise or leak , Except on 210 where the factory BEHR units fail anyway ,and ACM has not been able to make one fit a 210. The a/c on a 124 is a critical issue . If it blows out defrost instead of center vents , actuators leaking , ( most time dash removal) . Ck the front pump on transmission make sure no leak. Timing cover will leak oil most time ( most people ignore it) . Dont worry about the timing chain ( never seen one fail) . Ck front end real good for slack. A pre-purchase would be the best bet by a trained technician.
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  #14  
Old 06-04-2002, 11:36 AM
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My single row timing chain on my M103 engine DID fail. Just check for stretch. If out of spec, roll in a new one. Cheap insurance.
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  #15  
Old 06-04-2002, 12:17 PM
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Do yourself a favor and have a transmission service done also. Should be less than $250. MB doesn't want you to check even fluid levels in tranmissions so the service will help with longevity and identify future problems.
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