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Old 08-28-2018, 09:18 PM
SirNik84's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sacramento, Ca
Posts: 1,470
Junkyard E320 Wagon

I hope I'm posting this in the right section of the forum. I don't think I've posted outside of the diesel discussion before.

I went to the Pick-n-Pull in Rancho Cordova with TurboBenz (Derek) last Saturday in search of some parts for my SD. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did find this:

I do not need a car... But I had a conversation with my friend about 3 years ago about what car I'd raise my family in (When I finally have one, No I'm not expecting a child, but you know as the boy scouts say, "Be Prepared") He was having his first child and had bought his wife a Kia Sportage. I didn't have to think about what car I wanted to raise a family in. I wanted a 1995 E320 wagon. I've wanted once since iWrock (Justin) had his 86 300TE. I loved that car but though the M104 and the updated styling of the second gen would be ideal. I've searched craigslist many a sleepless night keeping an eye on w124 wagons.

So on my way out of the yard I asked the guy behind the counter for the keys to the wagon in the "showroom" and he came over and gave me a quick tour of it and started it up for me. When he popped the hood with the engine running Derek saw the coolant hose was leaking. Upon closer inspection you could see an engine oil leak at the cam magnet had softened the rubber to goo. I told the employee to turn off the engine because I was unsure of the coolant level. We then talked about the car more and I was really on the fence. He told me the price was negotiable. I told him I'd buy it at $1600 (sticker on the windshield was $1899) He then went to his manager to see what he said about my offer. He came back and said they would take $1700. I countered with $1700 and a radiator hose from the yard and enough water to fill the cooling system so I could drive it home. Deal! with the help of Derek driving it home, I now own a 1995 E320 Wagon.

We've been inspecting everything and I'm pretty sure the engine has been overheated. It had to have been since it didn't have a functioning cooling system. I'm guessing I have a head gasket job in the future. Derek has done a couple head gaskets on M104 engines and is on board to help me. Today I went to DMV and officially got the paper work started trying to get this thing back on the road. I need to do a brake and light inspection and a smog test. The engine runs very well so I'm tempted to try for the smog test before doing the head gasket. If it can pass as is then I can get the car registered and license plates. So if yall are interested I'll keep posting and let you know how that process goes.

In the mean time here is some more detailed pictures of the car.

1983 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon - 1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD 4-Speed(My Car!) 2005 C230 Kompressor 6-Speed Manual
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:33 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 712
Nice car, good story, you will enjoy it. I have one even though it's not in my sig, and I like it so much I'm having it painted. The first thing I did was get some tint on that fishbowl. Enjoy.
'89 260e (212K Mi.), '92 400e (208K Mi.), '92 400e (not a misprint) (146K Mi.), '95 C220, '81 240D--Sold
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:54 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Posts: 134
Nice ride! The wagons are very versatile and relatively cheap to keep running. Keep up with regular scheduled maintenance especially the transmission fluid. If you have to do the head gasket the engine should be go to go. With a little elbow grease and some parts you should get many miles of enjoyment.
07 E350 4Matic wagon, 06 S430 4Matic, 02 E320 4matic, 01 E320 4Matic Wagon, 99 SLK 230
01 E320 Wagon (wrecked PM if you need parts), W210, W124, W126
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:36 AM
SirNik84's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sacramento, Ca
Posts: 1,470
The Rest of the Story

I ran a compression test on the engine in the wagon and got mixed results. In the middle of the second test my gauge broke (Thanks Harbor Freight) I gave up and decided to give the car some new plugs and try my luck at a smog test. A few days later my girlfriend took the car in for a smog test. It failed. Not shocked. On the way home from the smog test the car over heated. I knew my gut was right and the head gasket had been blown. I searched the local dismantlers and found a m104 with 150k and good compression for $400. At a price like that it wasn't worth tearing into the engine in the car. The dismantler even offered delivery for $50. So the fallowing morning at 6:30am there was a truck in my driveway delivering an engine. The fallowing weekend was my birthday and I hadn't made any plans so I talked to my friends and we decided my birthday party should be installing the engine in the wagon.
A couple days before on a Wednesday evening Justin (iwrock) came over and helped me pull the engine out.

That weekend I replaced all the seals on the engine on Saturday. Sunday everyone came over and helped install the new engine.

After a long evening on Sunday we got the engine running.
The fallowing week I spent cleaning up from what a mess 4 people can make installing an engine in one day. I got the car all put back together and the house cleaned up. Today was the only day my girlfriend had off and DMV was open (I work the hours DMV is open) and we only were given 2 one-day moving passes to get the car smogged and this brake and light inspection done. We used up the first one when the car over heated so today we tried to get all the inspections done and get to DMV. She took the car in this morning and it passed all this tests! She picked me up from work and we went to DMV together. The most shocking part of the story might be that there were only 20 people in the DMV! we got to see a window person in 5 minuets!! They did the VIN verification and assigned the car plates! Its legal now!

Almost forgot the most important help I got with the engine swap.

1983 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon - 1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD 4-Speed(My Car!) 2005 C230 Kompressor 6-Speed Manual
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:11 AM
dieseldiehard's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Bay Area No Calif.
Posts: 4,306
I just discovered this, your saga of the new wagon.
I love / hate mine. Until recently it was a 50/50 love / hate affair but suddenly its become 90% hate
3 years ago almost to the month I bought one, a '95 E320 wagon of the same color (I think 99% of the '94 - '95 wagons were painted smoked silver). It had 120K some miles on it and needed a new suspension, gas spheres, lower control arm bushings and everything up front that was rubber was replaced.
A new exhaust line was in order because the Seattle PO must have driven the car for short distances because the pipe rusted from the inside out.
Then there was a new ignition harness, a spark coil and plugs to get it running well. After a new MAF it passed smog and I got new CA plates and drove it regularly on trips. I've put around 35K miles on it then last month I saw the dash light for coolant come on briefly so I added a few quarts of water and finding no outward visible leaks I recognized that as a bad sign!
Today a pressure check confirmed the head gasket is leaking. Welcome me to the infamous M104 head gasket failure club!
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Junkyard E320 Wagon-95-wagon-leaking-engine-red.jpg  

'95 E320 Wagon my favorite road car. '99 E300D wolf in sheeps body, '87 300D Sportline suspension, '79 300TD w/ 617.952 engine at 367,750 and counting!
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