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Old 06-10-2002, 04:38 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Kingston NY
Posts: 114
300e Buying Tips

I am going to give up on my 190e and find a nice 300E. I have a somewhat limited budget (all my money is in the 190E) of $6000.
In my area (Upstate NY) I am finding that this budget gets me 1986 - 1988 cars with 140K or so. Assuming the car has been taken care of reasonably well, what are the major problems I can expect to deal with? Is there a short list of "Usual suspects" that everyone knows has to be addressed on 300E's at some aproximate mileage? IE: Beltsalways at 100K, valves usually at 180K, Wiring harness about 125K? I need a list of things to plan for, so my wife does not kill me. I will have a local independent MB shop look it over before plunking any money down. I am looking at cars only from dealers (not MB dealers) that are covered under my state's lemon law and or have a limited warranty.
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Old 06-10-2002, 05:44 PM
Posts: n/a
Buying a 300E

I am on my second 300E and I have had the same two problems with both: erratic/high idling speed, and air con leaks. Both of these problems, while not critical to overall running, can be frustrating , time consuming, and expensive to fix. If there is the slightest hint of problems in these areas, leave well alone. Good luck.
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Old 06-10-2002, 06:02 PM
csnow's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mass
Posts: 1,127
No wiring harness problems for this model that I am aware of...

A/C repairs in general are very expensive.

At 140k in NY, your candidate would be about due for a full front suspension/steering makeover if it has not already had one.
This is a collection of small things that adds up quickly.
If I had not done the work myself, I would guess that I would have been out about $2K.

Motor should still have some life in it if it has been maintained.
1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.
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Old 06-10-2002, 06:04 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 565
A fairly competent DIYER can handle everything on TKAMIYAs list except the evaporator and I list that as an exception because of the amt. of work involved. It can be diy'd if you're determined enough.
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Old 06-10-2002, 09:20 PM
dtanesq's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Northern California/Western Washington
Posts: 386
To tkamiya's list I would add that you should look at the rear suspension pieces (thrust arms) and the subframe mounts.

2003 Dodge Durango SLT
2002 BMW E39 530i Sport
1988 Mercedes 300TE
2003 Chevrolet Suburban
1999 E430
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Old 06-10-2002, 10:35 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Oakdale, CA
Posts: 28
To the list, especially over 140K, I would add a overhauled or rebuilt tranny and a smog pump already done (from experience!)
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