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Old 07-13-2002, 12:14 AM
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Question 1987 300E - Should I Buy ?

I have been looking at a 1987 300E. I currently have a 1980 300D and I know how exceptional these cars are, as I have 313k miles on it. I was basically wondering what inherent problems these models might have, and what the expected longevity might be.
The funny thing is that I probably already know what you guys are going to say, but I need the back-up. Especially when I say that I am considering it over a 1985 300SD with under 150k miles, but this is a clean CA car, and it has been baby’d all it’s life.
Any feed-back is well appreciated, so blast me ! LOL
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Old 07-13-2002, 01:27 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Monrovia, CA
Posts: 490
Buy It!


I bought my first Mercedes, an '86 300E with 93,000 miles, about one month ago. I've been in the process of fixing several problems and have most of them licked now. As each day goes by, I enjoy driving this car more and more, and the deeper I get into fixing it, the more I'm impressed with the quality of engineering and workmanship that went into making it. My car feels, no kidding, just like a new car in the way it rides and handles, even the way it feels and smells on the inside. It has loads more power than your 300D and is the type of car you could drive all day at way more than legal speeds and enjoy every minute of it (except maybe the tickets). I plan on taking it on a 3-day, 1400 mi. TSD rally in the near future, right after I get back from towing a tent-trailer and the family from L.A. to Canada and back, and I have absolutely no qualms about doing so.

As long as it's in good shape (have it checked by a reputable M-B mechanic) just buy it, fix the obvious problems and never look back!

Happy motoring

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Old 07-13-2002, 01:50 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Austin, Tx
Posts: 713
I would have to agree with Gary, as long as it was maintained and is in good shape, you should definetaly buy it over the sd. The 300E is an altogether different machine than the 300sd, as it represented a departure from the large sedans that mercedes had been building for some time. As far as problem, let me outline the things I have had to do to my 92 300E with 113k. 2 of the window regulators needed to be replaced, as they slipped the track and the cable that makes the window move got all wound up in the motors. This was about $125 per window including parts. The shocks needed to be replaced on mine as the rears were leaking, I used the time to replace with bilstein sports all around and install lowering springs, the total came to around $550 for the shocks, struts, springs, and spring installation. The normal rears cost about $65 each. Other than that there was only the scheduled maintenance at the service intervals, and the car runs like a dream. Its not very fast (by modern standards), but will definetaly be faster than the diesels. Hope this helps!
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Old 07-13-2002, 09:18 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Joliet Illinois
Posts: 309
Should you buy?

I bought a used '88 260E about a year and a half ago with 120k miles and it has been a fantastic car.

A few of the common problems with the w124/m103 are:

1. Oil leaking from upper front timing cover (easy to fix)
2. Oil consumption due to leaking valve stem seals (easy to fix)
3. A/C and climate control problems (not always easy to fix)
4. Cruise control problems

The biggest factor in any used car is condition and how well it has been maintained.
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Old 07-13-2002, 10:49 AM
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I agree with the guys. I just picked up an 87 260E and had been happy ever since. One word of advice, make sure you get a smog check/certificate from the seller. I had to learn the hard way. Smog repairs could get really expensive. In addition to John's input, I find out that with 100K, most of these cars almost always need new driveshaft flex disks and transmission lever bushings. Relatively cheap and easy fixes but gives the car a rough and beat down ride quality which you can use as leverage when negotiating for the price. Good luck.

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