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  #1  
Old 06-01-2003, 10:18 PM
ILUVMILS's Avatar
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Location: New Jersey, U.S.A.
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I'm still looking..............

.............for my first Mercedes Benz. Several members replied to my post a few weeks ago about an E320 I was trying to buy. I need your opinions again. I may have an opportunity to buy a 1991 300SE, black/black, w/60K miles. Also, a 1994 E320, black/beige?, w/100K miles. The E320 needs the engine harness, but the rest of the car is in great shape. The price of both cars is more than fair. These are two of my favorite MB's to drive as well as work on. I'm not concerned about future repairs though. My question is, if you had to choose one or the other, what would you do? Thanks
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2003, 10:46 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
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I like the better handling chassis of the W124 vs. the W126. The semi-trailing arm suspension of the W126 just does not give as sporting a feel as the W124's five link.

That said, the W126 is roomier and in many ways a better highway cruiser. The 300SE is my favourite W126 for it's bulletproof M103 engine and nimbler chassis than the SEL cars.

In the case of your choices, I would prefer the 1995 E320 because of it's more updated looks, newer model year, and better performance. That's not to say the 300SE is a dog, but in MY OPINION the last of the W124's when sorted out (head gasket and wiring harness woes repaired) is one huckuva fine automobile.
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2003, 10:49 PM
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Because of the lower mileage, I would buy the 300SE. Great car. I do like the E320 also, it is my favorite. But for even money, the lower the miles the better.

A 300SE with 60k is hardly broken in, if well cared for. My sister just bought a 1989 300SEL with 58k miles. She wasn't sure about it at first. Thought about a used Lexus etc. I told her to make sure her seat was high up as comfortable, get it warm and drive it hard. After her second test drive she was sold. She loves it.

Either car is great.

Keep us posted.

Haasman
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  #4  
Old 06-01-2003, 11:13 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Florida / N.H.
Posts: 8,777
94/95 124, is a lot of car for the $$$

This tail end of 124 production got the royal treatment from Benz..
Just look at the new features this model got over the earlier 124 sedans ...
Face lift that keeps them from looking aged [ looks like the later .90s C , but bigger].Euro style lights [ glass w/H4s], nice 8 hole wheels, etc...
Nice leather/interior , 134a a/c , HFM-SFI, var cam timing, var air ram , distribless ignition, 1st gears start, 2:65 differential [ gotta love that one ], ASR [ no big deal there ], good diagnostic abilities
[ obd1] that is easily accessed for DIYer [ last of flash code], Great breathing 104 eng w/217 HP-- these are not dogs for a 6, and the 104 will easily go 250K..

You know the faults, but a gasket and harness later and these are a solid, well made, comfortable mid size that will bring you
good transportation at an economy price..
You can find them for much less that the replacement 210, and I think they were better built ......
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  #5  
Old 06-01-2003, 11:32 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 236
Keep in mind that when you drive a MB they require almost no lmaintenace. They are just like the bunny, they just go and go. I've never done one thing to my 180k MB other than change oil every 5000 miles. Oh, of course you have to replace wore tires.
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  #6  
Old 06-02-2003, 12:01 AM
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I'm partial to the M104 powered 124 chassis.

I find that the car is perfectly sized. It is still within 1/2" of the W210 chassis in dimensions. The back seat is also big enough for 2 adults to ride comfortably.

My dad had a 380SE, and the short wheelbase W126 cars have a shamefully small back seat for the size of the car.

With the 3.2 liter M104 engine, a new engine wiring harness, and the newer head gasket that doesn't leak, the W124 chassis car is about as good as they get, IMHO.

What's more, they look great with an OEM wood / leather steering wheel, chrome shift surround, and S600 shift knob:
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I'm still looking..............-steering-wheel-5.jpg  
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  #7  
Old 06-03-2003, 01:16 AM
ILUVMILS's Avatar
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Thanks for the input guys. I began my search for my first MB about two months ago. I hear about a lot of trade-ins at work, but I'm looking for the right car. The 124's and 126's are my all-time favorite MB's. My first choice is the 124. It's at my shop now. The owner is thinking about buying a new W211. The 126 will arrive later this week. It's been traded in on a new S500. The 124 is a beauty. I'll have a look at the 126 in a few days. I'll be happy with either car. Wish me luck. The last two cars I tried to buy didn't work out. The owners decided to keep them awhile longer!!! I guess they just couldn't let them go. I'll keep you posted.
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  #8  
Old 06-03-2003, 02:08 AM
1991300SEL's Avatar
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Re: I'm still looking..............

[QUOTE]Originally posted by ILUVMILS
[B]............. I may have an opportunity to buy a 1991 300SE, black/black, w/60K miles.

Let's see. That's 2003 - 1991 = 12 yrs. 60k / 12 yrs. = 5k per yr.
Dryed out seals? No biggee. You work on 'um for a living.

I love my '91 300-SEL. It comes with the large/safer 126 body and the simplicity of a 12 valve SOHC engine. If you're a hot-rodder, this car may disappoint you.

20-22mpg with 93 octane.
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2003, 02:16 AM
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Location: SOUTH JERSEY
Posts: 196
plenty of

I Prefer the 90-93 or the 98-99 turbo diesels... the 2.5 5 cylinder
is a well proven engine, as well as her sister engines in the 98's and 99's... not that there is anything wrong with the 95-97 normially aspirated 6 cylinder diesels ,, the ones i have driven seemed more sluggish to the geddy up... my 1990 2.5 has 195,000 K on it with no major rebuilds and regular synthetic oilchanges right after the break-in dino was drained..

there are a lot of early 80's diesels still alive and kicking and I see plenty of them on ebay in the 2-3000 range ...
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  #10  
Old 06-03-2003, 08:36 PM
Larry Delor's Avatar
What, Me Worry?
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Sarasota, Fl.
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Eventhough neither one of the 126 nor the 124 that I own are sixes, I want to add my two cents.

The two are totally different. The 126 is big....very big. 17 feet of big. It will handle big....at least compared to the 124. To me the 124 is nice and nimble. The 124 has less body roll.

I would think about what kind of driving you plan on doing. Lots of turning? Are you going to be parking in narrow parking slots? Do you like to have alot of room in the engine compartment to work on it? And, how much support do you want in the seats? The 124 seats hold you in place much better than the 126 seats do.

For cruising down the highway in an unhurried fashion, the 126 is great. If you're in a hurry, and plan to zip around town, and possibly on the highway, then the 124 would be better suited.

Another way to look at it....is their personality. They are distinct.
One is relaxed, unhurried, yet still makes its presence known, and has a unique air about it. The other is more down to earth, a little less pompous, and would rather roll up its sleeves to compare tattoos than ask for some grey poupon.

-Larry
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  #11  
Old 06-07-2003, 02:26 PM
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UPDATE!!! Well, the quest continues. I drove the 300SE for two days. This car lived in New York City for most of it's life and it shows. I had one of my detail guys give the trunk lid a quick going over and it cleaned up pretty good. I gave the car a thorough look over and everything was working, although it had an after-market radio. I got suspicious though when I smelled something strange in the trunk. A quick trip to the wash bay revealed a water leak. I didn't even bother tracking it down, though. When I inspected a little closer I found MOLD!!!. Forget it. It'll probably be sold to a wholesaler and wind up on a used car lot. The 1994 E320 is on my lift at work right now. I've been working on this car for several years so I know the car. This car has been garaged since day one. It's exceptionally clean and has had all scheduled service on time, as well as several oil changes in between. It also has ASR and heated seats. Hey suginami, I love that steering wheel! If the current owner goes through with buying a new E320, this car is mine. I should know for sure in a few days. Thanks for the comments guys. WISH ME LUCK!!!
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  #12  
Old 06-07-2003, 07:22 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
Good. Get the E320.

As for the steering wheel, this is the same OEM steering wheel that is sold at the dealer for about $1,200.

This same exact wheel is sold by ************************ for $599.

However, it can be purchased from Germany for about $400. The company has a website, and many of us have happily ordered from them. If you are serious about getting the steering wheel, I can supply you with the details.

I have also ordered the stainless steel illuminated sill plates and an S600 style grill, all from Germany, for significantly less than any company in the U.S. that sells the same item.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
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  #13  
Old 06-08-2003, 04:11 PM
Mr. BILL's Avatar
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I think you'll be happier with the 124. I've had both, with the M103 six and I prefer the 124. In fact, I just got home from a road trip to Colorado. Yesterday I drove 900 miles with only three stops for gas and food.

IMO, the 124 rides better than my 126 did. It is quieter and smoother. It's nearly as big inside and the trunk holds just as much if not more than a 126 and it's much easier to lift stuff in and out.

I was surprised at how much better the 124 felt on the road. I guess it's because the engineering is about 5-6 years newer in the 124. I also got between 27-28 mpg on the highway. The 126 never got more than 22-23.
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  #14  
Old 06-08-2003, 11:44 PM
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Mr Bill

What speeds did you typically drive at to get 27-28 mpg on the highway?

Haasman
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  #15  
Old 06-09-2003, 10:29 AM
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70-80 mph
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91 300E 120K
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85 300D 175K (sold)
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