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  #1  
Old 09-10-2003, 09:06 PM
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Question Buying a '87 190E 2.3

I need to buy a car for commuting to and from work (losing the company vehicle), and I've found a '87 190E 2.3 for around $3900 with 140K mls, looks pretty good but haven't taken a close look or driven it yet and want some input from you all on what to look out for with this model, and what is a decent price for this car...etc. Little help here... Thanks
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2003, 09:53 PM
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I love my 190E 2.6, but I don't drive it everyday. Mercs are great cars, but they have a number of complex systems that can be expensive to repair.

Consider that a Toyota Camry you could get for aboutthe same price would be half the age with half the miles.

There are some on this board who got good deals on late eighties vintage Mercs, but some put nearly the purchase price into them in the first couple of years.

If you're looking for something to drive to work an older Merc is probably not a best choice. A more plebian car would be much more practical and likely be a lot cheaper to operate as a daily driver.

An '87 190E can be insured as a collector car since it's over 15 years old, and you can just drive it on the weekends.

Duke
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2003, 10:01 PM
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Thanks for the reply, but I'm not really concerned about having a "bulletproof" car (or a toyota, honda, etc,... BOORRIING!), I need a car for commuting, nothing great but something kinda fun, want some specifics on what to look for on a 190E 2.3, I've always done my own maintenance, everything from Rambler's to Ferrari's, not too afraid of an '80's vintage Benz.
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  #4  
Old 09-10-2003, 10:41 PM
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The 2.3L 8V M102 engine will not propel the 190E with much gusto, but the little mill is tough as nails. Auto boxes are on borrowed time after 150K-miles, but can last longer given good maintenance.

The main conern $$ wise on those older 190E cars is the cost of some common problems, including AC repairs and electrical problems.

Also, by this age and mileage, axles might become a problem, but used ones are not expensive.

I was in sales long ago, and bought several 190E 2.3 cars with lower mileages as they are decent on gas, easy to look after, and drove better than a Japanese washing-machine-car. I sold my last 1987 2.3 with 400,000km's on the odo (about 250K-miles) and hadn't done much to it. The next owner put some work into it, and is still driving it.
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  #5  
Old 09-11-2003, 05:37 PM
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I just purchased a 1990 2.6 190E, although it is not luxurious as some other mbs, I am pleased. For me it is a good blend of luxury, sporty-ness, as well as being economical. The 2.3L version I've heard is underpowered, but I can't say I've ever driven one, so I have no first hand knowledge. Like mentioned above, as long as the car has been well maintained, 140k miles shouldn't be a problem. You'll find 190s are fairly common, and replacement parts are relatively easy to find (If you use internet resources)

$4000 sounds like a decent price, if the car were to be in good shape mechanically and asthetically. You might want to visit www.190revolution.net which is a message board for 190 owners for more information.
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  #6  
Old 09-15-2003, 01:15 AM
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Unhappy 1987 190E 2.3 BENZ

Tifosi,
I had this exact model baby Benz for three years. At 89,000 miles, it needed the following repairs: Climate control module, blower fan, rear axle bearings, head gasket, aux. water pump, belt tensioner, belt tensioner shock, ignition switch, cruise control module, both rear power window regulators, front transmission seal, parking brake cables, hood release cable, all four struts, and much more. I paid more for service over three years than the car was worth. After all that, it still burned oil (about 1 Qt every 2000 miles), was underpowered and was in need of further repairs. I would not recommend this as a reliable vehicle purchase.

William
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  #7  
Old 09-15-2003, 03:44 AM
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TIFOSI

I have done a lot of work on our 190E, but it has 218k miles on it. I bought it for $1k from a wrecking yard. I looked very closely at the car. It needed a lot of work. A lot. But the basic structure (paint and body, major mechanicals were all good).

By fare the worse job in my opinion is the replacement of a leaking heater core or a shifter bushing. The heater core requires the whole dash has to come out. Not too technically challenging but takes a big block of time. The shifter bushing is extremely hard to get to. There are some tricks but a remarkable pain until you figure out an easy way.

Like any car make, there is a "repair culture" and with the 190, once understood, servicing isn't really too bad. I can take a rear door panel off now in 5 minutes.

I have been really enjoying the 2.3 litre engine. Yes only four cylinders but it has 130 hp. Once warm it can be driven quite hard and seems to be very reliable. Its body strength is impressive and I have come to really enjoy its handling. Great to drive aggressively finding myself very accurately placing the car in turns.

Regarding the trans, it starts in 2nd which really ends up not being a big deal once used to it. If you ever need 1st you just mash the gas pedal and it takes off.

Try to find one that has a great documented service history. It is definitely worth the search. The difference between a well taken care of 190 and one that was so so is significant.

I would buy another 190E 2.3 in a minute. I am impressed by this car and its overall durability.

Haasman
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  #8  
Old 09-15-2003, 05:58 AM
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I bought an 87 190E with 135k miles and did a further 50k as an everyday driver. This was a euro 2.0. I found it had quite respectable performance and reasonable fuel consumption.

I kept on top of the routine maintenance and it only let me down once on the road when the alternator died (only 800 yards from home!)

You can buy an unreliable MB, just like you can buy an unreliable Honda, Toyota, Ford. But reliable ones are out there, too. I think that they are less forgiving of poor maintenance than your average Japanese car, but much more rewarding to drive. If the previous owner has not kept up with the maintenance, you can end up with a backlog of small jobs that add up to a pile of cash.
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  #9  
Old 09-15-2003, 01:43 PM
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While we're discussing the 190's. I've got a 86 190E 2.3 that I've been trying to sell but due to the fact that it's front fender was hit which i've bought the replacement for but never took it to the body shop is sitting as is. Obviously those who want to buy it to put on road right away won't be attracted.
My question is. what should I do ? I really dont want to put anymore money in that car since I drive the other ones now. Should i sell the parts ? But for that I don't have the time to take the parts apart that would be requested..
any sites ? or any companies who would buy cars like these, besides the junkyard ! they wouldn't pay what I'm looking for..
It has a rebuilt eng with about 500 miles so I'm thnking perhaps existing owners who are looking for engine replacement would be interested.
I'm not selling the car here on this post. just wanted to find if there are any websites where I can get that sort of info or if someone could help me figure out how to get rid of this car for decent money.
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  #10  
Old 09-15-2003, 04:38 PM
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Benz300

That is a hard question to answer with so little data. The rebuilt engine sounds good, the fender not so good .... but how about pictures or some sort of acccurate description of the car. You know, miles, condition, location, records, rust, paint etc ....

Haasman
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  #11  
Old 09-15-2003, 05:14 PM
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Well let's see. it's gold with beige interior, on the clock it ha 145K miles. but then again the engine was rebuilt 500 miles before it hit the side pole. the bent fender was replaced but then i lost the enthusiasm to put the front grill/bumper back on the car. so it's just been sittling like that with all the parts on the drive way. I had the engine rebuilt for $3500. so I wanted to know if there are any websites where a 2.3 engine could atleast be sold. because I know I can't get much for the car itself...
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