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Old 10-14-2003, 12:25 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17
95 vs. 96 S500 coupe

I test drove a few s500 coupes over the last three months, and finally found one that is imaculate. A 95 with 41000 miles (black/black), I'm picking it up tonight. When I buy a car I spend at least two hours going through all the features of the car, everything is working (a/c and power assist are fine).

I remember driving 94 s500 coupe and it had a few differences from this 95. Like the dashboard is different in 95, ASR is turned on differently, lower cushion of the seat has two controls instead of one, and a few other things.

I'm wondering what was new with a 96 model. Are engine and transmission the same as in 95? What about interior, was anything new added?

I also want to ask a question about rims, but I'm going to do that in the Wheels section of the forum.

Thanks guys. I'm glad to join the benz family.
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Old 10-14-2003, 07:51 PM
KenP's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Southern New Hampshire
Posts: 418
Congrats on your purchase... welcome to the forum..!
I have a '96 S500 Coupe. Nice cars, eh?
Differences I know about are:
1. Different engine (at least by MB number). '96 is all electronic engine controls... no rotors, caps, etc. Each of my plugs has a separate coil on its top. Engine controls all electonic; system has ODBII for diagnostics, etc.
2. Different transmission. '96 has the 722.6 electronic trans. Starts off in first gear instead of second, etc.
3. Climate Control head is different. All digital.
4. Radio is different, although same functionally. They modified the face a bit to match the climate control.
5. Think the '95 has the same offset wheels front and back. My '96 has 51mm offset wheels in the front and 34mm wheels in the back.
I'm sure there's more, but that's what comes to mind ...
I've got the MB S Class "Introduction Book" for 1996... its about 30 pages thick, so there are significant changes...
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Old 10-14-2003, 08:19 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 18,745
722.6 is also a five-speed.

95 S420
91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD
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Old 10-15-2003, 06:02 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 150
Originally posted by KenP
5. Think the '95 has the same offset wheels front and back. My '96 has 51mm offset wheels in the front and 34mm wheels in the back.KenP

has it??? I have a 96/97 (december 96) and have recently swapped the back left for the front right. Didnt notice any difference in the wheels....
C140 420 CL
W114 280CE pimpmobile
W114 250/8 Hillclimber with M110 and bike carbs - got any hot cams?
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Old 10-15-2003, 12:46 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Southern New Hampshire
Posts: 418
Owners manual discusses both configurations on my '96... different front/back or same front/back. My spare is a 51 mm offset (front) wheel and the tool kit has an extra set of lug bolts in case it has to be put on the rear. (yup, front and rear bolts are different too) If your lug bolts were the same front/back, you don't have the different offset.
Local dealership told me that wheel offset change was done in the '96 model year Coupe for handling purposes but was abandoned later in the model year because of problems when folks rotated their tires... it was more trouble than it was worth.
If you do the measurements, you'll see that all they did was equal out the track width front and back... with the same offset front and back, your Coupe has a narrower track width on the rear than on the front.
Sure seemed like a lot of trouble for little/no gain... but, it was a difference between the '95 and '96 models...
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