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Old 03-02-2004, 12:15 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 93
Replacing 88 TE with another wagon

My better half wants a new (to us) vehicle. She has been driving our 88TE for 6 years now. She insists on a wagon so I have narrowed it down to either a 95 124 or a 97-99 210 wagon. Any opinions pro or con on both models?

I am leaning towards a 124 with the "bugs" worked out, i.e. head gasket, a/c evap. & wiring harness. How does maint. on the 104 compare to the 103? Is there a timing chain issue with the 104 (other than guide & rails)?

The TE has 180k on it and is in need of a few repairs (struts, rear exhaust, window regulator) which I am in process on. Her biggest complaint is the leather seats (why no TEX in 88 MB?) which have cracked despite many treatments of leatherique.

Frankly I would stick with my known entity but the pressure is building.

The prices I have seen for a 95 range from 8k to 16k with anywhere from 80k to 150k miles. Anyone out there know of a good 95 in the south east let me know. Also if you are in the market for a well maintained 88 TE Burgundy/burgundy let me know.

All opinions are appreciated .

Ed C.

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Old 03-02-2004, 02:35 PM
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 2,633
Personally, I like the W124 wagon's styling over the W210 wagon.

I'd go for a 94-95 W124 wagon over a W210 wagon with the V6.

:-) neil
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:13 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
No Tex in an 88 TE? What's mine then? It sure ain't leather!

Sorry to hear about the push -- there's nothing wrong with that car (and that's how I got mine, although it was the husband rather than the wife -- too many repairs).

The 104 is a NICE engine -- more grunt and better milage.

1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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Old 03-02-2004, 05:10 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,527
I looked into replacing my 87 wagon with a 94/95 about one year ago. Ended up keeping the 87 because I could not find a clean, low mileage late model 124 with which to replace it. It's tough to find a wagon that hasn't been run hard and put up wet...

I'll toss in a vote for the 210 wagon; I actually prefer the 210 chassis over the 124. I like the size a little bit better - not quite so tight around the shoulders - and I prefer the ride/handling tradeoff. If anything, the M113/722.6 drivetrain in the 210 is proving to be more reliable than the m104/722.3 in the 124 wagon. Only the harmonic balancer is troublesome, and that's a relatively inexpensive and easy fix, vs. head gaskets and wiring harnesses.

It will probably be difficult to find either car with MB-Tex interior; they seemed to be moving upmarket from the introduction of the 124 line.

BTW, there is no 97 wagon. The first year for the 210 wagon was 1998.

From an economic standpoint you are clearly better off keeping the current car. It sounds to be clean, reliable, and has had most of the gremlins addressed. Even a nice 1995 wagon could have significantly more issues than your current car - that's what I found when looking, anyways. The last of the 124 line is getting to the point where common age related repairs are required - suspension accumulators, hatch struts, etc. If these have been addressed on your 1988 wagon, then you may be selling someone a nicely fixed up car while taking on a new project.

Of course, just try to convince SWMBO of the merits of the above argument!

- JimY
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Old 03-02-2004, 05:11 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NH
Posts: 355
Here it is--I own a 1995 E320 (m104) Wagon, and have a good friend with a 2001 E320 4MATIC wagon (210) It now has 51,000 miles, purchased with 39k on it. It has MB-TEX, no wearing on the seats. Overall, it seems to be a quality car. Like the post above said, the m104 engine is very nice, with good (well very good) power and 26mpg on the highway. It is 3.2 liters, 24 valves, twin cams, aluminum, and about 220hp. Runs great. BUT-it has a leaking headgasket, and I guess this issue was not sorted out until 1996, when of course you couldn't get a wagon. No problems with the a/c, but a vacuum problem with the climate control. Driver's window reg currently broken. The sunroof operates silently, but just recently sticks a little before opening. The 210 wagon has the 3.2 V6, 3 valves per cylinder, 222 hp, but from what i gather from the friend it is smooth as silk and has a great powerband coupled with the 5-speed auto vs the 4-speed auto of the w124. I know that with mine it is a little sluggish off the line due to tall gears, whereas the 210 is quick. However, once above 3500 RPM, the m104 pulls like a bear. It has a very long life expectancy, too, more so than the V6. If you are concerned about luxury, most 210 wagons have leather, digital climate control, some digital guages (newer ones) and a better stereo, a glass moonroof, more automatic features, etc. By the way, wagons stopped in 1995 and resumed in 1998.

In my final opinion, the 124 is the best choice. It is much more similar to what you have now, and is a nice highway cruiser. I actually like the styling of the 124 better than the 210. It should in the long run be more reliable, and is more user friendly. However, don't get me wrong, the 210 is a darn nice car too.
2002 Mercedes-Benz E320 4Matic
1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Wagon
2005 Land Rover LR3 V8 SE
1999 Audi A8 4.2L quattro
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Old 03-02-2004, 05:40 PM
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 2,633
From my techs in the trenches both independent and at the dealer, either get the 94-95 wagon or the last 2-year run of the W210 wagon.

The early year W210 wagons had issues with the powertrain and electronics. The W210's tranny aren't that robust.

Stay away from the new E-wagon. Too many electrical gremlins to sort out right now.

:-) neil

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