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  #16  
Old 04-03-2004, 02:57 PM
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Seems like you know what you're getting into. Maintenance wise, I'd say it'll be not unlike keeping your SDL on the road... not the simplest machine in the world, but very robust.
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1988 300 SL (5 Speed)
1994 E320 Wagon
1997 C230
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  #17  
Old 04-03-2004, 08:15 PM
WANT '71 280SEL's Avatar
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If you would tolerate a sedan...My uncle wants to sell his '94 E320. I think it has 130,000 miles. Or somehwere around that. He just had it professionally detailed.
Thanks
David
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  #18  
Old 04-04-2004, 09:42 AM
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David, we've got to have a wagon with all the traveling we do with the kids but thanks anyway!!

If this newer w124 chassis is even close to the quality of our 300SDL I'll be happy! There are always "bugs" you have to fix with these cars, but I am amazed how a seventeen year old car drives like a two year old car!
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  #19  
Old 04-04-2004, 02:48 PM
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BJ,

If you got a lot of travelling to do then the MB wagon model you mentioned is not the right car for you, unless you plan to stay overnight in between travels to have it fixed at shops.
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2004 BMW 325 xiT Wagon 40miles
1999 BMW 528i
1995 e320GTO Wagon 137K
GTO means Grocery Transport Only
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  #20  
Old 04-05-2004, 12:11 AM
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Bluerhino sounds like you've had some bad experiences with the W124 chassis before.
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  #21  
Old 04-05-2004, 12:59 AM
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BJ,

It's not only me but significant numbers of members here, as can be gleaned from their advice to you, experienced major problems with the model you mentioned. Basically, it is not a practical car to own unless you plan to use it on occasional basis such as going to the grocery or doing shopping. To use it for long distance or on a regular basis is not recommended, unless, as mentioned, you're a mechanic or has a lot of money to burn.
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2004 BMW 325 xiT Wagon 40miles
1999 BMW 528i
1995 e320GTO Wagon 137K
GTO means Grocery Transport Only
I LOVE MERCEDES BUT I PREFER HAVING SEX WITH BMW.
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  #22  
Old 04-05-2004, 01:29 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Carlsbad, CA USA
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We rely on a '95 E320 wagon as our primary family/commuter car. I bought it 3 years ago with 67K miles...it has 127K now! It's been absolutely great! We've suffered common W124 issues...wiring harness and very soon will need a new head gasket. Also replaced the water pump and air (smog) pump and just recently it needed new front wheel bearings. Maybe it's me, but these seems like "expeceted" items given the mileage.

This car makes the daily (20 miles one way) commutes in bumper to bumper traffic easy to deal with. It's taken us to Las Vegas, Carmel, Fresno and lots of places in between with no trouble and I wouldn't hesitate to take any long trip with it. I've upgraded the suspension with E500 bits and 17" wheels to improve handling without sacrificing ride quality.

It has plenty of power for family use (ok, yes it does feel underpowered after driving the E500) and returns acceptable fuel economy given the way we drive it.

If I were looking for another wagon, I'd easily choose a W124 over a W210 or even a W211. I'm old school and W124 wagon just looks better to me.
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  #23  
Old 04-05-2004, 10:29 AM
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Please don't let bluerhino influence your decision to buy a 94-95 E320 Wagon. Sure there are some known problems (head gasket, wiring harness) with these cars, but what cars don't have some flaws if you dig deep enough. If you're purchasing the car for the longterm and you shop for one with a service history, plus have a PPI done you should be fine. It will serve as a daily driver very adequately too.
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  #24  
Old 04-05-2004, 11:18 AM
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Love mine and would drive it anywhere. It's a 95 with 95K, and the wheels are off a 97 E420.
Attached Thumbnails
Wanting to purchase a 94-95 E320 wagon..........-e320te.jpg  
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  #25  
Old 04-05-2004, 11:47 AM
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These ARE good cars BUT>

Consider that within the first 100,000 miles you may need head gasket ($1200), wiring harness ($800 or so - forget any good will from Mercedes unless you are the original owner and a very good customer), throttle actuator ($1500, apparently also because of the bad wiring harness), timing chain cover seal ($900), automatic load levelling system (varies) and the biggest shocker of all, the evaporator box on the a/c ($2500). These major items are on top of already high maintenance costs and the usual repair suspects such as water pumps, belt tensioners, suspension components, cruise control amplifier, and hopefully not the computer if you took care of the wiring harness in time. This is not normal - most of the major items are the result of defective design. It is not a good shade tree mechanic car either, since info is very hard to come by - the cd that others mention is very hard to navigate and find the info you need, and often is incomplete. My other car is a 1987 Saab 900turbo. Not known to be the most reliable car in the world, but EASY to work on due to several manuals readily available (Chilton's, Bentley) and (fortunately) a good web site like this one (SAABNET). Good luck - doesn't sound like I love the car but I do - but it is expensive.
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  #26  
Old 04-05-2004, 01:48 PM
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If you paid $900 for a timing cover seal, then I got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

$900 will almost pay for a head gasket replacment plus timing chain cover seal.

Engine wiring harnesses cost about $450. You can do it yourself, or pay an independent 2-3 hours of shop labor.

The automatic load leveling system is not problematic. It is the same one used on 560 SEL's and 500E / E500's. The replacement items are usually the nitrogen cells, and they are not too expensive.

The a/c evaporators were problematic on the earlier models. They do go out on the later models, but not nearly as frequently. It is 16.5 hours of shop labor to replace one, so you do the math. $2,500 is way on the high side.
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  #27  
Old 04-05-2004, 09:31 PM
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You know I drove past the ford dealer today and they have left over 03' Sables on the lot for 10,988. But to me I'd rather get a well maintained used MB and fix it up.

Because in the end that MB is a H@#$ of alot nicer car at 10 years of age the that Sable is right off the lot.

And another thing who expects to own a 10 year old car and have no maintenance? Lets see ya buy that Ford well see what kind shape it is in in 10 years and 125k. I'll bet it won't hold a candle to that Benz. look at that wagon that PJG56 owns, that car looks like it is an 03' model!!

Another thing, if someone doesn't trust their car to do anything but get groceries you've either got a lemmon or a mechanic that can't fix meal let alone a car.
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  #28  
Old 04-06-2004, 01:43 AM
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It's good that pros and cons are discussed in this forum. But no matter how you look at it, the fact remains that the subject model, in comparison to other cars in its class or even those under its class has serious problems. Can you imagine a 57,000 dollar car with a leak problem, that's the model you're interested in. To this date, MB would not even admit that the problem exist, hence, left to us- consumers to bleed. The wiring harness problem alone considering the safety issues involved, is being handled on a case to case basis, and so on and so forth. Anyway, its your call but please read all the comments in this forum about the model you're interested in and decide for yourself if it is really the car for your family. You will be surprised about the agony that the owners have gone through.
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2004 BMW 325 xiT Wagon 40miles
1999 BMW 528i
1995 e320GTO Wagon 137K
GTO means Grocery Transport Only
I LOVE MERCEDES BUT I PREFER HAVING SEX WITH BMW.
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  #29  
Old 04-06-2004, 12:27 PM
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Suginami is correct about the Timing Cover

I checked my records and only $566 was the timing cover seal, parts and labor. The other $350 was other repairs. And $2500 is probably on the high side for the evaporator - but it is certainly $1500+ even at a labor rate of only $65 per hour, with parts. I have seen references on this board to people paying $2500 for that repair, however. Remember, I think this is a wonderful car, with wonderful repair bills to get through. Mercedes' reputation for high quality began to go downhill with this car, and it is still dropping like a stone. That makes it a great hobbyist's car, but not so fine as a primary means of transportation for my wife and family. I certainly use it for alot more than getting the groceries, however. Do I sound of two minds about this car? YES!
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  #30  
Old 04-06-2004, 12:52 PM
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Well, this discussion is certainly going downhill.

For comparison purposes, how much does it cost to keep a 1994 Toyota on the road, in excellent condition, with functioning a/c and other goodies? I wish I knew. But I don't know _anyone_ who drives a Toyota that old. Shoot, I don't know anyone driving a Toyota or Honda older than about model year 2000. So I cannot compare the cost of maintaining the Mercedes against anything of equivalent age/miles.

I find the argument that a 124 is too expensive and too unreliable specious at best. There's nothing to compare it too. My newest car is five years older than the oldest thing for which Consumer Reports collects its fabled red and black dots. There's simply no data. How much should it cost to maintain and repair a 10 year old car?

We've had discussions on this board about the cost of maintaining an LS400 or Q45 of similar vintage, and it's not inexpensive.

- JimY
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