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BJ300SDL 03-31-2004 08:59 PM

Wanting to purchase a 94-95 E320 wagon..........
We want to purchase a 93-95 e320 wagon for our family.

Do these cars have any weak points I should be looking for?

I see alot of them for sale on Ebay between 100-150k miles.

How long will these cars last before the engine or transmission call it quits?

Is ebay an option if it is from a person with excellent feedback?

Thanks for looking Barry!!

A. Rosich 03-31-2004 10:21 PM

Do a search on the M104 engine and W124 type and you should find all the information required on this model.

Be sure the A/C is working properly and there are no problems with the evaporator.

Also check the condition of the rear self-levelling suspension. There should be no leaks at all and the car should ride smoothly.

Even though the S124 (W124T station wagon) has slighter more headroom, bigger brakes, and better weight distribution (almost 50/50) than the sedan, you should be aware that the wagon is noiser on the road.

Be sure to find an example with a full service history.

ChipJ 03-31-2004 11:41 PM

I have owned three of them >
[list=1][*]Stay away from a 4Matic - it will be nothing but trouble (just in case you are tempted like I was by an older wagon)[*]Try to make sure the head gasket has been done recently since they fail every 50-100k miles[*]Wiring harness - if it has not been replaced figure $600 for a new one[*]Oil leaks - aside from the poor head gasket design that leaks oil in back, the timing cover seal leaks in the front[*]Service History - you will be incredibly lucky to find the car you want with one. Most Americans don't bother.[/list=1]
I love the design of the car - it is just the right size and rides like a dream, but it costs like a nightmare. Plan on $2000 a year in repairs and maintenance. Some years a lot more!

TROVERMAN 04-01-2004 11:46 AM

I have just recently bought a 1995 E320 wagon, Euro model, 39k on it. Very nice car and you should be able to expect very high mileage out of particulary the engine but the transmission as well. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 300-400 thousand miles, given basic maintenance is observed. Really a nice car to drive and easy to work on if you do it yourself. The engine is strong, especially in the upper rev ranges. The monowiper is streaky, if you can live with that.

suginami 04-01-2004 04:12 PM

The original head gaskets were bad, but the latest design doesn't leak. They have metal inserts that prevent the head gasket from slipping.

The wiring harness can be purchased for around $450.

Michael K 04-01-2004 04:23 PM

In no particular order in addition to above:

-seals around the two tailgate windows, make sure not leaking and no corrosion inside or out
-climate control filter, make sure it's clean (and not the original one) or look to replace the climate control fan
-climate control fan, make sure it does not squeak while running on auto for long periods of time
-radiator neck thing not the original plastic
-runs at the right temperature
-transmission shifts smoothly from park to drive, etc
-breaks smooth, i.e... rotors not warped and calipers good
-cruise control functions perfectly, what's the name of that $1,000 part that controls this?
-back wiper and squirter, check back squirter reservoir not leaking
-all idiot lights light up (and then go out properly), same for interior lights, especially the four in the tailgate
-bouncing speedometer
-tailgate close-assist works
-struts that push up and hold the tailgate
-If you want the cargo cover/partition net, make sure the car comes with it
-all seats (front, middle, and tailgate) fold up and down properly, there's a section in the owners manual that shows you.
-three headrests across the back that all come out the way they should
-all the speakers working

Fantastic wagon. So smart and easy to drive. GREAT kid vehicle. My wife and I love ours.

ED C. 04-01-2004 04:43 PM

Make sure these have been done at a minimum. Stay away from the 4matic.

Head Gasket - $1200-1500
A/C Evaporator - $2000
Wiring Harness - DIY $400-500 for part

This is THE wagon. Drives much better than Volvo/BMW etc. My wife loves ours.

There was a very nice 95 in Atlanta at a dealer with all of the above taken care of for 15K last month. It was on trader online.

Ed C.

TROVERMAN 04-01-2004 04:54 PM

Consider This...
Head Gasket done by MB specialist: $900

Wiring Harness: Obtain from MB for free (with some pushing)
Install for free (relatively easy to do yourself)

Great car...but my 960 Volvo does, in fact, handle better
The Mercedes will dust it in a speed contest
The Mercedes has a far superior ride
The Mercedes gets excellent MPG

suginami 04-01-2004 05:17 PM


Originally posted by Michael Kerley
-cruise control functions perfectly, what's the name of that $1,000 part that controls this?

The cruise control function is part of the throttle actuator (also called the ISC / CC / EA module) which controls three functions: Idle speed control, cruise control, and electronic accelerator.

The cruise control is also part of the break light circuit. It is $15.00 and for some change reason can interrupt cruise control function.

My head gasket was done by an extremely well-regarded Mercedes specialist in So. Cal, and I paid $1,400, but that included getting the head honed and installing new valve guides and seals, which many consider unnecessary on an M104 engine.

Michael K 04-02-2004 11:53 AM

One thing to add. The 124 wagon, while an excellent family hauler, is not the roomiest car, width wise. I'd load up your family as a test and make sure they all fit comfortably. I've found it works great for skinny families and not so well for larger folks.

Great vehicle. Good luck,

BJ300SDL 04-02-2004 07:37 PM

Thanks Michael! Thats good advice. We already got the kids in and everyone likes it.

dtf 04-02-2004 09:52 PM

I can't think of anything that hasn't already been mentioned pro or con about the W124 wagon. I'll never give mine up. 216,750 miles and counting. Oh yes, the fan clutch bearing goes south at about 200,000 miles. I've had to replace a ball joint, not trivial on a '94-'95, a couple of steering shocks and an idler arm. If they fail every 200,000, like the original ones, I win.

Michael K 04-03-2004 01:19 AM

So milage is actually not bad. Cruise controll set on 65 is 32 mpg. Increas speed and milage starts going down (it's a beautiful wagon but not the most aerodynamic, be sure to take off the roof rack cross bars if you're not using them). The M104 is a real performer. Given enough pedal, it will really fly. A heavy foot in town, in traffic milage tips to the high teens. Normal surburban driving is like 24 mpg. Rev the engine to 3,000 and see if you like how it sounds.

Michael K 04-03-2004 01:36 AM

Also, it likes expensive tires that are well set up and and permium fuel. Unless it's been done, expect minor suspension parts like sway bar bushings, steering shock, etc.

bluerhino 04-03-2004 07:02 AM

Please consider seriously the abovementioned inputs on the MB wagon you are planning to buy. I own one but would not recommend it to anyone one unless he or she is a mechanic. Read all the potential problems and maintenance expenses you are about to encounter's a massive problem for a non mechanic guy. The appearance is impressive but the mechanicals...quite depressing. I love its handling and safety features but I will not use it for long distance driving, only for grocery transport.

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