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Old 09-21-2000, 08:50 PM
Alex Kouliy
Posts: n/a
I'm looking at an 86 2.3-16, 5-speed manual with approx. 85,000 miles and all records. asking price is $9,000US OBO. Before I get too excited I would appreciate some info on that particular model. I know very litte about it and a fair bit about the 300E. How does it compare to a 300E of the same vintage and mileage in terms of value, exclusivity, performance and reliability. Are there any particlular trouble areas (Cosworth head, self-levelling suspension, other...)? What should I be concerned about before signing on the dotted line?
87 260E
75 FIAT 124 Spider
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Old 09-22-2000, 08:32 AM
Glen's Avatar enthusiast
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Carlsbad, CA USA
Posts: 1,187
I happen to own both an '86 300E with a 5-speed manual and an '87 190E 16V also with 5-speed. All the magazine reviews I've read about these cars suggests that acceleration is similar. This may be true, however, the feel and character of the two cars is completely different. Where the 16V is quick and agile, the 300E is smooth and comfortable. The 300E chassis is more refined and offers more room. Both are very satisfying cars to drive in their own way. I suggest you drive the 16V (preferably through your regular commute) and see if you like it.
The 16V requires a little more maintenance with solid valve lifters needing inspection/adjusting every 15K miles. The self-levelling rear suspension needs regular fluid changes and the nitrogen cells will probably need replacing every 100K miles or so. Other than that, maintenance on the two cars are similar. Both share common weak spots typical of many MB models from their era: acc (a/c) failure, cruise control maladies, window switch gear, radiator inlet necks, and antenna masts.

Good luck,

Glen Tokuhara
'86 300E (5-speed)
'87 190E 2.3-16 (5-speed)
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Old 09-22-2000, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
One thing for sure is that since the 16V was very limited (only 1000) in this country, you will pay more for repairs. Also many shops don't have needed equiptment(& knowledge) to do proper repairs.
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