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Old 09-26-2000, 11:18 PM
Posts: n/a
Hi guys.. im lookin to buy a 16v.. and found a couple in Southern Cal.. but i was wondering how i can make sure i get a US Spec car.. cuz i dont want to deal with greymarkets anymore due to my past experence with a 500SEL.. Can i tell by the VIN?

and also what should i be looking for.. is thier anything that i should check on when buying a 16v.. im not shure but i though that people need to replace the timing chain? any aid will help.. thanx
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Old 09-27-2000, 12:22 PM
Posts: n/a
Do a search through the forum here. There was a guy not too long ago in Walnut Creek CA who was trying to sell a 16V that sounded sweeeeet.
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Old 09-27-2000, 12:42 PM
mitchell huang
Posts: n/a
Gald that you are thinking about a 16v as your next purchase. I have a American version and I love the car. Anyway, the easiest way is to check the climate control. US version have push button while the Euro have the dial style climate control. Lots of little differences between the US and Euro, and the climate control is one of the best way to spot the difference.
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Old 09-27-2000, 05:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
The serial number is the best place to look!!
All US 16V start out WDBDA34, & euro cars start WDB201034.
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Old 09-27-2000, 07:37 PM
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hey guys i just called someone down here about a black 16v with 95K.. this guy is the 2nd owner.. and he clames its the Euro version.. so i was wondering? is buying another greymarket car worth the risk? will i have trouble with Emissions.. ? and with 95K is their anything that needs to be serviced?
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Old 09-27-2000, 08:55 PM
Posts: n/a
Well, I have a 85 euro 16V which is a grey market car. In california, the easiest way to tell is it a grey market car by the title. Usually the title or the registration will have NON-USA on it. I bought my 16V, less than a year ago. I am very pleased with the performance. However, I have spend about 1K on the car. Doing some maintanience and repairs, but I think is completely worth it. My only major problem is the A/C, the compressor is frozen. Many MB tech want at least 1 grand to fix it but I am trying to get fix for cheaper. I really think the EURO version looks better and rides better than the US version. Well, maybe I have one, hehe.
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Old 09-28-2000, 04:48 PM
Posts: n/a

I am the guy in Walnut Creek,CA who is selling my 16V.
Mine is grey market with 56K original miles. Absolutely no rust, no accident, beautiful original paint, and very good interior.
E-mail me if you are interested at It is in the San Francisco Chronicle at this time and I have had 20+ phone calls on it, as well as 1 offer.
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Old 09-28-2000, 05:11 PM
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i called he same guy that has the Euro.. and he clamed the car made around 225 HP.. after asking why he said " its horsepower is higher than a stock. The differential was changed in order to make the car rev at a lower rpm." .. are there any adverse affects of this possible problems in the future? do i have to worry abou this because it has 95K on it?..
thanks for all the help
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Old 09-28-2000, 05:41 PM
Posts: n/a
AKALMANS - your asking price?
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Old 09-29-2000, 06:44 PM
Posts: n/a
Currently, I am taking best offer over $10K - I already have an offer for $12.5K, if the guy does not flake out on me.

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Old 09-29-2000, 08:01 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Near Williamsburg, Virginia
Posts: 359
I have a grey-market 2.3-16. How to tell it apart from the US model? It has 10% more horsepower and weighs 350 lbs less (it is fast ). My seat centers are cloth with leather trim (it holds you in place ) and the headlight height is adjustable as you drive .

Robby Ackerman
Candidate Mid-Atlantic Regional Director
Past President
Virginia Section MBCA
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Old 09-30-2000, 02:07 AM
Posts: n/a
Any Ideas on the Differental Mod?.. I.E. My last post?
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Old 10-01-2000, 02:20 AM
Senior Canadian Member
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 827

Depending on what gear ratio was installed, you shouldn't have any serious adverse effects.

European 16V's came with a 3.07:1 ring & pinion while the NA versions have a 3.27:1. this just means that the Euro versions have a higher top speend than the NA's. Don't forget, the Euros had 185 bhp. 17 hp more than the NA versions so they could deal with the higher (numerically lower) gearing.

If you're really concerned about what effects the gear change may have, find out what ratio was installed. You'll probably find that this particular car won't be great off the line and may not accelerate as well as stock 16V's (which weren't the best for acceleration anyways) due to the taller gearing, but fuel efficiency (especially on the highway) will be somewhat better.


Yen-Hsen Liem
'93 500E black pearl/black leather; 89,000km; 245/45-ZR17 Michelin Pilot SX; 17x8.25 factory EvoII
'93 500E bornit(blackberry)/black leather; 69,000km; european delivery; 245/45-ZR17 Michelin Pilot SX; 17x8.25 factory EvoII
'88 560SL desert taupe/dark brown leather; 89,000km; Euro headlights
'87 190E 2.3-16 black pearl/black leather; 55,000mi; Euro headlights
'70 280SL white/red; 135,000mi (original); factory alloys; Euro headlights
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Old 10-01-2000, 09:21 PM
Posts: n/a

I have a 1986 190E 2.3 16 Valve for sale. The car is a US model. It has 108,000 miles. It is Smoke Silver with Black leather. I bought it from the second owner, who owned it since it was 6 months old.

I have EVERY service record on the car since it was new. The timing chain,tensioner, and rails were replaced last year.

I doubt that you will find a nicer one. If the one in Walnut Creek falls through, drop me a line:

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