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Old 10-17-2000, 02:31 PM
Posts: n/a
Ok - I give up. I thought the 92 400SE was a great car, but I've read more and more of what has been written, and you are all 100% right. I can't go that route. Too many problems. So, let me ask it this way. I'm willing to go to $20K (Althogh the $12K-$16K is better)...

What is the best for the money...

I really need the help here!


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Old 10-17-2000, 06:04 PM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,878
I would look for a '95/96 E320 with the head gasket and the wiring harness problems already taken care of. Mine is a '95 and with the above items done at around 60k and I could not be happier. I am averaging 25-26 mpg.
good luck
'95 E320
'97 Honda CRV
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Old 10-17-2000, 07:27 PM
Ashman's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,748
for 20k you have quite a few options.

If you are into a 4 door, an e320/e420/e500-500e would be a great car to get.

I have a 92 300CE with 78k miles on it, and is a great car.

I personally prefer the coupe but the 4 door is an excellent car.

The E Class mercedes drive great, and are not too big but not too small. Power is also good and gas milage for me so far has been excellent.

If I were to have 20k to spend, I'd look for a 94 and up e class.

You can probably get a 400e/e420 for less than 20k, and you might be able to find a 500e/e500 for a similar price if you are lucky.

You can definately get a 300e/e320/300ce for around $15k with decent mileage.

My head gasket in my 300ce is only now starting to leak but it leaks virtually nothing. my mechanic pointed it out and said dont worry about it until it gets worse.

in any case, you can't go wrong with a benz.

'92 300CE
Black on Creme
77k Miles so far

Go To My 300CE Page
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Old 10-17-2000, 08:01 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
Hands down the '94, '95 E320! Good car.

Donnie Drummonds
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Old 10-17-2000, 10:30 PM
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Be patient and an E420 will pop up in that price range. I don't think you'll ever find a 500E at that price. If you want to stick with the E320, be patient, and see if you can't find one for arount 16-17
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Old 10-18-2000, 09:41 AM
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ON the E420, what year(s) am I looking at, and what are the possible "big" problems with this model. (The 'problems' are what chased me away from the 400SE (92))...

Thanks for all this wonderful help!

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Old 10-18-2000, 10:34 AM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Florida / N.H.
Posts: 8,784
Originally posted by Benzmac:
Hands down the '94, '95 E320! Good car.

The best of the 124 chassis.
And can be found for short $$$$.
Have seen private sales in the 12 - 16K

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Old 10-18-2000, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sugarland, TX
Posts: 285
For $20K, the E420 or 400E would be the 124 model with the v8 engine.

Most late model MB would have the same (so call big ticket repair). A/C eveaporator, engine head gasket, belt tensioner, O2 sensors, and the list go on...

The goal of this forum is to educate us how to trouble and repair what is broken on our cars.

Rather you like the look and style of the 124, or 140. If you like it, and the repair work has be done. Buy it, it's only a machine, they will break again.

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Old 10-18-2000, 11:43 AM
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Oh boy... funny thing, (I don't know if this is the right to say on this board, but it's just my opinion). I had a 1986 Ford Escort when I was a 16, it needed a head gasket (actually an entire head), they went bad, it was their "thing" if you will. I don't know about spending this kinda money for cars that are suppose to be the "best" in the world. Perhaps someone could explain it to me. Don't get me wrong. I love the cars more than any other. I grew up with them almost all my life, but I just don't understand it. I later bought a Jeep, drove the car to 200K, the only thing I ever did was a rear seal ($6 US) and the usual plugs, etc. The jeep was $17K off the showroom floor, 5spd, nothing fancy. Today my wife teases me about keeping it, but I love it. I think I was just wondering if their was a benz that I could expect to be, what I had in my warped mind, as a "benz". A car that if you took care of it the right way would last into the 2-300's... I think I was wrong. This is certainly my fault.

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Old 10-24-2000, 02:25 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 1,249
Buy a $10,000 W124, then spend the other $10,000 on a premptive valve job, new paint, A/C, rims, and fixing/replacing all the other little parts that will eventually fail.

For that $20,000, you have essentially a new Benz that will last a very long time.

Eric Silver
89 260E
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Old 10-24-2000, 06:22 AM
Posts: n/a
In the Mercedes Benz buyers guide of a few years back, their overview of the 300E was something like: "The 300E is the best buy in a used Mercedes, period, end of story".

This was several years ago, but I think this still holds true for the 124, not necessarily only the 300E. Yes, they have their acchilles heels, mostly climate control related. The valve seal problem on the M103 is not a super big deal. The headgasket problems on the M104 engine is a bigger deal. But, overall, these cars are absolutely incredible.

In response to the not being able to understand about buying a car that has some achilles heels, all I can say is, you have to drive one for awhile. You can get lucky with an American car and take it 150K if you take care of it. You might even have no problems whatsoever with an American car. But after awhile, the car will feel like a rattle trap old car. A Benz will still feel as solid as new at 200K miles and beyond.

Although my 240D is worn completely out and declared dead for now, when started, the car still drives and feels like it did when it had 17K miles on it. This is one of the biggest differences about driving a Benz.

Good luck,

Larry Bible
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, manual, 533K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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