: Are Mercedes Benzes (especially W140's) really THAT great?



I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-10-06, 04:30 PM
Alright so we all know I'm on the proverbial quest for my next automobile. I'm a perfectionist of sorts when it comes to autos and I have pretty high standards and only want the best for myself, well anyways, one of the cars I've REALLY taken a liking to is the 1992-99 Mercedes Benz S Class, which is known to the enthusiasts as the W140 as that is the internal factory code. They're probably one of the best automobiles of their time, or so they say. But my question is, is it worth all the extra money for one to have a Mercedes or is it just marketing hype? I could get a nice 110k mile '98 S320 (bottom model) for about $12,000, which is pretty low for a good W140, or for $12,000, I could buy a really nice '96 Fleetwood Brougham for about $7500, and still have $4500 to spend on a pretty nice Eldorado Biarritz or Mark IV.

Are the higher prices for everything worth the Mercedes ownership?
What I mean by that is EVERYTHING is more expensive on a Benz, the parts, service, initial ownership, insurance and gas. Are M-B's really that great? Do you feel that much better in them? Or is a Cadillac or Lincoln a more sound investment?

I know I'm gonna get some shit for this, and many of you are gonna say that a Cadillac is better because we're on a pro-Cadillac site, but I want the honest, unopininated answer.

Caddy Man
07-10-06, 04:40 PM
my dad has a 1998 S320...and we've had a Lincoln Towncar (1991) a Cadillac DTS (2000) and my current CTS(2003) and let me just say, a Mercedes is a Mercedes is a Mercedes...just the quaility in that vehicle is great. The double glass keeps wind noise out, i mean the thing is like a tank, not one rattle after all these years. Its got a ton of backseat room and just a ton of room in general in the cabin. Yea parts and service will be more expensive, but overall its an excellent car. All the materials are top notch everywhere in the car and theres nothing like a tristar hood ornament glistening in the sun as it drives down the road. One word of advice stay away from the s320, they are fine cars, but severly underpowered. The car just screams class even after all these years and 2 bodystyles later.

Destroyer
07-10-06, 05:03 PM
You know I have an '97 S320 LWB. Its a spectacular car and mine has been trouble free in the year I've had it. Underpowered? Only from light to light acceleration, its actually pretty quick on the highway where it can build up some revs. Past 3500 rpm and this engine really comes alive. Gets great mpg too!. Inside and out the car has a quality feel that is unsurpassed even with the newer models. This was the last S series actually built in Germany, new ones are built in Alabama.

Is a Mercedes a better car? Definately IMO. Is it more practical? Probably not. Somewhere in there you have to factor the cost of repairs, at this point its only worth it if you can afford them. Remember, the W140 base price was in the $75k range and went up to $130k, no matter what you pay for it, you are fixing a very expensive car. For me, I'll pay the extra money for repairs cause this is the car I want. You have heard the saying that there is no cheap Mercedes right?. As much as I absolutely love these cars I'd have to advise against one IF coming up with the money to fix one will be a problem. Mine has had no problems but I as I understand it these cars are known for A/C problems which can cost up to $3k to fix. Some electrical gremlins as well. If you do buy one, make sure its a 97-up because most problems with the earlier models were addressed by '97 (I did research on this before buying).

DBA-One
07-10-06, 05:04 PM
I've always been a fan of the big body Benz. I'd look for a 500 though as I've heard the 320 is underpowered. I like the 500 better because it is the LWB model as well. The 320 and the SWB just looks a bit odd. If you have the money laying around get the 600. Now those V12 emblems on the C pillars is class all the way. If those are too expensive consider a 500, 560 SEC. Those are sweeeet! I like the 300CE as well.

Destroyer
07-10-06, 05:07 PM
I've always been a fan of the big body Benz. I'd look for a 500 though as I've heard the 320 is underpowered. I like the 500 better because it is the LWB model as well. The 320 and the SWB just looks a bit odd. If you have the money laying around get the 600. Now those V12 emblems on the C pillars is class all the way. If those are too expensive consider a 500, 560 SEC. Those are sweeeet! I like the 300CE as well.
The S320, S420, S500 all could be had as SWB or LWB. My S320 is a LWB. And yeah, an older 560 SEL or SEC is a great choice and cheaper to maintain.

DBA-One
07-10-06, 05:07 PM
Destroyer,

Are the electrical problems you mentioned cause by wire chafing(sp)? I've heard about harness problems that cost tons to fix but I've never personally met someone who had an issue like that.

DBA-One
07-10-06, 05:09 PM
The S320, S420, S500 all could be had as SWB or LWB. My S320 is a LWB. And yeah, an older 560 SEL or SEC is a great choice and cheaper to maintain.

And a rare one at that (320 LWB). I've only seen a few.

96Fleetwood
07-10-06, 05:12 PM
My Mom had a 1996 S500 my Dad got her new and then they traded it on a 1998 S600 back in 1999. Before the W140s she had a 1985 380 SEL, a 1986 420 SEL, a 1989 420 SEL, and a 1991 560 SEL (and a 750iL after that).

Both were phenomenal cars and they love the S600 so much that they will never sell it or trade it on a newer model. The S600 has 59,000 original miles and has never given them any problems. Routine maintenance is $$$$. I remember they paid about $3500 or so for the 50K service and each oil change is over $100.00. But that is the price you pay for the best:

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g147/sixtyspecial/Picture168.jpg

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g147/sixtyspecial/Picture172.jpg

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g147/sixtyspecial/Picture176.jpg



http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g147/sixtyspecial/Picture177.jpg

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g147/sixtyspecial/Picture178.jpg

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g147/sixtyspecial/Picture181.jpg

-Elias

DBA-One
07-10-06, 05:13 PM
That is hot

Caddy Man
07-10-06, 05:14 PM
[QUOTE=Destroyer] Inside and out the car has a quality feel that is unsurpassed even with the newer models. This was the last S series actually built in Germany, new ones are built in Alabama.

[QUOTE]
I'll have to correct you on this one. All Mercedes are built in Germany, except for the ML class SUV which is built in Alabama. The 2000-2006 S class generation was a bit cheaper built than the previous generation, but my dad just purchased a 2007 S 550 and believe me this thing is top notch. One of the major areas of improvement that were mentioned was the interior quailty of the car that lacked a bit in the 00-06s.

Destroyer
07-10-06, 05:22 PM
[QUOTE=Destroyer] Inside and out the car has a quality feel that is unsurpassed even with the newer models. This was the last S series actually built in Germany, new ones are built in Alabama.

[QUOTE]
I'll have to correct you on this one. All Mercedes are built in Germany, except for the ML class SUV which is built in Alabama. The 2000-2006 S class generation was a bit cheaper built than the previous generation, but my dad just purchased a 2007 S 550 and believe me this thing is top notch. One of the major areas of improvement that were mentioned was the interior quailty of the car that lacked a bit in the 00-06s.Yes I have heard the new for '07 S series is much improved from the W220 models. According to the MB forums I'm a member at, the S-series after the W140's were not assembled in Germany. I'll check on it, this is what I heard but I could be wrong.

Destroyer
07-10-06, 05:45 PM
Destroyer,

Are the electrical problems you mentioned cause by wire chafing(sp)? I've heard about harness problems that cost tons to fix but I've never personally met someone who had an issue like that.
I never met anyone that had the problem either but it is a common problem on models up to '95. Something about the wiring harnesses being bio dregradable. From what I understand the early models had quite a few issues.

Elvis
07-10-06, 06:18 PM
I can give the S420 a glowing endorsement up to 124,000 miles.

Then you need to dump it.

c5 rv
07-10-06, 08:09 PM
I think the W123 was a superior car. If you can find a well-cared-for 83-85 300D, it would be an awesome daily driver that should last a good half million miles.

EDBSO
07-10-06, 10:02 PM
You haven't lived till you have been beaten up by a V12 day after day.

Go for one now, right now or you will always regret it!http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b53/edbso/850.jpg

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-10-06, 11:27 PM
Alright, if I was to ever buy a W140, it would either be a S320 or a S500. The S420 wouldn't make sense to me because it's just barely quicker than the S320, and the fuel econ isn't as good. Now the S500 is significantly quicker than the S420 (about as quick as an LT1 Fleetwood, atleast from a stop) plus the fuel economy is the same. Now the S600 makes no sense to me at all. It costs all that much more for maintenance and fuel, and it's just not as quick as 389hp would leave you to believe. Plus, they are hard as hell to find and expensive. (if the regular W140 isn't expensive enough!)


Sure the S320 wasn't the fastest W140, but it was quicker than a 305/TBI 350 Brougham, and any 4.6 Town Car. So it's not like the car is a complete dog, it's got power, just not a ton of it like a N* or LT1 and it's a bit slower than the 4.9 deVilles, but not a whole lot. In all reality, it probably accelerates a lot like my friends' 93 Maxima SE with the 190hp DOHC 3.0 V6. Not much power at the low end, but get above 3500 RPM and she opens up nicely :D, plus both of their 0-60's is in the high 8 second range. But that I-6 has to be the smoothest motor out there, after the V-12 of course :D

Destroyer, if you don't mind my asking, what did you pay for that S320? What year is it again? I like the 1997-99's the most, because of the wheel design. Is the routine maintenance real expensive? Like I've seen Porsche Boxsters go thru my dealer and an oil change costs $110 because their filter is one of those canister style ones for $30, and it requires 8 quarts of synthetic at $10 a pop. If it cost THAT much to do regular maintance, that would be a real turnoff to me.

96Fleetwood
07-10-06, 11:33 PM
It costs all that much more for maintenance and fuel, and it's just not as quick as 389hp would leave you to believe.

The S600 is an autobahn machine (a heavy one at that)... above 75 mph it will keep up with my Dad's SRT-8 Charger, don't ask me how I know :bouncy:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-10-06, 11:36 PM
So it's all top end power? The 0-60 is a somewhat sucky 6.3 as quoted by Mercedes Benz.

EDBSO
07-11-06, 12:06 AM
Alright, if I was to ever buy a W140, it would either be a S320 or a S500. The S420 Bla Bla Bla.

If it cost THAT much to do regular maintance, that would be a real turnoff to me.


Dude you haven't even listed the fast, fun AMG versions!
What is holding you back?


$4,500 for Cadi head gaskets are really cheap. They won't even think of opening a 12 for that$$$$$h

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-11-06, 12:44 AM
I didn't think that the M-B motors had the head gasket problems the N*'s do.

Did they even make an AMG W140? I've never seen one.

EDBSO
07-11-06, 01:25 AM
MB headgaskets are OK BMW 12s have problems.

Yes s500 AMG also s600 AMG and even rarer the Brabus modified cars.

http://www.brabus-usa.com/showcars.html used are hard to find but around. Here is a BRABUS T12 Performance Kit, 570 hp, 663 lb-ft torque http://brabus-usa.com/showcars2.html

Destroyer
07-11-06, 11:04 AM
Destroyer, if you don't mind my asking, what did you pay for that S320? What year is it again? I like the 1997-99's the most, because of the wheel design. Is the routine maintenance real expensive? Like I've seen Porsche Boxsters go thru my dealer and an oil change costs $110 because their filter is one of those canister style ones for $30, and it requires 8 quarts of synthetic at $10 a pop. If it cost THAT much to do regular maintance, that would be a real turnoff to me.I paid $14,300 for mine (talked it down from $18,900 at the local Lexus dealership). The car only had 1 previous owner and it absolutely looks like new, even smells new. Oil changes run $88 but thats with Mobil 1 and it takes about 8 quarts. And mine is a 97 LWB. To tell you the truth, my wifes N* has been the one giving me the most problems and been very expensive to repair. Yes the parts for the Benz are more, but the labor on the Deville is more cause Cadillac made it so hard to work on them. Pop the hood on both cars and you immediately notice how cramped the engine bay on the Deville is and how easy access to everything on the straight six is in the Benz. My last trip to the mechanic revealed that I need new control arm bushings which seems to be common for these cars. I was quoted $1k for upper and lower which seems like a lot but the car drives perfect so I'm thinking they might be a little detoriated but its definately not something that needs to be done right away. I am told head gaskets are a problem with the I-6 after 100k miles or so. The shop I take it too quoted me $600 to replace the head gasket, how much does it cost to do head gaskets on a N* again?. Besides the $88 oil change, maintanence doesn't seem to be anything I cant handle. Spark plugs are real easy as they are right on top of the head. The V8 and V12's are more expensive to maintain and harder to work on. Even on the MB boards most advise against the V12 and most think the V8 is the best compromise. The S600 had nice seats and a few more luxury touches that the others didn't. A good choice would be to find an S500 Grand Edition which has all the S600 luxury touches but with the V8 instead, they are kinda rare and bit more pricey though. I for one like the S320 as it gets good mileage and is easy to maintain. Didn't buy this car to race around with, I drive it easily but I do have fun on the highway with it. :thumbsup:

Destroyer
07-11-06, 11:10 AM
And a rare one at that (320 LWB). I've only seen a few.
Not rare really, heres a few on ebay right now:


http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercedes-Benz-S-Class-99-Mercedes-S320-LWB-MoonRoof-Heated-ASR-BOSE-only-49K_W0QQitemZ160001317254QQihZ006QQcategoryZ6336QQ ssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercedes-Benz-S-Class-S320-LWB-Mercedes-S320-Garaged-clean-ready-to-travel_W0QQitemZ110006840752QQihZ001QQcategoryZ633 6QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercedes-Benz-S-Class-S-320-1996-Mercedes-S320-LWB-Immaculate-NO-RESERVE_W0QQitemZ250006316833QQihZ015QQcategoryZ63 36QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

gothicaleigh
07-11-06, 08:15 PM
*EDIT*

Not worth the argument.
I must be getting soft or something...

Destroyer
07-11-06, 10:09 PM
*EDIT*

Not worth the argument.
I must be getting soft or something...
Go ahead and argue, its the spice of life. :eek:

EDBSO
07-13-06, 09:47 PM
*EDIT*

Not worth the argument.
I must be getting soft or something...

Go for it, let her rip! Don't hold back.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-16-06, 04:17 PM
I'll buy a W140 someday, not as my next car though. ~20 is too young to have a $70,000 car.

slk230mb
07-16-06, 05:23 PM
I'll buy a W140 someday, not as my next car though. ~20 is too young to have a $70,000 car.

No it's not.

Destroyer
07-16-06, 05:37 PM
No it's not.He knows its not but it ranged from close to $75k-$130k new. They suffered deppreciation big time as most luxury cars do. The point is that when you are doing repairs to them you are paying to fix an S-class Mercedes which is a complicated high end car. They are a bargain in the used car market as are many other luxury cars but you have to have the cash to fix it when it breaks.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-16-06, 10:02 PM
The point is that when you are doing repairs to them you are paying to fix an S-class Mercedes which is a complicated high end car. They are a bargain in the used car market as are many other luxury cars but you have to have the cash to fix it when it breaks.

Exactly. The car depreciates, but repairs and service do not. The nicest car that most 21 year olds that I know would maybe have a newer Cadillac, maybe like an '02 CTS or something. In the used car market today, those are probably a bit more expensive than a '97 or '98 S500, but it's much cheaper to maintain and do repairs on a CTS than it is do to an S Class.

By my logic, it would be much more smart to buy a LT1 Fleetwood Brougham or any other sort of domestic luxury car. It's much cheaper to get into most domestic luxury cars and much cheaper to maintain/ repair them. Plus, I'm already used to GM's design and I know what to expect.

slk230mb
07-16-06, 11:19 PM
Owning a luxury car without a warranty is going to be expensive to repair, regardless of its make. It's just something that comes with the territory. A MB W140 can be as expensive to maintain as a N* powered Caddy. Granted they cost a hell of a lot more new, but they all suffered huge depreciation hits, so what does the price of it new have to do with wanting to own one used? I say if you really want it and can afford to maintain it, why not. Your age doesn't limit what you can or can't own, money does.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-17-06, 12:13 AM
Owning a luxury car without a warranty is going to be expensive to repair, regardless of its make. It's just something that comes with the territory. A MB W140 can be as expensive to maintain as a N* powered Caddy. Granted they cost a hell of a lot more new, but they all suffered huge depreciation hits, so what does the price of it new have to do with wanting to own one used? I say if you really want it and can afford to maintain it, why not. Your age doesn't limit what you can or can't own, money does.

Basically, I could probably afford a S320 or S420 for around $11,000. I'd probably have to take out a loan, but the maintanance and repairs would probably kill me.

Destroyer
07-17-06, 10:15 AM
Owning a luxury car without a warranty is going to be expensive to repair, regardless of its make. It's just something that comes with the territory. A MB W140 can be as expensive to maintain as a N* powered Caddy. Granted they cost a hell of a lot more new, but they all suffered huge depreciation hits, so what does the price of it new have to do with wanting to own one used? I say if you really want it and can afford to maintain it, why not. Your age doesn't limit what you can or can't own, money does.
Yeah you are right. As I posted before I've had much bigger headaches with the wifes '98 N* Deville than with the W140. I'd say the difference in repairs between those two is negligible plus the Caddy is less reliable. If on the other hand he buys an older Fleetwood the repairs would be dramatically decreased both in parts and labor.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-17-06, 11:03 AM
Yeah you are right. As I posted before I've had much bigger headaches with the wifes '98 N* Deville than with the W140. I'd say the difference in repairs between those two is negligible plus the Caddy is less reliable. If on the other hand he buys an older Fleetwood the repairs would be dramatically decreased both in parts and labor.

Interesting. The LT1 Brougham is my #1 choice right now, but they're quite hard to find, (there are two for sale in a 150 mile radius of my house) and when you do find them, they're quite expensive. For example, there's a '94 Brougham with 114k miles going for $7,000. Usually, the '97-'99 DeVille Concours (my #2 choice in a 4 door, american luxury car) can be bought with 85k on the odometer for about $8,000 tops, and there are a lot more of those around too. But if it costs about the same to have the N* and the W140 worked on, then I suppose it'd make more sense to go with the W140, probably the S320. Plus, Mercedes Benz didn't cut corners or cheapen out the W-140. Everything was top of the line. Real wood, top quality leather etc etc. Where as Cadillac cut some corners like the faux wood trim and vinyl parts of the seats on the deVilles like yours.


Destroyer, if you do the oil changes for the S320 yourself, how much does it cost?

96Fleetwood
07-17-06, 11:12 AM
I almost bought a 1999 CL500 (and a 2004 G35 coupe) instead of the LT1 Fleetwood.. why didn't I?

Maintenance**** (and I was able to pay cash for the Fleetwood)! The LT1 is such an easy platform to work on and parts are plentiful and anyone with a tad of mechanical ability can do the work. The LT1 has proven to be reliable over and over. There is a guy in our local SS club who has 240,000 on his original LT1 motor and original 4L60e transmission!

But.. if you must have a w140, get the coupe.. they are sexy and seat four people in comfort:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1999-MERCEDES-BENZ-CL500-CL-500-PARKTRONIC-MINT-RARE_W0QQitemZ150011951607QQihZ005QQcategoryZ31852 QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

http://www.nyautobuyers.com/cl/1.jpg

Destroyer
07-17-06, 11:28 AM
Destroyer, if you do the oil changes for the S320 yourself, how much does it cost?Basically the price of 8 quarts Mobil 1 and $20 or so for a filter.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-17-06, 12:42 PM
So around $84 bucks.....damn!

Destroyer
07-17-06, 01:27 PM
So around $84 bucks.....damn!Actually around $50-$55 if you do it yourself, I dont do my own oil changes cause of the mess and the fact that I have to sacrifice a shirt and pants everytime I do one. Plus having to dispose of the oil.

DBA-One
07-17-06, 01:43 PM
Just do what I did. Get a '92 Seville. You get all the shape of the '93 but without the N* issues. Mine has been great and best of all? No payments.

Elvis
07-17-06, 01:53 PM
I always wanted an SL convertible from the late-70's or early 80's. There was a 380 and a 450. There was also a 2-seater 280SL. All great-looking cars.

I finally met somebody who had one and he dumped it for a new Mustang. The upkeep and basic maintenance of running a 20-year-old mercedes for 20,000+ miles a year was equal to the payments on a new car.

The difference was that his new Mustang didn't have to spend 40 days a year in the shop.

But they still look good enough to be tempting, don't they?

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-17-06, 02:47 PM
Just do what I did. Get a '92 Seville. You get all the shape of the '93 but without the N* issues. Mine has been great and best of all? No payments.

No no, I don't want another 4.9 car. I wanna try something new or get a LT1 FWB. Even if I was to get an STS or ETC, I'd have to take a risk and get the N*, that's pretty much the appeal of the STS to me anyways.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-17-06, 02:53 PM
When the time comes, I think I'll get one of those '70s beasts I love so much. You get a lot more for your money with one of those. For example, there are four 1977-78 Eldorados in my area, all for under $13,000. The most expensive model is a '78 Biarritz with 6800 miles for $12,995. Although, I would not want one with that low of miles. I'd much rather have the creme colored '78 Biarritz with 68k miles for $6500. And there are four Mark IV's in my area, all for under $10,000. There's a silver/maroon '73 with 77k on it for $5,900. So they're out there, and not expensive at all. Plus, repairs on those seem to be quite cheap from what I've heard. The real expensive thing is gas, but this would be a weekend warrior, not a daily driver.

clarkz71
07-17-06, 03:53 PM
I didn't think that the M-B motors had the head gasket problems the N*'s do.

Did they even make an AMG W140? I've never seen one.

When I was a tech, we were changing headgaskets left and right on the M104 engines for oil leaks, 140's and 124 models. Engine wiring harness also. There's not enough room on this forum for all the stories I could tell after working for MB for 20 years,16 as a technician and 4 years as a service advisor as well.

Destroyer
07-17-06, 05:00 PM
When I was a tech, we were changing headgaskets left and right on the M104 engines for oil leaks, 140's and 124 models. Engine wiring harness also. There's not enough room on this forum for all the stories I could tell after working for MB for 20 years,16 as a technician and 4 years as a service advisor as well.I too have heard of the wiring harness situation, seems those problems were fixed after '95. Still, a car costing that much should not have had these issues.

clarkz71
07-17-06, 05:06 PM
That's about right, The last few I remember doing was in 97 or 98, while they were in warr. (5/50k)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-17-06, 06:58 PM
So the wiring harness situation was fixed after about '95? The years I like most are the 97-99 models. Which W140 model leaked oil?

clarkz71
07-17-06, 07:13 PM
Most of them should be changed by now. Just look at the wires going to the various sensors, (coolant, ect) and rub them between your fingers. The insulation comes right off if it's a bad harness. As far as oil leaks the 320's had multiple leaks. The upper timing covers, head gaskets, and one of the studs for the alternator bracket. (blind stud.) We would pull the stud and apply a "special" factory thread sealer. The 600 also had upper timing cover leaks, two on those. All had power steering pump leaks.This is on pre 2000 cars.

Destroyer
07-17-06, 07:16 PM
So the wiring harness situation was fixed after about '95? The years I like most are the 97-99 models. Which W140 model leaked oil?The wiring harness is discussed a lot in the MB forums, seems the early models used a bio degradable covering on the wiring. Problem is it cracks and lets the wires touch each other which can affect a number of things. They addressed the issue in '96 and many earlier models have already had this repair done. Far as the oil issue, this is the first I've heard of it but again I would think its in the earlier models as the W140 excperienced a lot of teething pains. My '97 S320 has no leaks on the floor or underneath, actually it doesn't even have one grimey or oily area anywhere under the car. The MB independant mechanic I take the car too told me the 97-99 are the ones to get as MB finally worked out all the issues of the earlier models. He also advised to stay away from the S600 models cause the coil packs tend to go and its got 2 (one for each side of the V12) those packs could cost over $4k to replace. Again, I hate making the comparison to my '98 Deville but that thing leaks oil and has lots of sludge underneath.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-17-06, 07:29 PM
The MB independant mechanic I take the car too told me the 97-99 are the ones to get as MB finally worked out all the issues of the earlier models.
Yeah, plus they have the better wheels IMO. :D



He also advised to stay away from the S600 models cause the coil packs tend to go and its got 2 (one for each side of the V12) those packs could cost over $4k to replace. Again, I hate making the comparison to my '98 Deville but that thing leaks oil and has lots of sludge underneath.

I'd never get a S600. Too much money to buy firsthand, and the repairs (as on all V-12's) are astronomical, because everything is double the what's on the I-6, atleast that's what I've heard.

I wonder if you got a crummy '98 deVille. You seem to have had a lot of problems with that one.

clarkz71
07-17-06, 08:02 PM
97 to 99 were definitly less problem prone then the earlier cars, but remember, in a dealer you see a large volume of cars, I worked at MB FT Lauderdale and Autohaus in Pompano. I changed a lot of evaperators on 140's, including 97-99's.Have you ever changed a rear window regulator on your 320?? On the other hand my 95 Eldo is dry as a bone, I park in a garage and no spots what so ever on the floor, unlike your 98 deville. There is no perfect car.

Destroyer
07-17-06, 09:25 PM
97 to 99 were definitly less problem prone then the earlier cars, but remember, in a dealer you see a large volume of cars, I worked at MB FT Lauderdale and Autohaus in Pompano. I changed a lot of evaperators on 140's, including 97-99's.Have you ever changed a rear window regulator on your 320?? On the other hand my 95 Eldo is dry as a bone, I park in a garage and no spots what so ever on the floor, unlike your 98 deville. There is no perfect car.
Thats right, just because my N* is proving unreliable and has leaks does not mean they ALL do. I bought the car used, originally my Deville was leased, no telling what it was put through in comparison to another. Just like any car, if you are buying it used you just dont know what went on before you bought it. I think I got lucky with my W140 cause in the year and 2 months that I have owned it, its been perfect and I can tell it was well cared for by the previous owner. I have not replaced a regulator or anything else on the car during my time of ownership however I have been told the control arm bushings will have to be done in the not too distant future (car now has 70k miles). Its a great driving car and I dont mind the occassional repair (even if its expensive) so long as they are few and far in between. This is not my first Mercedes, I have owned a '74 240D, an '87 300E, and an '89 560 SEL, I have had great experiences with all of them. In a few years I'd like to buy a second hand '07 S550 (when the prices come down), and I will replace my wifes Deville with a second hand Magnum or Charger SRT-8. I've got too much money into real estate endeavors right now to think about buying new cars. When we do replace the current inventory of cars I will buy them used and in cash as I hate paying interest on them.

clarkz71
07-17-06, 10:46 PM
Well all 3 of your previous MB's are good models.
74 240D, slow but reliable. Didn't that have the manual glow plug switch with the glow indicator in the dash?
87 300E, good M103 engine, went through valve seals & guides though, and how about the drive shaft flex disc's.
89 560 SEL, one of my favorites, strong M117 engine. Lower ball joints and caster bushings on those. Great riding car.
I agree, you lucked out with your 140. Sounds like you got a good one. Not unlike me and my 1995 Eldorado. It doesn't leak any oil or burn it. No cooling problems, And it only has 55k miles.

Eric Kahn
07-18-06, 12:43 AM
You have to clue me in, my family has owned exactly 2 mercedes between all of us, my fathers 65 250EI in germany (4 speed column shift) and my brothers 73 220D (big pull knob for starting and glow plug in middle of dash)

what are the body styles of these, not sure what a w140 is unless it is an S class

Destroyer
07-18-06, 01:10 AM
Well all 3 of your previous MB's are good models.
74 240D, slow but reliable. Didn't that have the manual glow plug switch with the glow indicator in the dash?
87 300E, good M103 engine, went through valve seals & guides though, and how about the drive shaft flex disc's.
89 560 SEL, one of my favorites, strong M117 engine. Lower ball joints and caster bushings on those. Great riding car.
I agree, you lucked out with your 140. Sounds like you got a good one. Not unlike me and my 1995 Eldorado. It doesn't leak any oil or burn it. No cooling problems, And it only has 55k miles.
You are right on!. Yes, the 300E did need valve stem seals and a water pump. That car was in my family since new and thats ALL it needed up to 130k miles. The 240D always left me stranded when it got cold.........didn't want to start and I dont recall a glow indicator in the dash. The 560 SEL was a great car but if I had to choose between that and the W140, I'd take the W140 as a drivers car. So far so good with the W140!. I did love the 240D, aside from it not wanting to start up when parked outside for a few hours in the freezing cold of NY, it was a hell of a reliable car.........370k miles when I let it go and it still ran. It was real slow but it didn't bother me cause it was just cool and I liked driving it. The 300E was flawless but park a W140 next to it and it doesn't look so good. I'm prepared now for anything I will encounter with the W140, I hope it will be a great car like my previous Benz's but it is also a far more complicated car than any other Benz I have had so we'll see.

Destroyer
07-18-06, 01:11 AM
You have to clue me in, my family has owned exactly 2 mercedes between all of us, my fathers 65 250EI in germany (4 speed column shift) and my brothers 73 220D (big pull knob for starting and glow plug in middle of dash)

what are the body styles of these, not sure what a w140 is unless it is an S classIts the S Class from 92-99.

clarkz71
07-18-06, 06:06 AM
You have to clue me in, my family has owned exactly 2 mercedes between all of us, my fathers 65 250EI in germany (4 speed column shift) and my brothers 73 220D (big pull knob for starting and glow plug in middle of dash)

It's been a while, I've been on disability since 2000 but I believe the 65 was in the W108/W109 family. The 73 W114/W115. And yes the 220D has that big pull knob that you pull half way to glow it, it had the little mini glow plug in the dash, when it got cherry red you pulled the knob all the way out to engage the starter.

Destroyer, I'm originally from NY, We used to put block heaters in the diesels so I hear you about the cold start issue. And all diesels have some sort of glow indicator, as I stated above early ones had a mini glow plug below the speedo head, later they went to a light that worked off the timer in the glow relay, this would be on cars that started with the key rather then the big pull knob.

DBA-One
07-18-06, 02:50 PM
Get a 6.9 Benz. I'm sure the one from Ronin could be had for a song.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-18-06, 08:06 PM
Get a 6.9 Benz. I'm sure the one from Ronin could be had for a song.

Those 450 SEL 6.9's are so badass! That reverse burnout was nuts! I'm sure they're very rare and quite expensive though :(

DBA-One
07-19-06, 02:06 PM
I've heard they are durable cars, it is just that some parts are rare and thus expensive.

96Fleetwood
07-19-06, 05:11 PM
Get a 6.9 Benz. I'm sure the one from Ronin could be had for a song.

Actually they are quite expensive. I see them bring anywhere from $6-20K :eek:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercedes-Benz-400-Series-6-9-Mercedes-Benz-450-SEL-6-9-RARE-CLASSIC-MERCEDES_W0QQitemZ290009364352QQihZ019QQcategoryZ6 331QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Destroyer
07-19-06, 07:48 PM
I've heard they are durable cars, it is just that some parts are rare and thus expensive.
Maybe Clark will chime in and tell us his experience with them?:thumbsup:

c5 rv
07-19-06, 07:50 PM
Why did I start reading this thread last week? :banghead:

Today during lunch I was looking online thinking about low cost second car options if I sell my truck. I ran across an 85 300d that's nearby. I went to see it and it only has 151K on the clock, drives fine, no rust problem, interior is in good shape, and just the rr window and vacuum door locks don't work. The only downside is the guy had it painted the original color by Maaco last year, so it's strictly a 10 footer. He bought the car 5 yrs. ago from the original owner in Georgia and brought the car up a couple years ago when he moved back here. He's had maintenance done at a local independent MB shop I know so I'm trying to reach his mechanic for his opinion on the car. (This mechanic has been fixing MBs for over 40 years and remembers "His" cars like they are grandchildren.) The guy is asking $5500 and I offered $4000, pending the opinion of the mechanic.

We'll see what develops. My wife hasn't strangled me - yet.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-19-06, 08:56 PM
I've heard they are durable cars, it is just that some parts are rare and thus expensive.

Aren't those the ones with the godforsaken hydropneumatic suspension?! Stay away!!! Besides, a W140 S500 is about as quick, and much more modern/ luxurious.

clarkz71
07-20-06, 06:16 AM
6.9's were great cars. It was basically a W116 chassis 450SEL but with the mighty M100 engine rather then the M117. It had CIS FI system and a dry sump oil system like a 911. You checked the oil with the engine running. The hydropnuematic suspension was reliable requiring occasional service but remember the W123 station wagons and W126 560SEL had it on the rear suspension with no problems. Once and a while you had to replace the gas cells, which were the "shocks" of the system. Euro versions had an adjustment knob on the dash so you could raise or lower the ride height.
Yes parts are expensive, but it is a Benz, a high performance one. I was lucky enough to work on a few, I did head gaskets on one that I remember.Boy, those things made some torque. They were tested at 145 to 150 mph. That was pretty good for the time (76-81)

DBA-One
07-20-06, 01:55 PM
I like cars that are just a little out there. The 6.9, the E500, Hammer, V12s in an E Coupe. Things like that

Destroyer
07-20-06, 05:34 PM
I like cars that are just a little out there. The 6.9, the E500, Hammer, V12s in an E Coupe. Things like thatYeah, the Hammer.......one of my 80's dream cars. Dont see them often at all on ebay and I never saw one personally although someone on the MB forums owns one.:thumbsup:

EDBSO
07-20-06, 05:47 PM
Continentals can be very durable. http://forums.aaca.org/misc/394796-redneckac.jpg

DBA-One
07-20-06, 06:02 PM
Yeah, the Hammer.......one of my 80's dream cars. Dont see them often at all on ebay and I never saw one personally although someone on the MB forums owns one.:thumbsup:

I've never seen one in person myself. A while back I did see a twin turbo 300 coupe that had the full AMG kit thought. The car was very cool and for what it was, priced very nicely. However, I aint got the scratch!

gdwriter
07-20-06, 07:00 PM
Actually they are quite expensive. I see them bring anywhere from $6-20K :eek:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercedes-Benz-400-Series-6-9-Mercedes-Benz-450-SEL-6-9-RARE-CLASSIC-MERCEDES_W0QQitemZ290009364352QQihZ019QQcategoryZ6 331QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
I'm generally not a big M-B fan, but that car is way cool. I like that body style for the big Benz.
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