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Old 8th August 2012, 21:54   #61
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I have taken a brief test drive of a 1989 300D 6cyl diesel. The car is in very good condition for its age and was garaged / sparingly used for the past 5 years. The odometer says 125000+ km. I noticed the following points in my drive. I would like to take feedback from distinguished W124 300D owners before I decide to go any further.
1. Whenever I changed gears and released the clutch, there was a shudder from the rear. Does this indicate a worn out differential? Or is it a worn out CV joint or coupling? Or is it something more serious?
2. Though I could not spot any oil leakage or wetting on the engine itself (around the head gasket area, tappet cover area or any of the hoses and pipes) there was some grime deposited on the engine shield, on the driver side? Where could this be coming from? I noticed that the power steering pump / hoses are located near that area. Could that be the culprit?
3. Since I have never driven any Mercedes before this, let alone a 300D, I could not gauge the engine performance. It felt sluggish compared to my Chevrolet Aveo. Are 300Ds sluggish in general?
Otherwise, the car behaved well. The engine was ticking away smoothly in true 6cyl rhythm (I used to drive a Nissan Cedric with the 2.8L RD28 6cyl engine). It had a great feel with interiors in good shape.
Please let me know your expert advice. Thanks!
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Old 9th August 2012, 16:04   #62
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz E Class (124) Owners - Should I buy?

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Originally Posted by sasi405 View Post
I have taken a brief test drive of a 1989 300D 6cyl diesel. The car is in very good condition for its age and was garaged / sparingly used for the past 5 years. The odometer says 125000+ km. I noticed the following points in my drive. I would like to take feedback from distinguished W124 300D owners before I decide to go any further.
1. Whenever I changed gears and released the clutch, there was a shudder from the rear. Does this indicate a worn out differential? Or is it a worn out CV joint or coupling? Or is it something more serious?
2. Though I could not spot any oil leakage or wetting on the engine itself (around the head gasket area, tappet cover area or any of the hoses and pipes) there was some grime deposited on the engine shield, on the driver side? Where could this be coming from? I noticed that the power steering pump / hoses are located near that area. Could that be the culprit?
3. Since I have never driven any Mercedes before this, let alone a 300D, I could not gauge the engine performance. It felt sluggish compared to my Chevrolet Aveo. Are 300Ds sluggish in general?
Otherwise, the car behaved well. The engine was ticking away smoothly in true 6cyl rhythm (I used to drive a Nissan Cedric with the 2.8L RD28 6cyl engine). It had a great feel with interiors in good shape.
Please let me know your expert advice. Thanks!
I found the 300D on the 123 a bit sluggish, but the one on the 124 is a potent tool. But there is a way it should be driven; as i learnt from the owner of the car i was testing. The gearing is tall hence needs to be pushed in each gear to get the real feel of the straight six. And its actually very very fast.
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Old 10th August 2012, 11:34   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormsearcher

I found the 300D on the 123 a bit sluggish, but the one on the 124 is a potent tool. But there is a way it should be driven; as i learnt from the owner of the car i was testing. The gearing is tall hence needs to be pushed in each gear to get the real feel of the straight six. And its actually very very fast.
Since my round was very short, just as a preliminary inspection only, I could not get a good feel. However, I did notice that when I pushed pedal to metal in 2nd gear, the speedo reached 60kmph quite fast. It probably that you don't feel the speed gathering, unlike in small engined rev happy petrol cars. it sort of reminded me of the long Nissan Cedric with its naturally aspirated 2.8 straight six diesel. Once out on open roads, it should reach 3 digit speeds quite fast. Like you said, there is a way to drive them.
What I am more worried about is the judder that I got upon releasing the clutch after changing gears. There was also a booming sound from the rear once the car was sufficiently in motion. So, is it the differential packing up?
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Old 10th August 2012, 12:32   #64
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz E Class (124) Owners - Should I buy?

I am also looking for a W124 in Bangalore. On the classified section there was one for sale a silver MB but the problem is with it's registration. It's a UP 14 registered pointing it's a Ghaziabad vehicle. NOC for re-registration will be a pain from their RTO , which I have already found out. Is there anything available in Bangalore , preferably White in color between 92-98.

Please keep me posted!
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Old 10th August 2012, 23:06   #65
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Anyone with expertise to reply the question about the differential? I need to take a decision fast, so anyone with any idea about a shudder when releasing the clutch and a booming noise when car is running in a 1989 300D can kindly let me know what the problem might be. Thanks!
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Old 12th August 2012, 11:51   #66
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz E Class (124) Owners - Should I buy?

Hi sasi,

by your discription it sounds like its a OM603 engine. Please clarify the following

when you pick up from idle due you feel a thud noise from the rear or just shakiness?
The booming noise is at certain speed or at all speeds?

also, if you can post some picks of the engine and the rear suspension, I would be able to recommend better
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Old 13th August 2012, 00:13   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 911varun
Hi sasi,

by your discription it sounds like its a OM603 engine. Please clarify the following

when you pick up from idle due you feel a thud noise from the rear or just shakiness?
The booming noise is at certain speed or at all speeds?

also, if you can post some picks of the engine and the rear suspension, I would be able to recommend better
It's an OM 603. The problem is not when it picks up from idle; it's when I shift from one gear to the next, in motion. The car pulls without any shakiness. It thuds when I release the clutch each time I up shift or downshift. I suspect that it could be anything starting from the driveshaft to the differential to the axles. The booming noise seems to be there from the time I put the car in 3rd or so. Point to be noted us that the car was kept in a garage for 3 years.
I posted the query on a Mercedes 124 forum and I was told to check the Flex Disc at both ends of the drive shaft. I was also told to check the clutch and thrust bearing. But that still doesn't seem to explain the booming noise.
I am going to do a detailed inspection sometime after Eid, and run the car through an authorised MB dealer (Pandit Motors in Patel Nagar) to ascertain what's wrong. If the expense seems too much, I will walk away.
I will also get pics clicked and post.
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Old 13th August 2012, 09:20   #68
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz E Class (124) Owners - Should I buy?

The thud would be the rear joints giving up, while the booming could be bad diff. or rear wheel bearings. I doubt it would be the flex disc. I can tell you the expense - flex disc -10,000, bearings - 4,000 while diff. if it gets corrected woth the right grade of diff. oil then - 2,000 otherwise you would only know once you open the diff. the rear suspension should be - 25,000 max.
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Old 13th August 2012, 09:49   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 911varun
The thud would be the rear joints giving up, while the booming could be bad diff. or rear wheel bearings. I doubt it would be the flex disc. I can tell you the expense - flex disc -10,000, bearings - 4,000 while diff. if it gets corrected woth the right grade of diff. oil then - 2,000 otherwise you would only know once you open the diff. the rear suspension should be - 25,000 max.
Thank you once again for the valuable input. The booming noise is not from the bearings for sure, as it goes when I take my foot off the accelerator. So, it has to be the differential. These days, since most of us drive front wheel drive cars, we don't usually think of the differential as a problem area. Thank God that childhood experiences with Ambys, Padminis and Tempo Traxes etc have taught me to hear the right sounds!
I am planning a leisurely 100 - 150 km drive with the car after Eid, maybe keep it with me for 2 - 3 days and really ascertain the worth of getting it.
Thanks again!
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Old 6th May 2013, 05:02   #70
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz E Class (124) Owners - Should I buy?

It is very interesting to hear of your 124 Mercedes in India - I live in the hills of Northern England and have been driving these wonderful cars on and off for many years. I gather that it was just the E220 and E250D which were sold in India - some of these were German built, some Indian. Am I right? Were they all saloons, or were the estates/tourings sold also?

In Germany there were many variations available with a huge range of options not available in other countries. The Germans do not have a class system as complex as the British (or yours in India) and never perceived their 124s as what we may call 'posh'. It was simply a bit bigger than Volkswagens, better engineered than any other car (especially BMWs - I am always amazed at how relatively few BMWs there are in Germany compared to Britain) and used primarily by Berlin taxi drivers and as practical family cars, especially in estate versions.

British 124s were usually high-spec big engined models, often bought for prestige and snob value rather than their ability to cover hundreds of thousands of miles at 100mph without problem. German engines, which deliver their power and torque high up the rev range are particularly unsuited to small, slow British roads where even on the motorway it is technically illegal to drive over 70mph and being caught at over 100mph could lead to a very serious penalty. The 6 cylinder estates (all 3 litre) were the choice car - such a decent sized engine developed sufficient power at lower revs to suffice. The British traditionally don't like revving engines - it is seen in some circles as unnecessary as playing loud music and symptomatic of a smallish engine. In reality, it is a result of English car engines usually falling apart or rapidly wearing out if worked hard!

It has to be said, a Jaguar XJ6 made a far more sensible and more pleasant purchase in the late 80s and early 90s for use in Britain - provided it was a large-engined saloon car you wanted. A pleasant glass of sherry or fine ale compared with a fine but a little character-less continental lager, it could be said. At present in the UK, these older Jaguars are the ultimate bargain, almost as cheap as a 300E 124 saloon. But if you wanted a diesel or an estate, there was little choice. Only Mercedes delivered the goods.

My first 124 was a 300TD automatic - 1990 model year. It had covered less than 300,000 miles and ran like new, having been well maintained. I used this car for many years, even abused it. The rear suspension which is manufactured under license from Citroen turned out to be comfortable and excellent for roadholding but not as good as Citroen's own applications - it's weakness is that it relies on seals for its operation, rather than expensively fine engineering. Work it hard on English backroads when heavily laden and the seals can go in the rear rams - which are disguised to look like conventional 'shock absorbers' or dampers - easy enough to replace these units but unless you buy second-hand the price makes you wince.

Its window regulators wore out, as they are prone to, I had to replace the rear suspension rams, but other than that it needed nothing beyond brakes, tyres and servicing over tens of thousands of hard-driven miles. Not even a glow plug. I was deeply impressed! The ability to pull any weight, cruise at well over 100mph and retain its composure no matter what was thrown at it, was awe-inspiring. Over long journeys the smooth engine and accurate steering shone - aspects which many people overlook and can be hugely tiring.

The next 124 was another 300td auto, this time one of the last made - a 1996 model with the multivalve OM606 engine. It was cheap becuase of surface rust (the front wings always go) and highish mileage, but I didn't keep the car long. It was clear the steel was an inferior grade, both by the deep-seated corrosion in places, the look of the panels and the slack feel to the car. It impressed in obvious ways which Mercedes had never sought to do before - it set off rapidly (unneccesarily so in 1st gear every time, wiping away the old-school engineers' approach), had an ostentatiously glamourous interior and returned a few more miles per gallon at German speeds. The corrosion was serious, the paint poor (water-based) and I didn't like the car. Tapping the panels sounded like tapping cardboard. It felt fundamentally cheap compared with the previous one.

This car was followed by a complete contrast - a 1986 model saloon
with manual gears, but again with the 6 cylinder diesel engine. It was economical and fast, with less power loss in the transmission and a more aerodynamic body shape. About 16km/litre of fuel if you didn't exceed 120kph on a longish trip. It felt enormously strong and although a decade older and with many more miles on the clock than the previous car the paint was immaculate and there was no corrosion anywhere. Tap the panels and they rang, like all high-quality steel does. It was more spartan inside, but harder-wearing. A friend bought this car, and it continues to run like clockwork. I miss it.

By now I had done a little research into the model. It turned out that Mercedes was struggling to make any money on the cars and every modification was intended to reduce costs. The cars made before 1991/2 are better quality. The replacement W210 model was based heavily on the 124, but cost a third less to make. The MB chairman boasted of this at its launch - and Mercedes are still trying to recover from the poor reputation it gained them. In the UK, you can buy a 2000 or 2001 car for less than 1000. They rotted badly and had one or two design faults, but can be great buys if you are in the know. I would never have one.

To replace the saloon, I found another estate car, again with the oil-burning 6 cylinder engine driving through an automatic transmission. It had been lovingly cared-for and been in the same family all its life, with no cost spared. With 330,000 miles under its belt, it was nicely worn-in. I still have this car today, and it runs like clockwork.

However, I'd always been aware of the losses in an automatic transmission, even though nobody made one work as beautifully as Mercedes-Benz, and I was on the lookout for a manual gearbox estate version, preferably without electric windows (they are a weak point and quite superfluous). The smaller five cylinder diesel is even tougher than the six due to its greater torsional stiffness, and lighter as well. I recently found a lovely example for sale with winding windows, a manual gearbox and 5 cylinder engine. The perfect workhorse. It runs exceptionally well, having commuted for much of its life from London to Poland with a Polish nurse at the wheel. Originally it was bought by one of Mercedes' own engineers and has a couple of interesting additions, most recently a policeman with a Polish wife has owned the car. The front to rear suspension pipe needs replacement and there is a tiny amount of welding required but other than that she's fit to do another 486,000km. The picture is of this car, sat on my drive.
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Old 13th May 2013, 13:10   #71
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A quick question. I get a hissing sound from the right rear of my car before starting (ignition key turned in and when moved to on)..
Its a w124, E220. Am thinking petrol pump. Anyone know what this is?
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Old 20th August 2013, 11:04   #72
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz E Class (124) Owners - Should I buy?

Yes, it is your fuel pump. It's not a problem, just wait for the sound to stop which will be after 3 seconds and start the car. The fuel pump can be replaced in a mercedes garage if you don't want the noise.
Also i'm selling my Merc E220 (Petrol)(German imported) in Chennai, good running condition, if anyone on this forum is or knows someone is interested, let me know, cheers.
http://classifieds.team-bhp.com/buy-.../E-Class.html/
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