Looking at a 32 year old 2.0 190E with 60.000

semm

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Hello everyone.

I'm looking at getting an old 2ltr 190E from 1990. It looks great. What do I need to look out for? What are is prone to go wrong on these models? It has been standing for two years in a garage. I have always wanted one, and now is my chance. I used to have one of the old 300D and loved it.
Thanks for any insights

Semm
 

190

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Welcome semm. I ran a 1989 190e for 21 years. The 3 things to look out for are rust, rust and rust. Don't go by exterior impressions as it can still be a rust bucket underneath. Check jacking points and rear suspension mounting points in particular. The problem is the thick plastic undercoat, once water gets behind it serious corrosion occurs before it becomes visible. Rust on front wings is not a worry if new wings are still available as they are very easy to fit.

The engine is generally very reliable but head gasket failure can happen at high miles. 60k is nothing provided coolant has been replaced at specified intervals.
 
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semm

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190e
Welcome semm. I ran a 1989 190e for 21 years. The 3 things to look out for are rust, rust and rust. Don't go by exterior impressions as it can still be a rust bucket underneath. Check jacking points and rear suspension mounting points in particular. The problem is the thick plastic undercoat, once water gets behind it serious corrosion occurs before it becomes visible. Rust on front wings is not a worry if new wings are still available as they are very easy to fit.

The engine is generally very reliable but head gasket failure can happen at high miles. 60k is nothing provided coolant has been replaced at specified intervals.
Thanks 190. The car is in Spain, so rust should not be a problem.... I will still check though. :)
 

Stratman

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Check all of the rubber components too, like suspension bushes and tyres. Ozone in the atmosphere will cause them to deteriorate whether it's done 6000, 60000 or 600000.
 

Will

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As above, rust is the only real concern. Anything else is just nuts and bolts, easy and cheap to work on with plenty of spare parts available still.

I’d have thought sun/UV damage would be more of a concern (cracked dash/peeling door cards) if the car has been in Spain.

Head gasket is a straightforward and cheap repair and easy to DIY if you take your time, just ensure that it’s caught in time before corrosion sets in.
 

ChipChop

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The rear screen surround / parcel shelf underside area is also a rust spot so worth checking. One of the more difficult areas to repair if rusty as you need to remove the rear screen to repair properly.

As the car has been standing for a while the front lower ball joints need to be very carefully inspected. A safety related item on w201's. Is the steering stiff and notchy? If the lower ball joints fail the front suspension will collapse. Not something you want to happen whilst driving so replace them as a matter of course. They are press fit.

Great cars in my biased opinion.
 
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Will

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Ball joints are cheap to buy but a bit awkward to fit.

Another option is to replace the lower arms complete if the bushes are also looking tired (32 years old)

But this is all just speculation of course, if it looks and drives okay just get the whole car up in the air and inspected by someone familiar with these cars locally :)
 

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