New Member with a W124 E320

Discussion in 'New member introductions' started by jamesallum, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. jamesallum

    jamesallum New Member

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    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    West Sussex, UK
    Car:
    W124 E230
    Morning all


    I recently bought my 2nd W124 this time an E320 Saloon in bournite metallic with grey leather. It’s a 5 speed with many of the option boxes ticked including, a/c, sunroof, orthopaedic electric driver’s seat etc.


    My interest in this era Mercedes started when I was a child being driven around in friend parents 124’s and always being impressed with the solid feeling verses equivalent big Fords and Vauxhalls of the same era. Whilst at university I had a summer job delivering car for the local Mercedes dealership and it was always the late 80’s and early 90’s W124’s, W126’s and W201’s that got me most excited. Even in ’95 the W210 felt a step backwards.


    Fast forward to 2008 and a daily commute into West London led me searching for a reliable automatic barge in attempt to save my knees which were starting to ache from using my air-cooled Porsche in rush hour traffic. I stumbled across a solid but cosmetically tatty W124 E220 which I snapped up to perform the task. My expectations were low but it seemed the more I threw at the 220 the better it performed. Better still all it asked for was petrol and oil changes every 9K.
    By 2010 and 18K later the 220 was starting to look a little jaded, not helped by vandals jumping on the her and denting the roof and bonnet one evening. I was presented with an option of an Audi A4 Cab and my money back for the 220 as a trade in which I took up. The Audi just felt bland in comparison though having the worst combination of age related maintenance bills and the usual depreciation of a more modern car.


    So in spring this year I sold the Audi and started the search for another solid quality era Mercedes. Initially I was keen on a W126 but good examples were few and far between and I didn’t have the time to travel huge distances only to be disappointed with another mans definition of “immaculate”. The deciding factor was when I drove a local 500se which aside from being a poor example made me realise how large the 126 is. My mind was made up, I wanted another 124, this time with the bigger engine and a few more toys.


    I settled on the E320 which was for sale by a fairy well known specialist. It was a 2 owner car, the previous owner sadly passing away after 11 years of ownership. It had a comprehensive service history and a file of receipts for big jobs such as the wiring loom replacement.


    However 2 months on and in all honesty I haven’t really bonded with this car yet. I’ve spent the purchase price again on maintenance, major service, complete suspension overhaul etc as my plan is always been to have this one as long term vehicle. I think it comes down to a couple of things, a) my expectations were probably too high – having been so surprised and impressed with my old 220 and b) I’ve had a few irritating niggles, nothing too serious but annoying time consuming faults like a split coolant hose leaving me stranded, seized track rod ends when trying to have the alignment corrected and dash bulbs that need replacing etc. Also the bodywork isn’t quite a nice as I had originally thought and it will need a lick of paint in a few places in the near future. As I say nothing too alarming but the sum of which has left me a little frustrated as I’m useless at DIY and that nasty feeling of “what’s next” creeps in at too regular frequencies. Bottom line is I think I just need to get a few miles under my belt with her now to reassure me how great these cars are.

    Anyway thanks for reading hope I can contribute to the discussions here and will post some pics once this rain stops!

    Cheers,
    James
     
    3 people like this.
  2. d w124

    d w124 MB Club Veteran

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    Hi James and welcome to the forum.Your car sounds nice,post some pictures whe. You can
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. BillyW124

    BillyW124 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Car:
    W124 E320 coupe, W211 E320 V6 CDI, W211 E63 V8 AMG, R129 SL 280 V6, W215 CL 600 V12 Bi Turbo.
    Welcome mate, sounds like you have the 124 bug!
     
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    jamesallum

    jamesallum New Member

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    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    West Sussex, UK
    Car:
    W124 E230
    Thnaks chaps.

    Meant to add that she has 98K on the clock so hopefully there's good life in the old girl yet.

    Cheers
     
  5. d w124

    d w124 MB Club Veteran

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    I think I know the car you're talking.If is the one I'm thinking,it was on eBay about 2-3 months ago
     
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    jamesallum

    jamesallum New Member

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    Dec 16, 2008
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    Car:
    W124 E230
    I don't think so but it might have been. The specialist I bought it from acquired it in December according to the records and I saw it advertised on Car & Classic. He might have tried eBay though.
     
  7. BillyW124

    BillyW124 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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  8. OP
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    jamesallum

    jamesallum New Member

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    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    West Sussex, UK
    Car:
    W124 E230
    Wow Billy that's impressive, after reading that you have me feel much better about my OCD :D. I bet your car drives as good as the day she left the factory now. I need all the encouragement I can get at the moment as for every person I meet who loves a W124 there are 9 who think you are mad for throwing money at an old car.

    I popped in to see Nick Froome shortly after buying mine and he gave me some great pointers. Having had those bits done and 4 new conti premium contacts at the weekend I’m shortly going to make a list of mid and long term 'investments'.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. mattc

    mattc Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    well here's another fan of 124's. Cheap to buy, reliable, sense of occasion and style that modern boxes fail to provide. their worst feature is they are thirsty beasts but you have no depreiciation to think of.

    with proper TLC they will outllive much of what is on the roads today so I think you have made a cracking choice.
     
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  10. d w124

    d w124 MB Club Veteran

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    James:All I can tell you is that you've made a good choice and you know you'll not regret it
    Many people look at them as old cars (some even call a 500e a 20 year old taxi) but each to their own
    If I tell you how much money has gone to my saloon (not finished yet),even you might think I'm mad lol
    Is all about what I think of my car,good luck to the rest

    Back to your car:I've a feeling is the same car I'm talking about
    The one I mean is not sportline but it has sportline chassis with 8 hole alloys and the front seats were electric
     
  11. BillyW124

    BillyW124 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    LOL cheers,

    Believe me you are not the only one who have had people saying the same thing that im crazy. They wont get it. Its hard to explain but trust me they wont. :doh:

    The ones that do encourage me, even then, i get a funny 'what have you done now' when they jump in. They actually expect me to say 'oh nothing' and when i do tell em' they're like WTF! Its all good though.

    its taken a while till ive got this feeling about my car which i mention in that thread, but its well worth it. Depending on your OCD scale :rolleyes:, you will know when you are satisfied with it. Mines in a scale 1 to 10 is 11. !!

    Mechanically now i think she is all up to date, untill i can think of somthing else but probably would have by now.

    These cars are in a league of their own. Yes you have to bond with it in one way or another otherwise the things you do may not actually feel like its been money well spent.

    I say drive it for a while get used to the car (each 124 is different in their own funny way) you'll get a feel as to what you like or whats bothering you.

    Then you can tackle them one by one, but logically. Then you will begin to appreciate the car more and grow fonder.

    I can only say this from my experience and ive only owned it for 2 and half years but i pinned pointed exactly what i didnt think was right, fed it on this forum gain other opinions, form your own and then tackle. The knowlegde on here as i have grown to learn is second to none. Better in my opinion than going to a garage and asking them for help.

    Get the knowlegde first, than portray it on to the garage. That way they cant fob you off beacuse they know exactly what you're talking about.

    It's advisable to find a 'right' mechanic for you and the car. i've built up a relationship with my mechanic which helps a lot. He now carry's out all my work and has done 90% of my things. I also can observe/give a hand which he doesn't mind at all. Again, you will get to know your car better and learn at the same time. Pior to my 124 ownership i knew Fek all!
     
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    jamesallum

    jamesallum New Member

    Messages:
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    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    West Sussex, UK
    Car:
    W124 E230
    Good points – with any car I guess you have to look at the cost over the period of intended ownership not the short sharp hits to the wallet.

    That’s interesting, it has the 8 hole alloys and electric drivers seat (not passenger) but wasn't aware of sportsline chassis, certainly wasn’t advertised as having it. Mine has a private plate which came with the car, sound about right? Will get a pic tonight.

    Is there a site where I can enter the vin number and check the specification?

    Cheers,
    James
     
  13. d w124

    d w124 MB Club Veteran

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    Yes there is but I'm on mobile at the moment and I can't post a link
     
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    jamesallum

    jamesallum New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    West Sussex, UK
    Car:
    W124 E230
    Superb advise thanks. It's sometimes difficult to be patient when you join a community like this as there are such fine examples of the model. But I am guilty of not driving her enough, getting used to her and indentifying anything that’s bothering me. Instead I have been learning of every possible issue and either tackling it or letting the thought of it happening to my car bug me. Time for some serious bonding I think! :thumb:


    Cheers,
    James
     
  15. MD5

    MD5 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hi James, and congrats on your purchase from another 124 fan. Bornite is a great colour too. With the wiring loom done, that's a pricey job out of the way. Other common weakspots are rusty front wings, so check for mud that may be trapped around the inside of the wheelarches, and do that regularly. The headgasket is another weakness, but they can go on quite happily, just weeping a little oil, for a long time.

    I look forward to seeing some pics.
     
  16. OP
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    jamesallum

    jamesallum New Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    West Sussex, UK
    Car:
    W124 E230
    Thanks Mike. Yes wiring loom done a couple of years ago, and a new ECU at the same time it seems. I understand the replacement looms are a lot more robust?

    The head gasket seems fine with no visible oil seeping in the normal rear left hand part of the lump. Anyway worst case with a Porsche 964 as my other car I’m quite used to living with small oil leaks! !!


    Wings are going to require some work though, look as if they have been tackled previously and have micro bubbles at the moment. But it makes sense to sort at the same time as other bodywork odds and sods and then start as I mean to go on with regular cleaning and treating of the inner sides.

    Thanks again,
    James
     
  17. Pigpen

    Pigpen Active Member

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    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Location:
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    Car:
    C124 E320
    Your story sounds similar to mine. I had very VERY tatty w124 saloon a couple of years ago, I bought it as I needed a car to start a new job with 2 days to spare. It was cheap and had an MOT. It really was a rubbish example but I kept it for a year ish and put 15,000 miles on it before it gave up the ghost.

    Then I got something 'sensible'. A five year old diesel BMW (sorry). Every trip down the motorway was done with gritted teeth. It wasn't very comfortable, it was noisy and it wasn't pretty.

    After 6 months of hating my car I got shot of it (depreciation trauma) and got my E320 coupe. I'm still doing the same commute (70 miles a day) albeit a little more slowly and barring the odd emotional moment at petrol stations I am loving every moment of it.

    You made the right choice, spend a few quid getting it up to scratch and you'll be set for a good while. Enjoy it!
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. BillyW124

    BillyW124 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    ..check you jacking points too. Stick you fingers in around the sills of the points. If you have rust then it could be a wider problem. removing the sill is the best for proper diagnosis.

    dont be put off though its common. But will have to get treated. Rear points if heavily coroded can lead to rusting the parts where the rear subframe mounts sit.

    again, do corrosion work in one go if pocket allows. Will be undergoing this soon myself basically covering all the bits you cannot see.
     
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    jamesallum

    jamesallum New Member

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    Dec 16, 2008
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    West Sussex, UK
    Car:
    W124 E230
    Thanks will certainly get these checked out at the same time.
    Rear sub frame area overhaul is already in the budget for 2012 but might bring this forward if anything untoward in the same area is indentified.
    Cheers
     
  20. Niks

    Niks Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    James, buying a W124 is one of the worst things you could have done! You'll really regret it one day that you bought one, it'll make you love it, drive it more and more to the point where any other car you drive will never compare to the way a 124 drives.

    Ive spent more on my car than its worth and i still have plans to spend a lot more on it. Its the 124 way of life...welcome to the forum buddy!
     
    5 people like this.
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