Seeing an E320 Cabriolet on Saturday....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by neilrr, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. neilrr

    neilrr MB Club Veteran

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    ... with a W124 TE owning friend.

    He plans to find a very good one & keep it for a looooooong time.

    What should we look out for?

    TIA
     
  2. aka$h

    aka$h Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    The roofs are now starting to age, so check for rips etc. Rust is a common problem, so give it a good once over. other than than, as long as its well maintained and drives well you should be ok.
    Wiring looms are an issue but cant really be avoided.
     
  3. Apial

    Apial Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Head gasket failure..... Look for oil dripping down the exhaust manifold.
     
  4. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    AFAIK hoods are only supposed to last approx. 6-7 years, so definitely check the seams/stitching etc.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    neilrr

    neilrr MB Club Veteran

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    This one sounds pretty good on paper & even better when I spoke to the bloke. The colour isn't my favourite, but then I'm not buying it.

    I think a new loom is pretty much a given with any M104 engined car & that's expected somewhere along the line.

    How much ahould a head gasket run at a good indy?

    Do they rust anywhere non convertible W124s don't?

    Any idea what a new hood costs? I shudder to even think about the cost of replacing that. :eek: :(
     
  6. Ade B

    Ade B Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    My neighbour recently rejuvenated his hood with some wonder product (can't remember what it was) - it was literally green with mildew and moss and is now looking like new.. so cosmetically at least they can be easily enhanced.

    He also seems to have non specific problems with the tombstones not going down so check those.

    Head gasket cost me £600 excluding skimming the head + VAT IIRC at a rather expensive MB indy. (No one on here).

    Ade
     
  7. Apial

    Apial Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Budget around the £1k mark for a head gasket job with skimming from an indie. They will no doubt also find other things to spend your money on at the same time.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    neilrr

    neilrr MB Club Veteran

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    Tombstones?
     
  9. Howard

    Howard MB Club Veteran

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    The rear headrests are also the rollover protection.

    When activated they spring up to about 12-18 inches high ( and look like tombstones ) , if they don't retract there may be a problem ...

    You also ( i think ) won't be able to raise or lower the roof if they are jammed up ....

    They look the same as the ones on my CLK which popped up when it was wrecked ....

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Smiley

    Smiley Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Have a look on www.cabrio.de the original spec hoods are not as expensive as you might think. But these hoods are triple skinned so a few little marks on the outside layer may detract from the overall appearance but they are not a death sign for the hood.

    Head gasket will be min of £500 at an indy if the car has done less than 100k miles - much more than that and it may need valves + skim = £1000 total.

    Great time to be buying one of these cars - I dont think these low prices will hang around for the good ones when the credit crunch eases off a bit.
     
  11. stats007

    stats007 MB Club Veteran

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    Speak to Mike Done and Ray Waker on MBOC if you haven't done so already.
     
  12. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    Apart from the normal w124 checks/problems the 2 unique aspects of the cabriolet are the hood and rollover mechanism as has been stated. In both cases give them a rigorous testing by operating them several times. i.e raise and lower the hood 2 or 3 times and do likewise with the roll over protection. This may strain the battery somewhat which is the other item you want in tip top condition for that very reason.
     
  13. kth286

    kth286 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    The head gasket is not the same problem as on earlier 124 where the oil and coolant passages run very close to each other at the rear of the engine, and a crossover path occurs and oil ends up in the coolant container.

    The later 320 engines suffer from oil dribble down the offside of engine near front, so oil can drip down over the alternator.

    This is mainly due to overfill of oil. A TSB was issued and the instruction was to reduce the fill by half litre. Never more than half way between min and max on dipstick - problem then (in majority of cases) goes away, and oil stops dribbling. Worked on my second hand 124 which has now done over 165,000 miles.
     
  14. Apial

    Apial Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    On the earlier M104 engine of mine I did have no problem at all with oil crossing over into the water. The problem was entirely due to an oilway that was close to the edge of the head adjacent to the manifold. Oil simply dribbled out onto the manifold and made a stench.

    The replacement head gasket had been modified in these areas, and I am told that replacement headgaskets do not fail like the originals did. I fill my engine according to the dipstick marks and I have no leaks. I asked my mechaninc about the TSB but he had not heard of it. Do you have any more details?
     
  15. Smiley

    Smiley Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I think it is recommended to keep the engine running when operating the roof - there is no point putting such a huge strain on the battery.
     
  16. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    Can't see that raising and lowering the roof should put a huge strain on the battery compared say to turning over an cold engine 4 or 5 times? You are right that under normal circs it would be preferable to keep the engine running while performing these operations but a correctly rated well charged battery should handle this task without a problem. If the factory fit battery- 100amp has been replaced with a lower rated battery or the battery is on its last legs then its another factor to take into account in assessing the car that's all.
     
  17. kth286

    kth286 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) issued November 1995

    Ref. No. 00/134, 18/45

    Subject: Engines 104 and 111 Reduction of engine oil fill capacity.

    Effective immediately.

    Engine 104 New 7.0L Previous 7.5L

    Engine 111 New 5.5L Previous 5.8L


    In addition another TSB was issued No. 00/57 November 1995

    It has come to our attention that some Mercedes are being operated with too much engine oil.

    Excess oil affects driveability and performance, and may lead to engine damage.

    Dealers are asked to remind customers not to 'top off' their oil levels.

    Ideally, the engine oil level should be around halfway between MAX and MIN on dipstick.

    END
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  18. Apial

    Apial Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Would the TSB apply to both the 3.0 and 3.2 M104 engines, or just the 3.2?
     
  19. Smiley

    Smiley Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Agreed but a new battery at about £100 for a hi capacity Bosch one is not the most important thing to check on an e320 cab.
     
  20. kth286

    kth286 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    My understanding is that both are 104 and both are originally 7.5 litre oil fill
    and therefore applies to both.
     

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