W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

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richard300
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W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by richard300 » Wed 29 Apr, 2015 10:21 pm

Hi chaps,
I went and viewed an S320 the other day here in Adelaide. I was told before i went to view the car, that the price had recently been reduced due to poor paintwork on the roof and the rear view mirror having come apart into several pieces. Sure enough, the lacquer on the roof is completely shot and there is a very small area of rust around the sunroof. The rear view mirror was as described but all the parts are in the car.
But, there were a couple of other things that caused me to walk away at the time.... One being the fact that the tow eye cover is missing (always makes me think there has been a breakdown, and wonder what caused the breakdown) and the other was a tappet/lifter type tick, coming from the very top of the engine at idle.

As mentioned, i initially walked away, but have since put in an offer of $3500 which may, or may not get accepted. The car has covered 240,000km and whilst all the fluids were fresh, there is no service history with the car......... I guess my question is - Was i right to walk away, or is the car worth taking a chance on? All the electrics worked, all the windows and all the door locks. Climate control was ice cold and there seemed to be no issues with the gearbox.

Car is in 199 Blue Black and has full black leather with Zebrano veneers - Which i think is a nice combination.

Richard.
Previous Mercedes:

W201 190e 2.3-16 (Smoke Silver)
W124 300e (Smoke Silver)
R129 500SL (Pearl Grey)
W124 300e -24 with Full 'Carat Duchatelet' conversion (Almandine Red)
W208 CLK55 AMG (Brilliant Silver)
W124 300CE with full 'Carat by Duchatelet' conversion (199 Blue/Black)

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Ivanerrol
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by Ivanerrol » Wed 29 Apr, 2015 10:41 pm

Did you know that W140 mirrors are adjusted electrically?
Did you also know that there is a little sensor in the mirror which detects lights from cars approaching from the rear and dims the mirror automatically - electronically?
Also there is a wind sensor and audio system sensor in the rear vision mirror.

If the paintwork clear coat has gone then that panel will need to be repainted. - unless you don't care about it.

Is it a post 1997 model? If not if it's and earlier car, has the wiring harness been changed?

Did the doors self close by themselves?
Can you work on this car yourself?
Find out how much it costs for a replacement tow hook cover your colour
W211 - E240
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richard300
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by richard300 » Thu 30 Apr, 2015 12:05 am

Thanks for the reply.....

i would definitely be wanting to have the roof repainted.
i know back in the UK one could pick up a cover for about £25. But hardly any second hand parts supply here in AU - Having said that, someone is breaking one on ebay.au so i have fired off an email to the seller.
I'll admit that i didn't check for self closing doors - but only because i thought they were fitted to V8/V12 cars or cars with double glazing?

Regarding the age of the car (wiring loom). The car is advertised as a 1996. Would a local MB dealer be able to confirm if the loom had been changed from the chassis number?

Cheers,

Richard.
Previous Mercedes:

W201 190e 2.3-16 (Smoke Silver)
W124 300e (Smoke Silver)
R129 500SL (Pearl Grey)
W124 300e -24 with Full 'Carat Duchatelet' conversion (Almandine Red)
W208 CLK55 AMG (Brilliant Silver)
W124 300CE with full 'Carat by Duchatelet' conversion (199 Blue/Black)

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Alsclk
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by Alsclk » Thu 30 Apr, 2015 6:39 am

I would not look at a Benz let alone a 140 without full service history. It will be the most expensive $3500 you will ever spend. If you like the 140's as we did, buy the best one you can find as mentioned by many before me and don't be afraid to pay top dollar. If you can't afford the best around, don't spend the $3500 as that will quadruple very quickly, just my opinion, cheers Alan
Found one very nice '75 450 SE
previously 380 SE, 220E, S420L, CLK500

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ansteadeh
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by ansteadeh » Fri 01 May, 2015 5:49 am

Ditto. Giles might have view here. I think he may have paid a LOT less than $3500 for his what turned out to be a good car. Getting it at a good or better price and a mindset of "I'll walk away from it and not feel like I want to cut my throat" at any time will be the best approach. Have a read of Giles' thread of his unexpected and pleasant ownership of a 140.

richard300
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by richard300 » Fri 01 May, 2015 8:30 pm

Thanks for all the constructive comments chaps..... I totally get the importance of a full service history, and if i were looking at a top draw car, i would definitely expect it to be present.

I weighed up all the pro's and con's and came up with 'worse case scenario' I buy it, its got hidden issues' i sell it on at a bit of a loss.

So i decided to go back and have a more involved look..... And i found:

The tappety noise i heard the other day wasnt there at all, at any point today.
All Fluids were fresh and all levels correct. Having run the car up to temperature, run it with the heaters off etc - There was no issues with overheating and temp gauge sat where it should.
Oils pressure was fine
Every single switch and electrical device i could think to test, performed without fault.
Engine ran well, gearbox has no issues on E or S with smooth change and correct kickdown.
Matching, good quality tyres all round with even wear.
No fluid leaks, knocks, bangs or grumbles..... And the car tracked and stopped arrow strait.
I was aware of the issues with the rear view mirror BUT all the electrical components are intact and mounted to the screen, its just that the case/housing is broken - I'll investigate if its repairable.
Roof, as mentioned, needs paint.
The tow eye cover retails here in SA (at Mercedes Dealer) for $225.00 but retails for £48.00 in the UK so a friend over there, who will get trade discount on the part, is going to send one over to me (he owns a body shop, and is even going to colour code it in the correct satin grey for me).

There is a slight blow at the very rear of the exhaust that i am going to take my chances with (repair or replace).

So, anyway, i bought the car and when i get some time i'll start making her ship shape and returning her to her former glory :-)


I'll post some pics too when i take some.
Previous Mercedes:

W201 190e 2.3-16 (Smoke Silver)
W124 300e (Smoke Silver)
R129 500SL (Pearl Grey)
W124 300e -24 with Full 'Carat Duchatelet' conversion (Almandine Red)
W208 CLK55 AMG (Brilliant Silver)
W124 300CE with full 'Carat by Duchatelet' conversion (199 Blue/Black)

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ansteadeh
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by ansteadeh » Sat 02 May, 2015 6:56 am

Well done! You might have a got a good one which will give you some trouble-free motoring.

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Giles
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by Giles » Sat 02 May, 2015 9:38 am

Nice work on the purchase Richard.

Some may think a gamble but $3.5K isn't a lot of coin these days.

Check the date on wiring harnes to see if it's been replaced, it should have a date sticker.

They are a great car but cop some flack. By now most of the problem issues would have been resolved.

If you ever need the tool to fit the lower control arm bushes I have one, it makes the job really easy.

I'm also going to take a look at a parts car on Sunday to evaluate, it's going pretty cheap.

Giles
1981 500SLC (Colour Black) Keeper car Lola
1975 280CE Signal Red Long term Project Ginger
1999 W163 ML430 MB Search & Rescue Vehicle Mary-Lou
1987 W126 420SEL Melb based long hauler Erwin

http://www.kudoscc.com.au

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markb
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by markb » Sat 02 May, 2015 6:23 pm

There's a guy wrecking a W140 in Melbourne on Gumtree for any potentially cheap parts
Current Fleet
1985 C123 280CE Midnight Blue with blue MB Tex (240k klms, Daily Driver 2010- )
Past Benzes:
1972 W108 280SE 3.5 White (2002-2003 project)
1971 W108 280SE 3.5 White (1999-2006 Unmolested original & sadly missed)
1987 S124 230TE Diamond Blue (2002-2007 Family cruiser)
1983 W126 280SE Champagne 106k Klms (Custodian in 2013)
1969 W113 280SL Champagne (Custodian in 2000)
1988 W124 300E Diamond Blue (2016 project)

richard300
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by richard300 » Sun 03 May, 2015 5:28 pm

Ok, so i have picked up the car and i still 'think' i am happy with my purchase.... I have had a couple of nice surprises. Firstly that i found the tow eye cover under the passenger seat and the second, being that the rear view mirror has gone back together nicely - time will tell how long it hold up.

I have given the car a really good clean and basic polish - She will receive a much more detailed valet after the roof has been done, I'm going to have the wheels refurbished also.
Not everything is good news though. The headline negative is that the car is not an S320 It's an S280 - It's very silly that the Rego does not list exact model or engine capacity or i would have picked this up. It's badged S320 and has even carried the registration plate MBS320 in the past. There are invoices where the car has been listed as an S320 and the previous owner has the receipt from when they purchased the car - thinking it was an S320. But i found the original MB service book and in a car on the back page is says S280. the vin also indicates that its an S280...... On reflection, i have decided that this is disappointing but not the end of the world.

The other issue is that the fan appears to be on all the time - I thought the car was sounding a bit noisy and noticed this morning, having started the car from cold with the climate control turned off, that the fan (The one between engine and radiator) came on strait away and having sat with the car running for 10mins, never went off.

@ Giles - Where about on the harness is the date stamp?

Here are some pictures i took on my phone.....

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Previous Mercedes:

W201 190e 2.3-16 (Smoke Silver)
W124 300e (Smoke Silver)
R129 500SL (Pearl Grey)
W124 300e -24 with Full 'Carat Duchatelet' conversion (Almandine Red)
W208 CLK55 AMG (Brilliant Silver)
W124 300CE with full 'Carat by Duchatelet' conversion (199 Blue/Black)

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Giles
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by Giles » Sun 03 May, 2015 10:58 pm

Behind the raditor tank there a large plug that leads into some plastic ducting that runs along the false firewall. Open it up and you'll seen a few white tags. One will have a date stamp.
image.jpg

The car looks like great value, forget the badge and enjoy the ride.

Giles
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1981 500SLC (Colour Black) Keeper car Lola
1975 280CE Signal Red Long term Project Ginger
1999 W163 ML430 MB Search & Rescue Vehicle Mary-Lou
1987 W126 420SEL Melb based long hauler Erwin

http://www.kudoscc.com.au

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Tony From West Oz
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by Tony From West Oz » Mon 04 May, 2015 12:08 am

Look,
If it really bothers you, I am happy to take it off your hands for just a little less than what you paid for it - LOL :dance:

Good Buy.
I am sure that you will get many years of reliable motoring in it.

Tony
Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

'83 W123 300D 325000km (Wife's car Josephine - sold).
'84 W123 300D replaced good OM617 912 with OM617 952 and enjoyed having good acceleration for the first time since first driving a 300D in 2002 - became engine and trans donor for 300CD Turbodiesel conversion. Now parted out.
'86 W124 300D sold (Wife's old car - sold )
'85 W123 300CD, 275 000km (Fatmobile) rebuilt turbodiesel from previous Fatmobile transplanted into 280CE (SOLD)
'99 W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car - Sold)
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T-Modell
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by T-Modell » Mon 04 May, 2015 12:31 am

Congrats to your purchase Richard! Looks indeed nice ... as it has been upgraded badgewise in the past, one of the first investments could be a S500 badge :laughing6: :laughing6:

Just kidding, enjoy the ride and good luck with the necessary repairs!
Thomas
---------------------------------------------------------------
1967 W111 250SE Cabriolet, horizon blue
1973 W115 220D 5.0 Pick-Up Argentina, work in progress 2017/18/19
1986 R107 500SL, arctic white, the midlife crisis viagra replacement
2007 R171 SLK350, calcit white
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KimB
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by KimB » Mon 04 May, 2015 10:44 am

The S280 might actually be a bonus. Although I am no w140 expert, I understand the s280 has less issues.
Ozbenz member Matthew in Wagga Wagga bought a s280 and raves on how good it is.

He might like to chime in with his experience!
Anyway that's a nice looking example in the photos.
Cheers
Kim
W126 86 300SE Champagne
W126 84 380SEC Signal Red

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pastelgrey300D
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by pastelgrey300D » Mon 04 May, 2015 12:59 pm

Hi Richard, congrats on the purchase and welcome to ozbenz! Car looks good - I reckon that a previous owner must have bought the clear tail light lenses and fitted the 320 badges to take a few years off the appearance of the car!

If you do have any issues with it, I know of a mechanic in Edwardstown that specializes in fault finding and repairs on this era of mercs. Have spoken to a few owners of similar era s-class cars and they seem very happy with his service.
David
1967 W111 230S - Horizonblau
1965 W110 190c - Mittelrot
1967 W110 200D - Weiss (work in progress)
+ other classics

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Giles
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by Giles » Mon 04 May, 2015 2:44 pm

I'm thinking the tail lights are correct. There is a difference in the boot lid between early and later models.
Mine is early and has the sharp corner where it meets near the bumper. I can't fit the later lights as on Richards car as his boot lid line has a soft rounded corner.
image.jpg
image.jpg
Giles
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1981 500SLC (Colour Black) Keeper car Lola
1975 280CE Signal Red Long term Project Ginger
1999 W163 ML430 MB Search & Rescue Vehicle Mary-Lou
1987 W126 420SEL Melb based long hauler Erwin

http://www.kudoscc.com.au

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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by richard300 » Mon 04 May, 2015 3:06 pm

Thanks for the comments and feedback....

PasteGrey - I will definitely take the details of your contact in Edwardstown - I think its only 20mins from me.

Giles - Thanks for the tip on locating the date tags (I'll have a look later).

Regarding the rear lights, i think they are an aftermarket 'Crystal/Jewel' type lense..... You may notice that the car has a reversing camera mounted next to the boot release button - There was an old monitor in the car and some poorly routed wiring (So i pulled it all out). I think the car may have originally had amber indicators, as the side repeater lenses are orange (i will buy some clear ones).

There was also chrome wheel arch trims on the car when i bought it. They are not my thing, so i removed them - If anyone wants them, let me know.

I was feeling the car was a little noisy, like there was an exhaust blow - But just could not pin point where from. Took the car to a specialist exhaust center/fabricator today who confirmed that the rear mufler was shot - Quoted me $300 to replace with something he will make, that will be suitable for the car and quiet.
Previous Mercedes:

W201 190e 2.3-16 (Smoke Silver)
W124 300e (Smoke Silver)
R129 500SL (Pearl Grey)
W124 300e -24 with Full 'Carat Duchatelet' conversion (Almandine Red)
W208 CLK55 AMG (Brilliant Silver)
W124 300CE with full 'Carat by Duchatelet' conversion (199 Blue/Black)

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Giles
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by Giles » Mon 04 May, 2015 4:00 pm

I stand corrected. I assumed that they may have changed by 96'.

The originals may have looked like this.
image.jpg
Giles
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1981 500SLC (Colour Black) Keeper car Lola
1975 280CE Signal Red Long term Project Ginger
1999 W163 ML430 MB Search & Rescue Vehicle Mary-Lou
1987 W126 420SEL Melb based long hauler Erwin

http://www.kudoscc.com.au

richard300
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by richard300 » Wed 06 May, 2015 9:41 am

So, inspected the wiring loom today..... I could not see any tags or labels (assuming i was looking in the right area). Perhaps its been replaced by an indie? The loom was attached to the bulkhead behind the engine, with regular cable ties (which i am sure MB did not use) although various audio and alarm cabling looks like its been routed through the engine bay at some time in the cars life.

Image
Image
Image

I noticed that i seem to be missing the 'part' you displayed in your picture Giles, nothing resembling it on the other side of the engine bay either?

Image
Image

Also started prepping the roof for paint..... Needs tons more sanding and some filler that i applied to be blended in - but its a start.

Image
Image

Sanded all the wheels down ready for primer.... just need to chemical metal some curbing - Or 'Gutter rash' as i understand its called in Australia.

Image
Previous Mercedes:

W201 190e 2.3-16 (Smoke Silver)
W124 300e (Smoke Silver)
R129 500SL (Pearl Grey)
W124 300e -24 with Full 'Carat Duchatelet' conversion (Almandine Red)
W208 CLK55 AMG (Brilliant Silver)
W124 300CE with full 'Carat by Duchatelet' conversion (199 Blue/Black)

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Giles
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by Giles » Wed 06 May, 2015 10:44 am

Perhaps the set up in your 280 is different than my 500 & the 320 I viewed on Sunday.

If the car runs OK and there's no sign of the wiring insulation break down, don't fiddle with it too much is the recommendation.

Giles.
1981 500SLC (Colour Black) Keeper car Lola
1975 280CE Signal Red Long term Project Ginger
1999 W163 ML430 MB Search & Rescue Vehicle Mary-Lou
1987 W126 420SEL Melb based long hauler Erwin

http://www.kudoscc.com.au

richard300
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by richard300 » Wed 06 May, 2015 1:20 pm

Giles wrote:
If the car runs OK and there's no sign of the wiring insulation break down, don't fiddle with it too much is the recommendation.

Giles.

Probably sound advice :-)
Previous Mercedes:

W201 190e 2.3-16 (Smoke Silver)
W124 300e (Smoke Silver)
R129 500SL (Pearl Grey)
W124 300e -24 with Full 'Carat Duchatelet' conversion (Almandine Red)
W208 CLK55 AMG (Brilliant Silver)
W124 300CE with full 'Carat by Duchatelet' conversion (199 Blue/Black)

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Giles
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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by Giles » Tue 01 Sep, 2015 11:11 pm

It would appear that this one is now on the market.

http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/christie ... 1079673495

Giles
1981 500SLC (Colour Black) Keeper car Lola
1975 280CE Signal Red Long term Project Ginger
1999 W163 ML430 MB Search & Rescue Vehicle Mary-Lou
1987 W126 420SEL Melb based long hauler Erwin

http://www.kudoscc.com.au

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Re: W140 Mercedes S320 - Potential Purchase.

Post by T-Modell » Wed 02 Sep, 2015 12:03 am

Giles wrote:It would appear that this one is now on the market.

http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/christie ... 1079673495

Giles
Wow, 2.000 AUD only, I think it's time to move to Australia ...

Thomas
---------------------------------------------------------------
1967 W111 250SE Cabriolet, horizon blue
1973 W115 220D 5.0 Pick-Up Argentina, work in progress 2017/18/19
1986 R107 500SL, arctic white, the midlife crisis viagra replacement
2007 R171 SLK350, calcit white
2008 S211 E63T, calcit white, sleeper

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