Things to look for in an ML?

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Dweezil
C 111
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Things to look for in an ML?

Post by Dweezil » Mon 27 Aug, 2018 10:16 pm

Hi Team,

I know nothing and care less about cars made after 1990, but that may be about to change. I've got a friend who likes to get out into nature, so I'm thinking of 4WDs.

The dream of a G-Wagen will never be in reach, so naturally my thoughts have turned to the ML. I'm a biodiesel guy, so a diesel would be my preferred option, but can someone point me in the direction of a thread where the relative merits of, say, early 2000s MLs are discussed?

Did any of them come with a poverty pack? I like the idea of the fewest amount of things going wrong.

Got my eye on one that's done about 200k.

In anticipation, thanks.

Dweezil

Neo
Dernburg Wagon
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Re: Things to look for in an ML?

Post by Neo » Mon 27 Aug, 2018 11:10 pm

The most basic is the ML270 (my car) but it's no "poverty pack" .... In fact the electrics (and lots of electronics) are a bit temperamental and could drive you nuts with or without a diagnostic scanner.... All computers are fitted in one box which I think is kinda cool.
Pre 2002 cars are more troublesome. I had a friend with a 2001 ML320 (W163) and anything and everything electronic went wrong on his car.
The 270 engine can suffer from EGR valve issues, Injector seals leaking (messing job!), High pressure fuel pump leaking, Turbo issues, ABS Pump issues (if the washer tank has leaked over it) and it's not hard to spend a $1,000 on a replacement radiator fan if it fails.... But despite this many folk say this diesel engine is good for 800,000Klm ... I hope their right lol!
All in all you gotta love fixing em (like I do) if you want to get on (or save a Mercedes fortune) with these cars ... BTW the GL tows like crap otherwise I'd have one by now lol!!

Best of luck.
Neo.

Mickey
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Re: Things to look for in an ML?

Post by Mickey » Fri 31 Aug, 2018 2:01 pm

I have a 2010 ML350 diesel. I have towed a 2 tonne caravan and you would hardly know it was there. I actually found myself overtaking cars at 100kph in the fast lane with no drama. Due to tow ball weight limitations, I have considered getting a GL350 diesel and am interested to know why you think it doesn't tow well. I love my ML and intend to keep it for a long time unless something better comes up. I thought a GL may be something better.

Neo
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Re: Things to look for in an ML?

Post by Neo » Fri 31 Aug, 2018 2:41 pm

I have not had direct experience but on 3 different Benz forums I have read how the rear end can wag badly while towing. The GL owners were baffled and very disappointed with the towing capabilities and one felt the car was kinda dangerous under towing conditions.

There's obviously many factors to consider so just ask a dealer if you can test drive the GL with your Caravan on the back... Make sure you drive down a long steep hill (preferably on a Freeway) then you'll really know for sure.... Best of luck .... Please write back and let us know how you get on?

tips
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Re: Things to look for in an ML?

Post by tips » Mon 03 Sep, 2018 10:09 pm

Dweezil
I’ve had a 163 2003 and a 166. Agree with the comment on post 2002 much better build. Whilst my 163 was trouble free cost of parts and consumables was up there s it aged. They were built as a US softroader so for me not the best mb build quality. 164 is a better build quality and i would steer you in that direction. Frankly any ML is going to be more tech than a g wagon or Landie.
W163 ML350 - RIP
W166 ML350 - SOLD
GLC43 the Mrs (fast) ride to work
W111 280SE 3.5 Coupe - I drive but dont own
Flirting with other Germans

Roger82
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Re: Things to look for in an ML?

Post by Roger82 » Thu 20 Sep, 2018 7:48 am

They came in "Classic" or "Luxury" the latter having a sunroof (prone to leaks), leather and a few more heated things (seats, mirrors and stuff like that).

Ours is an 02 ML270 Classic and has had injector seals leak, high pressure pump leak, door lock fail, low range motor stuck and sometimes the transmission won't get passed third but you just turn it off and back on again and it's "fixed".

Ours has towed an 1800kg 4WD on a car trailer without flinching, the brakes are awesome as is the traction control.

I lifted ours 50mm with 24mm spacers on top of the back struts and wound up the torsion bars, we also run larger tyres, this compliments the ladder frame chassis, effective traction control and low range gear to make this a true 4wd that is far from a softroader even without the lift.

I would sooner put the W164 in the softroader category because of its monocoque layout.

Definitely buy the facelift (2002 onwards) version to avoid most of the electrical gremlins.
2002 ML270 Classic wife's car
1983 500SEC fixer-upper

Roger82
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Re: Things to look for in an ML?

Post by Roger82 » Thu 20 Sep, 2018 7:50 am

A photo just because we all like photos 😉
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2002 ML270 Classic wife's car
1983 500SEC fixer-upper

Dweezil
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Region: New South Wales
Location: Lovely downtown Katoomba

Re: Things to look for in an ML?

Post by Dweezil » Thu 20 Sep, 2018 10:57 am

Thanks for the input, guys.

Ended up buying a 2000 320 with 115k on the clock.

The YAW sensor was stuffing up and auto-braking, which was no fun at all, so $450 later I've just put a S/H one in.

Dweezil

Neo
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Re: Things to look for in an ML?

Post by Neo » Thu 20 Sep, 2018 2:04 pm

Dweezil wrote:
Thu 20 Sep, 2018 10:57 am
Thanks for the input, guys.
Ended up buying a 2000 320 with 115k on the clock. The YAW sensor was stuffing up and auto-braking, which was no fun at all, so $450 later I've just put a S/H one in.
Best of luck with that.
Roger82 wrote:
Thu 20 Sep, 2018 7:48 am
I lifted ours 50mm with 24mm spacers on top of the back struts and wound up the torsion bars, we also run larger tyres
Wow Rodger,
Where did you get the spacers from?....Have you done any other good mods?
My 2002 has the super hard ride suspension. I was told they did that for one year then went back to the sofer suspension. Do you think the harder suspension will help offroad?

Best Mod I've made on my 270CDI is a Steinbauer. I was lucky to get one cheap .... Can't believe it's the same engine lol!
http://www.steinbauer.cc/au/products/pa ... __3ae/azp/

All the best.
Neo

Roger82
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Re: Things to look for in an ML?

Post by Roger82 » Sun 23 Sep, 2018 8:55 am

Just, bullbar, winch and dual battery controller with anderson plug for camper trailer.

I made the rear lift blocks myself from aluminium plate, there are some on eBay that a guy makes here in Aus.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 2915754803
2002 ML270 Classic wife's car
1983 500SEC fixer-upper

Roger82
A Class
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat 14 Oct, 2017 10:04 am
Model you own: I own multiple different models
Location: Yankalilla SA

Re: Things to look for in an ML?

Post by Roger82 » Sun 23 Sep, 2018 8:58 am

Softer suspension is usually better for off-road but I found ours was less boat like on the road after winding up the torsion bars, so I'd stick with stiff suspension and better road handling and let the traction control do the work off-road.
2002 ML270 Classic wife's car
1983 500SEC fixer-upper

Neo
Dernburg Wagon
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun 01 May, 2016 7:47 am
Model you own: w163

Re: Things to look for in an ML?

Post by Neo » Mon 24 Sep, 2018 8:20 pm

Roger82 wrote:
Sun 23 Sep, 2018 8:55 am
I made the rear lift blocks myself from aluminium plate, there are some on eBay that a guy makes here in Aus.
Thanks for the link but they are kinda of a lot of money for spacers lol!! .... Would like to knock those up myself. Do you happen to have a diagram with dimensions?

Thanks for your help.
Neo

Image

Roger82
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Re: Things to look for in an ML?

Post by Roger82 » Thu 27 Sep, 2018 4:27 pm

I'll have a dog, I reckon I have them somewhere.
2002 ML270 Classic wife's car
1983 500SEC fixer-upper

Roger82
A Class
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat 14 Oct, 2017 10:04 am
Model you own: I own multiple different models
Location: Yankalilla SA

Re: Things to look for in an ML?

Post by Roger82 » Thu 27 Sep, 2018 4:37 pm

This might be enough to work off of.
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2002 ML270 Classic wife's car
1983 500SEC fixer-upper

Neo
Dernburg Wagon
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun 01 May, 2016 7:47 am
Model you own: w163

Re: Things to look for in an ML?

Post by Neo » Thu 27 Sep, 2018 6:44 pm

That's awesome! ... Thanks for that. :dance:

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