Ownership Verified: Trust Me It's Not a Taxi: My 1995 Mercedes W124

Conan

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Bought on a whim. Have yet to regret it. :p



A few weeks ago I decided that I want some big ol comfortable sedan. So I started looking for the options I have. I wanted an X300 Jag, but it's over-budget and the maintenance would be a nightmare to do. I could've gone for an E34, but they're quite finicky. I also could've gone mad and get something like a Citroen XM, but I don't want a lawn ornament. And no Volvo, they're just not built for the climate.

Suddenly I found myself looking at W124. They're relatively cheap to buy, the parts are extremely plentiful, it's built to last, and it's the sort of comfortable cruiser I've always wanted.



This one came up on local Mercedes-Benz Club. It's a 1995 E200. Absolute basic spec. How basic is it you may ask? The W124 was very popular as airport taxi and hotel fleet car. But those usually are the bigger engine, leather and alloys equipped, locally built E220. This one is an imported E200 with hubcaps and MB Tex. But it's not a complete suomi-spec as it does have electric windows, automatic gearbox, and no cloth seat.

The car is a one family owner from new. The first owner registered it in January 1996 and kept it until passed away and his daughter inherited the car.


(Pardon the water-marked window).

The interior is in okay state. It's clean, the seats are neat, the wood is okay. It has this weird 90's aftermarket cassette radio (time to bring out the cassette to aux adaptor!). And also a very weird centre console compartment, it's the rolltop box thing like the factory setup, but it does not look like the one I can find on the internet, the whole thing is (plastic) wood and is not lockable.



It's equipped with the M111 2.0-litre engine, producing 136hp. Mated with 4 speed Automatic gearbox, slow would be an understatement. But that's not what this car is about. It's made for accelerating up to 120km/h (so not to break the speed limit) and stay there comfortably. What I love is that the engine does sound like an old school 4 cylinder. Not those vacuum cleaner crap that modern cars produce.



(I did intentionally park beside that W201. :p)

The car does have some issue. First of there's an oil leak (not the one visible in the first pic, that's somebody else's). I also suspect that there's a coolant leak somewhere (but the temperature does stay normal). I will be sure to keeping eyes on both of these until it's fixed. The oil pressure gauge also does not work, the Air conditioning is TOO COLD (I am quite worried about this actually, as fixing air conditioning is complicated, hopefully it's just that I don't understand how to turn it off), passenger side speaker is as dead as a dodo, and the windscreen washer does not squirt. I'm taking it into the workshop tomorrow having a check on important issues though.

The price for this one is 165,000 Bath (est. 4600usd, 4120euromoni) Not bad for a good late W124 in this country. :D


Here's the proof pic. :)
 
Last edited:

luokyio

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Nice find, congrats! Clean the AC sensor (next to the roof light IIRC), the system probably sees the interior temp too high all the time.

Ps. Here that would be a old as ''well equipped'', as it has AC and electric windows plus even an automatic :lol:
 

rickhamilton620

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Very nice! Part of me wishes I could be trusted to own a basic Mercedes but goodness knows I couldn't afford the maintenance, no matter how basic a trim I'd get.

Enjoy it!
 

Conan

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Nice find, congrats! Clean the AC sensor (next to the roof light IIRC), the system probably sees the interior temp too high all the time.

Ps. Here that would be a old as ''well equipped'', as it has AC and electric windows plus even an automatic :lol:
I'll definitely try to clean the sensor. :) And yeah it's totally "well equipped." :p

Very nice! Part of me wishes I could be trusted to own a basic Mercedes but goodness knows I couldn't afford the maintenance, no matter how basic a trim I'd get.

Enjoy it!

Thank you. :)

Hopefully the maintenance is not too expensive. The parts certainly are quite cheap. The labour cost over in America is astronomical, right? Here it's not too bad. :)
 

luokyio

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Parts for W124 are insanely cheap. Some rare parts that you need to order from dealership may be expensive, but for most parts aftermarket options are available at a fraction of a price.
 

Der Stig

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Lovely non-taxi :D

It should serve you well- PeachParts is a great forum for technical resources, help, etc. :)
 

Conan

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Parts for W124 are insanely cheap. Some rare parts that you need to order from dealership may be expensive, but for most parts aftermarket options are available at a fraction of a price.
They really are insanely cheap. As I've found out today at the parts shop. :)

Lovely non-taxi :D

It should serve you well- PeachParts is a great forum for technical resources, help, etc. :)
Thank you. :) Hopefully it does keep working well for a really long time like these were built to.


Today I went to Mercedes parts den to get some much needed parts such as cooling fan clutch, differential seals and other maintenance items. Hopefully the next Monday I'll be able to take it to a specialist shop to have a full check up, fixes and full fluids change.
 

Perc

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I just sold four spark plugs for a W124 E200 today. Could have been a 200E too, can't remember. They were 3,50? each anyway.

Meanwhile, a Bosch spark plug lead kit for a R129 500SL lists for 505 euros. Alternatively you could get Beru leads separate for between 30 and 40 euros a pop. :lol:
 

Conan

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This morning I drove 50km to a respected shop in North Bangkok. And immediately after arriving it does this.



Quite a big wee it's done. :rolleyes:

The mechanic swiftly trace the culprit to a faulty coolant hose. That along with fan clutch, water temperature sensor, oil pressure o-ring, differential seal replacement, full fluid change, spark plugs and the whole accessory belt system. Should make this car work as it should again, mostly. :D
 

Conan

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So yesterday I picked the car up from the garage. These are the things that have been replaced.

All fluids (Engine oil, transmission oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, coolant) along with associated filters and seals.
Spark plugs
Oil level sensor o-ring
Lower coolant hose
Belt tensioner shock absorber
Differential bushings, seals
Struts rubber mounts
Oil cooler pipe
Exhaust rubber mount

Total parts, fluid spend was 13,300thb (est. 370usd, 330euro) and labour for all was 2,500thb (est. 70usd, 62euro).

Not including the tyres I replaced on the first day I received the car (Falken Ziex ZE912) that was another 7,500thb (210usd, 188euro).

Hopefully this car would now be good for a few thousand kilometres. :)
 

rickhamilton620

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So yesterday I picked the car up from the garage. These are the things that have been replaced.

All fluids (Engine oil, transmission oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, coolant) along with associated filters and seals.
Spark plugs
Oil level sensor o-ring
Lower coolant hose
Belt tensioner shock absorber
Differential bushings, seals
Struts rubber mounts
Oil cooler pipe
Exhaust rubber mount

Total parts, fluid spend was 13,300thb (est. 370usd, 330euro) and labour for all was 2,500thb (est. 70usd, 62euro).

Not including the tyres I replaced on the first day I received the car (Falken Ziex ZE912) that was another 7,500thb (210usd, 188euro).

Hopefully this car would now be good for a few thousand kilometres. :)
Holy shit. I ... I could afford that.... *wheels begin turning ever so slightly in my head* I know, I know, different labor rates and such, probably a lot higher here.... :(
 

Conan

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Holy shit. I ... I could afford that.... *wheels begin turning ever so slightly in my head* I know, I know, different labor rates and such, probably a lot higher here.... :(
I'm quite lucky in the labour cost aspect. This is a third world country after all. :p

Actually the shop I went to is famous at being so ridiculously cheap for a Mercedes Benz Specialist. The problem is that this particular shop is 50km away and the queue is always a mile long, so I cannot really bring it in whenever I want. But I reckon other shops won't be expensive either.
 

Conan

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A month and a bit has passed since I purchase the car. All is well in the world of Mercedes motoring. But then again I've done only 800km and with nearly 220,000km on the clock it seems like a drop in the ocean. Some more fix is needed though. The car has been shaking when there's load. So I made a visit to the bazaar of everything Mercedes-Benz.



Seems like I'm on the correct street. What with the W140 prominently parked curbside.



These are engine and transmission mounts for the car. All amounted to 2,750thb (est. 78usd, 70euro). I don't know how much labour for replacing them would be. But it shouldn't exceed 500thb (est. 14usd, 12euro). The joy of being middle class in a third world country. :D
 

Jupix

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If your engine mounts are totally shot then I understand the purchase, but you really should be investigating why the engine is shaking in the first place. With some rpm's on the engine (i.e. "under load" like you say) even a 4 cylinder should be running very smooth, except for some vibration maybe, it definitely shouldn't shake.
 

Conan

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If your engine mounts are totally shot then I understand the purchase, but you really should be investigating why the engine is shaking in the first place. With some rpm's on the engine (i.e. "under load" like you say) even a 4 cylinder should be running very smooth, except for some vibration maybe, it definitely shouldn't shake.
You're right that they don't "shake" as such, just vibrating more than it should be. :)

The engine mounts are leaking.
 

Conan

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So today I visited the Mercedes specialist for the engine, transmission mounts replacement.



This is the driver (right) side engine mount compared with the replacement. It was totally collapsed.



And here is the passenger (left) side engine mount.



I don't think this is supposed to happen. :p



The transmission mount doesn't look as bad. But closer inspection revealed that it's absolutely shot as well.




Bonus for being able to poke around the undercarriage. No corrosion found! :)

Labour cost for the engine/transmission mounts replacement was 500thb (est. 14usd, 13euro).
 

Conan

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A few random shots of a very dirty car.














2000km since I bought it. I'm finding myself driving this more than the Mazda. Such a joy to operate. :)
 

Conan

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Some more fixes were performed today.

Power steering fluid filter
Power steering fluid reservoir cap o-ring
Oil pressure sensor
Water temperature sensor
Thermostat
Upper coolant hose
Coolant return tube

All of this started because since I replaced the fan clutch. Water temperature have always been less than 80c, which is not exactly ideal. Suspecting the Thermostat might be open all the time I made a visit to a shop very close to my house. The mechanic quickly realising that this is not the case. It's the water temp sensor that is wonky. The engine actually has been running a little bit hot due to the thermostat being stuck (and not in the open position). The car is now running at the proper and actually accurate 87c.

Also, the power steering fluid was leaking from the cap. It doesn't anymore.

And now I know that watching oil pressure gauge going up and down is a lot of fun! :p

The total cost for this including the labour was 3690thb (est. 106usd, 94eu).
 
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