Will buy a car this fall...suggestions?

Spectre

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Attacked? Umm yeah, sure. I called you out and you made this personal. You praise Jaguar in like every single thread or make everyone feel dumb because we don't have the same taste in cars. Just knock it off, we don't care anymore.
So much for the "ignored users" list, eh?

Praise Jaguar in every thread? Hah, that's a laugh. When it comes up, I speak my mind - but since you haven't been paying attention, I've slammed Jaguar about as much as I've praised it of late. I don't even mention Jaguar in most threads unless it's germane to the discussion.

Making you feel dumb? Hm. Perhaps you should seek professional help for that inferiority complex you're displaying.

My dad can represent me for free. ;)
Great. Ask your dad what "threatening bodily harm" and "terroristic threat" is in California.
 

argatoga

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My bad, I did provoke him a bit. :idiot:
Actions speak louder than words; unless you plan to help the guy who started the thread don't post in it.

If you and Spectre want to continue to yell at each other do it over PM. Be considerate, neither of you are helping justin much by sending his thread into lock-down. Also stop nesting insults towards each other in your posts, it isn't helping.

As for the car, I would go for the 300E, nothing is more sexy than a boxy Mercedes.
 
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BlaRo

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Damn, it's like grade school all over again in this thread.

"I wear Abercrombie and you don't! I'm getting two new Jaguars and your car is UGLIIIEEE!!! I can beat you up!"
 

justin syder

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Actions speak louder than words; unless you plan to help the guy who started the thread don't post in it.

If you and Spectre want to continue to yell at each other do it over PM. Be considerate, neither of you are helping justin much by sending his thread into lock-down. Also stop nesting insults towards each other in your posts, it isn't helping.

As for the car, I would go for the 300E, nothing is more sexy than a boxy Mercedes.

AN UPDATE TO THIS MADNESS OF A THREAD!!

Firstly, well said argatoga!

Second, I would never put a Supra engine in a 500E, that car is great stock as is. I can't afford to take anything to Renntech but If I did I would rather go to Brabus, I like what they do.

Thirdly this thread is about to be over and not a moment too soon. The internet argument was mildly amusing for a short bit but hopefully its over now.

Lastly, I have made a small deposit for a 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300E with 54k miles!!

Will finalize the payment method as that prevented me from driving it home today and the used car guy will fix a few things for me and prep it.

It is in blk with tan/beige leather and looks as close to new as a 21yr old car can get. In the excitement of seeing it and driving it I forgot to take pics, :? will definitely do that tomorrow. I decided to go for this one as it was under $10,000 and I will pay it off in 10 months, maybe sooner. It allows me to have money left over to repair it if needed, gas it, insure it and go about living within my budget. I couldn't do that if I bought something over $10,000, namely the torque filled C43 AMG I drove yesterday or my fav the 92 500SL with 45k miles on it. Damn I liked that one. Also this helps me by having enough money left over to save and buy the car I really, REALLY want in 2-3 yrs...the AMG SLK. (55 or 63 whichever they have at that time).

So deep down I knew I would be waaay better off buying a 190E or 300E or that 1993 68k mile $10,900 400E that sold before I got to it. Buying an old SL prob could have been costly to up keep if things went wrong and the 500 would have hit me hard for gas. The C43 from what I researched would need the transmission worked and other parts maintained constantly, the 2001 Lexus and BMW Z3 I posted about yesterday, both have been in accidents and were both over $12k anyway. On top of that as I found out this morning they had been sold. Basically it worked out for me in the end. I will drive my car tomorrow and I will be saving for that AMG SLK in 2-3yrs time.

Will post pics here then more in the 'my car' thread, thank you all for your two cents, voices of reason, and advice on my car hunt. I can't wait to get out and drive!!


PS- Anyone with prior experience with the 300E or anyone owned one? I found it interesting that I had to put some computer chip before I was able to start the car. That was cool but it scared me AND the dealer guy as I tried to start the car but it wouldn't start until I inserted that security chip. :lol: Let me know anything that an owner would need to know or should know.
 
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Spectre

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The computer "chip" was a security thing popular among many dealers in the 80s and 90s. It's simply a splice/bypass of the ignition switch. You can easily wire around it - I suggest you do as those systems are subject to failure.

The first thing you need to upgrade is the headlights - get the Euro-style lights off of eBay. The Federal lights just suck.

Is there anything broken or non-functional on the car?
 

justin syder

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Ich Fahre Deutschen, Ich Fahre Mercedes.

Well honestly from what I can tell nothing. Off the top of my head probably the wipers for the headlights. (headlamp washers) I don't know how to use them or know if they function but hadn't had the chance to try.

I know the following works after using it;
the air conditioning, somewhat as it took a bit to get cold but could have been the car
the windows
the engine obviously -no sound from it and the car drove smoothly
the transmission, no twirks or jerks when switching gears
the sunroof
the rear seat headrests- to put them down, don't know if theres a button to put them up
the doors and locks and that's about it.

There is a lot I need to do and I will love to spend time finding out about the car but on the surface it doesn't seem like anything is non functional. I noticed the wiper, the rubber on the wiper needed to be fastened or replaced but that can't be expensive.

I do like the security chip thing, maybe in time it would be annoying after a while. As far as mods I'm 50/50 on the euro lights, I like them but not sure if I want them. (If I bought a new Merc, Im the type of guy that would not put an AMG kit on a non AMG car, I don't want to dress it up to look like something its not) I'm not trying to make it seem like an newer model, its not something I would like to do but I will keep that option open, I might change my mind later.
 

Spectre

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The light conversion has nothing to do with looks. It's just that the US headlight assemblies suck really, really, really bad, and the Euro H4 lighting units are a huge improvement in nighttime visibility for the driver. It's (pun intended) the difference between night and day.
 

Spectre

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I'm going to post something I sent to another board years ago; it's still valid though by no means a comprehensive look as to why we got crappy headlights. Please note that this was to a Jaguar forum and the original question addressed was "Why did US Jaguars get stuck with four 5.75" headlights and spacers on the outer lights when the rest of the world got two 7" outer lights and two 5.75" inner lights?" but this should hopefully answer your question.

DOT and Stupid Lighting Rules:

In the beginning, there was darkness, and this was bad. It tended to make night driving rather difficult; not being able to see the road, or the signs, or the tree you're about to hit tends to dampen the spirits of even the most adventurous driver. So, the automotive headlamp was invented to dispel the darkness.

Initially, many different solutions were tried. Gas lamps, acetylene lamps, phosphoric coatings, lanterns, candles, blazing torches (a Transylvanian regional peculiarity - most often teamed with pitchforks), and other sources of illumination were tried. Eventually, manufacturers settled on an incandescent electric bulb (mounted in a parabolic reflector with a transparent lens) as the best solution. Unlike some of the other alternatives, it did not need to be separately refueled, was easy to replace when it was no longer servicable, and (perhaps most importantly) did not explode or tend to set the carrier vehicle on fire.

In these early days, there were no standards - truly, most bulbs were unique to the maker or even the individual car. Beam patterns, light intensity/output, even the size of the lens was up to the manufacturer's discretion. It didn't seem to matter too much, because the lighting systems of this period were rather inefficient, low output, and marginal at the best of times. As long as you could see the road, nobody cared. This state of affairs continued from before the Model T until just after the Second World War, though there was some effort at standardization during this period.

After the Second World War, the US maintained an armed presence in Europe as a deterrent to Soviet aggression, thus starting the Cold War. This meant that large quantities of young men got shipped off to Europe, where car design philosophies were completely different than they were at home. Naturally, these young men would purchase vehicles where they were stationed (for various reasons) and afterwards would naturally take these vehicles home with them. These vehicles began the import invasion of the 1950's and 1960's in the US. Once these cars had arrived, the door was open for European manufacturers to come to (or come back to) the US and sell cars.

In this era, there was no Federal safety standard for motor vehicles. In fact, the individual states were responsible for this - and the standards could vary greatly from one state to the next. What was mandatory equipment in one state would not be required in a neighboring one; or in some cases, would be illegal in yet another! This was understandably confusing, and the Federal government was called in to formulate one single standard that a maker could build to that they could sell in all states.

Unfortunately, they did. While there were some valid safety concerns addressed by the government (lack of padded crash rolls, for example), the lighting issue was apparently addressed by both domestic lobbyists and what appears to have been neo-Luddites.

You see, when the servicemen brought back these European vehicles, their lighting systems were notably better than their US counterparts. While the Europeans had applied the lessons learned in war by producing what later became the Halogen-based H-series lighting standards, the American
manufacturers had gone back to what they'd been making before the war - sealed beam incandescent units - where the lens, reflector, and bulb were all replaced as a disposable unit. The American beam pattern tended to be much what it is today - narrow pattern, fuzzy cutoff, developed more for being seen by other motorists than for illuminating the road. The Europeans, lacking the vast electric networks in the USA, had developed lights that had a wide but bright pattern, a sharp vertical cutoff (to avoid blinding other motorists), and a more efficient illumination source; all of which combined to create lights for illuminating the road, not for notifying other drivers of your presence - that's what the little city pilot lights were for, after all.

The American makers, not wishing to lose their profits on selling the sealed beam units, lobbied the government when the standards were being set. In addition, persons came forth from the populace and
complained that the European lights were "too bright", "blinded other drivers on the road" (despite the sharp beam cutoffs), "glaring," "distracting," "dangerous" because the lenses weren't generally renewed every time the bulbs needed changing ("and we all know that we have to change the lenses every time for best results, right"), and a host of other complaints that didn't have all that much basis in fact.

These factors, and others, affected the government's decision on lighting systems, which were finally set as mandating equipment, rather than a performance standard. First, the specifications were set as follows:

*You could have either two large 7" headlights or four smaller 5.75" headlights.
Reasoning: "7" lights are brighter and cause more glare, therefore, you can only have two - and you should only need two to light up the road."
Fact: Wrong. Two 7" lights do not put out as much light as four 5.75 lights do.

*The headlights had to be round in shape, and of two specific types, which today are known as the 6024 and the 5006/5001. They must be a DOT approved assembly, and must be an incandescent sealed beam as the European bulb/lens/reflector system was not acceptable and "dangerous'.
Reasoning: See prior discussion.
Fact: Wrong again. Time has proven otherwise - and the Halogens aren't "dangerously bright".

DOT later modified its regulations to allow rectangular sealed beams - but left all the other restrictions intact, so still limited to two large, or four smaller units. In the 80's, when it was blatantly clear to everyone that the laws just didn't make sense, DOT finally gave up and went to a performance based standard (which is what it should have done in the first place) - so long as you conform to the light pattern standards, DOT no longer cares what you do. Halogen, HID, freeform or composite headlights, whatever - which allows for newer and more effective lighting schemes to be developed, while still maintaining some minimum requirements.

Bottom line, then:

At the time of manufacture, 7" outer lights with 5.75" inner lights was illegal for all US XJ's - thus, we got them with four 5.75" lights instead.

Currently, since 1990, reconverting your car to 7" outer lights is permitted. If the cars were still made today, they could be imported with the mixed 7"/5.75" setup.

The lenses make the difference - installing European H4 lenses is not legal, as they do not meet US DOT beam pattern requirements. However, installing the DOT-certified H4's, also known as HB4's, is perfectly legal. Likewise H1's (the high beams). Straight EU lenses illegal, DOT-approved counterparts legal.
That said, the Euro lights for the W124 and W201 do come in straight Euro pattern as well as DOT/SAE approved pattern. Get the Euro pattern - the beam throw is better, and nobody will ever be able to tell the difference unless they get really, really really close to your lights (and perhaps even remove them to look at the back housing).

US beam pattern for a 96 Audi A4:


E-code European beam pattern for same car using exact same H7 bulb:
 
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justin syder

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The computer "chip" was a security thing popular among many dealers in the 80s and 90s. It's simply a splice/bypass of the ignition switch. You can easily wire around it - I suggest you do as those systems are subject to failure.

The first thing you need to upgrade is the headlights - get the Euro-style lights off of eBay. The Federal lights just suck.

Is there anything broken or non-functional on the car?
Well I got the payment method straightened out and WAS ready to pick it up but a slight delay prevented that. While being prepped, registered and all that, the guy calls me and says that the brake pads needed to be changed. If they aren't available then they would have to be ordered and would get there by Monday. If he got them I would have been able to pick it up at 5pm. Guess how it happened. As of today I have no car yet.

I am riddled with angst at learning the in and outs of the car and driving it but will have to wait until Tuesday morning. FUCK!! lol

If I am able to I could pick it up Monday evening but that could be a stretch.

After driving it at night I'll have a better idea if I want the new lights or not. Spectre, would I be able to get the performance of the Euro lights with the same light unit?

I'll keep you posted.
 
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Spectre

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No, you can't. The whole lighting module has to be changed out on each side. There is no way to improve the stock ones - brighter bulbs won't help much, and they'll melt the wiring harness.

When we put the Euro headlights on the 190E, it was a revelation. The car suddenly had acceptable lighting.
 

justin syder

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Been busy driving and working and loving my mass transit free commute!!!

Finally, pics for you guys. I will post more in the my car section and will post here to let you know when they are up, I will try this weekend, with interior shots too.

the second to last pic has a sticker on the trunk with "alpine motors". it has been quickly removed.

I got this plate frame and haven't put it on yet, will do so this weekend to get rid of those dumb dealer license frame plates.











 

argatoga

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Great car, have fun with it.
 

Archie

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Very clean car.

The W201 190E and the W124 E-class are cheap to own and since they made millions of them, the parts are cheap.
I've read that parts for the 190E are difficult to find, expensive, and that the car is very unreliable, and it sucked even when it was new.
 
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Wizegui

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So how much was that car in total. It looks damn beautiful. The body paint , even after 21 years, still looks superb. Congratulations of the buy!
 
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