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   W124 E,CE,D,TD Class
     Mabellina
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Mabel
Posted on: 2010/8/19 23:44
Benzo mania
Joined: 2007/8/7
From: Shah Alam, Cyber Jaya, Sunway
Posts: 20052
Benz Model: S320L, E240, C200
Message:
Mabellina
Salam and Hello Benzers



If you notice, very often we have inquiries from new members who are looking for advice which model to choose. Let’s try to help them collectively..

I was going through our Members List today (on top of this page) and am pleased to inform you that the E-Class W124 make up the top spot from registered members claiming the pole position. To date we have more than 200 proud registered members in this community.

Despite having lots of choices out there with the car reaching puberty age by today's standards many members still choose the W124 as your choice for your daily ride. Some members here even have more than one unit and that includes me. I’m sure this list will grow as we progress with time.
My choice of choosing this car is purely derived from benchmarking with the Taxi and Limo Company when I lived in Europe during late 90’s. I noticed that most of taxis or limos in Europe’s major cities are using the W124s. I had the pleasure of talking to one of the Limo driver who chaffered me around in Copenhagen during that time. He told me his Taxi Company did an extensive research on any car that came into their company fleets. According to him among these cars in his company’s fleets, W124 is rated the best and is considered “close to perfection” by his Procurement Division.

What I like the most after buying the car is that I find it as a well-balanced car. Handling, Performance and Comfort are good and most importantly, it does not cost a “bomb” to maintain it provided you get yourself a good based unit.
Based on my average two ownerships of W124 over a period of 10 years (E220 and 230E), the Total Cost of Ownership is about RM 9000 per year. This Total Cost of Ownership includes Road Tax, Insurance, Fuel, Servicing/Wear & Tear (adjusted to 20,000km/1 year), unexpected repairs and depreciation comes to about RM 8,976 a year. This is definitely lower than my W201 which is RM 9,382 and Proton Perdana V6 which is RM 11,165.



In life, you can't gain something without the sacrificing something. If you increase speed and acceleration then you lose some comfort and fuel economy. If you go for comfort and luxury you lose some performance and handling. In short, W124 is "good" because it is a well-balanced car. Nothing is amazing and nothing is crappy about this car. In short delivers when it matters.

For those that are still looking for this over engineered car, I would like to share with you some of the pointers based on my readings and from my own personal experience when deciding to by your first W124.

As with any Mercedes-Benz, the vehicle's history is important. Regular service and maintenance are crucial, and given this, a W124 should have a long life. Major mechanical components are long lasting. All engines in these models are capable of surviving to huge mileages in typically Mercedes fashion. My W124 has clocked more than 600,000 km.



Whilst all these engines are long lasting with bottom end work being almost unheard of, there are a few issues to be aware of. All petrol versions can suffer head gasket problems although it is most common on the sixes and least common on the 16-valve fours. The failure of the gasket is not usually a compression failure and therefore does not affect the way the engine runs. Instead, engine oil usually finds its way into the coolant, becoming visible when it floats to the highest point in the coolant reservoir. An external oil leak from the head gasket at the rear, exhaust side of the engine often precedes the appearance of oil in the coolant, particularly on the M103 and M104. Head gasket replacement is not particularly difficult but the labour time can make up much of the cost involved. Replacement head gaskets have undergone design changes that help prevent failures. Good maintenance of the cooling system, including frequent renewal of the coolant (I believe more frequently than the recommended 3-yearly) with the correct coolant (identified by its blue colour), can help prevent head gasket corrosion and failure. At the very least, valve stem oil seals should be replaced and possibly also valve guides (on early or high mileage engines) whilst the cylinder head is off the engine. Obviously the head should also be checked for flatness and machined if necessary.

The M103 and M104 are also known for oil leaks from the timing cover at the front of the engine. Again, it’s not a difficult repair and one that can occur separately or as part of a head gasket replacement. High mileage M102s and M103s may also require inexpensive replacement of the hydraulic valve lash adjusters (lifters) should they continue to "tick" after oil pressure rises (brief ticking before oil pressure rises is no cause for concern). Early M102s used a single row timing chain which requires periodic replacement, as failure results in severe engine damage. Later M102s changed to a double row chain which offers a much longer life. The M103, M104 and M111 all offer long chain life, despite the M103 using a single row chain. A cosmetic issue with many engines is the failure of the coating on the valve covers, particularly the earlier models with a black finish. The coating is required as the valve covers are a lightweight magnesium alloy. M102 valve covers can also distort resulting in oil leaks from the gasket and late versions of this engine have a plastic oil separator under the valve cover which can become brittle and crack with age. Apart from these issues, the engines themselves are very reliable. For instance, my first engine overhaul was only done after clocking 600,000 km. So long as regular oil and filter changes have been performed, the engine should be clean internally and an oil pressure of above about 1 bar at hot idle that rises to 3 bar when driving would tend to indicate good mechanical condition.

Most other engine work involves normal maintenance items and ancillary equipment. All models used a "serpentine" poly-vee belt. This belt is long lasting; however the automatic tensioner can fail, usually after being disturbed during belt replacement. The bushes in the associated damper can also wear causing a rattle at the front of the engine. Plastic components in the cooling system (eg. radiator tanks and coolant reservoir) will become brittle with age resulting in eventual failure. If the original plastic thermostat housing is still fitted, it is recommended that a replacement alloy one be fitted. Coolant pumps (water pumps) can fail, usually preceded by coolant leakage. Observance of the temperature gauge can reveal other problems with engine cooling such as thermostats, fan clutches and temperature switches for the fans. Coolant temperature should run between about 85 and 95 degrees centigrade except in very hot ambient conditions or when stationary (such as in heavy traffic) when temperatures of up to about 105 degrees are considered normal.

All fuel injected W201 models and pre 1993 fuel injected W124 models (ie. most M102, all M103 and 3 litre M104 engines) utilised proven Bosch continuous fuel injection. On all but the earliest M102, this was K-E (CIS-E) Jetronic. Generally this system is reliable and also offers the advantage that it can continue to function with a failure of (or loss of electrical supply to) the electronics, albeit with difficult cold starting and reduced efficiency. On the occasion that a problem does occur with the fuel injection, expert advice is recommended to ensure a fast solution to the problem. The K-E system is not always fully understood by those attempting to diagnose faults and incorrect diagnosis can lead to ongoing frustration. Faults associated with the K-E injection system are usually electrical and can include a faulty over-voltage protection (OVP) relay, fuel pump relay, electro-hydraulic actuator (EHA), potentiometer on the fuel distributor and the idle control valve. Symptoms of faults with these items can include difficult cold starting, poor idle speed control or intermittent stalling. Rough idling can also be caused by hoses in the idle air circuit which have become hard or cracked with age. Ignition systems on the K-E injected engines were by a separate EZL electronic ignition module (which includes electronic control of ignition advance), a single ignition coil and high voltage distributor. This system is usually reliable.
Late (1993 onwards) petrol W124 models (ie. M111 and late M104) utilised fully electronic Bosch HFM sequential fuel injection. The ignition system was integrated with the fuel injection ECU and the high voltage distributor was no longer required due to the use of a separate ignition coil for each pair of spark plugs. This system is generally reliable apart from problems associated faulty wiring harnesses which have become evident in recent years. Drivability and poor running problems can often only be addressed with the complete replacement of the engine wiring harness. The M104 engines (280 and 320 models) were the worst affected, however it appears that any Mercedes manufactured in 1993, '94 and '95 can also suffer from this problem. An inspection of the wiring where it is most exposed to heat (eg. near ignition coils within recess in valve cover) will reveal brittle and crumbling insulation on affected cars. Replacement of the harness only takes a few hours, however the harness is expensive to purchase. A faulty harness should be replaced as in a few instances the ECU has suffered damage necessitating expensive replacement. Faulty spark plug suppressor boots can also cause poor running on these engines. Serious misfiring will result in the ECU shutting down the fuel injectors on the affected cylinder(s) to prevent damage to the exhaust catalytic converter.

All engines rely on the supply of clean air and fuel so routine replacement of filters is important. Fuel pumps are typical of those which have been used on injected Mercedes vehicles for many years and many W124 models use two pumps. The pumps can become unreliable or fail on high mileage cars with noisy operation being an early warning sign.
Exhaust systems give a long life and it would not be unusual to see many of these models still running with the original system. The fluid-filled engine mounts which provide good isolation from engine vibration will require occasional replacement. Sometimes, what appears to be a rough idle, is actually caused by faulty engine mounts. Vibration under hard acceleration and backlash in the driveline can be caused by worn flexible couplings on the tail shaft.

Automatic transmissions last well, but will usually require attention at some time during the life of the vehicle. They are perhaps not quite as durable as the 3-speed automatics in the W107 and W116 V8 models of the 1970s. The 5-speed automatics in W124 coupes from 1990 onwards (300CE-24, 320CE and E320) have a reputation of being the least durable of all. In some markets these coupes had the standard 4-speed automatic (as fitted to the sedans) and some coupes have been retrofitted with the 4-speed due to the cost to overhaul the 5-speed. This is a pity as the 5-speed auto gives the coupes strong acceleration from a standing start combined with a tall overdrive for effortless and economical cruising. Manual transmissions were rare. These are not known to be troublesome and clutches are also reasonably reliable apart from occasional hydraulic problems with age.
Front suspension is a fairly simple lower control arm with shock absorber (damper) strut and separate spring setup. It is durable and requires little more than occasional replacement of inexpensive strut upper mounts or anti-roll (sway) bar bushes. Steering was traditional Mercedes power assisted, recirculating ball. As with any Mercedes, the drag link, tie-rod ends and steering damper may need occasional replacement. The W201 introduced the now standard five link rear suspension and the W124 continued with it. This allowed for previously unattainable ride and road holding. Due to the added complexity of this suspension, there are numerous bushes that can wear after high mileage. Wear is characterized by a tendency for the car to wander or steer in the rear. W124 wagons and W201 16-valve versions have hydro-pneumatic, self-levelling rear suspension. As with the same system on earlier W116, W123 and W126 models, the accumulators (air or nitrogen cells) tend to fail every 10 to 15 years. They are neither difficult nor very expensive to replace. Shock absorbers are of a high quality and give long service. Brakes (which include ABS on all but the 1.8 litre and earliest W201) are strong and reliable.

Normally when discussing what to look for in a used Mercedes (particularly a model such as a W107), I would put the greatest emphasis on body condition and a lack of rust. With the W201 and even more so the W124, rust is virtually unheard of. A lack of accident damage or correct repair of any such damage is obviously important. Rust is unlikely to be a serious issue with either the W124 or W201. Paint quality is superb and even early models that have been well maintained will still have good paint finish.

Interiors are considered to be very durable, particularly in the W124. Most cars had either MB-Tex (vinyl) or leather upholstery, with only some getting cloth seats. Leather was popular and lasts well and cars with MB-Tex should have interiors that still look like new. Perhaps the least durable of parts of the interiors were those areas most exposed to sunlight. Tops of dashboards can crack although it is not very common. The capping along the tops of the doors, particularly in the W201 can shrink and pull back from the edges. Another common defect that comes with age is that of surface cracks in the high gloss finish on the timber, mainly on the centre console around the gear shifter. Apart from the occasional leather or vinyl squeak, the interiors remain quiet and free from rattles. The gas pressure struts which hold the tailgate open on the wagons will eventually lose the ability to do so due to loss of gas charge.

Electrical and electronic faults are not confined to the engine. Cruise controls can develop intermittent or permanent faults, usually due to failing solder joints in the cruise control amplifier. Power window regulators and switches can give problems as can switches for power seat adjustment. Wiring harnesses running into to the doors (and tailgate on wagons) can fatigue and break due to constant flexing. Ignition locks can wear to the point where they cannot be used, a problem that is not unique to these models. Early warning signs of difficult operation of the ignition key should be observed and the lock replaced before it fails completely. Replacement is not difficult whilst the lock can still be operated, however if the lock fails it will need the services of a locksmith.

Air conditioners are probably no less reliable than for other cars however some evaporators have been known to develop leaks resulting in a loss of refrigerant. On the W124 replacement is a very time consuming job. Few if any W124s or W201s got the optional fully automatic (push button) climate control system which is just as well, as this system which was standard fitment on North American deliveries has proven unreliable with age. This system uses a small air-sampling blower to draw air across the interior temperature sensor located near the front interior light. A hose runs down the windscreen pillar to the blower which is located behind the glove box and noises emanating from this area can be from a worn blower. The main blower for the heating and air conditioning can also develop squeaks with age.

All these faults and problems may sound daunting, however it is highly unlikely that any one car would ever suffer from all these problems and many may never suffer from the majority of listed faults. Many of the issues mentioned will only affect a very small percentage of cars. I have simply attempted to cover as many of the faults that I am aware of that can affect the W124. It is probably fair to argue that these models are not quite as reliable as the older W123 series (which to some believe to be the most reliable Mercedes of all) but they are more complex cars that offer a better driving experience. Some of the problems occur in additional features and equipment that was not available on the older models. Likewise, some argue that the W210 (which replaced the W124), and the W202 (which replaced the W201), do not offer the durability of the W124 or W201.
Choose wisely when buying a used W124 maintain it well, and I am sure that you too will be very satisfied with your car.

Here is my assessment of the car after driven for 10 years with mileage exceeding 600,000 km….

Would you recommend this car to your friend? YES
First year of ownership: 2003
Most recent year of owner: 2009
Engine and transmission: 2.3 liter Fuel Injection Petrol Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks) 9 / 10
Distance travel since purchased: > 600,000 km
Previous cars: Mercedes-Benz 190E, E220, 230E, Volvo S70 2.5 20V GLE, 940 GLE, 240 GLE, Audi 100, Mini 1275, Mitsubishi Pajero V32, Perdana V6 and a range of Japanese cars....

Here is addition buying guides from our benzitos for your reading pleasure.

http://www.mybenz.org/zoopp/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=7980&forum=21.


----------------
Cheers/Mabel

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm
Take time to read. It is the fountain of wisdom
Membership Number: One Nine Seven Seven

xenoed
Posted on: 2010/8/19 23:53
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2007/3/5
From: subang jaya
Posts: 141
Benz Model: W126 & W124
Message:
Re: Why W124?
i have to say, your car is superbly awesomely handsome! :)

i bought W124 cos it's cheap & easy to maintain, plus ultimately it's still a Star irregardless of the age :)


----------------
W124 260E- Black Star
W126 280SE - Red Star
SLS AMG - in my dreams...

Mabel
Posted on: 2010/8/20 22:38
Benzo mania
Joined: 2007/8/7
From: Shah Alam, Cyber Jaya, Sunway
Posts: 20052
Benz Model: S320L, E240, C200
Message:
Re: Why W124?
Quote:

xenoed wrote:
i have to say, your car is superbly awesomely handsome! :)

i bought W124 cos it's cheap & easy to maintain, plus ultimately it's still a Star irregardless of the age :)


I like your last sentence..what you are trying to say is that the car is Value for Money...


----------------
Cheers/Mabel

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm
Take time to read. It is the fountain of wisdom
Membership Number: One Nine Seven Seven

Mabel
Posted on: 2010/8/20 22:42
Benzo mania
Joined: 2007/8/7
From: Shah Alam, Cyber Jaya, Sunway
Posts: 20052
Benz Model: S320L, E240, C200
Message:
Re: Why W124?


----------------
Cheers/Mabel

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm
Take time to read. It is the fountain of wisdom
Membership Number: One Nine Seven Seven

Mabel
Posted on: 2010/8/20 22:43
Benzo mania
Joined: 2007/8/7
From: Shah Alam, Cyber Jaya, Sunway
Posts: 20052
Benz Model: S320L, E240, C200
Message:
Re: Why W124?


----------------
Cheers/Mabel

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm
Take time to read. It is the fountain of wisdom
Membership Number: One Nine Seven Seven

Mabel
Posted on: 2010/8/20 22:47
Benzo mania
Joined: 2007/8/7
From: Shah Alam, Cyber Jaya, Sunway
Posts: 20052
Benz Model: S320L, E240, C200
Message:
Re: Why W124?


Let's continue...

W124 is type for E class mercedes-benz that emerged in year 1986-1996.

First car in year 1986 is 300E, E strands for 'Einsprit' means injection. Injection means how the fire progress at the engine is directly shotted from the fuel pump. The capacity of this car is 3000cc which produced 177horse power. Mercedes-benz also produced 300dD which has a diesel engine with 143 horse power. Both models came with a four-speed automatic as the standard transmission.

The structure was completely revised and, through the use of high-strength steel and other construction methods, was significantly stiffer and lighter. The front suspension still utilized double wishbones but incorporated anti-dive technology; and the rear suspension was now a multilink system, which rode better and improved wheel location throughout its travel. The front grille sloped back for better aerodynamics and there was but a single windshield wiper that, using an eccentric cam, was able to clear that big piece of steeply raked glass all by itself.

For 1987, a 260E sedan joined the W124 model mix in the U.S., powered by a 2.6-liter version of the 300E's straight six rated at 158 horsepower. Also new that year was a station wagon that came only in 300TD turbodiesel form.

300 TE (station wagon) 300 CE (coupe)

The 1988 model lineup included a new, crisply styled 300CE coupe, and a five-speed manual transmission was now offered on 260E and 300E. Considering that just a few years earlier diesels had made up over three-quarters of all Mercedes sold in the United States, the disappearance of diesels from Mercedes' 1988 lineup may have been a surprise. But increasingly severe particulate emissions standards left the company little choice. This also meant that Mercedes was finally selling a gasoline-powered wagon here as a 300TE.

The 1989 model range was virtually unchanged except that the five-speed manual transmission (few of which were ordered anyhow) was gone from the lineup again and a passenger-side front airbag was a new option.

A diesel returned to the 1990 W124 line with the introduction of an all-new 2.5-liter turbocharged inline five aboard the awkwardly named 300D 2.5. The 260E was also inelegantly renamed the 300E 2.6 for no apparent reason. By stealing the DOHC, 24-valve cylinder head from that year's new 300SL roadster, the 300CE's 3.0-liter straight six now made a healthy 217 horsepower. Beyond that, if you wanted Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel-drive system on your 300E sedan or 300TE wagon, you could get it.

1991 300E

In this year also Mercedes-benz produced the sportline w124. All the engines, body & chassis are same. Which differentiate is the suspension is lower that the others type of w124. Makes this car become more rigit with the road.

Much bigger news came with the 1992 models and the introduction of V8 power to the midsize Mercedes. The new, mainstream 400E sedan had the 268-horsepower, 4.2-liter, DOHC V8 from the larger S-Class sedan under its hood. Meanwhile, the glorious limited-production Porsche-built 500E was also introduced with the 500SL's 5.0-liter, DOHC V8 between its specially flared fenders. With 322 horsepower on board, the 500E was easily the most powerful midsize Mercedes ever and the quickest sedan of any size the company had ever built.

500 E

Finally for 1994, the E-Class officially came to be, as Mercedes reengineered its naming system by putting the "E" before the number and rationalizing the numbers in line with displacement. So the returning lineup consisted of E320 sedan, wagon and coupe, E420 sedan and E500 sedan. We guess "E" no longer stood for "einspritz." To celebrate their new name, the W124s got new grilles, headlights and taillights for '94. At midyear, an E300D diesel arrived with a normally aspirated 3.0-liter straight six making 134 horsepower. Also, the 4Matic versions were dropped this year.

New look of 300E become E320 (1994)

With a new E-Class due for '96, the only substantial change to the '95 line was the elimination of the limited-production E500 due to the emition process. E 500 consumes 1 litre every 4K. This become this model wasn't so wanted by people.

Mercedes benz put "Master Piece" emblem in W124 prodiction '95-'96 which the option become more variatif, cruise control, passenger air bag, and the electric krey also being attached.

Mercedes-benz stopped the W124 model in the mid year 1996, and than mercedes benz produced the new E-class which typed as W210 model.

BTW, the R129 is based on the W124 platform and not, as is sometimes assumed, on the larger W140.


----------------
Cheers/Mabel

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm
Take time to read. It is the fountain of wisdom
Membership Number: One Nine Seven Seven

Mabel
Posted on: 2010/8/20 22:50
Benzo mania
Joined: 2007/8/7
From: Shah Alam, Cyber Jaya, Sunway
Posts: 20052
Benz Model: S320L, E240, C200
Message:
Re: Why W124?


I would like to share with you a simplified version from our great Dr Gan...

Quote:

Gan wrote:

W124 Start production at somewhere 06'85
It was A New E Class Take Over The W123 Model

In Malaysia the CKD @ Locally Assembled Model
for the petrol Engine Are avialable in 1986 as : -

200 M102 Carburettor
230E M102 CISE fuel injection
260E M103 CISE fuel injection

somewhere at year 1990 ...
the 200 Carburettor
was Replaced by
200E M102 CISE fuel Injection

230E and 260E remand Unchange !!!

Somewhere year 1993 ...
The New Engine come out To The Market
....Multi-Valve Engine ...

M111 200E PMS fuel injection replace the 200E M102 Engine
M111 220E HFM fuel injection replace the 230E M102 Engine
M104 280E HFM fuel injection replace the 260E M103 Engine

Somewhere in year 1994
A New Body Design Come Out to The Market ...

New Facelift Body Kit ... So Call 'E' Class
Engine And the system Are Remand Unchange !!!

New Body Kit Convertion ...from
200E to E200
220E to E220
280E to E280

In the year 1995 ...
The New E Class W210 Lunching Soon

Where The balance stock of W124 about 2,000 units
was fitted with additional accessories ...
for offerring Sale Off (clear the stock)
like Electrical Seat ...
Wooden Steering Wheel ...
Roller Blind ...
Rear Window Blind ...
Walnut Interior Panelling ...
Cruise Control ... etc

Named as MASTERPIECE (last batch with additional accessories)!.!.!.!

From The Forum ... A lot of Benzers
is still confusing about the Masterpiece Version

so New Body Kit Convertion Is A 'E' Class Convertion
Not a Real MASTERPIECE !.!.!

The MASTERPIECE is consider a limitted edition ...
and it's very hard to get in the market
because most of the owner ... Do NOT want to sale it ...

It was A perfect Model For W124 ...

And Sincerely wishing to the MASTERPIECE owner...
Congratulation To Own A Real W124 Model ...

Hope You All Keep It And Well Maintain It
Once You Let It Go , It May Not Come Back To You Again !!

Sorry for NOT introduce the Diesel Model ....

For The W124, totally are more than 3,000,000 (three Millions) units
on the road around the World !!
and every 1,000,000 Units
the M/Benz Upgrade The New Body Kits ...



----------------
Cheers/Mabel

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm
Take time to read. It is the fountain of wisdom
Membership Number: One Nine Seven Seven

Mabel
Posted on: 2010/8/20 22:54
Benzo mania
Joined: 2007/8/7
From: Shah Alam, Cyber Jaya, Sunway
Posts: 20052
Benz Model: S320L, E240, C200
Message:
Re: Why W124?


I would like to share with you 4 video clips that was done by Fifth Gear's to verify W124 Quality...enjoy..


Fifth Gear's W124 Built Quality Test Part 1



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Cheers/Mabel

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm
Take time to read. It is the fountain of wisdom
Membership Number: One Nine Seven Seven

Mabel
Posted on: 2010/8/20 22:55
Benzo mania
Joined: 2007/8/7
From: Shah Alam, Cyber Jaya, Sunway
Posts: 20052
Benz Model: S320L, E240, C200
Message:
Re: Why W124?
Fifth Gear's W124 Built Quality Test Part 2



----------------
Cheers/Mabel

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm
Take time to read. It is the fountain of wisdom
Membership Number: One Nine Seven Seven

Mabel
Posted on: 2010/8/20 22:55
Benzo mania
Joined: 2007/8/7
From: Shah Alam, Cyber Jaya, Sunway
Posts: 20052
Benz Model: S320L, E240, C200
Message:
Re: Why W124?
Fifth Gear's W124 Built Quality Test Part 3



----------------
Cheers/Mabel

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm
Take time to read. It is the fountain of wisdom
Membership Number: One Nine Seven Seven

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