Opinions, 04 MB E500 W211

General conversations about BMW E28s and the people who own them.
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Mike W.
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Opinions, 04 MB E500 W211

Post by Mike W. »

My son's got a line on an MB E500 for $2K. 56K miles. Runs great but 2 big red flags are I guess it's got air suspension and the compressor runs regularly, and the A/C appears to need a charge, at a low fan speed it will blow slightly cool on the passenger side only, but the compressor does come on so it doesn't appear to be a control issue.

It was in a minor shunt, drivers side front which may be the cause of both problems and the headlight, which barely lights and blue, is pushed back some, but I doubt that's a big deal. Little old man in Marin County bought it new, eventually sold it to a coworker of my son and the recent owner is the one who was in the minor accident.

He's smitten by it for the price, is at least now aware that repair costs for $100K cars don't get cheaper as they age. I'm kind of neutral letting him know it might be best to just drive it until something big happens, then sell it for $800 or whatever. And he's ok with that.

Thoughts, especially on the air suspension?
dsmith
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Re: Opinions, 04 MB E500 W211

Post by dsmith »

There are conversions for the air suspension for under $1000. Might be best?

I think are right. Best to drive it until it pops and dump it. 2 CANBUS modules could be more expensive than the car.
BMWCCA2
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Re: Opinions, 04 MB E500 W211

Post by BMWCCA2 »

Most people understand that there is no such thing as a cheap Mercedes.

And this model is one of the worst. Why do you suppose they're only asking a Grand for it, in the first place?

Tell him to run as fast as he can.
Foonfer
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Re: Opinions, 04 MB E500 W211

Post by Foonfer »

Station wagon or sedan?

from what I have heard, the 211 E500 engine and transmission are generally regarded as *exceptional* and very robust, if a bit thirstier than the V6. What drove me nuts about the pre-facelift 211s was the electronic brakes, and the fact that, despite MB rolling out a 25-year no-objections warranty for them, your car could one day end up with no brakes just because a computer counter reached "X" number of brake pedal depressions. Ah, and the way the motor is laid out, there is no way to retrofit a standard hydraulic system in the cars with electronic brakes.

And yes, everyone talks about conversions for air suspension, that stuff has been figured out and a cheapish / reliable solution is available, apparently.

The W211 is a beautiful sedan/wagon, one of the best exterior designs of the past 30 years in my opinion. The interiors are horrible though.
Foonfer
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Re: Opinions, 04 MB E500 W211

Post by Foonfer »

BMWCCA2 wrote: Oct 08, 2020 7:55 AM Most people understand that there is no such thing as a cheap Mercedes.

And this model is one of the worst. Why do you suppose they're only asking a Grand for it, in the first place?

Tell him to run as fast as he can.
you might be talking about the W210 - that one is a well-documented disaster, collateral damage from Daimler-Chrysler era. The W211 is supposed to be decent, and I've read that the jump from W211 to W212 involved even more substantial improvements.
Mike W.
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Re: Opinions, 04 MB E500 W211

Post by Mike W. »

Foonfer wrote: Oct 08, 2020 12:57 PM Station wagon or sedan?

from what I have heard, the 211 E500 engine and transmission are generally regarded as *exceptional* and very robust, if a bit thirstier than the V6. What drove me nuts about the pre-facelift 211s was the electronic brakes, and the fact that, despite MB rolling out a 25-year no-objections warranty for them, your car could one day end up with no brakes just because a computer counter reached "X" number of brake pedal depressions. Ah, and the way the motor is laid out, there is no way to retrofit a standard hydraulic system in the cars with electronic brakes.

And yes, everyone talks about conversions for air suspension, that stuff has been figured out and a cheapish / reliable solution is available, apparently.

The W211 is a beautiful sedan/wagon, one of the best exterior designs of the past 30 years in my opinion. The interiors are horrible though.
Sedan.

Interesting on the brakes. I'd read something about a warning light being big trouble, but didn't realize it was that involved. I drove it, it ran great, but the brakes did feel odd, not bad odd, just a bit non linear at first. Apparently the A/C does work, but neither one of us could figure it out. It's a very complicated car.
Kenny Blankenship
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Re: Opinions, 04 MB E500 W211

Post by Kenny Blankenship »

An E320 or 2005-06 CDI (5 speed automatic) is much better. I'd avoid anything with air or hydraulic suspension, much like a BMW.
e12euro
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Re: Opinions, 04 MB E500 W211

Post by e12euro »

Mike W. wrote: Oct 08, 2020 1:13 PM
Foonfer wrote: Oct 08, 2020 12:57 PM Station wagon or sedan?

from what I have heard, the 211 E500 engine and transmission are generally regarded as *exceptional* and very robust, if a bit thirstier than the V6. What drove me nuts about the pre-facelift 211s was the electronic brakes, and the fact that, despite MB rolling out a 25-year no-objections warranty for them, your car could one day end up with no brakes just because a computer counter reached "X" number of brake pedal depressions. Ah, and the way the motor is laid out, there is no way to retrofit a standard hydraulic system in the cars with electronic brakes.

And yes, everyone talks about conversions for air suspension, that stuff has been figured out and a cheapish / reliable solution is available, apparently.

The W211 is a beautiful sedan/wagon, one of the best exterior designs of the past 30 years in my opinion. The interiors are horrible though.
Sedan.

Interesting on the brakes. I'd read something about a warning light being big trouble, but didn't realize it was that involved. I drove it, it ran great, but the brakes did feel odd, not bad odd, just a bit non linear at first. Apparently the A/C does work, but neither one of us could figure it out. It's a very complicated car.
Mike W. you answered your own question in the last line. :laugh: This car is no W123, leave the problems for someone else. Get an e28 or e12, something simpler. After the W124 and W126 you get into the "disposable" era. not repairable. Get a nice W126 300SE.

This is a real Mercedes:

1976 240D

Shows how different MB and BM were back in the mid '70s, 240D 0-60 mph 25 seconds, BMW 530i 9 seconds. Way before AMG was a regular part of Mercedes life, most Mercedes were dog slow. :laugh:

Irony was both the W114 and e12 5 series were styled by Paul Bracq. :cool:
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