tincetti New Reader
Jan. 22, 2011 9:14 p.m.

What should I know before I buy ?

ddavidv SuperDork
Jan. 22, 2011 9:34 p.m.

That a BMW E36 is better. Watch the Top Gear episode where they put it up against a BMW and a Ford Sierra.

Jeff Dork
Jan. 22, 2011 9:43 p.m.

Yep, watch the episode. The car rumored to be Martin Brundle's favorite. Turned out it wasn't. If I remember though, Mr May did win the challenge.

Raze Dork
Jan. 22, 2011 9:56 p.m.

blah, this board is all Miata this, BMW that, if you want a Merc, I can't think of a 'cooler' example than a Cosworth 190E. Just because something is 'better' doesn't mean it's the right car for you, sheesh...

MrJoshua SuperDork
Jan. 22, 2011 9:58 p.m.

Good looking car.

tincetti New Reader
Jan. 22, 2011 10:04 p.m.
ddavidv wrote: That a BMW E36 is better. Watch the Top Gear episode where they put it up against a BMW and a Ford Sierra.

Heck, I've got a Sierra ! I haven't found any E30 M3's for $1850-which is what the M-B is advertised for. Just wondering about any model specific trouble spots. You can keep your E36s.

neon4891 SuperDork
Jan. 22, 2011 10:05 p.m.
Jeff wrote: ...Mr May did win the challenge.

Only because he bought it at half the budget. His example was also in the worst shape of the 3.

EvanB Dork
Jan. 22, 2011 10:40 p.m.

$1850? what could go wrong? i would love one.

m4ff3w SuperDork
Jan. 22, 2011 10:41 p.m.

Damn Eric, I'm tempted to go buy it. But I just bought tires for the XR4ti today.

ditchdigger HalfDork
Jan. 22, 2011 10:41 p.m.

I have had the pleasure of driving a US spec 190E 2.3-16V in nice shape other than the gutted interior for weight savings. Honestly I would take an E30 325is over the Merc any day of the week. I was not impressed. It was just kind of blah. The dogleg box confused me at ever stop light but I think another hour in the car would have cured that.

I thought the mono wiper was overly complex and hated how it left the corners of the windscreen unwiped.

For being such a rare care there sure seem to be a lot of them avaliable for cheap money. I have a friend who loves them and is always buying them for $700 to $3000 for running driving cars.

BoxheadTim SuperDork
Jan. 22, 2011 10:42 p.m.
tincetti wrote:
ddavidv wrote: That a BMW E36 is better. Watch the Top Gear episode where they put it up against a BMW and a Ford Sierra.

Heck, I've got a Sierra ! I haven't found any E30 M3's for $1850-which is what the M-B is advertised for. Just wondering about any model specific trouble spots. You can keep your E36s.

Well, you'd want to compare it to the E30 M3 anyway...

Very carefully go over the engine - they're rather different from any other engine fitted to the 190E and if you've got a bad one, your wallet is in for a world of hurt.

Jeff Dork
Jan. 22, 2011 10:47 p.m.

$1850? Buy the damn thing or tell me where it is and I will. Yes, it's cooler than a BMW. Slower, but cooler.

mtn SuperDork
Jan. 23, 2011 12:25 a.m.

Here is what I know about it that would be of interest:

Watch out for the "KE-Jetronic fuel distributer. An amazing piece of technology when it works. Bad fuel and letting it sit unused are it's worst enemy's"

The quotes are from a German Mechanic who studied in Germany with Mercedes-Benz.

Somebody said to the "amazing piece of technology" that "if by amazing you mean incredibly irritating and grating on the nerves, then yes. for sure. "

He responded back that

"Well thats only once they're getting old and neglected. I had that system on a couple cars and it worked just fine.

The problem is that you can't get parts for it, therefore you'll have to buy the whole assembly, which runs depending on the application and the trustworthyness of the source, between $1200 and $3000. And that mostly means end of line for a lot of older VW, Audi and Mercedes, since the owners don't wont to spend that much money, not knowing what might comes next."

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
Jan. 23, 2011 10:38 a.m.

Two good friends happened to recently buy these cars--and they're each in opposite corners of the country. So far, they're both still in love.

ww SuperDork
Jan. 23, 2011 8:21 p.m.

If I didn't already have 14 cars I'd be all over this one!

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/cto/2172753079.html

stuart in mn SuperDork
Jan. 23, 2011 9:10 p.m.

I drove one that belongs to a friend, I liked it a lot. However, I'd be wary of one that was selling for only $1850...it could be an expensive time bomb waiting to explode.

JoeyM Dork
Jan. 23, 2011 9:27 p.m.

I've always thought they looked great.

OTOH, one of the guys in MSCC bought one....he was thinking about gutting and caging it, but one autocross with it in stock form convinced him that it wasn't gutsy enough to be worth the effort. He sold it and bought different car for that year's toy.

corytate New Reader
Jan. 23, 2011 9:58 p.m.

lovely, lovely cars.
and you people finding them for cheap, buy one and sell one to me for a challenge car! please! the only ones around here are in the 6k range sadly, I really love these cars. =]
This would be an absolutely brilliant challenge car!

MrJoshua SuperDork
Jan. 23, 2011 10:05 p.m.
corytate wrote: lovely, lovely cars. and you people finding them for cheap, buy one and sell one to me for a challenge car! please! the only ones around here are in the 6k range sadly, I really love these cars. =] This would be an absolutely brilliant challenge car!

What he said. BTW, where is our super excited newbie challenge Mercedes guy?

speedblind Reader
Jan. 24, 2011 9:51 a.m.

Great cars, as long as you're buying for fun/uniqueness. A friend of mine bought a racecar 190E and it was a great car, but relatively unsuported in the aftermarket and he didn't really have anyone to race with in NASA. If you're buying for fun, it's a great car and a unique conversation piece. I for one love me some 190E, especially if you can find one with the manual trans. Also, the interiors seem to hold up much better than the E30s of the day.

Cool looking car though.

corytate New Reader
Jan. 24, 2011 2:34 p.m.
MrJoshua wrote:
corytate wrote: lovely, lovely cars. and you people finding them for cheap, buy one and sell one to me for a challenge car! please! the only ones around here are in the 6k range sadly, I really love these cars. =] This would be an absolutely brilliant challenge car!

What he said. BTW, where is our super excited newbie challenge Mercedes guy?

haha if you mean me, in NC has there been a 190 at challenge before? or even any mercedes that isn't a 240d or 300d or antique roadster?

FE3tMX5 None
Jan. 24, 2011 2:42 p.m.

I bought 87 2.3-16 six months ago for $3500 @ 108k miles and still love it. And yes I bought it instead of an e36. It's done 2500 trouble free miles and given me an education in mechanical fuel injection at no cost. That mostly because the recent refurb'd fuel distributor install before purchase was never tuned. Now that I've got the pressure straightened out it makes good power, it's fun to drive and I think I've raised my IQ a couple of points because I now understand the dogleg. The bottom end is nearly identical to the standard 2.3 - it's the head that is so special. But what I think is the biggest misconception on these cars is that they are expensive to own. They share a tremendous amount of parts with the standard 190e (I replaced all the rear multilinks with new bushings installed for $175). I found a used cylinder head for $250 delivered. A 100k mile longblock with perfect compression (canadian 185hp model) just sold for $1500 on a benz forum. A few months ago there was a rather rusty 2.3-16 that only needed the injection reinstalled to drive (it was going to get MS), otherwise in fine mechanical condition and the guy coudn't sell it for $2k. The reality is that demand is low for these cars and it keeps prices down. I think it's got a high cool-factor-to-dollar ratio.

Plan is to go efi/edis with MS. Others see ~20whp gain over the mechanical injection and the install is reversible. Have all the parts, just need to get another project out of the way.

pilotbraden HalfDork
Jan. 24, 2011 2:47 p.m.

I had one. I wish I still had it. They handle well, are comfortable and mine was reliable. Also, the ladies seemed to like it.

Strike_Zero HalfDork
Jan. 24, 2011 2:51 p.m.
FE3tMX5 wrote:

OH MY YES!!

Jan. 24, 2011 4:14 p.m.

I've always had a thing for the 2.3-16... What are the best boards to find them when they pop up for sale?

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