1989 GE 230 on Auto Trader

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woeke
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Hi all

As you can see I’m fresher to the site as well.

I’m also trying to step-up into the G market but need some advice in doing so. I’ve read over the last couple of months some great posts and comments on buying G’s here and I hope you all can be as helpful to me now as well.

I am currently in negotiations to buy this one (sorry for the long link…)

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201502241204606/sort/default/onesearchad/used%2Cnearlynew%2Cnew/postcode/sl60hl/channel/cars/model/g_wagen/quicksearch/true/page/1/make/mercedes-benz/radius/1500/usedcars?logcode=p

However, before I fall for the lemon….will it be great if some of you can have your eyes on it and say what you think. Maybe one of you might know it already in its past life.

Personally I feel it’s a good entry level to the G world and I know that the 230 is not the strongest but fairly a reliable engine. However, for the rest I would be grateful for advice and comments,

Thanks,

Arnie
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Re: 1989 GE 230 on Auto Trader

Superficially, it looks great. However, as you will have read here, you cannot judge by low resolution pictures taken from a distance.

I note that the engine bay looks very clean and relatively free of corrosion. Not sure what the silver foil is doing around the air filter, though.

The pictures of the interior look nice. Little wear on the steering wheel and pedal rubber, but the brake pedal looks rusty (or dirty?), so check the condition of the floor under the mats.

The wheels are original and the covering on the  rear wheel indicates that it originated at some point from Caversham - a main dealer of new and used G's with a mixed reputation.

Also, you really need to take a very good look at what is not shown. He chassis and the springs and suspension points. 

Carefully check the lower parts of  rear door and rear quarters for signs of corrosion, repair or resprays to cover rust.

Make sure diff locks and transfer case work properly, and that the transmission changes properly and smoothly through the gears. Very rare to find a 230 auto!

If all these things check out, it would appear to be a very good and unmolested G.

 

 

 

 

panzer
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Re: 1989 GE 230 on Auto Trader

I had a quick look at this car as it was close by and looked good in the photos. Nice colour and a good spec

Shiny newish paint, very tidy inside, clean engine bay and seemed to drive ok. Appeared to have led an easy life. Did not have much history.

Off side rear top shock absorber mount has some corrosion as does the rear door bottom inside. There may be corrosion in the sills and there has been some repair work on the bulkhead on the drivers side with still some rust visible. You need to get it up in the air and check everything out properly and give it a long run.

Oil  warning light came on at idle after the engine had warmed up. Oil was to level so no idea why.

Nothing wrong with a 230 but they suffer the same problems as all 460's

woeke
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Re: 1989 GE 230 on Auto Trader

Thanks for the replies Arnie and Panzer

Really appreciate it. Some great observations Arnie!

Unfortunately I am doing the big no-no by buying the vehicle on the blind…I am stuck most of the time offshore so I just can’t go for the test drive myself….but I don’t want a gem for a good price to pass by.

So I am very happy for your reply Panzer. I was hoping you would because the guys at New Forest Autos told me that one of the GWOA members was out there to see it.

Yes the history thing does concerns me…and especially if it got a tow bar…then who knows what it had pulled in its life…

So what I normally do and I must say it worked for me wonderful over the years. I’ve requested them to send the vehicle to Halfords for a Diagnostic and overall check. You know just to get some independent mechanics to have a look at it. Fortunately the guys were happy to do this…otherwise I would not continue with the buy at all if someone refuse to do this.

See attached (hope it’s clear) for the report from Halfords.

So the guys at New Forest were happy to do all the work outline in the report for me…included into the asking price.

I’ve specifically requested that they replace the oil pressure sensor and replace all the oil and filters. So hopefully that will remove the oil pressure lamp warning….

I am bit concern with the differential lock fluid reservoir been empty…

Now the only other thing that’s a concern for me is the gearbox, as Arnie pointed out, so Panzer did you took it for a test drive? What did the transmission feel like?

Anything you notice on the report which could be of very major concern please let me know. As I said the dealer will fix and replace all the advisors from the report…that includes the broken coil springs….how that pass the MOT in the first place is a major question…

Thanks for this all guys. I appreciate it and hopefully I’ll soon join the ranks in the lovely photos you have here.

markhowes
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Re: 1989 GE 230 on Auto Trader

Do you intend having them send it back to Halfords after they say they've put all those faults right?

All very well replacing the oil pressure sensor. That reminded me of a car (not a Merc)  I bought 20 odd years ago with the same sounding problem only for me to find a few weeks later that what I actually needed was a complete engine rebuild (and I don't expect that comes cheap on a G).

Don't forget ..... it might be cheap for a reason.

 

panzer
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Re: 1989 GE 230 on Auto Trader

All 460's have tow bars I think and the front ball joints on my G have always weeped a little - I thought that was normal some expert advise needed on this please.

I bought my G with a fresh MOT and a broken rear spring - easy to miss I think.Car must come with a fresh MOT for piece of mind.

Markhowes advise is very relevant get checked again after work.

Diff lock reservoir being empty might be a simple leak in the pipe work. Top it up and try it again.Wiper spindles where a bit wobbly. Central locking and electric windows worked but I did not try the wipers!! Might just be a dirty fuse.

Halfords did not comment on the corrosion  but it is not a MOT item until it gets worse.

I did drive the car and it felt fine on the short journey I took. Kick down worked and gear changes appeared smooth up and down the 'box it felt slower than my 230 manual but it is the only 230 auto I have driven so nothing to compare it with.

Fuel tank was plastic and new (£1000 at least) but no protection plate so care if you intend to off road.

Garage appeared friendly.

Buying an old G is always going to be a gamble...........................

 

 

Arnie
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Re: 1989 GE 230 on Auto Trader

The front swivel housings (AKA 'ball joints') should be packed with grease and will weep a little - that's normal. However, if that is oil coming out and not grease, then the inner CV rubber boot may be torn.

Leaking steering box is a major concern. It maybe because someone has tried to adjust-out the play without first cleaning the main shaft, which gets drawn-up during adjustment, possibly damaging the seals. Anyway, bear in mind that 'reconditioned' ones will be around GBP-500, where 'reconditioned' = clean and new coat of paint.

Broken springs are common. They rust and you get crevice corrosion and then snap.

Oil-pressure warning light may be a pressure-sender issue. Can check by replacing or by opening oil filler cap on valve-cover and seeing with a torch whether oil is flowing onto the cam.

The auto boxes are quite bullet-proof  in these, but will likely need adjustment for optimal shifting (setting of various bowden cables and vacuum lines)

Rust is a problem on many 460, so you will just need to tackle it as you go, but panel parts are all available from the dealer or even pattern parts from 3rd parties.

I think a new plastic tank is about GBP-600, but you'll need to factor-in some conversion parts too. A new protecton plate from MB is also about GBP-600, but there are better alternatives.

Rear bearings are fairly easy to replace, so no big deal on that one, but they are taper roller bearings (for high load ratings) and will have some axial-play by design (on 463 types with rear discs, these were changed to ball-bearings).

Hopefully, prop-shafts and transfer case are OK?

(I'm surprised to find that Halfords do such a report - and even knew what a diff-lock is) Otherwise, I would have suggested AA or RAC.)

 

Good luck !

 

 

 

 

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woeke
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Re: 1989 GE 230 on Auto Trader

Hi all

Thanks for the comments! I really appreciate it.

Yes it’s always a risk to buy any used car…and one that’s 26 years old…well it bounds to have some issues. As long as you know that upfront…

However, you all help me to minimise the risk greatly and I feel it’s a G that I can do something with.

I’ll keep you up to date with the final outcome.

woeke
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Re: 1989 GE 230 on Auto Trader

So for the last 6 months I owned the 230 and I’ve added around 1000miles on the clock and done some work on it as well…not to much actually. Electrics, Gaskets and Power steering….otherwise I felt it was a good buy. Bit of rust in the normal places…but not much at all… seems someone in the past had done some work on it.

Biggest challenge for me now is to find out about its history from the previous 9 owners. Would be great to hear from some of the previous owners and what they used the 230 for and the work they have done on it. Not much in paper work. Although I see the top gasket had been replace on 116000miles and yes the tank was also replaced.

I’ve added a bit about myself in the introduction page. Sorry I am 6 months late with it.

jdring
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Re: 1989 GE 230 on Auto Trader

I've got this G now from woeke.  Its all as described and the work he has done sorts a lot.

The engine was a bit limp (compared to my old 5-speed manual 230GE) and I had Griffiths Mercedes in Caversham give it a tune up  Timing was out 10degrees and now the engine is smooth again and not pinking under a bit of load. (Griffiths have always been pretty good for me with various MBs).

The battery earth let me down once, and it wouldn't turn the starter - simple correction.

The central locking is intermittent - why is that?  Is it electrical or air pressure driven.

Cruises now at 60mph fine, but wish I had that 5th gear I had with the manual model.  

Seems like pretty full disclosure on this car for when I come to sell.  I am getting the G bug again and thinking of trying a big engine 463.