230GE in UT...any advice?

JoeLA

New member
Wanting to buy a car and some one else getting a deposit down first is not due to a bad seller.
McBride's experience with the MASTADON crew is more indicative of a bad seller. Maybe he will elaborate:coffee:
Please take a closer read. I made repeated attempts to put a deposit on it. He said it nonrefundable, so he would get me pictures. In the meantime, I was first on the list for that vehicle. It was not a matter of someone else putting in a deposit before me. Super shady.
 
Last edited:

DUTCH

Curmudgeon
Wanting to buy a car and some one else getting a deposit down first is not due to a bad seller.
McBride's experience with the MASTADON crew is more indicative of a bad seller. Maybe he will elaborate:coffee:
And if he does, what would you bet that it will be deleted by the moderator/sponsor.
 

JoeLA

New member
I can say my experience with Mastadon was not good. Not as bad as Jean at G-Mercedes bait and switch, but it was a basic trust in representation issue. Mastadon had a mid 90's G320. I questioned him about the status of the wiring harness. A known issue with that era of G class and others Benz's. He denied there were ever any such wiring harness problems on 90's G wagons and I was mistaking the electrical gremlins from the 2002-2005 era G's.

Let's see if I get deleted.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

The Alchemist, 25th Anniversary: A Fable About Following ...
by Paulo Coelho
From $10.47
Overlanding the Americas: La Lucha
by Mr Graeme Robert Bell
From $20
Vehicle-dependent Expedition Guide
by Tom Sheppard
From $115.7
Cycling the Great Divide: From Canada to Mexico on North ...
by Michael McCoy, venture Cycling Association
From $9.99

otiswesty

Regular guy
Well, I have a lot of fun buying and selling G stuff.
I feel for those guys that are doing this for a living and need to make a good solid margin on every sale. I appreciate that the guys at Mastadon are supporting this site and elevating the market for older used Gs in North America. The problem is that you can make nine good sales and the tenth guy gets a bit of a raw deal and everybody jumps on it. The fact that Scott Brady has used them for his G36 restoration says a lot about the capabilities of their shop.

Due diligence on the part of the buyer is paramount. Don't just buy unseen and expect a 20 year old Gwagen to be like a new car, even though it costs as much or more than a 3 year old Subaru lease return.
 

Mastodon4x4

New member
Well, I have a lot of fun buying and selling G stuff.
I feel for those guys that are doing this for a living and need to make a good solid margin on every sale. I appreciate that the guys at Mastadon are supporting this site and elevating the market for older used Gs in North America. The problem is that you can make nine good sales and the tenth guy gets a bit of a raw deal and everybody jumps on it. The fact that Scott Brady has used them for his G36 restoration says a lot about the capabilities of their shop.

Due diligence on the part of the buyer is paramount. Don't just buy unseen and expect a 20 year old Gwagen to be like a new car, even though it costs as much or more than a 3 year old Subaru lease return.
Yep. Well said. As for mid 90's G's I've never had any real electrical problems out of them and I've owned about 15 g320's in the past 20 years. I do encourage anyone interested in any Gwagon out of warranty who isn't flying in to inspect the vehicle personally to get a pre purchase inspection regardless if it's from me or anyone else you are purchasing a vehicle from.
 

All-Terrain

No Road Required
Yep. Well said. As for mid 90's G's I've never had any real electrical problems out of them and I've owned about 15 g320's in the past 20 years. I do encourage anyone interested in any Gwagon out of warranty who isn't flying in to inspect the vehicle personally to get a pre purchase inspection regardless if it's from me or anyone else you are purchasing a vehicle from.

The wiring harness issue with the M104 engine used in Mercedes E320's, G320's, etc is well documented. It also occurred on some other engines from the same early-90's era, such as the M119.

Google "M104 wiring harness" and you'll find plenty of reading material.

The wiring harnesses on these engines were biodegradable, as designed by Mercedes --- as such, 20+ years later, they are degrading...

The insulation breaks down, revealing the actual wires beneath, which then either cross-fire/interfere with each other, or corrode.

The only repair for this issue is to replace the engine harness. A new harness from Mercedes is between $500 and $1000, last time I looked. Replacing the harness takes a couple hours if you take your time. It's a do-able shadetree DIY.

I have personally replaced a couple of these harnesses, on my own cars and on family members' cars.

How Mastodon was unaware of this, I don't know - but now Mastodon IS aware.

IMG_4440.JPG
 

Mastodon4x4

New member
The wiring harness issue with the M104 engine used in Mercedes E320's, G320's, etc is well documented. It also occurred on some other engines from the same early-90's era, such as the M119.

Google "M104 wiring harness" and you'll find plenty of reading material.

The wiring harnesses on these engines were biodegradable, as designed by Mercedes --- as such, 20+ years later, they are degrading...

The insulation breaks down, revealing the actual wires beneath, which then either cross-fire/interfere with each other, or corrode.

The only repair for this issue is to replace the engine harness. A new harness from Mercedes is between $500 and $1000, last time I looked. Replacing the harness takes a couple hours if you take your time. It's a do-able shadetree DIY.

I have personally replaced a couple of these harnesses, on my own cars and on family members' cars.

How Mastodon was unaware of this, I don't know - but now Mastodon IS aware.

View attachment 378421
Thanks All terrain for the info. Are you suggesting we restore every G we take in to "like new" spec? If everything in the truck is in working order when we receive the vehicle should we just replace it anyway? Do you understand that most people looking for a G320 or early to mid 90's 463 wouldn't want to spend the extra thousands of dollars it would take to make one "perfect" and "like new"?? We are currently doing a mild resto on a 96 G-class for a client at the cost of 38k and he had already owned the truck and sent it to us for resto. Not sure what the point of this conversation is but if you are looking at a 15-20k Mercedes G class and expecting it to be a fully restored or even close to restored truck then you are way wrong. We are building a frame-off resto soft top LWB at the Moment for a customer and the build is over 80k. Please be realistic when purchasing a vintage 4x4 of any type. If you want a fully restored like new vintage 4x4 be ready to spend the money for one.
 
Last edited:

All-Terrain

No Road Required
Thanks All terrain for the info. Are you suggesting we restore every G we take in to "like new" spec? If everything in the truck is in working order when we receive the vehicle should we just replace it anyway? Do you understand that most people looking for a G320 or early to mid 90's 463 wouldn't want to spend the extra thousands of dollars it would take to make one "perfect" and "like new"?? We are currently doing a mild resto on a 96 G-class for a client at the cost of 38k and he had already owned the truck and sent it to us for resto. Not sure what the point of this conversation is but if you are looking at a 15-20k Mercedes G class and expecting it to be a fully restored or even close to restored truck then you are way wrong. We are building a frame-off resto soft top LWB at the Moment for a customer and the build is over 80k. Please be realistic when purchasing a vintage 4x4 of any type. If you want a fully restored like new vintage 4x4 be ready to spend the money for one.

I'm not suggesting you do anything. Do whatever you want.

However, for as much as you guys charge for your G's, I would think you'd replace an engine wiring harness that was on its last legs. Gotta admit - an engine wiring harness is a critical item on a truck that will be driven out into the back country, potentially with a person's family on board. I live here in CO and go out into the forests and parks as much as possible - I know I'd be pissed if I had just spent Mastodon money on a G, and it had a critical failure while I was out in the middle of nowhere.

But, at least now you are aware and can offer the harness replacement as an option.

I have a 460 and a 463 already, and do my own work on them, so I'm good, thanks.
 

Mastodon4x4

New member
I'm not suggesting you do anything. Do whatever you want.

However, for as much as you guys charge for your G's, I would think you'd replace an engine wiring harness that was on its last legs. Gotta admit - an engine wiring harness is a critical item on a truck that will be driven out into the back country, potentially with a person's family on board. I live here in CO and go out into the forests and parks as much as possible - I know I'd be pissed if I had just spent Mastodon money on a G, and it had a critical failure while I was out in the middle of nowhere.

But, at least now you are aware and can offer the harness replacement as an option.

I have a 460 and a 463 already, and do my own work on them, so I'm good, thanks.
Please tell me what G or G's you are referring to and I'll tell you what's been done to it? Saying as much as we ask for trucks is only relevant to what we've done to them or what we paid for them originally. You saying you may have owned or currently own a couple of Gwagons is awesome but each G I own or have owned (200+) is different in its own way.(as with most vintage vehicles because we HAVE NOT OWNED them their whole lives). And most of the G wagons we build or have built are for a particular customer to their lifestyle or their specs is the way they wanted them which is the way we build most of our trucks. We have trucks on the website for people who just want to buy something now and are not patient or looking to wait eight or nine months to build a lifestyle vehicle. Last I remember I've never twisted anyones arm to buy a car from me. Im sure I have bought back more G's than Jean or any other G wagon seller combined in people that had false expectations when they purchased a $15,000-$20,000 truck and expected it to be $150,000 truck. I didn't just get in this business either. I'm not riding some bandwagon, I speak perfect English. I've been selling the cool **** for 20 years.
 
Last edited:

All-Terrain

No Road Required
Saying as much as we ask for trucks is only relevant to what we've done to them or what we paid for them originally.
Actually it's relevant to market value, to which I'd say your prices are on the upper end of the spectrum. But hey, that's cool - it's a seller's market on classic body-on-frame trucks, these days. The Landcruiser dealers are inflating prices too.
 

Mastodon4x4

New member
All-terrain please feel free to call me if you have any questions on what I do. you or anyone else on this website for that matter. I speak perfect (redneck) English. Also if you're in the area and want to stop by the shop feel free to drop by and see all the work that is going on. Our address is 7881 W. 48th Ave. wheat Ridge, CO 80033. My cell is 615-557-3825 thanks – Tim
 
Last edited:

Roverchef

Adventurer
Holy pee-pee match!!! I thought we talk'n about where to buy early G's? Whoever started this poor thread...I hope you got an answer somewhere in here? And to the rest of you POOP! Happy Holidays
 

JoeLA

New member
Tim, all dues respect, but I have to set the record straight. I talked with you at length about your mid 1995 463 G320 with a bit over 200K miles. I asked you specifically and directly about the wiring harness issue and if that one had been replaced. You denied that the mid 90's G's had any such known issue and you told me I must be thinking of the myriad electrical gremlins in the 2002-2005's. I did not expect a new or perfect truck. There were no unrealistic expectations. No thoughts of a perfect or restored truck. It was a known issue that is expensive to fix, and setting the price of the truck depended on if that wiring harness had been replaced or not. Because you denied the known well documented issue existed, I never called you back. As All-Terrian described the problem so well, he also focused on why it matters. It is relevant to market value. If one doesn't do the work themselves, I believe its upwards of a $3000 job.

I've been buying and selling fast and interesting cars for a long time. I think these G- Wagons are interesting. But after my experiences with several sellers, I am backing away slowly and carefully.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Dreaming of Jupiter
by Ted Simon
From $16.43
Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World
by Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman
From $14.59
Into Africa
by Sam Manicom
From $23.88
4WD Driving Skills: A Manual for On- and Off-Road Travel
by Vic Widman
From $17.27

Mastodon4x4

New member
Tim, all dues respect, but I have to set the record straight. I talked with you at length about your mid 1995 463 G320 with a bit over 200K miles. I asked you specifically and directly about the wiring harness issue and if that one had been replaced. You denied that the mid 90's G's had any such known issue and you told me I must be thinking of the myriad electrical gremlins in the 2002-2005's. I did not expect a new or perfect truck. There were no unrealistic expectations. No thoughts of a perfect or restored truck. It was a known issue that is expensive to fix, and setting the price of the truck depended on if that wiring harness had been replaced or not. Because you denied the known well documented issue existed, I never called you back. As All-Terrian described the problem so well, he also focused on why it matters. It is relevant to market value. If one doesn't do the work themselves, I believe its upwards of a $3000 job.

I've been buying and selling fast and interesting cars for a long time. I think these G- Wagons are interesting. But after my experiences with several sellers, I am backing away slowly and carefully.
As I said previously I've never had that problem with any of the mid 90s Europa Gs. If it's a known issue then it's one that I am not familiar with but I am now thanks to ALL-terrain. I have since sold the car so I guess this conversation is completely irrelevant. I'm glad you are backing away slowly because the G wagon definitely isn't for everyone and is not something that is cheap in any spectrum but in this case we're talking about a $19800 Europa G wagon which in the spectrum of G wagons is insanely cheap and the truck ran and drove great with everything functioning and no lights on. Everything cost money on these trucks and even in the 90's they were not cheap. If I remember correctly this truck listed for about $136,000 new so with that you would expect every part to be pretty expensive regardless of age. Based on your decisions I would recommend you to buy a new Rubicon or a newer Toyota that way you don't have to worry about what I would consider minor things like electronics. In the case of My experience in buying Gwagons I like to focus on solid shells and frames with good motors. There are trucks that I buy that I have to spend money on rewiring it's just not the mid 90s Gwagons
 
Last edited:

All-Terrain

No Road Required
Correction - a '95 G320 with 200k+ miles is not "insanely cheap" at $19,800.

That's a very used G with not a lot of power, a 4-speed, and one that will need at least a good going-through at both axles and all driveshafts ($$$).

If it came with good service records detailing axle and driveshaft maintenance, as well as an updated engine harness, that could be a reasonable price provided the rest of the truck was decent.

Mid 90's G's have never needed "re-wiring". No one said they did. That's a misnomer. The M104's need new wiring harnesses, which basically unclip in a number of places, are removed, and then the new one is routed in and plugged into those places. No re-wiring.

What the truck sold for when it was new is also totally irrelevant. Lots of once-expensive cars are selling for peanuts now, especially with 200k miles on them. On the other hand, some cheaper cars are selling for more now than when they were new, or at least close to it.
 
Top