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Old 05-21-1999, 04:18 PM
Posts: n/a
Several weeks ago I asked for some advice about my non-mobile auto. The 95 E300D of my dreams has become a nightmare and apparently a learning experience for the local MB shop mechanics.

Here is the story 4 weeks later. After numerous promises of tomorrow the car will be ready I sit here as a pedestrian. Yesterday I was brought before a council that included a factory representative, so i knew the news was bad! It seems a horrific chain of events has occurred and turned what I thought would be a safe reliable ride for years into a pile of useless steel, aluminum and assorted recyclables.

The story is that the vacuum pump failed. Although I had no signs of this (throttle problems, brake weakness, inactive central locks), apparently the pump self destructed internally. This somehow led to the following bad news. The oil pump became clogged with parts of the vacuum pump. This led to the engine jumping several teeth on the timing chain, which in turn did bad things to the valves. Some how the bearings on the crank (possibly due to lack of oil) were burned and are now shot, as is the crank.

The bottom line is that after 4 weeks of work, I have been advised by the dealer that I need a short block at a big price.

I almost passed out. I simply can't believe this enfgine basically self destructed. It was running fine, then went completely dead. I did manage to restart it and limp home, but while limping I saw no drop in oil pressure or rise in temperature. It just was making a lot of black smoke and had little or no power.

My questions are this, has anyone ever heard of such a catastrophic failure like this? I have purchased and driven MB diesels that were original (not re-built) and had 300,000 or more miles on them. This happened with 130,000 on the clock.

If I do go for the new engine, how on earth can I monitor the car so this doesn't happen again? As I said, there was absolutely no warning at all.

Lastly, are the new MB diesels in the same class as the old? Are all the technological advances making them less reliable?

I would really appreciate any comments any one might have. I am really shocked and disappointed at this. Maybe I should buy a Chevy. (no, I'm not that disappointed!)

Thanks for your reply and attention, Tony B.

Tony B.
1995 E300D