I think that many of us have the same feelings about the cost
of MB ownership. I like to think that I have a much better
car now than when I bought it. I've done steering, timing
chain rails, clock, transmission cooler lines so far. I still
have steering issues, climate control and a new ticking sound
to deal with. Still, I have read of $8-10K repairs for owners
of 350SDL and 4Matic cars.
In your case, have you looked for another engine? There
were a million 190's made, so you should see them in lots
of auto wreckers. A used engine for my 560 would run about
$2700 with a guarantee; yours (rebuilt) is $3000 from Adsitco
and used should be much less.
To change the subject a bit, how is your rear seat legroom?
I have heard that MB changed the 190 a bit to improve on space.
Do you know if 1987 was the old, low-space design?