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Old 07-01-2003, 08:43 PM
mechmagcn's Avatar
Just another diesel junky
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mt Holly AR
Posts: 290
Red face A little off topic, How many miles...........????

I looked at a 88 300E today. What kind of life expectancy does the gasser engine have, also what kind of fuel economy?
This car looked good, but had 205K on the OD. Asking price $2500.

1971 R600 Mack toterhome (SuperDawg)
99 NU-WA Snowbird 34+2 SE 102 5er
If it's not diesel, it's not in my stable!
53 F100 617.951/auto
95 Dodge 3500 Cummins/5 speed service truck
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Old 07-01-2003, 10:47 PM
Aaron's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,937
At 205K on that engine (M103) I'd expect that there has been a valve job done in the past (generally around 150K) and not just valve seals. Some owners try to cheap out by just doing valve seals. The 103 engine is notorious for oil consumption beginning around 150K. Also check that a timing chain was put in when the valve job was done. The rest of the car is equally as bulletproof but engine maintenance is a big factor with 300Es. Otherwise, $2,500 is pretty fair if the car is decent.

You might also see if the suspension has been checked out.
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Old 07-02-2003, 10:07 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 89
What do the 300E's get in the gas mileage department? Are they a V-6?
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Old 07-02-2003, 10:14 AM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
300E's, 320E's and E320's in the W124 body were all in-line 6 cylinders. The V-6's arei n the W210 E320, and about every other current MB (and soon Chrysler apparently) automobile model.


The 300E I have is a 1988 model with a 5-speed. Around town my wife gets about 21 to 23 mpg. When I drove it across the country I averaged 29.9 mpg at pretty high speed from Salt Lake City to Connecticut. I think the E320 models should be about the same, maybe a little better with the later CAFE standards...
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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Old 07-02-2003, 01:10 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 89
23 mpg isn't bad. I'm thinking about getting an older 300E for my girlfriend. If she bashes it up, no big deal, the diesel stays perfect, ..............and in my hands.
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Old 07-02-2003, 03:01 PM
The Least of These
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Exton, PA
Posts: 559
While we are off topic...

I have a good friend with an 88 190E with the 2.3l and 210K on the clock. He is now using 1 quart every 500 miles and is blowing a lot of smoke out the tailpipe. Is this indicative of a valve job or piston rings? He is going to get rid of it and I thought that mabe I would do the work and resell depending on the amount of work required and resale value.

The car is in great shape otherwise - what do you guys think?
1996 (W210) E300D 86K - Traded in for a Lexus
1992 (W124) 300D 2.5 Turbo 202K - Sold
1983 (W123) 300D, 146K - Sold
1970 280S, 263K - Sold - Beginning of addiction
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Old 07-04-2003, 07:35 AM
klaus kallas's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Clayton, NC
Posts: 491
My '88 300TE gets about 21-23 mpg on average. It has accumulated 285,000 miles and the bottom end is still rock-solid. Head was redone at 200K.

If the car you are looking at has 205K, major work has probably already been done. Sounds like a great time to buy and a good price, too! Go for it!


‘84 300TD “Mountain Goat”
'62 300d Adenauer-350 Chevy - "Max"
'15 VW Passat TDI
'16 Dodge Ram 3500 - Cummins w/6-speed
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