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Old 09-02-2003, 01:12 AM
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Question Any diesel fans also have a 190-16v?

I've been considering another car for some time, which is how I initially ran into the 300 turbo diesel. I'm still wanting a sportscar, and have been set on a 944 n/a until I started seeing more 190 16v's around, and there was one in my office parking garage. I've checked them out and the prices are all over the place. I think anyone asking more than 6,500 or 7,000 is nuts, they're just too old, they've all been driven and have 6 figure mileage. I can get a decent 944S for that anyway. I'm wondering if anyone on the forum has one and can share some of the concerns and maintenance woes and costs.

Anyone have/had one?
Anyone else looking for one?

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Old 09-02-2003, 11:31 AM
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I settled for a 5-spd 2.3 190e because I couldn't find a diesel with a 5-spd quick enough. The car is very snappy compared with the D. It feels like they just squeezed real hard and got everything you're used to in the larger MB into the 190. 500# lighter does not get me anything above 28 mpg. The 5th speed is incredibly useful.
Turns out most of the power acc are fairly expensive to replace, so it is worth finding one that has the parts you want working. Not much elbow room. But very sporty- try to get a good testdrive to see what I mean. However, they only ever made the sedan.
Monster car on county roads after midnite.
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Old 09-02-2003, 11:42 AM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596

I have a 1986 190E 2.3-16 that I purchased new as a Euro model with the factory unleaded fuel emissions system and federalized. I have had nothing but superior experiences with this car over the years I owned it. I recently gave it to my son (painful experience and seems like yesterday, but he turned 16 two years ago) when it had about 205,000 miles on it. It never failed to run and never left me stranded even once in that time frame. Due to my own negligence on keeping the valves adjusted my son burned an exhaust valve. We removed the head and spent a small fortune rebuilding it. When they go wrong the problems are not trivial in cost. I blame myself for that error though, and other than that I have had relatively few 16 valve unique problems and no Euro unique problems.

I recently purchased another 16 valve for my other son who is turning 16 later this year. It was an eBay event and so far is looking like a reasonable investment of less than $5k for a car with less than 150,000 miles. As you can guess we are in the valve adjustment phase, after changing all the fluids and filters. The valve adjustment is a pain in the rear in that you have to remove the camshafts after taking detailed gap measurements, then measure some shims with a micrometer, do some math and order new shims, then reassemble and verify the gaps are correct.

So, I would not spend more than $8k for an example with low miles after having a compression test done, and verifying the valve adjustments have been carried out at regular intervals. I would also demand a rust free example for that kind of money, with functioning air conditioning and self levelling system. Expect dash board cracks and some clear coat damage unless the car spent its life in a garage. The rest of the car should be solid - no rattles, no stalling, no hard starting.

Good luck, and I hope this helps, Jim
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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