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  #1  
Old 05-09-2004, 03:44 PM
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Durable (!!!) GAS Mercedes-Benz Engines

I'm sure most of you would recommend me going to one of the other forums with my question, but I figure if anybody knows something about durable engines the fellas at the Diesel forum might know.

What gas Mercedes engines do you think/believe are durable, longlasting, "bulletproof," etc.? I guess engines from any time frame, but pre-90's specifically, and particularly any "older" cars.

Also, know of any older hotrods besides the 450SEL 6.9 and the 300SEL 6.3?

I'll start out by saying that I've heard that the 110 engine in the 280E/280CE's are pretty longlasting, given that they aren't neglected. Plus the fact that it's put into the W123 chassis makes the car even more tankish, given our W123's well-built parts.
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  #2  
Old 05-09-2004, 04:29 PM
mb123mercedes
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I second that.

A friend of mine has a 81 280CE with
475K on the original engine and trans.
He lives in brownville,TX and works some
where in Mexico and uses the MB as his
everyday commute car.

Louis.
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  #3  
Old 05-09-2004, 04:39 PM
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Now that's impressive.
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  #4  
Old 05-09-2004, 05:12 PM
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I'm not close to those kind of miles, but my 450SEL has 266,000 on the original engine and transmission. No major work has been done to it to the best of my knowledge. I've had it since it had 65,000 miles. It still runs great and shifts wonderfully. I've done only minor maintenance to this auto. I've always liked the W116. This was a European gray market car that I've had great luck with. It gets 16 mpg on the worst days and 19 mpg on the highway. Also has more horsepower than the American version, and I like the bumpers on the European W116 better. It also handles quite well for a car its size.

That said, I am a better driver with my W123. And it gets around 27 mpg on fuel that was still $1.69 per gallon this morning. Gas, 83 octane at that, is $193.
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Mike

2000 SL500 22,000 miles
1981 300CD 188,000 miles
1979 450 SEL 266,000 miles
2005 Cadillac CTS 25,000 miles
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  #5  
Old 05-09-2004, 05:19 PM
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The M117's are pretty much bulletproof too. The lower end will easily cover 400K+ miles with typical upper end services between 200-250K, and the timing chain, rails and tensioner replacement. My 4.5 is 30+ years old and to the best of my knowledge is original to the car, no idea how many times the 5 digit odometer has gone 'round though. My 560 is at almost 200K and is just now in for valve stem seals and a camshaft replacement.

*hanging head in shame*, I had to ceed the job to a shop simply because I don't have the tools, nor place to DIY. I was difficult leaving it behind, but a quick tour of the shop and meeting the mechanics put me at ease.
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Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
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  #6  
Old 05-09-2004, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeTangas
My 560 is at almost 200K and is just now in for valve stem seals and a camshaft replacement.
Hey Mike, I gather you're having this done in Michigan?

How did you find a reputable shop? Via this forum, or did you just ask around?

What's up with the camshaft? Is it the cam lobes that are worn down? If so, do you feel this is normal at your mileage?
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #7  
Old 05-09-2004, 08:45 PM
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MY '87 560SEL had 350,499 miles on it the day the little girl in the Toyota totaled it. Original engine and to my knowledge, the heads had never been off. I believe it had valve seals and more than one timing chain done over the years. Car had fanatical maintenance over the years by its three owners. first two owners probably put some mechanics kid thru college. Me, I'm cheap and do my own work. Trick with that engine seems to be to keep up the maintenance (including 3k mile oil changes) and never let it overheat. They are not TOO expensive to work on.
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  #8  
Old 05-09-2004, 10:05 PM
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Paul, yes I'm having the work done here in Michigan. Whunter from the forums here is one of the techs at the shop. Since I don't have all my tools, plus no place to work on the car, I knew I would have to farm the job out and I contacted whunter to see if he could recommend a shop.

I knew I needed stem seals due to the oil use on the drive up from California, then the ticking started. The tick was definitely valve train related and I started preparing for the worst. A couple weeks ago I pulled the passenger side valve cover and found one of the lobes for #2 to be worn rough (can't recall if intake or exhaust right now, but looking back at my mental image I believe it is the intake lobe). Don't know yet if the cam wear is a cause or an effect of the tick.
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Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
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  #9  
Old 05-09-2004, 10:27 PM
LarryBible
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From what I've seen and experienced of the earlier engines, the M103 in the 300E and others is a really good engine. Mine has 267,000 miles and still uses no oil between changes. I have had to R&R the head due to the previous owner not keeping the antifreeze changed.

As far as what is the best gas engine of all, I would have to vote for the M112 V6 and its V8 cousin. I have written a few detailed reviews of this engine in the featured cars forum if you would like to search. This engine has been out long enough now that long term results are seen. They run to high mileage with no problems. The technology and construction in these engines is unbelievable.

A few years ago I ran across a website that had picked the top 10 production engines and the picked this engine as their number one pick.

I am definitely a 123 diesel fan. I drove them because in those days I drove in my work about 70,000 miles a year and had to have long term dependability and reliability. I now believe that you don't have to go to a diesel to have such long term success.

Have a great day,
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  #10  
Old 05-09-2004, 10:40 PM
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IMHO, the W123 bodies had the 2.8 liter sixes which were pretty close to the OM 616/617 in terms of durability, later MB gas engines are nowhere near the quality of the 2.8 six.
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