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  #1  
Old 11-19-2006, 04:27 AM
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MB Models and Chassis

Please reference this thread for a full explanation of what the engine numbers mean.

Herein, you will see various references to the letter W followed by a 3-digit number (i.e. W123, W126, W210, etc). These are chassis numbers used primarily internally by M-B, but are also commonly used on various websites, so it's a good idea to at least know the chassis number of the vehicle you own or are thinking about buying. The full chassis number is actually 6 digits, with the last three digits differentiating between various sub-bodystyles and engine offerings. More details on that below. Also, take a look here. Note that the chassis number is unique to a specific bodystyle; for instance, a W126 is the chassis number for the S-class sedan built between 1981 and 1991, but a 1992 S-class is a W140 chassis. (confused yet?) The model number you see on the trunk usually refers to the engine size (a 240D, for example, indicated a 2.4l engine), with the letter at the end indicating a specific engine characteristic. “D” means “diesel”, “E” essentially means an EFI gas engine, and no letter at all indicates a carbureted gas engine. Other letters used in the suffix (usually in conjunction with the aforementioned letters) have various meanings. For instance, “T” (“touring”) indicates a station wagon (NOT turbo), “S” (S-Class) indicates a full-size car, “C” indicates a coupe, “SL” indicates a convertible roadster (you won’t find an “SLD”, though), etc.

I'll start with the midsize car, since they're the most common. There was not originally a letter suffix associated with the midsize car, but after EFI gasoline engines were introduced, the letter “E” began being used on gasoline-powered models. After the vehicle model numbers were revamped in 1993 or so, the “E” was affixed to all midsize cars, and the midsize car is known today as the E-class.

W120/121
These cars are known as the “Pontons”, the nickname comes from the German word for "pontoon" and refers to one definition of pontoon fenders. These cars were sold between 1953 and 1962. Engines were mated to, I believe, 4 speed column-shift manual transmissions, and while these cars were fairly basic even by 1950’s standards, they were considered the epitome of reliability at the time, and were cherished by people in spite of the lethargic performance acquired from the engines that were rated at around 60 horsepower. The model numbering system is unique in these cars in that a lower-case letter was used to denote series improvements. A few other M-B chassis in the late 1950’s used this as well, but it disappeared in the early 1960’s. Cars built in this chassis include:

* 180D and 180Db: W120.110 chassis, powered by an OM636.930 engine (see above). Built between 1953 and 1961. Curb weight: 2508 lbs.
* 180Dc: W120.110 chassis, powered by an OM621.914. Built between 1961 and 1962. Curb weight: 2508 lbs.
* 190D and 190Db: W121.110 chassis, powered by an OM621.910. Built between 1959 and 1961. Curb weight: 2670 lbs.


W110
Much like the W120 and W121 Pontons, the “Fintail” or "Heckflosse" W110 was considered reliable if lethargic, coupling comparatively small engines to 4 speed column-shift manual transmissions and built to very basic standards. M-B was behind the times in that they introduced small “fins” to their cars after fins had largely gone out of style in America, with the W110 being one of the only M-B’s to sport this design. The W110 was built between 1962 and 1968. Cars built in this chassis include:

* 190Dc: W110.110 chassis, powered by an OM621.912. Built between 1962 and 1965.
* 200D: W110.110 chassis, powered by an OM621.918. Built between 1966 and 1967.


W114/115
The W114 and W115 is, by today’s standards, much closer to contemporary styling than the Pontons and Fintails that preceded it. These cars are relatively common in the United States as compared to the earlier diesels offered, and are still common in Europe and elsewhere in the world. The basic design is similar between the W114 and the W115, and they were both built between 1968 and 1976. All diesel models and 4-cylinder gas models are W115’s; all 6-cylinder gas models are 114’s. It appears that this is the first M-B offered in the U.S. with an automatic transmission as an option with a diesel. Also, the gearshift for the manual as well as for the auto were moved to the floor from the column. Both the manual and the automatic transmissions had 4 forward gears, with the top gear ratio at 1:1 (no overdrive). Cars built in this chassis include:

* 200D: W115.115 chassis, powered by an OM615.913. Likely built between 1968 and 1973, but that’s not known for sure. Curb weight: 3003 lbs. Unsure on transmission availability (but likely either only offered with a manual or available with either transmission)
* 220D: W115.110, powered by an OM615.912. Built between 1968 and 1973. Curb weight: 3110 lbs. Available with either transmission.
* 240D: W115.117, powered by an OM616.916. Built between 1973 and 1976. Curb weight: 3205 lbs. Available with either transmission.
* 300D: W115.114, powered by an OM617.910. Built between 1975 and 1976. Curb weight: 3450 lbs. Available only with an automatic trans.


W123 (sedan) (wagon) (coupe)
The W123 is considered a legend by many, and there are those who contend that it is the last of the “indestructible” Mercedes designs. This car was designed with reliability, comfort, functionality, and ease of maintenance in mind. Unlike other Mercedes models, nearly all W123’s sold in the United States were diesel-powered (in fact, they stopped even trying to market a gas-powered W123 in the U.S. after 1983). Styled after the larger W116 model described below, is by far the most common Mercedes seen in the United States even today. The W123 is commonly used in Europe and elsewhere around the world as a taxi, with some European taxis recording odometer readings equivalent to 1,000,000 miles (yes, that’s 1 million). As with the W115, the W123 was sold with either a 4 speed auto or a 4 speed manual transmission, depending on the engine and on customer preference. Also, on 5 cylinder diesel W123 models, power windows, a power sunroof, cruise control, and an automatic climate control system became standard equipment (the power windows, sunroof, and cruise control were optional on 4 cylinder W123’s). The W123 was sold between 1977 and 1985. Cars built in this chassis include:

* 240D: 123.123 chassis, powered by an OM616.912. Built between 1977 and 1983. Curb weight: 3250 lbs. Available with either transmission.
* 300D: 123.130 chassis, powered by an OM617.912. Built between 1977 and 1981. Curb weight: 3515 lbs. Available only with an automatic trans.
* 300D Turbo: 123.133 chassis, powered by an OM617.952. Built between 1982 and 1985. Curb weight: 3515 lbs. Available only with an automatic trans. Note that the 1985 W123 (and W126, described below) is the last Mercedes diesel sold in the U.S. with an all cast-iron engine.
* 300CD: 123.150 chassis, powered by an OM617.912. Built between 1978 and 1981. Curb weight: 3475 lbs. Available only with an automatic trans. This is the first (and, with the one below, the only) MB coupe available with a diesel engine.
* 300CD Turbo: 123.153 chassis, powered by an OM617.952. Built between 1982 and 1985. Curb weight: 3495 lbs. Available only with an automatic trans.
* 300TD: 123.190 chassis, powered by an OM617.912. Built between 1979 and 1981. Curb weight: 3740 lbs. Available only with an automatic trans. This is the first M-B station wagon sold in the United States. Note that, in spite of the same engine model number, the OM617 in a 300TD has a minor difference as compared to the OM617 in a 300D or a 300CD. There is a hydraulic pump integrated into the cylinder head on any engine out of a 300TD, to pressurize the hydraulic self-leveling suspension that was standard equipment on all W123 station wagons sold in the U.S. This difference means that an OM617 out of a 300TD can be used in a 300D or a 300CD, but you cannot use an OM617 out of a 300D or a 300CD in a 300TD without disabling the self-leveling suspension or changing the cylinder head to one out of a 300TD.
* 300TD Turbo: 123.193 chassis, powered by an OM617.952. Built between 1981 and 1985. Curb weight: 3780 lbs. Available only with an automatic trans. See note for 300TD above.
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Old 11-19-2006, 04:28 AM
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W124 (wagon)
The W124 marked a revolution in design for the Mercedes midsize car lineup. Following the lead of the W126 fullsize sedan described below, the W124 incorporated a much more streamlined appearance with many safety and comfort features that didn’t exist in earlier models. This includes a driver’s side airbag (with a passenger’s side airbag added in later years), antilock brakes, power-adjust seats, and a “dual” firewall to try and minimize the engine noise going into the passenger compartment. These cars sold very well in the United States, although for various reasons, there were relatively few diesel models sold. Four speed automatic transmissions (still without overdrive), automatic climate control systems, power windows, a power sunroof, the power-adjust seats, and many other comfort conveniences became standard options (although a very few gasoline-powered 124’s with 5 speed manual transmissions made it to the U.S., and European models were still sold with manual climate controls) on all W124 cars. The W124 was sold in the United States between 1986 and 1995. 1993-’95 W124’s fell under the new model classification system, wherein the midsize sedan became the E-class and the letter E was applied to all models, with the letter appearing in front of the engine size and all “descriptive” letters (“D”, “T”, “C”, etc) removed (i.e. E300 instead of 300D). Cars built in this chassis include:

* 300D: W124.133, powered by an OM603.960. Built in 1987 only.
* 300TD: W124.193, powered by an OM603.960. Built in 1987 only. This was the last M-B station wagon sold in the U.S. with a diesel engine.
* 300D 2.5: W124.128, powered by an OM602.962. Built between 1990 and 1993. Curb weight: 3390 lbs. Distinguished also by an air intake grille on the passenger’s side front fender.
* E300: W124.131, powered by an OM606.910. Built in 1995 only.


W210
The W210 was yet a completely new design, incorporating countless amenities (including, for the first time in an E-class car, a tilting steering wheel). Some feel that this car is so complex that it compromises on reliability; however, it could be said that these changes were necessary to compete with upstart luxury car manufacturers such as Lexus. As with the W124, far more gasoline-powered W210’s were sold in the U.S. than diesel-powered models, partially due to EPA restrictions and partially due to M-B feeling that the market for diesels was shrinking. The W210 was built between 1996 and 2002. Cars built in this chassis include:

* E300: W210.???, powered by a non-turbo OM606.912. Built from 1995-1997. Curb weight: 3538 lbs.
* E300 Turbodiesel: W210.???, powered by a turbocharged OM606.???. Built in 1998 and 1999. Curb weight: 3748 lbs (I think). A 5 speed automatic transmission was standard equipment on this car. This was the last IDI Mercedes sold in the United States.

Compact Mercedes:
W201
The W201 was the first “compact” Mercedes design ever, and has been called the “Baby Benz” by some. Almost looking like a miniature W124 with headlights from a W126, this car proved to be widely popular, and is the predecessor for the modern-day C-class. For whatever reason, the model number 190 (with either “E” or “D” afterwards) was applied to all cars, even though no gas or diesel W201 was ever equipped with a 1.9l engine (for the record, gas 201’s either had a 2.3l or a 2.6l engine). All diesel W201’s were either available with a 5 speed manual transmission (incorporating an overdrive gear) or a 4 speed automatic. The W201 was built between 1984 and 1993. Cars built in this chassis include:

* 190D 2.2: W201.122 chassis, powered by an OM601.921. Built between 1984 and 1986. Curb weight: 2700 lbs. Note that the W123 240D was discontinued after 1983 in an effort to get potential 240D buyers to look at this car instead. This was the first Mercedes diesel sold in the U.S. with an aluminum cylinder head.
* 190D 2.5: W201.126 chassis, powered by an OM602.911. Built between 1987 and 1989. Curb weight: 2855 lbs.
* 190D 2.5 Turbo: W201.128, powered by an OM602.961. Built in 1987 only. Curb weight: 2855 lbs. Only available with an automatic transmission.


Full-size Mercedes:

W116

The W116 was a very popular car in the 1970’s, and shared many design traits with the R107 roadster available at the same time. While most W116’s sold were gasoline-powered, the fuel crisis of the 1970’s convinced Mercedes to offer a diesel option, although the diesel was only available in the last three years of W116 production. The W116 was the first Mercedes offered with an automatic climate control system, although this design was a complicated vacuum-electric servo that is somewhat prone to failure and is very expensive to repair. Early W123’s and R107’s also used this design. The W116 was only available with an automatic transmission. The W116 was built between 1973 and 1980.

* 300SD: W116.120, powered by an OM617.950. Built between 1978 and 1980. Curb weight: 3850 lbs. This was the first appearance of a turbocharged diesel in a Mercedes.


W126
The W126, like the smaller W123, was and still is a very familiar sight in the United States. In fact, when someone mentions a Mercedes to another person, the first image in that person’s mind is often of a W126. The W126 featured a much more streamlined appearance than any Mercedes preceding it, and while the automatic climate control system was thankfully updated with the release of the W126, many other features were added in later years, such as a driver’s side airbag and antilock brakes. Like other S-class sedans before it, the W126 was only available with a 4 speed automatic transmission in the U.S. The W126 is also rare in that it transcended a major engine change, with W126’s having been sold with both the OM617 cast-iron diesel and the OM603 aluminum-head diesel. Both diesel and gas W126’s are common in the United States, with the W126 being built between 1981 and 1991. There was a long-wheelbase version of the W126 (denoted by the letter “L” in the model number), built solely to add legroom for rear-seat occupants. Cars built in this chassis include:

* 300SD: W126.120, powered by an OM617.951. Built between 1981 and 1985. Curb weight: 3625 lbs. Note that the 1985 W126, along with the W123 described above, is the last Mercedes diesel sold in the U.S. with an all cast-iron engine.
* 300SDL: W126.125, powered by an OM603.961. Built between 1986 and 1987. Curb weight: 3835 lbs.
* 350SDL: W126.135, powered by an OM603.970. Built between 1990 and 1991. Curb weight: 3850 lbs. IF CONSIDERING THIS CAR, PLEASE SEE NOTE FOR THIS ENGINE IN THE ENGINE THREAD!!
* 350SD: W126.134, powered by an OM603.970. Built in 1991 only. SEE NOTE ABOVE


W140
The W140 might be called one of Mercedes' more notorious models. As these cars are VERY luxurious, many people love these cars...however, many of the luxury amenities (such as power-assist closing doors, small vacuum-operated masts at both rear corners that automatically pop up when the car's placed in Reverse, etc) come at a price. Repairs are relatively common, are almost invariably expensive, and can almost never be done by anyone other than a dealership. So, it takes someone with a large pocketbook to own a W140 successfully, but if finances allow, it's a worthwhile car to own. I believe that later W140's had fewer issues than earlier 140 cars, but unfortunately, the diesel W140 had been discontinued by that point. The W140 was built between 1992 and 1999. Unfortunately, this is one of the few MB models where the gas counterpart (S320) is a better choice. Cars built in this chassis include:

* 300SD/S350: W140.134, powered by an OM603.970. Built between 1992 and 1994; '92 and '93 models were badged 300SD while '94 models were badged S350. Curb weight: 4610 lbs. The 1994 S350 was the last IDI S-class sold in the United States. SEE NOTE ABOVE FOR 350SDL

Based on the sticky from www.oilburners.net and edited to update the information.
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2007, 12:54 PM
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W123, W124, etc What does it mean?

OK, so its obvious that I don't know that much about Mercedes. So help me out, can you point me to a resource somewhere that relates these body style designations to year/model information like 1980 300D, 1995 E300, etc?

Is this the appropriate area in the forum for this topic?

By the way, this is a great forum full of useful information!

Greg
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  #4  
Old 03-18-2007, 09:22 PM
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Here's some helpful info as well:
http://www.peachparts.com/diy/usmodels/usmodels.htm
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Old 06-30-2007, 10:20 PM
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I read all this but it doesn't sync with my vin and vehicle, which is a european model. Its a manual diesal 1984 300d, vin WDB1231301A173094. I want to get it's exact specs to get an official MB shop manual for it but I can't get reliable information.

Even though its european the steering wheel is on the left.

any ideas?

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Old 06-30-2007, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilybug9876 View Post
I read all this but it doesn't sync with my vin and vehicle, which is a european model.
This guide focuses on the models available in the USA.

The W123 factory manuals will be fine for what you have. Most of the info in the 617 factory manual should translate except for specifics on the injection pump. The transmission is the same as used on the 240D.

VIN WDB1231301A173094
Model 300 D
Chassis 1231301A173094
Engine 617912 10 207116
Transmission 716005 00 934854
Order 0 - 233 40212
Approx. year 1980
Lights HELLA
Cab 05456
Dealer Bremen branch (233)
Interior fabric pine green (056)
Paint
881 thistle green metallic (с 01.01.1979 по 31.12.1986, с 1994)
Options
254 Becker radio Europa Kurier cassette (с 01.06.1978 по 30.11.1990)
411 mechanical and hydraulic sliding roof (с 01.10.1965 по 31.10.1993)
466 central locking system (с 01.04.1970 по 31.10.1993)
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Old 07-02-2007, 06:02 PM
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thanks so much!
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:35 AM
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I am a newby and my C230 just out of warrenty, so I'll need parts for DYI soon. I read lot of discussion here but not sure about my VIN# WDBRF40J54F486375.
What is Wxxx (i.e., W203 or what), chassis# and engine #
Any help are appreciated.
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Old 08-29-2007, 01:31 PM
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Answer:

Quote:
Originally Posted by patmb230 View Post
I am a newby and my C230 just out of warrenty, so I'll need parts for DYI soon. I read lot of discussion here but not sure about my VIN# WDBRF40J54F486375.
What is Wxxx (i.e., W203 or what), chassis# and engine #
Any help are appreciated.
Here is your basic data.
Attached Thumbnails
MB Models and Chassis-data6546454.jpg  
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  #10  
Old 08-29-2007, 01:55 PM
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Thanks, whunter and link from Bill Wood. Now I can order the right part.
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