Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help



Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Discussions > Off-Topic Discussion

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-31-2002, 05:01 PM
cbecica
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Question Need advice on a 300E

I have a chance to purchase a 1993 300E with 99K in showroom cond. I have been in Saabs (LP is sobsrty) since I started driving and my family has owned MB Diesels since '74. I need some unbiased opinions, my father thinks I'm nuts to consider a gas engine and my wife thinks 99K is to many miles. What kind of history do these cars have? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-31-2002, 05:26 PM
jsmith's Avatar
Ronin
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: At Sea
Posts: 1,729
what's the price? this model year is tagged as a "stay away" on consumer reports. it was the year they switched to the m104 engine which proved to be more problematic for that year. check the January issue of R&T. the E series has one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings on MB's ever, regardless. also note that i have one of these...
__________________
joE
1993 300e-2.8
- gone now <sigh>
"Do not adjust your mind, it's reality that's malfunctioning"
http://banners.wunderground.com/bann...L/Key_West.gif
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-01-2002, 09:45 AM
cbecica
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Joe,
The dealer is asking $14,500. Test drove it yesterday, very impressive.
Thanks
Chris
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-01-2002, 10:54 AM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
First the bad news: After 99K, you may be in for some expensive repairs ahead...

the good news is these cars are pretty easy to fix!

OK, now that I've scared you, here's what to watch out for:

Get the main engine wiring harness inspected and repaired ASAP! These harnesses (92-94) had faulty wiring insulation, and broke down with heat and age, exposing bare wiring, causing all sorts of weird performance problems. MB dealers would replace these free of charge under their "goodwill" policy if the car has less than 100K mi. on it. Hundreds of $$$ to have it done otherwise.

The M104 (and M103) engines are known to have head gasket failures, most by the time they reach 150K. The different block and head alloys combined with the longitudinal mating surface area were generally considered the source of the problem. Most of us 300E owners expect this to happen eventually, and when it does, it's probably time to look at valve stem seals and timing chain components anyway, so we do a full circle top-end refreshing. MB techs say the head gasket replacement is an easy job, but it could cost you upwards of $1500 to do so.

The first oil leak you may notice will come from the front of the engine, and that is the timing chain cover seal leaking. You can fix it, or live with it, but it will only get worse. If the leak is from the rear of the engine, then the head gasket is giving you fair warning, so get the front seal replaced while the head is off.

I haven't had to pull my M104 head off yet, but I know it's a matter of time. Might be an old wives' tale, but easy warm ups before venturing out could slow the process.

The coolant pump and radiator will be next to go...the radiators almost always crack at the plastic neck where the inlet hose meets the coolant pump. New OEM units have a reinforced metal sleeve, but a new radiator is about $300. The coolant pump will fail after 100K...usually not catastrophically, but you will see a trail of coolant dripping off the block when the seal goes...a new unit can be had for $250, but it could cost you $800+ to have it repaired at the dealer.

The belt tensioner (primarily the shock bushing), wears out eventually, and you will notice that when you hear a clanking noise during idle...don't worry, it's not a rod going south...the bottom ends on these engines are bulletproof! The belt tensioner is about $250, but some can just replace the bushing and be done with it.

The other items are typically wear and tear...control arm bushings, shocks, brakes, etc.

Other items: the rear window motor assemblies. You will lose at least one during your ownership (I lost both within a year). The plastic window slider that holds the glass onto the track eventually "blows out" and hangs up the whole operation (can't open or close all the way). The entire assemblies are $140 each...that's the route I went until I found out much later in this forum that the plasic pieces can be had for about $2!!

Now that you know what to expect, you can enjoy the car!!! I feel better knowing what could happen than not knowing and then being shocked when something DOES fail...

Again, stay with the forum, as most or all of those problems are DIY repairs...save tons of $$$ as the parts for these cars aren't bad!

As a 93 300E owner, all I can say is that save for the head gasket, I have had everything else happen (and then some). Still, over the four years I have owned the car (purchased with 72.5K on the clock), it has been extremely reliable. Plus, it's the only other car (other than my 73 VW) that I can wrench on myself.

Good luck and happy motoring!
__________________
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-01-2002, 11:05 AM
hitch02's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 159
A close friend of mine bought a '93 - it's an impressive car with the 217hp engine, and came fully loaded. She bought it with about 75K 2 years ago, and now has about 105K. In that time, she has put about $4500 into repairs ranging from head gasket to a/c to injectors. I don't have the complete list, but you get the idea. A dealer friend once told me that a lot goes wrong with 124s around 70K-80K - I don't know if that's true. I had a '91 300E with 125K that had no major problems other than needing a new IP - but it couldn't touch the '93 in performance.

Fundamentally, hers is a good car, I just think the wise move would be a thorough PPI from a reputable shop or dealership. A good one of these would be a gem, and a bad one would be a nightmare.

-Reed
'84 300D/T
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-01-2002, 11:08 AM
JCE's Avatar
JCE JCE is offline
Down to the Wear Bars
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: So Kalifornia
Posts: 2,189
these threads may add to the good info above (make sure that the AC has already been switched to R134a or rebuilt with r12 recently - replacing the under-dash components is expensive. If it hasn't been done, take $1500 off the price, IMHO)

Opinions requested. Looking at an '86 300E.

High Mileage 300E's?

Buying '91 300E

300E Costs...?

WHICH USED BENZ FOR $20,000 OR LESS

MB V.S. VOLVO
__________________
John

2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
2015 Palladium Silver/black mbtex GLK 350
1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

Click to see 87 300E
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-01-2002, 11:21 AM
cbecica
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Wow, I would like to thank you all for some great info! I will definetley go back to the dealer with some good questions. My second Saab was a 1986 900T, over the 8 years that I owned it I put $9K (only paid $9K hence my LP sobstory)into it, and that was through a great local mechanic. I would like to avoid that situation again or I might as well buy new(er)!
Thanks again! I'll post an update
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-01-2002, 12:51 PM
jsmith's Avatar
Ronin
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: At Sea
Posts: 1,729
i've had the benz almost six months now. spent about $3.5k on body work, head gasket, wiring harness and a set of wheels and tires. still got a couple of big ticket items that can wait but i'm pretty much convinced it's a keeper. for this much car, there's nothing out there in the same price range.

BTW, the head gasket is easily diagnosed but the wiring harness isn't. mine didn't rear it's ugly head until i had the head gasket done, at which point i didn't have a choice. the only way to check if it's been replaced is to look at the tag near the main connector -it has a date of manufacture on it...
__________________
joE
1993 300e-2.8
- gone now <sigh>
"Do not adjust your mind, it's reality that's malfunctioning"
http://banners.wunderground.com/bann...L/Key_West.gif
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-12-2002, 10:04 PM
mdamberger
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Regarding the " goodwill " policy MB dealers replacing engine wiring, is this "policy" restricted to the USA ?? Does anyone know if this is available in Europe..or Canada ?....I`ve asked my local dealer re: this , with predictable results..." must be an American thing " If it is only availabe in the USA, why ?



Quote:
Originally posted by G-Benz
First the bad news: After 99K, you may be in for some expensive repairs ahead...

the good news is these cars are pretty easy to fix!

OK, now that I've scared you, here's what to watch out for:

Get the main engine wiring harness inspected and repaired ASAP! These harnesses (92-94) had faulty wiring insulation, and broke down with heat and age, exposing bare wiring, causing all sorts of weird performance problems. MB dealers would replace these free of charge under their "goodwill" policy if the car has less than 100K mi. on it. Hundreds of $$$ to have it done otherwise.

The M104 (and M103) engines are known to have head gasket failures, most by the time they reach 150K. The different block and head alloys combined with the longitudinal mating surface area were generally considered the source of the problem. Most of us 300E owners expect this to happen eventually, and when it does, it's probably time to look at valve stem seals and timing chain components anyway, so we do a full circle top-end refreshing. MB techs say the head gasket replacement is an easy job, but it could cost you upwards of $1500 to do so.

The first oil leak you may notice will come from the front of the engine, and that is the timing chain cover seal leaking. You can fix it, or live with it, but it will only get worse. If the leak is from the rear of the engine, then the head gasket is giving you fair warning, so get the front seal replaced while the head is off.

I haven't had to pull my M104 head off yet, but I know it's a matter of time. Might be an old wives' tale, but easy warm ups before venturing out could slow the process.

The coolant pump and radiator will be next to go...the radiators almost always crack at the plastic neck where the inlet hose meets the coolant pump. New OEM units have a reinforced metal sleeve, but a new radiator is about $300. The coolant pump will fail after 100K...usually not catastrophically, but you will see a trail of coolant dripping off the block when the seal goes...a new unit can be had for $250, but it could cost you $800+ to have it repaired at the dealer.

The belt tensioner (primarily the shock bushing), wears out eventually, and you will notice that when you hear a clanking noise during idle...don't worry, it's not a rod going south...the bottom ends on these engines are bulletproof! The belt tensioner is about $250, but some can just replace the bushing and be done with it.

The other items are typically wear and tear...control arm bushings, shocks, brakes, etc.

Other items: the rear window motor assemblies. You will lose at least one during your ownership (I lost both within a year). The plastic window slider that holds the glass onto the track eventually "blows out" and hangs up the whole operation (can't open or close all the way). The entire assemblies are $140 each...that's the route I went until I found out much later in this forum that the plasic pieces can be had for about $2!!

Now that you know what to expect, you can enjoy the car!!! I feel better knowing what could happen than not knowing and then being shocked when something DOES fail...

Again, stay with the forum, as most or all of those problems are DIY repairs...save tons of $$$ as the parts for these cars aren't bad!

As a 93 300E owner, all I can say is that save for the head gasket, I have had everything else happen (and then some). Still, over the four years I have owned the car (purchased with 72.5K on the clock), it has been extremely reliable. Plus, it's the only other car (other than my 73 VW) that I can wrench on myself.

Good luck and happy motoring!
wiring harness " goodwill " policy

Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need opinion and advice on mercedes rims, 87 300e dirtysocks Mercedes-Benz Wheels & Tires 4 10-29-2004 09:53 AM
need advice on 300e or e320 to buy... aeorcf Tech Help 0 02-01-2003 12:45 AM
What is the most common Benz? vanakin Off-Topic Discussion 14 12-07-2002 05:34 PM
advice on 1988 300E 105000miles dowxz Tech Help 7 11-07-2001 04:26 PM
300E strut replacement advice bobjohnston Tech Help 6 03-08-2000 11:04 AM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page