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Old 08-16-2004, 08:49 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 627
'90 300TE exhaust opinions (original vs aftermarket)

A few weeks back I posted a thread asking for opinions on good brands of mufflers (same thread also talked about front flex coupling which I also need to replace). I am at the point of replacing all the exhaust rearward of the cat in our '90 300TE. I initially priced genuine parts at around AUD$380 for the front muffler and AUD$500 for the rear muffler. Yesterday I phoned an alternate supplier (who normally sells OEM parts with the MB part numbers removed) who told me he had no mufflers for my wagon in stock and he could only get me aftermarket mufflers (at around 70-80% the price of the genuine). He said to be honest, he would suggest I go to the dealer and buy genuine. I asked the reason for this recommendation (it was after all turning away a potential sale) and he said he could not be sure which aftermarket brand he would be supplied and therefore could not guarantee the result (ie. performance, sound and life expectancy).

The main reason for replacing the exhaust is not so much for the mufflers, but the pipe in between. It has obviously been replaced previousy (judging by the welds at each muffler and is now badly corroded and riddled with holes that I have been temporarily patching over the last few months. The rear muffler has started showing signs of corrosion and has devoloped an internal rattle at idle. I therefore thought it logical to replace everything rearward of the bolted connection at the cat.

What would others recommend? The genuine mufflers sound expensive, but then if they last like the originals (Gillet brand) that are still on the car now after 14 years, then I cannot really complain. I do plan to keep the car for many years. I want to retain the original performance and sound and it also gets entered in concours annually so the original appearance is also important.

As for the guy who made the recommendation, I do appreciate his honesty and he did get to sell me the front driveshaft flex coupling. This arrived during the afternoon and was identical to the original except for the removed MB part number. It came out at around AUD$130 instead of AUD$220 from the dealer.

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107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
107.026: 500SLC, 4-speed auto, thistle green, green velour.
124.090: 300TE, 4-speed auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex.
201.028: 190E 2.3 Sportline, 5-speed manual, arctic white, blue leather.
201.028: 190E 2.3, 4-speed auto, blue-black, grey MBtex.
201.034: 190E 2.3-16, 5-speed manual, blue-black, black leather.
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