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Old 10-28-2005, 07:07 PM
Ocean View's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 169
What's the highest miles on a M104/M103 engine?

Kinda OT but I figured most people here would know.

I once read that the M104 engine was good to 400K miles but I don't think I actually have heard anyone go that high.

What's the most miles one has had or heard someone had on a M103/M104 engine?

Does anyone have, heard or know of this engine go this high?

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Old 10-28-2005, 07:35 PM
Johnhef's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Frederick, Md
Posts: 4,540
1997 S320- last time I saw it, there was 261K on it. It comes in from time to time for service.

1980 500SE/AMG Euro
1981 500SEL Euro
1982 380SEL
1983 300TD
1983 500SEC/AMG Euro
1984 500SEC
1984 300TD Euro
1986 190E 2.3-16
1986 190E 2.3
1987 300D
1997 C36 AMG
2003 C320T 4matic

past: 1969 280SE 4.5 | 1978 240D | 1978 300D | 1981 300SD | 1981 300SD | 1982 300CD | 1983 300CD | 1983 300SD | 1983 380SEC | 1984 300D | 1984 300D | 1984 300TD | 1984 500SEL | 1984 300SD | 1985 300D | 1986 300E | 1986 560SEL | 1986 560SEL/Carat | 1987 560SEC | 1991 300D 2.5 | 2006 R350
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Old 10-28-2005, 11:15 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,538
Larry Bible's 300E should have close to 300,000 miles on it by now.
Paul S.

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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Old 10-28-2005, 11:57 PM
A. Rosich's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Posts: 883
There is an extremely long list of factors which could vary the answer to your question by a margin of more than 100,000 to 200,000 miles.

It all depends on maintenance, fuel quality, oil quality, driving style, ambient temperature and humidity, etc, etc, etc...

According the shop manager at the local dealer, a well mantained M104 engine here in the tropics should last at least for 200,000 miles. But, then again...
A. Rosich
CL 500, 1998
S 500 L, 1998
E 320 T, 1995 [Sadly sold ]
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Old 10-29-2005, 01:19 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,795
High mileage MB's............
This is a pretty old thread but I remember writing it like it was yesterday. Unfortunately, the car was sold "as is" several months ago. It was a real shame too because the car is exceptionally clean for it's age. It developed a bad case of blow-by. A compression/leakdown test revealed cylinder #2 to have bad rings. I don't work on the car anymore but I try and help the new owner out with advice when I can. The last time I saw the car the odometer read just over 482,000 miles. It idles poorly, but it still makes decent power. The fact that this is a gasoline powered MB makes it all the more incredible.
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Old 10-29-2005, 01:20 PM
fahrgewehr2's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 1,264
Have about 272k on my 300SE. Had a valve job at 220k, replaced lots of CIS parts, motor mounts etc. Still pulls hard to 6500.
'90 300SE 298k
-300K and it gets put into retirement.
'80 300D 255k Purchased new by family in 1980.

Had a:
1973 220 (gas)
1980 300SD
1992 400E
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Old 10-29-2005, 08:56 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Johnson City, TN
Posts: 985
I have 230K on my '92 Sportline, W124 M103. It had a head gasket before I bought it at 100K, but valves have never been done. 95% long interstate trips.

My '93 W124, Sportline M104 has 254K miles . Had a headgasket, but never had valves done. I bought it on a whim cheap.

My indy mechanic, who has 25 years experience on MB said that he had never had to do valves on the M104.

So I would say the longevity is very long with proper fluids, filters etc.

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Old 10-29-2005, 11:20 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: fort worth
Posts: 363
Suginami is right. Larry had a recent post about his trip and getting 25-30 mpg. I think he has 280K+ on his manual 300E.
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Old 10-30-2005, 01:25 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 11
1991 300e 256000, 3.0L 103 Daily Driver, today another 75 miles city/hwy.
1991 300e 255K (14.62mpg)
1979 Corvette L82 (sold)
2000 Custom Harley Sporty 1200
(Ride Hard or Stay Home!!!).
1973 Dodge Charger 440 (sold
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Old 10-30-2005, 09:42 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: France
Posts: 487
M103, 260E, 2.6 litres, Manual gearbox, Gasoline, Euro, 1988 , 410 000km (I don't know in miles) still perfect despite erratic small problems.
Keep us posted especially if your problem is solved
Present cars:
My car: E-class 420CDI, 2008, W211, V8,[/B] 50 000km

Wife's one: C-class 220CDI Sport Coupé, Euro, 2002, W203. 245000km

Son's one: GLK class 220CDI, 2009, W204

Sold E class 260E, W124, 1988 beloved car sold after 489 000 kilometres of reliable services (engine M103, clutch and 5 speed manual gear box all original).
E-class, W210 320CDI, 2000[/B], 225 000km, Sold
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Old 10-30-2005, 10:12 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Posts: 39
Not unusual in Europe

My '91 300SEL (104 engine) has actually 610.000 km (400k miles), but was overhauled 160.000 km (100k miles) ago for preventive reasons.

400k miles without major overhaul (bot of course not without proper maintenance) is not unusual.
1991 300SEL (W140)
1987 190E 2.3 (W201)
1987 Honda Accord 2.0
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Old 10-30-2005, 08:03 PM
dtf dtf is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: South East CT
Posts: 860
256,669 miles on a '94 M104. Runs like new. I change the oil every month.
1994 E320 Wagon (Died @ 308,669 miles)
1995 E300 Diesel (228,000)
1999 E300 Turbodiesel ( died @ 255,000)
2006 Toyota Tundra SR5 AC 4X4 (115,000 miles) rusted frame - sold to chop shop
2011 Audi A4 Avant (165,000 miles) Seized engine - donated to Salvation Army
BMW 330 xi 6 speed manual (175,034 miles)
2014 E350 4Matic Wagon 128,000 miles
2018 Dodge Ram 21,000 miles
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Old 11-01-2005, 09:24 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Dallas, Tx
Posts: 701
96 SL 320, 142,000 miles. All original, no head gasket, no trans repairs. Only head cover gasket upper timing seal, and front main. I have a little ticking at startup, but hey, it is an old car! Happy Benzing!
Brian W. Heitman

Join MBCA!!!
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Old 11-01-2005, 10:11 AM
elau's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: MD.
Posts: 1,725
'87 300E with 274,000 miles registers on the new odometer replaced 6 years ago. The old odo was broken and registered 220,000 when I bought it. The car was driven by the PO for 2-3 years with the broken odo. So I don't know the exact mileage. I estimate it at 320,000 as he is a traveling salesman for Citizen watch.

Car still runs fine, drove it to Toronto and back for vacation a month ago.
95 R129
04 Infiniti G35.5 BS
10 X204
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Old 11-01-2005, 11:24 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saugus, CA USA
Posts: 2,035
I quess mine's just broke in at 183,000 miles.

5 speed '91 190E 2.6 320,000 mi. (new car, fast, smooth as silk six, couldn't find any more Peugeots)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.5l Turbo Diesel 266,000 mi. (old car, fast for a diesel, had 2 others)
5 speed '01 Jetta V6 (new wifes car, pretty quick)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.2l Turbo Gas 197,000 mi. (wifes car, faster, sadly gone just short of 200k )
5 speed '83 Yamaha 750 Maxim 14,000 mi. (fastest)
0 speed 4' x 8' 1800 lb Harbor Freight utility trailer (only as fast as what's pulling it)
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