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  #1  
Old 03-22-2006, 01:43 PM
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89 300SE question

Even though I have a 98 E320, and I now know that it is a 210, I'll be darned if understand all the chassis/engine designation numbers on other Benzs. There is an 89 300SE that has some body damage (enough to total the car by insurance company standards) but only what appears to be sheet metal/headlight damage. It's possible the car could be bought pretty cheap, less than a grand. I think there is about 200K on the car. Is this car a 140 or a 126? What engine is in it? I have only seen pictures of the car and again, damage appears to be relatively minor. Any help is appreciated
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2006, 03:07 PM
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It's a model 126 chassis. Has an M103 motor - 6 cyl - SOHC - 12 valve.
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2006, 03:08 PM
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the 300SE is a 126 chassis.
The engine on this specific model is #103 (straight six)
also used in some the 124 chassis cars.

Very solid engine, very reliable car..I have one.
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  #4  
Old 03-23-2006, 02:33 AM
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Yep, 3.0L I-6. My uncle had this engine in his 89' 300TE wagon. Virtually bulletproof. The only negative I have heard is some are commonly known to have bad head gaskets and something to do with bad valve seals?

I test drove a 90' 300SEL a while back. Power was decent, but left more to be desired. The "SE" is a shorter wheelbase and a lighter car than the "SEL" however, so pickup should be better. Overall, very nice and reliable cars. Sounds like a real deal!

Go for it, but check that engine carefully for overheating and/or oil burning.
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  #5  
Old 03-23-2006, 03:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86560SEL
Yep, 3.0L I-6. My uncle had this engine in his 89' 300TE wagon. Virtually bulletproof. The only negative I have heard is some are commonly known to have bad head gaskets and something to do with bad valve seals?

I test drove a 90' 300SEL a while back. Power was decent, but left more to be desired. The "SE" is a shorter wheelbase and a lighter car than the "SEL" however, so pickup should be better. Overall, very nice and reliable cars. Sounds like a real deal!

Go for it, but check that engine carefully for overheating and/or oil burning.
The headgasket is not an issue with the M103.XXX engines used on the W124, including your uncle's 1989 300TE. The 300SE does use the M103.XXX engine.

If you want to see what the 300SE looks, including the engine bay, search for Danwatt, a forum member, who recently had his 300SE advertised for sale. He took and posted some very nice pics of the car.

The only issue with the 300SE is that some people believe that the M103 engine is not powerful enough for such a big, heavy car.
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  #6  
Old 03-23-2006, 06:34 AM
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Power is really not a problem at highway speeds. Around town the second gear start makes the car a little slow off the line. Like all W126's, it has the usual front suspension bushing, ball joint and track rod mount issues.

It's also said that the most expensive Mercedes is the cheap ones, to buy that is. They usually suffer from defered maintenance.
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Currently 1965 220Sb, 2002 FORD Crown Vic Police Interceptor

Had 1965 220SEb, 1967 230S, 280SE 4.5, 300SE (W126), 420SEL

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  #7  
Old 03-23-2006, 12:04 PM
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Thanks for the input and responses. Now can anybody tell me what the difference is between a 300E and a 300SE? I'm assuming an SEL is a long wheelbase SE, but the 300E looks like a different body style. Also, is this engine a 2.6 inline 6, or is it a 3 liter (or something else)? Carburetted or fuel injected? Thanks again.
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  #8  
Old 03-23-2006, 12:18 PM
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the 300E is the W124 chassis and the 300SE is the W126 chassis...2 different cars
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  #9  
Old 03-23-2006, 12:24 PM
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MB made 2 different M103 motors. One was a 2.6 litre; the other a 3.0 litre.

The larger W126 300SE/300SEL cars were brought into the U. S. from 1988-1991 and they all featured the 3.0l motor.

The 2.6 was used in smaller body styles. If my memory serves me right, the 2.6l was used in some 300E and 190E models.

Other members here who have the 2.6l motor can better clarify yr/model that featured this motor.
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  #10  
Old 03-23-2006, 12:27 PM
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300SEL is in fact a long wheelbase version of the 300SE, both designated as a 126 chassis. The 300E is the same motor in the 124 chassis. This is the mid-size chassis. All 300 gas motors in this age range are the M103 six. All 126 and 124 chassis cars will have the 3 litre six with some 124 cars available with the 2.6. All the M103's of this era are CIS fuel injected. This is for north america.

The M103 is known for valve seal/guide wear but head gaskets are more of a M104 issue.

Jorg
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  #11  
Old 03-23-2006, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Murrell
MB made 2 different M103 motors. One was a 2.6 litre; the other a 3.0 litre.

The larger W126 300SE/300SEL cars were brought into the U. S. from 1988-1991 and they all featured the 3.0l motor.

The 2.6 was used in smaller body styles. If my memory serves me right, the 2.6l was used in some 300E and 190E models.

Other members here who have the 2.6l motor can better clarify yr/model that featured this motor.

There was also the 260SEL and 260SE w126's in Europe(2nd gen 126's)
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