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Old 04-06-2001, 04:04 PM
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York City Burbs
Posts: 177
The side sections of the 190E radiator are plastic and the upper hose broke off with part of the radiator! There was enough of the radiator to push the hose onto and reclamp. I was lucky. Some gorrilla , a/k/a the previous owner, must have overtightened the clamp to hugh ft/lbs of torque.

Funny though....and the radiator was firmly mounted, no accidents, but the motor mounts are a little shakey.

Any one else have this problem??
Patrick Leber
'84 190E 2.3
'83 Porsche 944 (track car)
'84 Porsche 944 (parts car)
85.5 Porsche 944 (sled)
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Old 04-06-2001, 04:24 PM
Wm. Lewallen
Posts: n/a
That is a very common problem with the MB radiators with plastic tops and bottoms. The top part is the part that gives the problem. It's the fitting for the top radiator hose, and all the ones I've seen, the owners were using Valvolene's Glysantin G05. I have replaced three radiators with the same problem and with the same coolant in the last nine months,and will be replacing another one next week. I have owned Mercedes for the last 34 years. but I won't use the antifreeze they recommend. I'll stick with Prestone.
Bill Lewallen Lexington,Ky. Home of Valvolene Oil
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Old 04-06-2001, 08:08 PM
dakota's Avatar
Moof !
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Seattle WA USA
Posts: 469
In my opinion, the problem with the MB radiators (and it is quite common) is probably not with the type of coolant that is used, but more probably a factor of age of the radiator plastic, the torque used to tighten the clamp, and the width of the band on the clamp.

I suspect that if current owners of older plastic-necked radiators would change the clamp to a wider one than that which came with the car, and used caution when tightening the clamp, they would extend the life of the neck. The newer necks have a metal (brass?) bushing inside of the neck in the clamp area...I haven't heard of these types breaking.

My original radiator broke in the same location shortly after I purchased the car (car was 9 yrs old). I was not comfortable with just putting the hose back on the stub and driving for very long. I found a new OEM radiator (with the neck bushing) costs only about $245 (W124) and I sleep better with the peace of mind it gives me.
1992 300CE Sportline Sophie
1990 300E Emma - in the family
1979 240D Josephine - sold, but not forgotten
2004 Pacifica AWD
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Old 04-06-2001, 08:44 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
I can atest to the fact that this is a common failure. I don't agree that the coolant is the culprit, although I have no good theory of my own. I have seen the necks break off with the metal sleeve inside the neck. i also don't believe it really has anything to do with the clamp width or torque. If I were to guess, I would say it is heat and age related. Another common failure of this type on the 102 and 103 engines is the plastic thermostat housing covers will break off like this. In this case, however, MB has only metal thermostat housing covers available. Guess it shows how long a guy has been working on MB, if you can remember when the plastic ones were still sold as spare parts, you must have been around "for a little while", anyways.....Gilly
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