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  #1  
Old 03-27-2008, 07:42 PM
JimmyL's Avatar
Rogue T Intolerant!!!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sunnyvale, Texas (DFW)
Posts: 9,673
Looking at a gasser. 1989 300E

It feels weird to be out of the Diesel forum.
I have been using the forum Google search to look for buying tips for an '89 300E.
Even before that I knew well enough about the evaporator from the diesel W124 folks.
Of course, all our friends know me as the "old Mercedes guy", and because of that I have a line on an '89 300E with 64K miles. It was a Cali car that was owned by a lady's parents who have passed away now.
*Are Cali emissions different on these models?
*Is this a model with wiring harness issues? {doesn't appear based on my search, but not sure}
*Do these require the use of premium gas {cheaper than diesel!}
*I know so little about these I'm not sure what else to ask.
I would appreciate any info my gasser brethren could provide. My thoughts are to possibly buy this and sell the Squash. My wife won't even ride in my W123's, so maybe she would ride in this and cut down on my minivan driving time. k (although, is it so bad to have a car your wife won't ride in?}
Thanks yall!
___________

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Jimmy L.
'05 Acura TL 6MT
2001 ML430 My Spare

Gone:
'95 E300 188K "Batmobile" Texas Unfriendly Black
'85 300TD 235K "The Wagon" Texas Friendly White
'80 240D 154K "China" Scar engine installed
'81 300TD 240K "Smash"
'80 240D 230K "The Squash"
'81 240D 293K"Scar" Rear ended harder than Elton John
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2008, 08:13 PM
MTI's Avatar
MTI MTI is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyL View Post
*Are Cali emissions different on these models?
I believe the CA model came with a "smog pump" that recirculates unburned exhaust vapors to meet the then higher emission standards.

Quote:
*Is this a model with wiring harness issues? {doesn't appear based on my search, but not sure}
No, that would be the later model C-Class, W202. The M103 does have a notable history of blowing headgaskets.

Quote:
*Do these require the use of premium gas {cheaper than diesel!}
Because of the compression ratio, 9.2:1, yes. Premium Unleaded.

177hp @5700 rpm; 188 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm; 17,956 brought in by MBUSA with a MSRP of $44,850
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  #3  
Old 03-27-2008, 10:00 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 21
get yourself a gasoline 300E

I would recommend an 89 300E (gas) ( I have owned a 1990 300E - 3.0L gas version since 2000 - currently 172K miles) but advise caution on your expectations. It is after all a twenty year old car (even with low mileage).
First expect to repair the head gasket eventually as it is a weak spot on these car.

A great thing about a 300E in this era (prior to '94) is that they share so much mechanically with the 190 series. I see plenty of gas 190s in the junkyard when searching for parts which means I can almost always find what I want. Although there are some '80-vintage 500 series there too, it is really easy to get parts for the 300 series

My 1990 is great fun to drive and is still tight riding down the rode. It is a tank. I can understand you not wanting to buy diesel fuel. The price of diesel is outrageous (even with the better mileage).
If you do get a gasoline 300, DON'T run in on anything but premium or it will destroy itself.

Last edited by Jgood12006; 03-27-2008 at 10:02 PM. Reason: typo
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  #4  
Old 03-27-2008, 11:21 PM
JimmyL's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sunnyvale, Texas (DFW)
Posts: 9,673
Yea I see the head gasket thing keep coming up, but without seeing smoke or milky oil there is no use worrying about it until it happens I guess. Do they have to overheat or was it just a bad design of head gasket at the time?
Does a valve job have to be done at the same time, and is that as expensive as a diesel is? {OM603 for example}
I've driven a couple of W124's and really like the ride and feel. I haven't driven one that is gas so I look forward to at least a few more ponies.....
I'm guessing these are low 20's as far as mpg? Do they have problems passing emissions testing as a rule. {such non-diesel questions}
Thanks yall!
__________________
Jimmy L.
'05 Acura TL 6MT
2001 ML430 My Spare

Gone:
'95 E300 188K "Batmobile" Texas Unfriendly Black
'85 300TD 235K "The Wagon" Texas Friendly White
'80 240D 154K "China" Scar engine installed
'81 300TD 240K "Smash"
'80 240D 230K "The Squash"
'81 240D 293K"Scar" Rear ended harder than Elton John
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  #5  
Old 03-28-2008, 01:38 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 59
I have an '86, and I haven't had any problems I wouldn't have expected from an old car. I run regular gas without problems. Mine has a small vacuum leak on the underside of the intake manifold. Maybe someday when I have a garage, I will fix it. I usually get something like 19/23 for mileage, with three sigma events at 15 and 28.

Over the course of ownership, going on two years now, I have replaced most of the rubber parts that matter, but that's where the car wears out.

Other notable problems with the M103 are a front side oil leak (timing gasket?) and the valve guide seals.
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1986 300E - Ugly color, gorgeous heart.

Never let a German car sit still.

German cars don't leak. They mark their territory.
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2008, 10:42 PM
JimmyL's Avatar
Rogue T Intolerant!!!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sunnyvale, Texas (DFW)
Posts: 9,673
Well, I guess there is nothing to overly fear with this car. Just a matter of condition and price. Luckily down here rust isn't that often a problem, especially with W124's so far. It's life before here was Cali, so good shape there.
Thanks for those who have helped me with info. Any more is certainly welcome.

BTW, anybody have a couple of China blue hubcaps?

China engine replacement 1980 240D
__________________
Jimmy L.
'05 Acura TL 6MT
2001 ML430 My Spare

Gone:
'95 E300 188K "Batmobile" Texas Unfriendly Black
'85 300TD 235K "The Wagon" Texas Friendly White
'80 240D 154K "China" Scar engine installed
'81 300TD 240K "Smash"
'80 240D 230K "The Squash"
'81 240D 293K"Scar" Rear ended harder than Elton John
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  #7  
Old 03-30-2008, 01:58 AM
JimmyL's Avatar
Rogue T Intolerant!!!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sunnyvale, Texas (DFW)
Posts: 9,673
Welp, she decided to keep it, which I really think is a good decision for her. It has a lot of sentimental value to her, and she wasn't going to make enough off of it to get something else. {especially from me. }
So, I never got to see it which is probably good. She did tell our friend that I can have first shot at it if she decides to sell.
Well, I guess it's all diesel, all the time for a while more. Thanks again for the help for this "outsider".....
__________________
Jimmy L.
'05 Acura TL 6MT
2001 ML430 My Spare

Gone:
'95 E300 188K "Batmobile" Texas Unfriendly Black
'85 300TD 235K "The Wagon" Texas Friendly White
'80 240D 154K "China" Scar engine installed
'81 300TD 240K "Smash"
'80 240D 230K "The Squash"
'81 240D 293K"Scar" Rear ended harder than Elton John
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  #8  
Old 03-31-2008, 02:48 AM
TylerH860's Avatar
KHAAAAAAN-gress
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Wichita, Ks
Posts: 5,187
Would she ride in a w126? Its hard not to look good in those.

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1985 500SL Euro w/ AMG bits 130k
1984 300SD Turbodiesel 192k
1980 240D Stick China 188k
2001 CLK55 AMG 101k
2007 S600 Biturbo 149k Overheated Project, IT'S ALIVE!!!
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