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  #1  
Old 08-29-2001, 07:47 AM
jsmith's Avatar
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need quick checkout for 93-300e 2.8

i'm really glad i found this forum. i am about to check out a low mileage 93 300e 2.8. it is priced at "private sale" according to edmunds but what attracts me is the low mileage (<60k). it is out of town so i can't bring it in to the local shops. i have tried to read up on the subject but apparently this model has no known major problems. i read about the head gasket but that doesn't show up until much later, yes? does anyone have any quick pointers for me?

any help would be much appreciated. TIA!
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2001, 08:58 AM
pfphipps
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Head gasket problems can show up at most any time. I had mine replaced a few months ago at 62,000. Even though it did not make me happy, this is still the best car I have ever had. I have had it since new and love it.

I had another problem this year with a mass air flow sensor. Five minutes to fix but cost $250 to do myself.

I had a couple of computer problems before the car had even 5,000 miles on it but they were fixed under warranty and I have not had any since. The car now has 73,000.

I recently had the damper on the belt tensioner replaced. It was not that big a problem but I had a hard time finding why the car was "knocking" at idle.

Other problems with the model: Minor oil leaks at the front are irritating but can be fixed by someone who really knows how. Be sure it is not the head gasket though. The under hood insulation on wiring on some cars just falls off (mine seems fine). Look for posts on this. Brake pads seem to wear out quickly but are easy to replace and cheap.
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2001, 09:45 AM
LarryBible
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jsmith,

I would suggest that you post the city where located here, and see if there is someone close that can go look at it for you.

I looked at a 500E for someone from California and found it to not be what they were representing it as. This saved the person in California a trip half way across the US to find it out the hard way.

Good luck,
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2001, 10:37 AM
pfphipps
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Super idea, Larry! Also, get the vin number and have it checked for previous problems. If any work was done by an MB dealer, any MB dealer should be able to look up this information using the vin number. Also look at someplace like Car-Fax to see if they find any problems with the car's history.
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  #5  
Old 08-29-2001, 12:13 PM
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thanks guys,
just went to see and test drive it. it's an old lady's car and has the exterior dings and stuff to prove it. mechanically it feels sound. i spoke to the local mech who serviced it and he said there were no problems on it at all (taken with a grain of salt). supposedly, all the oil changes were done religiously. only thing i felt was that at about 30 mph, when i floored it, it didn't seem to kick down into second and revs just stayed in the 2k-3k range. i could shift it from second to third and pickup was ok. is this usual?
BTW, the car is in the Asbury heights area in NJ. if you know of anyone that can check it out in that area please let me know.
cheers...
PS. carfax was the first thing i did - came out clean.
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2001, 12:24 PM
pfphipps
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Seems like my car's shifting. Hard to convince it to kick down to a lower gear. If you keep it down long enough it will usually shift down but before that time, I usually have moved the lever. But in all, it has been a great car with very little trouble.
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2001, 01:29 PM
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I had the same exact problem with the no downshift at kickdown and oddly enough, changing the tranny fluid solved the problem -- don't ask me how/why. It might even be imaginary but I don't think so.

The change was done at 196k on my 300E and it was the second ever tranny fluid change ever for it. (was VERY dirty)

Good luck with your new E if you buy it!

~Paul
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  #8  
Old 08-29-2001, 02:12 PM
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about the tranny fluid - that was in the back of my mind since it had only been changed once at 33k. i have seen dramatic changes in auto shift performance on other cars with the fluid change.

about the 2.8 engine - maybe you folks can get me a quick answer. in 93 they had the new 3.2 engine, so was the 2.8 the upgraded 2.6 and the 3.2 the upgraded 3.0? i noticed that the 2.8 appeared to have DOHC. it wasn't like the pictures of the pre-93 3 liter that i have see. is there a site that shows all the different engine variations for the 300e series?
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2001, 02:55 PM
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My Haynes repair manual has a pretty good set of pictures of the different 4 and 6-cyl versions as well as the SOHC and DOHC versions. Also shows diesel versions. Black and white shots though.
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  #10  
Old 08-29-2001, 04:58 PM
pfphipps
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The 2.8 liter engine in 93 was a 3.2 liter engine with less displacement and about 20 less horsepower. Both are what Mercedes calls a "104" engine and that engine series started in 93 in the USA. Double overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder and an electronic fuel injection. Previous models had one overhead cam, 2 valve per cylinder and a mechanical fuel injection with electrical tweaks on it.

Between the 2.8 and 3.2, most engine parts interchange. I have heard the 2.8 transmission is a little different but I am not sure.

In other catagories, the 3.2 had a lot of things standard that were extra on the 2.8. The two most significant things I remember is the 3.2 had leather and memory power seats. I believe the 3.2 may have had wipers on the lights and the 2.8 did not. New, the 2.8 cost about $5,000 less than the 3.2.
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  #11  
Old 08-29-2001, 05:49 PM
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pfphipps,

thanks much for the info. i guess that gives the 2.8 190+ hp. my current ride, a v6 passat has the latest audi engine tech and is decidedly quicker. as i have been scrounging around for info, i have run into references as to how sluggish performance can be with these later cars unless you row the shifter. i read a consumer guide review of this specific year model commenting on something that i directly observed - off the line acceleration. the 300e's that i have driven were the earlier ones which actually felt quicker. my brother also had a 400e that he chipped which was a little beast. i'm not really having second thoughts, just kinda surprised...
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2001, 04:57 AM
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The 1993 300E 2.8 has 195 horsepower. To check the 300E models, or any other model for that year, go to www.mbusa.com, and go to MODELS, and then click 14 year model overview. That should give you a bunch of information.

Also, head gasket failure was a problem for this year engine. And so was the wiring harness!

(pfphipps, actually the M104 motor started here in 1992 in the W140 300SE )
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2006 E350 w/ 155k miles (Daily Driver)

Previous:
1993 300E 3.2L Sedan w/ close to about 300k miles
2003 E500 Brilliant Silver (Had 217k miles when totalled!)
1989 300E with 289,000 miles (had for <1 yr while in HI)
03 CLK 500 cabrio (Mom's)
2006 C230k (Dad's)
1999 S420 (Mom's/Dad's)
2000 C230k Sport sedans
2001 CLK320 Cabrio (Mom's)
1995 C280 My First Mercedes-Benz... (155k miles. EXCEPTIONAL AUTOMOBILE. Was Very hard to let go of!)
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2001, 08:24 AM
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Hi David,

Much obliged. I got pretty much all the info I needed. For reader's future reference, the 14-year overview is a selection under "Features" in the page that opens after you select E-class from the home page models menu.

My-comments:

Performance - the numbers explain a lot, with 194 hp - it's ok by current standards although it is porky at 3450lbs - but that's how you get that rock-solid feel right? That explains how it felt on the test drive - can't work miracles with a 4 speed auto. I wonder what the actual 0-60 was for this model. Subjectively, I think it was in the 9-10 second range, but then I don't know what state of tune the car was in. I would at least do the fluid replacements + spark plugs routine anyway.

Head-gasket - augghhh!!! So much for that mystery - I hadn't heard that about the 300e series but since this was a new head design (4V DOHC) - oh well!

Wiring harness - hmmm - how does that manifest itself?

I am hoping to drive this for at least the next couple of years, which would have been equivalent to leasing (buying on loan even worse) than an entry level luxo sedan for that period of time but then I would have 100% equity at the end, unlike the other setups. What had attracted me was the reputation of the 300e for being relatively trouble-free.

Question for the sages - is this particular year model more problematic than any of the other years due to these two problem areas?

TIA
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2001, 09:01 AM
pfphipps
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As far as the head gasket and the wiring, don't worry about it. It is one of those things that makes you mad when it happens but after you get the car repaired, it is still one of the best. At least you know the weakness before you buy. All in all, I really like driving this car!

And David, I was referring to the 300 sedans when I said 93 was the first year of the 104. Actually, didn't the 300SL and the 300CE have a 104 engine in 90 in the USA? In the USA anyway, I think the 104 went through the end of the C280s as the last model to have a 104. It was a 2.8 as well. I do not know why but the horsepower for the 2.8 is one or two different for the different models and years. My owner's manual says 194 hp for the 93 300E2.8.
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  #15  
Old 08-30-2001, 12:48 PM
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Red face

Aghh, You're right! I forgot about the M104 in the other models. I apologize, so yes, you were correct, 93 for E-class.

JSmith,
I would think you would get 0-60 times for more like 8.0 - 8.5, with it properly tuned of course. Remember that Mercedes 0-60 times are tested with 2 passengers and 150 pounds of luggage. Mercedes said my C280 would do 0-60 in 8.3 seconds, but it kept up with my friend's 99 BMW 323i, which claimed could do 0-60 in 7.2 seconds. Just food for thought...
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2006 E350 w/ 155k miles (Daily Driver)

Previous:
1993 300E 3.2L Sedan w/ close to about 300k miles
2003 E500 Brilliant Silver (Had 217k miles when totalled!)
1989 300E with 289,000 miles (had for <1 yr while in HI)
03 CLK 500 cabrio (Mom's)
2006 C230k (Dad's)
1999 S420 (Mom's/Dad's)
2000 C230k Sport sedans
2001 CLK320 Cabrio (Mom's)
1995 C280 My First Mercedes-Benz... (155k miles. EXCEPTIONAL AUTOMOBILE. Was Very hard to let go of!)
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