Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog Tech Info Tech Forums
  Search our site:    
 Cart  | Project List | Order Status | Help    

Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes ShopForum > Technical Information and Support > Tech Help

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-17-2001, 03:09 PM
Brent Mills
Posts: n/a
1989-1991 300SE....Recommendations, concerns, issues???

I am considering the purchase of a 1989-1991 300SE. What things should I be aware of and look for in my search? Would I be better to go with an 420 series and why (besides the obvious power differences)?

Thanks for your help.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2001, 05:12 PM
Posts: n/a
Pro 420 SEL: Rear seat legroom, slightly better ride due to longer wheelbase, greater engine displacement makes holding speed on long hills easier.

Pro 300 SE: Feels a little more portable around town, slightly easier to park, better gas mileage, much simpler engine architecture.

VERDICT: If you live in the mountains, and / or cart around adults in the back seat on a regular basis, 420 SEL, but you pay a little more for your thrills. Otherwise 300 SE.

I'm assuming the passenger-side airbag was around in '89. If not, you may want to stick with '90-'91's.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2001, 07:46 PM
Brent Mills
Posts: n/a
Thanks Paul. I think the 300SE would be the best choice for Sherrie and I. She's getting into selling houses, and I figured this would be a very nice car for clients, and provide a great ride for evenings out on the town.

Seems like the SE's are a little harder to find than the 420-560's though, so I might have to search for a while.

Are the 6cyl. engines pretty good? Should we expect more or less longevity than the v8's given proper up keep?
Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2001, 12:47 PM
Posts: n/a
Engine Durability

A tough one to answer, given that you are looking at 10+ year-old cars. The quality of previous maintenance and the driving styles of previous owners are more at issue than design idiosyncrasies. However, I would be more comfortable with a 420 SEL or 560 SEL if I knew that the timing chain and timing chain guide rails were changed recently (or if the price of the car was adjusted to allow for the cost of replacement of these parts). These (V8) models have a long timing chain that runs a relatively convoluted path. A worn chain will be loose and could either jump a few teeth on the camshaft drive gears, or slap against the plastic guide rails (which become brittle with age), break the rail and jam a piece of plastic between the chain and other components, breaking the chain. Either event will cause engine valves to open at the wrong time and crash against the pistons. Expensive. While the timing chain on the 300 SE's inline six cylinder should also be replaced as a preventative measure, said chain has a much shorter and less convoluted run and is PROBABLY more durable and cheaper to replace. Dirty oil wears these chains out prematurely.

I'm not trying to frighten you off the V8's, but to give you a heads-up that for either vehicle, a good preventative maintenance regimen, while by no means cheap, is much more economical than doing nothing and waiting for a breakdown.

Last edited by PaulC; 09-20-2001 at 10:38 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2001, 11:45 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Queens, NYC
Posts: 158
I'd try to find a 420/560SEL, I've had a few and could never live with a 300SE/SEL. I've been shopping for another 126 for at least 6 months and I don't really see much savings in purchasing a 300SE/SEL rather than a 420SEL or 560SEL, so what's the point? Gas savings?? Maybe when the cars were newer, the V8's commanded a more noticable premium.

Also, I'm pretty sure 300SEL's are rare, most of the 300's produced were 300SE's (I think).
2003 S500 Black/Charcoal
1990 560SEL 61k Arctic White/Grey

1988 420SEL Black/Palomino Sold @ 85k
1987 420SEL Midnight Blue/Grey
1986 420SEL Diamond Blue/Grey
1983 380SEL Champagne/Palomino
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tire recommendations for 1991 500SL 18" Staggered AMG Monoblocks jimmyz Wheels & Tires 3 04-14-2004 10:03 AM
1989 300SE Deck Choice Question tpynes Car Audio and Multimedia 0 03-25-2003 03:28 PM
1989-1991 300SE....Recommendations, concerns, issues??? Brent Mills Featured Cars 1 10-06-2001 11:08 AM
Performance modifications to 1989 300se Oliver300se Performance Paddock 1 08-11-2000 10:28 AM
Tyres on 1989 300se Oliverp Wheels & Tires 3 08-07-2000 12:04 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:19 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2011 Pelican Parts - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page