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  #1  
Old 10-31-2001, 02:14 PM
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List problems to expect on 300E >100K miles

Ok, I have read and read, gone through the archives, and made a spreadsheet on the typical problems on a W124 w/M103. I have goten valve job, timing chain, a/c, subframe mounts, alternator, steering box, head rebuild, rear shocks, struts, fuel pump relay, possibly cam, & water pump (frequent failure).

So, quite a variety of things to go wrong. Now, I want to simplify it for myself and for future potential 300E / W124 buyers that come to surf the archives.

What do I need to change/repair (typically) from 100K through, say 200K miles on a ...let's say 92 300E? Please give me your experience as owners and / or TECHNICIANS.

I think everyone should concur that the 300E M103 equiped is a simpler machine to buy parts for and work on. I would be doing most of the work myself, short of a bottom end rebuild or tranny rebuild .

thanks
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2001, 03:50 PM
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Blower motor and/or push buttons on the dash. $200 each just for parts.
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  #3  
Old 10-31-2001, 04:44 PM
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It may be an oversight, but I didn't see "radiator" on your list. Original ones crack at the neck where the coolant pump inlet hose attaches. Replacements have a reinforced neck (metal shim insertion). This is an age and fatigue-related failure.

Also, the rear power window assemblies have a plastic window track holder that will disentigrate and bugger up the cable mechanism. Usually it's easier to just replace the entire $140 assembly, but I've heard that the plastic part can be had for about $2.

Eventually, dash bulbs will burn out in a variety of locations...there is no common failure mode here, just random burnouts. Some easy to replace, others require removal of some component like gauge cluster or A/C vents to gain access.

As far as rest of the stuff on the list, I have had to replace some of those items, but I think for the most part, (including the head related items), has more to do with the condition and care of the vehicle by the previous owner as well as how you currently operate it yourself. Also, consider that these are normal wear items for many vehicles, not just MBs.

As daunting as the list you've complied may seem, I hope it doesn't deter you from enjoying your car for years to come...not ALL of those things will go wrong with your car.

I find that the head gasket problems are probably attributed to the design of the engine itself...the mating of two different alloys (aluminum head and iron block) coupled with the long surface area of the contact surfaces, make thermal expansion a critical factor.

Allowing your car to warm up to operating temperature will help greatly in averting the dreaded head gasket issue. Try to avoid aggressive driving habits until the engine has sufficiently warmed up as well. Frequent oil changes and the use of proper octane will ensure a long life in that respect.

The cooling system is ultimately a weak point with high mileage W124s, and you should expect to replace every major cooling system component within that timeline (coolant pump, expansion tank and cap, thermostat, and radiator). Use MB coolant whenever you do flush your system.
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2001, 05:16 PM
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Thumbs up

It's always nice when someone takes the time to do something I would do if I had the time. Why don't you post the spreadsheet, or send me a copy so I can fill it whatever I saw. I am on my second W124 with M103 now. A lot of the stuff mentioned I have already seen. I'll look through my records and fill in what I can.
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2001, 05:20 PM
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I can't post an Excel spreadsheet on here, so I will email it to you when I get home, and we can go from there. I wouldn't have a clue on how to convert that thing to be able to post it, not do I have a web sight to post it on, sorry.

I want to make it clear, I am not doing this as a negative, just don't want any surprises. If I find the expense is bearable, I will go forward with my decision to buy or not. If it is too much, then I will look at something else.
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2001, 08:58 PM
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I'm curious as to what other car you would look at for the same kind of money. My other choice was a clean Jag converted to a Chevy 350. It was going to be about the same money but there was no track record for me to make a judgement on. The other choice was to lease something like that new Acura "S". I couldn't get all that excited about that one either although the test drive was very impressive...
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2001, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jsmith
I'm curious as to what other car you would look at for the same kind of money. My other choice was a clean Jag converted to a Chevy 350. It was going to be about the same money but there was no track record for me to make a judgement on. The other choice was to lease something like that new Acura "S". I couldn't get all that excited about that one either although the test drive was very impressive...
I had posted the list of cars $10-$12K that I was comparing based on my taste; not all luxury cars. I can't remember what topic it was under though. I will try to find it...unless someone else remembers

I have alway admired the 350 Jags! But always seeing them on the older styles (like 80's or older).
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  #8  
Old 10-31-2001, 10:54 PM
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about that spreadsheet, you can actually attach it to your post as long as you keep it under 50k in size (attach file option at the bottom of the form). if the xls gets too fat save it as a csv.
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  #9  
Old 10-31-2001, 11:30 PM
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Thanks for the tip. I have attached the M_Benz.xls spreadsheet which shows the different issues I have read on the W124. It is in no order, nor prepared for public ease of viewing.

Any comments welcome.

Had to save it as a csv file.

Forget it. It didn't let me save it.

You have attempted to upload an invalid type of attachment. The valid extensions for attachments are: gif jpg png txt zip bmp jpeg

Last edited by yosshimura; 11-01-2001 at 08:49 AM.
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2001, 12:05 AM
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I talked to my tech before I bought the 300E from my father's estate. (my first MB) He felt that the following were weak or expensive areas:

AC if leaking refrigerant in a spot that requires work behind dash!

Valve guides/seals on the m103, head gaskets on the m104

Cooling and brake systems if not religiously maintained/flushed.

Steering box if not checked for tight bolts/fit at service intervals

Trans if fluid changes/ flex disks neglected.

Radiator needs frequent inspection if it hasn't been replaced.

Cruise control if you don't try the DIY repair or buy the rebuilt

Driver air bag on the 87 expires next year - expensive.

He said the m103 was his favorite MB 6, and the w124 his favorite body to work on. He personally favors the 94 400E because he said it had all the advantages of the 6 cyl w124s, almost as good of gas mileage as the later m103s, more power, R134a AC system, and minimal head gasket problems. Otherwise, he said if a m103 was well maintained, 87-89 300Es were his favorite MB 6 cyl 4 door sedans.

His caveat was that any car over 6 or 7 years old was going to have deterioration of rubber and metal from smog in the air, corrosion from the elements, and aging components failing just from solder joints oxidizing, electrolysis, dust build up on foam surfaces, sag in springs, UV and sunlight, etc.

PS: I know what the blue book is on my 87, but I would not take $15,000 cash for it, and would have to think real hard about $20k. I can't think of anything else that handles and brakes as well, has as safe and solid a body structure, or has as wonderful a ride for even $20,000. The only reason I would consider $20 is because that would put me close to the price of a private party 400E with air bags that didn't need replacing! Buy what you like best, and know that ANY car is going to have a surprise for you if you keep it long enough. Good luck on your search!
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Last edited by JCE; 11-01-2001 at 12:16 AM.
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  #11  
Old 11-01-2001, 10:43 AM
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yosshimura:

Just rename your file from .csv to .txt. That should work.
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  #12  
Old 11-01-2001, 10:46 AM
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i didn't realize the upload had a filter. csv is a text file so you can just change the file extension to ".txt" and you should be able to upload it.

i've sort of reached similar conclusions as what JCE's mechanic says. if i had it to do over i would have looked for a 400e...
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  #13  
Old 11-01-2001, 11:03 AM
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I should've brought the file to the office, but didn't. I will do the txt change and upload tonight.

I am giong to go crazy . I thought I kept reading that the M103 was the most reliable and less expensive to work on? Especially, since the 400 is 8 cylinder. I don't think I can afford a 400 anyway, so it would be a moot point.
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  #14  
Old 11-01-2001, 10:32 PM
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MB problems spreadsheet attached

MB problems spreadsheet attached. It didn't save it in the cells as a spreadsheet, but still readable.

Please continue posting "problems to expect on 300E >100K miles. I know there is definitely more

I was going to also attach the spreadsheet via txt that compares the different makes / models to the high cost of the 300E maintainace, but it is unlegible when saved via txt. ANyone have any ideas?.
Attached Files
File Type: txt m_benz.txt (4.7 KB, 313 views)

Last edited by yosshimura; 11-05-2001 at 11:33 AM.
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2001, 11:53 PM
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TK, thanks for the cost. Is that the part or with labor? Is this like the WHOLE wiring or just a wiring harness with two ends that get plugged in (aka do it yourself?)?

Actually, wiring harness is listed towards the bottom , but just under the M104 engine. They told me this wasn't a problem on the M103.
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