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  #1  
Old 06-20-2010, 10:59 PM
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Info on 1991 300TE 4Matic....

I am looking at a 1991 300TE 4Matic with 140K miles on it.

It looks very clean but I have only seen it in pictures.

I'm trying to find out what kind of known issues this car has that I should look for.

How does the transmission tend to fare in this model?

Is the 4Matic in this model troublesome?

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1993 W124 300D
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:33 PM
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I own a 90 300E 4matic sedan not wagon. In my opinion if your into mercedes especially the older ones and don't mind doing brakes and parts due to age such as center drive shaft support and flexjoints then the car is pretty solid. The transfer case is problematic due to a seal that leaks hydraulic fluid into transmission i am not the first. The actualy 4matic system works very well in the snow with a nice set of snow tires. The transmission is solid only reason mine went was because of hydraulic fluid leaked in ended up rebuilding transfer case and transmission ever since works and shifts great. My main thing was the front sway bar bushings are garbage they wear out quick so i machined an insert for the swaybar instead of getting new ones from mercedes, also the the CV boots, u should only use mercedes boots i tried a off brand and not worth it. Also scheduled maintainence should be made on the car for the differential and transfer case fluids etc should be done when told. But for a car with 20 years and +200,000mi its not that bad , still haven't invested enough to compensate for buying a 30,000 new car with check engine lights on all the time and made of coke cans.
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:48 PM
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I had heard that about the 4Matics.

This one supposedly was serviced religiously at only MB dealers so maybe the transmission and transfer case issues were properly maintained.

It's on ebay and the guy has 100% feedback but that's still no guarantee.

It also has a hideous red interior.

I suspect that's the closest an MB will ever get to looking like a Buick Skylark rental car.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:56 AM
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I believe that '91 was a transition year from the early to the later control portion, early one has a red lever next to the hydraulic reservoir just inside the fender to shut off the 4matic (hydraulicaly), the later has a rotary switch on the electronic module near the battery. I know of no reason that either is better than the other.

I had a '91 300TE 4matic. It did everything well, but had several problems during my ownership, including having the transfer-case re-sealed twice (by the dealer) by the time I sold it in '96 with IIRC 119,000miles on it. I referred to it as "the problematic". It was dealer maintained on most items, the minor things including detailing by me meticulously, still looked and smelled new when I sold her (see photo in my profile taken in '96 just before selling her) so maintenance wasn't an issue.

Its all-wheel-drive system is more of an on-demand 4wd, not a permanent AWD system like the quattro, I put it and the later 4matic system far below a real permanent AWD system for driving in severe conditions or for driving the car hard (and why else would you buy a Mercedes 4matic?). Other than from a stop, it is only AWD when the system senses wheel-slip, which for me was always too late as a slide has already started. I'd prefer good tires and RWD or if you really need AWD, buy a quattro et al without the electronic after-the-fact AWD system. Decent IMO for mild drivng and getting un-stuck but not worth it for the complexity and expense of maintaining it.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babymog View Post
I believe that '91 was a transition year from the early to the later control portion, early one has a red lever next to the hydraulic reservoir just inside the fender to shut off the 4matic (hydraulicaly), the later has a rotary switch on the electronic module near the battery. I know of no reason that either is better than the other.

I had a '91 300TE 4matic. It did everything well, but had several problems during my ownership, including having the transfer-case re-sealed twice (by the dealer) by the time I sold it in '96 with IIRC 119,000miles on it. I referred to it as "the problematic". It was dealer maintained on most items, the minor things including detailing by me meticulously, still looked and smelled new when I sold her (see photo in my profile taken in '96 just before selling her) so maintenance wasn't an issue.

Its all-wheel-drive system is more of an on-demand 4wd, not a permanent AWD system like the quattro, I put it and the later 4matic system far below a real permanent AWD system for driving in severe conditions or for driving the car hard (and why else would you buy a Mercedes 4matic?). Other than from a stop, it is only AWD when the system senses wheel-slip, which for me was always too late as a slide has already started. I'd prefer good tires and RWD or if you really need AWD, buy a quattro et al without the electronic after-the-fact AWD system. Decent IMO for mild drivng and getting un-stuck but not worth it for the complexity and expense of maintaining it.
Thanks for the info and opinions on your car. On the Benzworld forum trying to find useful information is a challenge. It seems to be filled with grumpy old men that can only b itch and moan about any imperfections a car may have.

MB are greatly engineered, but not perfect. I've seen many late 80s and 90s car still on the road with close to 300k miles on them. You'd think some owners would want to invest some time giving back to the car to fix any issues after so many years and miles of reliability.

By the way I own a 91 300TE 4MATIC (227k miles) now and have previously owned a 93 400e & 190e 2.6, 90 300ce, and 96 C280.
Also numerous BMWs, an Alfa Romeo, Fiat, MGB, Land Rover, and a Jaguar.
MB and BMW have always been my favorite not only for performance but superior engineering, quality, and ease of maintenance.


Last edited by EuroRash; 06-08-2012 at 01:02 PM.
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