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Old 01-14-2002, 11:31 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 126
Arrow What do you think?

Hello everyone,

I'm considering purchasing a 1990 300ce. I was wondering if I can get some of your opinions about this year/model car.

I believe in 1990 they got the 104.980 engine which is a DOHC , 24-valve engine producing 217 hp instead of the SOHC, 12-valve, 177 hp (I think) found in the 1988 and 1989 model years.

Is this engine supposed to be better or more reliable than the 103.983 engine? Are there any known problems with this engine?

Also, I believe the interior got a facelift in regards to seat stitching. What I mean is the older interiors had the vertical style stiching where as the newer design has horizontal stitching resembling the 190e 16v style interior. There is more wood too I think.

Anyway, I've always loved the styling of the W124 coupes and the W124s have been considered to be one of the best used car buys according to many sources, so what do you guys think?

Thanks in advance

Last edited by philipminion; 01-15-2002 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 01-14-2002, 11:50 PM
Ashman's Avatar
Service Advisor
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,748
Look at my car. apart from steering wheel, same thing.

1990 brought the M104 engine.

Things to look for are:
Head gasket - has it been changed, does it leak?
Wirring harness - Has this been changed or is it due?

These are the two major issues I know of.

besides that, these things pretty much apply to most M104 engined vehicles.

If the car is in good shape, and has had both of the above done and is a good price, then You will love the car, as I love mine.

They are beautiful cars, and drive great.

Get it checked out thouroughly.

If it doesn't have service records, you should be very careful.

'92 300CE - Sold
2004 C240 - C7 Wheels
2015 ML350 - P1, Pano, Ash poplar wood, Sport Dinamica interior, Running Boards Keyless go.
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Old 01-15-2002, 12:31 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 126

Thanks for your post,

Your car looks great!
Is your Code 265 Mushroom Leather Interior a special kind?

In regards to the head gasket:
At what mileage is it recommended to change it usually and how much labour is involved?

In respects to the wiring harness:
What do you mean "has it been changed or is due?"
I've never had to change a wire harness before in any other car I've owned, so what's the story with this one?
Was there a recall on it ? Is there a new part number? What is the recommended time to change it and what is the labour and cost involved?

By the way, the car is going in tomorrow in for a purchase inspection at the Mercedes dealer which will take about 2 and a half hours.
After the results of the inspection, I will be able to make my final decision.

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Old 01-15-2002, 01:46 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 126
I just wanted to say that I just finished reading some old posts from the "search" section and saw many posts about the head gasket and harness problems.

It was a great help to help me look for these 2 big known problems. Hopefully, the car I;m looking at will have had these done. We'll find out tomorrow after the inspection.

I would like to say thanks to everyone for all your posts and support which make this site very special and so very helpful.

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Old 01-15-2002, 02:05 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 126
I just got off the phone with Mercedes Benz 1-800-367-6372 and they said that the harness is only applicable to 1992-1994 model years, not 1990.

What's the story here?
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Old 01-15-2002, 04:57 PM
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I got too many cars!! Insurance eats me alive. Dave

78 Corvette Stingray - 3k
82 242 Turbo Volvo - Manual - 270k
86 300e 5 speed manual - 210k
87 420sel - 240k
89 560sl - 78k
91 420sel - 205k
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Old 01-15-2002, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
MB QUOTE!! "Known" production dates of wiring harness with POSSIBLE bio-degradable insulation was 4/92 thru 6/95 on ALL cars MB produced.
MERCEDES Benz Master Guild Technician (6 TIMES)
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Old 01-15-2002, 10:38 PM
Posts: n/a
No wiring harness problem in '90 300CE

There is no wiring harness problem in the '90 300CE. This is well documented in the archives. I have a 1990 300CE, and it is an excellent vehicle at 141K. I am updating it a bit with Euro headlights, and expect to keep it a long time. I have compared it to '94 and '95 E320 sedans, and it seems more solid. Part is the heavy door compared to the sedan's door, and part is the impression I have that MB started compromising somewhat on quality from somewhere in the 1993 to 1995 time frame on. My only problem are some leaks, which I am working on taking care of shortly. I think that the car is very good looking, very well proportioned, and better looking than the sedans, which may be a little more practical with the bigger back seats. But the good looks, quality, and great ride have won me over.
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Old 01-15-2002, 10:47 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,748
so we learn something new everyday.. hehe The wiring harness only applies to 92-95 as far as MB "KNOWS".

If it isn't an issue then great.

It still helps to be informed of these things.

I leanred that they are ok on 90 - 3/92 as far as everyone knows.

'92 300CE - Sold
2004 C240 - C7 Wheels
2015 ML350 - P1, Pano, Ash poplar wood, Sport Dinamica interior, Running Boards Keyless go.
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Old 01-15-2002, 11:43 PM
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Alon, I always enjoy your posts.

I hope that you continue posting here for a long time. Your enthusiasm and knowledge help make this site what it is.

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