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Old 03-18-2002, 11:21 AM
pmizell's Avatar
Benz Zealot
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 838
90 CE Oil in Coolant.

First off, never assume you have a blown head gasket when oil appears in your coolant. Another source of the oil could be the transmission cooler portion of your radiator that is leaking -- a much cheaper fix.

Secondly, does the 90CE have the 103, or 104 engine? If 103 you're in luck as I just pulled the head on mine twice in the past week. (please don't ask ) I'd be happy to run you through it.


'91 300E, 208k miles

**ummm, something went haywire here as I didn't start this thread**
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Old 03-18-2002, 11:43 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 76
Cool That's what I was looking for..

That's a point that I was looking for...

The oil does seem to be motor oil but I did'nt seen anything in the "archives" about trans fluid leaking into the coolant. Having plastic tanks, that's what I was thinking could be a possiblility until I did'nt seem to see a reference to it anywhere in the search.

How can I tell what engine "type I have". I've looked on German Star and other sites to find chasis number etc and become familiar with the car, and recently ordered a bearing bracket but neglected to ask how I tell which engine I have 103 or 104.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 03-18-2002, 11:52 AM
pmizell's Avatar
Benz Zealot
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 838

Your '89 CE has the 12 valve, 6 cylinder, 177 hp, M103 engine. Unfortunately the '90 year CE introduced the 104 engine (DOHC, 24 valve, 217 hp) -- according to MBUSA's "15 year" overview of past models.

If you can get hold of a shop manual for this model, you should have no problems pulling the head if indeed it is the head gasket leaking.

Good luck!


'91 300E, 208k miles

Last edited by pmizell; 03-18-2002 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 03-18-2002, 12:23 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 76
90 CE Oil in Coolant.

I first want to thank everyone for all the great advice. I'm a first time MB owner (89 300CE - 50K).

After reading the archives, I still have some questions about Oil in the coolant tank.

I've found another (90 CE) from a local guy who was commenting on the shape of mine at the gas station. Apparently, he was getting oil in the coolant and now has the car in storage (150K miles, car is started about once a month).

Can someone give me some further details / specifics on this problem, details about a head gasket replacement etc?

I've been wondering if I can't pick this up from the guy at a "nice price" and kill 2 birds with one stone:

1: get experience working on the car.
2: have a nice 2nd 300 CE after I'm all done.

The car was , I'm told very well serviced from MB Dealer and still runs like a top.

As a previous ASE certified mech, I've done quite a few head gaskets in my time but would appreciate any input on this particular job on the MB.

Thanks Again,

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