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Old 04-05-2002, 03:11 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Ireland
Posts: 56
300 se 1991

Hi all,

Just purchased a 1991 300 se 126 series with 114,000 miles up for 7,000 euro. The colour is navy blue. Seems to be in vgc. Just wondering what your opinion would be. What potential problems should I look out for.
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Old 04-05-2002, 07:15 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,114
Check for oil leaks from the cylinder head gasket at the front and rear of the engine. Annoying, but probably something you can live with for a while. Keep an eye on oil consumption. Valve seals on these engines start to leak around 100K-150K miles. Not difficult to replace. MB supposedly used better valve guides in later M103s so that shouldn't be a problem for you.

It's common for serpentine belts to fail around 100K miles. The belt tensioner indicator will be spot on but the belt will be loose. Doing this job yourself will make you wonder if MB engineers have a conscience. Not difficult, but certainly needlessly complicated.

If the shift lever is loose or squeaks, it's time for new shift rod bushings. Doing this job yourself requires creativity more than technical expertise and special tools.

Search the archives on 300SE for other things to look out for.

91 300SE
87 300SDL
81 300SD
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Old 04-05-2002, 07:22 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
You may also try searching the archives for M103, which is the engine you have. In the U.S., 86-92 300E's also shared the same engine as in your W126. There are probably thousands of posts with questions relating to your engine.

You can spend more time reading these posts than sleeping, so be careful!
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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