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  #1  
Old 02-01-2015, 04:00 AM
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Rare 1986 W123 230E parts, info needed

I'm now the owner of a 1985/86 W123 230E Euro. It was federalized in Texas from Europe. The plate in the door says 1986. For clarification I've owned 6 or 7 W123's and many other MBZ cars as well as many Porsches.
This 230E is looking like it's going to be very hard to find parts for in the United States. The good news is that it's running, and is really a pretty fast car for a W123. I got pulled over doing 70mph in a 45 zone trying to get it home with a fuel leak at the rear.
The engine has good power and the interior is not terrible. The outside body has no dents, but it's been painted in flat black over an original dog poo brown. I plan to paint the car gloss black. I paid $500 for the car, got it running with ether, and it stayed running. So I aired up the tire and drove it home... with a gas leak, and a state trooper on my tail wanting to arrest me.
I need to know some viable information about it though. I'd like to do some routine maintenance on it, but I have no clue where to get parts for it shy of calling a MBZ dealer in Europe.
I need an oil filter, air filter, distributor cap, rotor, and plug wires for the 102.980 engine. I'm assuming the transmission is a pretty common 4 speed box. I haven't looked at it yet. I just bought the car today. Also how many quarts of oil it takes in the engine, and tranny. I'm going to put Denso T20EP-U plugs in it whether anyone likes it or not.
Thanks in advance for any information and please do add anything that I might need to know. I know about timing chains, etc, etc. Just looking for someone with experience with these engines. I've got plenty of local used resources for the 123 body.

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1986 Mercedes Benz 230E W123 "The Death Star"
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2015, 04:09 AM
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Whilst this engine M102.980 and chassis configuration is probably quite rare in the US of A the M102.985 was fitted to the W201 chassis which infiltrated the US of A "big time"

Mercedes-Benz M102 engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I don't think you are going to have too much trouble finding parts for it. You will probably just have to be inventive with VIN numbers at the dealer (if you decide to shop there).

If the fuel leak is from the flexible pipes under / next to the fuel tank at the back of the car you might be shocked at how expensive those buggers are to replace. Prices for my W201 pipes (similar system to yours) at the dealer are way in excess of your vehicle's purchase price.
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1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

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  #3  
Old 02-01-2015, 04:13 AM
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That is bad news, and something I did not know anything about. Are they large hoses or something? What makes them so expensive?
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2015, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercPorsche View Post
That is bad news, and something I did not know anything about. Are they large hoses or something? What makes them so expensive?
In one word

"Mercedes"

!


The problem with these pipes is that the fittings are what many people (even here in Europe) have called "non standard". I've been round all the places that I know of - hydraulic shops, air conditioning places, farm / plant machinery places, automotive specialists etc etc etc trying to find these fittings and I have not managed to find reasonably priced replacements. Fine thread metric stuff in weird sizes with weird end fittings - I think I'm going to have to find some aerospace suppliers...
__________________
1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

I'm here to chat about cars and to help others - I'm not here "to always be right" like an internet warrior



Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2015, 04:54 AM
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Oh I think I should also put things into context - I'm looking for an "as good as original" solution to the problem I have. I'm trying to avoid solutions such as this =>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjlGJhZ8UqE

Which are a lot easier - I mean even jubilee clips and a bit of pipe would probably get you going (though this might not pass safety inspections in all countries)
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1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

I'm here to chat about cars and to help others - I'm not here "to always be right" like an internet warrior



Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2015, 09:59 AM
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having worked on a couple gray 230e's over the years, only real trouble i remember is motor mounts and other bits that were ONLY 230e. i see why the fuel hoses are a problem.

go to startekinfo and buy a worldwide epc. the NA version is free, worldwide is 20usd? type the vin and go. good luck, chuck.
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2015, 10:15 PM
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Thanks guys, and I'm not worried about original fittings on this old worn out car. I just want it to run and not catch fire. When I got under it today it was just a leaking 6 inch fuel line. It wasn't original either as the clamps were of the cheap ribbed American variety. I put some new hose in it from my stock, and clamped it back in there. Problem solved. It's a good running little car. I drove it to the gas station and car wash. One tail light won't work and it's not the bulb or the connector. The wiring looks okay too and the blinker, and reverse lights work. I'm thinking it might be a fuse at this point. It was too cold for me to do any more today so I gave up. I'll figure it out tomorrow. At least the car is drivable now. I'll try to post a picture soon. Tomorrow I'm going to a local W123 graveyard to try to dig up some small body parts.
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1986 Mercedes Benz 230E W123 "The Death Star"
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2015, 10:53 PM
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An uncle of mine owned a 230E manual back in South Africa. I drove it a few times and was impressed by the power it had. As compared to the 200's, 240D's and auto 280S's I was familiar with. Timing chains could be a problem I think. If it makes a kind of rattle sound on start up you might have to look at replacing it. At least I seem to remember that as being the common wisdom. Can't remember hearing about any of them actually failing though.

- Peter.
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  #9  
Old 02-02-2015, 12:44 AM
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I had a 380SL with a single row timing chain that made that noise upon start up. I know the sound. This one doesn't make that noise. The engine sounds good. It's hesitant when it's cold, but once it warms up it runs like a scalded ape. I'm sure the fuel system is not very clean because it has been sitting for 6 months, but it's getting better. Some new plugs will help a lot. I put some fresh premium gas in it tonight. It has no overheating issues or anything like that. I drove it twice today. Also, we have no emissions or safety inspections where I live so technically I could run this car with a short exhaust out of it's flank if I wanted to. Maybe I will.
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1970 Porsche 911T black non sunroof
1983 Mercedes Benz 300D cream puff
1986 Mercedes Benz 230E W123 "The Death Star"
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  #10  
Old 02-02-2015, 03:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercPorsche View Post
... One tail light won't work and it's not the bulb or the connector. The wiring looks okay too and the blinker, and reverse lights work. I'm thinking it might be a fuse at this point...
The fuses often look good but the contacts between fuse and holder in the fuse box often corrode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pj67coll View Post
...Can't remember hearing about any of them actually failing though...
Single chained M102s are known for their snapping chains - but it sounds like MercPorsche knows what to look out for / listen out for
__________________
1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

I'm here to chat about cars and to help others - I'm not here "to always be right" like an internet warrior



Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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  #11  
Old 02-03-2015, 12:03 AM
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It was infact a fuse. I replaced a couple of fuses and more of the electronics are working now. At least the lights work and I can legally drive it now. Next I'm going to paint the header, and then degrease the engine.
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1970 Porsche 911T black non sunroof
1983 Mercedes Benz 300D cream puff
1986 Mercedes Benz 230E W123 "The Death Star"
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  #12  
Old 11-25-2016, 11:11 PM
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I just picked up a 1985 230e as well. Still learning about it. It is a TX car with no rust. 4 speed manual, original body panels... I specifically wanted a gas model...I drive about 4 miles each way to work and didn't think diesel was the way to go with that short of a drive...

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