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  #1  
Old 06-05-2002, 05:22 PM
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Location: Kingston NY
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190e VS 300e

I am thinking at this point in the repair of my 190e 2.3 8V that I should forget that car (as nice as it is) and get a 300e (which is what I wanted to begin with). My 190e seems to need everything replaced at 160K. I know it was an "entry level" car that probably used lesser quality parts. Knowing the 300e is a mid level car, I assume that they are more durable (assuming proper care). Is there a durabilty difference in the engines? I am looking at an 89 300e. What are the major differences in the weaknesses of these two lines? Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2002, 05:30 PM
LarryBible
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I believe the 124 car to be more durable, and certainly the M103 engine in the 124 car is head and shoulders above the four cylinder.

There is much debate about whether the 123 or 124 car is the best all around MB ever built. Both of them are great cars. The 201 that you have is certainly not a bad car, but they were new to this size when they developed it. The subsequent models of this size were vastly improved IMHO.

The 124 cars have now gone done considerably in price in the last couple of years making them a good value assuming, of course, that you get one in good condition. There are plenty out there with reasonably low mileage and well cared for.

The Mercedes Benz Buyers Guide states something to the effect that the 300E is the best buy in a used Mercedes, period, end of story. Before making that statement, they do warn about the climate control problems that plague the 124 cars. That statement was made when the cheapest one you could find was over $10,000.

My $0.02,
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2002, 06:37 PM
tvpierce's Avatar
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Location: Portland, ME
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What needs to be replaced? If it's steering and suspension parts, many of these parts are exactly the same on a 190 and 300. And one could logically argue they will last LONGER on the 190 because it's lighter. And if they're the originals, then I say 160K miles is a pretty good run.

I should qualify this by saying that I have a '92 190 (2.3), and I chose it over a 300. I just like the smaller size better. (How un-American of me.) The 300 just felt much bigger, and less nimble to me.

The 2.3 is certainly no speed merchant, but it's adequite for my driving style -- admittedly, my wife says I drive "like an old man".

Just my humble opinion.

Jeff Pierce
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Current Vehicles:
'92 Mercedes 190E/2.3 (247K miles/my daily driver)
'93 Volvo 940 Turbo Wagon (263K miles/a family truckster with spunk)
'99 Kawasaki Concours
Gravely 8120
Previous Vehicles:
'85 Jeep CJ-7 w/ Fisher plow (226K miles)'93 Volvo 940 Turbo Wagon
'53 Willys-Overland Pickup
'85 Honda 750F Interceptor
'93 Nissan Quest
'89 Toyota Camry Wagon
'89 Dodge Raider
'81 Honda CB 750F Super Sport
'88 Toyota Celica
'95 Toyota Tacoma
'74 Honda CB 550F
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  #4  
Old 06-05-2002, 07:06 PM
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Location: Saugus, CA USA
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I think there are more parts (and problems) that are the same on the two cars than are different.
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5 speed '91 190E 2.6 320,000 mi. (new car, fast, smooth as silk six, couldn't find any more Peugeots)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.5l Turbo Diesel 266,000 mi. (old car, fast for a diesel, had 2 others)
5 speed '01 Jetta V6 (new wifes car, pretty quick)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.2l Turbo Gas 197,000 mi. (wifes car, faster, sadly gone just short of 200k )
5 speed '83 Yamaha 750 Maxim 14,000 mi. (fastest)
0 speed 4' x 8' 1800 lb Harbor Freight utility trailer (only as fast as what's pulling it)
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2002, 10:55 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Kingston NY
Posts: 114
What needs to be done yet? Well.. I just rebuilt the head and put all new parts in.. including new camshaft, valves, valve guides, rockers, and timing chain. All this because of a blown head gasket. Also has new brakes around, ball joints, water pump, climate control unit, 4 new struts and 4 new tires. The car has a miss, so I have ordered cap, rotor, plugs and wires. The car starts hard when cold and does not start at all when hot (almost seems like the battery is dead... very slow turnover when hot). Tested OVP and coldstart valve.. they test ok. The climate control blows HOT air constantly. So I guess a lot is still in need of repair. I have spent $2400 on it in the last two months, still can't drive it, and my wife has had her fill of me spending money on THIS car. So there is my dilemma. I do have authorization from her to take the car to our local independent MB shop and get a diagnostic done. If it seems like a simple inexpensive fix (is there such a thing on a Benz?) I will try to talk her into letting me splurge. Else it will be replacement time for the entire car.
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  #6  
Old 06-05-2002, 11:10 PM
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Location: Kingston NY
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oops
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  #7  
Old 06-05-2002, 11:49 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
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The M102 engine is okay, but not as durable as the various M103 versions. The W201 chassis is very similar to the W124 using many of the same designs for the suspension.

One problem you have is age. Even a late '80's vintage car is now 15 years old. Mileage can be an indicator of wear, but years take just as hard a toll.

And ACC/AC systems are weak on BOTH W201 and W124 cars.
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  #8  
Old 06-06-2002, 03:58 PM
mradowic
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I would be curious to hear about the AC system in the '93 model year for the 190e. Since this is the last year that they were made, I was wondering if they were a bit less prone to problems. I have 73k now and just had the head gasket
changed on mine. Am wondering how long the AC system
will last and about what time it tends to fizzle out. To be honest,
I really don't use it that often. Being in Wisconsin, we usually
have pretty tame summers.

In terms of engine durability, I stopped by the mechanic and he said that the M103 (I have the 2.6 v6) is a strong, durable engine. My friend has an '88 190e 2.3, and he has clocked over 270,000 miles on the odometer. I only hope to be as lucky as he is. The head gasket worried me a bit so early, but now that it's done, I hope to be done with problems for awihle. Had the valve seals done too -- might as well when the head's off. So I think these cars are keepers!

Thanks for the help,
Michael.
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  #9  
Old 06-06-2002, 04:34 PM
tvpierce's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Portland, ME
Posts: 612
Yikes richbark! Asside from the gas cap and the dipstick, it sounds like you pretty much have a new car built from parts. You do face a tough decision. At what point do you say "enough". On the other hand, you've come so far.

Good luck.

Jeff Pierce
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Jeff Pierce

Current Vehicles:
'92 Mercedes 190E/2.3 (247K miles/my daily driver)
'93 Volvo 940 Turbo Wagon (263K miles/a family truckster with spunk)
'99 Kawasaki Concours
Gravely 8120
Previous Vehicles:
'85 Jeep CJ-7 w/ Fisher plow (226K miles)'93 Volvo 940 Turbo Wagon
'53 Willys-Overland Pickup
'85 Honda 750F Interceptor
'93 Nissan Quest
'89 Toyota Camry Wagon
'89 Dodge Raider
'81 Honda CB 750F Super Sport
'88 Toyota Celica
'95 Toyota Tacoma
'74 Honda CB 550F
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