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Old 07-25-2002, 09:43 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Stony Brook, NY
Posts: 160
Is this true?

I went to see a 1990 300SE last night that my brother found for sale. 67,000 original owner and he had many receipts for service. Not all, but nearly. It's Charcoal/grey so it would avoid my black interior fears! Asking $8100, but neg.

Here's the weird part. A local dealership said if I wanted to have the car checked out there it was no problem. But, this car is not registered. It's been off the road 2 months. So, I needed someone to go to the car to see it. The MB dealership recommended a local shop they give their overflow work to. The fellow goes out and checks the car and other than a few very minor items he says, the one thing I need to be aware of is that normal maintenance on this engine includes removal of the valves and many times replacement every 40,000!!! He said thew valves are removed without removing the head so it's not a big deal.

I have NEVER heard of this. Is this true? I have a feeling not, because he also said if I looked into a 1990 300E, they last forever. Well, as far as I know, the 6 cyl in the 1990 300SE is the same one in the 1990 300E. So why would he say one car, engine wise, be better than the other? Now I'm questioning everthing he said about the car as far as it being in very good condition.

Ron B.
Ron Brooks
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Old 07-25-2002, 09:58 AM
jsmith's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: At Sea
Posts: 1,729
Re: Is this true?

Originally posted by Ron Brooks
Well, as far as I know, the 6 cyl in the 1990 300SE is the same one in the 1990 300E. So why would he say one car, engine wise, be better than the other? Now I'm questioning everthing he said about the car as far as it being in very good condition.
i bet if you ask him this question he would come back and say "because it's a Special Edition!". get another opinion...
1993 300e-2.8
- gone now <sigh>
"Do not adjust your mind, it's reality that's malfunctioning"
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Old 07-25-2002, 10:39 AM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
How does one remove valves w/o removing the head?

Perhaps you have an exotic Ferrari engine in your car? Hence the frequent valve replacement?

This guy is trying you out to see what kind of mechanical prowess you possess. If he thinks you bought into his last "expert" advice, he looking forward to cash in on your ignorance!

Run like the wind from this guy!
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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Old 07-25-2002, 10:49 AM
Posts: n/a
Either G Benz is exactly correct, or he is talking about some other kind of valve. Unless there is an explainable understanding, I totally agree with G Benz' advice.

Have a great day,
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Old 07-25-2002, 11:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
Back in the days this car was delivered, there were some pretty common cases of fuel from the CIS injection system leaving deposits on the valve stems and poppets, which ultimately led to a crushed walnut shell treatment to clean it up. This was done with the head on. He may have meant a service to do something like this. Today's fuels have an additive to preclude the deposit problem altogether, and you can add some concentrated stuff with Techron (a Chevron product) to address the situation before it affects driveablility.

Also from around the vintage of this car, MB had some problems with valve seals. These can also be replaced without taking the head off. I don't think it is a 40,000 mile event you plan on though.

So, there may be an explanation along the lines that the guy isn't the most articulate individual in the business, but isn't a complete moron or a devious mechanic. But then again, he could be interested in the car too, as I think the price for one in great shape with such low miles is likely to be significantly higher than $8k in most instances.

Have the car towed to the MB dealer and have it checked out, with a compression test to find out if the car is really in that good a condition. 70,000 miles is hardly broken in, but if it has been sitting for a while it may need some work to bring it back into condition for daily use. If the car is decent sounds like a steal. Good luck, Jim
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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Old 07-25-2002, 11:57 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Gig Harbor WA.
Posts: 69
I don't know what state you live in, but most states will issue a 2 or 3 day "trip permit" to allow you to drive the car to the dealer..good luck

88 560SL
97 E320
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Old 07-25-2002, 12:05 PM
pmizell's Avatar
Benz Zealot
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 838
I have to agree with Jim...

My suspicion is this person saw the car and became interested in it himself, trying to steer you away from purchasing it. Get another evaluation from someone else, and go from there.

Good luck!


'91 300E, 215K miles
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