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Old 04-27-2003, 02:10 AM
Posts: n/a
300E Engine Serial Numbers: decrypt please

Can anyone decrypt the 86-89 300E engine serial numbers? I have a replacement motor in my 88 car and want to know what year of vehicle the replacement motor came out of. Here's the number:

103 983 12 035 218

Any info on the original year of 300E this motor came out of would be most helpful.


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Old 04-27-2003, 02:32 AM
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I ultimately would like to get the VIN number for this engine so I can run a carfax report to see what kind of mileage this motor may have had on it.

Thanks Again.
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Old 04-27-2003, 05:53 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Might be tough. I could give you the motor number from the VIN but not the other way around.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 04-27-2003, 06:10 PM
Posts: n/a
Thanks. It sounds like the only way to get the VIN that went with this motor would be to beg MB for the info.
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Old 04-28-2003, 03:06 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Surrey, Uk
Posts: 254
103 is the engine type, 3 litre straight six, cam in head, 12 valves. Was fitted to 107 (SL sports car) 124 (medium size saloon, estate & coupe) and 126 (S-class saloon) from 1985 to 1991 ish.

983 is the sub type, and this was only fitted to 300Es, although some of these had sub type 980 fitted, can't find out what the difference was. Your engine did not come from a 4-matic, sub type for those is 985.

I guess the only way to find out the year is compare the rest of the numbers with others.

You could try a post on newsgroup, there is someone who reads that who has knowledge of production numbers.
Mick J
'08 Chrysler 300CRD (MB OM 642 engine)
'95 E220 estate
'89 230TE (R.I.P.)
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Old 04-28-2003, 03:07 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,793
Even knowing the VIN of the car it came out of doesn't tell you much if they installed only the long block in your car.

What you might do is ask everyone with an 103983-12 in their car to post the year so you can bracket into the year of your block.

91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD

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