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Old 11-09-2003, 11:35 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 23
401 engine Good or Bad?

Hey Gang Ive got a 401 engine in my 91 ce and I was wonder whats the deal with this engine I read that the engine was not one of the better ones and that its unlikely to obtain high mileage . So what are some of your experiences with this engine?
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Old 11-09-2003, 05:05 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Cumming Ga.
Posts: 238
Do you mean a 104 engine?If so the biggest problems these engines have is head gaskets leaking oil. If these engines are properly maintained there is no reason that it wont last as long as any other Mercedes engine.
Mercedes Benz Master Tech
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Old 11-09-2003, 10:18 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 3,726
There's two distinct varieties of the 104 motor - the early 3.0 liters with CIS, and the later 3.2 and 2.8s with HFM engine mgmt. The bottom ends are fine on both but the top ends on the 3.0 liters - 1990 to 92 on some cars, 93 on others - are generally considered not to be as strong as the either the earlier 103 motors or the later 104s. Mercedes had fallen behind BMW and the Japanese on 4 valve technology and there is a sense that they rushed these cars to market. It was there first in-house mass market 4 valve/cylinder cars. They're just not as tight - they have a tendency to burn oil and not to have the top end life of the other sixes. I had a 90 SL that needed a valve job at 40k and it was my understanding that there were hundreds more like that. I don't think that means your car is doomed or anything - I have a friend with 130k on a 3.0 liter 104 with no serious problems.
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