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  #1  
Old 08-17-2000, 06:45 AM
eek
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i'm very close to buying 1990 300e with 63000 miles,car is in pretty nice shape,owner has some records,just did 60k service at local mb dealer,the only problem that i saw was rear passenger window would not go down,is this an expensive repair?any other things i should look out for?
i am having this care checked out today by local mb specialist!
thanks in advance!
eek
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2000, 08:46 AM
LarryBible
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eek,

Several things here, first the rear window. Is it ONLY one rear window? If it is both, there is a switch on the console, drivers side between front and rear window switches to disable the rear windows, so that the kids can't play with them. If that's not the problem, see if the door or the console switch will work. If both switches fail, it may be the riser which will cost several hundred dollars to repair at the dealer.

Second thing. These engines had problems with valve stem seals, they had to be upgraded. It could be that this was corrected by '90, but I know it was a problem in '88. This is not a big deal, they can be replaced for several hundred dollars. The symptom of them being bad is excessive oil consumption.

It's very common to see these cars on the used market with greater than 100K miles, low mileage is a plus, but ensure that it has had all preventive maintenance performed.

Sounds great, enjoy,

------------------
Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 523K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2000, 10:38 AM
Crowe's Avatar
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Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 366
By all means check out the AC system. The evaporator is a weak link in the AC system and if it has to be replaced you are facing major $$ bucks. The 300E is a great vehicle. Good luck.

------------------
Tony

  • 1988 300E Black Pearl Metallic
  • light Gray interior
  • MBCA Member
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      #4  
    Old 08-17-2000, 01:15 PM
    JCE's Avatar
    JCE JCE is offline
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    I just encountered this problem in my 87 300E. My tech did a 2 minute diagnosis - he said start with the simplest parts first. He tried the switch, said he heard a slight normal contact noise which lessened the chance of a bad switch in his mind (for the first go round). He held the switch in the open position while he had me firmly close the door with the offending window. The window started working, and has worked ever since! (this happened once before, but apparently had solved itself through door closing). He said this indicated several possibilities:
    1) the wiring to/in the door had a problem
    or
    2) the lift motor had a flat spot
    or
    3) the rubber oxidation on the top of the window (thin black horizontal line) was 'gluing' the window up - I had this problem on my acura - cleaning the top of the glass solved the problem).
    or
    4) their was a mechanism bind starting to occur.

    Since it is working, he said live with it until it starts to be a problem, then start with the cheapest and simplest fix (test the switch and wiring thoroughly before buying a new motor or playing with the mechanism).

    BTW, great points on the AC and guides. I am approaching 70k miles and use zero oil between changes at 3 k intervals, so I guess I'm lucky. I would suggest checking for frequency of brake line and coolant flushes - they hadn't been done on mine and it cost me a water pump. It has been a great car for me (The Sportline suspension transformed it completely!!!) I plan on saving a little each month for when it needs the AC, guides, timing chain, etc. and keeping it until it rusts out from under me!

    Enjoy




    ------------------
    JCE
    87 300E, 65k miles
    Smoke Silver
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      #5  
    Old 08-17-2000, 01:50 PM
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    eek,

    Sounds like a very well maintained car. By the way, whats the seller asking for it?? If you dont mind me asking.....




    ------------------
    Agron
    1989 300E
    Monotoned Smoke Silver
    97 Style Replica E420 Rims 205/55/16
    Euro Headlights
    Clear Corners
    20% Tint
    12" Sub-enclosure
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      #6  
    Old 08-17-2000, 03:00 PM
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    Also, note that the 1990 300E is the slowest one of all time. It had the 90+ axle and gearing with the pre-90 2nd gear start. It is sluggish off the line.

    ------------------
    1988 Mercedes-Benz 260E (W124)
    Debadged
    Euro Headlights
    1994/1995 Turn Signals and Taillights
    16" x 7J 8-hole (Authentic MB)
    Michelin Pilot HX MXM 205/55WR16
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      #7  
    Old 08-17-2000, 04:34 PM
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    re: "...the 1990 300E is the slowest one of all time. It had the 90+ axle and gearing with the pre-90 2nd gear start. ..."

    Not so -- they didn't change axle ratios until they adopted the "start in 1st" transmission, too. And, it sounds like you never really tried the '90 300E. Although its default is to start in 2nd, it has a lower axle ratio than later models -- later on, they combined the start-in-1st transmission with a much too high axle ratio -- no real advantage -- actually, if you try a little math, you'll see that the combination of the 2nd gear and axle ratio of the '90 version is within a mere 7% of the combination of 1st gear and the axle ratio of the later version.
    And, if you flick the shifter to 2nd (to engage a smooth 1st gear start) in the "old" setup, you can combine that 1st gear with the much lower axle ratio for a really MUCH lower overall starting ratio -- in other words, when you really want a lot of torque multiplication, the '90 setup is far superior to the later models.
    The only weakness is, of course, the 177 bhp M103 engine -- the later M104 takes care of that limitation, with 4-valve, variable-valve timing, and two different intake plenums, combining for a much flatter (as well as higher) torque curve.
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      #8  
    Old 08-17-2000, 05:10 PM
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    BTW, I forgot to include, in the last message, the details:
    the '86-90 W124s with the M103 3.0 liter* engine (177 hp, 188 ft-lb) and (default) start-in-2nd transmission had a 3.27 axle ratio. In '91, they gave the cars a 2.87 axle with the start-in-1st transmission. Thus, it isn't hard to see that a start-in-1st is really needed in these later cars to compensate for the higher axle ratio. But if you combine the -'90's 3.27 ratio with a 1st gear start (which you can choose to do), you'll get far more torque multiplication than is possible with the '91-on setup. Thus, the -'90 setup is actually more flexible -- you can get sedate starts in 2nd, equal to later model year cars that are starting in 1st, and also, if you want, call on additional acceleration -- and you don't have to "floor" the accelerator to adopt a 1st gear start in these earlier models -- just move the shifter to "2nd" position, and the car will start in 1st while still maintaining some dignity (if you aren't also flooring the gas pedal).

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      #9  
    Old 08-17-2000, 05:35 PM
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    Location: SW Colorado USA
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    The valve stem seals will need replacing eventually. I did them on my '90 300GE at 75k miles. It cured a fairly major oil consumption problem. The pre '88 cars I think will require valve guides, they were updated after that but the seals still fail. I did the job myself (seals not guides)in about 2-3 hours it is quite simple. If anyone is interested email me and I would be happy to share. brent@wadena.net

    ------------------
    90 300GE 5sp
    95 740iL
    86 944 Turbo
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      #10  
    Old 08-17-2000, 05:37 PM
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    I disagree. As far as the 90 model goes, it had the lower axle with 2nd gear start.
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      #11  
    Old 08-17-2000, 09:53 PM
    CJ CJ is offline
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    I have to agree with KEN C. The 1986-1994 300E came with the 3.07:1 rear end, according to the MBZ Specification Book I have by Frank Barrtt. It also states the 0-60 time is 7.8 and the 1993 with the 2.65:1 is 8.8 seconds. In additon the1986-1994 has a top speed of 137 (auto). The 1993 has a top speed of 125 (auto). In retrospec as the book says, " The 1986 300E outperformed the 380 and 500 engined S-class cars plus the contemporary Porsche 944 and the IROC Z28 Camaro." page 139 in the Illustrated Buyers Guide to Merceds-Benz, by Frank Barrett.

    By the way this book was a great help in sorting out what MBZ I ended up buying.
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      #12  
    Old 08-17-2000, 09:54 PM
    CJ CJ is offline
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    ***In my previous post that should be the 1986-1992.
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      #13  
    Old 08-18-2000, 12:15 AM
    mattsuzie
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    On my 300, I probably burn one qt, every 1500 to 1700 miles (manual says 2000) so not complaining. As far as power is concerned, there is a night and day difference between the 300 and 420 as far as as power, but I am very pleased with the 300 engine as far as a highway driver (would not recommend for stop and go traffic).

    ------------------
    '89 420 SEL
    '90 300 SEL
    '68 Olds 88 Convertible
    '84 300 SD (sold it)
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      #14  
    Old 08-18-2000, 01:53 AM
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    CJ wrote: "...I have to agree with KEN C. The 1986-1994 300E came with the 3.07:1 rear end, according to the MBZ Specification Book I have by Frank Barrtt. ..."

    CJ, I'm reluctant to disagree with someone who says that they agree with me, but let me point out that, whereas the table on pg. 139 (assuming you've got the edition with the yellow SLK on the cover) states 3.07, that table has some copywriting errors (note the 117 hp for the engine???). Instead, read the passage just above that table (right column), which states that "'86 through 90 cars started in 2nd gear ... (2.87:1 vs the previous 3.27:1)." There is no mention of any car having 3.07:1, contradicting the table.
    But thanks for agreeing with me :-).
    Regards.
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      #15  
    Old 08-18-2000, 02:25 AM
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    DSinger writes: "...I disagree. As far as the 90 model goes, it had the lower axle with 2nd gear start...."

    Actually, I have to wonder where you heard this myth. I know that the '88 and '90 300E has the same axle ratio because I have two 300Es, a 1988 and a 1990, both with the same tires in the same proper OE size (195/65-15) and they have the same mph/rpm ratio. Frankly, I wish I did have a slightly higher axle ratio, especially in my '90 (my favorite for trips) -- I'd get a little more fuel economy and distance (miles per tank), less engine wear, and never miss the acceleration (it has more than enough for me -- maybe I just appreciate it more than other people, since another one of my MBs is a Gelaendewagen (280GE/LWB) ... which I sometimes think doesn't mean "cross country car" as much as it means "real slow car" :-).
    Anyway, best regards, even if we can't settle this difference.

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