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Old 04-11-2004, 09:46 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 508
Not enough wear??

1989 260E with over 300K on the clock.
had nothing to do this afternoon, might as well have a look at at my old spark plugs and check the oil.
The spark plugs (OE type Bosch) have over 60K on them. I removed 3 to check. All 3 looks just like new. A very slight tan colored coating on them, no erosion to speak of and the gap was only 1mm off.
Oil: 3,600 mi. since the last oil change, still full to the notch and clean, almost like new oil.
These cars a no fun. I have exactly nothing to do on it. How can I break something to keep me a little more busy????
Should I trade for a 2 year old Hyundai?

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Old 04-12-2004, 12:57 AM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,538
Absolutely amazing.

You know what I've noticed is that a large number of the higher mileage W124s on this site are the 2.6 liter version.

I wonder why...
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 04-12-2004, 01:28 AM
haasman's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,097
jackD, sorry to hear about your boredom!

I am curious, what grade fuel do you run in your car?

'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 04-12-2004, 07:38 AM
Posts: n/a
I expect that the 260E, being the economy version is typically bought by those not as interested or desirous of performance. If that is their desire, then they are probably much lighter on the loud pedal.

Just a theory, because I can't imagine anything else that could possibly explain it, it also seems to fit because the most important factors in engine life is the preventive maintenance it receives and how it is driven.

My 300E is sitting at 268,000 right now and is in exactly the same condition as the 260E in the original post. I see nothing in sight that will have it in any different condition a hundred thousand miles from now.

IMHO the M103 engine was ahead of its time. Most all brand engines designed in the last 10 years or so have gotten to a point where oil usage and other ill behavior of the engine mechanicals are a thing of the past. These new engines just don't use oil and last a long time if cared for.

I realize the problem with the valve stem seals, but at least it was something easily fixed without tearing everything apart. The engine from the deck down is just bulletproof.

Couple these great mechanicals with fuel injection, which is probably more responsible for the long engine life than the mechanicals themselves, and you have an engine that is as long lived as a 123 diesel.

Have a great day,
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Old 04-12-2004, 12:47 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 508
Haasman: I have been using mid-grade (89 octane) for years with no detonation/pre-ignition problems.
Larry: Oil problem: yes, I had oil consumption problems earlier and had the valve guide/selas replaced at 110K. Since then, the car never drank more than 1/2 liters between oil changes.
And I resent your comments about the performance level of a 260E. It has as much accelerating power and brute force as a.................well... a loaded 1976 Pinto station-Wagon with an automatic transmission.
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Old 04-12-2004, 02:18 PM
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There's nothing to resent. My comment simply related to the fact that someone who is specifically performance minded is going to go with the 300 over the 260. The person who chooses a 260 is likely to not be looking for transportation rather than performance. For this person, they will most likely not be driving a car the same as a person who wants as much power as they can get.

BTW, if you could get one of these engines to run on kerosene it still would not detonate. They have a knock sensor that sends its signal to the ignition control module that in turn retards timing to prevent detonation. These engines will indeed run on any octane, but because the system is retarding the timing, your fuel mileage will decrease. Whether or not this is a linear relationship between the cost of lower grade fuel and the fewer miles per gallon is hard to determine.

Now that the fuel prices have gone up, the percentage difference in cost between Premium in mid grade is less. I have rarely ever run mid grade just because I prefer maximum performance.

Have a great day,
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Old 04-12-2004, 03:28 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 508

Larry: My "resent" comment was only a joke.

Performance: Although it certainly does not have the power level of a 3.0l or 3.2l, I would not think the 2.6l would be driven in a gentler manner because of its lower performance. To the contrary, in some cases, (im my case) they may be driven harder, just to keep-up with the Jones and the Jonhs driving higher performance cars.
When I bought the car 11 years ago, it was a bullet as compared to my 1990 Honda Civic.
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Old 04-12-2004, 09:51 PM
cth350's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 3,877
On the performance front, I just picked up a parted out a wrecked 190E 2.6 with a nice motor. It's going to be dropped into a 300se/c that no longer has an M189 motor to call its own.

I just have to figure out how to manage the air suspension and make a customized drive shaft & exhaust. -CTH

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