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Old 09-16-2000, 07:36 AM
Posts: n/a
Morning all. Very helpfull BBS you have here, I've spent the last 5 evenings reading through the archives, and I must say, I'm impressed. This is my first post and I'm asking all the members for advice on the purchase of a '91 300E, specifically any problems they are known for. Here is some info on the car I have my eye on;
150K Km,
auto trans,
power everything
1 owner, w/MB sevice records,
No accidents, rust, dents or scratches,
Blk leather interior - mint condition,

I checked the exterior & interior for 90 minutes and test drove it for anouther 60, all I could find wrong were the following 2 items; cracked headlight lens & rear left speaker N/S - both will be fixed by the dealer. I'm not familiar with the W124 chassis and I'm afraid I may have missed something, any quiks & qurks I should know about/look for?
Dealer says the engine is a 3.0L (IL 6 SOHC) with 200+ HP, but all I've found on the 'net says this engine is only 177HP, could somebody clarify this also?
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated (excuse the spelling)

Cheers for now.
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Old 09-16-2000, 09:20 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
Posts: 50
I am also new to this forum. Found it by way of VWvortex. I have been looking at 300E's for about a year now. To me, the two requirements are to get it checked out and that it has a service history. Yours sounds good.

How much do they want for that car in Ontario? I just missed a light blue 91 here for $20,000. Some months ago in AUTOMOBILE they reviewed a used 300E as "almost the perfect used car buy". I have been looking on Auto Trader and it seems that Ontario and B.C. seem to have the most for sale. I have had a look at a lot on ebay, but am unsure about importing into Canada (costs etc). Good luck with your search.
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Old 09-16-2000, 10:02 AM
Posts: n/a
rodbaxter, having the car checked out is sound advice, I've been seriously considering driving it to the MB dealership for a check-up. I found the car on for $16950 CND, but I've managed to get it down to $15300 (hoping to reduce that by anouther 1K)
As for buying a car off ebay and importing it I don't know anybody that has done that.
This URL might offer some info:

I suspect the cheapest way to transport a car, either from the US or cross Canada would be by rail. A friend had a car shipped from Vancover to Hamilton for $500, mind you that was 8 years ago so add abit for inflation and adjust for distance. CP or CN web sites might be able to quote you a price.
Best of luck and happy hunting.

Cheers for now.

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Old 09-16-2000, 10:36 AM
Posts: n/a
I inherited my father's 1992 300E last April--he kept it in mint conditon and it had only 64k miles. It's HP is 177, great for longer trips, less road fatigue, etc. but not as nimble or quick in stop and go suburban traffic. I immediately had to replace the front struts (in order to pass Maryland state inspection) and the rear struts 10k later are pretty soft now. Also seems to drink alot of oil.

Otherwise, it's been a great car to drive.

Good luck
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Old 09-16-2000, 12:21 PM
Alex Kouliy
Posts: n/a
The 91 300E sold in Canada had the SOHC 177HP engine. The engine must have been replaced or modified in order to have 200+ HP, of course assuming that the dealer knows what he's talking about. I like the W124 body and 91 is a good year for the 300E, because MB has addressed some of the early production problems such as soft valve stem guides and seals, brittle radiator neck, etc. I would ask for records to verify maintenance and regular oil changes. Take it to an independent mechanic who specializes in MB and ask him to do a pre-purchase inspection, including a compression test (a leakdown test would be even better). A well-known weakness is the climate control system, so make sure that it functions OK. The topic is well documented on this forum.
These are solid and dependable vehicles and the price seems reasonable if the car passes scrutiny.
Calgary, Canada
87 260E
75 FIAT 124 Spider
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Old 09-16-2000, 01:49 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 530
The 200+ HP was from the 1990+ 300CE with the M104 24V 3.0L engine.

1988 Mercedes-Benz 260E (W124)
Arctic White/Grey
Euro Headlights
Clear Turn Signals and 1994/1995 Taillights
16" x 7J 8-hole
Michelin Pilot HX MXM 205/55WR16

1997 Mercedes-Benz E420 (W210)
Pearl Black/Ash
Michelin Pilot XGT Z4 P225/55ZR16

1997 Mercedes-Benz C280 (W202)
Polar White/Parchment
Michelin Pilot SX-GT 205/60VR15
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Old 09-16-2000, 05:09 PM
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Just as I suspected, the dealer doesn't know what he's talking about in regaurds to the engine's HP. I may be able to use this to my advantage in the haggling process. Thanks guys.

Cheers for now.
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Old 09-17-2000, 07:15 AM
CJ CJ is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,318
@ things I would like to add.
#1 check out the climate control, they are weak points.
#2 If the car is using oil, check the valve seals, that is the second weak point.
Good luck.
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Old 09-17-2000, 12:47 PM
Michael's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: CT, USA
Posts: 2,699
Yeah, the cars of theat vintage should not drink oil much...heck, my 162k 300TE ('88) uses but a quart every 3-4k mi.

Yup, 177 HP. Fine for highway, just not too spirited around town. However, a very dependable and reasonably economical powerplant.

I'm rather surprised by BlueDog's comments...struts should last much longer, and Bilstein brags about how their struts maintain something like 95% of their effectiveness at 100k miles. I've yet to replace mine, and they seem to get the job done quite well.

Good luck with your purchase!!

All the best, Michael
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Old 09-18-2000, 08:40 PM
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Originally posted by CJ:
[#2 If the car is using oil, check the valve seals, that is the second weak point.
Good luck.[/B]


I would appreciate your help in regards to the the valve seals problem; coould you explain it a bit more? I have a 300E/176k/'86 and it is now taking about a quart of oil every 700 miles. Runs beautifully and I treat this car very well. How big of a job is the repair of these seals? Larry Bible who has a similar car,I think had a similar problem or had them replaced. I don't mind adding oil but I would like to hear what you think.

Thank you,


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Old 09-19-2000, 12:51 PM
Alex Kouliy
Posts: n/a
Several hundred dollars to replace the valve seals ONLY, head doesn't have to come off the engine. $1,500 or more to replace seals AND guides, head must be removed. If the guides are severely worn the seal replacement will bring only temporary reduction in oil consumption. At 1 qt per 700 miles, chances are that there's still no visible blue smoke from your exhaust. It's OK to keep adding oil until consumption increases further and/or spark plug fouling becomes an issue.
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Old 09-23-2000, 12:42 PM
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Thank you for taking the time to answer a dollars and cents question. The car is driven every day @20 miles in some of the most congested area in NJ, a mix of streets, thruway, small highways and more streets amd red lights. I guess we can get another two years from this nice old car. So far white smoke.

Best Regards,


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