m103 vs m104 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 10-20-2004, 12:41 PM
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m103 vs m104

can someone inform me about the difference between these two engines from a drivers perspective ?

What years were the m104 installed ?

And would you recommend someone buy a e with a m103 engine ?
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#2 (permalink) Old 10-20-2004, 03:03 PM
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RE: m103 vs m104

or a link where i can find out more info ?
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#3 (permalink) Old 10-21-2004, 03:47 AM
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RE: m103 vs m104

I would definitely recommend byung an E with an M103 engine (2.6 or 3.0 liter).
Of course, the 3.0- and 3.2-liter M104s produce more horsepower. They also develop more torque, but at higher engine speeds (RPM), due to the added resistance of the 24-valve train, so M103 engines, with their 12 valves, actually have more low-end pull (3000 rpm and lower) and thus give slightly better driveability, especially in town and on acceleration form lower speeds.
I guess one of the known issues with M104 is thw wiring harness. I'm sure many friends here can tell you all about that. Personally, I love my M103 engine [:)]
Hope this helps,

Shady
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#4 (permalink) Old 10-21-2004, 05:13 AM
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RE: m103 vs m104

Also, for what ever reason the M104 engine parts cost Way more then the M103's. A lot of the 104 #'s are preceeded w/ WA which usually signifies AMG.. Not sure why, but it makes major rebuilds of those engines nasty!

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#5 (permalink) Old 10-21-2004, 05:54 AM
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RE: m103 vs m104

The M103 engine is a true legend. It went in no less than five Mercedes models: 124, 201 (190 2.6), the W126 S-class (2.6 and 3.0), the 300 SL (107), and the G-class.
Did I leave anything out?

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#6 (permalink) Old 10-22-2004, 12:07 AM
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RE: m103 vs m104

M103 for smoothness, quietness, easy "drivability", easier maintenance.

M104 for potent upper rev range and a magic sound when working hard (late HFM version).

I regularly drive both my '90 300TE (M103) and my father's '93 E320 coupe (M104). Whilst the E320 offers good performance (especially with 5-speed auto) and a lovely sound when working hard, it is intrusively noisy for daily driving. Its power delivery is not as progressive and it is possible to feel the points where the camshaft timing and inlet manifold tuning changes. The 300TE, whilst not as potent, offers smooth and progressive power delivery and is almost silent.

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#7 (permalink) Old 10-22-2004, 12:47 AM
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RE: m103 vs m104

Quote:
The 300TE, whilst not as potent, offers smooth and progressive power delivery and is almost silent.
... and easier and less costly to maintain, I might add.
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#8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2004, 01:55 AM
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RE: m103 vs m104

Got to agree with Greg....when the M104 comes on Cam at 4000 rpm, what a noise!. A great straight 6 howl....lovely[:D]

I can see merits in both engines, but as a favourite, I just love the M104 which was found in just as many Benz derivatives as the M103, namely W124, W202, SL, S Class and W210.

Just out of curiosity, whilst I have read of many US forum members having problems with the wiring harness, I rarely hear of members of other Benz forums in the UK having wiring harness problems on the M104 engines and for that matter other owners in Northern European countries.....maybe our damp climate stops the harness from becoming brittle!

[:)]

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#9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2004, 08:59 PM
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RE: m103 vs m104

some mentioned in another thread that the m103 causes premature value degeneration and higher than average oil consumption, can any one confirm this ?
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#10 (permalink) Old 10-24-2004, 12:03 AM
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RE: m103 vs m104

I'm sure someone else can elaborate more, but the main pontification I've seen several times had to do with the single-track timing chain.
As for oil consumption on the M103, I had that problem recently, and it was all due to bad valve seals. Once I had those replaced, I still have yet to lose one cc of oil. But generally speaking, as far as I know, all 103 straight sixes and the "tilted" (as opposed to upright fours from yore) four-cylinders had to consume some oil between changes. I recall one 124 user's manual I saw saying that the 2-liter engine typically consumes half a liter to one liter of oil every 5,000km.

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