1991 300te va 1990 300te ?? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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1991 300te va 1990 300te ??

Hey there, I have a 1991 300TE 4matic, and my friend is about to get a 1990 300TE 4matic. Although its the same car and only one year older, are there any differences between the two? He's been asking me whether or not he should get it. Thanks!

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by hdy_rgnc View Post
Hey there, I have a 1991 300TE 4matic, and my friend is about to get a 1990 300TE 4matic. Although its the same car and only one year older, are there any differences between the two? He's been asking me whether or not he should get it. Thanks!
Very similer cars, just have it inspected by a dealer or MB independent 1st.

It's called a pre-purchase inspection, can save you much more then just buying
it & finding problems after then the cost of the PPI..
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 07:42 PM
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Vehicle: 80 280SL, 85 300SD, 87 300TD, 90 300TE 4Matic, 90 300D 2.5 Turbo, 92 300D 2.5 Turbo, 92 300TE 4Mat
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There is a difference starting in 1991 mid-year in the 4matic piping layout. Essentially, the main distinctions are the manner of enabling the test mode (manual valve vs. electronic switch) and whether there is continued pressure to the self-leveling system (SLS) when in test mode. The hydraulic control is different as well, but other than the test mode and SLS, that is transparent.

The 1991 marks the start of the better stereo system with the front door speakers and amplifiers.

Another minor little difference is the absence of the vacuum economy gauge on the instrument cluster starting in 1991.

That is about all I have really noticed between my 1990TE 4matic and 1991E 4matic.


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Current
80 280SL
85 300SD
87 300TD 2Matic
90 300TE 4Matic
90 300D 2.5 Turbo 2Matic
92 300D 2.5 Turbo 2Matic
92 300TE 4Matic
01 Saab 9-5 Wagon FrontWheelDriveMatic

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91 300E 4Matic; 96 Dodge Grand Caravan; 76 450SL; 77 350SLC; 87 VW Cabriolet; 87 VW Golf GL; 88 Ford Ranger; 80 VW Rabbit; 80 Dodge Ramcharger Snow Commander; 75 Simca; 67 VW Beetle; 59 Bultaco; 57 VW Beetle; Honda CX500; Kawasaki 250; Honda CB50
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 07:42 PM
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Vehicle: '92 300TE 4matic 280,000miles, '92 300TE 4Matic 'Ice Blue Metalic' 101,000miles
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It was in '92 that some minor differences appeared in the TE 4matic wagons. One salient difference is the black electric 'button' that engages/disengages the 4matic function. Yours (and his) should have the mechanical lever. Some minor hydraulic circuit changes as well, but not too much you can see from the outside.

There should be very little difference between the two cars mentioned. Nothing significant that I can think of off hand.

Kevin
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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great info thank you. i was a little skeptical because he's getting such a good deal, its $2300 for it with only 120,000 miles. Mine's got 220,000 but its the most reliable car i've ever had, so I wanted to make sure I was confident about my recommendation. didn't want him to come back and be pissed if i convinced him to get a lemon, but i really love this car. thanks for your input!

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 12:44 PM
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That's a good price with that mileage if the body is straight and rust free. Being that is a 4matic, however, it might be worth his while to see if it is engaging, and if not, then what codes it is reading. Might be that is why it is selling.


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Current
80 280SL
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87 300TD 2Matic
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92 300TE 4Matic
01 Saab 9-5 Wagon FrontWheelDriveMatic

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91 300E 4Matic; 96 Dodge Grand Caravan; 76 450SL; 77 350SLC; 87 VW Cabriolet; 87 VW Golf GL; 88 Ford Ranger; 80 VW Rabbit; 80 Dodge Ramcharger Snow Commander; 75 Simca; 67 VW Beetle; 59 Bultaco; 57 VW Beetle; Honda CX500; Kawasaki 250; Honda CB50
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by hdy_rgnc View Post
great info thank you. i was a little skeptical because he's getting such a good deal, its $2300 for it with only 120,000 miles. Mine's got 220,000 but its the most reliable car i've ever had, so I wanted to make sure I was confident about my recommendation. didn't want him to come back and be pissed if i convinced him to get a lemon, but i really love this car. thanks for your input!
I've seen 4matic wagons lately, go for even less. And it's not above an owner to pull out the trouble light bulbs...so you think the 4matic system is just fine and not throwing codes. Someone should crawl under and pull the fill plug on the TC...if they see a mix of hydraulic oil and ATF, run screaming.

Kevin
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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crap. i was thinking the price was a little too low, and possibly fishy. I'm not sure how the body is, but he's also trading in a subaru that blew up on him, so he's getting $300 for it as a trade, $2300 for the benz including this discount.

1. how does one go about seeing if the 4matic engages?

2. was does TC stand for? transfer case?

3. can you pull codes yourself or does a dealer have to do this?

What other possible issues might be going on, and how can I advise him to check on them?

Thanks for the help and info

1991 300TE 4MATIC - LOOKIN FOR AMG WHEELS
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 07:41 PM
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crap. i was thinking the price was a little too low, and possibly fishy. I'm not sure how the body is, but he's also trading in a subaru that blew up on him, so he's getting $300 for it as a trade, $2300 for the benz including this discount.

1. how does one go about seeing if the 4matic engages?

2. was does TC stand for? transfer case?

3. can you pull codes yourself or does a dealer have to do this?

What other possible issues might be going on, and how can I advise him to check on them?

Thanks for the help and info
This is a perfect time of yr for forcing the 4matic to work; find some wet leaves on the road somewhere, drive over them and goose it. The rear end should just start to slip and then the 4matic system will compensate for the skid and correct. It's all over before you could normally react if it's working properly.

What you want to avoid are 4matics that seem to engage at low speeds with a thump or grinding noise-also engaging in slow speed turns with a grabbing sensation. Even though the 4amtic routinely engages at slow speeds, it should not be that noticeable.

Yes, the 4matic light on the lower right portion of your dash can also serve as the code light. You can pull the codes and you can clear the codes-very simple procedure.

Yes, TC is short for transfer case. I already told you how to check the TC in another post and it's VERY important that you do this.

Like I said, some owners remove the bulb in the dash for the 4matic light, rather than work through the problem.

No one I know that has a 4matic over 125K is running one that hasn't had the TC replaced/rebuilt. It's critical that you find out when or if it has been done. The aluminum piston/seal inside the TC's were self-destructive and the hydraulic fluid would leak inside the TC, mixing with the ATF. In this scenario, the TC is toast without rebuilding or replacement.

Kevin
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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very interesting, thank you. makes me wonder about my own ride, as mentioned, mine is a 1991 and the 4matic works wonders, no grinding, no engaging at low speeds, etc. I bought my car with 180.000 miles (now at 220.000) and the only work i've done is fuel pump and bearing replacement aside from reg maintenance.

its a bit of a mystery though because I bought it from an auction, with ZERO service records so whatever has been done to it is a guess. I'd guess (and hope) that the 4matic was rebuilt or at least serviced, and the transmission shifts smooth as butter. the only thing I can visibly see is that was replaced is the power steering pump, and it looks like the exhaust manifold was replaced because theres brand new bolts in the side. the car was in south carolina its entire life, interior is literally perfect and the outside is about an A-.

only thing is my 4matic hydraulic fluid has a slow leak from somewhere, and I have to top it off about once a month. my mechanic said he could see the slow leak out of the transfer case. do you think this is a sign that its starting to turn? how far should i push my luck with this car? its my daily driver.

furthermore, when you pull the plug on the tc how can you tell if the hydraulic fluid is mixing with the at fluid, are they very distintive in color?

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