Questions about 500E and 300CE 24v - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-17-2003, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Questions about 500E and 300CE 24v

Hi,

I am thinking about buying either a 300CE 24v or a 500E. Anything I should know about these cars, things that tend to break easily etc ? From what I've seen on this forum it seems that the 300CE 24v has some problems with the engine.
Is the difference in performance between the 300CE 12v and 300CE 24v as big as the power figures would have you believe ? Sadly, I can't get a hold of a 320CE here as that would probably be my preferred choice.
Also, is it true that on 300CEs equipped with ASR you can't switch it off ? No point in buying a rear wheel drive car if it doesn't let you spin the rear wheels :(
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-17-2003, 02:18 PM
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The 500E is rather a special beast. The engine was a high torque version out of the 500...


The 500E is rather a special beast. The engine was a high torque version out of the 500SL and the car was put together by Porsche in Zuffenhausen along side the Porsche 959 super cars.
Because the W124 was never designed to take any thing other than four or six cylinders the whole front end had to be redesigned. The engine also had two catalysts which fitted snugly within a widened transmission tunnel making it only a four seater due to diminished leg room. Then the floor was strengthened and the suspension and brakes were uprated to the same spec as the 500SL. The track was widened and fitted with wider 225/55 ZR 16 tyres and then had new flared wing panels to cover.
The car also had a very sophisticated computer system which controlled the transmission, electronic throttle, ABS and ASR system.

The CE Coupes where more elegant looking than the saloons but under the skin were very much alike and far simpler than the 500E. Not only did the 300-24 have 24 valves and twin cams but it also had the new hydraulic variable timing which ment the valves had the same overlap at all engine speed therefore making it smoother and more powerful.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-17-2003, 02:19 PM
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The 500E is rather a special beast. The engine was a high torque version out of the 500...


The 500E is rather a special beast. The engine was a high torque version out of the 500SL and the car was put together by Porsche in Zuffenhausen along side the Porsche 959 super cars.
Because the W124 was never designed to take any thing other than four or six cylinders the whole front end had to be redesigned. The engine also had two catalysts which fitted snugly within a widened transmission tunnel making it only a four seater due to diminished leg room. Then the floor was strengthened and the suspension and brakes were uprated to the same spec as the 500SL. The track was widened and fitted with wider 225/55 ZR 16 tyres and then had new flared wing panels to cover.
The car also had a very sophisticated computer system which controlled the transmission, electronic throttle, ABS and ASR system.

The CE Coupes where more elegant looking than the saloons but under the skin were very much alike and far simpler than the 500E. Not only did the 300-24 have 24 valves and twin cams but it also had the new hydraulic variable timing which ment the valves had the same overlap at all engine speed therefore making it smoother and more powerful.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-18-2003, 01:29 AM
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In answer to your 12Valve, 24Valve performance question


You aske dif the performance was as different as the figures suggest. The answer is yes.

I have very recently driven a 12Valve 3litre for a couple of days and had a chance to compare it to my 24valve.

The 12 valve encouraged a more relaxed, laid back kind of style. It seemed to have almost as much low down torque at lower revs as the 24 valve (if not more) and was smoother at low revs.

However, the 24 valve was smoother at higher revs, is totally linear in its acceleration from 1000 all the way to 7000 rpm due to the Variable valve timing.It just keeps pulling and pulling all the way.

Sound wise the 12 valve and 24valve were about the same at low and medium revs but the 24valve takes on a more raunchy snarl the higher it climes. Either way both straight sixes in my mind sound better than a V6 or V8. Think Spitfire or Mustang aeroengine (Merlin V12) rather than agricultural V8.

Subjectively and on paper the 24 valve feels the faster, lighter and more sprightly of the two engines but I don't know how much of that was because the 24valve I have has sportline suspension and the 12 valve I drove didn't.

Certainly away from the traffic lights the 24Valve stomps all overt he 12 valve.

Yes the 24valve is known for a few oil leak, head gasket issues. I have just had my headgasket replaced and valves done , decoke head etc.. for a little over £1000 GBP. It will be good now for another 150,000 miles. I now have no oil or water leaks and its as smooth and quite at tickover as an engine with 1/100th the millage.

I suspect that although the 500E is undoubtedly faster in a straight line than the 300-24, all that V8 weight upfrount has got to have screwed the natural balnce and weight distribution of the 3litre straight sixes.

Take a look at tsome of the recent posts on this forum atthe bi-turbo conversion for the 24valve thats available. I rekon a bi-turbo 24 valve with 317bhp would wip an E500 anyday in a straight line and round the corners. It would probably be cheaper to maintain as well.
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-19-2003, 05:17 PM
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Re: Questions about 500E and 300CE 24v

Is there really a question? 500E for sure! Limited addition...tweaked by porsche...fast...and of course the collector value. Basically, you'll get yourself a great 90's German muscle car. Have you seen the value of muscle cars from the past lately? 60's and 70's cars selling for a TON. That's not the reason to buy. I just recently picked up a 92 500E. It's an awesome car (I don't miss my GSR Integra at all). I'm still getting used to all the power, but love it. And boy is that car made for the highway :) Good luck in whatever you decide. Any Benz is great!!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-20-2003, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Questions about 500E and 300CE 24v

What worries me about the 500E is higher cost of maintenance. It seems to me that a 300/320CE and 500E of equal age and mileage cost about the same, and there is probably a reason for that. Although the 500E engine seems to hold up better than the 300CE, there are probably more steering, brake and suspension issues.
By the way, is there a certain year when MB started to use better rust prevention methods for their models ? I know older MBs are prone to rust, how about the 90's models ? As a reference, Audi started covering their cars better in '89 and BMW in '93 if memory serves me correctly.
I went to look at a '90 300CE that was in a fairly terrible shape, and yet it hadn't covered more than 200K km (verified). The engine had been replaced once and the interior felt like the car had covered double that distance. I'll go and have a look at a 500E that's covered about 130K km today, hopefully it is in better shape. Otherwise my view about the legendary W124 build quality is likely to suffer slightly :)
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