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‘93 300D, ‘95 E300
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow 124 fans. I just picked up a '95 E320 that was overheated and stalled in traffic. Yes, I know it's a big undertaking but I work on Benzes for a living so it's not bad. I don't, however, have a lot of experience with the pitfalls of owning or working on cars that have this many miles on them. I need some recommendations for a high mileage rebuild because I want to be able to drive this car for another 200K

Here are the specifics. It has 200,000 miles but has been treated pretty good. The client brought it exclusively to us and put a bunch of money into it in the past so it's not too big a pile of crap

I'm obviously going to have to send the head to a machine shop to(hopefully) be repaired. My other questions are about the engine and transmission. Since the car is going to be down for a while and has a pile of miles on it, should I just bite the bullet and replace the timing chain, main bearings & rod bearings? I know the bottom end of the M104 is really stout but I think it may be a good idea to do them while I have the car mostly torn apart.

Has anyone had any experience with Camko camshafts? I see they make M104 cams and would like to put C36 cams in the head to get a little more zip. I haven't ruled out ordering genuine C36 cams but even with my discount I think they will be reeeeeeally expensive.

I don't have a lot of experience with the 722.3 or .4 trans either( I started a little after the .6 came out so that's the one that I know better) but I need it to last a long time. Should I rebuild it now or wait until it grenades? I can't remember if this one has any weird probblems like flares of weird noises but it does have a bunch of miles on it. Also, Are there any aftermarket trans rebuild kits that are better and/or heavier duty than the OEM parts?

I know this is a lot to look over but bear with me and thanks for any help. I also know there are a lot of people here that have waaaaaay more experience with the W124 than me so I'm excited to learn more :bowdown:
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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Well, since you state you work on MBs for a living, then you should already know that one of the worst things (read expensive) to deal with is a overheated engine.

I'd stay away from putting in aftermarket cams, as it will net you very little if anything. A better option would be to source a C36 AMG engine & ECU.

You can get rebuilt MB engines here
http://mercedesengines.net/

At 200K, I'd get ready to put in another transmission if not done so already. The '95 M104 takes a 722.3

Suggest you get a rebuild trans from Sun Valley Transmissions
rebuilt remanufactured mercedes benz automatic transmissions

At that mileage, the drivetrain, steering and suspension are also due for overhaul/replacement.
 

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About a dozen 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991 sedans, wagons, 4Matics and 1 coupe
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5,454 Posts
When I did the 3.0 upgrade to my 88 260E I pulled the head to have it overhauled. I asked the machine shop guys, a very experienced (with MB stuff) shop whether I should do anything to the bottom end. They absolutely recommended *against* touching it unless less it had been severely overheated. They said that a maintained M103 bottom end was good for 250k.

So you have a 200k M104 that has been overheated...

I'd be looking for a used engine that needs to be freshened to last another 100k miles before I messed with the overheated 200k mile one.

Just my .02
 

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‘93 300D, ‘95 E300
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594 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses guys. I'm gonna ask some of the older guys I know about this as well.

I hadn't thought about a C36 ECU. It makes sense though, no version or SCN coding so it just plops right into the car. Will have to do some more digging...
 

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1999 C43 AMG, 1998 C43 AMG
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604 Posts
I wouldn't be so quick to judge an overheated m104 so quickly.

My 1994 C280 suffered THREE massive overheatings in one day. I was stuck in the middle of nowhere with no other way to get home. 150k on the clock. I would allow it to cool and drive it as far as I could before it overheated again. I had a spare 3.2l I had been given, and figured this would be my excuse to use it. Ended up not needing it.

It's a long story I won't bore you with, but you know the end results. I obviously needed to tear down the engine afterwards and replace head gasket.

Once I got the head off for the gasket job, I examined it closely. Seemed fine. Assumed it was warped and checked it out: not warped. Simply cleaned it up and reassembled with new head gasket, valve cover gasket, and timing cover gasket. Drove the car another 110k and still ran like a top until the day I sold it. Sold it due to huge electrical issues and a completely dilapidated interior. Wish I'd kept it :(
 

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‘93 300D, ‘95 E300
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594 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
When I did the 3.0 upgrade to my 88 260E I pulled the head to have it overhauled. I asked the machine shop guys, a very experienced (with MB stuff) shop whether I should do anything to the bottom end. They absolutely recommended *against* touching it unless less it had been severely overheated. They said that a maintained M103 bottom end was good for 250k.

So you have a 200k M104 that has been overheated...

I'd be looking for a used engine that needs to be freshened to last another 100k miles before I messed with the overheated 200k mile one.

Just my .02
Did the machine shop say why to leave the bottom end alone?
 

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‘93 300D, ‘95 E300
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594 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Woohoo! I finally got the title to my E320! Hopefully I'll have some free time today to rip the head off, send it out & inspect the rest of the car. If not today then definitely this saturday. The previous owner said he has the original wheels too, it's got C32 wheels on it now. Yaaaaaay!
 

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2008 E350 4M, 1988 300TE
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Did the machine shop say why to leave the bottom end alone?
Because they are bulletproof...

I'd go as far to say 250k on a bottom end would be somewhat early. You see 103's at the junkyard with almost 300k all the time and most had to be crashed to get in there.
 

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‘93 300D, ‘95 E300
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Discussion Starter #10
I'm not sure I'll be able to convey my thoughts on this properly over the interweb but here goes. I thought that what augapfel was saying meant the machine shop said to not touch the bottom end because there would be some sort of horrific damage occur if the bottom end was taken apart, not solely because there was absolutely no need to. Does that make sense?
 

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About a dozen 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991 sedans, wagons, 4Matics and 1 coupe
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5,454 Posts
All they were saying was that the bottom end had lots of miles remaining before it needed attention. IOW rings and bearings would have been a waste of money.

I have put an additional 50k on the engine since then and she's still going strong.
 

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My 91 CE has had complete engine restoration by Pete’s Mercedes in SF, including head gasket, upper & lower valve jobs, new radiator, new OEM
oil pump & a new OEM transmission just 50K ago.
I understand from research here & on MBWorld that the 93CE -95E320 models have biodegradable wiring harnesses that must be replaced. Just passing that on...
 
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