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1988 Mercedes 300CE, 1998 E430(sold), 2000 S430, 2003 S55, 1998 VW Golf(sold)
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All
I Just bought a 1988 300CE and noticed that the transmission is a little low on fluid. What is the proper fluid to use it it? What are the thoughts of the eBay Euro Headlights? Any real trouble spots I should look for?
Thanks any all advice will be greatly appreciated
Scott
 

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1988 Mercedes 300CE, 1998 E430(sold), 2000 S430, 2003 S55, 1998 VW Golf(sold)
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Discussion Starter #2
One Other Quick Question

I can pick up a 1989 300E for next to nothing. What parts can be used.
Hood, Trunk lid, Front Fenders, Rad? I figure most mechanical parts will fit but thought I should check.
The transmission fluid in question is for an automatic transmission
Thanks again
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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I'd suggest a total fluid/filter change. Make sure to drain the torque converter as well. It holds over half the transmission fluid. Valvoline Max Life has good results or go with Dexron III. Dex II is hard to find.

All the parts on the 89 from the windsheild base forward will interchange with the coupe. All dash parts will interchange as well as suspension parts. If you go with ebay euro lights, get Depo brand. You can also buy replacement "headlight doors" for the stock light units. They generally run around $100 for a pair.

Coupes are 4" shorter in overall length and wheel base vs. a sedan. They are 2" lower in height. The windshields are different and canted back to a greater angle than sedans. Seatbelt Presenters (the electric arms) are stock items on coupes. Your rear sun shade is a rare option. The trunk spoiler is an add on item, most likely installed by the original selling dealer. Your motor is an M103, the transmission is a 4 speed, but starts in 2nd gear. Your rear diff ratio is 3:07 to 1

Have fun with your project and Good Luck,

Jayare
 

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1988 Mercedes 300CE, 1998 E430(sold), 2000 S430, 2003 S55, 1998 VW Golf(sold)
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Discussion Starter #4
I'd suggest a total fluid/filter change. Make sure to drain the torque converter as well. It holds over half the transmission fluid. Valvoline Max Life has good results or go with Dexron III. Dex II is hard to find.

All the parts on the 89 from the windsheild base forward will interchange with the coupe. All dash parts will interchange as well as suspension parts. If you go with ebay euro lights, get Depo brand. You can also buy replacement "headlight doors" for the stock light units. They generally run around $100 for a pair.

Coupes are 4" shorter in overall length and wheel base vs. a sedan. They are 2" lower in height. The windshields are different and canted back to a greater angle than sedans. Seatbelt Presenters (the electric arms) are stock items on coupes. Your rear sun shade is a rare option. The trunk spoiler is an add on item, most likely installed by the original selling dealer. Your motor is an M103, the transmission is a 4 speed, but starts in 2nd gear. Your rear diff ratio is 3:07 to 1

Have fun with your project and Good Luck,

Jayare
Hey Jayare
Thanks for all the advice. I bought this car as a project and have really come to appreciate these cars with the options they have for being an 1988. I need to get the rear screen working and the drivers Seat belt Presenter working along with a couple other things.It still has the first aide kit intact on the rear window shelve, do not think I would trust it but it is there. I feel I picked up for an okay price $1350.00 The biggest thing was the interior the person was a real slob. It took myself and my son a few hours to get it the interior to user clean. We will detail it after all work is done.
I am planing all replacing all fluids before it hits the road in the spring. But I want to just make sure the transmission is topped up while it is undergoing the process.
It has the green antifreeze in it but think I am going replace it after I flush it with the pink antifreeze like in my VW.
I am even going to flush the brake system as well. Think I will send it in for that
I used the search option on the forum but trying to get an answer about what transmission fluid for a 1988 300CE was nuts. So I thought I would ask again.
Why does the transmission start in second is there anytime it will start in first?
Thank you for all the help greatly appreciated
Looking forward to getting this car back on the road
Cheers
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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There are three ways to get the car to start off in first gear. One (that I find violent) is to just put your left foot to the floor at take off. The trans will kick down into first. The second way is to move the shift lever into the "2" position, then back into D. It will start in first. The third way is to put the lever into the "2" position and leave it there. You'll start off in 1st., then do a quick 2, 3, 2 movement of the lever and you'll be in 2nd and it will hold, then move on to the 3 for 3rd, then to D for 4th.

The green coolant is incorrect for the car as is the pink VW stuff. Zerex G05 is the correct fluid and the same that is sold at the dealer (in an MB jug) Top off any addtional needs with distilled water.

Brake fluid should be DOT 4 (for heat). If it were me, I'd put the seat belt presenter and rear shade last on my list of "to do" items.

Good Luck and have fun,

Jayare
 

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1988 Mercedes 300CE, 1998 E430(sold), 2000 S430, 2003 S55, 1998 VW Golf(sold)
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Discussion Starter #6
There are three ways to get the car to start off in first gear. One (that I find violent) is to just put your left foot to the floor at take off. The trans will kick down into first. The second way is to move the shift lever into the "2" position, then back into D. It will start in first. The third way is to put the lever into the "2" position and leave it there. You'll start off in 1st., then do a quick 2, 3, 2 movement of the lever and you'll be in 2nd and it will hold, then move on to the 3 for 3rd, then to D for 4th.

The green coolant is incorrect for the car as is the pink VW stuff. Zerex G05 is the correct fluid and the same that is sold at the dealer (in an MB jug) Top off any addtional needs with distilled water.

Brake fluid should be DOT 4 (for heat). If it were me, I'd put the seat belt presenter and rear shade last on my list of "to do" items.

Good Luck and have fun,

Jayare
Hey
Thanks for the info.
Why do they start off in second anyway seems like it defeat the purpose of a 4 speed automatic?
Yes the shade and seat belt arm are low on my list. But I am completely taking the interior out once all the mechanical issues are dealt with. So I thought that would be a good time to get them working
This is a project for me and my son We are not going to do a complete restoration but bring it back to the shape of a couple year old car(everything works but not scared to drive it) So we are not going for perfection but a car people will say wow that is in nice shape how old is it type of thing. He is younger(10) so if he looses interest I do not want to be stuck with a car I have invested a ton into and still be worth a few hundred. This why all mechanical issues if any will be addressed first. If I find big problem like transmission or engine is junk(which both seem fine) you see a lot of parts for sale on here for 300CE.
We are starting to clean the engine bay this way we will see any leaks etc do a compression test then start on fluids.There is no oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil so i think we are good on head gasket which I hear on here that is very conman.
I think we are going to completely drain the coolant system first and flush it replace the water pump thermostat and have the radiator sent in for proper cleaning at a rad shop.
Then but the pink antifreeze in. I hope I can get away with the stuff from the VW dealer as I have 5 gallons of it.
So then move on to the transmission fluid drain the torque converter and replace filter fill with non synthetic Dexron III now that I know. The brakes fluid I think with out the power bleeder and what the garage charges I think it will just go in unless I have to replace a caliper or two then I will do it myself and do the old gravity bleed
Then we will get into steering check front end ball joints tie rod etc(drives straight) Finally suspension it sits nice and I put some weight into it seem to handle it fine.
After all this the AC working and the rear shade, arm and any little things not much little things.
I really think there will not be much in the above mentioned steering, suspension and engine/transmission work.
I was pretty worried about buying this car because of the age and everything but once we started looking into I think it will be alright to bring back
Cheers
Scott
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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Scott,

Don't use the "pink" VW coolant. These cars can/do/will develope electrolysis problems due to the variety of opposing metals in the engine/cooling system. Using incorrect coolant isn't the way to go just because you have a supply of it. For about $9 a gallon US, get the Zerex G05.

When you remove the radiator to have it serviced, also check/clean the debris that will be present between the electric aux. fan shroud and the evaporator. Has the AC system been converted to R134 or is it still R12?

The 2nd gear start is by design to provide that "luxury" take off feel that was so Mercedes at the time.

Jayare
 

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1988 Mercedes 300CE, 1998 E430(sold), 2000 S430, 2003 S55, 1998 VW Golf(sold)
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Discussion Starter #8
Scott,

Don't use the "pink" VW coolant. These cars can/do/will develope electrolysis problems due to the variety of opposing metals in the engine/cooling system. Using incorrect coolant isn't the way to go just because you have a supply of it. For about $9 a gallon US, get the Zerex G05.

When you remove the radiator to have it serviced, also check/clean the debris that will be present between the electric aux. fan shroud and the evaporator. Has the AC system been converted to R134 or is it still R12?

The 2nd gear start is by design to provide that "luxury" take off feel that was so Mercedes at the time.

Jayare
Hi
Okay got it keep my VW antifreeze for the VW. Need to find Zerex G05 up here in the great frozen north (Canada). What colour is the Zerex G05? I miss read the VW part in your post Guess I should wait for my morning coffee before reading post.
I was planing on cleaning the condenser fan etc.
I am really not sure about the AC if it is R12 or R134. I remember seeing a posting on converting it. If I remember it was not that bad??
Cheers
Scott
 

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Do you have the E/S switch next to the gear lever?...Putting it in S starts the car in first and also holds the gears longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Zerex G05

Hi
Is this what I am looking for?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Do you have the E/S switch next to the gear lever?...Putting it in S starts the car in first and also holds the gears longer.
Hi
No just the gear shift no secondary transmission switch.
Great to hear back from you. I started getting into this car found a couple thinks I did not expect but found less then I original thought. The car needs a tune-up but she runs very smooth. Now I understand why everyone on here has a couple of Benz. I am thinking on getting rid of the VW and finding a daily driver 300E/320 to replace it
For a 1988 this thing has some great options the rear screen seems really useful, rear electric fold down headrests, first aide kit and the electric telescopic steering well you guys know what they have. I was reading there is suppose to be a fire extinguisher around the drivers seat??
I am very impressed with this car I know it is not up to the standards of the members on here, but wow what a car. I did have to remind myself it is 22 years old never painted etc. It puts a lot of the big three car models to shame for it age etc. Nothing against the big 3 (GM,Ford,Dodge). I had a couple buddies checking out while we were cleaning it and they were impressed as well.
I think with some time, some money and help from this forum I will have a great ride. A quick wash threw the automatic car wash made a big difference and let me see much more.
Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You will know this

Do you have the E/S switch next to the gear lever?...Putting it in S starts the car in first and also holds the gears longer.
Where do I find the paint code. With my VW Golf it was hidden in the spare tire compartment. There is a company here which loads real automotive paint into a spray can with a very nice nozzle. But they need the paint code It is a two part system base and clear coat I used it on my VW and very hard to tell where the repair was made. I would not paint a complete panel but for the 3 little spots I need it will save on a paint job for a bit. It cost me $45.00 CDN for the paint for the VW
I will give you VIN as there is probably someway to find out from there.
WDBEA50D2JA589341
I keep seeing people get all kinds of info from the VIN
Any help will be greatly appreciated
Cheers
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Data cards
How/where did you find this? Very cool. What is S/A code?
So the one with the list/description of the options is what my car came with. Which it still had the 17inch 5 spoke rims. They must look better then either pair which is on mine now
Thanks a ton
Cheers
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #15
How/where did you find this? Very cool. What is S/A code?
So the one with the list/description of the options is what my car came with. Which it still had the 17inch 5 spoke rims. They must look better then either pair which is on mine now
Thanks a ton
Cheers
Scott
Type O Wish instead of which
 

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2001 E55 AMG
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I managed to get hold of the EPC/WIS.......I haven't looked into SA codes yet.....I can get you any part#s and diagrams you may need.........After chatting with you the other week I got the bug for an old car to restore and settled on a cosworth 190e....had a look at one but it wasn't for me,but I've found one a couple of hundred miles away....Full of snow there though ( they skimp on clearing roads here) so will go and see next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I managed to get hold of the EPC/WIS.......I haven't looked into SA codes yet.....I can get you any part#s and diagrams you may need.........After chatting with you the other week I got the bug for an old car to restore and settled on a cosworth 190e....had a look at one but it wasn't for me,but I've found one a couple of hundred miles away....Full of snow there though ( they skimp on clearing roads here) so will go and see next week.
The PDFs you sent are amazing thanks so much. Hope you find something to bring back to life. Like I said we got started on it and found out the biggest thing the car needs is elbow grease. I was just talking to the owner I think I will replace the timing chain as he can not remember if it was done. The manual link that this form links to makes it seem easier then doing the timing belt on my Volvo 740 which I have done a ton of.
I know this car is far from prefect and the best thing I have found on this forum is, people do not talk down to you about what you are buying/bought.
I really think this car might turn out to be a nice ride.
I mentioned earlier that if we can get it back the shape of a two year old car both my son and I will be happy. He loves the car
If you ever need me to look at a part other here let me know or any other kind of help
Cheers
Scott
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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Seldom, if ever, do timing chains need replacing. However, the chain tensioner and guides do require replacement. How many miles are on the car? If the PO can't remember having this service done, then it didn't get done. He would have remembered the bill I assure you. The parts are not that expensive, but labor to do the job is. Not hard, but it will eat time off a clock in large chunks.

Jayare
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Seldom, if ever, do timing chains need replacing. However, the chain tensioner and guides do require replacement. How many miles are on the car? If the PO can't remember having this service done, then it didn't get done. He would have remembered the bill I assure you. The parts are not that expensive, but labor to do the job is. Not hard, but it will eat time off a clock in large chunks.

Jayare
Hey
There is a hair over 149,000 or 240,000 kilometers. So i guess when the rad is out and water pump is off is the time to do them. If I am doing them I guess doing the chain at the same time would be a good thing?
Cheers
Scott
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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It would be the right time, but again, the chain is very, very robust. Use the search function of the forum and you'll find plenty for your evening reading. Look for "M103 timing chain".

Jayare
 
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