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93 300E 2.8, 79 450 SLC
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539 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I had a 93 300e with M104 engine and did hit the famous head gasket oil leak issue and cost me $1500 to replace the head gasket. I am looking at purchase a 89 300e now. I wonder if the M103 3.0 has the same problem.

Thanks.
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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12,757 Posts
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Type in M103 headgasket problem in the search bar. Get several cold beverages and spending the evening reading. Yes, M103's have a head gasket problem.

Jayare
 

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Mercedes W124
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23,569 Posts
Why are these engines prone to head gasket problems.
Or do all cars need a head gasket replacement at around 150,000 miles?
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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12,757 Posts
Why are these engines prone to head gasket problems.
Or do all cars need a head gasket replacement at around 150,000 miles?
It isn't a matter of "these engines" having head gasket problems. There was a design flaw with the original gaskets. Usually, it's a once and done deal when the corrected new gasket is installed.

Jayare
 

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1993 300E, 2003 996 Turbo X50
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624 Posts
I have to disagree, Its definitely a thing with these engines. I had an updated gasket blow on my cabrio with about 150k on it. Both the gasket and head were originally replaced at the dealer too.

Replaced it on my s320 as well, head was.slightly warped on that one, machine shopped it. Never overheated that I know of.

The m103 in my was starting to leak at 174k miles before I sold it. Im just surprised that mercedes couldnt make a less leaky i6 in all the years they.made this car.
 

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'04 W211 E240, MY10 W204 C300
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825 Posts
Of course the head gasket problems are exacerbated by the use of non MB coolant or the lack of change of coolant at the required intervals.
The cars which were powered by these M103 and M104 engines were not cheap new. However some of the buyers of these cars were cheap when it came to servicing. 20 years+ down the track and us new owners are paying the price for this lack of "servicing".

The M103 was (and still is) one of the worlds greatest engines. Pity it was let down by a lack of small attention to detail in the head gasket design.
 

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93 190E 2.6; 82 300 SD Turbo
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1,686 Posts
Does this same gasket design effect other engine that are in the 124? Any of the 60x series diesels?
 

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Registered
1993 300E, 2003 996 Turbo X50
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624 Posts
Of course the head gasket problems are exacerbated by the use of non MB coolant or the lack of change of coolant at the required intervals.
The cars which were powered by these M103 and M104 engines were not cheap new. However some of the buyers of these cars were cheap when it came to servicing. 20 years+ down the track and us new owners are paying the price for this lack of "servicing".

The M103 was (and still is) one of the worlds greatest engines. Pity it was let down by a lack of small attention to detail in the head gasket design.
Yeah, non mb coolant is a killer. No excuse for my cabrio though. Dealer maintained from day 1 till I acquired it with all service performed on time. Just a crappy design indeed.
 

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93 300E 2.8, 79 450 SLC
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539 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I have a hard time to believe the head gasket issue is due to the type of coolant. If the problem is caused by using wrong coolant type from the owners, then head gasket issue should happen to any year of MB.

My 93 300e needed a new head gasket at 100k miles and it leaked again at 130k miles. I didn't over heat the engine in both cases. w124 is a lovely car but the HG issue just boring me.
 

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1990 Mercedes Benz 300E
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1,336 Posts
Depends on the kind of driving you do. You have two long chunks of dissimilar metals separated by the gasket. They expand at different rates when heated up so if you do alot of short trips or you're periodically stuck in gridlock during summer where the engine temp climbs past 110 your head gasket will fail quicker. If you drive alot of hwy where the engine temp stays relatively constant over a long period then the engine is thermocycled less and the head gasket will last longer.
 
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