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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I was wondering how different is a G engine from a regular Mercedes passenger car engine. More specifically my Dad says his 1985 230GE engine is completely different from any and every other 4 cylinder Mercedes engine out there. Is this true? Does anyone know what differences there are between his '85 230GE engine and its passenger car counterpart?

I appreciate everyone's time and input. I am so glad I found this forum. Thank you to everyone for being so friendly and willing to share your knowledge on the "G"...!!!
 

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Depending upon the year of the sedan, there were several variations. These were different mainly with regard to type of carbs. I can not recall the 230 engine ever having fuel injection in the US, so the 230 four cylinder engines in the GE are different in that sense. Also, I suspect most G's are a bit lower in compression so as to be happy with lower octane fuels found in remote areas of the world. Therefore, a little less power. The 220 and 230 engines were not too popular in the US, whereas the 220 and 240 diesels were very popular.

I suspect the pan has some differences as well, allowing for steep angled driving.
 

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Well, the base engine of all 230 (and even the 200) is the same. But Mercedes engineers love to make an engine always vehicle specific. So, the ones used in the various 230 GE and 200GE are 102.964, 102.965, 102.987, 102.979, 102.989 and they differ in compression,fuel injection type, cat or no cat etc. For comparison the 230 engine in US passenger cars was 102.961 and 102.985

http://www.4x4abc.com/G-Class/engines.html

Harald
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much for the info.

At the risk of sounding stupid, what exactly do the engine numbers mean ie:102.964, 102.965, 102.987, 102.979, 102.989?


I do remember when we got the G back in 1986 after driving it around for about 6 months and using unleaded gas (91 octane) the engine developed this knocking sound and began to lose power. When we took it to the MB mechanic they took the entire engine apart, it was literally in pieces filling up 2 bays at the service center, they figured out what that little yellow sticker meant ie- use 98 octane fuel. So they lowered the compression ratio and it worked fine, however the bill was more than $5,000. When my Dad called Dave @ Europa to complain that he should have known about this and warned about it, and that there were possible legal actions to be taken he quickly offered a brand new soft-top (we only had the original hard-top) as settlement. I was wondering did other G owners experience similar problems with regard to the compression ratio issue? Was there an easier fix than taking the entire engine apart?
 

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The numbers following the basic engine group are variants or designed for a specific application. Improvements or changes are given a new number similar to computer programs given version OS X 10.2 for example.
If a motor is run on an octane rating too low for its compression ratio it will "ping" and rattle. This is caused by detonation or an early explosion of the fuel. Higher octane slows down the burn of the fuel and pushes the piston rather than violently hammering it. If run this way the pistons/rings can break, the bearings can be damaged, and damage can occur to the valve train. It sounds like some sort of major damage occured to the motor that required a rebuild. Higher compression motors require higher octane fuels and deliver more power and torque compared the same motor set up with lower compression pistons or combustion chamber space.

-Dai
 

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harpua - 12/8/2004 7:50 PM
.....When we took it to the MB mechanic they took the entire engine apart, it was literally in pieces filling up 2 bays at the service center, they figured out what that little yellow sticker meant ie- use 98 octane fuel.....
Sounds like you've got a real winner of a mechanic there. How in the world has this car survived this long with this kind of "service"?!?!?!? Did you get my note in your other thread about checking with local members of MBCA to see who works on their cars?

The engine variations are subtle ones like Harald mentioned. Say compression ratio is changed, or a catlytic converter added. Well then slight corresponding changes are made to fuel delivery, spark timing, etc. and everything is bundled up under a new engine suffix number (last 3 digits). But the basic operation and tuning of the engines and fuel systems are similar enough that any COMPETENT MB mechanic that has worked on a lot of mercedes cars doesn't have any problem working on the G.

Good luck man!

-Dave G.
 

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harpua - 12/7/2004 4:59 PM
I was wondering how different is a G engine from a regular Mercedes passenger car engine. More specifically my Dad says his 1985 230GE engine is completely different from any and every other 4 cylinder Mercedes engine out there. . .
harpua, may I assume that this question is connected to your earlier post about the mechanic who has decided not to work on your G any more and has left the engine in pieces? I know I'm reading between the lines here, but it appears to me that you told your Dad that we said that any competent Mercedes mechanic should be able to work on that engine. And now your Dad is now telling you that the G engine is sufficiently different from its sedan counterparts so as to justify the inability or unwillingness of your mechanice to do the work.

As cited above, there are only minor differences between the sedan and G engines, an I maintain my position that any mechanic competent to work on sedan engines could easily work on a G engine as well.

I do remember when we got the G back in 1986 after driving it around for about 6 months and using unleaded gas (91 octane) the engine developed this knocking sound and began to lose power. . . I was wondering did other G owners experience similar problems with regard to the compression ratio issue? Was there an easier fix than taking the entire engine apart?
This sounds strange to me. Gs like 91 octane, or Super Unleaded. 98 octane fuel is somewhat exotic and is for racers and aircraft. If Europa told you that you needed 98 octane, then I think there was something fishy going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok- first of all thank youall so much, like I said before I am so glad I found you guys...

There is a lot to respond to here but I'll try.

We bought the 1985 230GE in march of 1986. We specifically asked Dave Holland if we could use "regular" unleaded gas (ie- 91 octane), he said yes, there were no special fuel requirements whatsoever. That was not true. In fact we used Sunoco 93.5 octane fuel and that was not even high enough octane. I cannot speak for all G's, but our 1985 230GE SWB Cabriolet required fuel with an octane of at least 98. As described above using the fuel Dave said was ok damaged the engine, and this required the mechanic to lower the compression ratio and replace the damaged parts. Since that time the G has run perfect, until @ a month ago. The exhaust system was replaced and that is when my Dad noticed the power was reduced by at least 50%, and it just did not drive the same. My Dad has driven his G everyday for 19 years, and the only place that has ever worked on it was Mercedes-Benz of Oklahoma City. They have done a fine job considering it is the only 230GE they have ever worked on, in fact it is without question the only 230GE in Oklahoma City. With regard to the post by petermerle: "Why did you not read the owners handbook - fuel specifications are listed in the book - the G is not a car you just drive without regard to the whats listed in the handbook" I find this a little offensive because it is an assumption that is not true, and it comes off sounding rude. I consider my Dad somewhat of a pioneer. He bought his G in 1986 at a time when very few people were driving them in the US. If I remember correctly we were something like Dave Holland's / Europa's 30th customer. If you go to Santa Fe you will see a map of the United States on the wall with push pins all over it. You will see one red push pin in the center that has not been moved in almost 20 years, but has found more and more company over the years. My Dad is an extremely loyal and proud G owner / driver. Now, to bring this story full circle: the car was taken into Mercedes for a check-up and because the exhaust sounded funny a month ago. He was told the exhaust (which was original) needed to be replaced. This was done and under the Mercedes Mechanic advice it was replaced with some type of "flexible" exhaust system. He was told it would be better to not have the exhaust so rigid since it is a SWB and drives so rough (ie- you never miss a bump, ever). Driving home my Dad said it was not driving the same, and that there was an extreme loss in power. He took it back to Mercedes and it has now been there for 3 weeks, and they have not been able to figure out what is wrong. This situation is so frustrating because they have worked on the car for 18 years, and until now have done a good job. So, why now are they unable to figure it out???
 

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Two things:

European 98 octane is US 92 octane.

Extreme power loss after replacing the entire exhaust indicates something wrong with the exhaust. Either the muffler or the catalytic converter are too restrictive - or both. You can not simply asume that new parts are always working perfectly.

Harald
 

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Just noticed you're right here in Denver, man!

We should get together for a beer! I live out in Bailey, but I work in Lakewood, so I'm in town here every day.

And if there was a way to have the G here in Denver, Mark at German Motors (Simms, S. of Colfax) would have it singing again in short order.

But that's here nor there. Was the exhaust system replaced with factory parts? With the situation you're in now, I'd insist it were so. The engineers that designed these old tanks pretty much knew what they were doing. The 230 GE exhaust (I have half of one in my garage now) is designed with the appropriate flexible elements in place in the factory pipes.

One other item I'd check is related to the fact your G is a later type of 460. I think by 1985 they were fitting fuel injection systems to these engines that used oxygen sensors for mixture trimming and that if the oxygen sensor or wiring were damaged in the exhaust replacement, the engine would run very lean, probably run hot, and be very low on power. You might ask the mechanic specifically about oxygen sensor/wiring.

There might also be some good info for you in this recent thread from the forum. I remembered there was "something" recent, but not what, so I just did a search of the G forum using "230GE exhaust" as the keywords. Anyhoo...see:
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1188696&posts=29&hl=230GE+exhaust

Good luck! And if you need to comiserate, the first pitcher's on me!

-Dave G.
 

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RE: Just noticed you're right here in Denver, man!

Hey, that sounds great. My Dad actually visits all the time and will be here around Xmass. I know it's a busy time, but perhaps we could all meet up for a drink. He would love to meet another G driver/owner. He won't have the G here it never leaves Oklahoma City (could you imagine 10 hours in an '85 SWB Cabriolet?) Anyway, let me know, and when it gets closer to the time he's here we can check our schedules.
 

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It's a date

Check your "private messages" and I'll send you some contact info. The "social director" of our little Denver G group up and sold his G on us, but I'm sure I could pull him back into the fold and maybe a couple other G-guys who were regulars at our past get-togethers.

Anyway, keep in touch!

-Dave G.
 

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RE: It's a date

That would be so fantastic!! My Dad gets here on the 22nd. I'll check my private email too...Thanks
 
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