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1981 Mercedes Benz 240D 192k
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32 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have heard that there were a lot of problems with the "post '87" six cylinder turbo diesel motors, but what about the 2.5 liter five they offered in the early nineties E-class. Does anyone have any high mileage (300+k miles) experience with these engines? Are they even comparable to the durability of the five cylinder engine in the W123s (and 300SD, of course) of the early 80s?

Thanks!
 

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1995 E320
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2,547 Posts
Proper research would indicate that there are specific parts that are at fault for the "post 87" problems, most of which revolve around the trap oxidiser or something. Should have been replaced under warranty.

Most Mercedes diesel engines of that era are near indestructable.
 

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1991 300D 116,000m
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730 Posts
Love mine, the head gasket and air pump were replaced before I bought it thankfully. But not the a/c evaporator, DOH! It'll never see 300K in my lifetime, I don't drive alot.
 

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'87 300TD/'90 300D/'94 Quattro/'89 Vanagon TDI/'01 EV Weekender VR6
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52,233 Posts
Other than the #14 cylinder head issues which may or may not appear on MY '87 cars, the diesel engines available in the 124 chassis are extremely well built and reliable. The only other issue with these cars stems from vacuum pumps that can grenade in all of them, as well as the glowplugs on the '95 OM606 engines which may become stuck in the head and break off during removal.

I own one, and highly recommend the OM602 engines found in the '90-'93 300D 2.5t
 

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1991 300D 116,000m
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730 Posts
There's a 1992 300D in STL Craigslist....I eventually had to click off the page before I contacted them. I love mine and there is no reason to get an identical model. Even though on paper it seems very reasonable.

Mercedes Benz 300D
 

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1993 W124 300D 2.5 Turbo; 2005 C240 4-Matic
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4 Posts
'93 2.5 Turbo

Can only echo the others... I've had mine for six years; now have 210,000+ miles on her. Only required "engine" work since purchase has been new motor mounts, a turbo solenoid and refurbishing the rubber fuel injector return lines.
I've spent the years bringing her "back up"; some re-painting of lower panels, minor rust, steering and suspension, etc... and also added heated seats, HID lighting (in Euro lamps), keyless entry, auto-dimming rear-view mirror... Just love this car.
 

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money pits of various forms
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5,885 Posts
Avoid 91 an later due to the wiring harness issues. Prone to head gasket issues. Some years had bad timing chains. Vacuum pumps. Etc. Unlike the 617 I would find a car with a complete FSH so you know whats been done and whats left... My 87 has problems that point to the head and every step of diagnosis it seems like someone has already been there....
 

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'87 300TD/'90 300D/'94 Quattro/'89 Vanagon TDI/'01 EV Weekender VR6
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52,233 Posts
I don't think the wiring harness issue showed up until the '95 E300D, and even then there's really not much to replace. I'm in the middle of a headgasket replacement on my 602, but not due to a gasket failure--I'll start up another thread about the oddball issue I'm dealing with. This engine had the original gasket in there and it was holding up just fine at 180k.
 

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money pits of various forms
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I don't think the wiring harness issue showed up until the '95 E300D, and even then there's really not much to replace. I'm in the middle of a headgasket replacement on my 602, but not due to a gasket failure--I'll start up another thread about the oddball issue I'm dealing with. This engine had the original gasket in there and it was holding up just fine at 180k.
MY 91-95 all had the recycled plastic. Of course on the diesels its not that big of a deal, I am wondering if we will start seeing more cabin fires as a result... Usually on the gassers the issue is problematic and gets resolved....

I'm just reporting what I read from various sources...
 

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'87 300TD/'90 300D/'94 Quattro/'89 Vanagon TDI/'01 EV Weekender VR6
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52,233 Posts
Are you sure your '91 has the biodegradable wiring? Most of the engine harness wiring on my '87 was disintegrating when I bought it, but I know they didn't use that stuff at that time. I simply spliced in all "new" wiring from a '78 300D I parted a few years ago.
 

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224 Posts
I think they were great runners and had the best highway fuel mileage of any of the diesels. The 95's were slugs comparitively. The MY87's have better torque.

All diesels can have vacuum pump grenades and timing chains should be measured for stretch.



M
 

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money pits of various forms
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Are you sure your '91 has the biodegradable wiring? Most of the engine harness wiring on my '87 was disintegrating when I bought it, but I know they didn't use that stuff at that time. I simply spliced in all "new" wiring from a '78 300D I parted a few years ago.
91-95, what is not evidently clear is if it is model year or manufacturing year... Old plastic gets hard cracks etc, from the pics I saw,the recycled stuff literally falls off the wire. On the diesels not such a big deal in the engine bay... but god only knows about inside the car...
 

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'87 300TD/'90 300D/'94 Quattro/'89 Vanagon TDI/'01 EV Weekender VR6
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52,233 Posts
I think heat cycling is a major contributor to the disintegrating, which means the rest of the wiring may not be nearly as prone to this issue.
 

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money pits of various forms
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5,885 Posts
The most disturbing pictures I saw were from inside the cabin...
 
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