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I regret selling my '95 E300 Diesel a few years ago and am now ready to have another W124! I found a '94 E320 that is very promising; it has been owned by an enthusiast and has lots of records...but it has 250k miles. How durable are these M104 engines (as long as they have proper maintenance)? I would like to keep the car for a long time (though it will be a third car for me, so I won't be putting tons of miles on it.) Let me know your thoughts on high-mileage gas engines. Thanks!
 

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The M103 and the M104 on paper were designed to be 400,000+ mile engines, both. But that's with fastidious maintenance as prescribed by the Germans and one owner. Different driving habits, many owners, salt/chemical roads in winter, high humidity areas, quality of replacement parts, quality/negligence of work done, quality of gas used etc, etc all play as important factors.

From what I've seen personally, the cars need a lot of attention around the 220,000 mile mark. After that if everything is sorted, you can go quite awhile with just routine maintenance. But to get to the magic 400,000 mile mark and have something more than a beater, requires some dedication and focus......'focus' in this usage equaling money.

It's not a car that's gonna survive well from multiple trips to an auto box store for parts.

Kevin
 

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Wiper blades are even questionable, at least for the front mono wiper. The best wiper I've ever used was OE which are now very reasonable....probably because they're third-world made, but they work great. The back...I've had luck there with box store wipers mainly because the glass is flat.....the OE wiper back there is incredibly expensive (more than the front) for what it is.

Kevin
 

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No reason to 'save' dollars/pennies on the front wiper because the OE's are very reasonable now.

When my car was new, just to buy the front wiper was $49 for the blade replacement, not the frame. And that's early 90's money. The service manager told my wife that I would never figure how to put it on correctly....idiot.

Kevin
 

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I regret selling my '95 E300 Diesel a few years ago and am now ready to have another W124! I found a '94 E320 that is very promising; it has been owned by an enthusiast and has lots of records...but it has 250k miles. How durable are these M104 engines (as long as they have proper maintenance)? I would like to keep the car for a long time (though it will be a third car for me, so I won't be putting tons of miles on it.) Let me know your thoughts on high-mileage gas engines. Thanks!
I had a 1993 which I got at 33000 km. Had to have the transmission replaced under warranty. The engine went 300000 km as a daily driver. Major expense? New wiring loom in the engine as all the insulation was brittle and cracked and I had to put new sprockets, chain and tensioner on the valve train. Seems if you hit the go pedal hard consistently it tends to hammer the sproket teeth out of their regular shape to finer peaks. This behaviour also leads it right side accelerated tire wear I was told.
In my mind the keys to a W124 is start with a clean rust free car, maintain it per the service manual with OEM parts and wash the hell out of the chassis as best you can every time you wash it, especially in the winter. If you have to use a car wash in the winter use one with an under car wash and even then every 4-6 weeks if you live where they use salt on the road find a coin operated car wash and do as much as you can to wash the wheel wells and chassis.
For my money, the 1993 which was my second Benz out of 12 it was the best all round car.
 

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I currently drive a 1994 C280 with 417,000 km on it. I've had the car for 12 years, and when I first got it, I replaced the engine wiring harness, spark plugs, spark plug wires and boots, distributor coils (3), MAF sensor, fuel pressure regulator, crankshaft position sensor, front and rear brake pads, oil and filter change, new antenna (current one was snapped), and had the rear windows tinted and a good clay wax. During the years, I've had to replace the usual spark plugs, brake pads, oil filters, cabin filters, engine air filters...usual stuff. Only used synthetic oil. The big stuff were just the battery, water pump, and alternator. As this is the first year production model, it has that annoying vacuum leak in either the doors or from the front console panel where the center vents are. This caused my vacuum pump to burn out. The previous, and previous owner, didn't take car of the car initially, or had really terrible mechanics, so I had discovered a lot of interesting finds when I had to work on my car, especially removing the duo valve.

The car looks and feels great! Still running strong, even though it's 25 years old. It's true, the M104 motor is bulletproof! A very solid engine. But, like all mechanical things, it requires care and maintenance in order for it to last a very long time. Just recently purchased a 1990 300TE 4Matic, for my winter drives to work. This one is going to need some work as well. :)
 

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not sure what you mean by first year? the M104 2.8 and 3.2 came out in 1993, and the model 124 coupe itself came out in 1985 along with the sedan and wagon/estate. 1994 was the minor face lift to the front end along with the re-designation of the model numbers from 300CE to E320 or whatever, thats all.

unless, oh wait, you have a W202 ? in which case, this is the wrong section of the forum
 

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The M104 started life in 1990 in the 300E-24 and its coupé and then convertible guises. Mine's a 1991 CE. And yes, aside from head gasket issues, it's pretty bulletproof. Mine was overhauled at 420k kms after its second head gasket failure. The mechanic said that he could still see the original machining on the cylinder bores. So, look after it with regular, good quality oil changes.

Mine's always had a diet of fully synthetic 5W40 and will continue to do so.

RayH
 

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not sure what you mean by first year? the M104 2.8 and 3.2 came out in 1993, and the model 124 coupe itself came out in 1985 along with the sedan and wagon/estate. 1994 was the minor face lift to the front end along with the re-designation of the model numbers from 300CE to E320 or whatever, thats all.

unless, oh wait, you have a W202 ? in which case, this is the wrong section of the forum
Sorry, I should have been more specific when I mentioned first year. Actually what I meant to say was that the 1994 C280 was the first year production model of the C class W202.
Ah, yes, I am in the wrong section of the forum, but I just wanted to add my 5 cents about the M104 motor. :)
 

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Just recently purchased a 1990 300TE 4Matic, for my winter drives to work. This one is going to need some work as well.

Oh yeah you will....lol. But once sorted, from probably foolish PO's, it will be a blessing in the snow/ice. There are a few of us left that love the 4Matics, so if you have any questions.....

As far as the machining marks go....we had a member in here awhile back that rebuilt a motor.....don't remember if it was a M103 or a M104. Anyway, yes, it had the original factory honing marks but it also had cylinders out of round. He did a lot of work on that motor and it's a good read for the rest of us that think the lower end is usually untouchable.


Kevin
 
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