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Discussion Starter #1
I have some questions about a M103 3.0L engine. I asked these questions on 190REV but I think I would get a better response where the engine is used!

I am looking for a 3.0 to put into my 190e 2.6 5 speed. During my search I have found out the the 1989 and older M103 had rocker and cam issues. Any one know an exact time the cam/rocker parts were updated? Was it the 89 model year?, 90 model year? or somewhere in between?

I've noticed there are multiple different engine numbers for the 3.0. What are the differences?
the 300E comes with 103.980
the 300CE has 103.983
300SE and SEL uses the 103.981
300SL came with 103.984
300E 4 Matic and 300TE 4 matic with 103.985


I understand the 103.985 has a different oil pan and does not have a dipstick in the block. I can't seem to find any other differences in these engines.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks
Craig
 

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Hi Craig,

Rocker and Cam issues ? The M103 was for the most part a reliable workhorse with very few nasty surprises. If it was serviced regularly and well looked after then they keep on ticking. However if you are unlucky enough to strike a CAM/ROCKER problem you can generally pickup the 2 together for a bolt on fix without it costing an arm and a leg.

Early M103's (up to 1988) had a CAM issue, and I found these part number references from forum member PS2CHO.
Early rockers that need to be replaced 103 050 02 33
Updated rockers 103 050 10 33

Early cam that needs to be replaced 103 050 51 01 or 103 050 52 01
Updated cam 103 050 64 01

Obviously it's not going to be easy to verify what is fitted without ripping the head off so you would probably be better aiming for an engine from a later model 300E - up to 1993 I believe they still had the M103 variant engine ?)
 

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I believe late 88 was the first changes, so mainly 89 onwards use the updated chilled cam and rocker arms. Verify it via VIN# + EPC, or pull the valve cover and look.

I'm not aware of any M103 that does not have a dipstick :confused:

EDIT: beat me to it^
 

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I believe late 88 was the first changes, so mainly 89 onwards use the updated chilled cam and rocker arms. Verify it via VIN# + EPC, or pull the valve cover and look.

I'm not aware of any M103 that does not have a dipstick :confused:

EDIT: beat me to it^
Quick and the Dead PS2CHO !
Still gave you a rap my friend - found lot's of useful posts of yours !

From Wikepdia, the free encyclopedia
PS2CHO
A regular suppository...wooops... repository of W124 information !
Damn....have to fix that wikipedia entry ! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for the replies


I believe late 88 was the first changes, so mainly 89 onwards use the updated chilled cam and rocker arms. Verify it via VIN# + EPC, or pull the valve cover and look.

I'm not aware of any M103 that does not have a dipstick :confused:

EDIT: beat me to it^
I was under the impression that on the 4 matics the dipstick went directly into the oil pan and on others it went thru the block into the oil.

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Anyone know the differences in the different engines?
the 300E comes with 103.980
the 300CE has 103.983
300SE and SEL uses the 103.981
300SL came with 103.984
300E 4 Matic and 300TE 4 matic with 103.985

Are all the engines interchangeable?(minus oil pan)
 

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I believe so for MOST parts that they M103 is interchangeable.
They are straight 6, 3 litre 12 Valve engines using the same basic design.

You may need to wtch out as the ECU/fuel system may differ between models.

I think the main difference was a gain in HP and TORQUE and probably some minor refinements. Essentially the same engine though.
 

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The only difference would be slight changes -- the most being the change in cams + rockers and depending on state, it had emissions changes (smog pump, LED pinout/LED push button unit). Engine-only, the M103's are very close. M104 went through much more changes.
 
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