Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
280Sw116/380SELw126
Joined
·
346 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The 2.8 inline 6 is one of the most durable non-diesel engines mb ever built, but I just want to know when the 2nd gen w126 300 series replaced the 1st gen w126 280 series in 1985, did the 3.0 inline 6 truly supersede the 2.8 inline 6 in terms of build quality?
 

·
Registered
Perlmuttgrau 300SEL
Joined
·
1,006 Posts
I have.
However i have never popped the heads on either, so I couldnt really tell you the diff.

As far as service/lifespan/driveability


"Its almost identical"


I think the m103 was just a common step in mass produced engine manufacturing; 'theres no replacement for displacement'.

Enjoy your 2.8.....its the same.
 

·
Registered
1991 300 SE
Joined
·
18,534 Posts
The M102 (2.3 L) and M103 (2.6 and 3.0 L) engines had a Cosworth style head where the camshaft and the head were integrated – there are no cam towers. The M110 was certainly a robust and successful design but perhaps the DOHC configuration was to busy and more complicated to manufacture than the new engine. The 8 and 12 valve engines were also as robust, produced almost as much hp but may have been less expense to make and maintain. It’s also interesting to note that the M102/103s came out in 1984, the same year Bosch’s KE Jetronic fueling system (CIS –E in Mercedes-speak); perhaps DB felt the M110’s older design may not be able to take advantage of the newer electronic hybrid – or that the new fueling system would compensate for any loss in performance brought about by the single cam design.

My guess is that DB was looking for a cleaner, more simple, durable engine to use in a wide range of new models, found in the w201, the new w124 and of course the w126.
 

·
Registered
-85 380 SEL
Joined
·
56 Posts
I agree that the DOHC was a bit too expensive to produce - and also to maintain. But in my opinion the DOHC is a more optimalized design, and better than a single cam. Historically the twincam engines also are more interesting than the single cams. Again my personal opinion...
Earlier this year I did a complete top-end overhaul on my 280SE, and it is truly a quite work-intensive engine, with its separate cam-housing, two cams aso.
But when finished I found a 280 twincam in top condition, and it sounds and acts like a lion
[:)]

----------------
380SEL 1985
280SE 1982
F-100 pick-up 1973
T-bird convertible 1965
 

·
Registered
W140 '93 500 SEL
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
I had both and needless to say the 280se was far more relaible car but it produced less power and was a whole lot nosier than the 300 se. Fuel economy of the 280 was about 5-10 % poor I prefer my 300 se. Given that i drive about 200 km per day, there seems to be more logic in getting the 300 se savings in fuel bills alone would be rather substantial.
 

·
Registered
1991 300 SE
Joined
·
18,534 Posts
Don’t know. Just the V8s and 5 cylinder diesel to 85 – maybe that’s how DB saw the US market back then: V8s offset by the more economical diesel. We got the w116 280 SE in the US, go figure…
 

·
Registered
280Sw116/380SELw126
Joined
·
346 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Yeah the w116 280 SE is a great car too, it has the exact same sterling service inline 6 engine of the w126 280 SE. Man, you know that the M110 is a good engine when DB left it unchanged from 1972-1985.
 

·
Registered
A bunch o of 'em - see signautre
Joined
·
224 Posts
Four Door -

If you are actually interested in a 280SEL, I know of one (an '84) in Dallas that might still be sitting & waiting to sell - seems gray market scares people off.

Mine (an '84 also & replete with european velour interior) is a true cruiser - it glides along at 85 as if you were doing 55.

However, should you need it, the euro spec M110 will pin your ears back as well.

I have days when choosing between it and my 84 500SL (also a euro) for a country cruise is not an easy decision...

Kevin
 

·
Registered
280Sw116/380SELw126
Joined
·
346 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Pin the ears back? heh heh I test drove a 280 SE and it made my U.S. spec V8 380 SEL feel like a golf cart. The 280 SE is rare enough here in the U.S., but the 280 SEL is the most rare first generation w126 to find here since only a mere 20,655 were made for europe alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I think the main difference is in noise refinement and economy. A healthy euro M110 pulls as strong as a 103 but maybe not quite as much torque low down, seems to pull harder and harder as the revs build all the way to the red. Very strong motor with only a couple of vices, valve stem seals were weak and rarely it could shear the oil pump drive. Imagine how fast a W114 was in 1971 with 185 horses and a 4 speed auto. Here in the UK these cars probably started the shift from Jag owning to Mercedes. I wonder why...ha..ha
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
719 Posts
The difference I notice between a 300SE and the '85 Euro 280SEL I drove briefly(15K miles) is the power application. It seems the M110 has no power off the line at all. But once she get on it at 5K + rpms, watch out. The 300SE is less potent at higher engine speeds.

I haven't driven other 280's, but that's what I notice. That thing at 5800 - 6300 rpm had such power it was unreal. It felt like an M104.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top