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8959 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  onetwofour
:?: I am currently driving a 280e(1981) which has travelled about 250000km. I am thinking of upgrading to the 300e model. I have asked my mechanic (merc specialist) ABOUT THE PROS AND CONS of the two types of engines. He advised me that I should stay away from the 24 valve engine and that the 12 valve engine was magnificent but he gave me no further details. Could anybody help with either some websites that have further information or any personal experiences?

Thankyou in anticipation
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Hi Walter,
Welcome to Benzforum. I'm not sure all the issues your mechanic has with the 24 valve, but it would be interesting to know. I think both engine are very well built on the bottom end. The 300e-12 valve(103 engine) has been known to have problems with the valve seals, and these can be replaced without removing the head. The 300e-24 valve(104 engine) has been known to have some issues with the head gasket, and rough idle. The 104 engine has an extra 40 horsepower under the hood. Watch both engines for oil leaks around the timing chain cover. These are some of the issues we face in the U.S. and I'm not sure if they will be the same for you in Australia or not. Again, welcome to the forum, we look forward to your input.

300E 12 valve engine


My 86 300E developed the valve guide and seal endemic problem at 84,000 KMS -- in 1991!! Was using a quart of oil at about 1500 KMS. MB replaced them at no charge noting that there was a "recall on that engine" and I should have had them replaced under warrantee. I too replaced the cam seal and valve cover seal but otherwise the engine is rock solid at 122,000 KMS.

Al :lol:
I have a 89 300TE and a 94 E280....The 300 has nearly 350,000kms and it still goes well. The 300 is far smoother and it doesnt sound as harsh as the E280. The E280 is much quicker though, utilising 1st gear starts and more usable power in lower in the rev band... They are both excellent engines in their own respects. The 24v have more power but you dont floor your car every day do u? A 300E is still quite punchy


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