Most loved motor?

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oldmercfan
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Most loved motor?

Post by oldmercfan » Sat 25 Nov, 2017 1:26 am

I have been a passionate W114 fan for a long time, but am thinking about broadening my horizons. For me, the most special part of an Benz is the motor. My first W114 was a 250 with dual carbs. Absolutely silky smooth, but lacked punch. My current W114 is a 280E with a D-jet M110. I like this motor even more, but I think the automatic trans lets its down. You really have it to stir it with the stick to get it to rev and let the motor do what Benz clearly intended. Beyond these motors, my knowledge of the Benz engine universe is very limited, and I would love your views about the best motor in any Benz up to the end of 1980s (especially the six cylinders). I am thinking about a W126 for the sheer comfort, but there are so many motors to choose from. Thanks in anticipation.
1972 W114 280E (Tiefblau)

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cuisses
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Re: Most loved motor?

Post by cuisses » Sat 25 Nov, 2017 1:13 pm

I drove a W114 280E (auto) with D-Jet a few days ago. As I am the concessional rego guy for the local club I sometimes drive the cars when they come around for inspection (perhaps the only perk of the job). The car had been owned since 1974 (owner had purchased it new). This model is not particularly collectable, but I was amazed at how nice it was to drive. Very smooth, good pickup, great handling. Just a joy to be in. I agree it would be better with a manual box, but you cannot have it all.
David Williams

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TheMadRacoon
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Re: Most loved motor?

Post by TheMadRacoon » Sat 25 Nov, 2017 5:04 pm

I had a W114 280E. Great car.

I've considered this question myself long and hard and distilled my thoughts.

Sounds like ooomph is important to you. Since you're considering a W126 then that makes the recommendation simpler: a 420SE or 420SEL.

There are a couple of things to be mindful of: timing chain and guides, and EZL. Both things that have a few threads on them on the forum.

But assuming all options in the same condition and a satisfactory PPI, the 420SE/L tick so many boxes:

* power
* smoothness
* quietness
* comfort
* relatively good economy (considering everything)
* build quality
* space
* class & style
* safety

Others could advise on a 380SE/L as it is down a little on torque and may be a tiny bit thirstier, but as a pre-86 car it won't have an EZL to go wrong. Has the earlier interior but so do pre update 420s.

If power is what you want, you'll be disappointed in a W123 280E or W126 280SE (perhaps) and they use alot of fuel.

The other options are 300E or the same engine in a W126 as a 300SE/L which would be slower. I've been in the latter and as a passenger was satisfied, but never a 300E but that was considered a hot performer. I'm personally wary of the M103 engine because of head gaskets prone to failure but if looked after and you watch temp gauge so you don't do any damage the cost over time may not be different to doing the chain guides on the M117 [edit: that should be M116!] engined 420SE/L.

That's my 2cents. Happy hunting.
Last edited by TheMadRacoon on Mon 27 Nov, 2017 9:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Emad,
TheMadRacoon
1975 350SLC Astral Silver (725) / Blue (2012, 284,900 km - present.... a real Benz, getting better and better)
1988 190E Deep Blue (900) / Cream (2006, 190,000 km - 2007, ~ 215,000 km .... FSH and still spent big $$$)
1974 280E Reed Green (860) / Bone (1993, 316,700 km - 2004, ~490,000 km and still A1)

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TheMadRacoon
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Re: Most loved motor?

Post by TheMadRacoon » Sat 25 Nov, 2017 5:11 pm

TheMadRacoon wrote:
Sat 25 Nov, 2017 5:04 pm


The other options are 300E or the same engine in a W126 as a 300SE/L which would be slower. I've been in the latter and as a passenger was satisfied, but never a 300E but that was considered a hot performer. I'm personally wary of the M103 engine because of head gaskets prone to failure but if looked after and you watch temp gauge so you don't do any damage the cost over time may not be different to doing the chain guides on the M117 engined 420SE/L.

That's my 2cents. Happy hunting.
Haha... a timely post on this subject:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=24529
Emad,
TheMadRacoon
1975 350SLC Astral Silver (725) / Blue (2012, 284,900 km - present.... a real Benz, getting better and better)
1988 190E Deep Blue (900) / Cream (2006, 190,000 km - 2007, ~ 215,000 km .... FSH and still spent big $$$)
1974 280E Reed Green (860) / Bone (1993, 316,700 km - 2004, ~490,000 km and still A1)

aleks001
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Re: Most loved motor?

Post by aleks001 » Sun 26 Nov, 2017 12:08 am

Anything with a m120 if you have the balls and budget :D

oldmercfan
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Re: Most loved motor?

Post by oldmercfan » Sun 26 Nov, 2017 12:54 am

Thanks, all. It is fascinating to read your opinions. Sounds like a 300E is the spiritual successor to my W114 280E. I need to get behind the wheel of one, and a 420 SE, I think. Rgds, David
1972 W114 280E (Tiefblau)

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Re: Most loved motor?

Post by 300TDT » Sun 26 Nov, 2017 1:52 pm

OM617.95x
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power, reliability, economy (latest inner-city Sydney fill 60L for 640km @ $1.19L)
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Re: Most loved motor?

Post by AMG » Mon 27 Nov, 2017 5:10 pm

Tough call this.

I'd say the most "populated" engines would be either the m110 2.8, the OM617 or the M102/M103 globally.

Secondary to that, I'd probably guess the m117 in iron-block 4.5L guise in the USA and the alloy block 5.0 in europe.

In australia, it'd probably be something like M103, M110/m102, m117 in that order - but I doubt it'd be a real dealbreaker over which you prefer unless you were chasing parts..... in which case I'd jump for an m103 before any of the others.

The m103 is just about unbrakeable. it's smooth. like a sewing machine. I think the 2.6 is particularly smooth, but lacking torque - similar to the m110. the 3.0 on the other hand has the necessary torque, but still to me feels a little gutless (but that is because I like v8 torque)

One of the things I love about the m103 is the simplicity. SOHC, nothing particularly nasty in terms of inherent design flaws - easy to service and the maintenance items are not complicated, nor prohibitively expensive to replace - distributors, leads, water pumps - and that's not overly silly money, considering the lifespan of the service items if regular routine maintenance schedules are adhered to. Even a fuel divider overhaul is not going to break the bank, and the resultingimprovement makes the engine preform as good as it did day 1 - if it's done properly and the other ancillary parts are within spec.

Here's a laugh...

Fuel economy. Real world fuel economy.

Using my 201029 as an example, combined cycle (city/hwy) if I drove it, would get between 11.5-13L/100km with me not 'pretending' to drive it. i.e. drive it as you like. And I like to drive cars, not pretend they should run on vapour.
When my other half drives the car - same commute, same roads - she gets 9.5/100km routinely for months on end.

Compare this to the 124 coupe - when I drive it's 14. since the manual swap it's closer to 15. When my other half drives it, it's 12-13/100.

the V8? let's not go there. suffice to say it's about 18 on the highway and about 21-22 around town in Stella. The POS 3.9 rover v8 in the RRC is about 27 around town and 23 on the highway. If I tow, it's 30 minimum.

Now compare this to a modern turbocharged 2.0 efi 'sporty' car - our renaultsport megane 808 - My figures 13.5/100 her's 8/100. Because I drive it with 'extreme' ecu mapping and ESC off, whereas she drives it with commuter throttle mapping and a light foot.
But here is the bad news. If I drive that car interstate, and put it on cruise, which negates the ability to use extreme throttle mapping and keeps the ESC on, then the 'sport' mode will get me 6.5/100. on the normal eco mode on the last trip it returned me 5.6L/100km from Brisbane to Armidale.
That's a bitter pill to swallow - when a little 2.0 turbo 4 banger can halve the fuel consumption with the same driving style.
But it doesn't tell you about the other things - like ride quality, comfort, tiredness / energy and concentration required. Sometimes, I feel that is worth 6L/100km to me. After a 14hour 1500km trip, there are some things you wish you could change.

The m103 is a great little motor.
Problem is, most m103 engines I see are neglected. Mostly this is because theyre so damn reliable, noone does anything with them until it's well-past it's service date.

The m116 & m117 v8's are by definition a little more expensive. They have some design flaws - particularly on the later KE models - with the air shrouds on the injectors, and all of the v8's suffer from the timing chain guides going brittle, which means regular routine replacememt every 80-100K and inspections at every service interval, just to be sure... however some of us have gone to an aftermarket specialist part (thread elsewhere on the forum) and this negates the need to replace the upper guides. Nonetheless, sprockets and chain should be a 100K routine wind-in affair if you want to stop top-end damage potential.

All the engines suffer from valve stem oil seal wear and guide wear on higher mileage engines, and these should be replaced earlier, rather than later, to ensure the combustibles dont end up on the valve shoulder and stem.

D vs K vs KE is a debate that will perpetuate. Most feel that straight K is the best compromise, but D is more performance oriented (and more expensive parts), while KE is a troubleshooting nightmare for most - even though it is not as complex as most make out, the potential for incorrect diagnosis simply is a function of the sum of the systems components and the intelligence factor of the mechanic subtracted by the years of experience divided by the cost of replacement parts squared.

David used to have an equation for this - from an intellectual perspective, I think it resides somewhere between Newtons 3rd law and understanding 4th dimensional time-space continuum.

The M103 3.0 would have to be the best of both worlds for me. While I have an m104.980 in the 124 coupe an m102.983 in the 16v and an m117.968 in the SL currently, I can say unequivocally that the m103.942 in the 201.029 I had was the cheapest to own, the easiest to maintain and almost as smooth as the m104, it just didn't have the power or torque of the dohc motor.

I reckon theyre totally underrated as an engine and would have to be pretty darn close to MB's finest hour in production engine engineering.

Long life, low maintenance, low cost of operation, easy to operate and service. It really doesn't get much better, especially when you get to know and understand the engines themselves and their little idiosyncrasies, the m103 really is a little gem.
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Vogue SE 4sp auto Ardenne Green "Oswald"
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.

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TheMadRacoon
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Re: Most loved motor?

Post by TheMadRacoon » Mon 27 Nov, 2017 10:01 pm

I've gathered from other threads that the M103 in 2.6L guise, as a 260E, is best avoided more so because it shares its transmission with the 230E rather than that of the 300E and the extra torque reduces transmission life. Perhaps it might be dependent on how the cars are driven?

Good to hear real life experiences with the M103 though. As a 3L in road tests it was such a huge jump in term of economy and useable power compared to the M110. Even in the W126 it was reported to always be willing and smooth and carried the weight well (a low diff ratio helped iirc?)
Emad,
TheMadRacoon
1975 350SLC Astral Silver (725) / Blue (2012, 284,900 km - present.... a real Benz, getting better and better)
1988 190E Deep Blue (900) / Cream (2006, 190,000 km - 2007, ~ 215,000 km .... FSH and still spent big $$$)
1974 280E Reed Green (860) / Bone (1993, 316,700 km - 2004, ~490,000 km and still A1)

oldmercfan
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Re: Most loved motor?

Post by oldmercfan » Tue 28 Nov, 2017 1:11 am

Thanks, AMG. That settles it for me. The M103 it will be for my next Benz. All your comments are very interesting, particularly about the M110. It's like living with Jekyll and Hyde, I reckon. Plods along if you don't know how to drive it, and getting the best out of it seems like too much effort some times. Rgds, David
1972 W114 280E (Tiefblau)

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Re: Most loved motor?

Post by AMG » Tue 28 Nov, 2017 9:32 am

TheMadRacoon wrote:
Mon 27 Nov, 2017 10:01 pm
I've gathered from other threads that the M103 in 2.6L guise, as a 260E, is best avoided more so because it shares its transmission with the 230E rather than that of the 300E and the extra torque reduces transmission life. Perhaps it might be dependent on how the cars are driven?

Good to hear real life experiences with the M103 though. As a 3L in road tests it was such a huge jump in term of economy and useable power compared to the M110. Even in the W126 it was reported to always be willing and smooth and carried the weight well (a low diff ratio helped iirc?)
Transmissions are always a debateable affair. the 722.4 is fine behind a 2.6L m103. Abuse and negleting service intervals are what kill MB transmissions - unless you have had the unfortunate (dis)pleasure of owning a 722.5-equipped m104-powered vehicle.

Stuff has to be put in context - the 2.6 is a small displacement high-revving engine. more like a 4cyl than a 'big six' as australians are historically used to.

decades of holden grey,red, blue and black inline 6's and ford 2&4v inline 6s with ever-increasing displacements put a small-displacement euro engine at a noticeable disadvantage when it comes to bottom-end torque numbers.

but how that power is transferred is a completely different ballgame. the 722.4 is remarkably efficient. and robust in a 124 or 201. only neglect and abuse kill MB transmissions. the 722.3 is the same - they suffer badly from decades of neglect and abuse.

How many people do trans fluid and filters every 12 months or 20,000km? Do people remember these older cars need more frequent maintenance these days?

the interval on the trans used to be 30,000 if i recall. Somewhere along the line it changed to 60,000 then to "sealed for life" haha we all know what a joke that is.

fluids have come a long way since the 722.4, and their lubrication properties have also changed. an older 722 transmission used Dexron II-D which was a mineral/animal based oil (whale oil) fluid with friction modifiers and stabilizing agents etc. Now Dex 3 is the mainstay replacement. It has slightly different friction modifiers and is a little slippery compared to II-D. Which is another story entirely.

But all this is getting right off topic. it's not a transmission problem, it's a maintenance problem.

the 3.0 M103 is a good thing. and in the w124, it's about the most reliable plastic-bumpered Mercedes ever built.
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Vogue SE 4sp auto Ardenne Green "Oswald"
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.

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TheMadRacoon
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Re: Most loved motor?

Post by TheMadRacoon » Tue 28 Nov, 2017 9:13 pm

Thank you AMG for logical points raised.

Now I'm worrying about my 2 yr transmission service intervals regardless of km....but I don't abuse my ('74) car so maybe ok? For another thread, perhaps.
Emad,
TheMadRacoon
1975 350SLC Astral Silver (725) / Blue (2012, 284,900 km - present.... a real Benz, getting better and better)
1988 190E Deep Blue (900) / Cream (2006, 190,000 km - 2007, ~ 215,000 km .... FSH and still spent big $$$)
1974 280E Reed Green (860) / Bone (1993, 316,700 km - 2004, ~490,000 km and still A1)

gjlockyer
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Re: Most loved motor?

Post by gjlockyer » Mon 04 Dec, 2017 7:37 pm

I've had three 2.6 litre W124 cars and lost two after being rear-ended. I didn't set out to buy a 2.6 engined car and would have enjoyed owning a 3 litre example, but each time I have been in the market, the 2.6ers were the best W124s available - the most recent being a one-owner 91 300E 2.6 with only 152,000 ks on it for $6700. With smoke silver paint and cream interior it is a beautiful car. The last two cars had some basic maintenance neglect so I have got to know the engines a little as I've done coolant flushes, swapped thermostats, spark plugs, leads, tensioners, pulleys, belts, Radiator expansion tanks, auxiliary elec. water pumps rubber hoses - water,vacuum and breather - water pumps and Distributor caps, rotors and Suppressor plates. The M103 Motors seem pretty easy to work on, although the one bolt I have taken an intense dislike to is the bottom of the three Distributor cap bolts!
I usually travel alone, but have my wife with me occasionally. I wouldn't call the acceleration sparkling, but I have no real complaints - either around town or on the open road and the 1991 car has a modified kick down arrangement that is far superior to the earlier cars. I've never had a problem with any of the transmissions that some simple adjustment procedures haven't fixed.
I'm sure that I would like even more a car with a 3 lire motor, but I do have a laugh when I read warnings about buying W124 with the 2.6 motor. Ignore the advice. If you can get a good condition 300E, do so. But if you find a W124 2.6 in good condition and at the right price, then don't hesitate! At the age these cars are now, in my opinion, good condition is paramount and engine size is secondary.
Last edited by gjlockyer on Wed 20 Dec, 2017 10:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
Gary
1955 220a (1972-80) 1961 220SEb (1980-95)
1988 190E (2008-10/14) 1988 260E (11/2014-07/15)
1990 300E 2.6 (08/2015-07/17) Current car: 1991 300E 2.6

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TheMadRacoon
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Re: Most loved motor?

Post by TheMadRacoon » Mon 18 Dec, 2017 10:16 pm

AMG wrote:
Mon 27 Nov, 2017 5:10 pm


the V8? let's not go there. suffice to say it's about 18 on the highway and about 21-22 around town in Stella. The POS 3.9 rover v8 in the RRC is about 27 around town and 23 on the highway. If I tow, it's 30 minimum.

Sorry, off topic but may be interesting to some (really belongs elsewhere)....

Found my teenage stash of Wheels Magazine from '80s. Dec '85 issue had an article about Range Rover with Brock Group III V8 and Feguson Formula viscous coupled centre diff as well as LSD at the rear, and some suspension mods.

17 l/100km and 0-100 km/hr in 10.3 sec.

Company was called Quadramotive. Concept by Schuler UK. Sold through ULR in Melbourne... at time of writing had sold about 100 suspension/transmission equipped RRs and 9 (of a batch of 25) leaded Brock V8 models.

Wonder if they crop up from time to time? Sound nice.
Emad,
TheMadRacoon
1975 350SLC Astral Silver (725) / Blue (2012, 284,900 km - present.... a real Benz, getting better and better)
1988 190E Deep Blue (900) / Cream (2006, 190,000 km - 2007, ~ 215,000 km .... FSH and still spent big $$$)
1974 280E Reed Green (860) / Bone (1993, 316,700 km - 2004, ~490,000 km and still A1)

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Mercmad
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Re: Most loved motor?

Post by Mercmad » Tue 19 Dec, 2017 3:09 pm

Quite a few shulers about and once in a while one pops up but there were also a lot of conversions done. I had one here recently for a few months as a favour for someone. The clutch was stuck so i placed one wheel against a giant rock and tried to loosen the clutch by pushing against it. it simply climbed over the rock....They fetch insane money because the poms pay idiotic sums for the early two door range rovers.

Back to the topic
my favourite Engine is the M100 . Mercedes hasn't built an engine like this since. :love4:
my least favorite is anything with OBDII :cussing: :laughing6:

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