W201 2.6 Buying Tips

1982-1993 :180E, 190E, 190E 2.3, 190E 2.6, 190D 2.2, 190D 2.5, 190D 2.5 T
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Model you own: w123
Location: Newcastle

W201 2.6 Buying Tips

Post by JGP » Mon 09 May, 2016 9:41 am

Hey guys,

I currently own a W201 180E and have really fallen in love with the 201! Such a great car to drive (but oh so underpowered in the 180E!). So I'm thinking about going on the search for a 190E 2.6. I'm pretty down with the general stuff to look out for on the 201's...

But my question to the brains-trust is: What is there to look out for specifically on the 2.6's?

I recall someone mentioning that Mercedes put a stop to the annoying second gear start thing at some point during the 201 production... anyone know when that came to an end? Also on that note, is the second gear start auto a big issue with the 2.6? I mean it's pretty annoying in the 180E cause it's so underpowered anyway, then add the A/C and it's dangerously slow when pulling into roundabouts etc! Wondered if the 2.6 had enough torque that starting in second isn't an issue.

Cheers! :occasion5:
1984 W123 230E // Auto, Silver, Blue MB-Tex Interior, 204000km (Weekend cruiser)
1992 W201 180E // Auto, White, Black Leather Interior, 168000km (Needs to be sold... apparently)
2015 Honda Jazz // Auto, Metallic Grey, 32000km (Work car)

1977 W116 350SE // Auto, Brown, Beige Velour, 176000km (Sold to dad, who now drives it to golf a couple of times a week)
1994 W124 E280 // Auto, Blue, Grey MB-Tex Interior, 118000km (Written off and sold for parts)
1985 W123 230E // Auto, White, Blue MB-Tex Interior, 395000km (Sold for parts)

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Joined: Sat 12 May, 2007 2:21 pm
Model you own: w204
Location: Melbourne

Re: W201 2.6 Buying Tips

Post by Ivanerrol » Mon 09 May, 2016 10:56 am

No W201 has first gear start.

722.4's with first gear start were introduced for the W202 and 1993 W124 update. The speedo in these later cars is electric and the feed for it provided by a sensor in the diff.

Look through the W124 sections regarding the foibles of the M103 engine.
Usual stuff :
Water Pump,
Valve guides and seals
oil leaks
head gaskets
KE injections system
electrical - plugs, wires, distributor cap.

W201 - 2.6 cars are very desirable and the chances of finding a good one without spending your purchase price again on getting the car right are probably tenuous.

If you are looking for small car zip......IMHO go for a later W202 C240.
W211 - E240
W204 - C280
W202 - C200, C180, C180
W126 - 380SE , 380SE (Ex SA Import), 560SEL
W124 - 300e, 260e (ex Japan)
W111 220s (Indonesia) 4 speed manual column shift
W123 230
W116 450SEL
W140 420SEL
W210 E240, E240
W209 CLK 240
W201 190e 2.6 (ex U.K.)

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Model you own: w124
Region: Tasmania
Location: Melb

Re: W201 2.6 Buying Tips

Post by datzed » Mon 09 May, 2016 11:53 am

I think your issue will most likely be finding a W201 2.6 in decent general condition to begin with. \ I regularly look and hardly find any worth inspecting. I settled on a 2.0 4cyl about a year ago because of this (with no regrets).

A 2.6 Sportline was for sale about 6 months ago (for $14k) and didn't last long.

Anyway, good luck!

Posts: 227
Joined: Mon 29 Sep, 2008 12:17 pm
Model you own: w124
Region: Tasmania
Location: Boronia VIC 3155

Re: W201 2.6 Buying Tips

Post by gjlockyer » Wed 18 May, 2016 8:36 pm

Been pretty flat out recently and not visited the Forum for a bit. I've recently swapped from a2.0 litre 190E to a 1990 300E 2.6. I've read advice about avoiding the 2.6 in the W124 in favour of the 3 Litre engine. My experience is that the 2.6 has plenty of power on tap and I imagine that would be more so for that engine in a W201. The 2nd gear start with this motor in the bigger bodied W124 is not the pain that it was in my 190E - to the point that my wife refused to drive it and seemed unable (and definitely unwilling!) to cope with selecting a first gear start manually or via kick down.

At the moment there are 5 or 6 2.6 W201's on Carsales, a couple may be worth a look, but none jump out at you. The guy wanting $15,000 for a 1987 model has been there for close on 6 months; he refuses to lower his price. Stubborn. And he doesn't seem to get it that no one really wants a modified car - wheels, bonnet and grill. Low k's, yes, but even without the modifications, and if in good condition, he'd be lucky to get half what he wants. A few months back there were two good examples, 1989 and 1990 models, from a Sydney dealer, both for around $6000. If you are prepared to wait, another one will turn up.
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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Posts: 31
Joined: Fri 26 May, 2017 10:40 pm
Model you own: w201
Location: Clayton, Melbourne, VICTORIA

Re: W201 2.6 Buying Tips

Post by APJAPJ » Sun 09 Jul, 2017 3:45 pm

If anyone is interested in a 190e 2.6 get in touch with me... I have a nice one - japanese import... It was on carsales for a while and no one bit at it ... mainly because the price was high and i wasnt that eager to sell it.

I kept getting people offering me cash without seeing it... and people who didnt realise it actually is a very rare car.

I am willing to sell it to someone who really wants a 2.6 and understands that it is better than the 4 cylinder and deserves to be treated well and hopefully improved.

I am not expecting a huge price, but I have spent about 9000 in servicing and pro-active maintenance over the last 5 years / 20k kms in that time...
w201 D2.5 315k, E2.6 205k
W124 300ce 185k
W124 300D 325k
w126 560sec 200k
w108 3.5 170k miles
r107 350SL

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