Last post on Nov 10, 2009 at 6:48 PM
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Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Car Safety, Sedan
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#6703 of 7297 Head Gaskets and the "Evo" Engine...
Nov 28, 2003 (3:58 pm)
Head gasket problems with MB inline engines are common on the M104 engine in 2.8 and 3.2L forms.
This includes the W124 1993 300E with the DOHC 3.2L engine, the W124 1994-1995 E320, the W210 1996-1997 E320, the W202 1994-1997 C280 and the W140 1992-1999 300SE/S320 cars.
Anyone thinking of those cars as a used buy should examine the car's history carefully. As to the cost of a headgasket replacement, usually any M104 will eat about $1200-1500USD for the job, and more for a full top end job. Depending on mileage, you should think strongly about doing the top end when doing the head gasket.
The "new" Evo 1.8 engine in the CL230 (should be CL180...?) is a new engine in many respects (designation M111.981) and is not a proven quantity here.
However, since it's cousins, the M111.961/M111.974/M111.975 are very durable, it's not a stretch to think it will be as well. Mercedes has lots of experience in building alloy engines. That is one main difference between the 111.981 and the previous versions. The .961/.974/.975 engines were all iron block mills.
It is funny that the M104 head gasket problems seem to evaded the M111 as the M111 is, in many ways, a sawed off M104. Oh well, since we don't have an M104 in the family, I don't dwell on it...
#6704 of 7297 jrct9454 & johngenx;
Nov 29, 2003 (8:20 am)
Thanks for the info.. I thought the 2.8 was a small V6 and stand corrected.. Sounds like the cost for either head gasket should be within a few dollars.
I'm glad to hear my cost was in the range quoted by johngenx; $1340. I was quoted $1640 by another dealer but went with the lower quote at my selling dealer and am very happy with the repair. And now satisfied that it was cost competitive as well. Since I bought the car from them I was entitled to a loaner and they gave me a fairly new C230K which was a blast to drive. If that engine were available in a C wagon, I would be very tempted to trade my wife's Matrix for it.. Anyone aware of plans to stuff that engine into the sedan/wagon anytime soon?
#6705 of 7297 Engines and the C-Class
Nov 29, 2003 (8:25 pm)
I think that MB has missed the boat a little lately. They should drop the 168hp 2.6L M112 from the C-Class line, and make the C320 it's direct replacement. That means the C320 at the current C240 price points.
Then, the C230 four bangers would be the entry level cars, with the 320 the step into the six.
Here's the line I would want to see in Canada:
1. C270CDI diesel wagon and sedan, available in RWD and 4-matic. Should be the least expensive C-Class in the line, with a Classic trim available with manual HVAC, no traction control, no COMAND, etc.
2. C230-K sedan (not sure about trim level or wagon availability) But I do know the C230 Sports sedan should continue (dropped in Canada) with standard 17" wheels, special trim, sports suspension, black-out grille and leather at a price that is WAY less than the options individually.
3. C320 sedan and wagon, available in RWD and 4-matic.
4. C55-K sedan, a fire breathing M3/M5 killer compact sedan with the 469hp V-8 from the E55-K. If it doesn't fit, make it. They did it with the M117 into the original "Hammer." If not, then ensure the V-8 fits into the W204 iteration.
A C270 Classic wagon with 4-matic and the old-style heavy MB-Tex, manual tranmission, manual HVAC, manual seats, a radio with nice big knobs, and no traction control or drive-by-wire would have me trading tomorrow. (No traction control means no throttle actuators, a constant expensive problem with ASR/ESP equipped cars)
Nov 30, 2003 (6:51 am)
My wish-list for the US market is similar, but I don't plan on seeing it fulfilled anytime soon. To me, the best engine in the line is the new diesel, but the crap that substitutes for diesel fuel in North America has made everyone but VW hesitant about giving us the latest diesels [yes, I know about MB's plans for the E next year, but that doesn't help anyone with no more than $30k-$35k US to spend].
Your "ideal" would work for me, as well, except I would prefer an automatic - I too wish we could deselect many of the things that make the car more expensive [and prone to failure]...choices most other markets in the world get to make, but we don't.
Nov 30, 2003 (10:26 am)
I like that line-up, except that in checking the MB website they apparently have already added the C230K Sedan in the 2004 model year. I would like to see a wagon with that engine.
I'm not sure that a C55 makes much sense, since you would have to have fulltime AWD to handle that much power. How about a C500 instead? And then you wouldn't have to worry about turbo failure either..
Nov 30, 2003 (5:18 pm)
I think the 320 delivers all the power the C-class will ever need but I'd still test drive a C350 if it was available before buying a second C320. The 500 engine is obviously way more than needed but who could be negative about being given the option to own it in a C-class sedan, e.g., a C50--or maybe new C43.
Nov 30, 2003 (6:09 pm)
The 5.0L M113 V-8 has less power than the 3.2L supercharged (No turbos expect on the V-12...) V-6. The current C32 makes 349hp and the "500" cars (SL500, E500, CLK500 and S500) only make 302hp. A C32 can walk away from any of the aspro V-8 cars.
A C55-K 4-matic? Perhaps, but might spoil all the fun. Lurid power oversteer and smoking tire launches sounds EXACTLY what the AMG C-Class needs. The C32 is there, but with the near-future M3 probably going to bring 400hp or more to the table, AMG better be ready if they want to remain the king of the HP wars.
#6710 of 7297 C50 vs C32
Nov 30, 2003 (7:03 pm)
Check out the CLK500: 339 ft. lbs. of torque at at just 2700 rpm. I don't think a C32's skinnier horses could compete with a 5.0L "C" when it comes to sales, even if it was a little faster 0-60: a 500 offering is a natural for those who would appreciate it as a premium model, as it is for both the E- and S- Classes.
Dec 01, 2003 (6:28 am)
mac320: when you say a "C50", are you implying a supercharged 5.0 L engine? Otherwise, I agree with you 100%. I think that the 339 lb-ft give the C more than enough muscle and it also becomes the "premier" version of the C class.
I just have an aversion to superchargers and turbochargers. They may be fine under warranty, but since MB's last "forever" and the warranty doesn't, there is a much greater chance of megabuck repairs down the road. Give me the cubes, please, without the oxygen.. KISS principle.. Keep it simple, simon..
I had the pleasure of driving an SL500 last year and was bowled over by the standing start kick in the butt. I made the tires ripple without smoking them.. Awesome.. A C500 would be an exciting car to drive..
#6712 of 7297 Supercharger lifespan
Dec 01, 2003 (7:42 pm)
Microrepair, you have me thinking - does anyone have a guess as to how long an MB supercharger will last?
I remember the turbos of the 1980s were especially prone to failure due to issues with cooling the turbo. I drove a 1982 Nissan 280ZX and was told to always idle it for 30 seconds before turning it off. I know there's no need to do that with the supercharger, but am curious as to how long SC bearings are usually good for. Also, how are they oiled - oil passage from/to the engine?