I'm having problems getting the network working on an old version of SUSE (8.2) as a VM on a CenOS 6.8 machine.
When I try to ping any outside IP (even the host bridge) it will not work, or sometimes I get icmp replies with huge delays. Looking at the /var/log/messages file I notice the following message:

Kernel: NETDEV WATCHDOG : eth0: Transmit timed out
Kernel: eth0: Seting 100mbps full duplex based on auto-negotiated partner ability 05e1

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Host Machine Information:
Dell PowerEdge R610 with a 4 port NIC (BCM5709)
CentOS 6.8 with kernel 2.6.32-642.1.1

The VM (Using KVM):
SuSE 8.2 with kernel 2.4.20-64
NIC: Bridged (vnet0) using driver rtl8139
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Some of the things I've tried (not a full list):
- force eth0 on the VM, em1 on the host and the switch port to 100/full
- disable multiple services on both the VM and the host machine

Notes:
-Will work if using Xen 4 but the problem is that I have to configure the VM to use 2 serial ports and Xen 4 will not permit that.
-Any other OS as VM (ie: CentOS, systemRescueCD (gentoo I think) will work.

Hopefully someone can help me.
thank you
Guy