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  #1  
Old 03-24-2007, 09:06 PM
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1987 420 Sel

Hello, the above mentioned car is at a small dealership. I saw the ad for it online, so I went to look. The lot was closed so I was unable to hear it run, but the doors were open so I helped myself to a look around.

Very straight body (black paint), interior very nice as well (grey leather). I believe it has a 4.2 (or is it 4.6L) engine which had been pressure cleaned, so it didn't look bad at all.

I didn't see any puddles under it and the bottom of the engine looked fairly dry.

The odometer shows 129,000 are there anything inherent issues a person should be aware of for this model?

The ad states $2250.00 for the car, seems reasonable to me.
I will try to hear it run Monday if it is still there.

Thanks for any opinions.
Keefer
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Old 03-25-2007, 12:42 AM
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If the car runs as good as it looks.....the price is right. You should take it to a qualified MB mechanic and have it inspected to make sure there are no surprises with the engine, transmission, etc. If everything checks out, buy it.
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1986 560 SEL (159K miles)
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Old 03-25-2007, 09:21 AM
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Hey thanks for the reply and advice, yes I hope it runs as good as it looks because it looks great!
I'm driving a 1984 300SD right now and I really enjoy it but I've never had the opportunity to drive one of the gasoline models yet.
I noticed the 420 has an airbag, when did those first become available?
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Old 03-25-2007, 09:49 AM
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If the timing chain has not been done its over due.

Drivers side airbag became standard in 1986 on all W126's.
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Old 03-25-2007, 10:22 AM
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Good to know thanks! When you say if the timing chain hasn't been done, does that mean an adjustment or replacement? Is this a costly procedure?
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Old 03-25-2007, 10:33 AM
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I think the accepted time frame for timing chain and guide replacement is
100K miles or 10 years. Seems to me that the chain itself seldom fails but the associated parts which are plastic get very brittle after time and when they break they drop into the chain, the chain jumps time and that is when the damage to the valve train occurs. At an indie MB shop you are probably looking at about $800 to $1000 for the update.
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1986 560 SEL (159K miles)
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2007, 11:18 AM
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Appreciate the help gentlemen!

Seems like there was a small stack of papers in the glove box, but I did not have time to look and see what they were, service records (hopefully)!
Worst case scenario, assuming there are no service records, is there a way to tell if the chain and it's associated parts have been updated without cracking it all open, or is that the only way to verify?
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Old 03-25-2007, 11:26 AM
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While originally written back in 1999 (I was a co-author) and it was for the 560 coupes, plenty of it is very pertinent even today, for the 420 SEL:

http://www.mbcoupes.com/buyersguide/buyersguide.htm

Worth a look.^^^^^

Along with the timing chain,

the timing chain tensioner and guide rails should be replaced at 129k, if there are no books and records to show it's been done, IMO.

The website sponsor, FASTLANE, would be worth checking with for the parts.
(Also, Rusty Cullins in Atlanta and Randy at EPS online are good sources that I have used in the past)

No way to check really, unless you remove the left hand valve cover and peer inside. The guides are white, when new, but over the years they develop hairline cracks, which finally get worse. If they look root beer brown in color, then they are really old. If the car rattles for a bit when you start it up, then quiets down, it might possibly mean the chain is loose and about to let go. If it does, at speed, it will screw up your valve train really bad. The price of a new engine could be $5,000 to $7,000, maybe even more for a crate long block, and that'd be more than the car was worth.

If it's not rusty or a refugee from a freeway pileup, and your mechanic checks it out and it's good, it sounds like a great price for the car.
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1991 560 SEC AMG, 199k <---- 300 hp 10:1 ECE euro HV ...

1995 E 420, 170k "The Red Plum" (sold)

2015 BMW 535i xdrive awd Stage 1 DINAN, 6k, <----364 hp

1967 Mercury Cougar, 49k

2013 Jaguar XF, 20k <----340 hp Supercharged, All Wheel Drive (sold)

Last edited by Jim B.; 03-25-2007 at 11:34 AM.
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