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  #1  
Old 05-25-2001, 05:42 PM
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Are there any particular weak points to check for on a 1997 E420? I am looking at a starmarked version with 59k miles. I know some mid-90s models had wiring harness problems, but really don't know that much about what to look for on this chassis (I have been looking for a w124 400E, 93-95, but the dealer wants me to check out this '97 as well). Thanks for any input.

[Edited by JCE on 05-25-2001 at 09:20 PM]
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Old 05-25-2001, 06:58 PM
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I love mine. Bought it used 3 months ago with 25k miles.
I researched the car a lot. Mine was manufactured in Sept. '97. I understand that late 96, early 97 models had some transmission problems and might need to be avoided.
I could not be happier with the car. I've heard some say E430 is better, some that E420 is better. I personally have no opinion on that except that the 420 engine is tried and proven.
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Old 05-25-2001, 10:21 PM
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APB: Thanks for the info. I will check out the manufacture date.
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  #4  
Old 05-25-2001, 10:24 PM
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The E420 is one tough bastard. I'd take it over a 430. Great midrange torque, none of this "flat torque band" stuff MB tout's on about with the 112/113 motors. No major problems at all, once in awhile a component problem, but what doesn't?
Gilly
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Old 05-26-2001, 12:34 AM
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Gilly:
Thanks for the info on the 420 V8 - was that the same rngine as used in the '94-'95 w124 E400?
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Old 05-26-2001, 12:47 AM
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Essentially the same motor, yes. Both are 119 motors, used since 1990 on 129 chassis SL V8's, then the 124 and 140 chassis V8's (last used in the 99 140 chassis), and of course the short stint in the E420 210 chassis. The later versions such as the later 140's and the 210 chassis I believe used ME2 injection, the earlier ones like the last few years in the 124 chassis 1994-95 or so) I believe were HFM-SFI injection. Either way they were SFI injection, though. Both were good motors. The 93 to 95 or so 104 motors were the ones with problems with the wiring harness, the V8's I haven't seen any problems, like I said, the normal stuff only, like O2 sensors, Mass Airflow sensors, the occasional Engine Control Module, but nothing I would describe as a chronic problem.
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Old 05-26-2001, 02:10 AM
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I love mine. Had it new since Jan 98. No major problems. Prefer this motor over 4.3
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Old 05-26-2001, 11:06 AM
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This is a real powerhouse,the power at any speed is there and it just keeps on pushing you back in your seat. Got mine with 4500 miles on it and it's now on 35000 - no major issues only the odd sensor here or there. I haven't driven an E430 yet so I cannot make any comparisons with it.
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Old 05-26-2001, 02:40 PM
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JCE

Go for it! My “ancient” ’92 400e wiht 62K is a treat and a half. Only recurrent issue (historically) is that the brake pads are short lived. Any problems the ‘97 has except perhaps for brakes and bulbs will be taken care of by the Starmark warranty. Get as much warranty for both time and mileage as you can. Dealers love Starmark cars as they make good $$ to fix just about anything, and get paid by MB for it. One of the differences between Starmark and new vehicle warranty is that with Starmark, they can fix the problem and anything related to it. New car they only fix the problem. My dealer encouraged me to have any problems quickly addressed and resolved. For certain, however, get the master vehicle record for the car to see it’s history before you decide.

A couple of other notes: They usually put a hefty mark up on Starmark cars. I got the dealership to come down about 15% on the purchase price just for offering. Use this for a discount, and/or to negotiate items such as the 60K service, new tires of your choice, a brake job, more Starmark warranty. Otherwise you’ll likely end up paying for them in the near future. FYI I ended up paying about $2,500 2 years/24K miles of Starmark warranty in addition to the 1 yr/12K mile warranty the car came with.

Hope this helps...

…Tracy
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  #10  
Old 05-27-2001, 02:18 AM
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Thanks to everyone for all the valuable tech, warranty, and purchase info! The 97 turned out to have belonged to a smoker, and was still very noticable after the detailing. I am going to continue my search for a w124 or 210 420 engine car - only going to do it once, and plan on keeping it a long time, so it has to be 'perfect'. Thanks again!
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