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Old 08-15-2001, 11:30 PM
Jason M.
Posts: n/a
E420 Purchase

Well, I've finally given up on trying to squeeze HP from my 300E without breaking the bank, for the same money Im going to purchase an E420

I have found several 93-95 E420's with about 90-100K miles in excellent physical appearance. Are there any specific things (other than the normal) that I should look for (IE timing chain noise, etc) I'm going to hopefully have a V8 w124 within the next two weeks. Thanks for the contributions

Jason M.
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Old 08-16-2001, 12:02 AM
JCE's Avatar
JCE JCE is offline
Down to the Wear Bars
Join Date: May 1999
Location: So Kalifornia
Posts: 2,189

I went thru the whole evaluation thing on this model a few months back, and had a couple of dealerships looking for one for me (I wound up buying my my brothers 98 C230, 20k miles, but that is a different story.) I decided when I was looking for the 400E/E420 w124 cars to only look for a 94 or 95. My reasoning was:
  • wiring harness problems on the early 400s
  • brake caliper problems on the earliest models
  • AC already converted to R134a on the later models
  • better headlights on the later models
  • fewer 'first model year' problems
  • chance for a starmark warranty
  • longer life span for airbags ($$$) before replacement
  • less wear and tear on the paint, rubber, etc, and lower mileage (probably).

That said, I believe the 92 was a little more powerful and lighter weight than the later ones. I posted a question something like 'best year 400E a year or so ago, and there were a fair number of opinions: "Best" year for a W124 400E

Try searching for 400E or E420 as well for more info. I believe it is also featured under the "cars" tab at the top of the page.

2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
2015 Palladium Silver/black mbtex GLK 350
1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

Click to see 87 300E

Last edited by JCE; 08-16-2001 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 08-16-2001, 12:06 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Beech Island, S.C.
Posts: 468
The independent dealership that I work for has a 1997 E420 for sale. If you are interested email me or call 706-951-8357. The car has 61,000 miles and I believe the asking price is 31,995
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Old 08-16-2001, 01:07 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 387
I also know where there's a very nice W124 E420 for sale. Only about 45 or 50K miles, I think like a '95?? I'm not that familiar with that vintage, but it has the traditional W124 interior (grey on this car) but has the newer style hood and grill, and much more attractive headlights. If you are interested, drop me a note. In San Antonio.
Bill Streep
San Antonio
'57 190SL (toy)
'08 S5500 (mine)
'09 CLK550 (wife's)
'06 SLK350 (daughter's)
'11 GLK350 (daughter's)
'03 CLK310 (spare)
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Old 08-16-2001, 11:10 AM
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Bought a 94 420E in Jan. with 67k for a tad over $20k. Great car, step up to 205/60's if you need sneakers. Those 195's just spin Car now has about 75k and not a problem(knock, knock). What it really needs for seat of the pants american roads is a different rear, other than that, 15 flat 1/4's and 24mpg aint tooo shabby!
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Old 08-16-2001, 11:52 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 107
Having purchased a 94 E420 in October 2000 with right around 100k, I was in your same position. I paid $17,800 before tax and license for the car. Since my purchase, the only significant bill I encountered was for the replacement of the radiator. If you do a search on radiators, you'll see that this is a fairly common item for replacement. Also, I had an oil leak at the front crankshaft seal which was replaced by the dealer at the time of purchase, as well as new front brakes and tires.

Finally, if you did a general search on the E420, you might have picked up on a couple of threads dealing with a check engine light on the 420 motor, wherein the code reads something like "fuel injector open". The commonly quoted fix for this issue is a new computer for the car for $1500+. Obviously, no one with this issue was willing to pay that much, so one of the members swapped out his computer with the exact same model taken from a salvage yard, and he also managed to get a copy of the computer chip from a new computer to place in the salvage yard computer. The check engine light problem is now gone! In fact, I simply replaced the chip in my existing computer with the new chip and my check engine light has not come back on for almost a month. This fix was like finding presents under the tree on Christmas.

In a nutshell, this car gets you pretty close to the vaunted E500 at a fraction of the cost. People do complain about the gearing, which makes the car sluggish from a standstill. However, I have found that manually switching the gears, which allows you to hold on to first gear all the up to redline, produces some very serious acceleration. Given the conservative gearing, it is simply difficult to accelerate quickly AND smoothly when you let the car shift on its own. The engine either stays in the very low revs and shifts very early, or it lunges out of the gate at full throttle. Try shifting it yourself and you will be more than pleased. I asked the dealer whether self-shifting would hurt the transmission, and he said not to worry about it, that it was designed to be driven that way. It is probably easier on the car than simply flooring it every time you pull away from a stoplight, which jerks the transmission around quite a bit in normal driving.

Sorry for the long-winded post. With proper maintenance, there should be no problem with reaching 250K or more before a top end re-build is required. Best of luck.
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Old 08-16-2001, 12:14 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862
I bought a í92 400E back in January, with 60K miles, after spending about 2 months looking. My agenda was similar to Johnís (JCE), but primarily I wanted low miles, no ASR, and a goooooood warranty. Starmark was out because of the vintage.

The earlier models offer the lowest cost due to depreciation. Anyway, after searching every source I could find in the nation and making around 90 phone calls (and there were an awful lot of cool stories, good and bad), I found one in Rochester that fit the bill. I had a MB dealer check the car out in greater than average detail, contacted the place where the car was serviced, did a car fax review. The mb dealer gave it a thumbs up. They also said that the car was a Signature car after itís original warranty expired. Signature is the Canadian version of Starmark.

Long story short, the car was a good combination of value and warranty. Even so, since getting it, Iíve just done a 60K mile tune up, replaced the center and rear mufflers, replaced the sneakers and wheels, and some other minor stuff. Iím a happy camper, and still have 45 months/45,0000 miles of warranty coverage remaining. Take your time, and find a *good* car. There is no reason to rush into something that you probably hope to have for quite some time.

BTW, if you haven't already done so, start by reading everything here you can find on the 400E/E420. Also, enjoy the opportunities to look and talk with folks about the different 400s you encounter. This is part of the learning process, and is very entertaining as well!

Good luck and enjoy the hunt!

'00 ML320 "Casper"
'92 400E "Stella"
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Old 08-16-2001, 06:59 PM
Posts: n/a
Hi Jason,

I thought I might throw a little encouragement in your direction. I just 2 weeks ago sold my smoked silver/ parchment 1994 E420. It has 295,000 miles on it and I shed a liitle tear as it pulled out the drive. I bought the car 3-1/2 years ago with 105,000 and the biggest repair was a starter.

I have replaced it with a Black/Grey 1995 E420 with 120,000 mile on it. I have driven it about 3500 miles now in the last three weeks and am beginning to love it almost as much (the seat doesn't quite fit my a** yet.

These are absolutely wonderful automobiles and I cannot say enough good about them. Just make sure the car you buy has been regularly and properly maitained.

Some talk about the tall gears in the car as a negative. I don't have much occasion to drag race from a standing start but I have lots of chances to finally get a little daylight to get around the the guy going 55 in the fast lane. There is something to be said for the car dropping to 2nd at 60mph and staying there through 85mph. It has incredible acceleration in the range that I need it.

Good Luck,

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Old 08-16-2001, 08:52 PM
Jason M.
Posts: n/a
Thanks for all the replies, I'll check out the featured articles on the 420. The variation in prices in my area is amazing, some dealers want 11-12k and some dealers want 32K for the same car with comparable miles. Im going to try to get into the wholesale auctions and see what I come up with. I'll keep you guys posted

Thanks Again

Jason M.
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