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Old 01-24-2002, 01:55 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 107
Longevity of 94 E420?

Recently, I had the displeasure of the following repairs to my 1994 E420 with 130,000 miles:

1. Wiring Harness
2. Throttle Valve Actuator
3. Valve Cover Gaskets

At the present time, the only "problem" I am aware of concerns a 2 second hesitation before the car shifts into reverse. Once it is in reverse, it behaves normally, and there is no delay going into Drive. I have been told to just leave it be until the car either refuses to shift into reverse, or strands me altogether.

My question is this: I plan on owning this vehicle for a long time. Other than the obvious valve job and transmission replacement, what are some of the other problems I can expect to experience as the car gets older? One mechanic told me that I should seriously consider selling the car when it hits 180,000 miles, since the wheel bearings will need to be replaced (labor intensive), as well as the valuation hit I will take after the car turns over 200,000. Is this sound advice?

In reading the great review of this model on this wonderful site, I see that only 15,000 or so 400E/E420's were sold from 1992-95, and I wonder when I might be facing the costly valve job and transmission repairs. How much do these repairs typically run, assuming I go to an independent mechanic? Are there a bunch of ancillary repairs which usually go hand in hand with the valve job and transmission?

Finally, does anyone out there own a high milage 400E/E420 with real world experience as to how this car ages? Since my car is at 130,000 miles, and I drive about 25,000 miles per year, 180,000 miles is only two years away.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can answer some of these questions.
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Old 01-24-2002, 06:49 AM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,877
I have never considered wheel bearings "labor intensive" and the tranny will not be any more costly than any of the other MB's in my opinion. The only thing costly you may need to do at around 180k is a valve job. Don't forget the chains and rails too. If you plan on keeping it - drive it and don't worry - they all depreciate -except maybe the early to mid 80's 240/300D's - they have completed their depreciation .
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Old 01-24-2002, 04:29 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 1,562
you may be able to get a good feel for the aging process of you car by splitting your focus into W124 chassis of your vintage and M119 motors (if only 15,000 cars are available for observation)

...perhaps more subjects to observe in another country?

in general, depending on usage/maintenance...

a car with 180K on the odo will usually require attn to the soft chassis/suspension pieces as well, and/or pieces designed to wear with use of the car

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