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Old 01-01-2012, 11:46 PM
86560SEL's Avatar
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Location: east Tennessee (southeast USA)
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Input for 1992-97 S-Class owners needed - looking for 92-97 S-Class

Hey guys. First of all, is there a link to a buyers guide for a 1992-97 S-Class?

I am in the market for another Mercedes to use as a "work" car and I am wanting a 1992-1997 S-Class. I omitted 1998-99, as I think that will go out of the price range I am looking for in these cars. I am wanting something under $6000 since it will only be a work car. I am also considering a 1993-1996 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, which I am sure would be lower cost to maintain/operate, but really not too concerned with that. I am either looking for a 6-cylinder or 8-cylinder model. Kinda staying away from the diesel engine versions of these and avoiding the V12.

I am wondering what all trouble areas I should look for when searching for a 92-97 S-Class with the 6-cylinder or 8-cylinder. Is the 420 models better engines than the 500 models engine? I think the S500 have air suspension, which I am not wild about, so I would really like to get an S420.

I know that the 92-96? models have the engine wiring harness issues and that should be checked (although my uncle has a 1992 300SE with the original wiring harness and he has never had any issues, not yet anyway). Also somewhat aware of the evaporator core issues and ?? What else should I look for?

I know a PPI is also imperative, but these cars are kinda rare around here and I am likely going to have to search on ebay for one and purchase one out of town.

Thanks for any information.

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Old 01-02-2012, 10:33 PM
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Location: Canada
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I would look for the latest model you can afford, either a 1996 or 1997. Definitely want one with good servicing history and updated wiring harness. Some say that the W140 was cheapened over time. I know they tried to lighten the look over the car in the later years but I kinda like the early styling. Later models will probably have fewer kinkgs to work out though. Buying one is relatively easy, maintaining one is another story. I think this is why W140 prices are so soft, simply because owners can't afford to keep everything working as it was intended to. The evaporator replacement and wiring harness costs alone can easily total more than what the car is worth.
1989 300CE
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:55 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 327
They all have hydraulic suspension; pretty sure it's just rear leveling like in the 560SEL as well. All W140 V8s are the same M119 block just bored out; earlier models being much more difficult to maintain, having TWO distributor caps. I believe the later cars have full EFI.

Like previously stated, initial cost is the easiest with these. My Uncle purchased one when I bought the W126 from him; 12,000 original miles on an S420, and he still pays through the nose at the shop.


1987 560SEL (210,000 miles)
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