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Old 04-07-2002, 04:46 PM
Mr. BILL's Avatar
Ghoulardi Rules!
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 576
400E purchase questions

I have found a '92 400E that is nearly perfect. It looks, runs and grives like new, it has 145K on it. The present owner has had it for five years and is the second owner. He bought it from the local dealer and it is a real "garage queen".

During his ownership, he has only had to replace brakes and a tranny cooling line, as well as tune-ups. He does not have records from the origional owner.

My concern is, I don't know if the evaporator has been replaced,(a common problem?) I'm wondering if I'm looking at water pump, alternator, belts ect. needing replaced. I can do these things on a M103 engine, I'm not sure about a M119 (420).

I can buy it for around $9000. This would be my road car, 35K a year. Any wise words?

91 300E 120K
90 300SE 275K (sold)
92 BMW 525iM 120K
90 BMW 525iA 175K
85 300D 175K (sold)
84 300SD 245K (sold)

Last edited by Mr. BILL; 04-07-2002 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 04-07-2002, 05:11 PM
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JCE JCE is offline
Down to the Wear Bars
Join Date: May 1999
Location: So Kalifornia
Posts: 2,189
Was the wiring harness an issue on the 92? Pretty expensive item if it hasn't been done, I understand.

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Old 04-07-2002, 06:15 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Canada
Posts: 298
M119 V8s need new timing chain and tensioner every 100k miles, it costs a lot, be sure to check the service record for timing chain replacement, other than that, most of other things can be taken care of by DIYers.

At that mileage, your probably need new belt, new belt tensioner, power steering pump may leak, it can be rebuilt. engine camshaft seals may leak, motor mounts may collapse, and needs new shocks of course. Also be sure to check sunroof and A/C, idle rpm should be paid special attention to, I heard too many M119 V8s had this problem, my 400E idles roughly when it's very cold, it's very difficult to diagnostic.

My 400E has 210k km, I went through most of the problems I listed above. , most of them are DIYable except the timing chain.

It's a powerful highway cruiser, not a street fighter.
99 BMW 540i 6-speed 110K Km
03 SAAB 9-5 wagon 80K Km
92 400E (Sold) 245K km
Still missing the days with the Benz, it kept me busy.
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Old 04-07-2002, 08:59 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,503
The engine wiring harness only affected M104 engines from 93-95, so that shouldn't be a problem.

I really haven't heard or read of evaporator problems on the 400E W124's like we've all read on the W140's.

I think other than the timing chain / guide replacement every 100,000 miles, I can't think of anything specific to this model that doesn't affect other Mercedes models.
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 04-07-2002, 09:31 PM
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Location: CT, USA
Posts: 2,699
Track down some BG 44K. It'll fix your cold-idle issues (carbon)
"If everything seems under control, you're simply not going fast enough" --Mario Andretti

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1986 Porsche 944 Turbo S track car
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Old 04-07-2002, 11:47 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Baton Rouge
Posts: 485
Let me make a point here most Mercedes produced from 92-late 95 had engine wiring harness problems, the electronic accelerator on most 119,104 and even some 202 have bad harness' also . That 400e has a hose that goes from p/s pump to the resevoir , that is what leaks most of the time. As for timing chains on these motors I have only done a few and that is at 150k-200k miles . Never seen one of these jump timing either , let me take that back , only one and that was from improper maintenance . The 400e is a beautifull well running machine when properly taken care of . The distributor caps and rotors yopu should change at 100k if they havent been done yet. Mercedes are hard on secondary ignition components. As for the evaporator , well they all go bad just dont go back with factory.
We install the all alluminum one and we never had any noise like some predict. Good luck and look at it real close.
euro 287
Mercedes Technician 7 Years (retired to Hyundai)
2000 Dodge Durango
98 Mazda truck
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Old 04-08-2002, 08:23 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 962
Euro 287,
Do you mean use an all-copper evaporator? I thought the problem with the stock ones (like mine!) was that they WERE made from aluminum, which reacts poorly with R-134a, but copper was OK . . .

Mr. Bill,
My experience may or may not be typical, but mine has been moderately repair-intensive. Have done the evaporator, water pump, radiator, power steering reservoir reseal, motor mounts. Some day will probably have to replace the throttle actuator since I've had a few episodes of going into "limp home" mode (not a problem if the car in question doesn't have ASR). I do have a somewhat rough idle when cold but not too objectionable.

That said, I really love the car and it's a great handling vehicle. (Even better if you replace front and rear sway bars with 500E bars.)
'93 400E
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Old 04-08-2002, 08:36 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Baton Rouge
Posts: 485
The problem with mercedes evaporators are they are made of copper and alluminum which is not a proper seal. You cant seal alluminum to copper properly. Now late model evaporators like on the 202 chasis cars are made from just alluminum I have seen these leak but not as much as earlier types. You can go with all copper , on early cars most are still r-12 so alluminum does just fine . On a late model which is 134 you are correct I would go with copper. It takes air in the system for corrosion to occur which you should not have any in an air conditioning system to begin with.
euro 287
Mercedes Technician 7 Years (retired to Hyundai)
2000 Dodge Durango
98 Mazda truck
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Old 04-14-2002, 10:49 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Colleyville, TX
Posts: 225
I have owned a 93 400E since Feb 2002 and let me tell you it is an awesome car. The only problem I ran into was that the jack ass in the service station (shell station) overfilled it with motor oil way above the max mark on the dip stick. I noticed some oil on the floor and then drained it to the proper level. It has been fine since and no leaks. My car has 114K on it and I bought it when it had 110K for 11K.

93 400 E
86 BMW 325E 149K
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Old 04-16-2002, 07:36 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 237
Wiring harness.

Check wiring harness on a 92. If close to going bad, replace. Mine had bad harness at purchase which shorted out without warning and fried the controller ($1K). Luckily, seller paid. Watch out!

Sounds like good price though if condition is good.
2008 GL320CDI 6K
1970 280SL 112K
1982 240D 210K (Sold)
1973 220D 220K (Sold)
1967 200D 160K (Sold)
1992 400E 139K (Sold)
1988 300E 148K (Sold)
1987 300D 257K (Sold)
1991 300E 108K (Sold)
1987 300E 131K (Sold)
1978 300D TMU (Sold)
1980 300D TMU (Sold)
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