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Old 06-17-1999, 09:49 AM
Posts: n/a
Thanks all
I'm looking at two of them today. i'll keep you posted.

1992 190E 2.6 100k
San Francisco

Old 06-19-1999, 12:53 AM
Posts: n/a
Well I looked at 2 cars yesterday.First one was kinda beat up and overheated after a pretty wild test drive.I learned what a low water in the radiator gauge looks like. My 190 dont have one of those. Second car was in Hayward during commute traffic. Didnt get a chance to test the radiator gauge. These cars flat move out. I traded a Grand National for my 190 and I'm pretty sure a 400E will beat a GN. We had the first car in a four wheel slide on a winding road near San Rafael. My boss was with me during the test drive. He bought the second car we looked at. Its a 92 with 91000 mi, white with black int. His car is not as fast as the first car. Do they put different gears in 400s? Maybe wrong plugs? His car had supposedly just got a tuneup. Since we were in heavy traffic when we test drove it we never had a chance to really rap it out. On the ride home we found it was down on horses maybe 10% to 15% versus the first car. Any ideas why?

1992 190E 2.6 100k
San Francisco

Old 06-19-1999, 03:17 AM
Lee Scheeler
Posts: n/a
BEWARE cooling/overheating problems in W124 V8's. If overheated badly even once, the valvetrain is toast. Perhaps THE best indicator of engine condition (short of a detailed inspection by a pro) is to open up the oil-cap and peer inside. The cams and valves should look shinny, metallic, mirror like. If it is black, gummy, etc then walk away.

From what I've read and been told the 92's were quicker than the late 93 and on cars. If both in question were 92's then my next question would be...did the slow car have ASR? I have driven many many W124 V8's over the years. The 4.2's that have ASR are simply slower, even if you don't hit ASR. I will defer to Benzmac or MB DOC (he must have a PhD!) to explain exactly why. All US 400E's and E420's had a 2.24:1 rear diff. Euro bound 400E's shared the 2.65 with the E320 cars. (so I'm told, have yet to drive a euro 400E) ALL 4.2 M119 W124's need more rubber to perform their best. Better tires equal better performance.

You mentioned the slow car just had a tune-up. I have heard that MB engines do not always like platinum spark plugs. Since most of a tuneup (on that engine) is changing the plugs that could be a cause. In driving W124's many are the same in appearance and other standard characteristics. Each of them drives a little differently though. Think of it as each car's "personality". Its hard to describe but the combination of maintenance, ambient temp, road conditions, tires fitted, etc can make each car feel unique.

One thing it could be is "feel". The 400E's had a MONSTER flat spot between the gears where the tranny would not downshift into 1st past 25mph. If you hit the gas at 30mph all you get is 2700rpm in 2nd gear (which is like 3rd on most cars) and not much thrust. Hit the gas at 20-25 and you are thrust back into the seat on a big 4th-1st downshift. 2nd gear acceleration does not get good until you kick it down at about 60-65mph. Shift manually, it will make engine differences more evident. Little things like that can make one car feel weaker than another. BTW The tranny is designed to function that way. Benzmac tells me there is a tweak for it....

Of course the biggest power change factor of those cars is temperature. As the engine gets over 100 C it loses much HP's. Outside temp hurts its performance as well. Engine at 105 C in traffic on a 95 degree will get 6-cyl performance. Engine at 80 C on a 40 degree night...runs like a raped ape.

Even on a good night a Grand National would probably take them in a straight line. The acceleration curve is similar...wait for the car to get up on its cams or boost then the real acceleration starts. Of course, the one I am familiar with has a Benzmac co-built engine, various other mods, racing slicks, 2-stage alchohol injection system, etc. Dunno, we may have to sick the 500E on the GN. j/k (Jeff are you reading this?!)

Keep us posted on how things go, we would be happy to answer any pre-purch questions you might have. I still recommend you get it inspected by a local professional. Best of luck in your search.

Happy Hunting...Lee
Old 06-19-1999, 11:39 AM
Posts: n/a
It was'nt the first gear second gear thing. I dont think it was temp either as we kinda overheated the first car. He is taking the car to a benz dealer this week to get checked out. Maybe they will find something. He got a 90 day warranty on it. Kinda wierd the way I was the one looking and he bought one. The 400 is a lot more car than my 190. Kinda tells you how impressive the car is. I cant wait to buy one, but I think I'll hang for awhile and see what happens to my bosses car. I had a 87 GN from 1990 till 1995 when we traded it in on the 190. Mildly modified (ATR chip, converter and ram air) and I would have bet on the first 400 we drove. It had that much power. The second one was'nt nearly that strong. I was going to pull the plugs and look at them but all the covers on the motor made it look like a pain in the ass. The first car smoked the tires in first and then kinda half spun them all the way to second. Something is definetly different on these two cars. Wait and see I guess. I'll keep you posted.
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