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Old 11-01-2002, 11:34 PM
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Question Just bought 1994 E420 today, ideas please.

Hello, I picked up a 1994 E420 with 107k miles, a little bit of drama at the dealership, I had previously tested the vehicle myself with the best method I know, letting the vehicle run for 15-20 minutes with the AC on and seeing how it idles and how far temp gauge goes up, it was fine. Today it wasn't, the engine was skipping and car wouldn't smoothly accelerate, I've had this same problem with my 190e 2.6 and notified dealer I wasn't interested in this. The dealer said he would drive car and see problem for himself, even though I told him no need to drive bcuz you could hear skipping yourself, the dealer drove off anyway and came back in two minutes, skipping had mysteriously vanished, from my experience with the mercedes I know you could stop this problem by changing the sparkplugs but I don't think the dealer could have changed eight sparkplugs that fast. Took it to my mechanic for PPI including leakdown and compression test, told him about skipping, mechanic couldn't duplicate same problem, said everything checked out fine, compression was 160 and leakdown was less than 20%, did tell me I need lifters, not sure exactly what this was but mech told me that's why car had a ka-ka-ka sound which I hadn't heard myself, said cost of replacing lifters including labor was $1600, went back to dealer who agreed to knock of $1000 from selling price. Later on tonight I started hearing ka-ka sound, car sounds like a diesel if you are standing outside it, will definitely fix lifters I hate that sound.

Can anyone give me info on this lifters issue and also how did skipping in idle mysteriously dissappear, got dealer to write in bill of sale that he would fix skipping if it came back within 30 days.

Thanks, sorry for long post.
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Old 11-01-2002, 11:39 PM
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I would also like to replace the steering wheel with a fatter one, any ideas on how much this costs including labor. I would like to put some 17 inch evoII wheels on the car but will search thru posts to make sure this is possible. Is it?

Also how can I make the steering stiffer, it seems soft, my 190 is tougher than this, will bigger wheels help.

Thanks for any suggestions, sorry for the silly questions.

I will probably replace timing chain soon.
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Old 11-02-2002, 12:27 AM
J.HIDALGO's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Jax, FL
Posts: 1,785
First of all, congratulations on your purchase!

As far as the steering wheel, some people in this forum has replaced it successfully. Do a search!
You can replace the steering dumper (shock), it takes 10 minutes to do it from under the vehicle with simple tools. That should help you with the steering stiffness.
Good luck!
'86 300E
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Old 11-02-2002, 10:32 AM
jsmith's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: At Sea
Posts: 1,729
read this thread on flushing the oil and lifter noise. worth a shot - and it's probably a good idea to do it anyway...delo oil
1993 300e-2.8
- gone now <sigh>
"Do not adjust your mind, it's reality that's malfunctioning"
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Old 11-02-2002, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Before thinking lifters, look to the crossover supply pipes in the area of the noise. the plastic pipes that started about 94 have a closing plug that falls out leaking the supply to that set of lifters.

There is a service bulletin about it and even pictures here in the archives. Very common problem. AND considerably cheaper both parts and labor.

I would just replace the one that failed as there really is no risk as long as you don't drive it for years that way. The last one I did had probably been bad for a year as the customer had been scared badly by similar expensive illusions. If another fails it will just make noise in the short term.

The replacements are built similarly although they may be using better glue.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 11-03-2002, 01:59 AM
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Thanks for the replies

Hello Hidalgo, I'm not very tech savvy although I plan to start practicing on my 190e but I will suggest your idea about changing the steering dumper to my mechanic.

Hello Jsmith, I can't drain the oil myself but will suggest to mechanic also.
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Old 11-03-2002, 02:13 AM
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Hello Steve

Hello Steve, I will search thru the archives, and will advise my mech to read the service bulletin on this problem, although I couldn't find the service bulletin on the Alldata website, would you happen to have the tsb number or issue date?

I'm a little confused I thought the wiring harness issue did not apply to the E420 but noticed a safety recall for it, has anyone experienced wiring harness issues with their E420. I will take my car to the dealer to see what they say about this.

Also to anyone who was wondering, a search thru the archives led me to Bekker Imports who have original EVO II wheels for the E class although they said I would need simple fender modifications, does anyone know how simple these modifications really are.

Thanks for any help you can give
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Old 11-03-2002, 08:43 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,486
Steve is right about the closing plugs. I did the same job this past Thursday for a lifter noise. It's easy to find the oiling tube that's missing the plug. With the valve covers removed the tubes are visible( eight per side ). With a small mirror, the tube that's missing the plug should take only a minute to find. Nothing against your mechanic, but why would anyone quote a price for a repair without properly diagnosing it first? This lifter issue is not going to solve your intermittent running problem either. Are you sure the ignition suppressors were checked for the correct resistance? Over the years I've seen dozens of these cause running problems similar to what you describe. A certified MB tech would've done this well before performing a compression test, in fact the suppressors need to be removed to get to the spark plugs so they could be checked then! If an MB dealer sold you this car then shame on them for not doing the right thing and fixing it right away. If a non-MB dealer sold you the car then shame on you for not getting it checked out prior to buying it. I can tell you countless horror stories that ALL could've been avoided if the owner had just let the MB professionals do their job. Good luck
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Old 11-03-2002, 10:35 PM
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Hello Iluvmils, I took the car to a Mercedes mechanic before buying it for a prepurchase inspection and the lifter issue is the only major problem he found with the car.

His diagnosis for the problem was replacing the lifters, now you're probably right that there might be a simple solution to this problem but maybe the mechanic decided to go for the more expensive for me and definitely beneficial to him solution.

I had a compression and leakdown test done on this car, I saw them doing the compression test and they told me it was 160 across the board.

I'm prepared to let the MB professionals do their job, what I'll probably do is try another mechanic, probably the MB Autowerks guys since they are here in Atlanta.

Thanks for your advice.
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