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Old 04-06-2003, 08:35 PM
Q45Denver's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Denver
Posts: 287
420E/300E Questions?

I'm currently looking at a 1994 E420, !991 300E and 1991 300E 4matic. All have over 100K miles. What is the best year for these models and what are the potential trouble areas. I am aware of the problems with the climate control and radio and the horsepower upgrades between model years. Being in an area that uses mag cloride on the roads how good is the rust proofing? How much would it cost to reseal valve covers and recondition a 400E engine. I like the simplicity of the inline six as I'm planning to do most of the maintenance myself. However, the Kelly blue book on the 400E is about the same as the 300E even though considerably more expensive when new. And the extra horsepower would be nice. I currently have a Q45 that makes over 300 horsepower. This would be my first Mercedes purchase since I bought my 280SE coupe over years ago.
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Old 04-06-2003, 08:46 PM
The Godfather's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Khalifonia.
Posts: 1,174
I would get a '94 E420 w/o asking any questions!
2003 E55 AMG
2007 FJ Cruiser
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Old 04-06-2003, 11:31 PM
Holson Adi's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,561
The 90+'s 300E are not as fast as the earlier ones because they have a lot more standard equipments. They have the 177hp M103 motor. 12 Valves - 6 cylinders.

A/C Evaporator as you have pointed out might be expensive if they need to be replaced in a 124. The dash needs to be removed I'm sure you know that.

The 3.2l I-6 M104's (24 Valves) make a good 210+ hp I think. These are in the 93+ cars. They are known for head gasket problems.

I heard the 4.2's don't have this head gasket problem but the timing chain needs to be done at around 100k or something like that.

I'd get the E420 just for the V-8. Just make sure you get a complete Pre-Purchase Inspection from a dealer or something.

However, I can see why you would like an I-6 better for maintenance reasons.

The 4Matic model - again I never owned one.. so just from reading stuff up - could be very expensive if it breaks (the 4wd system)

I rarely see a rusty W124 even up here in Boston.... so it seems that they are pretty good at that.
Good luck!
2008 BMW 335i Coupe
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Old 04-10-2003, 06:57 PM
Q45Denver's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Denver
Posts: 287
What are estimated annual maintenance costs for the 300E vs. 420E? I assume insurance and gas would be similiar. Another reason for considering the 300E over the E420 is that appearance wise it is in almost perfect condition. This car has over 100K miles but there aren't even any creases on the leather seats or and door dings or paint chips. The only problems I've found with it so far are that the A/C does not blow very cold and the engine stalls when first started up and is very sluggish until it gets warmed up.
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