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  #1  
Old 05-24-2003, 06:29 PM
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400e

Kicking around the idea of getting a 400e. Anything out of the ordinary I should look for? Common problems? What should I expect to pay? ANY info would help. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2003, 10:12 PM
slowlane
 
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Not to start a war, but I believe the 123 body and then the 124 bodies 300E, 400E, 500E, are overall best MB auto's produced. The 400E is a great car!

enjoy your drive,timreid
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  #3  
Old 05-25-2003, 12:28 AM
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I would get a 400E over any other 124 chassis. There are several reason: it doesn't cost much more than a 300E and is a lot cheaper than a 500E, has the newer 32-valve engine, same brakes as the 500E, better interior than the 300E, fast, very reliable. GET IT!
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  #4  
Old 05-25-2003, 02:50 AM
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Have to agree with Nero. That is why I made up my mind on the 400e. How about different years to avoid or to look out for? Anything that sticks out in anyone's mind. There are a few on Ebay. Some pretty damn cheap. I would never buy I car I didn't actually see in person. I wouldn't mind getting one that needed a little bit of TLC. I am a fairly competent mechanic, just don't want to buy a piece of ****. So any year 400e is a good year?
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  #5  
Old 05-25-2003, 05:15 AM
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Some years, maybe all, had problems with the engine wiring harness. There's a fair amount of discussion in the archives.

Sixto
91 300SE
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  #6  
Old 05-25-2003, 09:25 AM
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400E...agree with replies so far. I searched for mine for about 4 months. ...have had it for 3 years..'92. LOVE IT ! Issues with the car: wiring harness..can cause various electrical, ignition, running quirks. Brakes, although excellent at stopping, prone to going through pads quickly and warping rotors...not had huge issue overall...just be aware that it's different from your average 124. Cooling system..it must be in excellent shape. Any component out of service or worn WILL cause overheating. This car has so much packed under the hood, there is little tolorance for hot temps. This includes thermostat, radiator, coolant, auxil. fans and the associated sesnors and relays. My final advice, and this is for 400Es and any other older Benz: don't buy one that had shady records. You will only pay for it in the end. My experience has been that these cars produce an extreme level of longevity when they are properly maintained. In turn, they hide maintenance issue a long time if unkept. Then when you least expect it...BAM!.. So, if you look long enough, you can find the car that's been garage kept, MB shop maintained, driven to church :-), etc... The 400E, not as much as the 500E, were soon found out to be a blast to mistreat..they can be driven extremely hard and folks did just that...look every one over carefully. Good luck. Oh yeah, I'd buy another 400E any day...
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  #7  
Old 05-25-2003, 11:26 AM
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Amen to the maint. issue. I lucked out big time when I found my 300SD. I will look for the same when I am ready to buy 400E.
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  #8  
Old 05-25-2003, 11:40 AM
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jc300e is spot on in all his observations. I've had a 400E for 3 years - its been a great car.

A couple of further observations - the M119 is one of the most impressive engines I've ever driven. It has loads of power at any RPM, very refined and from what I've gather on this (and other) boards its a very reliable piece.

I've lusted after a 500E and have test driven a few but I've decided to stick with the 400E- its about 80% as good for way less than half the price.

Some people prefer the 94 and up version of the W124 body. I'm not aware of any other good/bad year issues.

My car also has fairly weak A/C - its not great in stop and go traffic. These cars also have weak motor mounts and as jce300 said I'm going thru a set of brake pads every 15k miles.

A used 400E has got to be one of the best used car values in history. I'm not aware of anything that can approach its level of power, refinement and reliability for less than 10K. Its a great deal.

Tim
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  #9  
Old 05-25-2003, 08:33 PM
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Here's my $.02. I love the 400E ('92-'93) and E420 ('94-'95), and would recommend any year. I've read that the early ones may have problems with the engine wiring harness.

1. The 300E / 400E / E420 have the same interior.

2. The 1992 400E was the first year of R134a a/c regrigerant.

2. The 400E always had a 4.2 liter V8. This engine was also used for one year only in the next E class (W210) in 1997 (E420). An E420 was not offered in 1996. In 1998, the M113 4.3 liter was introduced.
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  #10  
Old 05-25-2003, 09:15 PM
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I have had my 400E for 7 years and continue to admire and love it more all the time. Lots of power and refinement.

Of all the maintenance/repair issues brought up, the most expensive is the AC. Many W124s will eventually need evaporator replacement (mine did 3 or 4 years ago) to the tune of $2000 or so if you have it done.

The second biggest repair expense is probably the throttle actuator. Probably $1100 or so.

Wiring harness is not quite so bad -- $450 for parts, a couple hours labor, and not bad as a DIY procedure, I'm told.

Be aware that the M119 engine in a W124 body is a TIGHT fit, so virtually every job under the hood takes longer...
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  #11  
Old 05-25-2003, 10:48 PM
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My 400E has the first version of the M119 engine in it. There was a change in the engine after a certain serial #. I don't know what was changed but the waterpump is different. I would think that if my car has been this trouble free and it is one of the firsts then they all should be good. Just check the harness, I got lucky on mine and it has been replaced, at least I think so. The '94, '95 models I prefer the most but the price jumps because they look newer.
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  #12  
Old 05-26-2003, 12:56 AM
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I'm not aware of anything that can approach its level of power, refinement and reliability for less than 10K.


At the risk of being flamed...I'd say a similar vintage Q45 (92-95) fits the bill. It does not posses the handling or brakes of a 400e but there are fewer mechanical/electrical issues. It is a significantly larger car and taking that into account, it handles quite well. The transmission is both more responsive and smoother shifting (W124/M119 can't even compare). As a result it feels "as if" the Q is significantly quicker - well it definitely is off the line (1st gear is not as tall). I also see the lack of central locking switch be a gross oversight.

The Q doesn't seem to have nearly the electrical gremlins that my 400e does - IE intermittently flashing interior control lights, intermittently working windows.

The Q is more refined as far as NHV and creature comforts. AC is superior both in it's imediate effectiveness, much quiter operation as well as longevity of components not to mention that you actually can choose fan speeds other than just low and high. Ergonomics are also superior. Arm rests, foot rest and accelerator pedal are much more effectively placed (more comfortable) and there is both at tilt as well as telescoping steering wheel that slides back (as does the drivers seat) and up to aid ingress/egress. The seat cushion is significantly longer - I find the W124 seat cushion WAY too short and I'm short!

Paint/clearcoat look as if they are of significantly better quality as well and the paint on my Q, though thoroughly neglected, still cleans up well with a simple wash.

The Q does have it's weaknesses as well: Fuel injectors will go out around 80-100K (around $1500-1800 for all 8), window regulators are weak ($300-400 cost per window - I've replaced three over 110K), upper front suspension links - I've replaced them around 75K). The car is heavy and goes through rotors and tires - rotors last you around 18-25 K depending on how hard you drive. The leather is not nearly as durable as W124 leather and my drivers seat is quite worn (other interior materials are holding up very well). Steering feel is not as good - a bit overboosted for my taste and turn in is not nearly as crisp/quick as my 400e.

Anyhow, just wanted to offer an alternative.
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  #13  
Old 05-26-2003, 11:39 AM
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Don't take this the wrong way but......No thanks on the Q45, I'll stick to a real German car.
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'04 VW Passat W8 (6spd manual) SOLD!!
'68/'69 Empi Imp body on '65 Beetle pan
'93 Ducati 900 SS
'79 Kawasaki KZ 650
'86 Kawasaki KX 250
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  #14  
Old 05-26-2003, 11:56 AM
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No offense taken. Just wanted to point out a V8 sedan that is often over looked. Very true, no "German"-ness here what so ever. But for under 10K one hell of a ride. Currenlty owning both it's a very interesting side by side comparison. My Q has been MUCH cheaper to own (and has nearly double the mileage).
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  #15  
Old 05-26-2003, 05:54 PM
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I guess it is somewhat like the motorcycle analogy. Ducati has mastered the V-twin thing. They have been winning races for a decade now with this design beating all the inline fours from Japan. Now Honda has introduced the v-twin of their own. Almost an exact copy of the Ducati except Japanese style. Now they are winning the races with Ducati getting a win here and there but still in the mix. The Japanese can touch an old design and relight the fire, but without the quirkiness. I guess you have to ride a Duck to know where I'm coming from.
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'68/'69 Empi Imp body on '65 Beetle pan
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