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Old 08-18-2003, 01:49 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 161
400SE, How tight ;should serp. belt be?

I just looked at and test drove a 92 400SE.

I was puzzled by how loose the fan/acc. belt was. I could move belt up an down easily 2 or more inches up and that amount down, the adjuster mechanism idler pully would move in and out. I was able to do this with one finger and thumb. Maby only 10 or 15 lbs of pressure would move the belt. ??? Is this normal?
My 300E is MUCH tighter than this, you might be able to deflect the belt .5 inch by tugging 3-4 times harder than was required on that 400SE.

To my surprise on the test drive there was no belt noise AND the AC unit seemed to work OK. ??

Another difference was at idle the oil pressure was only 1/2 bar and would only rise to 3 Bar (full gauge) if Tach was 2300 or higher. Is this normal for the 119.xx engines? It seemed very low compared to what I am accustomed to seeing on my 87 300E.

Car has 91,000 miles showing but interior was a little rougher than I thought was normal for that mileage.

Can any one who has this type of car give some insight about the belt tensioner and the ? low oil pressure.

I have never driven any MB except (2) 300E's, mine and another of a friends, but I was really expecting much more acceleration from the 119.xx engine. I know this car is heaver than my 300E, but it was way down from what I hoped for. Very quiet and no unusal engine sounds, with a very smooth idle, but mushy and slow throddle response.

Any advise or comments would be appreciated . Asking price (starting) was 14.5K. I didn't ask any more since I was not talking to the actual owner, but only to a man who operates a car detail shop and was attempting to sell it for the owner.

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Old 08-18-2003, 03:01 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,126
1) The belt tensioner is probably shot.

2) I haven't seen oil pressure that low in an M119 and I looked at a few before getting the one I have. Not uncommon on M103s from what I've seen.

3) It has second gear start so it won't burn much rubber unless you mash it and engage first gear. You should be able to keep up with an 84 Corvette with second gear start.

4) If you're willing to travel and/or trust out of state dealers/sellers, you shouldn't have to pay $14.5K for a car in that condition.

95 S420
91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD
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Old 08-18-2003, 05:08 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Tulsa
Posts: 304
Re oil pressure... I'm guessing you have a oil tube that is loose. You will sometimes notice a drop in oil pressure if one or more tubes is open. Do you hear any "clacking" noise coming from the engine?

I would suspect the Belt tensioner needs replacing too.

I have a 92 400se...

below is a list of problems posted by W140Gill

I've had most the items on the list fixed too. The engine wiring harness and the AC problems are two $$$ repair items.

I havent' had any transmission problems either.

Rear Headrests not reclining - New switch - DIY
Failed Lumbar Support - Vacuum leak by ZF pump - DIY
Air Con failure - Leak at intake pipe - new intake pipe - Shop
Sunroof Sticking - ongoing - TBA
Rear passenger window sticking - ongoing - TBA
Front door locks sticking - rebuilt front locks twice with new rollers - Removal/fit DIY rebuild Shop
Rear boot lid lock failing - Cleanout and lubricate - DIY
Mirrors not folding - New Switch - Dealer
Rear Centre vents position handles broken - ongoing - TBA
Gear selector light failure - New bulb - DIY
Dashboard lights (fuel gauge/ mileage recorder) - New bulbs - DIY
Dash lights on headlamp on/off cluster - New bulb - DIY
Central lock failure - New ZF Pump - DIY
Water leak - New Water Pump - Shop
Transmission flaring between gears - Transmission Overhaul - Shop
Rear Brake Caliper grinding - New rear caliper + New rear discs (rotors) - DIY
Oil leak at front of Engine - Front gasket of M104 engine - Shop
Squeaking engine drive belt - New belt + tension set - Shop
Drive shaft linkage worn - New linkage fitted - Shop
Ventilation blower motor failure - New motor fitted - Dealer
Ventilation blower squeaking at low speed - ongoing - TBA
Rear speaker buzzing - New rear speakers - DIY
electric aerial stuck down - New aerial - DIY
ABS light on following battery install - Reset ABS light - Dealer
Worn (perished sheathing) ignition leads - New engine wiring harness - Shop
ABS light on following perished ignition leads - Reset ABS light - Shop
Headlamp wiper failure on right lamp - ongoing - TBA
Breakup in lamination on rear glass - ongoing - TBA
Rear screen elements partially working - ongoing -TBA
Centre console roller jammed - forced back into tracks - DIY
Loose Bonnet Star Emblem - New Emblem fitted - DIY
Jump Wiper arm not jumping at screen corners - ongoing - TBA
Pulling to the left - Retracking - shop
Snapped drivers door check-strap (door jam) - New
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