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  #1  
Old 12-03-2003, 02:45 PM
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Smile 4.2 liter V-8 Opinions. Anyone

Hi,

Could a few owners of the 4.2 liter (M119?) V-8 give me an idea of "issues" and reliability. (1994-1995 E-420).

I've been happy with my 3.0's in the past right up toward the 300K mile mark with regular maintainence. Can I expect similar results with the V-8?

Any common issues that I should be aware of. I've seen a few of various years in the 80,000 - 120,000 mile range that I may consider purchasing.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2003, 03:09 PM
Ali Al-Chalabi's Avatar
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Is you do a search on the M119, you will find that 300k miles will be a piece of cake. I know Steve Brotherton has a customer with something like 650,000 miles on one with nothing other than new rails and a timing chain or something along those lines.
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2003, 06:47 PM
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Throttle actuator, wiring harness, engine breather hoses, motor mounts, belt tensioner are a few things come into my mind.

Timing chain and its accessories, distributor caps and rotors(earlier model) need some cares, a lot of owners complain mysterious idle problems, mine was solved by fixing a fuel leak near fuel pumps.

Airpump and power steering pump cause some troubles but these are not M119 related issues.

Most of the things above are not really related to the engine mechanicals, these engines are built to last, at 230K kms my camshafts showed absolutely no wear at all.
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  #4  
Old 12-03-2003, 09:02 PM
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mine has (as yet un sorted) odd idle.

possible cause - breather hose from cam to throttle.

otherwise very smooth.
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2003, 11:07 PM
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It's a terrific engine, especially in a 94/95 E420. Later cars had plastic oil tubes that were a problem. From everything that I've heard and experienced the timing chains are bulletproof. Later cars had coil packs rather than distributor cap/rotor but it's not a big deal. Caps/rotors, 2 each, are about $200, maybe every 50k to 75k. I've heard of no top end problems and there's just no telling how long the bottom ends will last. It's not as easy to work on as a 300E but an overall incredible engine. It's one of the last things that Mercedes built to a standard rather than a price.
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2003, 09:46 PM
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Good input from those posting replies. I've only experienced the 'typical" issues with my '92 400E. Check wiring harness. A problem there can create all kinds of strange engine behavior. I personally checked with a local Benz dealer whose service mngr pulled my VIN and was able to see the harness had been replaced. Power Steering pump leaks are common. ALthough a peripheral and not directly an M119 issue, you will experience "the leak". Motor Mounts fail I assume due to the poor airflow inside the crampt engine compartment. Rotors and dist caps get harsh treatment on the 119. Just consider them a mntc item. Oh yeah... a common issue: Belt Tensioner assembly. Seems to be a 60K mile disposable part. Like the mounts, the heat under the hood seems to shorten its life. Other minor items I have experienced are:
Leaking oil psi sending unit
Leaking oil level sending unit

I suppose you could classify all these issues as superficial. Overall, I am amazed at the 119's dependability, durability and power.
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  #7  
Old 12-04-2003, 10:19 PM
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I have heard that the '92's are immune to the wiring harness fiasco..is this true? Also, if you buy a car like mine (MY' 92) without ASR, is a throttle actuator still employed?

I haven't done much DIY, on this car as it hasnt needed anything (yet), but I can say that the engine bay is *tight.* This to me this is intimidating as I am used to inline MBZ engines. But man does the m119 pull.

Only major gripe with this model is the tires size. Needs some real shoes

Mike
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Old 12-04-2003, 10:33 PM
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I was told that the '92 wiring harness had the issue depending upon the build date. Apparently, the degradable insulation was employeed during mid '92 production. Early model 92 400e's were not susceptable.

Don't let the compartment spook you. Once you remove all the plastic pipes, air cleaner and such, you will see a typical V8.
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2003, 09:36 AM
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Even non-ASR has throttle actuator

Even the non-ASR 400e/E420 has a throttle actuator.
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2003, 09:47 AM
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My 92 is an early 92 or late 91 production and it had the bad wiring harness which I changed. The throttle actuator is part of the fuel injection system so it is there whether there is ASR or not.
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  #11  
Old 12-05-2003, 12:14 PM
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Good information. I guess These are soem things I'll be looking out for.
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'90 300SE 298k
-300K and it gets put into retirement.
'80 300D 255k Purchased new by family in 1980.

Had a:
1973 220 (gas)
1980 300SD
1992 400E
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  #12  
Old 12-05-2003, 01:38 PM
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I had a major tuneup and that included the distributor caps and rotors but that was it really. Other than that it's been flawless... the car did come with a stack of maintenance receipts though.

and ... that V8 sound!! When I'm next to walls I usually wind the windows down and drop the transmission one gear ratio down and give it some gas....

honestly I think the M119 sounds more exotic than the M113... (when I was shopping for some C43 AMGs). The C43 had that burbling exhaust but none of that funky snarl that the 119 makes...
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