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  #1  
Old 03-11-2006, 09:15 PM
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question about 420 sel engine

i have a chance to buy a 1987 420 sel w/ 195000 miles and i'm curious about the longevity of that engine. it runs well and it is cheap but i want to know if it is as good as other benz motors.
thanks,
gregg

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Old 03-11-2006, 11:36 PM
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anyone?
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Centrally located in North East Central Pa.
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  #3  
Old 03-11-2006, 11:40 PM
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In my opinion it's one of the best engines Mercedes Benz made. The only thing that I can think of that needs to be done is to replace the timing chain and guides at least every 100,000 miles.
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Old 03-11-2006, 11:41 PM
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approx what is the cost of doing the chains?
thanks
gregg
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2006, 11:44 PM
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I think normally in the $700 range.
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2006, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogweed
i have a chance to buy a 1987 420 sel w/ 195000 miles and i'm curious about the longevity of that engine. it runs well and it is cheap but i want to know if it is as good as other benz motors.
thanks,
gregg
It is not the engine that will give you problems. It is all the other things that can (and will) go wrong with a 19 year old car with nearly 200k miles on the clock.

Be sure to get a thorough inspection from a trusted mechanic. Get a list of things that the car needs (or will soon need) and then use it as a bargaining tool.

I previously owned a 1991 420SEL, which I sold at nearly 250k miles. I loved that car and I was sorry to sell it. If you get this car, you will really enjoy it, just be sure that you know what you are getting into.

good luck!
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Old 03-12-2006, 12:33 AM
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I have a 1985 380SE that I am told is basically the same engine, only slightly smaller (3.8L vs. 4.2L). I have nearly 265K, but I am starting to have some engine noise issues (lifters/knocks), but I think the previous owner (who had owned the last 50K miles) took poor care of the car - neglected oil changes - hence this possible issue. Despite that, it still runs great, with NO oil leaks, NO oil burning, and runs smoothly. Even between oil changes, the oil stays on the full mark, which amazes me.

With that said, for no more than I paid for it, I will drive it until it quits - then part it out. Tranny is still perfect, as is the interior. Whats suprising to me is that everything electrical still works too (knock on wood).
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  #8  
Old 03-13-2006, 12:45 AM
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420sel was arguably the best of the gas 126's. It was modestly less powerful than the 560 US flagship (238 hp for 560 vs 201 for 420), but it had all the worthwhile bells and whistles (in the US version) without the pain in the neck ones. I think the most cumbersome was the hydraulic suspension on the 560. It is something that is complicated and has limited repair options. Would much rather have a shock absorber based system. 380 126s in US were less powerful and lacked some of the (to me) desirable bells/whistles (ABS, airbags), but they were also terrific cars.
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2006, 09:51 AM
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One thing to consider, @ that mileage there is a very strong likelihood that the valve guides will be worn. If the car lived in a city/urban setting (lots of stop/go, sitting in traffic) they will definitely be shot. You can band aid the problem w/ a fresh set of valve guide seals but expect to do heads by 250 @ the most if you want to keep your car running as it should/like new.

Also you will Want to see receipts that the transmission and fluid has been changed regularly.. If not there is a strong possibility you won't see many more miles from that box.

Lastly, take this car is for a PPI to someone who is familiar w/ 126's/V8's..it will be the best 100 or so $ you spend on the car.

Jonathan
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  #10  
Old 03-13-2006, 04:11 PM
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I know what it costs if you have the chain guides break. Trust me, you want to replace them. Here's the article that came out two weeks after mine went.
http://www.import-car.com/ic/ic40024.htm

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