16th Jul 2006, 23:27

I wouldn't rule out the 420SEL or even the 560SEL as a first car for a teenager. They (and their parents) should ensure that they find a good one, well maintained and well documented.

They may need to budget about $2000 a year to maintain it, but that is a lot cheaper than a car payment on an entry level domestic or import. The W126 is one of the best cars ever made, and is worth a serious look, especially for a would-be enthusiast.

Despite the car's heft and its seemingly modest (by contemporary standards) power and torque ratings, it hauls ass, especially at highway speeds, and is arguably the safest passenger car on the road.

24th Aug 2006, 23:50

I just got my hands on a 92 Mercedes 400SE with 134,000 Miles for $500.00. It's in great shape with a few minor dings and typical wear and tear from daily driving. The person who "gave" it to me drove it to my house. She informed me of various leaks it had and her constant refilling of coolant and oil. My findings are as follows: Water Pump Leaking, Balancer pulley not properly installed from previous work done, loose and wobbly, shaved down tube from water pump and shaved half of Crank Position Sensor off, Stripped bolts on oil pan and valve covers, loose bolts also causing oil leaks, Timing Chain Guide Rails completely destroyed (both sides) inner tops of valve covers shaved from chain, upper/inner guide slide rails gone, rail pins floating around destroyed, Alternator Full Of coolant and oil which does not work anymore. If any one has any helpful hints or experience with this project please fill us in. I am a mechanic (Audi/Volkswagen)mainly updating software and completing open recalls in A8-W12's, 4.2's, A6's, A4's, S Series, Pheaton's, Passat's, Jetta's, R32 GTI's. I've asked my boss and other mechanics if they have had the opportunity to tackle a task such as this and all of them replied "No way! and Good Luck!" Regardless of what they say I'm going to it. I have pictures of my progress so far if anyone would like to view them. Let me know. Thanks...John


21st Nov 2006, 09:38

Recently purchased my 420.best car I ever bought. and after owning over 200 I can say I need no others. wish I could have afforded one earlier in my life, but that's how it goes. she is a 1987 420 sel with 145000 miles lovingly cared 4 by my new best friend. this beauty is the love of my driving life. just do it. get yourself one. you will not regret it.

23rd Apr 2007, 14:36

Hi All,

I have a 1987 420SEL and it's sort of a love hate relationship. My problem is this...

1) When the car idles it sometimes "revs" on its own to around 1200 rpm and then it goes down to normal. It just started doing this. Any thoughts?

2) Hard start sometimes. Sometimes it starts fine other times it cranks, but it's like it's not getting any fuel. Then when it does start it feels like it's only running on 3-4 cylinders... lots of black smoke out of the tail pipe then in "catches" and its fine. This does not happen all of the time. Please help.



28th Jun 2007, 08:22

I really prayed and asked God to fix this angel's scabbed wings and give me a dependable car.. Especially if he wants me to keep on doing whatever...

HE fixed me up with this 1987 420 Sel... "Lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz.." ha-ha... JJ...

I have never been in love with a vehicle as much as this one...162,000 miles and got it for $1700...beautiful dark blue. And will outrun the word of God.. ha ha...

Little trouble though with the alternator.. and a few little burnt wires...

Only trouble I have had is that it will start for a sec and then quit in about three seconds.. "Ovo and ovo!," ... It seems to have fixed itself though...??? Anyone out there familiar with these actions?

Running fine right now... and I love it... whatever it is will be well worth my time and money to fix it.. I am not too bad myself with a set of metric - tools. SO, any helpful comments will sure be appreciated...

BTW my seventeen year-old is trying to take it, "Ovo... ha-hah! (and probably will)"

This car would make an ugly person look great.. ha-ha, It does me.. hee-hee!

Sincerely TC.

28th Jun 2007, 21:46

May I pass on a little tip to all you web masters?? I found that when one buys an older car, that stuff has a way of dry rotting on it. And wires corrode... especially on the ends. DUH!

So I took out ALL FUSES. Got me a tiny wire brush and delicately scratched the ends and terminals with a shot of electrical cleaner spray. Then I replaced each fuse according to the enclosed diagram, or what came out of the fuse slots. I made sure that all the fuses were seated properly in their nice, clean anti-corrosion beds.

Don't you know that this even fixed my radio and my electric antennae... YAY!

See, some of the old fuses' caps were rotting off. And replacing them ALL just cost me about fifteen dollars and a little back-ache. GOOD LUCK TO ALL.

15th Sep 2007, 04:03

I live in South Africa, and I own a 88 420SE. No trouble at all for the last 2 1/2 years. I service the car every 10000km's, and I changed the timing chain and valve stem seals as a precaution on the last service (180000km).

8th Apr 2008, 20:43

I have an 88 420SEL bought for 2800, and put 3500 into a new transmission. The car had sat for 3 years when I got it. After the first 2 months it needed a new water pump (700) and eventually after a Southern California summer with temperatures well over 100, it started to "jump" idle like a previous poster had issues with. I changed the wires, plugs and air filter, which fixed the idle issues. I feel the initial repairs are to be expected on a car that sat that long with 200,000 miles. Since the initial repairs it has run strong.

Only complaint is low power off the line, but super power at highway speeds.

I think if I replace the timing chain, I may get 100-200,000 more miles out of it.

Favorite car so far, a true gem.

3rd Jan 2009, 21:03

I have an 87 420SEL. Bought it in 2002 with 54,000 miles. Almost all the work need was in the first year due to lack of use by first owner. Now has 94,000 miles and still looks like new. Black with palamino interior.

It is a true dream to own and drive. I have had it up to 120mph and floored it and the car jumped, truly amazing.

When I bring her to the M.B. dealership for service, buyers come out to look, but it's the dealers staff that flock out, and they all say they wish we still made them like this!

Mark, Chicago Il.

20th Apr 2009, 06:05

I bought a 1989 420 SEL Dec.08 with 154k for 3500. Best money spent for a car ever! I had always like the body style, no major problems (knock on wood) just a new alternator, will have timing chain, and wires done soon. I could drive this ride forever..