6th Sep 2010, 18:36
We bought a 1992 400E with 99,000 on the odometer that had been garage kept and looks pristine. It now has 105,000 miles and feels like it's still in its middle years.
The only problem was a bad starter solenoid that almost left me stranded. It didn't take me too long to get fed up with the handling from the 15 series tires. Since getting new wheels is very expensive and iffy because of the body design, I put in some Koni Sport adjustable front struts and KYB gas shocks on the rear. Wow what a difference! The car stays buttoned down in corners, the heavy front end doesn't wander any more and, since the body's so solid, you can jack up the Konis so it rides firmly yet very comfortably. With that lovely V8 pulling like a locomotive, I don't worry anymore about road imperfections or long banked turns at speed.
It's a great car.
15th Sep 2010, 21:34
I have owned a 92 400e for 6 years. I bought it with 90,000 and it now runs with 165,000. It really is a nice car. The stealth power is incredible at passing speed when you floor it from 60. There are few cars that will outrun it at that speed.
I had an expensive year with it, it is 18 years old after all. The following expensive items failed, and that is normal wear and tear:
Power steering pump.
Belt tensioner (twice, 92 is problematic design).
Evaporator (A/C, I have yet to repair it, $1200 fix).
I really can't think of another car that drives so nicely with a nice walnut and leather interior for the money (under 5k is what mine is worth).
All other electronics work. Mine has ASR which some fear, but I have not had problems.
It will be expensive to repair at times, but driving it is just so enjoyable. It gets cooler as it ages, very retro looking.
On a nice highway I can easily travel 80-110 MPH steadily and without fear, it's almost too smooth and you forget how quickly you're moving.
It wears out front brakes quickly, and you should replace them yourself easily and cheaply. It's quite easy.
It looks good, and again the closet stealth speed it has (torque) is almost awesome. Newer cars are only going to beat you by 1-2 seconds to 60 (7 seconds for 400e) but when anything tries to outrun you at 60-80 and you step on it few cars will win the race.
If you can handle an expensive repair here and there, consider one as your daily driver. They say it's one of the last truly over engineered Mercedes. It feels so solid. Get one!