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Thread: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

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    Junior Member a777fan's Avatar
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    OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Thought I would take a moment to introduce myself here. I've been lurking on this awesome forum for a bit now, and I just recently picked up a Brilliant Silver 1994 E420. I've wanted a W124 for quite a few years... I grew up riding around in my grandparents 1988 300E. I've got great memories of that car, and I had finally finished up enough of my other car projects to move on to something a little more interesting.

    Up until now I've been a VW/Audi guy, and I have become pretty comfortable wrenching on my examples on my own. The most extensive work I have done has been on the 2000 Passat GLX 4motion I inherited from my Dad back in 2012. That has been quite the adventure. The car was never abused and was dealer serviced for its entire life, but 15+ years of use just adds up. I've worked my way through most of the powertrain issues those models have and have documented the journey here on PassatWorld. I'm pretty proud of what I have been able to accomplish with that car, but as I alluded to above, it's time to move on!

    So... on to the E420. I found it down in the CA Bay Area. Its currently got 127k on the clock, and I am the 4th owner. I had been searching in the PNW for a bit, and was starting to become a little fatigued by the Craigslist run around. Most if not all the cars I would go see would be described as 'mint' in photos or over the phone, but were hardly in that condition when seen in person. Additionally... I'm not sure what the deal is with CL transactions, but I have rarely found that anyone posting there could be described as 'reliable'. Comes with the territory I guess!

    So.. as the frustration grew, the search area became wider and wider. I happened upon a promising ad in the SF Bay Area... but the asking price almost prevented me from reaching out. On a lark, I sent an email, and received a reply almost immediately. It wasn't one of those hokey CL replies either... lots of detail and information about the car. We ended up connecting on the phone shortly thereafter. It turned out that the owner had had the car up for sale for quite awhile, and was running into a hard deadline to sell as he was being transferred out of the country. He had had a deal put together, only to have it fall through at the last moment when the prospective purchaser wanted to work out a monthly payment plan ... right. Anyhoo... his situation meant he was flexible on price.

    We set up a time to meet, I bought a one way ticket to CA, and that was that.

    The car turned out being pretty impressive. Not perfect for sure, but it checked all the right boxes. The prev owner was quite meticulous about the maintenance he performed. Everything from fuel pumps, to wheel bearings, to a new external temp sender and display for the dash, to all of the regular required maintenance. All performed by a top notch german auto shop in the Bay Area. All parts used were OE MB. I've added up the receipts he provided, and he dropped almost 17 grand into the car in the 6 years he owned it.

    We were able to come to an agreement on price, and I ended up driving it back to Seattle that afternoon. The car didn't skip a beat on the way back. Pretty impressive for a 23 year old car, regardless of how much love its gotten!

    Here it is at the first fuel up:


    And later on down the road at a rest stop just outside of Weed, CA:



    So... Like i said, its not perfect... so what's currently on the list?

    -Sagging headliner in the rear. Currently looking for a good shop in the Seattle area to get this repaired, as I looked last night and a new unit from MB is ~1600!
    - Drivers headrest non functional. I can hear the motor, but nothing moves. I assume the 'transmission' is broken. I've ordered a new part and its on its way
    - Harnesses. Miraculously both the upper and lower harnesses have survived this long. I've already ordered a new upper, but was sad to see that the lower is NLA. I guess I'll need to do some searching on refurbing it myself. I currently have some intermittent odd oil pressure gauge issues (needle jumping erratically occasionally) which I think might have something to do with the harness. Either that or the sender.
    -Right rear passenger lower door trim. There was some damage to the right rear passenger door at some point, and they were able to re-use the trim, but the chrome strip is obviously mangled. Not obvious at first glance, but it see it all the time now, and its annoying
    - Suspension. I think I'm going to go through the whole thing and replace everything... links, bushings... struts.. everything. It's not bad right now, but it is a bit 'floaty'. I'd like more of a firmer ride, especially with the speeds this thing can achieve on the freeway! I haven't done a lot of digging on the subject yet, but it seems like the 'Sportline' suspension is an option for firmer rates and damping. I'm a little confused though, as I have only seen this option on E320's. Is there a 'Sportline' option for the E420s? Alternatively, are the E500 parts that can be swapped in?
    - Rear diff. Its seeping. I'll probably pull the whole unit and replace all seals when I decide its time to do the suspension.

    I'm sure there is more, but thats the list I have for now. This will be a slow slow project, but I plan on using this space to document the journey.

    Anyways, I'm happy to be here. I am absolutely in love with how solid this car is. No creaks, squeaks or rattles, even over our crappy Seattle roadways. Amazing for 23 years of use!
    Last edited by a777fan; 2 Weeks Ago at 04:03 PM.

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    Re: My 1994 E420 enjoyment/repair/resto thread



    You are welcome to transform this thread into an "OWNER" thread and I can move it to the "Owners and their Cars" sub-forum.

    Congratulations!!

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    Re: My 1994 E420 enjoyment/repair/resto thread

    Welcome to 500eB. Got a couple 400e's. Awesome cars. Yours looks like a nice one. Cool story on the purchase.

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    Re: My 1994 E420 enjoyment/repair/resto thread

    Nice story, nice car! Make your thread an Owners per Gerrys suggestion and welcome in and enjoy THE forum to be part of with these cars.

    There is a sportline option for the E420, I did it to my E420,with 500E sway bars etc. The only thing I didn't do was the shorter ratio steering box, not worth it tbh.
    Great plan to get the upper harness replaced asap, I never had any problem with my original one, and thought it looked great, but realized that I've only been lucky when I dissected it to find crumbled insulation everywhere. Don't touch it until you have a new harness to swap in.
    Thomas
    1994 E420
    1993 500E - (my fathers)

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    Re: My 1994 E420 enjoyment/repair/resto thread

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post


    You are welcome to transform this thread into an "OWNER" thread and I can move it to the "Owners and their Cars" sub-forum.

    Congratulations!!

    That sounds great Gerry! Do I need to do anything to the content, or can you just move it over for me?

    I'd also love to know how you get your fuelly content to display at the bottom of your posts!

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    Re: My 1994 E420 enjoyment/repair/resto thread

    Quote Originally Posted by doolar View Post
    Nice story, nice car! Make your thread an Owners per Gerrys suggestion and welcome in and enjoy THE forum to be part of with these cars.

    There is a sportline option for the E420, I did it to my E420,with 500E sway bars etc. The only thing I didn't do was the shorter ratio steering box, not worth it tbh.
    Great plan to get the upper harness replaced asap, I never had any problem with my original one, and thought it looked great, but realized that I've only been lucky when I dissected it to find crumbled insulation everywhere. Don't touch it until you have a new harness to swap in.
    Thanks for the advice, especially about the e420 Sportline stuff. You wouldn't happen to have any of the part numbers still, would you?

    The harness should be on its way to me in a few days. Definitely not touching anything until its here.

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    Re: My 1994 E420 enjoyment/repair/resto thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MB V8 View Post
    Welcome to 500eB. Got a couple 400e's. Awesome cars. Yours looks like a nice one. Cool story on the purchase.
    Thanks much! Seems like I'm kinda in the same boat as a few of the others here on the 420 side of things. The 500 is an amazing car, but I'm not in a position to be ponying up for one at the moment. The 420 will be a fine stand-in! (for now )

  13. #8

    Re: My 1994 E420 enjoyment/repair/resto thread

    I think E420's are nice vehicles too. As a matter of fact I am looking for one myself.
    I am also planning on putting Sportline seats in it too.

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    E500E Guru sheward's Avatar
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    Re: My 1994 E420 enjoyment/repair/resto thread

    Welcome! I like the 420s as well. Looks like a nice one in a familiar color. I have a set of H&R springs if interested as well as an upper harness and some other items . I always keep watch for nice examples as they are becoming scarce.

    Drew
    Drew
    92 500e 58,500 miles
    92 500e 180,000+ miles
    93 500e 179,000 miles sold
    92 500e 110,000 miles sold

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    Re: My 1994 E420 enjoyment/repair/resto thread

    Welcome to the board! I'm also in Seattle and have some suspension parts you may be interested in. Unfortunately my car was totaled about a year ago and I too have been keeping an eye out for one in Seattle. Not much coming up around here. Anyhow, I have a brand new 500e front sway bar I purchased off a member, bushings, hardware, bump stops, spring pads and possibly some other stuff. Would make you a deal if interested since there would be no shipping. Parts are listed here:

    http://www.500eboard.com/forums/show...588#post147588

    I had the sportline springs but sold them to GSXR soon after my car met its demise. Here are a couple great threads that shows the part numbers an thoroughly discusses suspension.

    http://www.500eboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9504

    http://www.500eboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10315

    theres also some advice about suspension on my owners thread that you may find helpful.

    I'd order parts from MB Naperville as they have cheap OE parts and often offer promo codes to members for shipping (on smaller orders). You can search for the latest promo code.

    Anyhow...would love to be of help if you ever get stuck on anything. This board is great and there are a lot of really helpful people here who can provide a wealth of knowledge. I'm just a grasshopper by comparison, but I did run down several problems and would be happy to help if you need a set of eyes or a second set of hands. Would also just love to see your ride since I'm a fanatic!!!

    Again...welcome to the board. That's one sweet looking ride and a great story!
    Last edited by jonie13; 1 Week Ago at 11:39 PM.

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    Re: My 1994 E420 enjoyment/repair/resto thread

    Quote Originally Posted by a777fan View Post
    I'd also love to know how you get your fuelly content to display at the bottom of your posts!
    There's "embed" code on the Fuelly site that allows you to just copy and paste it into your "signature" settings on this (or any other) forum site.

    You can find the embed code/instructions here (at least for my own Fuelly E500 info). On your car's Fuelly page, go to the "Share your MPG" box on the right hand side and click on the link.

    See image below (click to enlarge).

    Cheers,
    Gerry

    Screenshot 2017-09-09 10.01.42.jpg

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    Junior Member a777fan's Avatar
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    Re: My 1994 E420 enjoyment/repair/resto thread

    Quote Originally Posted by sheward View Post
    Welcome! I like the 420s as well. Looks like a nice one in a familiar color. I have a set of H&R springs if interested as well as an upper harness and some other items . I always keep watch for nice examples as they are becoming scarce.

    Drew
    Excellent! The user community and the parts trading that goes on here has to be one of the best things about this space. As I move into the suspension upgrade phase, I might be reaching out to you!

  19. #13
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    Re: My 1994 E420 enjoyment/repair/resto thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jonie13 View Post
    Welcome to the board! I'm also in Seattle and have some suspension parts you may be interested in. Unfortunately my car was totaled about a year ago and I too have been keeping an eye out for one in Seattle. Not much coming up around here. Anyhow, I have a brand new 500e front sway bar I purchased off a member, bushings, hardware, bump stops, spring pads and possibly some other stuff. Would make you a deal if interested since there would be no shipping. Parts are listed here:

    http://www.500eboard.com/forums/show...588#post147588

    I had the sportline springs but sold them to GSXR soon after my car met its demise. Here are a couple great threads that shows the part numbers an thoroughly discusses suspension.

    http://www.500eboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9504

    http://www.500eboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10315

    theres also some advice about suspension on my owners thread that you may find helpful.

    I'd order parts from MB Naperville as they have cheap OE parts and often offer promo codes to members for shipping (on smaller orders). You can search for the latest promo code.

    Anyhow...would love to be of help if you ever get stuck on anything. This board is great and there are a lot of really helpful people here who can provide a wealth of knowledge. I'm just a grasshopper by comparison, but I did run down several problems and would be happy to help if you need a set of eyes or a second set of hands. Would also just love to see your ride since I'm a fanatic!!!

    Again...welcome to the board. That's one sweet looking ride and a great story!
    Hey! Awesome info.... but total bummer on your loss... it seems like we had very similar ideas on where we wanted to take our cars... including the Monoblocks! Do you remember the offset you were running?

    Those suspension posts were exactly what I was looking for. Thank you! I need to price this stuff out and start feeding the piggybank. And we should talk about the front sway. I'd be interested.

    Its amazing how difficult the 420s are getting to find. 320s seem to be a dime a dozen, but 420s are a onesie-twosie kinda thing. Are you actively looking?

    We should meet up. I'm chatting with Mikeym (another new e420 owner here in Seattle) about tagging up this weekend. Are you around and available?

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    Re: My 1994 E420 enjoyment/repair/resto thread

    Quote Originally Posted by a777fan View Post
    Thanks for the advice, especially about the e420 Sportline stuff. You wouldn't happen to have any of the part numbers still, would you?

    The harness should be on its way to me in a few days. Definitely not touching anything until its here.
    Links for the suspension parts has been posted already I saw, read through those two threads and you're golden.
    Thomas
    1994 E420
    1993 500E - (my fathers)

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    Re: My 1994 E420 enjoyment/repair/resto thread

    I believe the mono blocks were et35 or et37. They were a square set of 17's off of the c36 and the clearance was good. I had 45 series tiers at 225 on there and I should have probably rolled the front fenders to be safe...or used spacers. Clearance was tight in front but just fine in back.

    I'd love to meet up for coffee or something. PM me to let me know what works.

    cheers,

    Jon

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    Re: My 1994 E420 enjoyment/repair/resto thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jonie13 View Post
    I believe the mono blocks were et35 or et37. They were a square set of 17's off of the c36 and the clearance was good. I had 45 series tiers at 225 on there and I should have probably rolled the front fenders to be safe...or used spacers. Clearance was tight in front but just fine in back.

    cheers,

    Jon
    Haha, Funny. Jon, I just mounted those wheels on my E320 Cabrio yesterday! How funny to be talking about them.

    A777Fan, Welcome to the site! Nice to see another PNWer here, and it looks like a really nice car too. I've parted quite a few E420's over the past 10 years so if there's anything you need let me know, I'm happy to help.

    Steve

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    OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by SG-Motorsports View Post
    Haha, Funny. Jon, I just mounted those wheels on my E320 Cabrio yesterday! How funny to be talking about them.

    A777Fan, Welcome to the site! Nice to see another PNWer here, and it looks like a really nice car too. I've parted quite a few E420's over the past 10 years so if there's anything you need let me know, I'm happy to help.

    Steve
    So you're the lucky guy with Jon's old wheels! >

    Thanks for the kind words and offer! I'm sure i'll be kicking around in the parts bin soon enough... actually... things i'm currently looking for:

    New(er) non-eco lower harness (since NLA)
    Gray headliner
    Gray drivers door interior side view mirror cover
    Gray front door pockets (mine are delaminating around the edges... haven't taken a peek to see if i can fix)

    -Jon

    Edit: wheres a pic of the cabrio with the wheels?


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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Haha! Glad you're putting those monoblocks to good use Steve! I was so happy that they went to a member and didn't just roll off to a junk yard. P.S. saw you're beautiful 500sl on BaT today...that's quite a car!

    Met up with A777fan and Mikeym last weekend to check out there rides and both were great. Jon, you totally scored on a very clean example!

    There's a How To here on the door pocket repair BTW.
    Last edited by jonie13; 1 Week Ago at 10:07 PM.

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonie13 View Post
    Haha! Glad you're putting those monoblocks to good use Steve! I was so happy that they went to a member and didn't just roll off to a junk yard. P.S. saw you're beautiful 500sl on BaT today...that's quite a car!

    Met up with A777fan and Mikeym last weekend to check out there rides and both were great. Jon, you totally scored on a very clean example!

    There's a How To here on the door pocket repair BTW.
    Thanks Jon! We'll definitely have to do it again soon. Thanks for the door pocket repair tip. Its in my future!




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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Had to head to the grocery store tonight, and rolled over:



    I really love this car. Even around town. Hard to describe, but I'm a different kind of driver behind the wheel. It's nice and relaxed.


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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by jonie13 View Post
    Met up with A777fan and Mikeym last weekend to check out there rides and both were great. Jon, you totally scored on a very clean example!
    Greg
    '94 E500
    '03 E320 4Matic Wagon (W210)

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by 8899 View Post
    This -- ^ We were nerding out so bad, we didn't take any!!!!

    Next time for sure.

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