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Thread: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

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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; 09-08-2017 at 05:03 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 )

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    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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    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
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    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:

    https://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.

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

    https://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; 09-09-2017 at 12:39 AM.

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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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    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!

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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:

    https://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.

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

    https://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; 09-13-2017 at 11:07 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)
    '08 G55

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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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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    I'm starting to get prepped for fall/winter 'garage' season, and I'm looking forward to spending some time tearing into the E420!

    Already on the list for replacement...

    Upper Harness
    Oil/Filter (duh)
    Drivers Seat headrest adjustment

    Debating the following:
    Vacuum lines
    PCV/EGR Tubing
    Rebuild of lower harness
    Replacement ETA? (have yet to see what condition the harness there is in)
    Transmission Fluid/Filter
    Parking Brake rebuild (pushing the pedal does not result in a very confident feeling)
    B-service - I've been dabbling with just doing the B-service to baseline the sucker although I kind of wanted to wait for an even mileage increment so I'm more easily able to remember.

    What else should I be thinking of tackling? I've heard people discuss replacement of all fuses... but I haven't yet run across a thread which discusses the issue, and what the problem actually is.

    TIA!

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Check the fuses to determine if the aluminum ones which corrode have been replaced with copper ones.

    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: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    That has been the most common reason for replacing the fuses. They are cheap if you buy them off ebay. I replaced all of them on both of my W124s. I was getting intermittent ABS error on my E320 and it went away after I replaced the fuses and the OVP.

    Quote Originally Posted by sheward View Post
    Check the fuses to determine if the aluminum ones which corrode have been replaced with copper ones.

    Drew

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Add thermostat and coolant flush to the list. Temp never crept above 80C this morning on the freeway.
    Last edited by a777fan; 09-26-2017 at 11:39 AM.

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by a777fan View Post
    Debating the following:
    Vacuum lines
    PCV/EGR Tubing
    Rebuild of lower harness
    Replacement ETA? (have yet to see what condition the harness there is in)
    Transmission Fluid/Filter
    Parking Brake rebuild (pushing the pedal does not result in a very confident feeling)
    B-service - I've been dabbling with just doing the B-service to baseline the sucker although I kind of wanted to wait for an even mileage increment so I'm more easily able to remember.
    Vacuum tubes - all of them - are cheap and relatively easy to replace. Check all the rubber fittings as well, replace any which are degraded.

    If the PCV tubing on the intake is fossilized (should be soft rubber), replace all of it - there's a detailed forum thread with part numbers.

    Check the ETA date code. If original, you can leave it alone (for now) if it's not causing problems or triggering codes. This is less of a concern for a non-ASR car.

    Trans fluid/filter, make sure to drain the converter, and afterwards set the level to MAX on the dipstick with the trans fully hot.

    Parking brake shoes almost never wear out, you may simply need to adjust the shoes and/or cable.

    B-service probably just means a brake fluid flush (recommended every ~3 years) and cabin air filters, both of which are a good idea.

    Search the forum for coolant flush info, open BOTH block drains to get everything out, replace T-stat (make sure to get the correct one - your 1994 should use the 'early' style), refill the block via u pper radiator hose (4-5 quarts) before filling the rest via the plastic reservoir. Pre-mix coolant to your desired percentage of G-05 and only pour in the pre-mix. The FSM docs indicating 16+ quarts capacity appear to be wrong, I've never gotten more than 10-11 quarts out of the system, and I think actual capacity is closer to 12-13 quarts. If the plastic reservoir is yellow and crusty, consider replacing that too (<$100 last I checked) along with a new OE/Hella level sender and new OE/Reutter cap. While you're in there consider replacing the hose to the overflow tank hidden inside the passenger fender, and clean out the area around the fender tanks.

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Dave M.
    1997 E420 (Bugeyes)
    1994 E420 (Blondie)
    1994 E500 (Q-ship)
    1992 500E (Mach 5)
    1987 300D (Sportline Stage 2)
    Click here for my website
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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    I need to do the same. It takes a really long time for car to go above 80 C.
    @gsxr - You reference to early style thermostat. Can you give more details?

    Quote Originally Posted by a777fan View Post
    Add thermostat and coolant flush to the list. Temp never crept about 80C this morning on the freeway.

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeym View Post
    I need to do the same. It takes a really long time for car to go above 80 C.
    @gsxr - You reference to early style thermostat. Can you give more details?
    Sure! Pics attached below. Also keep in mind that while the t-stat is most likely responsible for the car being slow to reach 80C, it's also possible the dash temp gauge is off. This is harder to diagnose, it helps to have a digital scanner where you can view the live data from the 4-pin temp sensor that signals the LH and EZL. The dash gauge should be within 1-2 degrees of the scanner data. If not, you'll need to test the sender (cheap to replace, Hella/VDO/Behr only) and also the gauge itself.

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    Awesome awesome awesome! Thx a bunch Dave.

    I must be mentally ill. I can't wait to rip into this thing and 'shine' it up. Your post about the hidden fender bottles gave me a chuckle. When i was 're-building' the Passat I had pretty much everything out of the car but the engine and transmission. It was a great opportunity to clean up the whole thing. You could practically eat off the engine/transmission/subframe by the time I was done. I still get a fair amount of satisfaction when I pop the hood and its all shiny looking.

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    Parking brake shoes almost never wear out, you may simply need to adjust the shoes and/or cable.

    You were absolutely right Dave. I remembered reading in the owners manual about the parking brake adjustment procedure.... 'Hold the Parking Brake release lever and apply the parking brake slowly while at speed less than 30 mph'.

    Worked like a charm, there was a quick 'click click click' on the first application. The pedal is much firmer now!

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by a777fan View Post
    You were absolutely right Dave. I remembered reading in the owners manual about the parking brake adjustment procedure.... 'Hold the Parking Brake release lever and apply the parking brake slowly while at speed less than 30 mph'.

    Worked like a charm, there was a quick 'click click click' on the first application. The pedal is much firmer now!
    Hi ---- what? Is this some kind of parking brake adjustment procedure that does not require take the rear wheels off and adjusting the shoes? Or am I misreading this?

    Thanks
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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    This adjustment procedure is also news to me, at least for the C126 and for the E500E. I was always under the impression (and have in the past) adjusted by removing the rear wheels and using a screwdriver to adjust the "star" wheel through the hole in the disc+hub.

    Cheers,
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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    I'll clip out the text from my owners manual when i get a minute. (I don't think i was delusional... but you never know! )


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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by a777fan View Post
    I'll clip out the text from my owners manual when i get a minute. (I don't think i was delusional... but you never know! )


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    You are totally non-delusional --- I just found this in the manual. Does this really adjust the parking brake?!?! I'll have to go try it since mine does need adjustment....
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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Update --- I just tried it. It seems to work much to my surprise. I used to do 9 clicks and the car wouldn't hold when parked on a steep hill. Now with 9 clicks it holds on a steep hill AND with the trans in reverse.
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    OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Sweet! I knew i wasn't crazy!


    Kinda makes sense, as modern drum brakes do 'self adjust' to a point. My guess is that the wheel needs to be rotating to have the adjustment mechanism be active.

    Ta-dah!

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Man, after 14 years of ownership, ya certainly do learn something new every day. Thanks for that. And I thought I'd read the manual over the years several times cover to cover !!! Now I wonder if the same is true for the C126....

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    This is awesome and need to try it. I need to move the manuals to the bathroom so that I can read them in detail instead of using the phone to read the forums.

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Welcome and congrats on the car! I had a head rest issue on my drivers seat same thing, heard motor, but it did not move. Shop found a broken rivet on the mechanism. New rivet and it worked perfectly! Hope yours is an easy fix as well.

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by skikrazey View Post
    Welcome and congrats on the car! I had a head rest issue on my drivers seat same thing, heard motor, but it did not move. Shop found a broken rivet on the mechanism. New rivet and it worked perfectly! Hope yours is an easy fix as well.
    If the headrest motor runs but the headrest doesn't move (and, can be easily pushed up/down by hand), it's usually something wrong with the headrest rails (pic below). Sometimes they can be fixed, if not a new one should do the trick. You'll have to pop the seat back off to investigate.

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by skikrazey View Post
    Welcome and congrats on the car! I had a head rest issue on my drivers seat same thing, heard motor, but it did not move. Shop found a broken rivet on the mechanism. New rivet and it worked perfectly! Hope yours is an easy fix as well.
    Thanks much! I've got new adjustment mechanisms on the way from Naperville. Had a bit of a shipment snafu at first so its taking a bit to get them. Anxiously anticipating their arrival!


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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    The parking brake process in the operator's manual is a shoe/drum cleaning procedure. It DOES NOT in any way "adjust" the parking brake. There are two adjustments for the parking brake system. One adjustment if for the shoes at each rear wheel, and the other is for the cables. The one for the cables is mounted on the cable fulcrum assembly located in about the rear third of the driveshaft tunnel. There is no automatic adjuster of any kind in the 124 parking brake system...
    Putting the fun in dysfunction...

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by Klink View Post
    The parking brake process in the operator's manual is a shoe/drum cleaning procedure. It DOES NOT in any way "adjust" the parking brake. There are two adjustments for the parking brake system. One adjustment if for the shoes at each rear wheel, and the other is for the cables. The one for the cables is mounted on the cable fulcrum assembly located in about the rear third of the driveshaft tunnel. There is no automatic adjuster of any kind in the 124 parking brake system...
    I knew someone would ACTUALLY know whats going on here. thanks klink!

    Regardless, my shoes must have been reaaaaal dirty, cause it feels a ton better!


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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Indeed, If the drums were rusty, it really increases the friction of the parking brakes. That light cleaning procedure was also part of the maintenance services back in the day...
    Putting the fun in dysfunction...

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Well... the parts hoarding has commenced. I blame this forum.

    The vacuum pods will go into cold storage until they are needed. As has been posted elsewhere on this forum vacuum element 124-800-02-75 is NLA. If anyone has an extra, and would like to part with it, let me know. I'd like to have a full set available for when the originals blow. (As I'm sure everyone else would...)
    As you can see I pulled the trigger on the headrest adjustment rail before i realized there are actually two in the seat back. I guess I'll find out if I need another one when I tear into it!

    The oiler rails came from Stevester500E, and the ETA from Benz. Thanks guys! The ETA is eco-junk, but I am going to use it as a re-wiring test case. We'll see how that goes. I need to look up the P/N for the oiler rail gaskets, if anyone has it handy, I'd appreciate it.

    Date code on the new upper harness is 2012... can't believe these things aren't just flying off the shelf.

    The winter parts pile is coming along nicely. Still looking for a few odds and ends here and there, but I'm in no rush.

    The car is doing well, although when I took it out last weekend it started acting funny, stumbling all over itself on throttle application. This was after the car was warm, so I am suspecting the goo that mysteriously appears behind the insulators... or... maybe the harness is finally giving up the ghost. I'll have to wait and see when I get a minute to pull it into the garage.

    A few projects in line before that though unfortunately. Retaining wall madness in the backyard before it starts POURING for the winter here in Seattle, and... the 'other' project. My 2004 R32, which has been neglected for quite a few years now as I worked on the Passat. Its got a leaky water pump that needs fixing, as well as some general TLC. Never enough time. I can retire at 38 right?

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Parts hoarding continued this week. A local wrecking yard got a 744 E420 in, and I went to go have a look. It had 185k on the clock, and wasn't too bad on the inside, but definitely had its share of wear. Center console cracking etc. I ended up getting the right read door for the lower trim strip.

    Given the fact that the chrome strips are NLA, the lower trim and chrome + attachments are 300+ (and only come primer-ed)... I was willing to give this a shot. The part isn't perfect, but I am hopeful that I'll be able to buff out the imperfections and slap it on!

    I also enjoy the fact that I'll have a few spares left over from this. Window switches.. door trim etc. I think the fact that parts are going NLA has me freaked out!

    EDIT: Cracks me up that the ashtrays always seem to discolor on the door cards. They must have made them out of a drastically different material for heat resistance.


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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by a777fan View Post
    Parts hoarding continued this week. A local wrecking yard got a 744 E420 in, and I went to go have a look. It had 185k on the clock, and wasn't too bad on the inside, but definitely had its share of wear. Center console cracking etc. I ended up getting the right read door for the lower trim strip.

    Given the fact that the chrome strips are NLA, the lower trim and chrome + attachments are 300+ (and only come primer-ed)... I was willing to give this a shot. The part isn't perfect, but I am hopeful that I'll be able to buff out the imperfections and slap it on!

    I also enjoy the fact that I'll have a few spares left over from this. Window switches.. door trim etc. I think the fact that parts are going NLA has me freaked out!

    EDIT: Cracks me up that the ashtrays always seem to discolor on the door cards. They must have made them out of a drastically different material for heat resistance.
    This is a slippery slope! Before you know it now you’ll need 3 more doors, a gearbox, a motor and as much interior trim as possible spare in order to have a restful nights sleep!


    So many parts are now NLA (In particular trim pieces both interior and exterior) it is important for long term owners to stock up IMO. Buying a parts car yourself usually makes more financial sense. Just as an example I did do very well on the Indian E220. I bought the whole car for £220. Kept for myself all 4x complete doors (Mint condition doors and all window motors working), full perfect lock set and the 3x factory keys, Full working A/C system, both front fenders, both head and tail lamps, front indicators, all perfect unmarked stainless trim and fender claddings, Locking Pump & convenience module, hood and grill plus a few other pieces. I wasn’t interested in the 4 cyl running gear so I sold the rest of the car for £200 to be collected by the buyer soon! Believe it or not the E220 shell is actually going to be headed for Sri Lanka next week. So those parts I kept owe me £20 total. And the process starts again as I now look for another w124 to break (Don’t worry – only rusted out ones!)

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by JC220 View Post
    This is a slippery slope! Before you know it now you’ll need 3 more doors, a gearbox, a motor and as much interior trim as possible spare in order to have a restful nights sleep!


    So many parts are now NLA (In particular trim pieces both interior and exterior) it is important for long term owners to stock up IMO. Buying a parts car yourself usually makes more financial sense. Just as an example I did do very well on the Indian E220. I bought the whole car for £220. Kept for myself all 4x complete doors (Mint condition doors and all window motors working), full perfect lock set and the 3x factory keys, Full working A/C system, both front fenders, both head and tail lamps, front indicators, all perfect unmarked stainless trim and fender claddings, Locking Pump & convenience module, hood and grill plus a few other pieces. I wasn’t interested in the 4 cyl running gear so I sold the rest of the car for £200 to be collected by the buyer soon! Believe it or not the E220 shell is actually going to be headed for Sri Lanka next week. So those parts I kept owe me £20 total. And the process starts again as I now look for another w124 to break (Don’t worry – only rusted out ones!)

    Haha. Yes. I would love to go the parts car route. Unfortunately, my space is limited, and the neighbors wouldn’t appreciate it. No mater how quickly i could strip and get rid of the hulk.

    Good job on yours though! 20 quid for all that is quite a steal!


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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    So I promised myself that I would wrap up my other car projects (Passat, R32) before really digging into the 420, but the stumbling hesitation had gotten so bad, I was avoiding even driving the car. I went on a quick errand this morning, and the symptoms showed up and persisted once the engine had warmed. Since it was a beautiful fall day here in the PNW, I thought 'screw it' and decided to dig into the caps and rotors to see if the mysterious 'goo' was causing my issues.

    Hoods up!


    I love how it opens so wide waaaay out of the way. No scalp casualties with this guy!

    I started with the passenger side, and worked the cosmetic cover off. I have a seeping Cam Adjustment Magnet...



    Popped the cap off and... it was a little gross on the inside.




    Oily goook all over the interior, and the points look pretty crappy too. A few closeups:




    Rotor didn't look great, but not too horrible either. Some scorching on the blade



    Not too shabby considering its pretty much close to original:


    And now on to the insulator, yuk!





    Not quite what I was expecting, but a bunch of nasty crustiness, none-the-less.

    Since I had come this far, I figured I'd do a little bit of 'deep cleaning' so I kept digging. I removed the trim plate to get a better look at the leaking magnet


    I popped the magnet off to clean it and the surrounding area. A look at the head behind the magnet.


    And the backside of the magnet itself



    Here are the magnet bolts. Are they supposed to have some sort of sealant on them? The threads looks just clogged enough to make me think they should be.



    Spruced up all the parts individually:




    And cleaned up the head as best I could for now.



    Re-installation:


    Note: I did not have any sealant for the magnet, so I'll have to order some and re-do the installation. Probably in a week or so when I do the harness.

    It was getting super dark at this point, so I kinda blew through the drivers side without the 'deep' cleaning. A few pictures of the cap and rotor.



    Not as bad as the passenger side looked.



    Similar scorching to the blade. It whad a 96 date code as well. This sides insulator looked a little more like what I was expecting. A substance that looked a lot like water. It was definitely sticky thought, and yellow in color.




    I cleaned it all up, and popped it back together. Went for a drive, and viola! Problem solved Purrs like a kitten now.

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Nice job cleaning the parts and fixing the problem.
    You need to stop by HF and get some cheap disposable gloves.

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeym View Post
    Nice job cleaning the parts and fixing the problem.
    You need to stop by HF and get some cheap disposable gloves.
    Lol. Yeah. They have been on my amazon list for awhile and i keep forgetting. Thanks for the reminder! Ordering now ...


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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    venom nitrile gloves, one size fits most are the bomb. Lowes has them. Nice clean job, new insulators will be wonderful, cleaned points or new cap/rotor will be golden. Now for the anaerobic sealant...
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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Nice work! The liquid on the back side of your driver side insulator is the classic case of the hot-misfire problem. Cleaning everything up should keep the problem away for quite a while. If it happens again, try replacing the insulators with new Bosch (<$100/pair aftermarket). The caps & rotors can remain in service for quite a while now that you've cleaned them up, I didn't see any evidence of carbon-tracking or significant wear.

    Make sure to use anaerobic sealant on the cam solenoid, btw. Also would be good to let it dry overnight before starting the engine.


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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by nocfn View Post
    venom nitrile gloves, one size fits most are the bomb. Lowes has them. Nice clean job, new insulators will be wonderful, cleaned points or new cap/rotor will be golden. Now for the anaerobic sealant...
    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    Nice work! The liquid on the back side of your driver side insulator is the classic case of the hot-misfire problem. Cleaning everything up should keep the problem away for quite a while. If it happens again, try replacing the insulators with new Bosch (<$100/pair aftermarket). The caps & rotors can remain in service for quite a while now that you've cleaned them up, I didn't see any evidence of carbon-tracking or significant wear.

    Make sure to use anaerobic sealant on the cam solenoid, btw. Also would be good to let it dry overnight before starting the engine.


    Thanks guys! I really am surprised those rotors from 1996 are still chugging along. Amazing little piece of engineering there. I can basically expand that statement to cover all the other parts I encountered. There was a nice solid feeling to everything I pulled off the engine. The little details like the plug wire channels really made me smile. So much thought put into everything, rather than just having things flopped about!

    I ran across another thread last night that talked about the MB sealant, which I'll have to go back and find. Any recommendations for an aftermarket equivalent? Or is this a spot where MB is best? Oh.. and sealant on the bolts as well? or just the backside of the solenoid?

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by a777fan View Post
    I ran across another thread last night that talked about the MB sealant, which I'll have to go back and find. Any recommendations for an aftermarket equivalent? Or is this a spot where MB is best? Oh.. and sealant on the bolts as well? or just the backside of the solenoid?
    Any anaerobic should be ok, I believe. OE is 002-989-47-20-10, $33 list, $24 discount. There are some aftermarket equivalents such as Loctite 574, or the Elring version (click here). If the bolt holes go through to the back side, yes, apply sealant to the bolts as well. Photos here:
    http://www.w124performance.com/image.../cam_solenoid/


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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Its been dumping like crazy the last few days here in the PNW, and I have had ample opportunity to experience what happens when you combine high horsepower levels, rear wheel drive, and skinny tires. I've mostly had difficulty accelerating away following a turn at an intersection. But this morning on the freeway on ramp I was able to break traction after 'goosing' it at 35-40 mph. That will get your attention, especially if you haven't yet consumed enough coffee.

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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by a777fan View Post
    Its been dumping like crazy the last few days here in the PNW, and I have had ample opportunity to experience what happens when you combine high horsepower levels, rear wheel drive, and skinny tires. I've mostly had difficulty accelerating away following a turn at an intersection. But this morning on the freeway on ramp I was able to break traction after 'goosing' it at 35-40 mph. That will get your attention, especially if you haven't yet consumed enough coffee.
    Yup. And that is why I like ASR, no matter what the guys in the Matt Farah 500E video said about it. Without ASR, upgrading to limited-slip helps the problem of turning while accelerating from a stop, but would probably make the freeway on-ramp issue even worse.

    The easiest fix is to use the stickiest tires possible (with wet traction as high priority since you live in Seattle).

    Dave M.
    1997 E420 (Bugeyes)
    1994 E420 (Blondie)
    1994 E500 (Q-ship)
    1992 500E (Mach 5)
    1987 300D (Sportline Stage 2)
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  87. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to gsxr For This Useful Post:

    a777fan (4 Weeks Ago), Klink (4 Weeks Ago)

  88. #59

    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Agree on ASR (All Sensors Replaced). Been comparing my 320 without ASR and my 420 with ASR in similar conditions. As much as ASR is a pain on straight line, it makes a significant difference when taking corners under wet and slippery conditions.

  89. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to mikeym For This Useful Post:

    a777fan (4 Weeks Ago), gsxr (4 Weeks Ago), Klink (4 Weeks Ago)

  90. #60
    Member a777fan's Avatar
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    Re: OWNER - a777fan (E420)

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    Yup. And that is why I like ASR, no matter what the guys in the Matt Farah 500E video said about it. Without ASR, upgrading to limited-slip helps the problem of turning while accelerating from a stop, but would probably make the freeway on-ramp issue even worse.

    The easiest fix is to use the stickiest tires possible (with wet traction as high priority since you live in Seattle).

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeym View Post
    Agree on ASR (All Sensors Replaced). Been comparing my 320 without ASR and my 420 with ASR in similar conditions. As much as ASR is a pain on straight line, it makes a significant difference when taking corners under wet and slippery conditions.
    hehe... agree. I'm already on the hunt for a wider OEM rim that will fit without rubbing to increase the width of the tire. The tires on there are only a couple of years old, but aren't the greatest in the wear department. Even more of a reason to get to my suspension refresh sooner rather than later.

    Although (on the wider tire subject)... and maybe I am thinking to much about this, but since the overall weight of the car doesn't change... doesn't that mean the contact patch between the tire and the ground will remain the same? The shape of the patch will be different since the tire is wider, but the overall area of the patch should remain the same, no?


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