Hello! I'm Chris, I live in SoCal. I've always kind of considered myself a BMW guy, but people can change! I've owned a few e30s in the past (hence the username), but i've been without a project to tinker on for a while so.. about a year ago I started getting the itch. Quickly realizing that e30s are now a rich man's game, I started researching other makes. After reading a lot about the bulletproof-edness of this specific era of Mercedes, I found a sputtery little 190e 2.6 with a clean white body and perfect Palomino interior and took it home (pic below). Even through all the worn bushings, mounts, dampers, cut springs, etc, I could feel how solid and well built it was, and how rewarding it would be to bring it back to glory. Having said that.. I'm a pretty big dude, and the 201 is a tiny car. I found myself cruising craigslist JUST LOOKING at 124s annnnnd to keep this intro short and sweet, I jumped on a 93 400e and now own TWO of these fine Mercedes machines, and am in desperate need of a support group (and possibly a second job).
I've been lurking, reading, and bugging Dave in PMs for a couple of months now. I've also been planning, and collecting parts.
The 400e, also in White and Palomino, had a nearly perfect exterior with the exception of some front fender "customization" by the PO (pics attached for your enjoyment). He used some sort of plastic to create a flare when rolling the fenders wasn't enough to fit the 18x8.5 32ET Mandrus Milleniums. I was able to find replacement fenders.. and then learned the hard way that Mercedes changed from Arctic White to Polar White on the 94-95 cars, which is what I pulled the first fenders off of. So if anyone local needs some Polar White fenders, let me know! The interior is clean other than a torn driver seat and sagging headliner. I’m on the lookout for a clean driver’s seat cover in Palomino. Not sure what the best option is for the headliner..
The front suspension is completely toast. Everything is bad. Sourced some good used Koni Sports and Eibach springs from a forum member here that is re-SLSing his 036. Ordered everything else new, just need to dedicate the time now. Rear suspension will probably need a refresh too, but I'm hoping to do that and the rear subframe stuff later on. Also picked up a set of 16x8 chrome 8-holes to replace the baller rimz.
The 4.2 feels strong, but has about 220,000mi on the clock. I’ve only driven the car for about 100 miles so far. Here are some observations.
- There’s a knock at start-up when the engine is cold, goes away at operating temp.
- Had a clicking relay, went and pulled a 92 LH Module, clicking resolved, but now the car wants to die when throttle is applied. I haven’t driven it since swapping the module, just started and let it run in the garage for a bit. Is this something that will work itself out, or an adaptation issue?
- Upper harness is a mess, found a good one at the yard with a 1998 tag but haven’t put it in yet. Not sure what lower harness looks like.. What’s the best method to check?
- There is a sudden power loss issue that feels electrical. Happens at any speed or rpm, just kind of a hiccup. I’m thinking/hoping this will be resolved by LH module or upper harness.
- There is some sort of madness happening with the lights on the dash. They flicker upon startup. The headlight switch also does not seem to activate the intended lights. Maybe related?
- Should I scrap this whole plan and just search for an 036 that needs some love? Is this going to be worth it? Is anything worth it? Is this a simulation?
I wasn't planning on buying a motor yet, but I made a bit of a lowball offer on a used M119.972 on ebay, and it was accepted. The seller is a seemingly reputable euro wrecking yard in SoCal. The motor was pulled from a 1993 SL500 with ~125,000 miles. So the plan is to keep the current motor running well enough while prepping the new one for service.
I'll have a lot of questions about the prep and execution of the swap, I'm definitely in way over my head. Let me know if you're selling anything or know of anyone selling anything I may need for the swap (harness, 5.0 lh module, other items i’m unaware of..). I have a 2-3 second delay when shifting into reverse, so I may need to source a good used tranny or consider a rebuild. Does anyone have any insight into what a good rebuild should cost?
Anyway, without a resource like this board and it’s members, the care and ownership of cars like this would be much less pleasant. Pleased to meet you and thanks for having me!