Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1992 400E W124.034 119.975
Location: Lincoln City, Oregon
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No Takers? I'll reply to myself then as an FYI to anyone else who might have this issue (please do the same for me too, when you figure your own issue out!).
I took another close look at the emergency/park brake adjustment. Followed my handy manual, backed off the cable completely (lots of slack), popped off the back wheels, adjusted notched adjusters inside of lug bolt holes as per specs, and tightened down the cable again - No noise.
Now, one point I will note is that I had probably missed the issue the first time around (when adjusting my brakes) because I have yet to have adjusted brakes on a car that engaged the parking brake shoes when the pedal was so "high" on the pedal swing - actually minimally actuating the park-brake before hitting the first click.
Still seems a bit overtight to me, but I drove, stopped, felt the inside wheel (cold), smelled ("fresh"), drifted down a slight incline from a stop in neutral, and nothing suggesting any braking going on. It appears that until virtually all of the slack (felt from the individual brake cables at the rear of the cable adjuster bolt) is taken out, something is left to flop around in the brake drums and make a clattering noise.