How great is the m119? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2008, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Post How great is the m119?

I'm looking at a 95 e420. It's got 150k but it seems to have been taken care of, including some of the major maintenances (valve job and tranny have been quoted; need to ask about wiring harness, AC, et al).My research suggests that the w124 chassis with the m119 engine is a Hall of Fame combo and that despite the high mileage, I could be getting a steal. Would anybody (or everybody) disagree?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2008, 11:08 AM
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The M119...

is viewed by some as one of the best engines MB ever produced. This engine was designed for MB's re-entrance into racing, and in twin turbocharged form won the 1989 Le Mans race; details on the engine can be found here:

Mercedes-Benz M119 engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I have owned a 1993 400E, with the M119; the car had 205K on it when sold, and the engine was still going strong. The wiring harness and throttle actuator both had to be changed during my ownership, and you are looking at over 2.5K for both at retail. Check the wiring harness carefully, and ask for service/maintenance records as a part of the transaction.

I currently own a 1997 E420, which I chose specifically because it has the M119. Great engine. They do have one "bugaboo" in that the lower caps on the oil feed tubes loosen and fall out at higher mileages, causing a ticking sound in the exhaust tappets, a relatively minor fix. If your prospective car has had the valves done, most likely the feed tubes have been replaced.

If equipped with ASR, have the neutral safety switch [inhibitor switch] replaced, if it has not already been done, as this can become corroded and cause "gremlins" in the system.

These cars can be a bit expensive to own, but are a great ride...

Good luck,

JR
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2008, 11:30 AM
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In today's economy, any car with a big, fuel-guzzling V8 ought to be a steal.

Question is, who's doing the stealing?

Kent Christensen
Albuquerque
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2008, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
In today's economy, any car with a big, fuel-guzzling V8 ought to be a steal.

Question is, who's doing the stealing?
Good point to some degree, but I'm a free market guy and I have faith that the gas problem will not bring the apocalypse as people think. Solutions will start to be found, and prices will go down--maybe that's two years away, but even for the moment, I'll never be in the market for a 35 mpg Honda with no character. When they get to 60 mpg I'll think about it--that would represent some progress.
From what I understand, as engines with some strength go, the m119 gets decent fuel economy. And since I'm upgrading from an old beater pickup truck that gets about 14 mpg, I doubt I'll be complaining much....
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2008, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Class Owner View Post
is viewed by some as one of the best engines MB ever produced. This engine was designed for MB's re-entrance into racing, and in twin turbocharged form won the 1989 Le Mans race; details on the engine can be found here:

Mercedes-Benz M119 engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I have owned a 1993 400E, with the M119; the car had 205K on it when sold, and the engine was still going strong. The wiring harness and throttle actuator both had to be changed during my ownership, and you are looking at over 2.5K for both at retail. Check the wiring harness carefully, and ask for service/maintenance records as a part of the transaction.

I currently own a 1997 E420, which I chose specifically because it has the M119. Great engine. They do have one "bugaboo" in that the lower caps on the oil feed tubes loosen and fall out at higher mileages, causing a ticking sound in the exhaust tappets, a relatively minor fix. If your prospective car has had the valves done, most likely the feed tubes have been replaced.

If equipped with ASR, have the neutral safety switch [inhibitor switch] replaced, if it has not already been done, as this can become corroded and cause "gremlins" in the system.

These cars can be a bit expensive to own, but are a great ride...

Good luck,

JR
Thanks JR.
Could you ballpark your yearly maintenance cost for me? I recognize that there will be some fixes, but I really like this car and think I'm going to go for it. Appreciate it.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-19-2008, 06:34 AM
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Dealmaker...

your question is kind of a tough one to answer, as the annual cost of ownership will depend on what items has been taken care of prior to acquisition, and whether you are willing, or have the capability to DIY.

I would guess somewhere around $2K/year, assuming the car has been well maintained. You are going to be looking at front lower control arms any time after 150K, and shocks... Perhaps a water-pump, or fan clutch @ $500 a copy, etc...

One item on the W124 that I would caution you on is the the coolant expansion tank. These plastic reservoirs have a brass filler neck, and the brass and plastic can separate over time, resulting in a loss of coolant and potential overheating; keep an eye on this... I went through two of these tanks in 50K miles.

Good luck,

JR
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