Contemplating a 1987 420SEL - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Contemplating a 1987 420SEL

I'm looking to buy my first Mercedes, and I found a 1987 420SEL with 139,000 miles. It looks clean in the pictures and the owner claims that it is mint inside and out. I will be going to look at it tomorrow evening, and I was wondering if there are any particular problems with this car that I should be looking for? Additionally, are there any big repairs expected from the 420SEL around 139,000 miles? Finally, the asking price is $4500, does this price seem reasonable? Thanks for the help.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 08:44 AM
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Proceed to the W126 forum.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-16-2012, 07:41 AM
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Check to see if the timing chain has been replaced.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 01:34 PM
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Price seems high unless he has extensive records. In the W126 forum there multiple threads about common problems and repairs. also, look around the web for a W126 buyers guide, that should give you a good starting point.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 05:58 PM
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Understand what the car is worth to you personally, which as others posted should involve some familiarity with the model in the W126 forums throughout the web.

Mechanically, the engine/trans/driveline should be good for another 60,000 miles with only comparatively minor maintenance. This engine series is essentially a detuned Le Mans engine. Even at 200,000 easy miles you're probably only looking at anciliary replacements like timing chain, upper engine, throttle body (fuel distributor) leakage, exhaust/accessory wear, that sort of thing. Short - bottom end is near bullet proof for half a million or a thousand hp. Look for things like transmission/driveline maintenance maybe. Probably need to refresh things like brakes/steering/accessories.

Believe me, if I wasn't being so tripped out by the astonishing response to every wad spent on this old W201 I've got, I'd be chasing an SEC of similar vintage with that engine series. My brother in law bought one and you can virtually toss spanners at it blindfolded for a powerhouse response, they're an amazing car. I love them and the W124/280E. Aftermarket ground pounding wet dreams, the bunch of them. Nobody builds a factory release that good, nobody.

driving a fast car should feel like falling off a building.

Last edited by vanir; 11-09-2012 at 06:13 PM.
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