1999 S600: What to watch out for? - Page 3 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by NYC140 View Post
I previously owned a low-mile 1999 s420 for many years and absolutely loved the car. I sold it in 2010, unfortunately, but am back in the market for another 98-99 W140.

I've found an S600 that I'm really interested in, but wanted to ask the opinion of other s600 owners about reliability & repairs on the v12 before I make a move on it.

Its a 1999 S600 w/85k miles (2 owners). The car is in great shape aesthetically (for its age) but I'm afraid it might be a ticking time-bomb in the repairs dept. The current owner has had it for 8 years (since 48k miles) but does not have specific service records on the car...this is the part that worries me the most. Although he's performed regular oil changes, replaced the starter, water pump and done some work on the suspension (he said it was problematic in the past but had it addressed using s500 suspension parts), he apparently hasn't taken it to a dealer for regular service intervals. I'm a little wary of this, but love the car...

What should I look at specifically when I go to inspect the car?

I will definitely take it in for a PPI, but it would be helpful to have a checklist of items to review/inspect when I first see it.

Thanks in advance,
R
You're already aware of the W140 problems.

S600 specific issues, I posted this in another thread recently:

"I think the PITA of the 600 comes with work requiring the manifold to be removed, ie. valve covers, timing chain cover leaks, crank case breather and some work on the accessories requires the radiator to be removed while the same work on the V8 and I6 cars do not."

Additionally, the knock sensors are in the valley, and some water lines are easier to replace with the manifold removed but not impossible to do by the looks of things.

Flipside is coils/spark plugs are easier to access compared to both the I6 and V8 engines, swapping parts bank to bank can really help and speed up diagnostics, and the built in redundancy of the two banks means chances of being left stranded are less, even if you have more parts to go bad.

M120 oil leaks:
Rear main seal (same as M119)
Front main seal (same as M119/M104)
Valve covers (these need replacing on every car of age)
Oil lever sender (common small leak on V8 as well)
Cam chain cover gaskets (very common leak, same as M104)

Mine had a bad harmonic balancer and cracked cooling fan. Also the ETA wiring has the insulation falling off but that might be from my cars Sept 1995 build.
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Previous: MY97 CL600, MY92 600SEL, MY98 S420, MY96 S280 x2
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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken_phd View Post
Joe:

Sorry. I have edited my post.

Cheers,

Ken
All good, I've screwed up in the past too.

Previous: MY97 CL600, MY92 600SEL, MY98 S420, MY96 S280 x2
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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-24-2015, 02:56 AM
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All I would add as an M120 owner is two things:-

1. If you don't have a skilled and experienced PPI done on an M120 it is an act of financial Russian roulette

2. My M120 has been bulletproof, I did over 10,000 miles in 3 months and absolutely nothing went wrong despite it having 120,000 miles on it when I bought it. But I did 2 PPI's of enormous detail with the help of MAVA

Disclaimer - I did replace the transmission, but I knew that was going to happen although it happened earlier than I thought as I allowed someone else to drive my car a very long distance and it turned out that person was not trustworthy. So not the car's fault, but a non trivial error of judgment on my part. Lesson learned...
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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 05:13 AM
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Reminded by nathanD.rector in another thread: The 600's have a completely separate air to oil cooler for the transmission with a dedicated thermo-fan, with the radiator only cooling the engine. This means zero risk of engine coolant entering the transmission unlike the M104 and M119 140s.

Previous: MY97 CL600, MY92 600SEL, MY98 S420, MY96 S280 x2
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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe-Trojan View Post
Reminded by nathanD.rector in another thread: The 600's have a completely separate air to oil cooler for the transmission with a dedicated thermo-fan, with the radiator only cooling the engine. This means zero risk of engine coolant entering the transmission unlike the M104 and M119 140s.
Very good point JT.

Although I think my memory work enough to possibly recall that in the earlier MY M120's the oil cooler was a weak spot. Not sure of the details but I know it can be massively costly from what I saw of a 1994 M120 C140 invoice.

It was just another good reason to my mind to stick with 97 - 99.
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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-26-2015, 12:07 AM
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Anyone have a parts diagram of the early engine oil cooler?

Previous: MY97 CL600, MY92 600SEL, MY98 S420, MY96 S280 x2
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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-03-2015, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Rch.Org View Post
All I would add as an M120 owner is two things:-

Disclaimer - I did replace the transmission, but I knew that was going to happen although it happened earlier than I thought as I allowed someone else to drive my car a very long distance and it turned out that person was not trustworthy. So not the car's fault, but a non trivial error of judgment on my part. Lesson learned...
Interesting... how did someone else driving your car facilitate "speeding up" damage the transmission? High speeds for a long time? Burn-out starts? What did they do? Want to make sure that what they did, I do not do!
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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 06:48 PM
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Well any old transmission needs to be handled with care and smoothness - given the weight of our cars heavy acceleration, rough stop start, not being gentle in reverse etc. etc. will help speed the wear, as will not servicing it regularly or letting the fluid get low.
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