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2000 E430 1990 300CE
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310 Posts
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I am a long time benz owner, 300D, 300E, 98 E320. I am looking at a 1985 500SEC one owner car in mint condition, with 94,000 miles. I don't know anything about the 5 liter V8. Can any 126 owners shed some light on any potential problems? It seems to me I heard about timing chain problems about some mercedes V8's. Any help would be appreciated. Byt the way, the asking price is $7800. Does it seem reasonable?
 

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1991 300 SE
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18,534 Posts
It does seem a little high but if mint with service records and books it may not be too high.

Yes, it sounds like the M117 is ready for a new timing chain and guides. The problem is not the t chain, it’s a strong double row design that rarely if ever breaks. The problem is the plastic chain guides, they have no tolerance for excessive use, over 100,000 and can fail at any time after that. When the guides go the chain slips and destroys the valve train and can punch a hole in the valve cover. Otherwise these engines are great. I have over 220,000 on my own 5.0 L and she runs smoke-free and strong.

Soon some will post admonishing you to wait for a second gen 126c with the 5.6 L engine. But my sedan version has been great and if in as good of condition as you say you’ll be very pleased.
 
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