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1) What production year during the 1980's was the best?<br> 2) What problems mechanical/electrical were notable with this model?<br> 3) What, if any should I be careful in purchasing one of these? <br> 4) Have seen many units with rebuilt engines, are these better or should I go for a brand new engine if one can still be purchased and if so what price could I expect to pay?<br> 5) What average price would be expected today for this model?
 

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Cant really answer those questions just from memory, but I'd suggest you going to carpoint.com and look up the model, and that will tell you what kind of problems the vehicle had, and what year was the best.
 

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Re: 420SELs . . .

. . . were produced from '86 to '91, and conventional Benzaholic wisdom holds that the last year of a model run is usually the best. However, mine is the first year, an '86, and it's great. A lot depends on the care the previous owner(s) took of the car -- regular 3K oil changes, changing the brake fluid ever 1-2 years, etc. Aim for a car with records.<br>
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Problems:<br>
1) The A/C sometimes gives problems, but that was a known weakness with MB's until fairly recently. Mine has just been recharged with R-12 (not cheap, be warned) and is comfortable down here in New Orleans' summer heat.<br>
2) Timing chain, guides, and tensioner usually need to be replaced every 100K miles. Cost: About $700 -- but it's once every 8-10 years. <br>
3) Not the greatest gas mileage in the world, and it takes premium. But it's worth it.<br>
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Your bet is to buy the best condition car you can find, and enjoy it. Mine has 177K and is a joy to drive. The 420 engine, I think, was the best compromise between power and luxury of the period. When I tell people who compliment me on the car that's it's 16 years old, they are astonished.<br>
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-- The BenzAdmiral ('86 420SEL, anthracite/lt. grey; 'The Tirpitz')
 

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Re: 300 vs 420SELs . . .

Thanks for the previous response on the 420SEL. I just found that Mercedes also produced a 300 SEL which through some research is a V6 vs V8 engine so this should be better on gas mileage. Do you have any feedback concerning this model, would certainly appreciate it!!!
 

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Re: 300 vs 420SELs . . .

300 vs. 420 sel.<br> I have a 300 sel and getting excellent mileage. Highway driving about 22 mpg. Around town 18-20.<br> <br> My car is in excellent condition and has 160k miles.<br> <br> However I have one problem that I can not figure out. When I make a hard right or left turn I am getting a noise from the rear end. At first I thought it was the exhaust shifting and hitting the frame. As I have an after the market exhaust. But after placing new rubber bushings and making sure it is not shifting the noise still persists. Has anyone had this problem?<br> <br> Monty
 
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