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My father and I just picked up our "new" 88' 420 SEL that belonged to a close family friend for the past 21 years. He had to part with the car due to him retiring and not having space in Florida. After admiring it for many years we decided we had to have this car. It was his weekend car and it only has 83k miles on it. The car was regularly serviced and is in excellent shape with the only exceptions being a high idle when warm and the SRS light is on which I have read are fairly common.

I am a car guy and visit forums like this one to troubleshoot my own cars (Audi allroad and Land Rover D-90). I have to say it is impressive how reliable these cars seem to be and how passionate and willing to help the owners are on this board. I have attempted to share pics and with this being my initial I hope I did it correctly. Thanks again and l look forward to participating on this board.
Regards,
Nikhil
 

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Looks like you have a nice car there. The 420 has decent power and reasonable fuel economy. At 83k you should have the timing chain and guide rails replaced. Seriously, don't wait.

As far as MB reliability, I've owned many and don't believe they are any different statistically speaking than any other car. They ARE a very high quality vehicle that does a better job then most at conveying that quality feel to their drivers and passengers.

God luck with yours!
 

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ooh is that the infamous blue dash? Keep that thing out of sun! Car looks to be in great shape though. 83k is a baby compared to most of ours.
 

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She looks pretty!! Now we have to encourage the "modest" modifications to get you really hooked.... Oh, and welcome aboard!!!

First off is Euro (Bosch, not Depo) headlights-- really dresses up the front nicely, and the beam pattern increases visibility at night...

Then there's the recent thread on installing a glass w140 moonroof/sunroof. I think it's the next major item on my list anyway.

As to the SRS light on and a high idle, I would venture to suggest a new/replacement OVP relay to see what that does. Then an idle speed control relay (found under the passenger front footwell false wall).

While this may sound like an aggressive sales tactic.... I have OVP and idle speed relays (tested and working on my car) available. Very reasonable to the BW folks....

Drop me a PM.
 

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Welcome from a fellow Indianapolis member! If you want to meet up and try swapping components out of my known "good" ones to troubleshoot, shoot me a pm. I live just north of Broadripple.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for your welcome messages and input. Agree on the timing belt and plan to address that soon. At this point we are just enjoying driving it..I can't believe how solid it is on the highway. It is a little slow around town but the motor has tons of torque and is smooth.
Thanks,
Nikhil
 

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Your car (I'm pretty sure) starts in 2nd gear, making it feel sluggish in town. If you want to, you can move the gear selector all the way back, and to the right (should be a detent marked B) for 1st gear start. It won't be so sluggish then.
 

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Yup, check OVP relay first for the high idle and SRS light. If that ends up being ok, then you want to check the idle speed relay as mentioned previously.

The SRS light in my car was worn contacts in the steering column, but at 83K it's likely something else.

Looks great!
 

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Nice car. I have the same, only a 1990 though. It's a great car. Lower it with some H&R springs and place some mercedes eight hole rims on it to further update the look.
 
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