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Premium Member
M120, M119, W126*2 + Silver Avantgarde wagon
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Discussion Starter #1
As many of you may know I am privileged to be stewarding a previous one lady owner M120 1998 W140.

This is just a little glimpse of how incredible these cars are when properly maintained. I have to thank Stryker and MAVA for guiding me through this over many years.

So almost 3 years ago I had to leave my car at a Mercedes dealer. They were very kind and stored it for me without charge, and replaced a windshield (which had to be made in Germany for it) shield and repaired some minor bodywork. But as you know, 3 years is a long trime.

Yet before that MAVA had kindly done 2 - 3 pre puchase inspections on the car, and Stryker had guided me long distance to get it right. But as a one lady owner car with 110,000 miles on it, it needed very little except a new transmission - which I replaced. Shortly after that it crossed the American continent twice, if not three times and never ever broke down.

So after 3 years essentially sitting what would you expect? Exactly... i expected a mess.

She started first time, and has now been through several states in near silence - and other than a slight drain on the battery that we fixed at an MB dealer tonight - it has been an incredible experience to drive her again. I have been fortunate to have been in a number of Rolls Royce (but not a Phantom) recently, and they have nothing on the W140 M120 when it is in this kind of condition. At low speed the car is simply an incomparable experience. (perhaps except from the Phantom)

The MB dealer foreman tonight said not even the W222 (that I do respect) is even close to a well maintained late model M120 W140. I'm not sure I agree with him as the W222 is very good, but I agree that the W222 does feel much lighter and cheaper than a good M120.

After 3 years sitting? This is incredible. So many thanks to the original designers - as this car is just so special - and thanks to everyone on this forum and particularly MAVA and Stryker who helped me get it really right several years ago. Just goes to show when something is this special, once you get it right, it is simply an ongoing incomparable, privilege.

One severe criticism I must say I do have, is not of the car, but of current Mercedes policy to no longer make all the parts for their older cars. This is insanely short sighted, and respectfully, foolish. For example I'd like to replace all the rear subframe bushings (and rear suspension) on my M120 as I did on my M119 C140 coupe, but yet the bushings are no longer available. Simply put that is bordering on a classic car crime, as it means you cant get the ride back to the perfect way it was meant to be. To say that is idiotic is to underestimate the insult to history that it is, especially as so many of te modern MB;s are just downmarket nightmares in comparison to the sublime qualtities of a well maintained M120 W140.

After 3 years - just turn the key and go - and HOW - and to do so across many states and not a problem except a battery drain, and it relative silence and exterme comfort I mean, WOW - just wow.

Thanks all.
 

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'95 S600
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419 Posts
In regards to the rear subframe bushings there is a set of rear position bushings on ebay (genuine and Lemforder). For the front position you probably just have to go aftermarket Meyle or Febi. I used Lemforder and Meyle and am certain they will like last the remaining life of the car.
 

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Premium Member
M120, M119, W126*2 + Silver Avantgarde wagon
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4,673 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
In regards to the rear subframe bushings there is a set of rear position bushings on ebay (genuine and Lemforder). For the front position you probably just have to go aftermarket Meyle or Febi. I used Lemforder and Meyle and am certain they will like last the remaining life of the car.
Thanks for that, I will take a look.
 

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Premium Member
1999 S600 & 1999 S500
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801 Posts
Why did you have to wait for three years to get a windshield?
I had the one on my S500 replaced about 3 years ago and the repair shop convinced my insurance company to use OEM. It only took an extra two weeks to get it. Why three years.

Also did the battery have to be charged after sitting three years?
 

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Premium Member
M120, M119, W126*2 + Silver Avantgarde wagon
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4,673 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Why did you have to wait for three years to get a windshield?
I had the one on my S500 replaced about 3 years ago and the repair shop convinced my insurance company to use OEM. It only took an extra two weeks to get it. Why three years.

Also did the battery have to be charged after sitting three years?
The windshield took 12 months or so - I think it was because it was an S600, they said they had to wait for it to be made - the rest of the delay was me...

They kindly replaced the battery, gratis, while they had it.

Just phenomenal to be driving it again...; nothing like it this side of a Phantom.
 

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Premium Member
1999 S600 & 1999 S500
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801 Posts
I do not think the windshield in the 600 is any different than the 500. Just be glad it was not for the Maybach. I recently got a quote for $4,500 to install one as I was curious what they would cost. They were talking about two weeks.

I have enjoyed mine. The M120 has the torque of a locomotive.

Almost drives as well as the 2004 Maybach 57 I drove several months ago.
 

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Premium Member
M120, M119, W126*2 + Silver Avantgarde wagon
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4,673 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I do not think the windshield in the 600 is any different than the 500. Just be glad it was not for the Maybach. I recently got a quote for $4,500 to install one as I was curious what they would cost. They were talking about two weeks.

I have enjoyed mine. The M120 has the torque of a locomotive.

Almost drives as well as the 2004 Maybach 57 I drove several months ago.
Thanks - I'm not sure why they said they had to make one, but that's what they said - maybe they were waiting for 3 or 4 customers to order one to put the order in... and the first one they received the had to send back as it was not rain sensing or something. (not that I like that function anyway...)

Yes, the real W240 Maybach's are awesome, but (one of?) the reason(s?) MB couldn't keep going with them is for most normal (and yet still rich) people the parts prices were just insane. Whereas the new Maybachs are just (basically) stretch W222 with same parts... (in the main) - hence much, much cheaper. Good cars but not W140 / W240...
 

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1994 s600 coupe
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359 Posts
the w140 coupe is an amazing car to just drive around at normal speeds up to 60mph, it handles so effortlessly with no body roll, solid steering feedback, corners like it's on railroad tracks. it's a poor man's Ferrari in a grand touring sense, with luxury second to none. the torque and excitement slowly builds as you drive it. I'm starting to really like mine too. it sat 6 years and finally getting everything ironed out. it wasn't so much from sitting, it's what previous unscrupulous owners and mechanics did to it. in efforts to repair or modify it, they actually created worse problems. these cars must be approached like an MD approaches a patient, don't change anything that can't be undone and put back to stock later, and do no harm.
 

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Premium Member
M120, M119, W126*2 + Silver Avantgarde wagon
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4,673 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
the w140 coupe is an amazing car to just drive around at normal speeds up to 60mph, it handles so effortlessly with no body roll, solid steering feedback, corners like it's on railroad tracks. it's a poor man's Ferrari in a grand touring sense, with luxury second to none. the torque and excitement slowly builds as you drive it. I'm starting to really like mine too. it sat 6 years and finally getting everything ironed out. it wasn't so much from sitting, it's what previous unscrupulous owners and mechanics did to it. in efforts to repair or modify it, they actually created worse problems. these cars must be approached like an MD approaches a patient, don't change anything that can't be undone and put back to stock later, and do no harm.
Well said....

In terms of normal speeds up to 60 mph, it's also pretty incredible in 2nd gear up to 80 mph in the twisties... :) (that's the M119, not the M120)
 

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1994 s600 coupe
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359 Posts
yes I keep mine in 2nd through winding country roads, then shift to 3rd after curves. the overall gear ratio in 3rd including rear axle is 3.90 which is just about optimum for a street performance car. the overall in 4th is only 2.65 which is really a highway mileage gear to keep rpm low, and for top end speed. on curvy winding roads, hills, in city traffic, 4th is sorta a lame gear that lugs the engine down all the time. I drive mine in 3rd, and prefer using 4th only for highway cruising. or, if I want to quiet it down in residential neighborhoods, being it's open exhaust, 4th is quieter as the rpm is lower.
 

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1999 S600 & 1999 S500
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801 Posts
Well said....

In terms of normal speeds up to 60 mph, it's also pretty incredible in 2nd gear up to 80 mph in the twisties... :) (that's the M119, not the M120)
I had an M119 which was great, but the M120 is awesome! It has the torque of a locomotive and the comfort of first class seating.
 

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M120, M119, W126*2 + Silver Avantgarde wagon
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Discussion Starter #12
Just driven the M120 over the rockies and into central USA in as low as 1 degree F weather.

She never missed a beat.

Astonishingly reliable 22 year old cross continent companion.
 

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97 S600 Coupe. Former 83 300D, 97 C230, 93 400E, 92 500SL, a few others
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377 Posts
One other great bonus of the m120, especially when paired with the 722.6 is the free turbocharging effect cold air has on a 6 liter NA engine at speed. Last time I had it out it was in the 70s, last night it was in the 30s with our unseasonal freeze rolling in and when I put my foot in it to go around someone running 55 in a 60, on a slight descent, I was at 80 before I knew what hit me. It felt like a solid rocket booster went off with the first (unnecesary, yes) downshift. I would like to see a dyno of these motors in 80 degree ambient temp verses 40 or 50; I would estimate there is a 40hp difference
 

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1994 s600 coupe
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359 Posts
any engine runs better in colder weather due to the fact cold air is denser, so it packs the cylinder more.
but you are correct, the W140 with those cold air intakes on each side into the grill area, has functional ram air of sorts, what Pontiac was known for from 1965-74 era. the term Ram Air was a performance standard for street cars in the 1960-70's.
 

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M120, M119, W126*2 + Silver Avantgarde wagon
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Discussion Starter #18
Interesting day yesterday - just drove the M120 a very long way across 4 states and 2 countries. She never missed a beat. I'm still in bed the next day (afternoon) recovering (with my disability, it's not easy on me), but she did two tanks of a gas and another quarter tank without missing a beat - that should let you know how far that is...

I got roughly 20.7 mpg / 18.3 mpg Imperial / US on the first tank and 21.7mpg / 19.2 mpg imperial US on the second tank of gas. Pretty much all interstate.

;)
 

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M120, M119, W126*2 + Silver Avantgarde wagon
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Discussion Starter #19
More importantly, as this is often a litmus test in my experience after a very (very) long drive, she started first time every time after the two day trek...

M120. No Substitute.
 

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M120, M119, W126*2 + Silver Avantgarde wagon
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Discussion Starter #20
Final drive down hill from Utah - full tank almost 550 miles - which would be 21.1mpg on US gallon, 23.9 mpg Imperial
 
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