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1985 380SL; 1988 300CE; 1992 300E; 1992 300CE; 1998 SL500
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have experience with W124 and W129 cars but never with W210.

A neighbor owns a 1997 E420; it is a very pretty "ruby metallic" - DB572. The car will be available to buy (maybe by me) within the next year; neighbor is moving and not taking the car along.

So I am soliciting comments about this model car from those who know. Rust will not be an issue; it is an Arizona car from new. The car is very clean and receives regular maintenance at a reputable local (non-dealer) shop. Owner is elderly woman who mostly uses the car locally for errands. I have a qualified MB mechanic to whom I can bring the car for a PPI. I do not know the current miles on the car.

May I have comments about this model and the appropriate pricing for such a car? I am aware that this is somewhat an orphan car - with an engine from the previous W124 cars, soon to be replaced by the completely different E430 engine.

Thanks for any general advice on 1997 E420.
 

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2000 Mercedes E430 Sport
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90 Posts
Hello, Without the miles, it is hard to value the car, they are good cars if maintained, the service intervals are more often than the newer M113 V8s but are pretty bullet proof if well taken care of. The transmission is the 722.6 which was carried over to a lot of newer Mercedes of the early 2000s till about 2004, when they started putting 722.9s. The 722.6 are bulletproof too if fluid is changed according to the intervals. PM me her license plate so I can run it on the carfax app to get the approximate miles on the car.

Generally, if it is in really good shape, shiny paint, clean interior and about a 150k miles, it can fetch 3k all day long, maybe 2500-2700 depending on negotiation skills. Beat up ones go for about 1500, some +- depending on miles and stuff.
 

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Premium Member
97 E-420 (180K miles), 97 SL500, (93K miles) 2015 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD CC/SB/4x4 Duramax(55K)
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4,173 Posts
I've had a 97E420 that I bought from my brother in 2006 with 100K miles on it. It now has 180K miles on it. The E420 came with lots of things that were options on the E320, basically the top of the line E class at the time.

The car handles great, plenty of power with the V8. Like any 20 year old car even if it was very well maintained, you'll likely find some things that may need updating.

Don't worry about gas mileage, it's pretty close to the E320, partly because of a much taller rear axle ratio.

Great around town and long distance touring car. However, car condition really is the deal or deal breaker.

some may say it's an "orphan" that the engine was only around for 1 year. Well, not true at all. It was only offered in the W210 model for one year, which actually ran for almost 2 calendar years. It was introduced in very early 1996 as a MY97 and ran through late 97. , The M119 engine in either 4.2 or 5.0 l version was introduced in 1990 and used through 1998 or so on the E class, S class and SL class pretty extensively. Parts are very readily available.

After almost a 10 year run, the M119 was replaced by the M113. Largely due to meeting the latest emission requirements.
 

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1985 380SL; 1988 300CE; 1992 300E; 1992 300CE; 1998 SL500
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
e-420: Thanks, that's the kind of commentary I am seeking.

I have M119 in a '98 SL500 that I've had for ten plus years; it has been just fine in the 5 litre version. Fuel mileage I don't care about; I've got two six cylinder 124s whose fuel economy is not very good but I like driving the cars so much I am fine with whatever they get.

The 210 reputation, when compared to the 124, may make me hesitate but this (stored for the summer by the snow bird owner) 210 sure looked nice when I last saw it in March.
 

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97 SL500, 98 E320 Wagon, 2002 ML500 - former W108/W112/W114/W123/W124/W126/W140/W220
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6,227 Posts
I'll offer some observations based on my research and experience so far. I'm in the process of replacing a totaled W140 (1994 S420) with a 2002 E320.

Granted, my car is a facelift version, but that being said there are still a lot of things that are common to the W210 across the board.

The W210 is probably as simple as your W124 chassis cars. That's not to say there aren't more electronics, but the systems themselves are simpler and easier to troubleshoot than their earlier kin. The car is more "basic" in a lot of ways compared to earlier models, too, despite its higher dependence on electronics.

While there are some OBDII diagnostic capabilities, having access to a Xentry/DAS system is a real plus when it comes to working on these cars. It makes troubleshooting a real pleasure.

While I have yet to take delivery of my car (I'm picking it up on Friday) everyone I have spoken to who has owned or currently owns one of these cars says they're quite economical. I was really leaning towards a diesel version, but when I saw the difference in economy it didn't make a significant difference unless you were going to be spending your time on the highway.

You can see my signature and how many different MB models I've owned. The W210 is not one of them. Based on my research and the information I've gleaned from people I know who are deeply invested in the chassis, I'm pretty sure I'll be happy with the car. The only thing I might miss are the amenities compared to an S-class. Not a big deal.

Dan
 

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1972 280CE
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4,192 Posts
I owned the same E420 for about 10 years. Bought at 60k miles, sold to a friend at 140k miles, bought back at 170k miles and totaled sadly at about 230k miles. The M119 is a great engine and in the 97 E420, it's very quick because of the 5 speed. They're toyota reliable but can trip check engine light because of a vacuum hose. One unique feature (aside from the m119 option) is that the xenon lights have auto leveling.
 

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Premium Member
97 E-420 (180K miles), 97 SL500, (93K miles) 2015 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD CC/SB/4x4 Duramax(55K)
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4,173 Posts
I owned the same E420 for about 10 years. Bought at 60k miles, sold to a friend at 140k miles, bought back at 170k miles and totaled sadly at about 230k miles. The M119 is a great engine and in the 97 E420, it's very quick because of the 5 speed. They're toyota reliable but can trip check engine light because of a vacuum hose. One unique feature (aside from the m119 option) is that the xenon lights have auto leveling.
as mentioned, the vacuum hoses can, well actually WILL deteriorate. If they aren't fixed you start with rough idling and eventually CEL for lean mixture.

Good news is that they are very easy to replace, they are all still available, and the total cost for parts is in the $100, maybe $150 range for ALL of them.

My advice, if they haven't been replaced in the last 10 years, replace them.

And the spark plug holes are known to get water in them if you clean the engine bay with a strong spray of water. the covers aren't waterproof. Then you will get engine miss. correction is easy, remove the cover over the plugs, pull the coil pack, blow out the water around the plug and your good to go.
 

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1985 380SL; 1988 300CE; 1992 300E; 1992 300CE; 1998 SL500
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
These are great and useful comments. Thanks.

The cabin on my two 124 cars seems a bit cramped to me - compared to the 129. I like the seat all the way back and I feel too close to the steering wheel, for some reason more so in the 300E sedan. I hope the 210 sedan feels more roomy than the 124. Again, I've never driven (or ridden in) a 210.
 

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Current 2017 GLE350, 2007 S550, 2002 S430, 1998 ML320 Deceased 74 240D, 92 400E, 97 E420, 13 GLK350
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1,912 Posts
I recall the 124 seating a smidge higher than the 210 chassis. Interestingly, the engine in my 400E was the same block in my E420, just married to a newer transmission. The 210 chassis still look good today.

Our E420 bought used with 80,000 miles and traded with 200,000 was the best $/year car we have ever owned - with DIY for all. Over 150k miles, expect wear items on the following if not done already (don't let this list put you off - its a high miles list for my car that is probably typical of E420s):

- valve cover gaskets and breather hoses
- radiator replacement and coolant flush
- duo valve replacement
- new belt, tensioner and pulley
- new or refilled fan clutch
- brake pads, rotors and fluid flush
- transmission fluid, filter and adapter plug change ( the original conductor plate should have been changed already)
- replace headlights due to cheap OEM internal wiring
- steering ball joints
- O2 sensors

The ac was great in this car - which you need in AZ

If your pick is a true southwest car - it should be a beauty.
 

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96 SL500, 97 E420,
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1,098 Posts
I got my E420 eleven or so years ago when it had 35K miles. It's a SoCal car from new always garaged. Very dependable as others have said, I've stayed on top of the maintenance regularly, 2x trans fluid, radiator replacement this year, replaced rack & pinion, couple of window regulators, replaced the head light lenses, found a gray leather seat drivers side.

Get regular compliments, a lady the other day asked what year was it the other day at Costco, couldn't believe 20 years old, she said you must keep it garaged.

I've done everything else on the above list.

125K miles now. No plans to sell mine.

Post #308
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210-e-class/1258065-official-w210-e-class-sticky-pictures-31.html
 
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