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Post Info TOPIC: Purchased 1990 Mercedes Benz 420 SEL w/ homebrew AMG trimmings! LOL


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Purchased 1990 Mercedes Benz 420 SEL w/ homebrew AMG trimmings! LOL
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Well, after Goldilocks had her episode last month I had to pull the ole' Corvette out of storage and use it as a daily. I was mulling a newer 2008-up Cadillac Escalade, or even an STS sedan. Prices for the Escalade were upwards of $16,000 which would have required a loan. I was even looking at a Chevrolet SS, but that car was even more at $31,000!

Then, as I was just about to give in and buy something way overpriced, this little Gem came along on Craigslist -

Just in time too, as I think the weather is about to make a turn for the worse and I want to put my Corvette up for the winter. This budget beast is just what the Dr. ordered but I will miss the heated seats in my 560. Overall I got a pretty good deal, considering I was about to plunge myself into all kinds of debt buying a newer car. I could have even gotten a few much newer Mercedes but none of them had that classic W126 appeal or feel. This particular 420 is not an AMG, but the previous owner put a later style AMG badge on the trunk lid where the 420SEL emblem used to be. Not only that, it has a euro front bumper and euro lights! I figure if anything, at least I'll p1ss off the purist! LOL The seats, while not heated - do have the lumbar and the interior is a real nice black in good condition.

I guess I best do guides on it right away as I could here them flapping when I started it. Runs out good, has one of them garbage aftermarket fan clutches on it so I'll have to swap that out with an original Mercedes when I do the guides. But overall I am real happy with my purchase and feel like I got a super deal along with saving myself 10's of thousands of dollars. Look forward to giving this car a little fixing and driving it while I get my 560 back in a presentable state.



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LOL,

Nice car ! Good to hear that you saved $$$ whilst getting winter sorted out, though the car looks too nice to waste-away on salted roads, but it is your car ! At least the reduced torque & power will stop the wheel-spin !

Enjoy,

Rastus

NB. Check that the water-pump is OEM, or the fitting of the genuine fan-assy might be too much for the bearing...

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It is a nice looking car but it's not my 560. 

The purchase has renewed my passion in the W126 Mercedes though... I started to think I was drifting away from the W126 after the Corvette purchase, but to be honest I just knew I had to stay behind the wheel of a W126 when not driving my childhood dream car. Nostalgia is a powerful drug! LOL, that said it's clear the W126 has worked hard for it's spot in my heart.

I'm getting ready to pull the 420 in for a deep inspection and also to perform the normal W126 tasks like cleaning out behind the firewall area, checking all the problematic areas for rust and treating them if needed, making a list of parts needed for the timing chain job, which I plan on doing this weekend. Complete oil change, tune up, chain guides, tensioner, gaskets, belts, filters, ect... And whatever else I find.

Really the only thing about the car that's too nice for winter is the interior. I'll be very mindful of it this winter and I am going to remove the nice front floor mats and put in some other rougher looking ones. I'll still be putting mats on top of them as well but the kids have been warned what will happen if they treat this interior like my Brazil 560 interior. Then again, 10 years ago they were just kids, but now they are old enough to know better. It helps that they all seem to think everything I own will one day be theirs, LOL.

Oh, and one more thing... I am certainly going to remove the front bumper and euro lights. If only because they are too rare to go kicking thru the snow. I have some rough bumpers that I can clean up and have painted at Macco for the winter. Cost will be very inexpensive. I've also got many US style headlamps and maybe in a few weeks I'll order up some new URO headlight doors. URO's headlight doors seem to be much higher quality than anything they make that is rubber. They are inexpensive and really improve the look of these W126's, when the old plastic headlight doors (or lenses as some call them) start turning milky white it really takes away from the look of the car.



-- Edited by SELLC on Thursday 17th of November 2016 04:21:09 PM

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I do have a question for the Mercedes folks who might be reading... I can't seem to identify the bumper! I know it's a euro, but I am not sure about the chin spoiler. What brand does it look like? It's not AMG because I don't see AMG anywhere on it. Also not sure about the rear spoiler, but I plan on leaving that on there for now.



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Holy smokes! Didn't realize it until just now but that chin spoiler is a genuine AMG!

So I'm definitely going to be taking that off there soon before the winter! Man, wonder what something like that is worth? Appears to be in good shape other than the poor paint work. Looks like someone painted the bumper at home or something because it's flaking where they painted over the chrome on the euro bumper.

Well, at least I know! And the inspection shows I need to put new ball joints, upper control arms, springs, timing chain guides, valve cover gaskets, filters and belts and I still have to do some other things, but these things I should do asap. Ordering in some new guides as they are not the same on a 420 as they are on 560's, so thats a bummer considering I have 2 sets of 560 guides on the shelf!

Everything looks pretty good too!



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You might just have to post that one up on Benz World...And see if McLare (lol) wants to buy it, & then offer to fit it up for someone...And then we can have 6 or more months of laughing at the excuses coming out-of-the-place for the reason it fell off....

Ciao,

Rastus

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Do you mean to tell me that in addition to his wheel falling off, his AMG bumper fell off too? OMG! 



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Let's not forget that it "is" a Top Tier vehicle.....

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LOL! 

Spent the weekend cleaning up the yard, gutters and moving cars around for the winter (I must admit I am starting to amass a small fleet). Got the Corvette all waxed up, treated and covered but I still want to move it indoors to the house, rather than just the non-climate controlled garage. I am still working out them details and measurements. 

For now the 420 is doing what it was purchased for, but I must admit that each time I start it, it feels like Russian roulette. LOL, so to avoid that feeling I been mostly sending everyone else out in it. Damn shame on them guides too! As I know they are different, or at least a few of them, between the 560 117 engine but I am going to have to pay a penny and renew my Mercedes EPC membership because parts suppliers online now days don't have a clue and I am not buying no aftermarket chain guides! 

Still pleased with my purchase, even listed the car and various AMG bits for "pie in the sky" prices... If anything it will help raise the value of the rest of my fleet, as one day I will have to part with a few of them, even if I do give them to family or friends. I have 4 now, 6 if you include the two chunks I am saving, for what reason, I don't know but I got clean paper for them so what the heck!



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Hey SELLC,

Good move with wanting the OEM guides !!! Mercedes increased the deck-height of the cylinder-blocks on the M116's with each successive engine displacement increase, from 350, to 380, to the 420's. They must have had a deal going with the piston manufacturer I think, as they remained at around 92.0mm...I'm not sure about the chain-lengths between the engines, but it does make sense that they needed to modify the length of the guides, & reach of the tensioner.

The M117's received both bore & stroke increases with each engine size increase, so I dare say the guide-lengths are different here too...( 450, to 500, to 560 ).

You can never have too many W126's LOL, just as long as you remember to save yourself a good SEC body, as that's still where you want to go with them one-day IMO. A definite move into sporting territory, yet large enough to still carry your kids if needed !

I hope the 420 lasts the next week or two before your parts arrive & get fitted-up !

Cheers,

Rastus

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Well, things have been busy leading up to Thanksgiving so pretty much I went outside to see about fixing the heater on the Mercedes. Figures the only day I would be able to spend on the car would be a holiday.... Anyway, I thought for sure that I was going to have to pull something apart because I was hearing this hissing sound for a few minutes upon cold starts... Turns out the hissing sound was coming from the orthopedic seats and the heater worked all along! Apparently, it was in AC mode as everyone just figured that wheel was for decoration. Turned the dial to warm (red) and let the car run for 10 minutes and low an behold I came out to a warm car blowing hot air! LOL

Guess in the morning when the kids head off to school they literally run it to the last minute, then jump in the car and expect their to be heat ASAP! LOL, don't work that way folks... You have to warm the car up before you get any heat!

So today I am very happy with the new member of the Mercedes family, I didn't have to fix a single thing! But man, I still can figure out that damned read power sunshade! LOL



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Yeah, so... Figured out what the deal was with the front coil springs... Apparently some home-brewer decided to lower the vehicle by heating areas of the coils to make them collapse. I though the car looked lowered! When I put it up on the lift the coils almost looked like they wanted to come out! But when the weight of the vehicle is on it, they sit normal. You can tell where they heated up the insides of a few rungs of coils to lower the vehicle. Totally sucks and I hate it... Getting ready to pillage the other 420 for the springs and entire front end. Haven't even driven it in the snow yet as I have requisitioned this 2000's Chevy Silverado 4X4... It's for the better I guess, this 420 is pretty darn clean... Well, except for some of this home-brew stuff.



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Swapped the year old mono valve from my 560 to the 420 yesterday as I have been dragging my feet on ordering.... Keep trying to get the total up to $100 so I don't have to pay shipping then end up asking myself if I really need everything. 

As usual, ripped rubber on the 420 SEL monovalve. It appears to be original though, because it has that classic red marker line on it. Think I had both swapped between the two cars in under 30 minutes, but now the heat will roast you out of the car. Slowly but surely I'll get her back in order.

Noticed yesterday that the person who wired in the euro lights messed up on the passengers side so you have one high beam and one low beam when the lights are on. If you turn on the high beams they just switch sides with one being on high and one on low. That should be an easy enough fix, but I also noticed my little washer solvent bottle grommets must be bad, as I filled up the tank and noticed the light was on 10 minutes later. I also want to clean between the firewalls and level out the battery as it appears whoever changed it didn't bother to remove and re-install the hold down. To add insult to injury, it's a flipping AUTOZONE battery! 

Good thing I didn't pull the trigger on that order, because now I need to add washer pump seals to the list along with a few antenna seals. 



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Good work ! And I hope you get a thank-you from your family !

These photos are great too, as they reveal to me all the trouble MB went to with changing auxiliaries over from left to right-hand drives...It's like a mirror image...

Whilst you're ordering stuff, don't forget your EURO-LOGS so you get your missing 20-30 HP back on the 560 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers,

Rastus

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Thanks, the monovalve really gave this baby some heat! I just love how warm a Mercedes interior gets! Behind the dash they have steel radiator ducts that actually radiate heat once they get good and warm. It does take a good 10-15 minutes in freezing temps to get the interior warm and comfortable but that's about par with most all cars. Sure you get warm air out the vents after a few minutes but I like getting into a car that is fully warm, so a 10 minute warm up in very cold weather is needed.

Some people say idling is not good for a car in the cold morning, I personally think these people are full of $hit and I could care less because honestly, who wants to freeze their a$$ off driving and waiting? Ive always idled my cars on cold mornings and never had problems with cylinder wash from the fuel. That's just my two cents since I have noticed a few articles on the internet about it.

That being said, I am seriously considering cutting up the 420 that I was going to make into a convertible so I can use it's suspension on this new to me black 420. Plus I could use some other parts off for my other W126's. I still think a convertible W126 would be a real nice ride, so I am not giving up on the dream.



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Hey SELLC,

Do what you must. I'm glad that all the niggles are getting sorted out. I'd honestly love to see you get started on your very own 560SEC now that the boys are nearly there with their own cars.

Don't forget to grab some Euro-logs !!!

Ciao,

Rastus

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It's hard to justify an SEC when I got a Corvette in the garage. Even from the standpoint of having two extra seats for passengers, I'd much rather take the SEL when there is more than two people anyway. 

But you never know, if the right SEC come around for the right price... Maybe...

Still, I had a 500 with euro exhaust and I almost purchased a 560 a few years back with a euro engine and logs... I'm quite impressed with the Mercedes Benz 560 sedans as they are stock and I have had an incredibly lucky 10 year run with them that I feel very lucky and grateful to have enjoyed. It wasn't easy, mind you... It still isn't easy, but I seem to have a few of them now. Resale is not what you would expect for a car that once cost $80k, and you have to almost think that maybe it's because it's a German car in an American market. At the end of the day it just comes down to preference, because for as great as the W126 is, it's still going to need work just like anything else. 



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Hey folks,

Yes, every car ( & motorcycle ) will need time, parts & money spent on it at some point in time, that's the deal they come with. The main point here though, is do you get what you pay for ? And a 2nd-hand Mercedes that's depreciated like Stoma's reputation will always be a great buy, since as time rolls by, the lasting qualities of a Mercedes really start to shine through IMO. And often satisfied owners are more than happy to keep their rides going regardless of the cost, until the ultimate death-bell rings from excessive rust...

The US-of-A is a huge market for motor vehicles, & depreciation has to exist so as to entice sales of new vehicles. That's the game. As owners & drivers, we want our stuff to last & hold value. As a salesman, you want to keep the market full of new cars.

It was good to see however SELLC a little while ago, your prediction of the W126's increasing in value again. Has that peaked ?...

Cheers,

Rastus

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I am most positive it hasn't peaked as naturally with time more and more of them will be crushed. I did however see a real nice one selling for $33k awhile back, I even made a thread about it. Not sure if it sold, but I have also seen some pretty nasty ones with high asking prices way out of line for what they were.

As it stands, very little interest in the Homebrew AMG 420 here @ $6500.00 so it's safe to say the market is not exactly hot. I've considered lowering the price a bit but honestly I don't want it to sell unless I'm going to make a few dollars on the deal. 

I guess at the end of the day a car is only worth what someone else will pay for it at any given time. Although I see prices increasing, I don't really see a huge interest. That's totally fine with me because I learned a long time ago you're not going to make a living working exclusively with W126 Mercedes, even as plentiful as they are today. Most all of the W126 on the road today are in need of, or will be needing $1000's in service and maintenance that many simply do not want to spend. I'd imagine that's why there is such a strong DYI following in the W126.

Still, if you're going to own and drive one, best to have a few for parts... That's what I always say.



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You can never have enough parts !

I'm glad that most of the SLC's parts are carry-overs from W116's, so there's a little bit of time left before they become really scarce. There were probably just as many W116's sold as W126's I'd guess.

At the end of the day though, we'll always be able to get parts, it's just how hard the search will be, & how high the price paid...

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Just popped off the air cleaner to change out the IAC valve and noticed this thing has a brand new fuel distributor and EHA! SCORE!!! Cha-Ching!

Not only that, the damn thing has a K&N air filer! Whooooo----ahhhhhhh... Some people might think I'm crazy but thats like finding about $500-$1000 in hundred dollar bills stuffed under the air cleaner.

Also found my power rear sunshade switch but I have to rebuild the shade retractor unit... It still goes up and down, it just folds the shade on the package tray rather than rolling it back into the hopper.

Also fixed a high idle that developed after the new year with a known good used IAC motor... Getting ready to change out the tires now to put my new ones on there and I am considering transferring over my sound system from the 560. 

I still have to do something about these home-brew lowered springs, which basically someone just heated up with a torch until they sagged down to where they wanted the car to sit. I don't like the way it feels lowered, although I do like the look. I am mulling what I should do but if I pull the suspension apart I am going to do the ball joints and such while I swap out the springs. Chain guides have been holding up, and honestly it's been doing well outside of the high idle woes that crept on.



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Now I'm on to cleaning out behind the 2nd firewall, re-fitting the battery and a new tray, fixing the washer solvent bottle leak and clean and detail the engine.

More photos to come.

 



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Well I couldn't help myself... In addition to replacing the IAC motor to fix the high idle I also did a little extra. Cleaned out behind the 2nd firewall area, replaced the battery tray and cleaned + treated everything under there, mounted the battery properly and found the leak in my washer solvent bottle that ended up to be a cracked pump. After all that was done I gave it a good cleaning and treated the engine. 

I look forward to doing quite a bit more.. Along with the front suspension I also have to get them guides chain and tensioner taken care of too. I'd also like to transfer my sound system from the 560 over to this 420. I've also got a set of next to brand new tires I wanted to install today however I just didn't have the time. Hopefully I can get some more time into it and really have it riding nice.

Ive also got to re-paint the bumper as the last guy who painted it wasn't able to get the paint to stick to the chrome area very well. It's been flaking off where the chrome is when I power wash it, so eventually Ill have to take care of that, but I feel good and so does the Benz!



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Hey SELLC,

Maybe an engine swap with the new transmission is what you need to do ?....You'll save a whole heap of $$$, & can fit those Euro-logs up onto the 560 motor & release at least a good 20-ponnies across the rev-range.

That battery tray was in much better condition than I thought it would be, you're very lucky there.

The engine bay looks great, well done.

Ciao,

Rastus

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Thanks Rastus.

I ended up replacing the battery tray all together with another used one I had laying around from all the parts cars. If you look at the photos you will see the other one was rotten out.

I am seriously considering putting a 560 engine in it, although if I did, it's highly possible a customer of mine, Sam, (Guy with the black 1975 Stingray) would come snatch it up. He's been on the prowl for a black on black 560, but I don't think he's into the aftermarket stuff, then again none of this stuff is after market, it's AMG or Euro Spec Mercedes... I think he more or less wants a creampuff, but them are getting hard to come by. This one is turning out to be a real nice ride, the interior is nothing short of breathtaking even though I haven't treated it at all outside of a wipe down.

Can't wait to get the new suspension and tires on it. I'll probably roll with the 420 engine with the US manifolds until I get the order to put a 560 engine in it, or until this 420 engine gives up the ghost.. If I don't get them guides and tensioner replaced soon that 560 engine upgrade just might come to pass sooner than I thought! LOL 



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From what I hear down this way, the 420's are actually quite sought-after, since the engine apparently gives by far the best fuel economy of all the M116's, but I figure that has a lot to do with the tall rear differential-ratio too. And since the motor has been stretched to just over 250-inches, there's some minor-league capacity there too, & that means some torque. You should have no problems with reliability.

As a boring day-to-day family runner, I think in time you'll grow to liking it, especially since the fuel bill will be significantly less compared to the 560, with normal driving. Euro-logs would likely net even more performance gains fitted on the 420 than the 560 too, all else being equal.

Ciao,

Rastus

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POLISH THAT SHIT UP................ BUT ITS STILL A SHIT!!!!!!!!! AHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!!!!!!!! GOTTA ADMIT THAT ENGINE BAY LOOKS CLEANER THEN THE UMNEY FAMILY DUMP HE CALLS HOME!!!!!!!!!! HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I guess that's probably the closest thing to a complement as I'll see from Stoma.



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Well... I put the Black Stallion on eBay @ $6500... If she goes, she goes... If not I'm going to rock this thing Miami Vice style this spring/summer!

So far, the only call I have gotten is from a guy named... Ronnie "Stoma"! LOL! No $hit! I am not even kidding!

Stoma told me it looked like a posers car, to which I replied "That's why you're calling for it", you sound like a poser!

I had a good laugh... True story though.

Here is the link to the Ad on E-Bay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/132096189871?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

The only problem I am having with the car is all the things people say about people who drive all black cars with tinted windows... The wife claims she's embarrassed, the kid and his buddy make up gangster slang names for it... Me, I like the way it looks.. LOL, I might have to take the 420 Poser mobile to Miami next! 



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Hey SELLC,

Good advertisement for the most part. You must however IMO lose the first paragraph, with the "mobster" reasons of selling the car. That's for your new owner to learn in 6-months time LOL. And there's too much information about the front springs IMO. Just say that you're prepared to supply & fit standard springs if preferred.

Good luck,

Rastus

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Those are very reasonable suggestions, but I am more or less having fun with the Ad because as you can see from the price, I am not very motivated to sell it. I wanted more than anything a CarFax on the vehicle, which I got for free by listing it on eBay. If someone buys it, then I'm out a cool little car for summer but I have a nice chance to start looking for another one. Don't forget Rastus, my Gold 560 is my true first love, I'd really like to get that one back into action. I also have the convertible too, so I feel I must at least make an effort to offer it to someone who may really want a nice starter Benz with a whole lot of personality. I felt compelled to let people know this, about the "branding" that will come with such looking car. I don't want to detract from one of the reasons I was considering selling it, and sometimes I think people just like to complain and make fun of anything they can, but such is the way of it.

With regards to the springs.. I'm seriously torn on them... On one hand it is certainly at least 3 inches lower than what a stock 420 should be. I know people like this look, but at the same time it really taxes the tires and the suspension, and it really doesn't handle as good like this. Sure you could adjust the suspension as Mercedes has camber/caster and the whole 9 yards, but would you really want to go thru that for what amounts to modified springs that are not ideal for such purposes? I myself would consider lowering springs, but I have immediate access to factory springs. No doubt if someone gave me full asking price I would install a set of springs and ball joints for them, or lowering springs if they paid for them. But I feel very obligated to go into great detail about it being lowered and the effects it has on the car. It's only fair, because a lot of people who would consider buying need to be aware. 

If it doesn't sell on eBay, at least I got my car fax! Turns out the car is native to Michigan! Alma, Higgins Lake, Jackson, White Lake and now Plymouth. They rate it poorly because it has had 7 owners, but has never had a reported accident or event. In fact you would think a car with such history would be rated a little better... But such is the way they do their scoring. People looking for a driver want something like this, history of regular use, no accidents or floods and details - details - details.



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Well recently the kid got his permit to drive with a parent a little while back and obviously he's been driving me around... Amazing how good it feels to be driven everywhere! LOL

Which brings me to the next repair that needed to be made... Apparently since I have owned the vehicle the passengers side power seat has never worked! I had no idea because the wife always sits up front and she is so small she never bothered to adjust it... So the first time I get in the passengers side I go to adjust the seat to "full recline" to enjoy the ride, or maybe so I don't have to see whatever the kid is about to hit, but anyway, the damn thing didn't move in any position! Naturally this bothered me as you know how these seats are super uncomfortable if not adjusted to your personal liking... Having been VERY busy at work I employed a neat little trick and I was quite impressed! Check it out,

Upon the next time I needed to go somewhere the kid wanted to drive and I said, "Sorry son, I am not riding in that broken passenger seat, and until it's fixed you're just going to have to ride in that seat". LOL! Very next day the kid had that seat out and low and behold, the entire seat module was missing! LOL, no problem, kid goes in the garage and grabs one of about 8 passenger side track assemblies to which I told him, no...no...no... that one is much too nice! Go find the nastiest looking one that's got rusted up tracks and pull the module from that one! Sure enough, he emerged with a crusty looking one with rusty tracks but a good looking module... 20 minutes later he was driving me up to the local supermarket and has been driving me around every since! LOL! 

I must admit, I don't feel like such a gangster / drug dealer when properly reclined in the front seat and the kid driving. I am really starting to dig this little 420 and it's AMG bits, even if some of them aren't period correct! In fact, it would seem that AMG parts seem to attract period correct parts as I had someone reach out to me the other day offering me a reproduction AMG period correct badge... If he had a chrome one I would have purchased it, but since he only had plastic ones (which wasn't a problem) that were flat black I had to decline his $60 offer to get me into period correct signage on the trunk. I'm still mulling it of course, but first on my agenda is the suspension, which apparently the ball joints are pretty pissed off because now they are squeaking when you turn the wheel... Obviously this does not just end at the ball joints, since if you remember from earlier there are some home brewed lowering springs in there that I don't care for either.. Looks like the proper H&R lowering springs are going to set me back $300, which isn't a problem at this point in my life, not a big deal at all really... But then if I go that route I'd be tempted to get a set of OZ rims, and I don't care how well off you are... The cost of them are going to sting! LOL

Since it's daily driven, the problem with such nice rims would be the fact Michigan is the pothole capital of the world! So I may just opt for some knock-offs because honestly I don't think I could stand to bend up a set of real OZ rims.. You'll have to forgive me here, but I also like the AMG Monoblocks, but only the ones that are studded, which of course are even more expensive! So I have got some thinking to do... Since it's only a 420, I guess I could get away with some knock-off since it's in no way got the power I am used to, in fact I prefer the kid drive it because really it's just a kick in the ass every time I have to put the hammer down knowing how much slower the 420 is than any 560 I have become used to driving... But man, it's just crazy how much better gas milage you get in a 420!

Since I am mulling all this work and spending a little money on the car, I have raised the price to $15,000, because lets be honest... Where else am I going to find another Mercedes this nice at the price I paid? I have already done a ton of work to it, and honestly looking at all the crap they are selling now days for $6000-$10,000 it's clear mine is in FAR better shape and has some VERY RARE parts on it. I don't expect it to pull down $15k but if I paint that bumper, do the front end with the good H&R springs, ball joints - chain guides etc... Plus get the better looking rims, I'd think I'll be pretty firm on that $15k anyway at that point, because I can't really think of anything else that looks or rides better - save for my Corvette.... Ohhhhhhhh my Corvette, how I love thee! Took it downtown the other night and just had a blast... Feel bad for the Mercedes because that little plastic devil has stolen my heart to the point I rub it with a diaper, store it indoors at all times, cover it and I don't even think about driving it if there is a cloud in the sky... But this talk is for another thread in another forum... LOL

For now, as always, the W126 is treating me good and when it comes to daily driving she (the 420 AMG clone) is my go to car. It's even been good to the kid even though he is a rookie driver. Already got 1000+ miles on the beast since I acquired it, and that's all local driving save for that one time I took it downtown Detroit - muwhahahahahaha!



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Yo,

Good for you your son likes working on the car !!! Even if for him to drive it means a partial bribe is in order !!! At least he's learning along the way too, as that can't be a bad thing. It seems with lots of young folks being addicted to phones & stuff, that being able to think is a big ask now-days with some kids....

Your 420 should still have a healthy top-speed too, only falling maybe 10-15 mph short on the 560 when going flat-out...Since you're considering wheels & other appointments, I'd slip a 3.27-diff in there from a 380, just to trade-off top-end speed for a little more acceleration, without a huge jump in mileage. Even a 3.07 gear-set will prove well worth your time IMO, especially if you have something lying around already. It'll make the car seem much lighter & more agile, & possibly take your mind away from thinking about a 560 engine swap.

I just realized from the photos that the 420 doesn't have hydraulic rear suspension. Too bad, as then you could have made the car sit at whatever height you wanted, to match a proper lowered set of front-springs & rubbers. I guess there's nothing wrong with 4-new lowered springs & rubbers LOL !

Ciao,

Rastus

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To be quite honest, I really don't want to have to swap the engine... Although one might consider I am seriously leaning towards that by waiting so long to do the guides! LOL

In the event I am lucky enough to tackle the guides prior to piston to valve collision, I'd think what I really want to do is get one of my other 560's in order and transfer the AMG parts such as the bumper and wheels, then sell off the 420 for quite a bit less. Keep in mind this wouldn't happen overnight and at that point I figure I would have already gotten a few years out of the 420 so lowering the price down under $6k wouldn't be like I lost anything... Best part is I could have these looks on a real 560 with the hydraulic suspension, heated seats, limited slip differential, and of course the bigger engine. 

I content with the 420 now because of my other vehicle, (the plastic devil). But honestly, while you may be correct about the 420 only having a 15-20 MPH top speed difference, the amount of time it takes the 420 to get there, and the lost feeling of that 560 power is enough for me... I just don't enjoy the 420 as much as the 560.. Had it not been for some of the bolt on AMG stuff and the clean leather interior I would have passed on the 420 all together. But as fate had it, it's quite a good looker and despite the lack of a bigger engine and some of the creature comforts it's proving to be a nice little car.



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Well it seems I gave the 420 another crack on eBay with an opening bid of $3999.99 before I go off the deep end and do all the upgrades I have been mulling above. Apparently this number must be reasonable as someone has already placed a bid for the opening amount... So I guess this means farewell to my little 420 clone.... Probably some rich dude with an early model real AMG SEC or SEL looking for the bumper - LOL! But I hope it's someone who will keep the car in tact and take it a little further... Guess it doesn't matter because once they pay it's no longer my business what the new owner does with it. 

It will probably sell for the $3999.99 too, as that is just my luck.. I'm not into shill bidding or pulling down listings once a bid has been placed and there is no reserve... So if no one else bids someone is going to get some serious value for the $3999.99... I mean, in all honesty you could sell off the euro bumper, AMG chin spoiler, euro lights, and rear power sun-shade and AMG spoiler and have yourself pretty much a free 420 SEL less these parts of course, so there is some real value built in. 

Oh well, guess I should be happy to have enjoyed the car, but I am going to miss that euro/AMG front end look... It really does look unique and I'll miss that nice clean, soft black leather interior too... Probably the nicest condition interior I have ever had in a W126 to be honest. 

Maybe the buyer won't come thru with the funds! LOL! It was a late night last ditch listing before I started performing the work mentioned above, and I was seriously considering changing out the engine for the bigger 560 along with the rear end from a 560. I literally have a 560 engine and trans sitting on standby either for this car, or for one of the other two 560's that I still have. Oh well, auction ends on Sunday so I guess we will see if she's going to a new home or not. Hoping everything goes smooth as I don't want to have to deal with any unpaid buyer BS to get fee's reversed. I also did not realize at the time when listing that it says that people can pay with PayPal, money order or Cashiers Check because honestly I won't release the title until funds for any of the three have cleared my account, I just figured any vehicle sale would automatically be for cash since it's a local pickup deal. Have to see about that because I am a little peeved that they would include these payment methods without any mention of them being included! What Private seller takes PayPal or a check for a vehicle purchase!? Whoever is buying it better have cash or eBay can blow me for not making these other payment options known at the time I made the listing and I'm not one to not notice something like that so it had to be hidden out of sight in the original listing format... Whatever...



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Well,

I hope the sale flops to be honest...I'd rather see you enjoy the car with a 560 assembly in it, & get your money back by selling the bumpers & stuff to Mc Lare...

Then you can sell all the the other stuff in your yard in one fell swoop, & the clean-out completed...And you get to keep the best "overall" package, with less than 1/2 of the work needed to bring it up-to-scratch.

It's also worth considering getting rid of all of that stuff, & focusing on a 560SEC...You will kick yourself for not doing this years ago.

Best of luck whatever side the coin lands on.

Rastus

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Yeah, I'm not one to go back on a deal though... Which means a deal is a deal and I'll honor it regardless... Even if it only goes for $3999.99, but I ain't taking no money order, bank check or PayPal for the balance... That much I can guarantee! Says right in the listing, AS-IS, no refunds and no returns... so, if they got the cash I'll just have to suck it up and get to work on my other two 560's, plain and simple.



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Well, the bidder welched when it came to pony up the dough... Not even an email to say "I changed my mind". LOL

I just sent thru and received the final value fee credit thru eBay, so it looks as if the ole' 420 (at least for now) is going to be with the family for a little longer. It won't be a 420 for much longer, that much I am pretty sure about. Rastus is right that this particular vehicle is the path of least resistance to getting that sporty W126 sedan as the body is in very good shape needing only minor cosmetic repairs to make the body near flawless. 

The jury is still out on the AMG rims, but obviously the suspension and engine swap are pretty much paramount. I'll still be doing chain and guides on the 560 donor engine but at least I have all them parts sitting here at my house and they are all OE Mercedes Benz quality. Thinking about TRW for the ball joints and I guess I'll have to take my new tires off the 560 and put them on this car to ensure it's top notch. I am going to try and sell off some un-needed items to compensate for the $300 springs but I have decided that I might as well keep the low look part of the car... And who knows, I might even order up a period correct AMG badge too and put a custom 560 SELLC emblem on it. I don't plan on driving it in the winter any longer, and I should probably go ahead and ask my buddy who is a body guy how much to knock out the three spots that have festered up. They have been treated and are not getting any worse but I'd like them to be un-detectable and perfect. Geez, it's true that sometimes a car will pick you and when that happens, I guess you just have to live up to the legend. Still, most people don't know what it's like to be trapped into a Mercedes, as that is sort of how I feel... It's not a bad thing, but man, it sure sounds funny and commands some pretty odd looking faces when trying to explain that to people. lol

I might add that I still have it for sale on Craigslist for $6500 as it sits, but I seriously doubt anyone is going to pony up that kind of money for this vehicle so it's more or less my business side that is being appeased by keeping it on the block. 



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Picked up a set of ball joints, upper control arms, tie rod ends and bushings for the sway bar / control arm today for $79 shipped to my door. I'll be curious to see what the quality is on these parts but lately I have been having to replace a lot of BMW and other European cars front and rear control arms with these China reproductions, and so far they have been holding up. I only expect a few years out of them anyway, heck just winter would be fine if someone ends up buying my Cadillac.

I also picked up some window switches as one is missing. Got all 4 for $14 so I guess it will be interesting to see the quality of them parts also. I am going to put the factory 420 springs on it from the gold car we cut up not long ago. I was seriously considering the lowering springs but then realized that a low car in Michigan winters is just asking to rip that AMG bumper off. I am going to be transferring my 4 brand new tires off the 560 onto the 420 and I'll be doing any other things that are needed while in there such as brakes or guide rod bushings - if needed. I think they were all fine not long ago so I might get off the hook for $100 and a days worth of labor. 

Here is the link for the $79 suspension kit with ball joints.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Suspension-Control-Arm-Kits-fit-for-Mercedes-W126-350SD-420SEL-Front-L-R-9pcs/291830656246?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

And here is the link for the window switches for $7 a pair that includes shipping.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Left-Right-Master-Control-Power-Window-Switch-For-Mercedes-Benz-W124-W126-W201/111793063896?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649



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Trying to talk myself out of a set of these...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/H-R-LOWERING-SPORT-SPRINGS-SET-81-91-MERCEDES-BENZ-W126-SE-SEC-SEL-NO-SELF-LEVEL-/391603579614?epid=1417743159&hash=item5b2d646ade:g:CnwAAOSw9YNZr1O4&vxp=mtr

$310! And thats for the 1.4 inch drop on a non-hydro rear suspension W126...

I'm saving some cash on the other parts... I wonder how this particular car is going to look at proper ride height? I mean someone has modified the springs so it's lower now...

 



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I went on and purchased the H&R lowering springs because well, you only live once - right? 

Also went on and purchased ALL the upper guides and tensioner pad along with tensioner, all new belts, new Bilstein steering stabilizer and some extra odds and ends to round out the beast. I've already got valve cover gaskets and many other parts from my personal stash of 560 stuff that I have been saving - some of it cross compatible. 

I am going to stick out the winter with this 420 engine.. Going to freshen it up and put some good oil in her so she's worth something should I ever change her out to one of the many 560 engines I have mothballed. 

So, to recap... With the springs and everything I have spent about $650 on all this stuff, which isn't bad I guess... Still no word from OTC about their fancy master balljoint press and if it does W126 Mercedes but I'm on it... Worst case I do have a press and a friend of mine who is big into Mercedes is constantly bragging about his Klahn (Sp?) tools... Might not be a week or so before everything arrives which is a good thing because I have to catch up a little.

I must be outta my fu@king mind... but there will be lots and lots of photos, instructions and threads that will follow all of this... I'll give the final word on these H&R springs once I get the new tires and rims balanced up. 

 



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Good stuff, but you forgot about those Euro-logs....

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Putting logs or Y's on a 420 is like putting an elevator in an outhouse... It just don't belong.. 

I agree, when the 560 goes in there, it needs to go in there with logs or Y's...



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I agree, but since you're about to prepare the beast for another season ( at least ), setting the exhaust-up seems like a viable thing to do too.

True the 420 will benefit lees than a 560 by fitting the logs or Y's, but it will still benefit. Your mid-range to top-end power might even put a small smile / smirk on your face...( Some-one has to give the M-116 a little support lol ).

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I despise this little 420 engine... It's amazing the difference in every respect between the 420 and 560! If it weren't for the fact that 420's seem more prone to guide failure I'd skip doing them until the 560 engine was a go. Since I wouldn't mind making a few bucks on a good 420 engine I'll bite the bullet and do it up. I will tell you this, I am going to try the Febi tensioner on this 420 and run it thru the winter because I am curious... I am going to have to totally dismantle a tensioner to see but I am pretty sure they are is a piston with an o-ring around it... That's it! Oh, and a spring to keep pressure out while the engine isn't running. 

I am however going with Genuine Guides because the price difference is such that I'll splurge there lol. Also trying "Fel-Pro's" valve cover gaskets that you can now buy at your local parts stores. They look good to me and the price for them isn't bad at all, picked them up in stock one day as I said "What the hell".

I don't plan on driving it in deep snow or heavy salt roads, that's what the Cadillac is for but I got a feeling someone is going to buy that car when the weather turns... So best spend a day and get it done.

After I post up all the photos of these parts being installed we can start mulling that 560 power plant and keeping an eye out for either Y's or logs... By then I hope to have that Miller welder I have been dreaming of... Also been keeping my ear to the ground for a Huth or similar pipe bender, used of course. 



-- Edited by SELLC on Tuesday 19th of September 2017 11:07:09 PM

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FYI - My 1985 500 SEL that I owned for awhile had logs... You could really tell the difference at highway speeds!



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SELLC wrote:

 

After I post up all the photos of these parts being installed we can start mulling that 560 power plant and keeping an eye out for either Y's or logs... By then I hope to have that Miller welder I have been dreaming of... Also been keeping my ear to the ground for a Huth or similar pipe bender, used of course. 



-- Edited by SELLC on Tuesday 19th of September 2017 11:07:09 PM


 The thread with the Miller welder & pipe-bender will be worth the wait. I wonder if there'd be a market for your own custom-headers here ? Or more-to-the-point, if it could become viable to sell some....

Your own custom headers for 560 engines would be a very cool item to have made available. No doubt W126's would prove easier than R107's to make...



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Im thinking about a lesser expensive compression bender rather than a mandrel... That being said custom headers would be out of the question unless I purchased pre-bent elbows... But I don't think reinventing the wheel here is something that is needed... Logs or Y's would be fine, depending the cost and availability... Everything else from there back would have to be custom and I'd probably be looking for a more sporty sound. Often wondered what two side mounted flow masters mounted in traditional Mercedes configuration using same side inlet/outlet style mufflers pushed back thru dual straight pipes. Flowmasters sound really good on applications with longer tailpipes (no pun intended). If that was too much I could always stuff a Mercedes can in the back and take down the drone. 

So basically making something like this, but with flowmasters rather than the resonators, just equal length side by side 2 1/4 or 2 1/2...

Maybe a couple Borla stainless tips out the back? I don't know.. I wondered what a setup like that would sound like... 



-- Edited by SELLC on Friday 22nd of September 2017 12:11:53 PM

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I've seen & heard systems here in Oz, where there was no middle-mufflers at all, just pipe-work to the rear OEM muffler only. There was an apparent improvement every-where power-wise, though hardly any increase in noise. And certainly NO drone...

You will never have that horrible drone if you have a full twin system fitted.

It's only when all 8-cylinders feed into a single-section of pipe that that god-awful drone is heard, usually at around 2,000rpm, & leaving by 2,400rpm.

With a full twin system, this drone effect only occurs at around 4,000-4,800rpm, & its greatly reduced in intensity, so you almost don't hear it. Or rather, it's noisy when it's supposed to be at high RPM, & WOT.

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Man. Maybe we could do some turd-trading. I've got this pile of w126 cars that I ultimately want to get rid of with the exception of my 500se.

i will have to read this thread when I get some more time.

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