I purchased a 1997 E-420 last Nov.
In the research before and after the purchase, I found a lot less about
the E-420 than I did about the E-430.
How many years was the E420 available vs. the E430?
Are there any known problems with the E420 that anyone wants to share
The car runs great and I feel like it has a lot of life still in it.
Thanks in advance...............
Hez of the Pacific NW
The 400E - E420 was made '92-'95 model year in the W124 chassis. That's the
The W210 chassis E-class was introduced for the '96 model year. That's the
one with the roundy-round headlights. There was no V8 model for '96, only
the E320 with its inline six cylinder engine.
The '97 model year saw the advent of the E420 in the W210 chassis. This car
had the M119 V8. That's the quad cam, 32 valve, 275HP engine. Coupled to the
new 722.6 five speed automatic transmission it makes for a lively ride, to
say the least.
1998 saw the replacement of the E420 with the E430. Same basic car, but the
M119 engine was replaced by the new generation M113 V8 engine. It's a bit
less flashy - only two camshafts and 24 valves. But power is the same, fuel
economy is better, and emissions much, much lower.
Either the E420 or E430 is a good choice. A regular driver couldn't tell the
difference between the two. No real problem areas with either engine to
recommend one over the other. The M119 may need it's oil tubes replaced, but
no real harm comes from this failure. The M113 has the dreaded failing
harmonic balancer, but this is a simple and not expensive repair if
performed before it completly lets go. Other than that the M113 has longer
service intervals, less frequent spark plug changes, etc. I would expect the
M113 to be a bit less expensive to maintain over time.
The E420 was only available in the W210 body style for one year. The engine
has four cams and 32 valves which appears more advanced then the later E430
that had the same power but less cams and valves :-).
The engine is tried and tested in earlier S class and E class models so you
can find out more about the engine that way.
I own an E420 the only issues that I have had with it is the cats going out
and making the car run with no power and rust...
Be very careful with rust especially around the spring mount on the driver's
I just had mine replaced at 78,000 miles. It went without warning.
Luckily my wife was not speeding nor was she is busy traffic. My local
independent replaced it for $200.00.
He said that it was a common problem with these cars, as the rubber
bushings tend to dry rot.
=1998 LS 400
1999 E320 4-Matic
pool man wrote:
Just sold my 97' 420 with 94k on it. I bought it with 50k about 3 years ago.
Undoubtedly the best car I've ever owned. My wife used it as a commuter car.
Great highway car, great on gas, power and roominess. Problem free. Just
don't start the car move it 5 feet and turn it off without running it a
couple of minutes or the engine might flood. Happened twice to me.
Otherwise I would buy the same car again in a heartbeat. I miss it already.
Thanks for your life-experiences about your used 1997 E420. I had 122k
miles on mine when I bought and have enjoyed the car alot. I drive
about 700 miles (Wash State to California) average 3 times a year and
I've really enjoyed the car. I had some deferred maintenance done on
the car recently and I'm expecting great performance on my next trip to
Calif (leaving tomorrow / 9 May 05).
I share your enthusiasm for the car, but am cautiously optimistic. Time
Thanks again for your sharing.
Hez of the Pacific NW
Glenn Bazzano wrote:
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.