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S-Class Upgrade?

 I did it again. Another Mercedes project.

Mercedes 1994 S420
This was an auction find at my local Copart - a one-owner, low mileage (124k) with a clean CarFax and decent service history. After all of the research, I broke down and bid. Winning the auction for $1,700 seemed reasonable, even given the fees would add about $1,300 to overall cost. 

First inspections revealed a broken vacuum hose leading to the brake booster (right at the check valve) that was held together with electrical tape. Not really a good sign that seemed to go against the service records in CarFax. I had no idea how severely these cars reacted to vacuum leaks until I drove it.

I was ready to give up, but ordered the $40 replacement line anyway. The car barely drove and if the line separated, the un-boosted brakes required a massive effort to get this giant car to stop.

There were a number of surprises I was very excited about. First - the reverse parking aids worked! Secondly, the automatic rear-view mirror worked! In all of my research, those two items were the least likely to work. I did strike out on the front left headlight wiper - it suffers from the typical failure for these cars.

So welcome to the family, S420! Hope you stick around a while!


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