CBDO and PSFRED
Thanks to both for the advice. I am now actively searching for a 1986/87 300SDL w/my eyes also open for '81-85 300SD. As I search, I will heed your caveats. Breaking into the world of diesel and more particularly MB is already adding another highlight to my day! Having owned, maintained and enjoyed an array of imported vehicles, this is going to be a new/exciting chapter for me. I have considered the higher costs of MB parts and that hasn't daunted me. I guess after having owned a couple of vehicles that occassionally required custom replacement parts to be manufactured it will seem easier to be able to order them!
One item I have not found addressed in the forum is advice on reliable cold-starts in the NE winters. My hunch is there are certain mechanical and/or electrical components requiring special attention. Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated.