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MS Fowler 10-04-2004 05:32 AM

New ( to me) 1982 300SD!
I'm currently negotiating to purchase a 1982 300SD with 143,000 miles. Mechanically, nearly excellent. Cosmetics are little below average. Paint ( clear coat) is shot, and peeling. Sunroof is inoperable, leather seats need TLC and some restitching, A/C blows hot only, dash is cracked, needs gasket for the backlight. None of thses items is a deal killer. I believe I will go thru with the purchase and take care of the issues one-by one.
The good stuff, Everything on the mechanical side of things appears to be in great shape, serviced by the local premier indy for Mercedes. The body is straight, only trace signs of rust, no dings/ repairs. Glass is not fogged. Starts very quickly. I pulled the oil filler cap off the running engine and observed very little air coming out. (Not at all like my old 240D which really puffed away...before it died)
I'll post pictures after I complete the deal, hopefully in the next 2 weeks.

tomm9298 10-04-2004 06:09 AM

Sounds like
Sounds like a peach of a car!!! The clear coat being shot seems to be the norm.... :confused:

bill murrow 10-04-2004 07:36 AM

And who might the top dog mbz mechanic be in the Bel Air area?

Maybe Cignatta? Maybe Dietz?

Just curious...



whunter 10-04-2004 08:58 AM

What price range?
Hello MS Fowler
$2000.00 seems about right, with all the issues.

MS Fowler 10-04-2004 03:46 PM

I think you named ALL the independent Mercedes mechanics in Bel Air. I've used Dietz but my friend swears out by Cignatta. This car has been maintained by Cignatta. In fact most of the mileage for the last 5 years has been to and from the shop for the oil and filter changes.

bill murrow 10-04-2004 04:06 PM


Originally Posted by MS Fowler
I think you named ALL the independent Mercedes mechanics in Bel Air. I've used Dietz but my friend swears out by Cignatta. This car has been maintained by Cignatta. In fact most of the mileage for the last 5 years has been to and from the shop for the oil and filter changes.

I've never been to Dietz but have heard they're good.

I have dealt with Dennis [cignatta] and he has worked on the 123s for years. I call him "Dr.Dennis"-sounds/looks like a doctor. :) However-Dennis reccomends ATF in the power steering, uses any kind of anti-freeze and a couple other things that disagreed with what I've read here on this forum. I am not saying he doesn't know what he's talking about. To the contrary he is well respected and has many, many hours of wrenching on these cars. And, quite frankly, I do like the guy. we just bump heads on our views sometimes.

I'd say if Dennis has maintained it, go talk to him about the car. he'll be honest with you about the repairs he has made and I'm sure would mention any kind of foreseeable repairs and give you his honest opinon of the car.

I take it since you have used Dietz they're good as well? what is their hourly rate? Cignatta is $70/hour. And is Dietz on Bel Air[or should I say "blair"] road just below Mountain Rd.? I believe that is what I was told but am not sure and haven't looked it up in the phone book yet....

BTW, I live in Fawn Grove and have an antique shop on Rt.851 just west of Md. rt.24 so stop up sometime and I'll show ya my latest ride ;) I found a nice 300td recently.



MS Fowler 10-05-2004 12:21 AM

I was just up on the north end of HArford County today, where 543 dead ends. We're almost neighbors!
You got Dietz's location just about perfect. My lab used to be located in one of Henry Hoffman's buildings that are just north of Dietz. I bought my 240D beater from him. I never had him do any work, but I bought some parts from him. I busted the vacuum nipple off the pipe going to the brake booster while woking on my car at work. The lack of vacuum made it shift VERY late. I left my place of work going south past Ron's shop and realized the problem with the late shift. I made a U turn and returned to ask if I could buy a pipe off one of his parts cars. He said, " I heard you go by, and thought you'd be coming back....."
I found him to be helpful and knowledgeable ( While waiting to ask him a question, I would have to wait while he discussed some problem with another customer), I never felt he was giving anyone a load of BS. He also has some issues with some of the "gospel" on here.

sixto 10-05-2004 12:30 AM


Originally Posted by bill murrow
However-Dennis reccomends ATF in the power steering, uses any kind of anti-freeze...

ATF as power steering fluid is supposedly okay through 85. Not much damage green coolant can do to an iron head and brass radiator tanks. When he recommends that regimen for 60x engines, I hope he stands by his work.

95 S420
87 300SDL

bill murrow 10-05-2004 07:10 AM

Ms fowler--Ya never know who you'll met on the net!! Henry is a long time friend of mine and lives not far from here-Jarrettsville to be exact. I've got pics of us together as kids. I'm assuming you bought your 240d from Dietz? I think thats what you were saying. I have very little done at the shop but Dennis [Cignatta] did do a center support bearing on my '85td. I know a guy here in town that had Dietz do his tranny rebuild and said he does a good job.Cignatta was refered to me by a friend that has a '47 right hand drive Rolls Royce and has had Dennis work on it. Last time I stopped by Cignattas he was working on a Morgan that had been in a flood. You never know what you''l see in Dennis' shop. I'll be by there today as I'll be down that way and always stop in his shop to see what he's working on.

Once again, stop by sometime. I'm a mile and a half from the spot where 24 dead ends, west on 851, pass the schools and I'm on the right. Big 'antiques" sign in the back of an old manure spreader with the shop being in the upstairs of my big red barn. I'm in/out a lot during the week-I am a full-time restorer-but am always open 10-5 Sat.-Sun.-closed on holiday weekends -memorial , labor, and Thanksgiving usually. Would love to have you look over my 300td. My wife laughs at my obsession with old MBs and it would be nice to talk to someone who appreciates them as much as me.AND knows how hard a good one is to come by.

Sixto, I was afraid of this--another oil thread :) but- if you search here you will find that ATF should NOT be used in the 123s. The ATF the book reccomends is TYPE A, not available anymore [but I do have an old qt. lying around]. ATF has been reformulated in the last 20 years and WILL eat up seals in the pump. I speak from experience. Put ATF in one of my other 123s and within a month the pump seals were leaking. Ran it that way for a while until the leak was so bad I couldn't drive it. Started searching here for rebuild procedure and found ATF to be incorrect as others have had the same problem. Larry [Bible] mentioned when rebuilding pump to look for grooves on the shaft. Sure enough, grooves on the shaft of mine , rendering it useless. Larry said pumps that are run on modern ATF will have the telltale grooves. I've been running regular power steering fluid in my 123s with no ill effects as have many others. Please search here and please don't put ATF in those 123 pumps.



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