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  #1  
Old 10-18-2004, 12:46 AM
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Location: Northeastern N.C.
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Need advice or therapy!!

Bought a pristine 82 240D last week. No rust, no water in floorwells. Only 150,000 miles. Paint is great. Interior is like new. Paid only $2450 for car. Boy was I excited. This couldn't be true!! Took car to indy to get get tune up.(usual valve adjustment, change oil, air, fuel filters etc.) Asked mechanic to check front end because the car had steering wheel play, and drifted all over road when driving. Also thought I needed rotors and brake pads. Well, when he took tires off to check front end he found that I basically needed to replace entire front end suspension. Lower ball joints, ($77)lower control arm bushings, ($74)Front left and right control arms,($208) left and right tie rods, ($78)center link,($81) idler arm bushing,($95)
steering shock, ($49.50)alignment incl., front shocks,($170) front brake pads,($48) front rotors,($98.90)front wheel bearings,($162) front calipers,($520 ouch!)front hoses. ($75)Rear brake pads, ($22.50)rear rotors, ($105.36)rear brake shoes.($25)Total parts= $1889.26. Total labor= $1540@70hr. Grand total=$3523.73w/tax. Now I have to spend $3500.00 on a $2,450 car. Guys please tell me what you think. I love this car, but I feel like this is kinda steep. Any advice will be appreciated. Is it worth it? My indy said that if I went to the dealership the price would have been closer to $6,000, because the labor would have been $110 hr. If I get all this work done, I will feel like I had a brand new car. Realistically, I will have a total of $6000 in the car plus the $500 I spent for the tune up.I should never have to worry about front end problems for a while. Please give me your honest opinions. The car is probably worth the investment, but the $6,000 is not what I had in mind at the time of purchase. Thanks in advance. Sorry the post is so long, but I needed a shoulder to cry on.

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  #2  
Old 10-18-2004, 12:59 AM
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Я не хакер
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Varies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 79 300CD
If I get all this work done, I will feel like I had a brand new car.
Don't kid yourself like that. You will have a 25 year old car and your mechanic will have a down payment for a new car.
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2004, 12:59 AM
123c
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My advice is try doing most of the work yourself, and try to get a mechanically inclined buddy to help you aren't. You can save lots of money doing it yourself, and will save money on parts, by not paying the indies parts mark-up.
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  #4  
Old 10-18-2004, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 123c
My advice is try doing most of the work yourself, and try to get a mechanically inclined buddy to help you aren't. You can save lots of money doing it yourself, and will save money on parts, by not paying the indies parts mark-up.
GREAT advice. If you can't work on these cars yourself, they can and will eat you alive in labor costs. None of this work is terribly hard if you can read a manual and turn a wrench. Dirty, frustrating, and time consuming, yes, but not really all that HARD. Besides, you have at your disposal the greatest collection of Mercedes diesel knowlege I know of right here in these forums. When you run into trouble, post here and all kinds of kind folks will offer great advice... as above!

Chris
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2004, 06:18 AM
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I feel your pain.
Some of the parts prices seem a bit out of line. For your own piece of mind, check out the site's sponsor. Phil at Fastlane is a great guy, and had good prices. I've never had a wrong part delivered. His service is fantastic, and he speaks english! I needed both rear brake cables to pass inspection, and ordered them a little after 4PM one day, and they were sitting on my front porch when I got home at 3"30 the next day.
I second the notion to DIY--if you have the time and a place to work. Where else can you get the satisfaction of doing a job well, and paying yourself $70 - $110 per hour. Remember money not paid to someone else, is money earned.
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  #6  
Old 10-18-2004, 07:02 AM
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Location: Knoxville TN
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Milage Show on the Odo

You can bet your a@@ that car has a whole lot more than 150k miles. Every one of them I've ever seen, or even heard of, the odo has either quit or turned real slow, hanging up on the nines. The only way to be sure on a claim of what would be low milage would be to buy from the original owner, a priest or nun, or something. What I'll bet happens, is that people drive like that for 15 years, then fix the odo, put it on E-Bay, and clean up.
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  #7  
Old 10-18-2004, 07:34 AM
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Perhaps a little trip to the indy BEFORE you purchased the car to have it inspected would have saved you some $$$. Purchasing one of these fine cars is often an emotional experience and we don't always think things through when we think we're getting a good deal. I always remember the old adage, "if it's too good to be true, it probably is." These cars are a snap to work on and with the help available on this site you can do most of this yourself if you have some free time and few tools. Good luck.
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  #8  
Old 10-18-2004, 08:21 AM
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Thanks to all. You are all correct. I know I should have done a ppi.,but it was an emotional transaction and I didn't want it to get away that day. When I saw the paint job, no rust, the interior, I figured that even if I had to spend $1000 I still would have a good deal. I am not very mechanically inclined, and I do not have the type tools that are needed to perform these types of repairs. If there is anyone out there in northeastern n.c. or the tidewater va area please chime in and maybe we could get together on this dilema. I knew if I came to this board that I would get candid and honest advice and I do appreciate it. I will be letting you all know what transpires.
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2004, 08:30 AM
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Of all these repairs that I need to do, can I get away with doing the ball joints, rotors, and pads. I know that the ball joints have play and that they can be dangerous. What do you guys think the most priority is? What must I do first?
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  #10  
Old 10-18-2004, 08:36 AM
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You need a second opinion on the repairs - don't feel like you are getting a "deal". Some of those parts prices are overly inflated and it shouldn't take a professional 4 days to do that work, either.
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  #11  
Old 10-18-2004, 09:00 AM
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Thanks Pete. I need to know where to get a second opinion in my area. I know that the dealer is a lot higher. Do you know of anyone on this site close to me in North Carolina or Virginia?
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  #12  
Old 10-18-2004, 09:06 AM
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The first thing to buy

The Haynes DIY manual. (This is the most available one for the least money: check e-bay and half.com for a used one, and maybe save a little more. Parts are cheaper online, as a rule, and of course, junkyards are not to be ignored, either. A friend of mine juat put a $300 new alternator on his Nissan Sentra and threee days later totaslled it and GAVE it to the opportunists at the Fla Trurnpary Plaze service station, title and all.

Someone will enjoy it for $20-$40.

Fix the steering gear. If it stops okay, save the brakes for later. You can do this yourself, but follow the manual to the letter and test your car CAREFULLY afterward.
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  #13  
Old 10-18-2004, 09:20 AM
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I'm here in the OBX of NC.

79 300CD,

I live down here on Roanoke Island in NC in Wanchese. I've been doing my own work on these vehicles now with ALOT of help from this forum with and without posting questions. I have three MB diesels 81 thru 84 and am willing to help you turn wrenches if you think it could help. If I don't have the tools I've got alot of friends around that do, especially with suspension tools. I've also got the Haynes manual for the W123 series that covers your car. Let me know if I can be of some help. I've got a three day weekend this weekend and I'll be working on my W123.
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  #14  
Old 10-18-2004, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jake1222
I have three MB diesels 81 thru 84 and am willing to help you turn wrenches if you think it could help. If I don't have the tools I've got alot of friends around that do, especially with suspension tools. I've also got the Haynes manual for the W123 series that covers your car. Let me know if I can be of some help.
See? Whatta great group of folks!!! DO yourself a HUGE favor and take jake1222 u[ on his offer. You will feel better about your car knowing the work has been done right, save tons of money, and feel infinitely more confident driving it (knowing if something happens chances are you can pull over and fix it yourself). The latter is a VERY valuable skill to have when you own an older car!

With all the money you'll save you can buy yourself some really nice tools and still be way ahead of the game. I'm finally getting confident with my abilities, and I get all excited when the latest Harbor Freight Tools catalog arrives, or I walk down the tool clearance aisle at Sears!

Chris
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1992 300D 2.5T
1980 Euro 300D (sadly, sold)
1998 Jetta TDI, 132K "Rudy"
1974 Triumph TR6
1999 Saab 9-5 wagon (wife's)
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  #15  
Old 10-18-2004, 10:44 AM
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Let me add a few thoughts.
This is probably why the owner sold the car. As the car ages the cost of maintaining it turns the whole thing upside down. $2450 car but $3500 to get it on the road. The car may be a true 150,000 mile car but age has taken over. Another consideration for you, you need to check the driveshaft and the rear suspension. I found a really nice 82 240D for my daughter. $2250. and then I went throught the car. I spent about another $1800 in parts for the car. 2 items on the front suspension needed rebuilding. everything else was 2 years old. So older cars do require attention. Being a DIY does help in these older Mercedes.

What will you need for this to be a DIY. All the normal sockets and ratchets that a typical tool kit comes with. Floor stands and a good jack. This forum. And a few specialty tools that can be rented. The only tool you MUST have is the coil spring compressor. The ball joints, you can bay a local shop to press in to the steering knuckle.
I have done this job and the total parts cost was $6-700 from Fastlane.
BUT I also purchased the coil spring compressor, $550, and other tools. I have a pretty complete shop.
The coil spring compressor. Either http://www.************************/ will rent it or someone on the forum is renting his. Do a asearch
It is a big job but will save you $2400 or so.

Here is my post on the job.

300TD suspension rebuild progress

Dave

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1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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