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Old 01-07-2001, 06:23 PM
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I am always on the prowl for a wagon. My price range is the '81-85 300TD. I was curious if anyone knew if any year in particular was superior, or were they identical year to year? Any feedback on these years would be appreciated. It seems to me to be the next logical step after my '79 300SD, which I will keep. It's all about the roof rack, and the dogs.
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Old 01-07-2001, 07:04 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Vernon, CT
Posts: 1,848
Now, if you buy an 80's car you're going to have to change your signature line. I too would love to own an W123 wagon. I too like those chrome roof rails, we don't have a dog, just a cat (not my doing). I don't think I could convince my wife to buy another wagon. We already have a VW wagon. I know that sounds redundant. I think the W123 wagons looked best in silver or black. I would imagine the prices would be about the same as the sedans.
1999 MB SL500 (110,000 mi)
2004 Volvo V70 2.5T (220,000 mi)
2014 Tesla Model S 85 (136,000 mi)
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Old 01-07-2001, 07:31 PM
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Check out and look up TD's. They list 30-40 of them, and I see one around here every 6 months.
I adore my W116. It is by far, the most pleasant car I have ever owned.
I would be interested in a '79 TD, but I don't think they have a turbo. I never see them for sale or on the road either.
What I really want is a 67-71 280 SL, but I am dreaming. That V.W. is a cool wagon.
I heard cat's attack the driver when they are in a car.
I never mention the '80's vehicles I have owned because I'm a purist.
I'm afraid I will be movin' on up(down), eventually.
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Old 01-07-2001, 07:38 PM
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I want a RED one Or a Blue one, because to me they are like a treat. I drive an ivory SD and it isn't me. Why do you suppose they did not make a W116 wagon. I have noticed perhaps in absentia(mental), that the '78-'85 W123 wagons look like a W116. I know that is ridiculous, because a W123 300 SD does not look like a W116 300 SD, oh heck, I think I'm going over the Wedge.
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Old 01-07-2001, 07:54 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Germantown, MD
Posts: 106
85 300TDT

I have an 85 wagon and I love it. I have had it for a year (3rd owner) and it is a great car...270k and going strong. It would make sense to me to get the latest model available, 85. It took me 2yrs to find this one. If they have 200k or less most people don't want to part with them but keep looking the're out there. The rear suspension is something that most people hold suspect but as as long as it has been taken care of it should be good for a long is 15yrs old.

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Old 01-07-2001, 08:07 PM
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Yes Alec,
Thanks for the response, I too would think that the '85 would be a better choice simply because it is newer. I wonder if the interior changed at all from '81-'85. I am almost certain that the engine and body were the same.

I am researching the differences between the T.D. and my '79 300 SD. I know the TD has a fluid filled leveling suspension. I also know that the TD has the trap oxidizer(I mean the oil accumulator in the air filter). Could someone explain the purpose of the oil accumulator?, and the fluid filled leveling system?

Also, do any M.B. wagons have a third seat?

Thanks Bill,
I seemed to have confused the trap oxidizer for the oil accumulator. I do not have an oil accumulator in my air filter, because I only have one drain tube going to the oil pan.

[Edited by patsy on 01-08-2001 at 10:30 AM]
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Old 01-07-2001, 08:59 PM
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Location: Vernon, CT
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Patsy, TXBill is right about there being pictures of a W116 wagon. I believe I found it at I think there is a link here like Bill said. It is rather strange looking. I have a book on Rolls Royces that shows a customized Rolls Royce Spirit wagon that the factory built, just as an "exercise". I had heard that Porsche did this once with a 928 also.
1999 MB SL500 (110,000 mi)
2004 Volvo V70 2.5T (220,000 mi)
2014 Tesla Model S 85 (136,000 mi)
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Old 01-07-2001, 09:18 PM
Dale W
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The 300TD's are wonderful vehicles. I have owned one for 7 months now and wouldn't consider selling it. Unfortunately, mine doesn't have a third seat but I have seen lots that do. The self leveling rear suspension is a wonderful piece of engineering until it stops working. It is very expensive to repair. I just spent 2200 $Cdn replacing the hydraulic rams and actuator valve on my '82 300TD. Had I realized it wasn't working when I bought the car, my final offer wouldn't have been what it was. They are workhorses and built like a tank. Beautiful vehicles to drive. Loads of power at highway speeds and can cruise comfortably all day at 160 km/h. Would I buy another? In a minute!!! Good luck on your search.
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Old 01-08-2001, 11:00 PM
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Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 218

I have a BEAUTIFUL '82 300TD, White with an almost perfect navy interior. I found the car in the paper here in Dallas. It needs a few spring in the drivers seat, the Monroe shocks replaced with Bilsteins, but overall, what a SPLENDID automobile. My air cells were replaced 2 years ago according to the records, so the suspension levels real well. I'm looking for a third seat and the rear seat headrests, as well as a Drivers Euro headlamp to complete the look. I get compliments on the car regularly. My only complaint: the wagon doesn't seem to be nearly as quiet as the sedan. I'm going to put some softer Michelins in place of the Pirelli's, and maybe several coats of undercoating in the rear. BUT, the ride/handling seem to be much better than the sedan. Good luck...and be patient. I paid $4600, but the car has 167K miles, full records, and never ANY body work/paint.
R Talley
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Old 01-09-2001, 12:23 AM
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Location: Sarasota, Fl.
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I just saw one for sale ...

Just yesterday I saw one for sale here locally! Its a white '85 with dark blue interior. 219k miles no rust except for the lower rear corners on the rear side windows.
Interior looked good. Windows tinted dark. Looked good!
Price? 3750.00
If anyone is intersted, I'll stop and get the phone number, and if serious I'll check it out and give it a listen,and a look-see.
It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so. Robert A. Heinlein

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Old 01-09-2001, 10:28 AM
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Location: Plano, TX
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Good wagons are hard to find. They tend to get used and
abused more so than the sedans. I suggest you go for
the newest/lowest milage example you can find. Even the
'85s are getting pretty old these days.

The self leveling suspension is reliable, and is not
very complex. However, all the parts are quite expensive
should they need to be replaced. Look for two things in
the cars history: Occasional fluid/filter changes of
the hydraulic fluid which powers the suspension, and a
changeout of the nitrogen cells which provide springing
action. If the cells are shot - and they only last 10
years, regardless of miles - the car will have a ride
which is both hard and bouncy at the same time. Compare
several to get a feel. If the car sags when it sits and
needs to "pump up" when driven, or worse does not ever
level, budget $1k-$2k for repairs.

Other than that, it's largely the same as the sedan.
Essentially unchanged over the '82-'85 model year.

Here in Dallas, most seem to have the third seat.
About a 50/50 split between leather and tex. The
latter is probably a better choice for a wagon.

I eventually gave up trying to find a clean 123 wagon
and bought a 124 turbodiesel wagon. It was clean,
low milage, complete books and records from the best
independent around. The owner definately knew what he
had, and I had to pay the price. He pretty much had
people lined up to buy the car. I basically stole it
from a couple who had driven it the previous day but
hesitated 24 hours in making a purchase decision.

Good hunting.

- Jim
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Old 01-09-2001, 06:04 PM
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Location: Tucker, Ga USA
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Stick with 84-85 with the 85 being the BEST W123 chassis built. Stay away from 1985 California car, less hp & smaller trans. A silver wagon with 8 hole alloys would be a great ride.
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Old 01-09-2001, 06:21 PM
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Well thanks for all the replies! I have a pretty good idea of which year to get (1985). I will be in the market after I restore my 300SD this spring. I want a good runner with a bad body, and a brand new level suspension system! Ha!. That shouldn't be too hard to find.
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Old 01-09-2001, 06:31 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Boston area
Posts: 31
I've got an '85 diamond blue metallic 300TD with blue interior and absolutely love it. I have had it since it was new and have not had to put much into it except regular oil changes and valve adjustments. If you do find an '85 be very careful not to try and use '84 diagrams for vacuum and electrical stuff as there are variations.(As I have painfully found out)
Keep searching and one will pop somewhere!
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