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Old 08-01-2005, 11:37 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Topsham, ME
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First drive, 82 300D

So I'm looking to possibly buy a W123 diesel.

So far I've found one in my area that is resonably priced at $2,200 (the other one I found was $7,600!?) But I'm wondering if even that is too much. But being that I've never driven one before I'm a poor judge. It's a 1982 300D turbo diesel, silver, blue int, 230K mi.

The car it's self is not in the best shape cosmeticly, not something I really care that much about. There is a quarter sized rust spot inder the paint in the middle of the rear fender, the front jack points are rusty(no holes, just bubbly). it looks as though the clear coat is missing from a large section of one of the front fenders. One fog lamp is obviously toast as it is cracked and looks rusty on the inside. other than that there are some scratches, scrapes, a few parking lot dings, and a whole lot of sandblasting on the front... it shows it's age for sure.

The interior is in better shape, the dash pad has some small cracks in it (I expected that one...) the wood is ok, could use some refinishing, the seats are in very good shape and don't seem saggy or anything(my head was about 1/4" from the roof...), carpet looks good. Door alignment is dead on and all doors open and close effortlessly. front windows work great, sunroof works and there are no signs of leaks(car is parked outside/no garage) But one of the rear power windows is sluggish and sticky, one of the rear power locks does not function. Here is was dumb part, I didn't turn the climate control on to see if that works... *DUH!!* so that is an unknown.

Engine bay, ICK it's all sorts of greasy and grimy, seriously the greesyest I've ever seen... I could tell some lines had been replaced, the radiator is obviously new, but the oil cooler(I think?) next to the radiator was SUPER nasty, it was totally black and encrusted with sludge, I highly doubt it even functions at all concidering how nasty and clogged it looks. Was told the alt was recently replaced, new belts, and some fuel lines and oil lines were replaced as well... Also the A/C is inoperitive, owner says it's got a leak in the condensor so it only works for 1-2years before needing a charge. Oh and I did remember to check the engine to see if it was cold before starting, and it was

Test drive. turned the key to II, for a few seconds, and the glowplug light did not come on. owner informed me that he had recently had the ignition switch and tumblers replaced and ever since than the glow plug light has not come on but that the glow plugs are still working. after the few seconds I turned the key and it started immideately, I didn't see any smoke in the rearview it idles very smoothly and was quieter than I thought it would be (even with the windows down) Also I observed the oil pressure guage jumped up to 3 as soon as the car was started. At this point noticed the tacometer was inoperitive, bad RPM sensor according to the owner. Who never bothered fixing it, he figured why have it if it's an automatic...

Getting moving, put it into reverse it seemed nice 'n smooth, forgot the parking brake, so I know that works took a minute to figure that one, I'm so used to a handbrake lever. I backed down the drive way and onto the road and put 'er into drive, and off I went. it scooted right along as I picked up speed it changed gears with a solid THUD not very luxury like, and certanly harder than any automatic I've ever driven... it also seems to shift very early as we got to final drive by 35MPH. Granted I was not pushing it but still... Than we got to an incline, at almost 40MPH, and we started loosing speed, so down went my foot, to the floor... 35MPH and no kickdown? That seemed like a red flag to me. coming to a stop the car it wold down shift, but it did not kickdown at 35MPH with the accelerator pressed to the floor.

In anycase now I wonder if I should have my mechanic look at it or not... given that I'll want a compresson test etc it'll prolly cost me money to do so.

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Old 08-01-2005, 11:47 AM
boneheaddoctor's Avatar
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I recommend getting a mechanic to check it over...it may cost you $100 but he can give you a list of problems it has. He has the experience to do so and also the objectivity of a disinterested 3rd party.

Would be worth the cost.
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:58 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Topsham, ME
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I called my shop and they said the owner could bring the car by whenever. so I called him and left a message and let him know that my shop said and to call me. he was expecting my call and we had discused bring the car to my mechanic when I looked at it, he was cool with that at the time

He has not called me back and my mechanic has not seen the car yet. So at this point I'm guessing he knew there were issues with the car that he didn't let on that my mechanic would find....

In any case the search goes on... *sigh*

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