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  #1  
Old 08-07-2005, 12:58 PM
diametricalbenz's Avatar
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What would you drive, a 243K W115 240D (4spd) or a 127K W116 300SD?

I need some opinions.

I drove to San Diego (260 mile round trip ) yesterday to check out a 1979 W116 300SD. Anthracite charcoal paint is excellent other than some fading on the sunroof. It has a nearly perfect black interior except for one tear in the driver seat side. The climate control unit is non op. Rear window motors are spinning but making clunking noises. Right rear door lock doesn’t open from the outside. Some of the wood varnish is cracking and the dash has a single large crack in it. Radio has been removed. Vacuum locks are non operational. It seems to have some sort of vacuum problem since the engine does not shut off with the key. The manual stop lever must be used to cut the fuel supply. Radio removed. Tires are good. Vacuum leak somewhere so the Engine started after one cycle of the glow plugs in about 2-3 cranks. Nearly no blowby. Odometer reads 127K miles. I am skeptical of such low mileage but the odometer and trip meter work so I am led to believe it is true because of the books since it had the service log stamped at only 60k miles in 1990. The tachometer doesn’t work.

It is worth $2400 being such a low mile car despite the problems?

I am torn because it is a low mile dent and rust free car with only one leak around the valve cover. (I presume it’s just the gasket). The catch is that I am required to sell my W115 240D which has a very good interior and no body or jack point rust in exchange for the 300SD. The car seems to be so rare out on the west coast (unless I am mistaken) that I would be sad to let go of it. I love driving the 4 speed and I know I would miss it despite being the slowest car on the road.

What would you other forum members do?

Here are some pictures that I took (sorry some are blurry, the camera doesn't have a wide enough lens or manual F stop setting )

300SD
Front Seats
Console
Right Side
Rear
Back
Left Side
Instrument1
Instrument 2

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1996 Dodge Ram 5.9L Cummins 12V 4(A) 4.10 - 163K - For Sale
1974 240D 3.0L 4(M) - 250K -OM617.910 + 300D FW + Rajay turbo power!
1977 6.9 3(A) - 84k
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  #2  
Old 08-07-2005, 01:24 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
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looks

like a pretty clean car. the 116 turbo car will have a lot more stuff to maintain. in indiana i would not consider such a car because they are pretty rust prone. but if it was that clean it would be worth ziebarting. i think that the price may be a little high. you will need to plan on putting some money into it right away for the list of nonfunctioning parts.

tom w
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #3  
Old 08-07-2005, 01:28 PM
diametricalbenz's Avatar
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The car does need a lot of replacement items and that's what put me off at first but then is it worth it to get all of those items (I am guessing 1k to be safe?)so that a low mile rust free CA car can be had?

The vacuum and the climate control would be the most immediate items. The climate control and the AC servo possbility scare me. Is is reasonable to be concerned about it?
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1996 Dodge Ram 5.9L Cummins 12V 4(A) 4.10 - 163K - For Sale
1974 240D 3.0L 4(M) - 250K -OM617.910 + 300D FW + Rajay turbo power!
1977 6.9 3(A) - 84k
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  #4  
Old 08-07-2005, 01:34 PM
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up in norcal, that w116 would go to charity auction and fetch almost nothing,
literally <$100 while the w115 would sell on the street for 1-2 thousand. the
116 sounds like a poorly maintained mess getting messier. imho w115 are better
cars, handle better, and are easier to work on/ rebuild. and they look better

don
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  #5  
Old 08-07-2005, 01:53 PM
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The SD has alot of repairs to attend to, while your 240D seems like it's rustfree. The SD may have hidden rust, as well as other overlooked items that may surprise you (even shock) along the way.

For $2400 the SD is too high for such a condition. And your 240D is quite rare for CA. I'd pass if your 240D is, by your own judgement, in much better condition, since I have no idea as to what condition your W114 is in.

Just my thoughts.
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  #6  
Old 08-07-2005, 02:25 PM
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not so fast

That 116 looks like a nice car. Everything I've read says they handle sweet for such a big vehicle. You should ask the Boneheaddoctor how he likes his. Turbo 617. Nearly no blowby and no apparent rust. Best dash layout of all the MBs in my opinion. Sounds like a diamond in the rough. Can't believe anybody would poo poo it here.
I mean who really cares about that vacuum stuff when it's so easily diagnosed and fixed. 70's SDs are getting rare especially in this kind of shape. I do agree that the price is too much. Keep in mind that you could try to talk them down of course. Window regulators can be fixed. Radio? That's not an issue. Just get another one. It's got good paint! I see a nice car there, something I'd have for sure. I think you should look it over again and really look for the rust, and drive it of course. Unless that 115 240D is in extremely nice condition or you're emotionally attached which you probably are I would go for the SD. No I probably wouldn't so the only solution is to find a way to have both.
It's a nice 116 though, and think of how it would look with some Ronals and Euro headlights. BHD gets better mileage than my car gets with his so they're not hogs.
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  #7  
Old 08-07-2005, 03:23 PM
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ive said it once, ill say it again...

the 116 has *gorgeous* door panels. something about the curves around the window.

the only car ive ever seen with door panels almost equal are the FWD cougars(98-2002?) those are like sculpture to me.

it also looks very nice to me. everyone knows the early climate control is bad, everyone.

everyone knows these old vacuum systems need almost constant attention.

everyone knows power windows suck after 10 years... let alone 20-25...

i like the 116 cars, not as much as 123/126 but i like them. they have a certain charm about them and you cant argue with that paint! it looks nice!
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  #8  
Old 08-07-2005, 03:54 PM
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Location: Phoenix Arizona. Ex Durban R.S.A.
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Probably buy it

In the seats pic it looks to me that the instrument cluster protrudes too far from the dash. If so it could be a replacement cluster. Or is that just the dash warping and pulling away from the instrument cluster?

Other than that. I'd check very thoroughly for rust. Pull up all the carpets and check the floors and firewalls for it. The jackpoints and under the car where the rocker panels join the body. Also remove the rear seat when looking for rust.

Assuming it's in as good a mechanical shape as it looks to be rust is the only thing that would keep me from buying that car. 116's are great cars.

- but I wouldnt sell the 240D either

- Peter.
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Formerly...
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles. Deceased Jan 08
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
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1971 108 280S
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  #9  
Old 08-07-2005, 04:57 PM
PRO VEGGIE CONVERTER
 
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without service records going back to day 1, assume the miles are not acurate and go off of condition, whatever you do, do not buy this car because of "low miles"
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2005, 05:13 PM
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I'm a bit partial to the W116.

This one needs about $1.5K worth of parts to get it working properly.

So, for about $4K, you have a very clean ride.

The entire question hinges on whether you perfer the manual W115 or the much more powerful, turbocharged W116. They drive completely different.

You will have an immediate preference for one over the other.

This should base your decision.
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  #11  
Old 08-07-2005, 06:22 PM
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I like the W116 a lot so for me it would be a simple choice.

This is a very old car and will need a bunch of stuff but it sounds like the bones are solid. IE no rust, good body and interior, and a strong engine. With these parts in good shape everything else is pretty normal old car stuff. I would expect to be replacing a lot of rubber parts in the near future such as door seals ect.
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  #12  
Old 08-07-2005, 08:01 PM
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Get rid of a manual trans 240 for a Slushbox ( of any model ) ?
Not a chance in you know where...
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  #13  
Old 08-07-2005, 09:32 PM
diametricalbenz's Avatar
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a BIG reply

Thanks for the opinions everyone The car still isn't sold to anyone yet

notlostmaybe - you got it right, the car was an auction item from some non profit organization. I saw KUSC (radio station?) as the previous owner.

MBeige - the 240 is structurally rust free, there is some typical surface rust in the rear floor panels where the seat and the floor meet. There is a hit that was not hammered out very well on the left rear wheel well. The body has tiny little chips 2-3 on the body where there is a specs of rust popping through. There are a lot of rock chips between the grille and the headlamps but fortunately no body rust there. The jack points and suspension is rust free. There was some acid corrosion from a leaky battery. I got rid of that battery, neutralized the acid and installed an Optima battery which doesn't leak and its been ok ever since.

as for the 300SD's body, I did pull the mats and there is no rust. The jack points have no rust either. Unfortunately the car was parked and inspected on the a busy San Diego street so I waited for cars to pass and then ran out into the street and looked underneath for 20 seconds at a time to look for rust and or on the body, frame and wheel arches. The car is a CA only car that must have been garaged because there's no way that car could have survived 26 years without serious door denting.

d.delano - I did give the car a drive on side streets in SD the freeway traffic was too backed up near Sea World so I gave it the best flooging I could on side streets and steep hills. I wish I could have had a compression test done on it. The engine is clean (wasn't able to get a photo) valve cover and IP is bright and not dulled from oxidation or splashed engine oil.
My 240D is a good working car that has everything working on it (even the A/C and all the locks ) except the windshield wipers (it works properly at only one speed) I would say and I have grown attached to it but I am only getting 22mpg out of it right now. Perhaps the blowby is getting to be too much?

iNeon - I like the W116's hence the 6.9...if I had two it would look like a 70's motorcade coming down the freeway

pj67coll - I was skeptical of the instrument cluster as well since the tach didn't work it may have been pulled at the time but the guy was chatty and so I didn't have time to really poke at everything as much as I wanted to. I didn't get a chance to remove the rear seat to check underneath. It's anyone's guess if there's rust under it but if the rest of the car is any indication then a more positive assesment might be in order short of checking it

I'd keep both but I have to sell or unload one car due to space restrictions, i guess the Miata can go first but it's my girlfriend's weekend racer

chiwanga - the records go to 1980 to 1990 and then terminate there the rest of the paper records are not present since it went to auction. That is the motivation to post here and get some personal opinions. I know low miles means nothing if it's not maintained but it would be a bonus if it really is. Besides we have ebay for dubious low mile cars.

Brian - I do like the w116, that's why the 6.9 is in the stable but the gas is painful. I wish the 300SD was offered in a manual and then that would be perfect The manual is a huge decision factor because I enjoy driving even though it's often at 5mph. The other dillemma is that I already have a w116 so I am torn over whether or not to have two of the same or stick to two different chassis. The $1500 in parts is a sticker shock issue. Would the car be worth $4k at that point once everything is running even without the mileage verification?

Hattie - yep, the rubber was getting old in places around the doors but it rarely rains around here so it's nothing that couldn't be dried up after a vigorous car washing

Greg - I know what you mean, it's also as slow as that place you speak of I nearly got run over by a truck who was passing another truck on the right in the slow lane last week as I entered the freeway onramp and I nearly soiled myself. Regardless, I still enjoy rowing the gears every day in fact it's the only think I look forward to when going to work..other than leaving work
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1996 Dodge Ram 5.9L Cummins 12V 4(A) 4.10 - 163K - For Sale
1974 240D 3.0L 4(M) - 250K -OM617.910 + 300D FW + Rajay turbo power!
1977 6.9 3(A) - 84k
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  #14  
Old 08-07-2005, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leathermang
Get rid of a manual trans 240 for a Slushbox ( of any model ) ?
Not a chance in you know where...
You know........Greg.........that a bicycle has four fewer cylinders than the 240D.........and..........you wouldn't need to worry about getting that a/c fixed.

It also meets the criteria of a manual transmission, without slushbox, so you would be all set.

Think of the benefits of eliminating those four window cranks and the balky heater
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  #15  
Old 08-07-2005, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diametricalbenz
Brian - I do like the w116, that's why the 6.9 is in the stable but the gas is painful. I wish the 300SD was offered in a manual and then that would be perfect The manual is a huge decision factor because I enjoy driving even though it's often at 5mph. The other dillemma is that I already have a w116 so I am torn over whether or not to have two of the same or stick to two different chassis. The $1500 in parts is a sticker shock issue. Would the car be worth $4k at that point once everything is running even without the mileage verification?
I would think that it might fetch $4K if everything is working perfectly and the paint is excellent and the crack in the dash is fixed. I have seen similar vehicles get over $5K, but, they were immaculate.

The $4K figure depends on the mileage being as offered. It doesn't need to be legit, but Carfax had better not find a rollback, or you are screwed.

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