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  #1  
Old 08-11-2005, 12:42 AM
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new and need advice

I am looking at getting a 84 or 85 300sd for a daily driver. And WVO conversion

What do I look for? What kind of milage can I expect? and what kind of performance?
I have never had much to do with these cars before. I think I may have taken a ride in one at one time...

thanks
Doug

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  #2  
Old 08-11-2005, 12:46 AM
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Save yourself a bunch of headaches, and a small fortune, and just get a 300D (W123). Maybe I'm more than a little bitter, but my experience with the 126 cars was NOT pleasant. Too sophisticated, electrically, and getting old. If you are planning to do all the maintenance yourself, and have a LOT of time on your hands, go for it. Otherwise, look for a Euro spec W123 and you'll be much happier!

Jay.
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  #3  
Old 08-11-2005, 01:07 AM
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ok, being new to all of these numbers... are you saying that the 300SD is not a good reliable car because of the electronics?
So the car has computers, or are they the accessory electronics.
I am sorry, but I am very new to these. I chose these cars because they were both less than $4000. Or is that a sign of a possible issue also?

Thank you
Doug
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  #4  
Old 08-11-2005, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babyjames
Save yourself a bunch of headaches, and a small fortune, and just get a 300D (W123). Maybe I'm more than a little bitter, but my experience with the 126 cars was NOT pleasant. Too sophisticated, electrically, and getting old. If you are planning to do all the maintenance yourself, and have a LOT of time on your hands, go for it. Otherwise, look for a Euro spec W123 and you'll be much happier!

Jay.
.......LOL.......you ain't seen nothing until you step up to the '86-'87, or '90-'91 W126. Makes the '81-'85 look like a bargain.
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  #5  
Old 08-11-2005, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackestate
I am looking at getting a 84 or 85 300sd for a daily driver. And WVO conversion

What do I look for? What kind of milage can I expect? and what kind of performance?
I have never had much to do with these cars before. I think I may have taken a ride in one at one time...

thanks
Doug
Well, I own one of them.

So, if you are set on this size vehicle, you need to find one with maintenance records, if at all possible. Due to their age, many components need replacement at this point in time, and none of these components will be obvious to you upon cursory inspection. However, if nothing has been done to the vehicle in the last 20 years, except oil changes, you are looking at $4-5K worth of repairs (parts) in the next few years. A/C compressors, Power Brake booster, Radiator, Vacuum Pump, rotors, calipers, brake hoses, upper control arms, lower ball joints, rear springs, rear subframe bushings, rear differential mount, rear axles, climate control unit, blower motor, auxiliary fan, alternator, exhaust system, transmission...........are all 20 years old. They all are on the edge of replacement for vehicles with 200K on the clock.

Therefore, if you purchase one without maintenance records that show some of this stuff has been replaced, then you will be the one to replace it.

If you are not mechanically inclined, do not purchase one of these vehicles.

If your heart is still set on one of them, buy the best example that you can find. Find one with an excellent interior, nearly perfect paint, or a good repaint, and with zero rust. The vehicle should come from California or the southwest.

Be prepared to pay $6K for such a vehicle and make sure you see the maintenance book for it. Then, and only then, will you not need to have the tools ready every couple of months.

BTW, they do make excellent conversions to WVO and there is quite a bit of info on this site from members who have done exactly that.

The 300 SD will get approximately 27 mpg, slightly less if you routinely drive it in the city. It's not all that happy with around town running BTW.

The performance is nothing to write home about. Stock 0-60 time is about 14 seconds. The vehicle has only 125 hp.
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  #6  
Old 08-11-2005, 01:45 AM
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Don't get me wrong...

I love the motor. Easily the best though-out component on a pre-'86 SD. When I found my first Euro 123 sedan, though (I'd never seen one before) I fell instantly in love. Manual windows, manual transmission, MANUAL climate control!!!!! YIPPEEE! I bought it immediately. Just bought another one; it doesn't even have central locking!

Jay.
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  #7  
Old 08-11-2005, 01:52 AM
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A respectful counterpoint to Jay's comments -

The W126 300SD has few electronics more than the W123 300D and my opinion is that the condition of the car you get has a lot more to do with the headaches it will cause you than how it was outfitted when new. The basic systems such as engine, transmission, suspension and climate control are essentially identical between the 300SD and the 300D. The 300SD has electrically adjusted seats which are fairly reliable. You can replace switches, motors and drive cables as necessary to keep them functioning. The 300SD has a separate vacuum system to operate the central locking feature. Problems are less frequent and when they occur, you don't end up unable to turn off the engine using the key. The 300SD is heavier but gives you more room to work on things. You're more likely to come across a 300SD with leather as you're more likely to come across a 300D with MB Tex. 25 year old leather will be nowhere in as good condition as 25 year old MB Tex.

I'm sure I missed other differences but I suspect there's a fairly limited following of the notion that compared to the W123 300D the W126 300SD is sophisticated to the point of it causing headaches today.

In the end they're all capable of going 500,000 to 1,000,000 miles

Sixto
95 S420
87 300SDL
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  #8  
Old 08-11-2005, 01:56 AM
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Lightbulb In WA

You should be able to find really nice 300D's and 240 D's in WA and oregon....
I've seen nice ones on ebay.

ALSO ..If you're near...there is an Excellent MB shop in WA....
review his website.

www.**************.com

I would call him and talk to them as well Very nice people....
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'87 924S
'81 280SEL

Sold ->

81 300SD -
93 300E w/ 3.2
85 300D-
79 300SD
82 300CD
83 300CD - CA
87 190E 5 spd
87 Porsche 924S

"..I'll take a simple "C" to "G" and feel brand new about it..."

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  #9  
Old 08-11-2005, 01:59 AM
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I went from a 300D to an SD, can't be happier with the switch. There's not a whole lot more "bells and whistles" between the two honestly... the SDL on the otherhand does but I'm not scared from that stuff.

Electrical/wiring isn't complicated to me in the least bit. Just needs to be troubleshot in the correct manner... start with new fuses, you'd be suprised how many problems that cures alone!
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I'm not a doctor, but I'll have a look.

'85 300SD 245k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 326k

Six others from BMW, GM, and Ford.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty.
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  #10  
Old 08-11-2005, 02:04 AM
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Before Jay corrects me I should recognize that his basis of comparison is a fully manual Euro 300D. You can get a mostly manual US 240D. I think they all came with central locking which is easily defeated... at least wait until it causes problems. Drop in a turbodiesel engine and you'll have something even the Europeans will envy.

Sixto
95 S420
87 300SDL
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  #11  
Old 08-11-2005, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hit Man X
Electrical/wiring isn't complicated to me in the least bit. Just needs to be troubleshot in the correct manner... start with new fuses, you'd be suprised how many problems that cures alone!
You clearly have not attempted to determine why the a/c clutch will engage for three minutes on the SDL and then drop out until you recycle the ignition.

That one kept me busy online and under the hood for the better part of two days. And, although the a/c is now operational, the culprit is still, technically, not yet confirmed.

The SDL is in another league when compared to the SD.
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  #12  
Old 08-11-2005, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carlton
You clearly have not attempted to determine why the a/c clutch will engage for three minutes on the SDL and then drop out until you recycle the ignition.

That one kept me busy online and under the hood for the better part of two days. And, although the a/c is now operational, the culprit is still, technically, not yet confirmed.

The SDL is in another league when compared to the SD.


Nope, nothing of that sort yet. I'd probably look at that Speed Sensor on it, check for wiring that's bad, then start scratching the old head.
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I'm not a doctor, but I'll have a look.

'85 300SD 245k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 326k

Six others from BMW, GM, and Ford.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty.
[/IMG]
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  #13  
Old 08-11-2005, 02:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Hit Man X
Nope, nothing of that sort yet. I'd probably look at that Speed Sensor on it, check for wiring that's bad, then start scratching the old head.
Well, my best guess, at this point, is an evap temp sensor with a low resistance that is causing the PBU to go into default. I've ruled out all the speed sensors to the Klima.

The current PBU is from a 1991 vehicle and has an updated part number (10) versus my old PBU with the original part number (05). So, I put the old PBU back in and the default is gone.

So, go figure. I'll probably get another evap temp switch and see if it has a higher resistance. Then I'll swap the newer PBU back in and see if it will cure the default.

A royal PITA.
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  #14  
Old 08-11-2005, 02:23 AM
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Admittedly...

my 126 was a P.O.S. It only had 135k on the clock, but they had been hard miles. It was a midwest car, and had cancer to boot. It was a pretty good car, considering what I paid for it, and it was my first Benz (I'd owned Volvos in the past). Obviously I wasn't disgusted to the point of not buying another Mercedes.

My wagon has more bells and whistles than the 126 sedan, I just got real lucky in that most of them function more-or-less properly. When they break, I'll replace them with the manual counterparts from my 240 parts car!

My Euro sedan (160k, one owner car, and it was PAMPERED) is definitely my favorite ride, but the turbo makes the wagon the obvious choice for the highway - - can't wait to get a built turbo and intercooler for it!

Buying any used car is a crapshoot. I got my wagon for $900 thinking it needed a new tranny. Filled it with fresh fluid and tweaked the Bowden cable a bit, it shifts o.k. Have to work on the vacuum thingy sooner or later, and install the K1 spring kit sitting in the top drawer of my tool box, but you get the idea. It's been a pretty reliable machine (335k). I pretty much replaced the interior, fixed (eliminated) the SLS, changed the oil-cooler lines, motor mounts, and put some good used axle shafts on her. Got maybe $2k in it, now.

With the crack about the W126 cars, I was just poking fun. Good luck.

Jay.
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  #15  
Old 08-11-2005, 02:32 AM
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Brian, before throwing parts at it, put a test light to Klima relay pin KL / Klima socket pin 10. That contact gets ground when the PBU gives the signal for the compressor to engage. That will tell you which side of the Klima to investigate.

Sixto
95 S420
87 300SDL

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