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Old 07-04-2006, 10:58 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Fort Meade, FL
Posts: 151
Question Getting a W116 tomorrow - things to look for?

Scored what I think is a good deal from eBay on a rust-free straight '80 300SD that's relatively local to me, and will go to pick-up tomorrow evening. I'd appreciate any info on important things to check that are unique to the W116 chassis as all my experience is with W123 stuff.

Joe Black
Get yellow fever at ACME!

Just the MB's: '82 300DT (stick), '81 240D, '80 300SD, '80 300D, '81 240D Manual
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Old 07-04-2006, 11:03 PM
Posts: n/a
post a link to the auction so we can have a look
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Old 07-04-2006, 11:25 PM
Wodnek's Avatar
Vintage Mercedes Junkie
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Southeast Wisconsin
Posts: 1,658
Automatic climate control and rust, thats about it.
If you like the 123s you will love the 116. Excellent handling, great turning radius, and better than expected power.
Other possible issues:
Seat stuffing that biodegrades leaving some seats, especially the rear flat.
normal cruise amp, power windows, door lock issues. rear window seal, sunroof seal. Lift the carpets and look for rust underneath. If there is minor rust than POR 15 it.
Overall normal stuff for a car that is approaching 30.
1959 Gravely LI, 1963 Gravely L8, 1973 Gravely C12
1982 380SL
1978 450 SEL 6.9 euro restoration at 63% and climbing
1987 300 D
2005 CDI European Delivery
1995 E300D Handed down to daughter
2006 CDI Wifes

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Old 07-05-2006, 11:14 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Fort Meade, FL
Posts: 151
Thumbs up I'm in love! The W116 300SD is awesome!

Wow! I really really like this car!

Met the sellers, test drove and crawled all over it before handing over the check. Body is in great shape with just a couple palm-sized dents that didn't damage the finish, which is original and glossy. No rust whatsoever and the interior is in good to very good condition. MB Tex, tobacco brown and the dash has a dash-mat and only a couple minor cracks.

The issues that immediately presented themselves are a leaking valve cover and a CCV system in dire need of attention. Needs a rack damper, but otherwise runs well with good power. Drove it at a constant 70 - 75 home, about 45 miles with no issues other than an occasional puff of smoke which is the turbo ingesting what the CCV system wasn't handling properly. Big dead spot in the steering, shocks questionable. Rear glass leaking which has ruined the rear deck covering but still no rust, so I'll gladly pay a good glass installer to put in a new seal. Of course the climate system isn't doing anything, but it would've been too good to be true if it did work! LOL! Lighting, electrical all good with the exception of the tach, clock and no odometer.

So I've got my work cut out for me, but now I'll need to part with the 4-speed '82 300D. Easy come, easy go!

Here's the original auction:
Joe Black
Get yellow fever at ACME!

Just the MB's: '82 300DT (stick), '81 240D, '80 300SD, '80 300D, '81 240D Manual
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Old 07-05-2006, 11:22 PM
JimmyL's Avatar
Rogue T Intolerant!!!
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sunnyvale, Texas (DFW)
Posts: 9,673
Nice looking car Joe. Congrats.
How fast was your heart pumping on that auction with 15 seconds to go?
Jimmy L.
'05 Acura TL 6MT
2001 ML430 My Spare

'95 E300 188K "Batmobile" Texas Unfriendly Black
'85 300TD 235K "The Wagon" Texas Friendly White
'80 240D 154K "China" Scar engine installed
'81 300TD 240K "Smash"
'80 240D 230K "The Squash"
'81 240D 293K"Scar" Rear ended harder than Elton John
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Old 07-05-2006, 11:29 PM
300SDog's Avatar
gimme a low-tech 240D
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: central ky
Posts: 3,602
Looks to me like you STOLE that car for the price you paid. The 116 Diesel is probly the scarcest and one of the best ballanced that MB ever built. It will handle like a sports car. 116 ball joint suspension is comparable to the 123 but with chunkier components and different geometry (zero offset i've heard), originally developed in 1973 and then miniaturized and scaled down a bit for the 123 circa 1977. I would say that all 116 Diesels are keepers and worth restoring.
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Old 07-05-2006, 11:52 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Fort Meade, FL
Posts: 151
Originally Posted by JimmyL
How fast was your heart pumping on that auction with 15 seconds to go?
LOL, I learned long ago that is my friend!

I do like the handling better than our W123 collection and can't wait to see what it's like tuned. The interior trim is much better than the glued-on stuff I'm used to. Can't wait to dive in on this one! Definitely a keeper.
Joe Black
Get yellow fever at ACME!

Just the MB's: '82 300DT (stick), '81 240D, '80 300SD, '80 300D, '81 240D Manual
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:01 AM
300SDog's Avatar
gimme a low-tech 240D
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: central ky
Posts: 3,602
Weird thing is - the 116 dashboard was criticized for being "too simple" at that time with "not enough switches"........ can you believe it?
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:11 AM
DCM DCM is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: So. CA
Posts: 200
I have owned my 80 300sd for about 20 years and the two most annoying problems are the climate control and vacuum problems. The vacuum system isn't hard to repair but the A/C gets expensive fast and over and over. Seems like it never ends.

My mechanic said that it is an older Chrysler system that was dropped in 81 or 82. Newer ones are supposed to be much better.

I keep fixing it because I like the car very much. Mine has 212, 000 miles and runs well with no rust.

If you have a Pep Boys near you, try to get some of the Fram oil filters that are offered at 2 for $6.50. There is a limit of 4 but 4 oil filters for $14.01 (including California sales tax) isn't too bad. There is a coupon available in a posting on this forum that has a link to the coupon. The ad was in Sundays newspaper.

1977 240d
1980 300sd
1987 Chevrolet Suburban
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:22 AM
dunl's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Sylvan Lake, Alberta,CANADA (1.5 hr from Calgary)
Posts: 940
Nice catch.
79 300SD - $50 out of pocket purchase
03 Dodge Ram 3500 CTD
2003 VW Jetta TDI
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:30 AM
Admiral-Third World Fleet
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Central FL
Posts: 3,068
Yeah- looks sweet. You might want to look carefully at that dead spot in the steering. It may be that the steering coupler has no rubber left in it ( but a new one or rebush it). Oddly, mine does NOT have a rack damper, so take a look where it is supposed to be before you buy one. Original finish is great to have - don't worry maple yellow grows on you after awhile.

That's a boatload of miles on one of these. It will be interesting to see how it does with oil consumption. You may want to keep your eyes open for a good used OM617 as a backup. Keep in mind that the W116 chassis will not take a later OM617 directly without swapping the upper oil pan (the chassis subframe is in the way). Good luck and keep us posted.

80 300SD (129k mi) 82 240D stick (193k mi)77 240D auto - stick to be (153k mi) 85 380SL (145k mi) 89 BMW 535i 82 Diesel Rabbit Pickup (374k mi) 91 Jetta IDI Diesel (155k mi) 81 VW Rabbit Convertible Diesel 70 Triumph Spitfire Mk III (63kmi)66 Triumph TR4a IRS (90k mi)67 Ford F-100 (??)
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Old 07-06-2006, 09:30 AM
beaulieub's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Alton Bay, NH / Yuma, AZ
Posts: 203
Be careful of the water leaks!

Nice score on this car. It looks like mine without all the rust! My rear window is leaking as well, the rubber gasket is dried out and cracking. I called a glass place and the gasket was very $$ to replace. I found replacements online at for $40.00. (Glass guy wanted over $100 just for the gasket). They told me to buy my own and bring it in and they would replace it - labor only. Nice ha? Im also replacing the front gasket at these prices. Good luck with the car. I think the W116 has much nicer lines than the W123's.


PS - Do the gaskets soon. Mine is starting to smell musty!
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:19 PM
jrgslg's Avatar
1985 300sd
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Eads TN
Posts: 217
good looking car

Wow,I bet your happy.That seems like a great price,I know that feeling also.Fifteen seconds left on the auction and you get outbid by a computer program.Congrats and good luck,Johnny
85 300sd SOLD ,85 745i,95 740i,1972 Suburban,1938 International
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