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View Poll Results: Which car is better?
W114 240D 3 12.00%
W123 240D 19 76.00%
Neither is really better than the other 3 12.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 07-05-2006, 05:35 PM
rmasteller's Avatar
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Location: Lithopolis, Ohio
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W114 240D vs. W123 240D

Hi. I'm again looking around at possible cars for my nephew (he got hit in an intersection). I know the W123 240D is a very respected car, how about the W114 version? I assume the cars have different engine numbers/familes, is the older one as robust?

I'm thinking I should call the seller about this car. I always ask about the following:
- How long have you owned the car?
- How many miles have you driven the car?
- What maintenance & repair records do you have?
- What is the rust condition?
- What are the major problems with the car?
- What are the minor problems with the car?
- What works just fine?

What should I ask specifically about this model?

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Thanks,
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2006, 05:48 PM
Craig
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I think you are referring to a W115, not a W114, if it's a US spec diesel.

The car listed may have "issues" for $900. A manual 240D is fairly desirable, and should sell for considerable more in decent shape, so ask lots of questions. BTW, these do not get 35-40 mpg, closer to 30 mpg.
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  #3  
Old 07-05-2006, 09:01 PM
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I've maintained my daughter's W115 for the last 6 years and it has been very reliable. The 115 is more primitive than the 123, which can be good and bad. Personally, I would just look for the best car and not get hung up on the version.

One thing to try to assess on older cars is the condition of the suspension, including the ball joints. Front suspension is expensive to have replaced ($1K ballpark - not including new springs) and no fun to do yourself. The rear suspension isn't too bad.

Scotty
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  #4  
Old 07-05-2006, 11:14 PM
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The W123 chassis 240D is going to have allot more technical info available, both here and elsewhere, and parts are far more plentiful.
The looks are far more "average" though. I like those 115 looks almost as much as Ginny.......
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  #5  
Old 07-06-2006, 12:48 AM
Palangi's Avatar
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Check for rust.

Check to make sure the 3 steering box bolts are tight. Frame here is a weak point.

Check that the A/C works if so equipped. Potential vacuum nightmare.

Check that the heater blower works. Heater blower is separate from the A/C blower. Labor cost to replace the blower will exceed the value of the car.

Scope out changing the oil filter. Not the most pleasant job.

Scope out changing the water pump. Not easy on this model.

Check for rust.
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  #6  
Old 07-06-2006, 01:06 AM
300SDog's Avatar
gimme a low-tech 240D
 
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Looks like I'm the only one who voted for the 115...... Better yet, look for a pre-73 220D with corner wing windows, massive upholstery and everything manually operated, even manual steering with power steering as available option. The newer 123's are more "point and shoot" vehicles with softer rides, better sound proofing, and an easier oil filter compared with the earlier 115. Tragedy is the engines are NOT interchangable.
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  #7  
Old 07-06-2006, 07:04 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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the most significant advantage to the 123 is the less tendency to rust, especailly in the 82/83s. and later if you find one.

tom w
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  #8  
Old 07-06-2006, 01:24 PM
300SDog's Avatar
gimme a low-tech 240D
 
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Yeah, that was the German steel workers strike ran from late 1973-79 that left an entire generation of rust prone Mercs. But all things being equal the 115 is a better handling ride, imho better ballanced and better designed vehicle all-around especially before electric junk/science became fashionable. Seems like the further back you go, the more you appreciate the primitive MB's for what they do NOT have by way of accessories and ridiculous gadgetry. Anybody looked under the hood of an old fintail 200D lately? Checked out one a few weeks ago and was stunned by its simplicity.
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  #9  
Old 07-06-2006, 01:52 PM
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I started with a 220D/1972, had it for four years, moved up to 240D/77 and I am driving this one for 24 years. to me the most obvious difference between the two is the feel of the suspansion, the older car had a stiff suspension which I like it better compared to the softer 123 cars. The engine compartment is packed in the 115 cars, the 123's have a lots of room to work.
Starting 1974 MB equipped their 240D's with absolutely the uglisest bumpers known to mankind, to me enough of a reason to stay away from 74-76 models at any cost.

Vahe
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  #10  
Old 07-06-2006, 02:00 PM
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Like the others have said, with a $900 Ohio car, I would think there would be issues, and RUST would be the biggest. I have seen some cars years ago from Ohio and the rust was terrible on them after a few years; you are aware of this, but I wanted to chip in and say that there could be red flags up on this car, and rust is the biggest one

I personally prefer the W123 as they are newer yet still really tough and simple, but really well built, and plenty of them around for parts. The W115 ones had not really ben "discovered" in the USA and not so many were sold.

Take all the time you need to find a good one
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  #11  
Old 07-06-2006, 02:13 PM
rmasteller's Avatar
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Wow! Lots of replies in 24 hours. Thanks everyone.
- Yes, I'm very aware of rust being the biggest issue.
- The weak subframe allowing the steering box to get loose is an interesting fact.
- The difficult oil change can't be much worst than the fuel filter on my 230SL! You have to snake the metal canister around seveal obstacles to get it out.
- Interesting opinions on the suspension/ride desigend into the two cars.
- Front suspension work will be investigated closely on any old Benz.
- I didn't know the W115 (sorry about the W114 error!) was sold in a lot fewer numbers. That may affect what I'm shopping for.

Thanks everyone! Keep the opinions rolling in.
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www.mbca.org - www.sl113.org - www.ohio4x4.com
NOW: 2006 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, 1997 E300D, 1966 230SL, 1980 450SL (for sale!)
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2006, 02:53 PM
300SDog's Avatar
gimme a low-tech 240D
 
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Location: central ky
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Quote:
I'm again looking around at possible cars for my nephew (he got hit in an intersection).
Huh? Oh yeah, almost forgot the original question........ Deffinitely go with the 123 for nephew, better yet an automatic 240D to make him suffer and teach him a lesson. A sitting duck in the road, he will quickly either get squashed again or learn to stay out of people's way. 115's are probly better left to serious hard-core diesel fans wise to the road who understand car maintenance too. But why reward the kid? If he totalled his last car maybe he should buy the next one himself. And if me was he at that age, i wouldnt bother with a 4cyl diesel at all - but with cash from the insurance claim I'd get a motorcylce instead.
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  #13  
Old 07-06-2006, 07:50 PM
KylePavao's Avatar
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Heh

I voted for the W115 too Not like I am biased or anything...

The only thing I like a lot more about my W115 300D compared to the W123 240D 4 speed I owned before are the "old school-ness" You get a lot of looks in the W115, like "Woah what is that" while the W123 is like "Oh wow..cool"

Also, I like the fact that that auto trans in the W115 300D's is not vacuum controlled, unlike in the newer W123 models. Also the AC system is much less prone to failure, and IMO the upright fenders look SO much cooler.

But, in all honesty, whichever is in better shapeS I got my W115 for four cords of wood, and my old 240D for 100 dollars! so who am I to pick nits
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