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Old 08-11-2006, 08:28 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 11
Our new 240D - an introduction

Been lurking and learning for months now and would like to introduce myself and to announce that our search for an M-B diesel (to eventually convert to WVO) has come to a, so far very pleasant, end with us now owning a 1981 240D - the slow and mellow ride.

The car just turned 200K the week after we took ownership. It is "Pastel Grey" with black interior, has a new radiator and A/C compressor, the original Becker - Mexico radio and is low on frills like electric seats and windows for which I'm glad. (This last bit might be common with the 240's as far as I know.)

The car has an extra gas tank in case lines ever start forming out here in Los Angeles (I remember seeing pictures of 'em growing up in Kentucky - and yeah, I've seen that a few of you are from "back home") and after a week we are extremely happy as it is a blast to drive, has a super small turning circle and feels like a car suited to adults.

There are a few small bits that will need attention that would probably be best given their own or attached to an old thread; seam split in the back seat, non-working reverse lights, headliner "tent poles" seem to have collapsed, cruise control mia, but all in all it is very complete, doesn't seem to leak and starts and stops quickly.

As y'all probably know, prices for older diesels have gone through the roof and I'd be surprised if they are any higher than here in California. What a mania.
We kinda got caught up in the mania for a while to be honest, until we were brought to our senses as to what we could afford to put into our WVO project - meaning, 6K+ for a 300d (with a salvage title) was out of our reach.

I ended up trading an indy German car mechanic my 1988 BMW K100RS SE for this 240D that he was looking to sell. He was asking $2400 for the car, I was asking $2200 for the bike - next thing you know: deal. We both wanted to move something and he was looking for a bike to ride around for a bit. Pefect. My wife is currently on a bold first trip up to Fresno and was very pleased with the 240's performance at The Grapevine.

Now if we can just find a good home for the Oldsmobile - my wife'll be crying when The Baby leaves.

Apologies for rambling. Thanks for this Forum and your contributions. I wish I could say I'm gonna be a new source of info for y'all, but I'm more like Steve Martin in the beginning of The Jerk in that I'll need to be told the difference between s**t and shinola when it comes to this cool old car.

Ride/Drive safe.


1981 240D Automatic - "Putty" 222K mi.
2008 Honda Fit Sport - wife's appliance

Sold due (in part) to now owning a child:
1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass - "The Baby" 160K mi.
2006 Ducati Multistrada 620 - 7.5K mi.)
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:45 PM
Posts: n/a
Congrats on the new car, enjoy it. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:50 PM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 13,242
Welcome aboard.
The 240D is, in my opinion, one of the best cars MB ever built.
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Old 08-11-2006, 11:51 PM
300SDog's Avatar
gimme a low-tech 240D
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: central ky
Posts: 3,602
One helluva swap if you ask me, upgrading from 2 wheels to 4. But correct me if I'm wrong, didnt the 4-cyl BMW K-bike have double the horsepower of the 240D?
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Old 08-12-2006, 12:14 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: RI
Posts: 271
Welcome to the club. Gray and black is a very classy combo. If I ever decide to respray mine it would be in some shade of gray. As to the headliner, very few owners have the time or patience to replace said saggy liner, from what I've read it's a very involved process.
I recently experimented with a can of hood insulation glue to tack up my saggy rear liner. Good results so far. Have more to do yet.
Good luck with the ride.
1981 240d
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Old 08-12-2006, 12:34 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 11
240Dog: The books on the shelf put the K-bike (2valve) at 90 hp, or just under, so not quite half again the poke. They also tell me that the M-B has just a touch more hp than the baby Ducati that is my current daily rider - the Italian having around 63 hp.

Around town and through traffic, we allow "lane sharing" here on the freeways (I still think of 'em as expressways), I don't miss the additional 200 lbs. that the Beemer had on the Duc. Though my wallet said it had to go, I was not terribly motivated to put the BMW up for sale as I got attached to it. Very thankful that the M-B swap appeared.
1981 240D Automatic - "Putty" 222K mi.
2008 Honda Fit Sport - wife's appliance

Sold due (in part) to now owning a child:
1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass - "The Baby" 160K mi.
2006 Ducati Multistrada 620 - 7.5K mi.)
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Old 08-12-2006, 01:18 AM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2006
Location: W. WI
Posts: 307
While repeating the mantra (sp?) I love to work on vacuum HVAC systems, vacuum door locks ... I dream of owning a 240D turtle. If I ever find one with out an engine, the 617 turbo is comming out!!!!
Have fun in the new ride!
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Old 08-12-2006, 01:44 AM
Jim B.'s Avatar
Who's flying this thing ?
Join Date: May 2006
Location: N. California./ N. Nevada
Posts: 3,611
Welcome aboard, the members here really know their cars, and some know the W123 240/300 diesels really good.

I think the 240 and 300 diesels of the W123 genre like yours are really tough, durable, everlasting and can really go to intergalactic mileages. You good a good price on yours. Sounds like you and the mechanic were both in the right place at the right time, and a win/win situation resulted.

That light gray/black interior is pretty rare, but looks REAL classy, on a car that looks real classy to begin with.

They're not very fast, but you'll learn to take that into account as you adjust your driving habits.

I can understand your getting attached to the old '69 Cutlass, they were pretty neat cars for their time, and had good drivetrains. It will sell real quick if it's a 2 door model.

Good luck with the new-to-you Mercedes

1991 560 SEC AMG, 199k <---- 300 hp 10:1 ECE euro HV ...

1995 E 420, 170k "The Red Plum" (sold)

2015 BMW 535i xdrive awd Stage 1 DINAN, 6k, <----364 hp

1967 Mercury Cougar, 49k

2013 Jaguar XF, 20k <----340 hp Supercharged, All Wheel Drive (sold)
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