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Old 08-27-2006, 08:17 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2
Hello! Advice needed for a 82 300SD

Hello everybody!

I have been very interested by the diesel mercedes. Especially the 300SD/SDL.

I just saw and drove an 1982 300SD, 138,000 miles, imported from Indiana to the desert in California a little over a year ago, and I wanted some feedback on it as it is the first diesel I actually drove. So here it is:

- very minor oil leak aoround the valve cover.
- engine shakes, I think quite a bit when either cold or warm, but it was 110 degres outside to begin with.
- one of the pulley seemed to make an odd noise, but one belt was missing for the compressor.
- The engine started fine, with little to no smoke on the exhaust.
- Temperature never raised over 85 (Needle a little below horizontal level) city driving for 20mn AC to the max.

Driving and transmission:

- Weird at first: I had to floor the gas to get the car moving, slowly. Once passed the 20mph mark it had a lot more pick up. (Turbo problem?). That also made the shift from 1st to 2nd gear a little harsh. again, once passed the 20 mph mark all was good, smooth wit hgood kick down.

- Steering was smooth and tight. Breaking was nice and straight even when I breaked hard.

- New tires on the car.

Interior and amenities:

- Sun roof: fully operational.
- Roof: SOme yellowish stains around the hand handles and the bottom trim. Leakage form somewhere??
- Seats and dash in good condition once cleaned and nourished.
- All windows works fine with the exception of the rear driver window that may need a new/fixed regulator.
- AC worked just great in this heat.
- Wood trim is in great shape.
- Electrical seats in perfect working order with very clean leather.
- Very clean trunk.

Body and exterior:

No digs, a few scratches but nothing crazy. Front grill has a little crack in it. All chromes are good.

The body had some advertising stickers on it that has been removed. Hardly noticable.

Original paint, and virtually no rust.

I think cosmetics will be fine once professionally detailed.

The guy wants $4500 for it. What do guys think? I would be ready to spend a couple thousand to fix a few things, as I am sure it will need some and more.

All opinions welcome!!

Sorry for the long post!

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Old 08-28-2006, 04:35 AM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Eastern TN
Posts: 20,841
No belt likely means the compressor has been sitting for a while. Expect major AC service to recitfy. Lots you can do yourself. Stay with R12 for best performance especially if 110*F is common where you'll be driving.

Lots of info in the archives around rough idle. Prime suspects are dirty fuel system and need of a revised rack damper pin.

How can AC be on max with any effect if there's no belt on the compressor? Or do you mean one of two belts was missing?

Hmm... these engines are known for off-the-line torque compared to other MB passenger car Diesels. Could be the fuel system needs cleaning. Could also be an impeded boost signal to the injection pump. Typically a worn turbo will mean lazy acceleration all the way, not just from a standing start.

MB tex, which is vinyl, has the appearance of leather. If the pleats go all the way to the forward horizontal edge of the seat, that's MB tex. Seats with leather upholstery have a solid swatch across the forward horizontal edge of the seat. Leather is very common in these cars so no reason to doubt it's leather. MB tex is a lot more durable.

The rear window probably needs a $10 part and an hour of your time.

$4500 seems high at first glance but if it's a keeper with little more than the problems you noted then what's a few bucks? All MBs basically cost the same. You can pay for it up front or pay over time. To me the determinant would be maintenance records. If it has a good documented history then $4500 for a car with 138K miles is a bargain.

It's rare that an MB of this vintage doesn't need $1200-1500 worth of front suspension rejuvenation. If the records show that suspension work was done recently, wonderful! If not, I doubt the best maintenance regimen can prevent wear. Most rear suspension rejuventation can be handled by a DIYer. So with front end work with a few special tools but I'd rather remove and replace transmissions repeatedly for the same amount of time that it takes to work on the front suspension.

93 300SD

Last edited by sixto; 08-28-2006 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 08-28-2006, 01:40 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2
Thanks for your insight.

Yes, I ment that one of the belts was missing on the AC pulley. Beside the weird "couaking" noise, sorry I don't know how else to describe it, the AC works fine. I forgot to check how the vents worked. and it also seems that the central lock is not working.

I will try to bring the price down, especially that no mechanical history is available.

Oh, one more thing: about the yellow/brown stains on the roof headliner around the edge seams: What could it be? A leacky sun roof? If yes, can it be fixed?


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