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Old 09-23-2006, 10:40 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: "Charm City"
Posts: 16
W123T Fuel Sender Location **First Post**

First off, thanks to all the members for the great info in this forum. You've helped me more than you know. I've been reading for a while and made the plunge and bought an 83 300TD a month ago. I love these cars! (Still working on convincing the wife it was a good idea...any suggestions welcome...)

My question: How do you access the fuel sender in a wagon? I've searched the posts and can only find info for the sedan (behind first aid kit). If it makes a difference, I have the third row of seats.

The funny (now) story behind this:
I bought this car from the PO who is about an hour away from where I live. After multiple trips to check/test out the car based on many suggestions from this forum, I decided I had a winner. Cashiers check, call to insurance, trip to the MVA and the car is mine. The wife drove me down one morning to pick it up and make the victory lap home. About 15 miles into the drive home, the car starts losing power on uphills and regains speed on downhills or flats. Strange, it didn't do that during the test drives? Now on the interstate with morning rush hour heavy volume, and a long steady uphill. Less power, less power, this can't be happening, less power, crap. Barely coast into the breakdown lane, still facing uphill, and the car dies. Bang head on steering wheel. I'm such an idiot, I bought a lemon. The damn engine can't even make it up a hill! Idiot, idiot, this can't be happening, idiot. My wife tries to talk me down. Call the PO, he never had this problem, but offers to come by. Wife is ready to have it towed, but that's quitter talk. Restarts unsucessful. Pop the hood. From reading the forum I know there is a clear fuel prefilter. It's full of air! Also from reading the form I know there's a fuel primer pump. Only pulls air! OK, OK so maybe it's just a fuel problem, not a catastrophic engine problem. The fuel gauge says there's 3/4 tank. There must be a problem in the fuel lines. Not ready to give in and get towed. I figure let's try a longshot and put some fuel in the tank. Trip to WestMarine to buy a tank, three fuel stations later we have diesel. Pour it in the tank, prime system, and she fires up the first time! And will actually accelerate uphill! The beginning of another beautiful car-driver relationship.

I thought some of you might enjoy that story. So, anyone know how to get to this fuel sender to try cleaning it?

'83 300TD 176k "Sherman"
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:12 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,007
Chris, assuming you do not have the fold-down third seat, you'll find a large carpet-covered plywood board in the bed of the wagon with a folding handle on it. Flip the handle up and turn it counter clockwise and it will unlatch. Remove the board.

Underneath you'll find some brackets that support the board screwed to the floor along with a foam liner. Remove them and you'll see a large white plug in the metal floor. The sender resides below. It screws into the tank and requires a huge socket -- how big escapes me at the moment. Some folks have used Channel-Locks to loosen the sender in sedans and coupes, but it's recessed pretty deep in the wagon. Good luck.
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Old 09-23-2006, 02:44 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: "Charm City"
Posts: 16
Thanks for the reply Maki, but I do have the fold-down third seat.

Based on what you said, I'm guessing it must be below one of the fold-down seat sections. I looked around in the back and the fuel sender location isn't obvious.

Has anyone been able to locate this? Or is this a tank removal job in this body style?
'83 300TD 176k "Sherman"
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Old 09-23-2006, 03:49 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Ca.
Posts: 971
One LUCKY thing about the "T" is that you can get to the tank strainer from the outside bottom of the tank.

My Truck.. 2007 DODGE, 5.9 Cummins, 6spd stick, 4X4. My car..1977 240D, OTHER WHEELS...1955 VW Oval window bug, European Delivery (Holland) with a 1700cc, 2 barrel, Porsche drum brakes. 1939 WILLYS Pick-up. 1967 Triumph 200cc Tiger Cub. 1976 Honda 550F 4cyl Motor Cycle.
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