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  #46  
Old 02-04-2013, 09:27 PM
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A 300D properly maintained will be able to make any trip almost anywhere. As prior members have noted, take some spares: filters, belts, fuses, fluids (power steering, ATF, engine oil). Use patience, avoid unexpected community donations demanded by local law enforcement, and have lots of fun!

My '85 300D made a trip from Detroit to Tucson via Fort Worth, Tx in October. It's my daily driver in Tucson and will deliver me back to Detroit from Tucson via Fort Worth, Birmingham, Al. It's dead reliable! ... Except for an aged 7.5 battery that died after I got here.
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  #47  
Old 02-04-2013, 09:36 PM
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Pre emptive hits on any older mercedes with an unknown history can increase general reliability. Things like adding a little aditional oil to the cv joints does no harm. Spend the 10 dollars or so and recondition the lift pump that may have unknown miles on it. Check the regulator on the alternator to see if there is too much brush wear evident. Or carry a spare regulator.

Since the general change of small garages into convienience stores over much of the landscape. It can be hard to find mechanical help on the road when needed.

The last two times I had issues on the road there where no local service facilities that would look at the car for several days. Between the few tools I had on board and purchasing a couple more I repaired the car on the corner on a service station lot with their permission. The second breakdown was more serious and I found a tow truck driver who had a garage at home and we worked together to repair that car.
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  #48  
Old 02-04-2013, 09:43 PM
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Location: Sacramento, CA
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Once the engine is running, even complete electrical loss will not stop you, until night falls and you need lights. I would be most concerned about the oil cooler. Not sure why Mercedes put those on since seems unecessary and adds risk. I have known several people who added an after-market oil cooler to their muscle cars and had hose failures. Last summer when my son arrived from a 500 mile trip there was oil dripping everywhere. I found a broken AC belt (seized compressor?) had flipped the power steering belt over so that its ribbed side rubbed against an oil cooler line and chewed a hole in it. Fortunately, there was still 4 qts in the pan so probably happened close to home. That would not be an easy on-road fix since you must remove an engine mount to remove the tube, plus need some big wrenches. Better to carry a splice kit and some hose. I wrapped steel wire around the replacement hose to avoid a repeat, and tried to get the cooler hose as far from the belts as possible.
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  #49  
Old 02-04-2013, 10:33 PM
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This is my car in the ruins of Chichen-Itza, in Mexico. Notice it has a Kansas plate.

You have nothing to fear if the car has been well maintained.
These are a few things that could get you stranded...

-Lift pump
-Dirty filters / fuel tank screen
-Clogged fuel lines
-Bad axles
-Flex discs
-Drive-shaft support bearing
-Tire quality
-Chronic rust in suspension
-Battery and/or alternator (at night)
-Clogged/cracked radiator
-Faulty thermostat
-Bad head gasket
-Stuck caliper
-Leaking brake master cylinder / hoses
-Some broken seal
-Old vacuum pump
-Ancient starter
-Corroded electrical connections

If any of that is bad, well, damn. If everything is in OK shape, have fun and drive into the sunset.
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Last edited by Delibes; 02-05-2013 at 11:44 AM.
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  #50  
Old 02-04-2013, 10:49 PM
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I had the same feeling that this old Benz won't leave me stranded but now I have second thoughts. I had to leave California in a hurry(long story) so I grabbed the Benz with the least broken windows and flatten tires.....it happened to be my newest project less then a year and figured I would have no problems on my journey....well before my journey I made the mistake of not looking into the issue of starting....well I made it to Arizona despite some hard starting but once I woke up the next day to go for a drive it wouldn't start at all.....turned out to be some under maintained items.....now that those are fixed I look at other minor problems and wonder will I get stranded somewhere? Meaning of the story be cautious of newly acquired cars, that you haven't owned long enough to work out all the Benz bugs...
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  #51  
Old 02-04-2013, 11:23 PM
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Location: Arroyo Grande, CA
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I have run into two vacuum pump issues in the last year. One left me stranded when the car wouldn't start (oil clogging the fuel shut off valve at the ignition switch). If the car has not had the vacuum pump rebuilt, I would consider it before a long trip.
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  #52  
Old 02-04-2013, 11:33 PM
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Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Posts: 5,417
One thing I would consider on one of these cars before a long trip, if the repair history is unknown - replace the vacuum-pump. Or at least replace that pump's lever-bearing assy.
'mrvwo' started this thread six years ago! Wonder how his trip went?

Happy Motoring, Mark
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