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  #1  
Old 06-25-2007, 07:07 PM
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1986 300d or 1991 300d

I not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but I need you experts help. I have two cars I am looking at.

Car #1 is a 1986 6cy turbo with 156k. A/c blows warm. Some fading on paint $3500

Car #2 is a 1991 2.5 turbo with 256 rebuilt engine by MB at 89k, some fading and ac blows warm, minor leaks from unknown. $3500. All documentation.

Both in the South, no rust. Both grey or silver. What you guys think about the prices? Any one a better deal or engine/chassis combo? Thanks for the help.

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  #2  
Old 06-25-2007, 07:50 PM
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300D was not sold in the US in 86. Is it a Euro 86 or mistitled 87?

86 has less electronic engine control. Easier to disable EGR and ARV (for diagnostics purposes only, of course). Original head is susceptible to terminal head cracking if overheated. Fastest MB Diesel until the 98-99 E300 turbo.

91 has a passenger side airbag. Some have bad timing chains which was probably what necessitated the engine rebuild. If it worries you, it's a simple matter to roll in a new chain and replace the cam sprocket.

That said, the better deal is the one in better condition corroborated by service records.

AC could be a compressor control issue which is difficult to diagnose but easy to repair, or an evaporator leak which is a bunch of unpleasant work. If AC is a requirement, see if you can get a sense of what you're up against as part of the PPI. You are going to have them checked by a reputable independent shop, right?

My gut says that someone who lives in Mississippi and doesn't have AC either doesn't have the budget to properly care for these cars or lives an unhot corner of the state

Sixto
93 300SD 3.0 - comatose
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2007, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixto View Post
That said, the better deal is the one in better condition corroborated by service records.
Absolutely right, but I'd be leaning toward the one with the lower mileage.
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2007, 08:16 PM
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Its a 86 import. Both A/C will have to be fixed. DOesn't scare me any though. Been around a many gassers, so timing chain shouldn't be much difference. So the 86 is a better performer in the get-up-and-go department? Is there much difference? I am leaning toward the 86 with the lower millage. But still am undersided. What is the mpg difference?

Thanks for the imput guys. I'll fall off the fence sooner or later.....
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2007, 08:22 PM
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You can check the archives but IIRC the difference in 0-60 mph is something like 2 seconds (10 sec vs 12 sec).

Sixto
93 300SD 3.0 - comatose
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2007, 08:25 PM
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Folks with the 2.5 Turbo will probably pipe in quickly. It is an excellent engine, with a few less problems that the big 6. (less terminal problems, or head problems that is)
That one would get my vote in a heartbeat, all other things being relatively equal.....
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2007, 08:34 PM
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I have a very similar question looking at an 85 SD, and a 92 300D both look good, both around 200K what car would be the better to own, or maybe the better question is what problems do those 2 cars have and I can make my own call
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2007, 08:47 PM
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85 SD has the more robust engine but it's obviously a generation older - no airbags, maybe no ABS, needs valve adjustments, feels slower (probably is), big steering wheel (some like it that way), etc. Easier and cheaper to service because of its size and availability of new and used parts. About the only downside is the unique turbo and air cleaner arrangement if it's a California car and the transmission and rear end ratio are a single year application.

300D 3.0 vs 300D 2.5 requires a coin toss. 300SD vs 300D is something you decide in a test drive.

Sixto
93 300SD 3.0 - comatose
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2007, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixto View Post
300D was not sold in the US in 86. Is it a Euro 86 or mistitled 87?

86 has less electronic engine control. Easier to disable EGR and ARV (for diagnostics purposes only, of course). Original head is susceptible to terminal head cracking if overheated. Fastest MB Diesel until the 98-99 E300 turbo.

91 has a passenger side airbag. Some have bad timing chains which was probably what necessitated the engine rebuild. If it worries you, it's a simple matter to roll in a new chain and replace the cam sprocket.

That said, the better deal is the one in better condition corroborated by service records.

AC could be a compressor control issue which is difficult to diagnose but easy to repair, or an evaporator leak which is a bunch of unpleasant work. If AC is a requirement, see if you can get a sense of what you're up against as part of the PPI. You are going to have them checked by a reputable independent shop, right?

My gut says that someone who lives in Mississippi and doesn't have AC either doesn't have the budget to properly care for these cars or lives an unhot corner of the state

Sixto
93 300SD 3.0 - comatose
Wasn't the passenger airbag still an option in '91?

Where is the unhot corner in Mississippi?

Chris
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  #10  
Old 06-25-2007, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Bio300TDTdriver View Post
Wasn't the passenger airbag still an option in '91?
In fact I just saw a 91 2.5 on L.A. craigslist without passenger airbag.

Sixto
93 300SD 3.0 - comatose
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  #11  
Old 06-25-2007, 09:25 PM
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I would buy the documented one if it was me. The '86 with 156k could easily have 256k if there are no service records.

Chris
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  #12  
Old 06-25-2007, 11:44 PM
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I had a '91, the passenger bag was an option.
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2007, 02:30 AM
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no passenger airbag in my 92 300D. Not sure if it was an option though. On wet pavement, my 2.5 turbo will spin the tires going from 1st to 2nd. thats awesome for this mule of a car.
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2007, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biglex View Post
On wet pavement, my 2.5 turbo will spin the tires going from 1st to 2nd. thats awesome for this mule of a car.
I would have expected more. My NA 300D could chirp on dry pavement 1->2 with 205 tires on
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  #15  
Old 06-26-2007, 09:53 AM
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I'd go for the 300D 2.5 turbo.

The later W124's have much more elegant interior and exterior appointments.

The mileage will also be better.

Performance will be adequate...

You may not have the fastest sled on the road, but at least you'll be getting mid 30's while looking sleek and luxurious.


................


A chirp from first to second gear is nothing special, IMHO.
Its when your diesel can consistently chirp its tires when accelerating IN GEAR, in a straight line, on dry pavement, that is impressive. Vacuum modulation is no longer a factor, it is pure power that will do this.

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