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  #1  
Old 06-01-2008, 08:26 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 22
Newbie with ?

Long time lurker with hopefully my first purchase. I've found a silver '83 300D, with a black interior ( the owner claims leather) with 187k miles.

Good: No rust (that I've found so far)
Very nice body with only one very small dent
New tires
Good headliner
No blowby
Very quiet well running motor

Not so good:Needs an A/C comp. plus ? for the A/C to work
Cruise control doesn't work
Needs shocks
Will need seats recovered
Leaky injectors? all 5
Tachometer doesn't work
When I drove it, the oil pressure(?) gauge was pegged at 3. It did come down at idle.
There was water in the trunk sides where the drains had clogged. No rust, but how did water get in there? The trunk seals looked good.
The paint on the hood is faded a bit and at the front of the hood, the clear coat has come off just a bit.

Well the guy is asking $3,000. On Ebay one with the same mileage went for just over that in San Antonio. It had a working A/C and no seat issues. It looked very nice. Also there's one in California that hasn't gotten past $1,700 that is in similar shape to the one I'm looking at. I would like advice on my first one and opinions.

Thanks

M
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2008, 08:33 AM
ForcedInduction
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandtandk View Post
I would like advice on my first one and opinions.
The best advice: Ignore eBay's prices. The auctions usually close for 25-100% more than they are worth.
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2008, 08:51 AM
Burnzy's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Richmond,VA
Posts: 118
Keep looking

My .02, is keep looking. By the time you address the issues that you listed you will be in DEEP. The big ones for me are the water in the trunk, the AC. Each of those issues can turn out to be $$$$$. For $3k, you can find a really sweet 123 if you are patient. I wish I new of this forum prior to my purchase (first MB diesel). I probaly would have passed. But now, one year later after much blood, sweat and tears....and cash. I would no sooner part ways with my car than I would one of my children. I guess what I am trying to say is, you WILL pay when you purchase one of these it's just a matter of doing it up front or the "installment " plan. Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 06-01-2008, 09:47 AM
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Location: Out in the Boonies of Hot, Dry, Dusty, Windy Nevada
Posts: 9,585
Nothing more expensive, than a cheap Mercedes.

187K is not too bad on the milage for an 83, but the spedometers are known to fail at times. may have more miles than shown. I`ve had mine fixed twice in the past 11 yrs.

Not leather, most likely MB Tex.

AC can be expensive. there are good write up here how to trouble shoot. staying with R12 is better for these old 123`s with their marginal systems. 134 is cheaper but have to do some work to change over and not as efficient.

Cruise control. there was just a thread on resoldering the printed cercuit board last week. some have had good results. there are a after market Audio-Vox system some had results with. do a search on it. can be expensive to fix

shocks, stay with Bilstein. check on the parts tab above.

leaky injecors, most likely the small rubber hose going from injector to injector. over flow hose. just replace.

oil pressure stays pegged above 1300 RPM or so. comes cown at idle, normal

water in trunk may be to have the rear glass seal replaced. may be rust under there when removing.

faided pealing clear coat, they all do it, depends how much weather sun and how much the car was garaged.

Charlie
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  #5  
Old 06-01-2008, 09:59 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 22
Thanks FI and B. Tell me about the water in the trunk. How would it get there? The thing that really impressed me is tyhe complete lack of blowby. And I started the car cold. I also pulled the valve cover breather tube and blocked it off at the cover. I was able to hold it closed for about ten seconds, and there was no noticable change in the car's idle. I didn't hold it any longer than that.

There is a great Indie in my area that has been working on MBs for a long time. They have an excellent reputation and I would insist on an inspection by them. I want to do this because this will be my wife's daily driver. I drive a Dodge diesel and a small isuzu diesel pup, so I do have some mechanical ability. That said, she now drives a '99 Lincoln that is pretty nice, and she has to like the car enough to change. I enjoy working on my vehicles as most of the people on this board do and the info on this board is fantastic, so I can handle modest repairs and maintainance(sp?).

Please keep the opinions coming.

Thanks in advance.

M
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  #6  
Old 06-01-2008, 10:10 AM
Craig
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Definitely take it to your indy and have it checked out completely. If you buy it for $3K, you will probably be able to end up with a nice driver for $5-6K once you take care of all the little nits (assuming it doesn't have any real issues). As an alternative, look for a $5-6K car with everything working correctly.
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  #7  
Old 06-01-2008, 10:25 AM
daw_two's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Germantown, TN
Posts: 5,434
about 6 weeks ago

I sold Candy (see signature). She had a working odometer, working AC (COLD), no water in the trunk, and seats that did not need recovering --- not even a small hole (quite uncommon) in the driver's seat. Needed paint and front right fender.

I spent over $400 on the AC parts only and did all the work myself. My last list price was $3200.

Keep looking.
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Past:
3/2008 1986 300SDL "Coda"
04/2010 1965 190D(c) "Ben"
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  #8  
Old 06-01-2008, 10:28 AM
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Posts: 22
I was actually thinking of starting at $1,500, mainly because of the A/C , a craked front windshield I forgot to mention and the cruise control. Surely those things alone could justify my opening offer. This would be dependant upon what my Indy found also.

Thanks

M
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  #9  
Old 06-01-2008, 10:45 AM
Craig
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I would still be tempted for $3000 if the drive train is good and it is really 100% rust free. You can probably have the AC system fixed correctly (R-12) for around $1000. A rebuilt cruise control amp (usually the problem) is about $250 (too cheap to play around trying to fix it yourself). A set of bilstein shocks (don't use anything else) will cost about $600, installed (maybe $3-400 if you shop around and do it yourself). The "leaky injectors" are likely to just be the small return hoses ($10), have your indy take a look. Plan on a couple $100 to get the tach working (unless you want to play with junkyard parts). The oil pressure is normal. Have you indy look at the trunk and make sure there are no rust issues. The cosmetic stuff will cost as much or as little as you want to spend, just like any other car. The bottom line is that you can drive it as-is for $3000, make it mechanically good for around $5-6000, or make it "perfect" for about $8-10K by doing a really nice job on the interior and paint. What are you looking for?

Any car you buy in this price range is going to require some work to make it correct. I could probably spend $2000 on just about any car that most people think is "perfect." These cars are 25 years old and they always need something.
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  #10  
Old 06-01-2008, 10:55 AM
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Yep, sounds like a $1,500 car though.

Craig as I like to say I have never seen a W126 for sale that didn't need at least $2k worth of work...and I have looked at a ton of them.
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  #11  
Old 06-01-2008, 11:04 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Redmond, WA
Posts: 622
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandtandk View Post
Long time lurker with hopefully my first purchase. I've found a silver '83 300D, with a black interior ( the owner claims leather) with 187k miles.

Good: No rust (that I've found so far)
Very nice body with only one very small dent
New tires
Good headliner
No blowby
Very quiet well running motor

Not so good:Needs an A/C comp. plus ? for the A/C to work
Cruise control doesn't work
Needs shocks
Will need seats recovered
Leaky injectors? all 5
Tachometer doesn't work
When I drove it, the oil pressure(?) gauge was pegged at 3. It did come down at idle.
There was water in the trunk sides where the drains had clogged. No rust, but how did water get in there? The trunk seals looked good.
The paint on the hood is faded a bit and at the front of the hood, the clear coat has come off just a bit.

Well the guy is asking $3,000. On Ebay one with the same mileage went for just over that in San Antonio. It had a working A/C and no seat issues. It looked very nice. Also there's one in California that hasn't gotten past $1,700 that is in similar shape to the one I'm looking at. I would like advice on my first one and opinions.

Thanks

M
$3k for one with working A/C seems a little low to me honestly, but its just a good deal. $3000 for one without, and also needing other work, is high.
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  #12  
Old 06-01-2008, 11:05 AM
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Location: Redmond, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig View Post
A rebuilt cruise control amp (usually the problem) is about $250
Is it really? I went to the junkyard and pulled as many cruise control servos as I could find, and every single one of them had failed tensioner springs which resulted in no throttle linkage movement.

So while the amps may be going dead, the actuators seem like the weak point in my experience.
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1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D
Automatic, A/C, Power Sunroof, Power Right Side Mirror
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  #13  
Old 06-01-2008, 11:07 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 22
Thanks Craig. I agree the car could be driven as is. That said, a working A/C is a must. Sheepskin covers take care of the seats. CC would be nice but... The crack in the windshield is low enough to not really matter. The engine and trans seemed fine to me on a short test drive. All of this could just be me trying to justify a purchase, but I'll know more after I get it inspected.

Any ideas on the water in the trunk? Is there any way water could have gone up through the drains? I don't think so but maybe someone else can chime in.

Thanks again

M
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  #14  
Old 06-01-2008, 11:21 AM
Craig
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Originally Posted by jkoebel View Post
Is it really? I went to the junkyard and pulled as many cruise control servos as I could find, and every single one of them had failed tensioner springs which resulted in no throttle linkage movement.

So while the amps may be going dead, the actuators seem like the weak point in my experience.
The actuators can also fail, but they are very easy to test and can be rebuilt too. I've never actually had an actuator fail, but I replaced mine "just because" when I installed a rebuilt amp (about $350 for a new actuator, it's a little cheaper to have them rebuilt but I wouldn't bother with used ones if yours is bad). The real risk is that a questionable actuator can take out the amp, so I prefer to replace them both at once.

Also, be aware that re-soldering the amp will make it worthless as a core for an exchange.
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  #15  
Old 06-01-2008, 11:25 AM
Craig
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Originally Posted by mandtandk View Post
Thanks Craig. I agree the car could be driven as is. That said, a working A/C is a must. Sheepskin covers take care of the seats. CC would be nice but... The crack in the windshield is low enough to not really matter. The engine and trans seemed fine to me on a short test drive. All of this could just be me trying to justify a purchase, but I'll know more after I get it inspected.

Any ideas on the water in the trunk? Is there any way water could have gone up through the drains? I don't think so but maybe someone else can chime in.

Thanks again

M
Windshields are cheap, I've had mine replaced for about $250 a couple of times due to pitting. Have your indy take a good look at the trunk and make sure you know what's going on. Make sure there is no rust below the rear window. I don't know how to diagnose that issue long distance.
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