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  #1  
Old 07-08-2008, 09:37 AM
Simpler=Better's Avatar
Ham Shanker
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 2,544
Getting discouraged...

I picked up an 82' 300D for $500 locally this spring. I like to work on my cars, and I knew it would be a project-mobile. It's also my DD(my 93' ranger cooked at 200k), and I LOVE the 20-26MPG(was getting 7-13 in the ranger)
Here's the trouble, the rear end has decided to kill itself and I'm starting to question if I should finish restoring the Benz, or just swap the engine/tranny into a small suv(90s Explorer, Tahoe, Jeep, etc.)

The new/good:

15" alloys&tires
front pads
stereo & speakers
rear shelf
200W inverter
battery
engine tuneups
rear window seal
front windsheild
custom hitch
only 201k
20MPG towing or in town
26MPG highway
new radiator(PO)


The bad/to-do:

rear axles
rear diff mount(rubber)
rear wheel bearings
rear brakes
rear coil springs(hopefully taller beefier ones to deal with my tools/towing/future svo)
dash pull for:
-heating/ac (do I have the evil servo?)
-instrument panel lighting
seating is uncomfortable after 30mins(I'm 6'2")
bodywork for rust(wheel well corners)
hood is bent(flipped back into the windsheild)
trunk is bent(PO pried open with crowbar)
paintjob
needs ignition cyl
need trunk lock cyl
needs fan shroud(though I do like the excitement under the hood when it's running)
injector nozzles & balanced
front right brake cyl

I can do the repairs myself, but I'm getting a little discouraged here.
Do you guys think I should try and finish the repairs or just swap the engine into an explorer/tahoe/ranger/s10 ?

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$60 OM617 Blank Exhaust Flanges
$110 OM606 Blank Exhaust Flanges
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Last edited by Simpler=Better; 07-08-2008 at 04:53 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-08-2008, 10:14 AM
vstech's Avatar
DD MOD, HVAC,MCP,Mac,GMAC
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Mount Holly, NC
Posts: 26,518
I sincerely hope you have a Pick-n-pull near you...
if not, forget the car.
you should not have the dreaded servo. that ended in 81
rear is an easy swap especially if you have bad axles too. just pull a set from another car.
have fun... or sell it. or tow it to a crusher... 450 is easily recovered from a benz.
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John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
1994GMC 2500 6.5Turbo truck... I had to put the ladder somewhere!
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  #3  
Old 07-08-2008, 10:25 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Blue Point, NY
Posts: 25,396
The kiss of death in your list is the rust and the paint job. Unless you're going to do this work yourself (with mediocre results), the cost is more than the value of the vehicle.

With an older M/B that has been poorly maintained, it's very possible to spend $5K or more on parts.........even if you do all your own labor. This is not a sound decision financially. It's much better to buy a $5K vehicle with pristine paintwork.........one where the PO has invested all the money in parts.

As for swapping the 617 into one of the $hitboxes.........the work involved is significant and the benefits are questionable. The body is horrible from a Cd standpoint and the resultant fuel economy isn't worth the effort, IMHO.

There is an old adage that runs around on this forum..........perfect for situations such as this one:

There is nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes-Benz.
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  #4  
Old 07-08-2008, 10:35 AM
vstech's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Mount Holly, NC
Posts: 26,518
ya, these are a dime a dozen. find a better candidate. swap all the new stuff and those wheels (drool) over, and have a MUCH better car. and sell the $$hitbox and recoup your outlay. offer it up for 250.00 and know you got the better end of the deal. that new radiator and the wheels are well worth 500.00...
I don't know how the hitch was installed, and if you can swap it over or not, but it looks like you put in in, so you would know that. if you tow a lot, look for a nice wagon. that SLS REALLY is nice.
...
I do have an 83 going up for sale soon... TD, turbo, REAR SEAT! and it needs some of the things you have already on your "parts car..."
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John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
1994GMC 2500 6.5Turbo truck... I had to put the ladder somewhere!
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  #5  
Old 07-08-2008, 11:26 AM
Simpler=Better's Avatar
Ham Shanker
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 2,544
I've been welding since I was 14, the bodywork will only be time consuming for me. As for painting, we've done a car or two before that got my approval(then again, my friends say I should be on the red&green show )
As for the hitch, I built it and it is over engineered(weighs around 50lbs)

I really like the 617, despite it's paint-shaker tendencies.
I think I'll start looking for a new car/donor body(I really miss 8" of ground clearance measured from the rear diff) My little brother has no problem driving around with a "broken" car(his DD is a 91 Hyundai....don't get me started) How long do you think it will take for the rear axles to catastrophically fail? Right now they don't have boots, and one clicks only when hot.

Also, I have a full shop at my disposal starting this fall: mills, lathes, you name it (right now I'm on an internship down in RI)
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$60 OM617 Blank Exhaust Flanges
$110 OM606 Blank Exhaust Flanges
No merc at the moment
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  #6  
Old 07-08-2008, 12:09 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,837
I don't see a picture of it. So I don't know what others are going off of. Some of the statements make me think its the rear CV joints/half shaft assemblies that need replaced. Anywhere from $70 to $300 each. The hood and trunk seem to be junk yard items. Rust you mentioned wheel wells. Is it just in the wheel wells or elsewhere? Frame? What would be the killer. But I would agree that you can pile in a bunch of money into one. I bought mine for $1600, and have probably $5k or more into it. Still, I think you can put that into any car with a bunch of years on it.

Tom
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  #7  
Old 07-09-2008, 11:19 PM
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Ham Shanker
 
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Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 2,544
Photos!

For some reason, the camera I borrowed only hot in black&white; oh well. Here are some shots of the rusty areas(if it looks like it could be rust it is-trust me)








Here's some of the good:




and the stuff that doesn't quite fit:

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$60 OM617 Blank Exhaust Flanges
$110 OM606 Blank Exhaust Flanges
No merc at the moment
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  #8  
Old 07-10-2008, 12:07 AM
pawoSD's Avatar
Dieselsüchtiger
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 15,430
wow! clever job whoever did that inverter in the ash tray.

In Michigan we consider that rust "starter" rust.

Personally I'd probably fix it up. The more of these we take off the road the less there are out there!
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-diesel is not just a fuel, its a way of life-
'15 GLK250 Bluetec 109k - mine - (OC-112,500)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 29k - wifes (OC-34k)
'09 Sprinter 3500 Winnebago View - 61k (OC - 63k)
'13 ML350 Bluetec - 82k - dad's (OC-86k)
'01 SL500 - 98k(km) - dad's (OC-94,000km)
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2008, 12:43 AM
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Bah! I'm driving around with a 240D in much worse shape from a corrosion standpoint. Just fix the essential stuff, or a little more if you like and have the cash, and continue driving until something expensive (and mission-critical) breaks.
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Whoever said there's nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes never had a cheap Jaguar.

83 300D Turbo with manual conversion, early W126 vented front rotors and H4 headlights 379,xxx miles
08 Triumph Street Triple 35,xxx miles, lowered 10mm in front, Pirelli Angel GT tires, EBC HH brake pads, otherwise stock.
88 Jaguar XJS V12 94,xxx miles. Work in progress.
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2008, 05:26 AM
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Ham Shanker
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 2,544
Quote:
Originally Posted by pawoSD View Post
wow! clever job whoever did that inverter in the ash tray.
Thanks! It still needs a led to tell me when I'm silly and leave it on with the door closed(It's wired to the battery)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippy
continue driving until something expensive (and mission-critical) breaks.
That's the thing...It needs two rear axles&springs, which AFAIK means new diff seals, wheel bearings, diff mount.

How rare are the 4.07 rear ends? I might as well swap to get lower rpms on the highway(3200 at 70mph now)
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$60 OM617 Blank Exhaust Flanges
$110 OM606 Blank Exhaust Flanges
No merc at the moment
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2008, 07:47 AM
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85 300D 4spd+tow+h4
 
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Location: Atl Gawga
Posts: 9,340
With all of the body issues you describe, I would find a new car. Or a new car with a blown engine and swap them.
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1987 300D Sturmmachine
1991 300D Nearly Perfect
1994 E320 Cabriolet
1995 E320 Touring
2001 Eurovan FOR SALE
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2008, 08:25 AM
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Ham Shanker
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 2,544
The Coupes are so pretty, but small
The Wagons have a body 'only a mother could love', but are so much more useful and fitting to my lifestyle(College, travel alot, live out of car from time to time)

How powerful is the SLS in the wagons?

Will it cook an automatic transmission if you use it like a manual, and let off the gas between shifts?

Also, which differential should I be looking for to get the best highway mileage(and worst acceleration)?
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$60 OM617 Blank Exhaust Flanges
$110 OM606 Blank Exhaust Flanges
No merc at the moment
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  #13  
Old 07-10-2008, 09:24 AM
vstech's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simpler=Better View Post
That's the thing...It needs two rear axles&springs, which AFAIK means new diff seals, wheel bearings, diff mount.
no, you should be able to swap springs and axles without changing bearings...

Quote:
How rare are the 4.07 rear ends? I might as well swap to get lower rpms on the highway(3200 at 70mph now)
4.07 would raise your rpms at speed... you want a TALLER gear to lower rpms. 2.47 is the preferred choice, but a 2.24 is also available...
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John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
1994GMC 2500 6.5Turbo truck... I had to put the ladder somewhere!
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  #14  
Old 07-10-2008, 09:33 AM
rrgrassi's Avatar
mmmmmm Diesel...
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Royse City Tx
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2.88 was available on the w123 and w126 diesels in '85
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70's Southern Pacific #5608 Fairmont A-4 MOW car

06 VW Jetta TDI 133K miles-replaced the other '06 that quit after 300k miles. (did not catch the bad cam in time)

91 W124 300D Turbo replaced, Pressure W/G actuator installed. 195K

90 Dodge D250 5.9 Cummins/5 speed. 400K
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  #15  
Old 07-10-2008, 10:15 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Shingletown,Ca
Posts: 941
You've got some pretty good rust in the rockers around the jack holes, and rear corners. You need to get under the car and poke around, not just look, at the undercoating, particularly around mounting points and welded seams, to see if there's any real structural underbody rust, thats the big worry. I had less visible rust on my 80, but underneath it oozed orange stains from the seams, had bubbles around them here and there, it finally advanced to a point after driving it 2 years that I noticed the handling and behavior of the car was changing noticeably in bad ways, so it's parked now. I had $500 invested in it and ran it 2 yrs, still has a lot of good useable parts for my other car, not a bad haul.

BTW, you might want to carry a small hyd jack in the trunk with you, I think the factory jack will be useless to you at this point should you have a flat....

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64 190D R.I.P.
80 240D W/617 engine -for sale
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