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  #16  
Old 04-18-2009, 04:10 PM
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You hit the nail on the head with a 240D.
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  #17  
Old 04-18-2009, 04:21 PM
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I'm not sure about 190Ds but I think 240Ds are the only US MB Diesels since the late 70s available with manual windows, mostly manual AC (later ones have electronic AC compressor control), etc. Locks aren't a big deal because when the vacuum system stops working you're left with mechanical locks. You might happen upon a privately imported model that doesn't have all the fluff in US models. You might even find one with a factory hitch.

There was on eBay for a while a European 86 300D MT. It's the 300E body style with a normally aspirated 6 cylinder engine.

[soap box]I can live with and work with electronics up through the mid-90s models. It's leather and wood I don't need in a car.[/soap box]

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  #18  
Old 04-18-2009, 04:26 PM
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TD?

What would the benifit of a TD be?

Obviously more interior space! But . . . heavier duty suspension? higher tow capacity? More hp?

Seems the standard sedan is alot more available = less $ to buy, yes?

Skid Row Joe . . . please explain, do you think a 240 is what I need, or that it is under powered . . . ?
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  #19  
Old 04-18-2009, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn T. W. View Post
What would the benifit of a TD be?

Obviously more interior space! But . . . heavier duty suspension? higher tow capacity? More hp?

Seems the standard sedan is alot more available = less $ to buy, yes?

Skid Row Joe . . . please explain, do you think a 240 is what I need, or that it is under powered . . . ?
Shawn, what my post meant was that from all the bullet points you were thinking about in a MB diesel, the 240D hit all the points. The perhaps harder to find thing is the manual, but they are out there.

Nowthen, many of us feel the 240D is underpowered, but I will leave that up to you. Speaking strictly from a nostalgic point of view, I would love to have a 240D as a classic car to own, since we owned two 240Ds in the 1970s we bought new....a '74 & a '77.

For utility and beastlyness (sp?) if I were you, I would find an early '80s 300TDT wagon. In fact there is one for sale here on Peach Parts forum that may be exactly what you would like. I'll post a link in a subsequent posting. It may be hard to find a manual, but for me the hunt makes it all the more fun, in vintage cars. Personally, I don't see why you are intent on a manual trans. other than a slight increase in mpg......MB makes a rugged auto trans. in my opinion.
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Last edited by Skid Row Joe; 04-18-2009 at 06:44 PM.
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  #20  
Old 04-18-2009, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Skid Row Joe View Post
Personally, I don't see why you are intent on a manual trans. other than a slight increase in mpg......MB makes a rugged auto trans. in my opinion.
Joe, it's not only mpg, but I feel a manual is:
A. Stronger
B. Less likley to breakdown
C. Easier to work on when you do eventual have to open it up
D. Provides better engine braking
E. More "FUN" to drive (not cricitcal, certianly in a low powered car, I'm a truck driver, just use to moving the stick around I guess!)

I will say that our volvo is the "sport" edition, or what ever they call it! What I mean is that it has the auto tranny, but . . .if you want you can "manually select the gears" and shift points, but really it is all electronic, if you want to up shift you push the lever forward, downshift is back . . . It is not the same, I only used it 4-5 times when we 1st got the car . . . seems silly to me! Also has the factory expensive 45 series tires on it! My wife almost NEVER even gets the turbo spooled up! So when I drive it, I try to get it clean out for you know

I will tuck that tibit of info away about a rugged auto . . .
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  #21  
Old 04-19-2009, 02:57 AM
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Although it is mostly a linear movement, a lot of us here on the Forum do shift our AT's somewhat like an MT. Drive in the city here a lot in S and only manually upshift to D at about 42mph. Works fine and shifts instantly under load unlike many auto trannies I have experienced.
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  #22  
Old 04-19-2009, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Lycoming-8 View Post
Although it is mostly a linear movement, a lot of us here on the Forum do shift our AT's somewhat like an MT. Drive in the city here a lot in S and only manually upshift to D at about 42mph. Works fine and shifts instantly under load unlike many auto trannies I have experienced.
My Dad does that too! Maybe it's a German thing? He was born over there!
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  #23  
Old 04-19-2009, 08:23 AM
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Unanswered ?'s

Ok, here are a few questions I still have . . .

A. What are the "problem" areas to stay away from (like maybe rusted jack points) . . . compared to something that I should expect to be wrong, (like maybe a vacuum pump) but no big deal to fix?

B. Are you saying that if I was to get an auto, and swap in a manual, I could use the manual from a 240? As one person stated above different rearend ratio between the 2 models . . . are trans same ratio?

C. What would the benifit of a TD be? Obviously more interior space! But . . . heavier duty suspension? higher tow capacity?

I'm learning as I go . . . I try to do my research 1st now a days, and "talking" with others who have traveled the path before me sure helps!


Thanks again everybody!
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  #24  
Old 04-19-2009, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn T. W. View Post
Ok, here are a few questions I still have . . .

A. What are the "problem" areas to stay away from (like maybe rusted jack points) . . . compared to something that I should expect to be wrong, (like maybe a vacuum pump) but no big deal to fix?

B. Are you saying that if I was to get an auto, and swap in a manual, I could use the manual from a 240? As one person stated above different rearend ratio between the 2 models . . . are trans same ratio?

C. What would the benifit of a TD be? Obviously more interior space! But . . . heavier duty suspension? higher tow capacity?

I'm learning as I go . . . I try to do my research 1st now a days, and "talking" with others who have traveled the path before me sure helps!


Thanks again everybody!

Alot of people worry about rusty jack-points, but water often gets into the rear floors, rusting out the front-seat mounts and the inner-sills where the front seatbelts are fastened. I once bought a rusty 240D where the outer passenger seatbelt was only attached to the carpet! The extent of the rust is often hidden under the thick undercoating. I'd avoid a rusty one.

All US-market W123 300D/TD had automatic tranny, automatic clmate control, and power-windows. Later production added turbocharging. All this adds complication, weight and maintenance issues. I prefer to keep my old cars simple.

So long as I'm not in a big hurry, I have no problem with my manual-shift 240D. It's really a very nice driving, riding automobile.
OTOH, last spring I bought a Euro '84 non-turbo 300TD with factory 5-speed, manual windows, and manual heat-AC. It's the best of both worlds, with the power of the 300D, combined with the simplicity of a 240D. Only issue with my TD is the added complication of the SLS (Self Leveling rear Suspension) as all W123 wagons have it.
With the 5-speed my TD fuel-mileage maxes out about the same as my 4-speed 240D - around 30 mpg. And with the 5-speed I really don't miss the turbo, but finding another one like it is going to be tough in the US.
Likewise, any of the other TD variations as only the 300TD was sold in the US.

Many have converted US 300D/TDs to manual 4-speeds, using 240D parts, with varying degrees of succsess. The biggest hassles here involve rebalancing the 240D flywheel to work on a 300D engine, (300D manual flywheels are hard to come by) and changing the driveshaft length. Some are very happy with their manual-conversions, while others have reported excessive vibrations.

Try to check out some examples to see if you prefer a simple 240D or a more refined, but more complicated 300D/TD.


Happy Motoring, Mark
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Last edited by Mark DiSilvestro; 04-19-2009 at 10:04 AM.
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  #25  
Old 04-19-2009, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn T. W. View Post
Ok, here are a few questions I still have . . .

A. What are the "problem" areas to stay away from (like maybe rusted jack points) . . . compared to something that I should expect to be wrong, (like maybe a vacuum pump) but no big deal to fix?

B. Are you saying that if I was to get an auto, and swap in a manual, I could use the manual from a 240? As one person stated above different rearend ratio between the 2 models . . . are trans same ratio?

C. What would the benifit of a TD be? Obviously more interior space! But . . . heavier duty suspension? higher tow capacity?

I'm learning as I go . . . I try to do my research 1st now a days, and "talking" with others who have traveled the path before me sure helps!


Thanks again everybody!

A. Look closely at the area around the battery and in the hinge/spring pockets under the hood for rust. Rust can be a real problem here and water can find its way into the passenger compartment. Also look closely at the bottoms of the doors, fender/rocker corners and the bottoms of the outside of the trunk (where the drain is). These are other places for rust. Mechanically there is a lot to look over, just take your time. Chances are that a lot of the seals will need replacing too. IE: Windshield, Rear Windshield and side window seals.

B. The trans. swap is pretty straight forward. Especially if you find a complete donor car. IE: Pedal assemblies, Flywheel, crossmembers and driveshafts. I'm not too sure about the diff.? Lots of people have done it though. You will find out quickly. The diff is fairly easy to swap out on these cars compared to some others.

C. More power and damn near the same economy. You listed the others. You would be part of the wagon club (cult status). They are pretty hard to find cheap and usually have a lot of problems if you do find them cheap. The hydraulic suspension can be an issue if it is not working.
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  #26  
Old 04-19-2009, 10:28 AM
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I like a manual transmission too, but the 240 I bought blew out the thrust bearing at highway speeds, it was seemingly driven too hard too long.
Good luck, let us know what you decide.
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  #27  
Old 04-19-2009, 12:30 PM
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Thanks for the detailed places to look!

One more ?

What is the difference between a 300D & 300SD?

It appears there are a few (SD's) on fleabay & cl . . . the 80 and before look very simular to a 300D the 81 and newer seem to have a different body and grill . . .
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  #28  
Old 04-19-2009, 01:15 PM
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300D is a W123 chassis. The (81 and later) 300SD is a W126. Different car with the same engine and transmission. The 126 is a little larger and has a bit more complexity of electronics. The 78-80 300SD was the W116 chassis. This was the predecessor of the W126.
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  #29  
Old 04-19-2009, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn T. W. View Post
Thanks for the detailed places to look!

One more ?

What is the difference between a 300D & 300SD?

It appears there are a few (SD's) on fleabay & cl . . . the 80 and before look very simular to a 300D the 81 and newer seem to have a different body and grill . . .
What is your budget?
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  #30  
Old 04-19-2009, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Skid Row Joe View Post
What is your budget?
Well my truck's blue book is $42?? If someone came up to me with $3500 I'd give it to them! So . . . That is about what I have to put towards a MB, understanding that I will be putting some money into it, so would not like to spend it all on the purchase of the car. . .

I should be able to get something for that what I've seen around, I want a daily driver . . .

Last edited by Shawn T. W.; 04-19-2009 at 04:01 PM.
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