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  #1  
Old 11-13-2001, 05:38 PM
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240D vs. 300D

I am thinking of buying a 1982 240d. In the past I owned a 1983 300D, which I enjoyed very much, but was frustrated by certain “luxury” features like the automatic climate control that were very expensive to maintain. I would be curious to hear what others think of the 240D in comparison with the 300D. Does the smaller engine deliver better fuel mileage? Is it so slow as to be dangerous to drive? How long (many miles) can one last?

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  #2  
Old 11-13-2001, 05:47 PM
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I don't have the most experience with these cars and can really only comment on differences between my 300D and my friends 240D. Both cars are extremely reliable. The 240 gets better mileage, like I think 4-6 miles per gallon better. However, his 240 is horribly slow. I don't think it's running as well as it should be, but I don't think my 300 is either. I can blow his doors clean off, mine's an auto and his is stick. I would never personally own a 240 as the 300 is quite slow enough for me. I think if you lived in a very flat place, the 240 might be tolerable, but in SoCal, there are enough hills that at times, he's stuck in second gear because it bogs in third. In the same places, I pull strong in third but bog in 4th. Hope this helps. I'm sure others will have much more experience and info to add.

Frank.
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  #3  
Old 11-13-2001, 06:40 PM
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Have owned them both. they are basically the same car EXCEPT the power aspect. I doubt you would be happy with a 240 after driving a 300. They are very slow, but are they reliable. The mileage really is that much different, depends a lot on the engines stage of life. well just my opinion
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03 C240 4matic wagon
95 300E 234,000
7 prior 240;s 5 still going
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65 230sl gone
49 Studebaker Champion
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  #4  
Old 11-14-2001, 01:17 AM
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I had a 1980 300D non-turbo and it was very slow with the automatic trans. I test drove a, admittedly piece of junk, 1982 240D with manual trans recently and it seemed pretty peppy, for a non-turbo diesel. I was quite surprised. About 200k miles on it, rear bumper fell off, rusty front end, good interior though.

I guess my point is try both cars and see which one you like. I kinda like the manual trans, and the speed was reasonable (non-life threatening I thought) so I'd probably go for it. If you like auto trans, then get a turbo 300D, forget the non-turbo. That auto trans might shift for good fuel economy but you're always flooring it for speed.

Also, if you want options and buttons (power windows and locks, for example) you may have to go with the 300D.

Miles, whoa, 300,000-500,000 average with regular maintainence. Might need an auto trans in that period. Be sure to review the previous owner(s) service records. If there are no service records, it's harder to determine how long the car will run.

Again, try both. For me, it comes down to if you want a manual trans or auto. 240D for the manual, 300D turbo for the auto.

Good luck!

-m
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Now:
2018 Tesla Model X
1999 S500 Grand Edition 164k
1992 300D 2.5 Turbo 287k
2005 E320 4MATIC wagon
1991 Alfa Romeo 164L 99k (sleeping for a while)

Then: 96 Lincoln TC, 93 Lincoln TC, 87 560 SEL, 87 300 SDL, 80 300D, 89 560 SEC
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  #5  
Old 11-14-2001, 06:59 AM
LarryBible
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deeph8,

This is not the first time this debate has come up here.

I have owned 4 240D's, a 300TD turbo, and a non turbo 300D. I do all my own work, I just got through stripping the 300D non turbo to the bare block, boring and putting in new pistons. I have done a similar job to a 240D and can probably do the same work on a 240D in about 2/3 the time it takes on a 300D.

You are really onto something by recognizing that all the gadgets on the 300D's are sources of problems that are a pain and an expense to fix.

I prefer to drive a manual transmission, and detest driving or working on ANYTHING with an automatic. That's just me and my personal likes/dislikes. I'm not throwing rocks at those who like their automatics. That said, I never found ANY of my 240D's to be totally objectionable as far as power goes. They were ALL manual transmissions. I wouldn't buy an automatic 240D on a bet, now that would really be something slow.

As far as working on them, although the engines are basically the same except for a difference of one identical cylinder, I find the five cylinders to be a real pain compared to the four. That is not only because of the cramped engine compartment of the five cylinder car, but also because of the electric gadgets and doodad's.

I learned as a child how to crank the windows up and down without a button. I also learned, even with my limited intelligence, that if I was cold I should turn up the temperature, and if I was hot, I should turn down the temperature. When I became an adult I learned how much of a pain in the A$$ keeping gadgets like climate controls, electric windows and electric sunroofs working properly can be.

Again, I'm not in any way belittling anyone else for their likes/dislikes, but for me, I wouldn't trade one manual transmission 240D in good condition for three 300D's, turbo or non turbo, if I were the one driving AND maintaining them. The 240D has the simplicity of a Model A.

Good luck with your decision.

My $0.02,
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  #6  
Old 11-14-2001, 09:13 AM
Bill_Greenwood
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My experience with MB's diesels is currently limited to an '81 240D, although I have owned several VW diesels (turbo & non-turbo). There's no doubt much power to be gained from another cylinder and a turbo, but the 240D is not a tire-burner.

Having just sold a "rusty, but trusty" '76 BMW 2002 to purchase the '81 240D, I'm more than thrilled with the 240D. The vehicles are similar in that they're both bare bones manual everything, but the Bimmer would accelerate like crazy. I live in a rather flat part of Southern Illinois, but I've adapted to allowing time for acceleration.

Why just last night while travelling to my daughter's first ever grade school basketball game, my wife yelled that there was a deer on the shoulder. Then she yelled again, concerned that I was not slowing down. I told her I was facing the dilemma of which is worse: hitting the deer or losing momentum to get up the rise in the road ahead

I'm quite content with the 240D for myself. But when it comes to replacing the tired old Caravan, I believe I'll scour around for a 300TD automatic for the wife and kids to drive to school.
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  #7  
Old 11-14-2001, 10:56 AM
LarryBible
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Bill,

LOL! I understand perfectly, I have done all sorts of things in a diesel Benz to keep up my speed that most drivers would never consider.

Thanks for the laugh!

Have a great day,
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  #8  
Old 11-14-2001, 11:36 AM
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Location: Plano, TX
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Hey Larry -

Don't you mean that repairing the 240D would require 4/5ths the time of the 300D?
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  #9  
Old 11-14-2001, 02:39 PM
LarryBible
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jcyuhn,

I had to think about that one for a little bit before I enjoyed the chuckle. I understand your logic, but I'll stand by the 66%.

Have a great day,
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2001, 09:25 PM
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Location: oregon
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I am a bigamist, as I love both my manual 240 and my automatic SD. My son calls "Pearl" my 240 a racing tractor.......
William Rogers...
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  #11  
Old 11-14-2001, 11:48 PM
Steve019
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I like the auto locks and windows. I haul my daughter and friends around. I can lock all the doors at once. I can also roll up all the windows after I drop everyone off. My 76 300d non turbo goes quite well off the light and I can get to 40-45 with traffic no problem. One thing about a diesel It helps to floor it off the line.
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2001, 11:52 PM
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Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
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I prefer auto locks and windows myself. Can you get them on a 240D? What year? I've only seen them manual before in a 82.

Thanks much.

-m
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Now:
2018 Tesla Model X
1999 S500 Grand Edition 164k
1992 300D 2.5 Turbo 287k
2005 E320 4MATIC wagon
1991 Alfa Romeo 164L 99k (sleeping for a while)

Then: 96 Lincoln TC, 93 Lincoln TC, 87 560 SEL, 87 300 SDL, 80 300D, 89 560 SEC
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  #13  
Old 11-15-2001, 12:17 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 218
I'm on my 4th 300 Diesel. All the luxury items can mean trouble, but in all of it, if you get the service manuals, they are worth it. It has the "Benz" feel when you push a button and get that response. I had a great amount of frustration with the climate control in my first two cars. But I got the diagrams and traced it down. Not too much money...GREAT deal of satisfaction when I dialed in the temp and it all worked. I've never had a window problem that wasn't a dirty switch. Perhaps I've been lucky, but then again I love to spend Saturday afternoon at a good "U-pull-it" yard and get extra parts.
Good luck with either car. There is nothing like the feeling of riding behind the "star"!
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  #14  
Old 11-15-2001, 07:23 AM
LarryBible
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"Automatic Locks" as you call them are on EVERY 123 car even if it is a lowly 240D.

The gadgets are nice as long as they're working. They're a pain in the A$$ when they're not. The KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid) definitely applies with automotive gadgets.

The most basic of US 240D's include Air Conditioning, Power Steering, Power Brakes and Automatic Locks as standard equipment. What else does anyone need? Rolling up your own window, or manually closing your own sunroof won't break your arm. On the other hand, you probably CAN break your arm while replacing one of those electric window risers.

The most horrifying of the 300D gadgets is the Climate Control. Are any of us really so lazy that we can't turn a knob to make us warmer or colder? There is no question about whether or not the Climate Control will cause trouble for you, the only question is; when will it cause trouble for you.

My $0.02,
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  #15  
Old 11-15-2001, 09:37 AM
Steve019
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I agree on the climate control thing but after putting 40k per year on company cars I found the electric windows to be an asset. Ever try to get a bee out of the car at 75 mph? With the proper manipulation of the window switches you can create a vortex and suck him right out! Try doing that with manual windows. Maybe I spent to much time on the highway.

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