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  #1  
Old 04-24-2010, 12:16 AM
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Location: Kona, Hi
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Considering purchase of 87 300SDL

I found what I think is a very clean 300SDL.

With respect to its age, I give it a 9 out of 10 for appearance and ride.
The interior is decent. dash has a goofy plastic cover, wood is decent, drivers side door panels should be replaced or recovered, but they arent hateful.

Ride is good, brakes are awesome. Power is less than the 87 300TD I am driving. There is an intermittent shimmy felt in the wheel that could be related to the front right tire showing cupping.

The climate control and left rear window do not work. I checked the fuse box and found #16 missing. (blower fan). But what scares me is I also found the lower portion of the fuse port to be melted and have metal missing.

I took a spare fuse, stuck it in the hole and bent the spring/holder/connector slightly to make contact given the lower position. With the fan ON I fiddled with it until I made connection. It worked for a short period until the fuse blew.

Question: Is this a known issue, is the lower portion of the fuse port on the fuse box repairable?

side note: It seemed to be blowing cold air, (Granted its not warm here right now).

Any known issues with the '87 300SDL ? Should I stay away? I'd like to get back to the seller tomorrow, but was hoping to get insight from the forum.

Thanks in advance to anyone that can help.

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Considering purchase of 87 300SDL-dscn4526_300sdl_600.jpg   Considering purchase of 87 300SDL-dscn4525_300sdl_front-right_600.jpg  
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83 300TD (need rear wiper assembly dead or alive)
84 300SD Daily driver
85 300TD almost 400k miles and driven daily.
98 E300D *sold
86 300SDL *sold and made flawless 10 hour journey to new home.
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:50 AM
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I'm surprised... VERY surprised... that the blower is still fused through the fuse box on an 87. That's a known problem, melting fuses. For a short time the fix was higher amperage fuses, but we all know how that ends.

The correct repair is an external fuse holder. The blower should be powered by a 30 amp strip fuse, encased in a plastic fuse holder, mounted *externally* -- not in the fuse box whatsoever. The holder is screwed to a metal bracket somewhere up near the fuse box but not within it. Not sure where the wiring comes from.
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"What could possibly go wrong?"

~Michael S.~ -
1986 M-B 300SDL, retired due to rust and electrical problems. Donated engine to:
1987 M-B 300SDL, odo dead. New project.
1982 M-B 240D, odo stopped at 308,000
1982 M-B 300SD, 175,000
1989 Dodge Ramcharger, 87,000 - 4wd, 318
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:52 AM
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The 300SDL is generally reliable. The engine is known to crack its original #14 head at the drop of a hat -- overheat it even just once and usually you've toasted the silly thing. If this has already happened, various symptoms appear which have been discussed in numerous places. That's about the only thing I know of that's model-specific to look out for.

I can't keep window regulators in mine. It bends at least one per year if I'm lucky. Same story with the sunroof. But the S-class is really nice when it's working, and you'd have to put up with that kind of thing on other vehicles as well.

If it's sluggish on acceleration, after you've changed both fuel filters, then there's an atmospheric regulation component (ALDA) that can be removed for better performance with no known consequence. Also detailed in threads.
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"What could possibly go wrong?"

~Michael S.~ -
1986 M-B 300SDL, retired due to rust and electrical problems. Donated engine to:
1987 M-B 300SDL, odo dead. New project.
1982 M-B 240D, odo stopped at 308,000
1982 M-B 300SD, 175,000
1989 Dodge Ramcharger, 87,000 - 4wd, 318
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  #4  
Old 04-24-2010, 12:47 PM
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Thanks Michael.
I am very interested in this car and may move ahead.
I am glad to hear there is a known issue, so documentation should be out there. I might be able to remove or cut the circuit to the fuse in question and then add an external fuse. Perhaps just install a circuit breaker.

It seems common on most of the old benz's here to suffer window regulator issues. Once I learn to remove the door panel and get at the parts to swap, no problem, I dont mind. Same with the sunroof.

Anyone know of a nice darkblue drivers seat and drivers door panels ? I will need those if I buy this car. I think the Original owner ( a family member is selling it) was a BIG dude. The seat feels flattened.

The #14 you mention with regard to the head....is this a casting number? I will read more about all of this.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.
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83 300TD (need rear wiper assembly dead or alive)
84 300SD Daily driver
85 300TD almost 400k miles and driven daily.
98 E300D *sold
86 300SDL *sold and made flawless 10 hour journey to new home.
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  #5  
Old 04-24-2010, 01:16 PM
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Get it.You'll love it.

I have an '87, and it is great, has good power, and gets 23-25 MPG in the DC traffic. Never had a window (except for switches) problem, never had a fan fuse problem and the #14 head is fine - but never over heated. Bought it new and oil comsumpton has remained steady, approx 1/3 qt per 3000 miles. I have about 161,000 miles on it. Oh, at this age, do plan on some AC work.
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Last edited by PaulH; 04-25-2010 at 01:42 AM.
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  #6  
Old 04-24-2010, 02:39 PM
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I believe that front suspension re-build is a common and expensive endeavor. If it has a good tight front-end, good thing.

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