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  #1  
Old 09-20-2010, 08:33 PM
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opinions/advice/$0.02 wanted

Well I have some questions about finding the "right" MB diesel for me. I have already owned 3 and liked all of them. However I am a high school student who drives A LOT, and now I am looking at a job that is 20-30min away and plan to start driving more for that. I'm still upset with myself for having "tdi thoughts" and am hoping that you guys can give some advice that keeps me in a MB diesel. Oh and no I am not a honda kind of person so dont suggest it
So here are my thoughts on what I have owned:

1980 300sd
- RPM's were to high for me and the climate control system was a nightmare. I loved the car but it just didn't suite my application well.
1983 300sd- Personally love the car but if I drive nice I am only yielding 25mpg, and that's good for the car but im looking for higher. Otherwise the car has been one of my favorites.
1992 300d- Never got to drive the car without leaking delivery valve seals and its almost finished so I will have a better perspective soon. But the car I hear will get somewhere between 30mpg and 35mpg. The car is in overall awsome shape.

My thoughts on what would be better
Im looking at a 1998 e300 for $4999 in a few days and it looks very nice, and I hear they yield similar mpg's to my 1992 300d.
I have also considered the 190d, but I fear that I loose the luxury and big size of the typical benz with this car. However it does yield mpg's closer to 40mpg, and a 5speed is an option!!

So my question is will my 1992 be fine for what I am using it for and i should just keep what I have? Or is there something else out there that would be "better" for me? sorry for being long winded, Im just trying to get rid of my TDI thoughts

PS: not that theres anything wrong with tdi's i just like MB's better

Thanks for any input,
Zach
__________________
__________________________________________
1987 300D(Erma)- #14 head, 193k
2003 TDI Beetle sold
1985 300sd sold
1987 300D(Ursala)- #14 head, 157k when sold
1987 300D(Wilbur)- #14head, 356,000+miles, sold after 7 days of owning it.
1992mercedes 300d- totaled and in a junk yard somewhere..
1983 mercedes 300sd- scrapped
1980 mercedes 300sd first mercedes diesel-sold
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2010, 08:45 PM
vstech's Avatar
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Location: Mount Holly, NC
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there is EVERYTHING wrong with a TDI. if you think delivery valve seals are a pain wait until you have to change the timing belt every 60K with special tools etc... CHAINS are the only way for a diesel to time!
anyway. I'd shy away from a 98 personally.
I think the 124 series is the pinnacle.
the 95 E300D is a decent 40MPG vehicle but it's a tad underpowered. the 86-88 with the 603 is a very spirited vehicle, and some serious hunting will yield you a wagon if you prefer. mpg from 28-35 is possible. of course you still have the delivery valve issues, and the head is fragile if the cooling system is not kept on top of.
the 92 is an awesome vehicle if all the vacuum lines are perfect and the IP is tight. I fail to see a reason to trade up from that! get it right and keep it spiffy!
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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 09-20-2010, 09:10 PM
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Location: circleville ohio
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thanks for the fast response. Ive been reading about the 1998, and im seeing that the glowplugs seem to be a problem, is there anything else major what makes it so different than the 1992? Also Ive owned two tdi's and the t-belt is quite fun to replace... NOT! I just liked the 5-speed automatic in the 1998 and the more modern feel. Also is there anything wrong with the 190d's??
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__________________________________________
1987 300D(Erma)- #14 head, 193k
2003 TDI Beetle sold
1985 300sd sold
1987 300D(Ursala)- #14 head, 157k when sold
1987 300D(Wilbur)- #14head, 356,000+miles, sold after 7 days of owning it.
1992mercedes 300d- totaled and in a junk yard somewhere..
1983 mercedes 300sd- scrapped
1980 mercedes 300sd first mercedes diesel-sold
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  #4  
Old 09-20-2010, 09:47 PM
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Location: Marietta, GA
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Having just driven a 190D 2.5, I can say that the fit and finish is there...but you are reminded constantly that you are driving a smaller car.
The RPMs at highway speed are kind of high (3000k at 65-70)...at least they were in the '86 I was trying out. The benefit, though, is the 35ish MPGs I was getting. Very M-B, but a "junior" M-B. Engine is basically bullet-proof, but it seems that the W201 series suffers from "3rd owner syndrome". Everything is neglected and you get to pay for it. The good side is that most everything except for engine components are interchangable and even the rear diff can be changed out to lower those revs.
I will still probably buy the '86 I was looking at.
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  #5  
Old 09-20-2010, 11:22 PM
general nuisance
 
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Not trying to start a fight here but my views about the TDI product differ with some of the other posters. There is nothing wrong with a TDI and as a 9 year owner I would say that besides oil changes, fuel filters and one timing belt change my TDI has asked for very little. And at 53 mpg highway I appreciate the car a great deal. And as for a belt change every 60k (or 80k or 100k depending on model) it's really not that much of an inconvenience. Timing the IP post belt install is a breeze with the software.

A lot depends on what your purchase criteria is, but if you want to stay with a MB product that's fine, but you need to identify what your purchase motivation is to begin with and then fit products that meet the criteria established. If you're buying a Benz because it is a Benz then skip the criteria part, you've already made up your mind.

my .02
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92 W140 OM603 Bender
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  #6  
Old 09-21-2010, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Not trying to start a fight here but my views about the TDI product differ with some of the other posters. There is nothing wrong with a TDI and as a 9 year owner I would say that besides oil changes, fuel filters and one timing belt change my TDI has asked for very little. And at 53 mpg highway I appreciate the car a great deal. And as for a belt change every 60k (or 80k or 100k depending on model) it's really not that much of an inconvenience. Timing the IP post belt install is a breeze with the software.

A lot depends on what your purchase criteria is, but if you want to stay with a MB product that's fine, but you need to identify what your purchase motivation is to begin with and then fit products that meet the criteria established. If you're buying a Benz because it is a Benz then skip the criteria part, you've already made up your mind.

my .02
Ive driven the tdi's and changed the timing belt on one, and that is of no concern. My main thinking is that I really like the "power everything" luxury of the MB but I also like the 45-50mpg in the tdi. If I bought a tdi it would be looking for the cheapest one that doesnt need tons of work, and in that case you cant be real picky about leather and all that stuff. Where as in the mb every year pretty much has some form of leather. I guess I will try out the 1992 for awhile and see how it does. However I am still going to look at the 1998 tommorow just for fun since its local.
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__________________________________________
1987 300D(Erma)- #14 head, 193k
2003 TDI Beetle sold
1985 300sd sold
1987 300D(Ursala)- #14 head, 157k when sold
1987 300D(Wilbur)- #14head, 356,000+miles, sold after 7 days of owning it.
1992mercedes 300d- totaled and in a junk yard somewhere..
1983 mercedes 300sd- scrapped
1980 mercedes 300sd first mercedes diesel-sold
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  #7  
Old 09-21-2010, 07:56 AM
JimFreeh's Avatar
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I started going through this decision a few years ago....

At the time I had an 87 300TD, and an 83 300D. Also had an 83 300SD that my daughter drove.

For the record, I've never owned a MB diesel that would consistently get 30mpg or over, and I've owned a quite a few, the lone exception being an 87 190D 2.5 5 speed that would get 33-35mpg.

The mileage kings seem to be the early 4 cylinder 190Ds, and the early 90's 300D.

The W210 diesels are non starters for me because of their excessive quality problems and electrical complexity (and attendent unreliability).

The 2004 and later diesels are very good on mileage, but are quite costly and too complex for me to service (you need a computer to reset the car AFTER you install brake pads????).

VW TDIs are an alternative, but the price on used ones is shocking. And, if you are used to MBs, they are somewhat disappointing re the quality.

My personal solution was to gradually move away from diesel, and I started to replace the fleet with gasser cars. W124 cars from the nineties can approach the diesel fuel mileage, at least over the road, and both diesel and gas cars have known problems, so one no longer trumps the other. Factor in the cost of diesel, and sometimes it's cheaper per mile for gas....

I still love diesels, and enjoy my Dodge-Cummins and my Kubota tractor. In both cases, the gas versions fall way short of the diesel. But for my cars, the economies of a diesel are not really significant anymore.

If and when I decide to amp up mileage as a large part of the operating equation, I'm inclined to buy a new TDI vice a used (complex) MB.... Love driving my bro's 09 Jetta TDI when I'm out in Tucson...

Regards,
Jim
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  #8  
Old 09-21-2010, 09:37 AM
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For fuel mileage, the Tdi. For ride, quality, and general safety, the 124.

I like the Tdi, but really hate FWD. My wife has sworn it off as have I for its poor handling in snow and wet vs a good RWD car. That's probably another discussion entirely, some people are fine with the FWD quirks, I will only drive VW (Audi) cars that say syncro/4motion/quattro somewhere on them, even in the summer.

Other disadvantages to the small car would be interior space and ride, plus the cheap plastic feel of most controls and surfaces. I didn't like it when I had our Jetta, years later when the Mercedes was in for service and I had to drive a Jetta again, I was reminded of how much I disliked the ride and feel of the car.

Between the Mercedes cars, the 201 is the "baby benz". It is a fine car, but a bit small for normal people, especially the back seat. That isn't an issue for some people, and it does drive and handle crisply with good ride quality for its size. My only 201 was a 190D 2.5 Turbo (automatic) which regularly returned mid-upper 30s MPG and occasionally made it into the low 40s when I drove it really nice.

The 124s are my personal favorites, but at close to 2 tons, not the mileage that the 201 returns. Very safe and solid, with the suspension in proper condition rides and handles extremely well. I prefer the lower mileage of the '87 6-cylinder for its additional power, but I agree that the '90s 2.5 is adequate for power and the increased fuel mileage is after all what the diesel platform is all about.

Now read again Jim's posting above. I've had 3 '94/'95 E320s. These are the 124 body with the M104 engine, lots of power and torque, with the 2.65:1 gears of the diesel cars. The mileage is only sliightly less than the 6-cylinder diesel and it has almost an extra 100hp. The fuel cost is similar since it is a premium burner and that's about where diesel prices have been running, but the cost to buy one (since they are so much more plentiful) is much lower.

My reason for owning my current diesel Mercedes is simply because I love diesels. For the money I have in this car, I could have two '95 E320 wagons and the upgraded interiors that came with them.
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  #9  
Old 09-21-2010, 09:57 AM
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Babymog hits it correctly, Diesel is not worth the cost at this time to purchase when many only get mid/high 20s average. Up front cost, maintenance, fuel cost, etc.



If you are a poor high school kid with two vehicles you cannot afford, unload one. Use the profits from one to repair the other as opposed to getting into debt for another 10-15 year old vehicle that requires more labor, money, parts, etc to bring up to snuff.
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'85 300SD 244k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 325k
'91 560SEL 189k

Eight others from IH, BMW, GM, Ford, and Volvo.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty.
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  #10  
Old 09-21-2010, 10:25 AM
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the 92 is already the best commuter vehicle. I have a 90 with the om602 and I drive it 50-200 miles a day and get over 30mpg on average. whats the hang up about the w124? its comfortable, good on fuel, safe, and fun to drive as long as the turbo still works.
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  #11  
Old 09-21-2010, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aka"thedude" View Post
the 92 is already the best commuter vehicle. I have a 90 with the om602 and I drive it 50-200 miles a day and get over 30mpg on average. whats the hang up about the w124? its comfortable, good on fuel, safe, and fun to drive as long as the turbo still works.


My thoughts too. FAR better suspension than the W126, much better AC compressor than the 617 is cursed with, no valves to lash, etc. It actually drives like a modern vehicle.
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'85 300SD 244k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 325k
'91 560SEL 189k

Eight others from IH, BMW, GM, Ford, and Volvo.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty.
[/IMG]
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  #12  
Old 09-21-2010, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hit Man X View Post
My thoughts too. FAR better suspension than the W126, much better AC compressor than the 617 is cursed with, no valves to lash, etc. It actually drives like a modern vehicle.
Agree. w124 cars have a pretty good rep.
Hit Man X has a love for the w201 as well.
I like my 126s though.

I'd feel out that 124 before jumping into another car. I'm not sure what they'll get MPG wise, but 30-35 sounds pretty decent. Just remember it still almost a 20 year old car, your expectations shouldn't be too high for the MPG. Technologies advances and changes..

My sister's G6 (according to the fueleconomy.gov website) gets 23 city, 33 highway.

I think my 3.0L w201 gets around 22 on average.
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82 300SD 145k
82 300SD 265k
87 420SEL 230k
89 420SEL 210k
89 560SEL 118k
90 300SE 262k RIP 5/25/2010
90 560SEL 154k
91 300D 2.5 Turbo. 241k
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  #13  
Old 09-21-2010, 04:17 PM
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Thanks for all the input! I think for now I am just going to see how the 1992 is once we finish it. Ill go from there on what to do. Truly it looks like if I want the higher mpg's out of the mercedes I would have to go to the 190d, but for now im going to stick with roomier and less problamatic.

Quote:
If you are a poor high school kid with two vehicles you cannot afford, unload one. Use the profits from one to repair the other as opposed to getting into debt for another 10-15 year old vehicle that requires more labor, money, parts, etc to bring up to snuff.
I actually laughed out loud when I read this. It sounds like every other kid at my school, indefinitely in debt to their parents. I am on car number 8 and I have purchased all of them except for the very first 1968 beetle which was all rust/not ever drivable and given to me on my 10th birthday. Ive been buying and selling ever since then, and never spend money I don't have. The whole reason im trying to save fuel and what not is so that I have as much as possible in savings when I graduate and go to college. I know it seems crazy, but oh well I love diesels and the looks you get in them, and the "different" factor of them. Otherwise I would be like every other highschool kid with a honda accord or pontiac grand prix.
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__________________________________________
1987 300D(Erma)- #14 head, 193k
2003 TDI Beetle sold
1985 300sd sold
1987 300D(Ursala)- #14 head, 157k when sold
1987 300D(Wilbur)- #14head, 356,000+miles, sold after 7 days of owning it.
1992mercedes 300d- totaled and in a junk yard somewhere..
1983 mercedes 300sd- scrapped
1980 mercedes 300sd first mercedes diesel-sold
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  #14  
Old 09-21-2010, 07:07 PM
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Thumbs up

If you have if figured all out by 18, why are you asking for our input?
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I'm not a doctor, but I'll have a look.

'85 300SD 244k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 325k
'91 560SEL 189k

Eight others from IH, BMW, GM, Ford, and Volvo.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty.
[/IMG]
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  #15  
Old 09-21-2010, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1977busman View Post
Well I have some questions about finding the "right" MB diesel for me. I have already owned 3 and liked all of them. However I am a high school student who drives A LOT, and now I am looking at a job that is 20-30min away and plan to start driving more for that. I'm still upset with myself for having "tdi thoughts" and am hoping that you guys can give some advice that keeps me in a MB diesel. Oh and no I am not a honda kind of person so dont suggest it
So here are my thoughts on what I have owned:

1980 300sd- RPM's were to high for me and the climate control system was a nightmare. I loved the car but it just didn't suite my application well.
1983 300sd- Personally love the car but if I drive nice I am only yielding 25mpg, and that's good for the car but im looking for higher. Otherwise the car has been one of my favorites.
1992 300d- Never got to drive the car without leaking delivery valve seals and its almost finished so I will have a better perspective soon. But the car I hear will get somewhere between 30mpg and 35mpg. The car is in overall awsome shape.

My thoughts on what would be better
Im looking at a 1998 e300 for $4999 in a few days and it looks very nice, and I hear they yield similar mpg's to my 1992 300d.
I have also considered the 190d, but I fear that I loose the luxury and big size of the typical benz with this car. However it does yield mpg's closer to 40mpg, and a 5speed is an option!!

So my question is will my 1992 be fine for what I am using it for and i should just keep what I have? Or is there something else out there that would be "better" for me? sorry for being long winded, Im just trying to get rid of my TDI thoughts

PS: not that theres anything wrong with tdi's i just like MB's better

Thanks for any input,
Zach
Since you're in high school, already own two cars in your sig. area. I don't know that I'd be buying a third Mercedes-Benz. I'd opt for a beater Toyota/Honda, at least until I got out of school (including college/trade school). Having three cars would have to cost you some coin in licensing, insurance, repairs and maintenance I would think....
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