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  #1  
Old 08-01-2013, 11:57 AM
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Is it worth it to get a 1977 300D up to the point where I can drive on roads?

I've been working on fixing up a 77 300D. It's got about 135K miles on it. I got it to the point where it starts fairly easily and the accelerator no longer sticks like it was. Now I'm at the point where it's going to start to cost a bit to replace things. I need new tires, there are multiple rust holes that will need to be dealt with, a seat belt is stuck and won't come out, 2 windows don't open (I'm hoping that's a fuse problem and I already order a new set of fuses), I need to at least test the brakes, and probably a lot more I haven't found yet. I was wondering if you guys thought it was worth it, not just monetarily, but in general, to get this guy up to full working condition. Let me know what you think, thanks!

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  #2  
Old 08-01-2013, 11:59 AM
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what other use would it serve?
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John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2013, 12:02 PM
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Well for the last 10 or so years it's just been sitting around, I guess the other option would just let it sit (maybe sell...?) and buy some used car
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:05 PM
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I also have a slight concern with the lack of airbags... Not sure how big a deal that is...
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:12 PM
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"Just been sitting around" is a cause for concern. Potentially lots of rubber parts you'll need to replace. But, if you love a project, it could be fun. Could get expensive, though.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MrOwl42 View Post
I also have a slight concern with the lack of airbags... Not sure how big a deal that is...
If the 77 is close to the 80s models, I would just use a seat belt & not worry. I've seen them in the yards hit hard and have all doors open and close perfectly. That means the passenger compartment was intact.

Fix or not. From a $$ stand point, it is better to find the best example possible as a starting point. On the other hand, if you'll enjoy the process, get the wrenches out. You can usually buy parts cars cheap & sell what you don't need. You'll have a nice toy in the end - which others will want to buy cheap so plan on keeping it.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MrOwl42 View Post
I need new tires, there are multiple rust holes that will need to be dealt with...
No. It is not worth fixing. This is going to be harsh, but without dumping a ton of money into it it will never be nice. It is not worth fixing a rusty W123 MB. There are still nice, not rusty ones available. Remember that for the rust you can see, there is probably double that amount of hidden rust.

The low miles is a nice feature (assuming the odometer works). You might do well to sell the engine and transmission, and use those funds + some other savings to get a nice car.

If this is a "fun to fiddle" project, set a $$ cap. If you get tires and brakes, those could be moved over to another W123 after you send this one on to a flatter place. Since it's been sitting you'll probably find that ever rubber component (engine mounts, brake flex lines, hoses) is degraded or broken. This model also has the failure prone Chrysler automatic climate control system, and replacement parts for that will exceeded the value of the car.

Sorry for the doom and gloom. I just don't want to see others repeat the mistakes I made

-J
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:25 PM
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None of the W123 had Air Bags. If you are concerned with that safety issue, maybe move up to a W124, W201, second generation W126 (86 - 91).

These are old cars, and will always need something done from time to time. Rust is a killer on the bodies and if you have the time, knowledge etc... or money to have someone do the body work, anything is possible.

Taking these into a shop is a deal killer too, as anything major will soon surpass the value of the vehicle. so we are a DIY group here for the most part.
sounds like the things you listed are just garden variety maintenance issues that all cars have.
most old cars purchased are a lack of deferred maintenance and neglect/abuse from the PO`s, and you are doing the catch up work they didn`t do.

No vehicle is a free ride, new or old.


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  #9  
Old 08-01-2013, 01:53 PM
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Determining the difference in a viable daily driver and a basket case isn't possible without detailed pictures and such. Many folks use these models as daily drivers so those questions shouldn't be an issue. Some folks love them so much they completely restore them to their original glory and drive. Everything on them is repairable, even the rust.

To me, if a car was rusty and had lots of needs (brakes, shocks, tires, steering componets, suspension rubber, all fluids changed, electric windows, a/c, etc) from sitting I would aquire a better conditioned non rusted platform to start from. You can repair all these things yourself if you are reasonably competent, but it will be around $2k in parts plus lots of DIY time. When your done, if the car is rusty the value will be less than $2k. Start with a non rusted platform and the value will be $3-7k after bringing it back up to speed.

The other option is to simply fix what's broke and drive it in the dirt and not worry about anything that doesn't make it unsafe or prevent it from going?
Good luck!
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:07 PM
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Red face

As someone else mentioned, we ideally need more info and/or pics on the car to answer completely. Just saying where you are would be a start. Big difference between a car that has sat for 10 years in the southwest, for example, versus the northeast. Even saying that, next question is sitting where, on asphalt or grass?

That said, I have purchased several old Mercedes that sat for far less time, maybe 4-5 years. I have seen those cars eat $800-1500 in parts within months. Fact is that, excepting cases of chronic illness, loss of driving privileges or an estate issue, good running cars generally don't get left somewhere for 10 years. The car probably had issues when it was parked, so you will be faced with identifying and correcting those before you can address the stuff that is gone from sitting.

If by rusty you mean it has visible rust, then honestly I think you are sunk. These cars rot in visible places last (excepting stone chips that have been left to rust out). Once you have fender rot, etc., you can be guaranteed a good chunk of the underside is soft or gone.

You say it has 135k miles but is that documented or confirmed? The odometers on these old cars commonly break. If it is 135k miles then it would be a shame if it was abandoned and left to rot, but it happens.

It is highly unlikely that you can make it a viable proposition for the long term for less than it would cost to just buy a relatively solid, running example. Don't ask me how many times it took for me to learn that.
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Last edited by Zacharias; 08-01-2013 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:05 PM
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As was said, pictures would be great!

I drive my 78 everyday and have taken a few trips in it....granted it still needs work and the paint isn't the best....but its better then any used car you can buy now...

Regardless of what others say....if you don't sink the money into this....you'll be sinking even more into a used Honda or ford....and how many people do you see driving a vintage Mercedes around....
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrOwl42 View Post
I've been working on fixing up a 77 300D. It's got about 135K miles on it. I got it to the point where it starts fairly easily and the accelerator no longer sticks like it was. Now I'm at the point where it's going to start to cost a bit to replace things. I need new tires, there are multiple rust holes that will need to be dealt with, a seat belt is stuck and won't come out, 2 windows don't open (I'm hoping that's a fuse problem and I already order a new set of fuses), I need to at least test the brakes, and probably a lot more I haven't found yet. I was wondering if you guys thought it was worth it, not just monetarily, but in general, to get this guy up to full working condition. Let me know what you think, thanks!
Well, for me, the rust is a killer.

Years back, I bought a 1959 220S at a very low price because it had had an electrical fire that destroyed the wiring throughout most of the car.

It had belonged to the President of the Chicago Mercedes Club and really looked good. So I rewired the whole thing - redid the wood dashboard, cleaned up the red leather interior and had a nice car for a couple of years.

But it was a Chicago car - and they used a lot of salt in winter there - and I started noticing rust in the doors and rocker panels. So I opened everything up and cleaned out the rust to bare metal. Six months later, it was back - big time - and before long the whole body was rusted to the core and the car unusable.

So, when I see rust ......
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrOwl42 View Post
I've been working on fixing up a 77 300D. It's got about 135K miles on it. I got it to the point where it starts fairly easily and the accelerator no longer sticks like it was. Now I'm at the point where it's going to start to cost a bit to replace things. I need new tires, there are multiple rust holes that will need to be dealt with, a seat belt is stuck and won't come out, 2 windows don't open (I'm hoping that's a fuse problem and I already order a new set of fuses), I need to at least test the brakes, and probably a lot more I haven't found yet. I was wondering if you guys thought it was worth it, not just monetarily, but in general, to get this guy up to full working condition. Let me know what you think, thanks!
As others have mentioned, the rust would relegate it to a parts car, or a gofer type of local hobby-type car. Esp since the rest of the car will need a lot of $$ and labor time poured into it to get it up to snuff as a driver.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:22 PM
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From your description, you mentioned more negatives/problems than positives. At this point, I would say no.

If there is a significant enough reason to fix it, I say go for it. But, "significant" can mean many things.

Better question: what do you plan to do with it? Full restoration most likely will cost a huge amount of money. Daily driver/rolling restoration status, less so. Like somebody said set a budget ceiling for yourself and see if getting the car to where you want it to be, will remain under that budget ceiling.
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  #15  
Old 08-01-2013, 08:37 PM
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To answer some of your questions, it has been sitting on asphalt in New York weather (Close to the city). It was previously my great grandfathers in Connecticut, then given to my parents, so I have some family that would like to see this guy up and running, myself included. I have no way of knowing whether or not the odometer is working. I know the rust is gonna be rough, I've got an uncle and some other family that have experience with fixing up old cars, and have offered their assistance with body work and anything else I may need. A lot of the rubber is cracked and will likely need to be replaced. I have no plans at the moment for a "full" restoration. I just want it good enough to drive me around locally, safely. Here are some pictures as requested, really hoping you guys can help me out. Let's see what you think!
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Is it worth it to get a 1977 300D up to the point where I can drive on roads?-imag0199.jpg   Is it worth it to get a 1977 300D up to the point where I can drive on roads?-imag0198.jpg   Is it worth it to get a 1977 300D up to the point where I can drive on roads?-imag0202.jpg   Is it worth it to get a 1977 300D up to the point where I can drive on roads?-imag0201.jpg   Is it worth it to get a 1977 300D up to the point where I can drive on roads?-imag0200.jpg  


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