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  #1  
Old 03-01-2014, 12:58 PM
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Am I wasting my time trying to sell this 1983 300SD?

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/4345983558.html

I paid $2300 for this car 3 years ago, and I have pretty much driven it everyday since then with hardly any problems (injection pump and turbo both had to be replaced), and spent quite a bit of time and money making it nicer, and it is in quite a bit better shape then when I got it.

I have mostly fixed all the problems it had when I got it, but there are a few things that aren't really an option to fix and since I can only have one car,its not really working as a DD anymore.

-it leaks about a quart of oil every 6 weeks (being driven at least 6-7 days a week), which is enough I was asked not to park it in the parking lot at work so i have to leave it on the street.

-The heater blower doesnt work (someone rewired it to a toggle switch before I had it, and I wouldnt even know where to start to fix it)

-The front suspension was in really bad shape when I got it, and I replaced pretty much everything with the best parts I could afford (no URO parts), but I think I didn't spend enough money on it and its still a bit noisy.


The big problem with selling it is that the odometer is broken and it has at least 400k miles on it, and when I tell people that they just say "oh, thanks anyway", and thats it.
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  #2  
Old 03-01-2014, 01:17 PM
Rogviler's Avatar
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Pssh, I'd buy it just for the wheels and be happy to be getting a fairly decent car attached to them. But then I'm a tinkerer. You'll probably run into a lot of people who want YOU to put a couple grand into it so it's perfect and THEN sell it for the same price you're asking. Selling cars sucks. I hope you have good luck with it though.

-Rog
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  #3  
Old 03-01-2014, 01:50 PM
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You might very well be wasting your time selling it at that price. With mileage north of 400k and a oil leak.....it will not appeal to many people....at that mileage number, things just start wearing out...approaching the end of their life....

I would have no issues driving a car with that many miles and the car is in great shape for that many miles...

But a question that needs to be pondered....that most buyers are thinking....why would i pay this much money for a car with over 400k on the clock....when I can get a decent one with a quarter of the miles for the same price....

I would think it would sell for 1500$ but that would mean you would lose money....so you must ask yourself....do I want to keep this for a second car and continue to fix it up....or should I just cut my loses and get rid of it...
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  #4  
Old 03-01-2014, 02:03 PM
Zacharias's Avatar
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Sell the custom stuff separately

My first thought is that you should sell the steering wheel and road wheels separately. EDIT: I guess I am assuming here you have access to the original wheels, if not I guess that was a bit boneheaded to suggest....

A lot of people who are shopping for a diesel won't care about them and given the overall condition of the car, it's sort of like trying to pass off a nice high-end saddle as a bonus for an old, lame horse.

Given the mileage, the blower motor cludge, the leak and the odometer issue, you probably need to expect $1200 on a good day, with our without the Lorinser stuff, and be prepared to hear $500 or $750 as offers.

The stuff you replaced, while pricey bits, isn't unexpected for that mileage. It's normal wear and tear.

You will need to be patient. It usually takes a while to move any car with 400k. Generally I feel that in those cases you either get a wide-eyed novice who knows nothing and just wants a cheap Mercedes, or a well-versed enthusiast who will evaluate the car point by point, as it sits, then make a rational offer on that basis.
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2002 e320 4matic estate│1985 300d│1980 300td
Previous: 1979 & 1982 & 1983 300sd │ 1982 240d

“Let's take a drive into the middle of nowhere with a packet of Marlboro lights and talk about our lives.” ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2014, 03:30 PM
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As a point of comparison from the other side of the country.....yesterday I saw an 83 300SD on the Boston Craigslist, gold on tan, 120k miles, no rust, excellent overall condition, only known problem was an intermittent blower motor. Asking price $1900. I was going to go look at it and probably buy it tomorrow...but it sold yesterday.
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06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 172k mi, DD
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 126k mi, other DD
98 E300 "Murray", Silver, 124k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, son's DD

Twelve other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 236k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2014, 04:35 PM
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Location: Twin Falls, Idaho
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In January I bought 1984 300SD for $1100. The body has 215k, the engine has 130k. By the time I'm done fixing things I will have spent another $1000 or so. I expect it to last another 150k and 8 or 10 years..
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1st MBz: 1982 300SD
2nd MBz: 1987 300SDL
3rd MBz: 1995 S420
4th MBz: 1987 190DT
5th MBz: 1984 300SD w/1983 300DT engine
6th MBz: 1999 C230k I'm 3rd owner, got it w/57,235 miles.
and manages Mom's 2007 R320 CDI
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  #7  
Old 03-01-2014, 04:55 PM
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Location: Wilmington, NC by the Atlantic ocean
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You know how to make a small fortune flipping cars? Start with a large fortune......

Too true. People will not pay what you know the car's worth. They probably should but they won't. You really have three choices:

1) Fix what's wrong and enjoy the car.
2) Take what you can get and call it good.
3) (the best $$-wise) Take the car apart and sell the pieces. It'll be worth WAY more as parts than as a car but taking the ol' girl out of the pool is a tough one to swallow, I know.

I've bought and sold cars as a side money source for years and it took me many years to learn how to make money on the deals. While this may be a great car to own and drive it is not a great car to make money - or even come out even - on. People EXPECT mechanical and cosmetic perfection and won't pay 1$ more for a rebuilt XXX than for a used one as long as it works properly, hence your rebuilt front end adds no value. Should it - probably, but it doesn't. Car buyers, especially American car buyers, are a weird lot.

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But remember that you got a bunch of miles of transportation out of it and THAT has value.

Dan
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2014, 02:25 AM
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Fixing the heater blower and the oil leak would be impossible, so that I will just have to deal with if I keep driving it.

I don't think I would part it out unless it gets hit or has some major mechanical failure that would cost a lot more than just buying a different car to fix, because I would have to have another car to drive first anyway, and I won't be responsible for parting out a car that still works fine.

I do have all the stock parts that I could put back on, but no one even wants to make any offer at all once they hear the mileage, and if I have to keep driving it a long time I would rather drive it the way it is.

I guess the main thing that is sorta frustrating is that I didn't realize I was overpaying by 2-3x when I bought it, because I looked at several others in the same price range and even though the mileage was lower they were all in a lot worse shape.

The other thing that will make keeping it difficult is that diesel w123s and w126s have pretty much disappeared from my area in the last few years. As recently as 3-4 years ago there were still a lot, and now they are gone, and the supply of junkyard parts has far decreased as well. The air cleaner bracket is broken on my car, and even though its a 5 minute job to replace it I can't even find one anymore.
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2014, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83w126 View Post
Fixing the heater blower and the oil leak would be impossible, so that I will just have to deal with if I keep driving it.
Why exactly would those repairs be impossible? Where's the oil leaking from? A rear main seal leak of the minimal severity your describe would be more trouble than it's worth to fix IMO, but certainly not impossible. There are many other places oil can leak from that are easier fixes. As for the blower, someone's already fixed it for you. Their ghetto rig probably just has a loose connection. I'm intimately familiar with this particular quick fix since I've done it to my 300D (Incidentally I live in the ghetto.). It took me about an hour and a half including studying wiring diagrams before and during disassembly. Of course the blower motor itself could be bad, but those aren't particularly difficult to pull in a W123 and a I doubt a 126 is much different.

Quote:
I guess the main thing that is sorta frustrating is that I didn't realize I was overpaying by 2-3x when I bought it, because I looked at several others in the same price range and even though the mileage was lower they were all in a lot worse shape.

The other thing that will make keeping it difficult is that diesel w123s and w126s have pretty much disappeared from my area in the last few years. As recently as 3-4 years ago there were still a lot, and now they are gone, and the supply of junkyard parts has far decreased as well. The air cleaner bracket is broken on my car, and even though its a 5 minute job to replace it I can't even find one anymore.
Overpayment in this case is a bit subjective. Keep in mind the prices quoted here are what knowledgeable Mercedes diesel owners would be willing to pay. I think it's fairly safe to say that most of us are frugal (or just plain cheapskates) and good at seeking out the good deals on models with which we're relatively familiar. Many other used car buyers don't drive as hard of bargains as us, so the price you paid is not completely out of line. Just don't expect to move the car quickly at the price you're asking. If you want it gone sooner, just get more flexible on the price.
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Anyone who thinks a 300D is fast drives too slow.

83 300D Turbo with manual conversion, early W126 vented front rotors and H4 headlights 351,xxx miles
08 Triumph Street Triple 21,xxx miles, lowered 10mm in front, Pirelli Angel GT tires, otherwise stock.
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2014, 08:53 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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I don't understand why fixing the blower and oil leak is impossible. In my experience, any problem is fixable.

It is a big negative for me whenever I look at a car that has an inop odometer. How do you know when to change the oil? I'd repair or replace the odometer so at least it works. Its a nice looking car that someone would by at some price. I agree it would be a good idea to put the stock wheels back on it and sell the fancy ones separately.

And if I am trying to sell a high mileage car I put the miles in the ad so people know what you are selling. You'll get fewer calls but less rejection.

If you need an air filter bracket, I bet if you run a part wanted ad here you can get one.
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2014, 10:30 AM
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For me, it's what's missing in the ad, that people either find out when they call or come see the car. The mileage isn't listed, nor is it disclosed that it's a TMU (true mileage unknown). The car looks great from the pictures, and without the information you've provided it would seem to be a reasonable price. I've always found it's best to fix things that can be fixed, remove as many objections as possible, and then address any potential objection that remains up front in the ad, you'll get fewer inquiries but those you get will be more serious.

Air cleaner bracket is less than 11 bucks. http://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/SuperCat/3337/MBZ_3337_FULINT_pg1.htm#item3

But, it is a bit more than a 5 minute job. I don't know on the 126, but on the 123 you need to remove the oil line to the turbo, so get a gasket for that too ($1.25). It's maybe a 30 minute job, but at least the air cleaner isn't rattling around.
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1983 W123 300TD US spec Turbo engine, with Euro bumpers and manual climate control, and manual transmission.
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2014, 10:38 AM
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wow, that's in great shape... amazing actually... those seats must have been covered from day one... or REALLY well taken care of.

the price you want is not out of line, but you NEED to spend another 100 or so, and fix the odometer... go one step further, and apply for the high mileage badges... MB will send you some REALLY nice badges with certificates and stuff free... the make the high mileage grill REALLY pop out!
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  #13  
Old 03-02-2014, 11:27 AM
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If someone has not mentioned it if you live in a State that is Cold I am guessing Winter is a bad time to sell.
Also what you paid for the Car has no relevance to the potential Buyer.
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2014, 11:49 AM
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Have you tried cleaning the motor top and bottom to find the leak ,2 cans of engine clean at a car wash is worth the time and effort,you can then drive it home and inspect any new oil identifiers.It could be just a simple thick coat of gasket seal to slow the leak ,most cases to do the job right it takes a correct gasket ,oil pan or draintube from the turbo are most common leakers.Your heater is something else ,cant help you their ,southern climate makes it a non subject to fix when I buy a 300d td or cd ,now a/c is a big bonus.
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  #15  
Old 03-02-2014, 12:13 PM
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I have already replaced the oil pan and valve cover gaskets, turbo drain seals, etc. I'm pretty sure its the front and rear main seals that leak, and since I don't have any other way to get to work, fixing those wouldn't really be possible.

I actually have another gauge cluster that I think the odometer works, but I can't figure out how to remove it from the car so thats why I never have tried fixing that. The heater blower is kinda the same thing, I know I will never fix it because I wouldn't even know where to start to try to figure it out.

If all of that stuff was fixed I would just keep it for a while longer, but I don't see that happening.

I know the price I paid for it doesn't mean anything to someone buying it, it seems like a reasonable place to start though since it is actually in much better shape now. No one has even offered less yet though.

I am surprised the air cleaner bracket is that cheap, I had seen them elsewhere for $50, and I usually don't even check peachparts because the prices are rather high on most other stuff.
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