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  #1  
Old 06-15-2015, 02:21 PM
Diesel forever
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 291
W123 300TD and Cressida, do I need more?

Hi folks
I recently parted with a nice 96 Ram 2500 with Cummins, barely 60,000 miles. Was going to take it on road trips with slide-in camper but didn't materialize.
I'm left with my 2 cars: 83 300TD and 89 Cressida. I had bought the Cressida 3-4 years ago as a winter car but it's holding up very well, has very little rust and about 120,000 miles on it. I love the fact that both cars are RWD obviously, and both are arguably one of the best models ever made by their marque.

Neither has a working AC and I'm not sure it's worth the trouble and cost to fix it, though summers can get hot for a couple of months up here in Canada.
Part of me yearns to have a newer, SUV-like vehicle for zipping around town, hauling stuff to and from the cottage etc.

But part of me thinks that I can haul a lot with the 300TD, and the Cressida could last me a few more years yet, so maybe I should just keep my money in the bank and drive these cars, which cost me next to nothing to insure, are very well baselined and necessitate little in the way of repair. I'm on early retirement so have no need to commute and put little mileage on my cars annually.

Hopefully I can avoid the siren-song of a newer vehicle, it's kind of nice to have only 2 cars to keep on the road. Though of course there are advantages to a newer car (AC, air bags, fuel economy, confidence in heading out on road trip, etc.).

Thoughts?

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1983 300TD 240K - 1982 240D 215K - 1996 Dodge Cummins 70K
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2015, 02:54 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
dieselarchitect
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 37,823
Why'd you sell the Dodge?
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2015, 03:09 PM
Diesel Preferred
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Charleston SC
Posts: 2,777
No, in your case I would not need more. Put a trailer hitch on the wagon, get a small camper, away you go. There are some good plans online for building your own tear-drop camper, need a utility trailer as the base.
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Respectfully,
/s/
M. Dillon
'87 124.193 (300TD) "White Whale", ~392k miles, 3.5l IP fitted
'95 124.131 (E300) "Sapphire", 380k miles
'73 Balboa 20 "Sanctification"
Charleston SC
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  #4  
Old 06-15-2015, 03:50 PM
Diesel forever
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 291
The Dodge was taking up space in my driveway, and I got tired of nosy neighbours asking "when are you going to take that thing on a trip?". I bought a cottage around the same time as the Dodge and camper 5 years ago, about an hour from town, and I find I'm always up there, and less interested in road trip camping. Dodge was useful for hauling construction materials to cottage (fixerupper) and junk to the dump, but as a truck it was just too much truck for me (1 ton suspension). Young couple who bought it will likely drive it out west for adventure, so that's good. I miss the AC in it though :-(

I thought that Cressida was going to take me through 1-2 winters but it just keeps on ticking and is comfortable to drive, so I hesitate to get rid of it for a newer vehicle, it may have a lot of life left in it (assuming the HG holds, their Achilles' Heel). The Benz is a keeper, my tinkering-utility vehicle. With some Thule roof racks I can haul a lot with it, in and out. I may get a hitch for it as suggested, would be useful to have a little trailer. Thanks.
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1983 300TD 240K - 1982 240D 215K - 1996 Dodge Cummins 70K
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  #5  
Old 06-15-2015, 04:00 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,492
In your case I would also suggest you stay as is. Get a hitch for one of the two and you're good to go. Both are solid reliable cars, and if they are needing as little in maintenance as you are saying I think it would be more fun to put the extra cash elsewhere...
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2003 Volvo V70 5 Speed -scrapped
1997 E290 Turbo Diesel Wagon -traded for above, an amazingly comfortable car to drive, great drivetrain, but the rust, oh my god the rust
1992 BMW 525i -traded in
1990 Silver 300TE -hated the M103
1985 Grey 380SE Diesel Conversion, 2.47 rear end, ABS -Sold, really should have kept this one
1979 Silver 300D "The Silver Slug" -Sold
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  #6  
Old 06-15-2015, 04:28 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 4,075
Damn, only 60,000? Any rust? I would have kept the 12Valve and the 123. Now, just keep the TD. It won't haul what the Ram would but you know that.
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85SD 240K & stopped counting painted, putting bac together. 84SD 180,000. Probably up for sale in the fall 2020 still have it. 85TD beginning to repair to DD status. Waiting on shop to do minor but more than I can do rust.
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  #7  
Old 06-15-2015, 07:08 PM
Diesel forever
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 291
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude99 View Post
In your case I would also suggest you stay as is. Get a hitch for one of the two and you're good to go. Both are solid reliable cars, and if they are needing as little in maintenance as you are saying I think it would be more fun to put the extra cash elsewhere...
Thanks Dude, always nice to hear others support what I've been thinking on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkman View Post
Damn, only 60,000? Any rust? I would have kept the 12Valve and the 123. Now, just keep the TD. It won't haul what the Ram would but you know that.
Well if I had lived in the country I likely WOULD have kept the Dodge but in the city it was just too much truck for what I needed. I had bought it to carry the camper I had bought originally, and with camping out of the equation, it was overkill. THe truck had not been winter-driven by me, but the previous owner (older man) had "taken it out once in a while to recharge the battery" during the winter, enough to expose it to the road salt which then did its job coating the chassis with a nice coat of surface rust. I managed to get it under control with rust-proofing treatments, but it wasn't as pristine underneath as an Arizona truck. Otherwise, it was as clean and tidy as one could expect from a senior-owned truck. Lot of miles left in THAT one!

One thing it did give me a deep respect for was the rock-solid, commercial nature of the Cummins engine. Timing gears instead of chain or belt for example. One tough engine. Too bad the rest of the truck isn't quite at the same level of longevity... W123 Benz has the upper hand on that front, in my opinion.
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1983 300TD 240K - 1982 240D 215K - 1996 Dodge Cummins 70K
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  #8  
Old 06-15-2015, 10:45 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Columbus, OH
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A/c repair can be affordable if you do some looking. Pelican has a new compressor for $300. If you Google the part number, 000-230-47-11, you might some alternatives. You'll also need a new receiver/drier. A Behr one is $25 on Pelican.
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  #9  
Old 06-15-2015, 11:59 PM
Diesel forever
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 291
Quote:
Originally Posted by PARSHOOT1 View Post
A/c repair can be affordable if you do some looking. Pelican has a new compressor for $300. If you Google the part number, 000-230-47-11, you might some alternatives. You'll also need a new receiver/drier. A Behr one is $25 on Pelican.
Thanks. The guy I bought the 300TD from 3 years ago (essentially the original owner, he bought it when the car was 1 year old), the seller told me the AC had worked until the year before so if I'm lucky maybe it just suffered a refrigerant leak. I'll take it to an old mechanic I know who used to do work on my 240D, and if I remember upgraded the AC on it, from the original setup. Worthwhile for me to spend a bit of money on this wagon, and now that I have only 2 vehicles, I can better focus on keeping those 2 running. I always found a third vehicle just made things much more complicated.
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  #10  
Old 06-16-2015, 02:24 AM
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Location: Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,673
On the 300TD, I would suggest converting it to a Sanden compressor and parallel flow condenser if you want and reliability. Rollguy sells a kit with most of what you would need for such a conversion.
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  #11  
Old 06-16-2015, 04:46 PM
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Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,896
AC is often a simple repair. On the used 1982 Dodge Aries I bought years ago, it was simply a bad ground for the AC clutch. My 1984 300D came w/ no refrigerant, and still w/ R-12 fittings (much worse to leave an R-134A system w/ no pressure). I thought, "little to lose" so sucked a vacuum which held, charged 2 cans of Duracool, and hasn't leaked any that I noticed in 3 years and still blows cold. Only problem was I found the temp switch for the radiator fan was erratic so replaced. If the R-4 compressor ever fails, I have a new one I bought for $50 on ebay (not now guys, shop for AC stuff in the winter!).

My wife occasionally pushes the "need an SUV" silliness on me. I wondered who fell for those dumb car ads. When she came to the U.S. in the 1980's, it was "need a Honda Accord". Since the SUV fad has about played out, next will be "need a car with a crazy new color", though "cow-poop brown" will quickly lose its attraction. I had a pickup and will never go back. Our 4 cyl minivan now serves for hauling. With the seats out, I can carry much more volume than a pickup and the load is secure. Our 6 cyl minivan tows our camping trailer fine and has AWD for those icy Tahoe trips. Regardless, it is always nice to have a spare vehicle for those times yours won't start, or you need to work on one and don't enjoy the "must finish tonight so I can drive to work tomorrow" pressure.
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  #12  
Old 06-17-2015, 10:34 AM
Diesel forever
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 291
Thanks for the AC conversion suggestions.

And thanks Bill for the useful post and sharing your thoughts. Good points about advantages of a minivan over a pickup for some uses. And you are right: there is a benefit of having a spare vehicle. Up here in the rust belt, if one wants to preserve a favourite car, it's almost essential to have a second car, winter-beater to sacrifice to the salt gods. That's what the Cressida was going to be for my Benz, but it's proven a solid reliable car and I've been able to keep the rust at bay. A third vehicle (the truck) was just too much for me, it's more comfortable with just 2.
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1983 300TD 240K - 1982 240D 215K - 1996 Dodge Cummins 70K
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  #13  
Old 06-17-2015, 11:11 AM
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Location: Calgary Alberta Canada
Posts: 1,601
Well I think your 2 vechiles would be well worth to keep both. I seem to be in similar circumstances. Previously I used a 300tdt daily for out of town work and also to build a 800 sq foot addition. I preferred the wagon to move the longer length lumber and the hatch back was great. I only used the truck for brick and real heavy materials. I'll be keeping the wife's 210, my 85 silver and of course 300d. Only the 210 has working Ac but rarely do we get to turn it on out west. Keep them enjoy them and keep your eye out for your future vechile bargains can be had!
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  #14  
Old 06-17-2015, 12:20 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: TX
Posts: 3,864
if the cressida is good, then keep it, a HG job on any toyo straight six is easy when compared to benz.

repairing the AC on the cressida is easy too, e.g. removal of evap only requires removal of the glovebox
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  #15  
Old 06-17-2015, 08:09 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: ottawa, ontario, canada
Posts: 256
Start spending on that TD, keep it tip top! I would second the trailer hitch idea, nothing handier then a hitch. But be sure you get a hitch that attaches to more then just the bumper shocks, research the euro hitch for what I mean (it has nice arms into the chassis).
A/c in Canada is a tricky thing, few shops actually know how to do it right (my Dad's SD went through many compressors, court case and all-this was the dealer in Ottawa!). I would strongly suggest you find a well known a/c specialist and have them prepare an estimate first, it could get ugly really quick. There are some essential steps to converting to R134A (the only option up here) that cannot be overlooked for a long lasting system and it takes time to pull a good long vacuum that most shops refuse to do, they like quick and dirty.
I know exactly what you mean with the truck, I had the same machine-it was just too much truck and too tough on road trips suspension wise to be comfortable. I hope you got a nice sum for it, they held value really well.
Greg

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