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  #1  
Old 06-13-2016, 02:39 PM
cmac2012's Avatar
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'86 300 SDL on Craigslist

Thinking about getting this car:

1986 Mercedes 300SDL turbo diesel

I hope no one here sees it and buys it ahead of me. The car calls out to me. Somebody convince me I am wrong.

(not sure if this is the ideal forum for the thread, please asvise)

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Old 06-13-2016, 03:58 PM
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Reasonable price for a nice rust free specimen. I'd see what you can find out about the maintenance history. An SDL where maintenance has been deferred can turn into a lot of money in a hurry.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:11 PM
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Excellent call. I'll go have a look see and see what sort of paper trail he has.
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:19 PM
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Run the engine for a few minutes, then shut it off. While standing back a reasonable distance, open the coolant tank cap. If the pressure is waaay excessive, it probably has a cracked cylinder head. Not uncommon on that engine.
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Old 06-13-2016, 11:39 PM
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Good advice. Is that something you might not notice in a test drive?

Brian Carlton used to rave about the engine in the SDL, a six.
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  #6  
Old 06-13-2016, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Good advice. Is that something you might not notice in a test drive?
probably not

It is worth checking to see if it still has the original #14 head though. It may have been replaced by now and its easy to check. Do a quick google search on it and you'll see pictures of where to look for the casting number.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:14 AM
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If when you arrive there and the engine is cold. If the upper rad hose is hard you may have head problems. The head problems these engines are noted for may be a bargaining point. Look at the condition of the engine coolant as well. Actually I probably would take along a cheap kit to test for products of combustion in the coolant on any of the early 603 engined cars. Now with a much newer head perhaps not so critical.

When I buy a used car I size up the seller first. To me it is odd but if I am not fairly comforatable with them I usually do not buy their car.
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2016, 10:59 AM
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We have an '87 SDL, wonderful car but manage your expectations. Depending on where it spent most of its life, rust free is a relative term.

I like it on the highway better than my 123, much smoother ride. Unfortunately, it's currently a project car since we need to replace the entire engine wiring harness (dunno how common this is on similar cars)

I'll echo the other sentiments here. Check if the #14 cast head has been replaced, look at the condition of the coolant in the reservoir, get under the car and open all the doors/trunk to thoroughly look for rust, since I'm usually skeptical of someone who advertises rust free. Chances are you'll probably have to attend to some at some point in the near future.

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