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  #1  
Old 05-04-2018, 09:57 PM
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Thinking of buying 87 300D with #14 head, opinions?

Locally to me there is a 87 300D with a #14 head 262000 miles for sale by the original owner. The car has been well maintained and garage kept it's whole life with a folder full of service history from day 1. Body is solid with no rust issues and the paint shines. Tires are good. Interior is in great shape too. Engine starts immediately when cold, runs smooth, idles nice and shifts good. No signs of major blow by. During my inspection, I noticed it would need a tensioner shock and spring, new struts, ball joints, rear shocks, and pass seat switch. Power antenna and sunroof cable is broken. AC has been converted to 134 by a MB dealer and is blowing warm. Also, I think the dash vac pods need to be changed and the ABS light is on (service order says it needs new front wheel sensors).

So looking for opinions on what you guys would offer on a car in this condition with a #14 head. Owner is asking $4000. Thanks for your inputs.

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Old 05-04-2018, 10:49 PM
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That is a lot for the work that needs to be done. Owner apparently doesn't wrench and is unwilling to pay shop rate. Others will address the head but there are threads where they crap out.
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  #3  
Old 05-04-2018, 11:00 PM
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It needs all that and you're worried about the head? If the head has survived this long, it'll probably go the distance. But you're going to have to get it at a better price.
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Old 05-04-2018, 11:11 PM
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Have a look at the 87 300TD for sale thread in my sig and make me an offer....Mine's in much better shape.
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  #5  
Old 05-04-2018, 11:17 PM
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That car needs 4 grand worth of work, and that's just the "knowns".

The market just isn't there for that car @ 4K as is.

If you can do the work yourself, and remember the compressor ain't cheap, it seems like a good risk at 2 grand.

Regards to the head, if it's still good now, unless you overheat, it should last for a while...... I pulled a good 14 head off my 87 wagon years ago when the headgasket blew (replaced with a 21 head), and had it (14 head) tested. It was good, ended up giving it to a friend for his SDL, and he's still got the head on the car. I bet that head has over 250K on it now.

Jim
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  #6  
Old 05-04-2018, 11:51 PM
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$4K is way too much money for a "project". Runs and drives is nice, needs all the creature comforts and pretty much a suspension rebuild? Knock off $1500-2000 right off the bat. #14 head drops its value too, but I wouldn't put much concern on it unless it shows the symptoms of cracked head, uses coolant, or has oil in coolant. High miles is another price reducer. Lack of demand is another value reducer in your favor.

Offer $1500 and walk if he turns you down. You have a lot of tedious work to address all the issues you list. If you have more money than time or common sense, it's worth whatever you want to pay for it.
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  #7  
Old 05-05-2018, 09:48 AM
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Go see it in the morning after it's been sitting at least 12 hours. Pop the hood and squeeze the upper radiator hose. Is it compliant or rock hard? Open the coolant cap. Is there a hiss from pressure trapped inside? Look inside the coolant bottle. Is it clean or is there a grayish coating on the inside? Start the engine with the coolant cap off then go look inside the bottle with the engine still cold. Do you notice any vapors rising from the coolant?
https://youtu.be/AHjF1xyZwhI
With the engine still cold after start up, close the coolant cap and wait 30 sec then open it again. Does it open with a hiss?

If you experience any of these symptoms, you have a blown #14 head. I drove my bad #14 head over 50k miles but I planned for it's replacement from day 1 which I'm doing now. It never lost power or compression. I drove it hard every day until the amount if combustion escaping through the coolant bottle got so bad that I could hear it burping every minute.

All #14 heads eventually fail. It's not a matter of if but when. If you drive it hard and plan to replace the head. If you're already experiencing the symptoms I described above, plan to replace it sooner.

Last edited by tjts1; 05-05-2018 at 10:15 AM.
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  #8  
Old 05-05-2018, 10:42 PM
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Thank you for all of the valuable information. The owner is hard set on his 4000 dollar price so, I think I will pass on this one.

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  #9  
Old 05-06-2018, 02:57 AM
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Check in with him monthly so you’re top of mind when $1500 is the best he’ll get for it.

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  #10  
Old 05-06-2018, 11:56 PM
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would an coolant analysis detect lower PH and traces of combustion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
Go see it in the morning after it's been sitting at least 12 hours. Pop the hood and squeeze the upper radiator hose. Is it compliant or rock hard? Open the coolant cap. Is there a hiss from pressure trapped inside? Look inside the coolant bottle. Is it clean or is there a grayish coating on the inside? Start the engine with the coolant cap off then go look inside the bottle with the engine still cold. Do you notice any vapors rising from the coolant?
https://youtu.be/AHjF1xyZwhI
With the engine still cold after start up, close the coolant cap and wait 30 sec then open it again. Does it open with a hiss?

If you experience any of these symptoms, you have a blown #14 head. I drove my bad #14 head over 50k miles but I planned for it's replacement from day 1 which I'm doing now. It never lost power or compression. I drove it hard every day until the amount if combustion escaping through the coolant bottle got so bad that I could hear it burping every minute.

All #14 heads eventually fail. It's not a matter of if but when. If you drive it hard and plan to replace the head. If you're already experiencing the symptoms I described above, plan to replace it sooner.

would an coolant analysis detect lower PH and traces of combustion?
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  #11  
Old 05-07-2018, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rreeuuvveenn View Post
would an coolant analysis detect lower PH and traces of combustion?
I'm not familiar with the technology. When a #14 is bad it's pretty easy to detect with the methods outlined above.
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  #12  
Old 05-07-2018, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimFreeh View Post
That car needs 4 grand worth of work, and that's just the "knowns".

The market just isn't there for that car @ 4K as is.
Thats what I was thinking. That car is maybe worth $4k if the owner fixes all those problems first and then sells it. As-is, I wouldn't pay more than $500 for it assuming the interior is in nice shape and the paint looks good. Sounds like the owner doesn't want to sell.

FWIW I recently sold a '97 E300 with 200k miles, very nice clean interior, shiny paint, ice cold A/C, all electronics work, no CEL, fully refreshed suspension and brakes, for $2700.
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