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  #1  
Old 01-16-2020, 08:51 AM
Joe
 
Join Date: May 2019
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Will Mercedes Diesels Be Forced to Disappear?

I asked a variant of this question about a year ago, but recent events have me wanting to take an informal poll as it were once again, and impose on the membership here. Like the rest of the members of this forum, I am attached to early Mercedes vehicles, and sought long and hard to find my perfect diesel, a 1982 300D purchased new and driven by the proverbial little old lady. With only 170K on the clock, it did have engine and transmission problems, but I stuck with it and it runs beautifully now...lots of power, smooth, great handling and smooth ride. As an engineer, I appreciated the technology and thermodynamic efficiency of a diesel...and the lack of a computer that could leave me stranded one day. However, after the VW 'dieselgate' fiasco, the emphasis on electric cars, and the banning in some European cities of IC vehicles in general, I foresee that day when our 'dirty diesels' will be derided and possibly banned or heavily taxed here in the U.S. I see fewer and fewer W123s and W126s on the road these days...maybe five a year in the Northeast. Does anyone here think the alt left legislatures might add our cars to the plastic bag bans now sweeping everywhere? Everything is Tesla and other electrics, which of course still rely predominantly on fossil fuel electric generation, and which took a lot of energy and resources to manufacture in the first place, while the carbon footprint of our cars' manufacture was left more than 40 years ago...I doubt a Tesla today will be on the road in 40 years...

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  #2  
Old 01-16-2020, 10:02 AM
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Will Mercedes Diesels be forced to disappear

Only IF WE LET THEM! If we try to equate the VW scandle to our situation, we are comparing apples to oranges. VW tried to game the system of environmental constraints and lost, BIG TIME. You gotta play by the rules. That being said, we can shape future legislation regarding our cars by writing and calling our congressmen. They aren't the boogeyman writing the goofy laws but they are the ones permiting those goofy laws to become actual requirements.
Occasionally, it's best to try and understand why anyone would want to do away with our cars in favor of electric cars. Electric appear cleaner and are quieter (I've ridden in Tesla and was impressed). Unfortunately, the economics they now enjoy will soon come to a screeching halt as road taxes are applied to their charging stations. Also remember how that electric power is produced and distributed to that charging station. Coal, fuel oil, natural gas....? What is the efficiency of that conversion all the way to the charging station?
Being an engineer myself, here is our daily quiz question:
If we replace the consumption of 8 million barrels/day of gasoline @ 110,000 BTU/gallon with electric, what is the required electric power production?
I think you will see, the requirement for new power plant construction is challenging to say the least, the biggest hurdle being the greenies who brought you the electric car phenomenon.
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2020, 11:11 AM
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They don't need to be banned to come off the road. They will be gone through attrition. I have a 78Z car. 35 years ago, they were plentiful. 20 years ago they were still available in the yards. 10 years ago the message boards were thriving. I haven't seen one on the road as a daily driver in years although I'm working on getting mine back.

The same with 1st & 2nd gen Dodge Cummins. 1st gen is almost gone. We know everything needed about the 2nd gen and parts are plentiful. The message boards are shrinking and the trucks will be mostly off road in another 10 years.

At least the engines with the mechanical Injection pump "can" be made to run even if commercial fuel becomes unavailable. There are lots of big trucks running diesel so I doubt that will happen soon. Technology isn't there yet.
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2020, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PreferVintage View Post
Will Mercedes Diesels Be Forced to Disappear?
I hope so, unfortunately it'll take a while. If old Benz diesels get banned so will a lot of other heavy duty diesel engines as well which are the main source if particulate pollution in urban areas. Do you know anyone with Asthma or lung cancer?
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  #5  
Old 01-16-2020, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkman View Post
They don't need to be banned to come off the road. They will be gone through attrition. I have a 78Z car. 35 years ago, they were plentiful. 20 years ago they were still available in the yards. 10 years ago the message boards were thriving. I haven't seen one on the road as a daily driver in years although I'm working on getting mine back.
This is the correct answer. W123s will not need to be banned from the roads for the same reason that Model Ts, despite having nothing resembling modern safety standards, need to be banned from the roads. Already, W123s, although representing a disproportionate share of the remaining cars in operation from their era of production, are a vanishingly small portion of the overall vehicle fleet.

I think we may see a point where fossil fuels in general are are taxed at a level that it makes it unappealing for most drivers to use IC vehicles. There may also be more cities adopting city-wide bans on IC vehicles (although I find this to be an unlikely probability in most US cities, with their pitiful public transit infrastructure). But either of those developments are going to be a general trends, not something targeted at vintage MB.
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2020, 01:21 PM
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Well, once the NLA parts start to wear out or fail beyond repair so that you'll be left without, say, an operating VCV resulting in rought shifts, how much longer are you going to want to drive it unless you're able to reverse engineer and fabricate something that will perform that function?
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  #7  
Old 01-16-2020, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDBCB20 View Post
Well, once the NLA parts start to wear out or fail beyond repair so that you'll be left without, say, an operating VCV resulting in rought shifts, how much longer are you going to want to drive it unless you're able to reverse engineer and fabricate something that will perform that function?
I need to re fabricate some parts already as it is NLA.
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2020, 03:15 PM
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They will disappear from lack of repair parts long before they disappear from any political intervention. Or, from shortage of fuel at reasonable cost. The old ones really didn't get that great of MPG. Today you can get turbo gasoline vehicles that get 35mpg and make 300+ hp.....

And while the old cars may not have computers to break, plenty of other stuff did, like climate control, relays, wiper motor mechanisms, and RUST.

I almost never see MB's around here earlier than W203/W210/W140/W124. Very rarely I see a W123 or W126. Plenty of R107's though.
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2020, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawoSD View Post
They will disappear from lack of repair parts long before they disappear from any political intervention. Or, from shortage of fuel at reasonable cost. The old ones really didn't get that great of MPG. Today you can get turbo gasoline vehicles that get 35mpg and make 300+ hp.....

And while the old cars may not have computers to break, plenty of other stuff did, like climate control, relays, wiper motor mechanisms, and RUST.

I almost never see MB's around here earlier than W203/W210/W140/W124. Very rarely I see a W123 or W126. Plenty of R107's though.
True, MPG is obsolete unless you run renewables. But you can still get a refurb w126 CCU for $130. relays are consumables, 126 wiper motor mechanisms last for ever if people would only bother lubricating them and replace the rubber seals.\ Rust can be kept at bay if you stay on top of integrity of protective coatings.
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  #10  
Old 01-16-2020, 09:00 PM
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Question Will ICE's Die Out ?

Yes, of course ~ the instant they crack the battery nut so you can drive 12 hours without needing to stop and re charge, all Internal Combustion Engines will be obsolete because no one will want to buy them anymore .

Don't worry, we'll all be long dead and gone when that occurs .
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  #11  
Old 01-16-2020, 10:07 PM
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I have a problem with silent cars. Odd objection as overly noisy cars are a real pain. A week ago I had my second near miss with silent car mayhem. One of my clients has a Tesla. It was in his driveway, he had just gotten in, I didn't realize he was going to pull out immediately but he did. I had just walked through the opening between the car and one side of the brick wall that abuts either side of the driveway. Came way too close to the car crushing my leg as the side I walked past was maybe 6 inches from the edge of the gate.

Odd way to park but it makes sense if you see the layout. I'm conditioned, like most all of us, to be notified the car could move by the sound of the engine starting up.

No one is going to want some automatic beep-beep whenever the car is about to move from a stop. Or some recording piped out for all to hear whenever the car is moving. I don't know what the answer is.
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  #12  
Old 01-17-2020, 12:07 AM
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There was a Ford parts supplier in San Jose California that went out of business around 1994. They were the largest supplier of Model T and Model A parts in the world. They literally took up an entire city block with their three warehouses, mostly with NOS parts. You could build a car entirely from spare parts they sold. It finally came down to the fact that there were no more people interested in NOS parts for these cars. If people wanted a Model A, they already had one. It wasn't that parts were no longer available, nobody wanted them. At the very end, they literally had to dump crates of parts, you could go over and take a crate home for free.

Things change and time moves on. 50 years from now people will only be interested in the super classic cars like an SSK or a Gullwing. Our little diesels will die off not because we can't buy parts for them, but because nobody wants to buy parts for them.
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  #13  
Old 01-17-2020, 12:48 AM
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100% agree that attrition and lack of need for parts will kill them rather than legislation. I hope that better public transit solutions would replace these old cars through high taxes on fuel rather than less-sustainable newer cars, but I'm probably the minority here on that end and in the rest of America. Look at the fires in Australia now and the receding ice in the arctic - the science is overwhelming. The US government banning old diesels seems a bit preposterous and not very concerning in the bigger picture.

But, I find it delightful to spend time tinkering with archaic machinery - in all of the bleakness, it gives me a smile, revealing how trivial yet satisfying it is to get a heater blower spinning again.

My future kids and later generations probably won't give a damn about my 300D, but I'm A-OK with that. It's of my time and times-passed.

-Henry
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  #14  
Old 01-17-2020, 08:47 AM
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I can see a ban in larger cities. Still, if there are no smog checks, whos to say newer vehicles polluted less? I still see a few other than mine on the road, W123s. Its winter so some pull their cars off the road. I see more W123s than say Ford Contours etc. The only other vehicle I see a bunch of from say the 80s and 90s is Jeep Cherokees. Those are in a split category. Rough use and soccer moms. I have three presently. Two of them running. Also a Comanche, not running. Also, people basically rebuild them. They are not high dollar, so people use them. How many of the old 911s do you see? I bet a bunch of them are hanging out in the garage, when the prices skyrocketed.
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  #15  
Old 01-17-2020, 10:15 AM
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I think they're already mostly gone. Driven to death and gone. The newer models will disappear even faster, due to the complexities of maintaining the electronics and sunset on parts availability. They are too road worn and ugly to become treasured classics, too underpowered to be preserved as sexy sports cars, and generally not of interest as road cars after the first 400K miles or so. Gone.

If anything hastens their departure, it will be the incorrigible habit of diesel owners to rip out EGR equipment. If any attention is directed against that, 3/4 of the remaining cars would be scrapped. Try to remember that it's a car, not a political statement.

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