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Old 08-02-2002, 10:59 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Stony Brook, NY
Posts: 160
Question Considering my 1st diesel with 3 questions

I have looked for a while for a 300E. Found a few that were nice and one I'd have bought but it got sold. Anyway, I am considering a diesel. I have never owned one in my life. I am fairly mechanical and did almost all my own work on my 944 for years. I have found a nice 87 300D with only 140,000 and the asking price is $5950. As a general question, I assume this is not a turbo diesel? I haven't seen it so I don't know.

Now for my 3 questions:
1) does the 300D suffer form the same a/c problms of the 300E? The hard to get to so high labor cost of the condenser? The a/c system is the weakest part of the 300E.

2) Is the oil change and tranny fluid/seal change something I can do myself? and what is the oil capacity?

3) what years were the turbo motors used and is there a website that lists specifications for length? A 300E fits nicely into my garage while the SE and SEL models are a bit long. The SEL at 208" is simply too long and the SE at 202" is a real tight fit. That's why I settle don the 300E at 187-189" I forget which.


Oh, and if any of you care to enlighten me as to your general ownership experience I'd welcome it. My e-mail is

Ron Brooks

Ron Brooks
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Old 08-02-2002, 11:33 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Stony Brook, NY
Posts: 160
Car sold but still appreciate responses

I just got a call from the dealer where I was going at lunch to see the 300D. It got sold this AM. Oh well, time to keep looking.
Ron Brooks
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Old 08-02-2002, 12:01 PM
Registered Diesel Burner
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
The 300D is just a turbodiesel engine in the same chassis as a 300E, so length and width are the same.

The '87 300D has a 6-cylinder 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine.

I don't know for sure but suspect the AC is the same on the two models. My '87 300D had an expensive conversion to R134 just before I bought it. I think the car had developed into a money pit for the previous owner, and he dumped it. The dealer told him he needed a new head - actually it needed one new glow plug for $10. I lucked out......

Oil change is relatively easy. The capacity is about two gallons. The oil filter is a cannister type that is a little messy, but easy to get to. Transmissions are just about the same on the two models as far as the way the fluid and filters are changed.

The '90-'93 300D has a 5-cylinder 2.5-liter turbocharged engine.

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Old 08-03-2002, 06:29 PM
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Ron - my advice is to run, not walk AWAY, from a 124 300D ,or even E for that matter. I am stuck with one purchased used and it has been a money pit. I am sure there are many who would disagree with me. I wanted another D as I have a 75 300D, which has not given me any major problems, other than replacing rubber parts, shocks, etc..

From my experience and others I have heard, the AC evaporator, not condenser, is a big problem with these cars, D or E. They were hung from a sky hook and the car built around it. At least 12 hours shop time and $500 (shop price) for the evap. Then you will probably have to replace the ac manifold ($400-500 shop price + labor) and other ac hoses. These are prices at the shop I frequent. I had the ac manifold and other ac hoses replaced and then found out the evaporator leaked.

Before buying one, have it checked for freon leaks. I would think if the condenser is leaking, it show up in the cabin. Also, original rear thrust/control arms were weak, and probably need replacing. Not expensive items, but adds to overall cost

Some have said that the B2 piston in the tranny should be replaced as it fails and forward gears are gone. I believe these are common to the both 124 and 126, but on the 126, it can be gotten to w/o removing the tranny.

If you can find a 123 300D esepcially 82 or older (believe 82 was last year hand built) in good condition, and mechanic checks out, buy it.

Many consider the 126 to be the last great MB, but I am sure many will debate this. Size and ride wise, there are way above the 124. As for the ac evaporator, I think they have problems too, but not sure. I would consider a 126.

Again, just my thoughts and I am jaded with the experience I have had with my 87 300 D.


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