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  #1  
Old 01-05-2003, 12:38 AM
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87 300D vs 300D 2.5 Turbo...

My father is looking at getting a 300D 2.5 Turbo for himself. Is this car much of an improvement over the 87 300D? They are several thousand dollars more, and I want to know your opinions on whether or not that money is worth it for the newer car (but with less power). Thanks for any thoughts.
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2003, 01:29 AM
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Location: Northern Virginia
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I have a 1987 300D and my brother has a 1992 2.5 300D. So I've driven them both and done some maintenance on both.

They are closely related cars, as you know. There are some tradeoffs to consider of course.

1987 has more power, enough to clearly notice.
1992 will get better fuel mileage.

1987 is set up with a firm suspension.
1992 is set up with more of a "comfort" suspension.
This apparently is mostly due to different shocks/struts.

The 1987 cars will sometimes act "cold-natured" for the first couple of minutes after a cold start. They'll put out some unburned diesel smoke, idle rough. Quickly clears up and smooths out. This happens because the glow plugs turn off when the key is released from the "start" position. Nothing to worry about, but it really freaks out people not used to diesels. I think this is why I got a good deal on the car - the owner probably thought it was oil smoke and the car was about to blow up.
The 1992 cars have a different glow plug and relay that stays on for about a minute after the car has started - this solves the cold-natured issue.

1992 cars have wood trim on the doors.

Original 1987 had R-12 Freon A/C - mine was overhauled and converted to R-134a. The A/C may be a weak point on all the 300-series cars in this date range (say, 1986-1989 to guess).
1992 would probably have R-134a, I can't remember for sure.

I certainly like the power of my 1987 over the 1992. But either car is acceptable to me. If presented with a purchase choice, I'd simply choose the better car (better deal). I don't know of any reason to pay a premium for a 1992, except that it is a few years newer.

There is a potential issue with the early diesel 6-cylinder engines that went into the 1986-87 Mercedes - that of aluminum head cracks. Rather expensive to repair. I don't think that has ever been an issue with the 2.5-liter cars.

I got my 1987 300D for $2500, with 325K miles.
My brother's 1992 cost about $7200, with 200K.
His is in nicer cosmetic shape. Mine is pretty good, but has more interstate rock chips in the paint.

Hope this helps.

Ken300D
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2003, 01:57 AM
turbodiesel
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I also like the "simpler" exterior look of an early 124. A white 300E caught my eye today today and it was quite attractive, I almost liked the 124 body more than my 126.
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2003, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
1992 would probably have R-134a, I can't remember for sure
92 300D has the old R-12(I used to own one)...also I think the 2.5 is a quieter engine than the old 3 liter..more civilized all in all

also most of the 2.5's have tex rather than leather like the 300D...so the interiors of many will look like new at 200K...also most didn't have the headlight washers...but a few DID have dual airbags(which meant that you gave up the glove box) and little things like a different radio and updated interior trim/woodwork

mileage on the 2.5 is incredible though...I used to get 35-36 MPG driving at 75-80 MPH...also since was toward the end of the cycle I think these cars tend to be(if taken care of) pretty bulletproof

Warren
1992 300SD 157K
Columbus Ohio
Attached Thumbnails
87 300D vs 300D 2.5 Turbo...-1992-300sd.jpg  
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2003, 02:28 PM
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I have a 300SDL with the 6 cylinder 603 engine and a 300D 2.5 Turbo with the 5 cylinder 602 engine (603 derrivative). I have found that since the engine bay is much smaller on the 124 body style, the 5 cylinder 2.5 has great room to work on if you are working in the engine compartment. I have seen the 6 cylinder engines in the 124 body style and it seems pretty tight on those.

My recommendation is to get the 2.5 Turbo because of easier serviceablity and plus the performance is incredible with excellent mileage. They are great cars!

Oh, the '92 year on mine does have the R-12 refrigerant.


Herb
'82 240D
'87 300SDL
'92 300D 2.5 Turbo
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  #6  
Old 01-07-2003, 06:06 PM
The Least of These
 
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I think both are fantantic cars. I love my 2.5 and am seldom looking for more speed. Fuel economy is amazing, consistenly between 32 and 35 mpg.

Do the ealier 124s have airbags, ABS and traction control?

I would consider your price range vs. wish list. It is always a balencing act. Either car is great if well cared for by previous owner/s. But, you knew that already... Good luck!
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1996 (W210) E300D 86K - Traded in for a Lexus
1992 (W124) 300D 2.5 Turbo 202K - Sold
1983 (W123) 300D, 146K - Sold
1970 280S, 263K - Sold - Beginning of addiction
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  #7  
Old 01-08-2003, 06:52 PM
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All US model W124's had ABS and at least a driver's airbag. I know that the later model W124's had a more luxurious interior, but if anyone knows of other changes to the chassis besides cosmetics, I'd love to know.
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  #8  
Old 01-08-2003, 07:27 PM
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I'm fairly certain my 300D has MB Tex -- seat cushion pattern is different than the leather on my brother's 300SDL. Can't say for sure, though, since I've not bothered to get the window sticker. Spotless in either case, unlike some of the other stuff.

Cost will depend more on age and milage than trim level or engine -- the 603 isn't as common as the 2.5, but I could easily do without the difference in power in trade for the better milage -- I get 30-32 on the highway, would much rather have 35-36!

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #9  
Old 01-09-2003, 09:07 AM
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Almost all of the 2.5's(including my old one) had Tex...also most are minus the headlight washers...I have never seen a '87 model that did n't have headlight washers
I think the ASD(traction system) was optional on the 2.5(mine didn't have it)
but it took MB a few more years(95?) to get their standard traction system(ETS) to work with the diesels

also the 2.5 will have the updated power seat switches that are smaller and not near as subject to dirt getting behind them and stopping seat operation
2.5 also has the fabric spacers on the inside of the front seats to keep change etc from falling down between the front seats and the console....that used to be a royal pain when I had the 85 SD..never could retrieve the change I dopped between the seats

Warren
1992 300SD 157K
Columbus Ohio
Attached Thumbnails
87 300D vs 300D 2.5 Turbo...-1992-300sd.jpg  
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  #10  
Old 01-09-2003, 02:36 PM
The Least of These
 
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Location: Exton, PA
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Interesting...my 2.5 has leather, ASD and that wonderful power rear window shade. After having this I do not think I will ever be able to own another car without one.
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1996 (W210) E300D 86K - Traded in for a Lexus
1992 (W124) 300D 2.5 Turbo 202K - Sold
1983 (W123) 300D, 146K - Sold
1970 280S, 263K - Sold - Beginning of addiction
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  #11  
Old 01-10-2003, 08:38 PM
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While on the subject of the W124 diesels. What about the 1995 E300 diesels?

This one just showed up..
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=6335&item=1876825366

The seller is getting the VMI and Carfax for me. He told me that he'll get them for me. The mileage is quite astronomical for a 1995.

I'm hoping that with that many miles.. the major stuff has been done.

No burlwood,heated seats, and sunshade. But it's got almost everything else (including the *now* useless factory phone)

I've read about many users having 'expensive' problems with the W210 E300's...
does the W124 E300 N/A Diesel suffer from that 'flap' problem?
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  #12  
Old 01-10-2003, 11:28 PM
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The 95 E300 diesels are smooth but they are SLOW. Probably can run head to head with a W123 300D Turbo.
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  #13  
Old 01-11-2003, 01:38 AM
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While mentioning the 95 E300 is sloooow,

You need to mention the good atributes: Mercedes did an upgrade to the 94-95 W124's. So, you get much better braking, revised HVAC system which is designed for R134a freon, updated looks, wheel, hood etc..
If I were going to buy a diesel now, it would probably be a 95 model unless a real cream puff earlier one arrived.

Michael
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  #14  
Old 01-11-2003, 04:46 PM
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Braking is actually easily upgradable on the early W124's. Actually, early 124's are easily upgraded to look like the new ones. All the parts just swap right in. Now, a 1995 with a turbo 606 would be one nice car.
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  #15  
Old 01-11-2003, 07:04 PM
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Thumbs up 2.5 TURBO!~

I own three 2.5 turbos... they are bulletproof!

the one im selling is listed in the sale section...

if anyone is interested...
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