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Old 06-25-2003, 01:44 AM
kashbaugh's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Stone Mountain, Georgia
Posts: 69
newbie help request

Hello All!

I am looking at my first MB diesel purchase and wanted to get some ideas of what I "should" look for. The one I am going to look at Friday is an '85 300TD wagon. According to the seller it has less than 200k miles and "runs fine".

Not that I'm not a trusting guy or anything, but I don't know anything about diesels in particular. Other than obvious things like parts haning or what-have-you, what pointers can I get from all you experts?

Thanks for any help!!!!!


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Old 06-25-2003, 05:53 AM
MS Fowler's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Littlestown PA ( 6 miles south of Gettysburg)
Posts: 2,261
Welcome to the site--I have learned much here--you can, too.
First use the search function--this has been discussed many times. You may have to try several searches until you hit the right wording, but keep at it, the rewards are great.
In a nutshell 123 chasis cars have few problems-- climate control is one, and water leaks/ rust is the other.
The engines/trannys/ overall mechanicals, are BULLETPROOF!
Other items come up because the cars don't die at typical mileages--one of these is the driver's seat. Most cars are long in the junk yards before seats wear out. Not the Mercedes! When you sit in the seat pay attention whether the seat is straight and level. Compare it to the front passenger seat. If there is a difference figure on replacing it, or rebuilding it.
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Old 06-25-2003, 08:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Send me back to Atlanta
Posts: 876
Diesel Mercedes

also the odometer quits and the cruise control usually will not work...but these engines really are great..but welcome to the Mercedes Diesel world.. there is more info on this forum than any manual you can buy..
2000 Ford 7.3 Powerstroke 4x4
2006 Mazda Tribute
1983 Black 300 D (donated to charity)
1993 Teal 300 D (160K) Sold
"I love the smell of burnt diesel fuel in the morning, it smells like ....VICTORY"

Semper Fidelis
USMC 1973-1976
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Old 06-25-2003, 09:10 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 103
Hey guys, does this thing have the self-leveling suspension? If so, someone needs to advise him of how to check it and what the potential repair costs are? I am certainly no expert, but he might want to be careful about this one.

1982 300D
352,000 miles
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Old 06-25-2003, 10:04 AM
Rick Miley's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Land O Lakes, FL
Posts: 3,086
123 yada yada yada self leveling blah blah blah.

Take the car to MBAutowerks for a pre-purchase inspection!!!

Welcome to the Mercedesshop Diesel Discussion forum. This website is sponsored by the owners of MBAutowerks, which is in Atlanta. Take the car there before you buy it and they'll give you the skinny. Many of us around the country wish we had such a good shop so close by. MBAutowerks
Rick Miley
2014 Tesla Model S
2018 Tesla Model 3
2017 Nissan LEAF
Former MB: 99 E300, 86 190E 2.3, 87 300E, 80 240D, 82 204D Euro
Chain Elongation References
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Old 06-25-2003, 10:19 AM
R Leo's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: En te l'eau Rant
Posts: 5,393
Price for 85' 300TD

Ohtooman, unless it's a euro car it most likely has SLS.

How much are they asking for this vehicle?

You should check for the following:
1) Rust under doors and in the floor boards (pull up carpet and look underneath car for rusted out panels)

2) Unusual driveline vibrations under acceleration and at speed (should be rock steady and no buzzing, vibrations or unusual noises)

3) Look for evidence of leaks at the sunroof (if leaking it may be nothing more than a clogged drain but can be much worse- see this: Leaking may not be due to windshield gasket)

4) If you buy it, make sure you get the roof rack cross pieces (replacment cost $200+)

5) Smooth shifting, no flaring or blown shifts

6) No delay shifting into reverse

7) Check for excessive blow-by (do search on this forum for more info on blow-by)

8) Check self-leveling suspension. Do it this way: Find 3-4 'plus-sized' friends. Open the rear hatch, have friends all sit in the rear cargo area. Measure distance from top of rear bumper to ground. Start engine, let run. Now, measure distance from top of rear bumper to ground. Distance should be greater than it was before you started the engine.

9) Inspect rear suspension (shocks and accumulators) components for leaking hydraulic fluid. If there are any leaks come back to this forum and search on "TD Suspension, hydraulic suspension or SLS" or PM me and we'll go from there.

Obviously, there are many other things that you should take into consideration. What I've listed here is the significant things I could quickly think of.

IMHO, the W123 chassis TD has to be one the finest road cars ever built. Mine's absolutely quirky as hell but I love her dearly.

Good luck,
R Leo
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Last edited by R Leo; 06-25-2003 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 06-26-2003, 10:24 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 103
My old mechanic has an 81TD. He has used the thing like a truck for years. His SLS has been shot since he got the beast; he just aimed his headlights lower.

1982 300D
352,000 miles

Last edited by Ohtooman; 06-26-2003 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 06-26-2003, 10:58 PM
kashbaugh's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Stone Mountain, Georgia
Posts: 69
Hello Again, All!

I've learned much from your replies and recommendations. I feel much more confident now about going to look at this car!!!!

To answer R Leo, he is asking $2,000 for it. I don't know how "real" that is, but will know much more after I see it.

Rick, I am also gonna take your advice about MBA. I figure it's much better to pay someone that knows what they're doing than muck it up myself!

Again, thanks for all your help so far. If I buy the thing I'll probably be wearing you out with "how-to" questions!

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Old 06-27-2003, 10:26 PM
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Location: oregon
Posts: 2,013
I think 2K is a give away price for a good 85 TD.......
William Rogers......
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Old 06-27-2003, 10:31 PM
fz500sel's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Venice, FL - "sharktooth capital of the world"
Posts: 712
Kashbaugh, if you get the chance post some pics of your vehicle once you get it.

85 300D 310K (sold)
90 350SDL 184K sold
83 300D 118K (sold)
88 300E 153k (sold)
93 400E 105K (sold)
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