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  #1  
Old 06-29-2003, 06:18 PM
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1987 300d prospect

I've been keeping an eye out for an early 80's 300D or SD in the classifieds recently but came across this prospect and want to ask for a general opinion.

'87 300D, one owner with all dealer service records. 89,000 miles in mint condition (garaged). I spoke with the owner who said the A/C recently went out and he was having it fixed at a cost of $1000. The asking price seems steep at $9500. It is a metalic taupe color and has the MB Tex beige interior. All the other usual toys.

I haven't personally looked at it but is this the 123 body style or other?

5 or 6 cylinders?

Aluminum heads (trouble issue?)

What is a decent price for something like this?

Any other things to consider as I wasn't originally looking to spend above $5k but will if it is a good dependable investment.

Thanks all!

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  #2  
Old 06-29-2003, 08:03 PM
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pdxman,

This sounds like beautiful car, although the price is a bit steep. It is the 124 not the 123. The 123 ended in '85 and the 124 started in '86. It does have an aluminum head, 6 cylinders and is turbo charged. The 124 has proven to be a very reliable chassis. Many on this page would consider it a bit more difficult to work on and more expensive to maintain than the 123. Additionally, many would consider it a wonderful balance between the more modern conveniences of ABS, airbags etc.. and the economy of a diesel. The '87 happens to be a very fast compared to the earlier 123's and later 124's with turbos, even the 124 normally aspirated 6's.

I would recommend a thorough examination by a MB specialist that would include a compression check, a Carfax report, and a good look at the records. On the records I would look to see regular oil changes with diesel rated oil - no Jiffy lube receipts!! and transmission services among other normal service items.

I spent extra for my 124 when I bought it. But, I new that the owner had every record, it was maintained by a specialist, it was garaged, and was in practically perfect condition. Cars like this are simply worth more. $9500 might be right for this one. My gut tells me somewhere in the mid $7's
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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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  #3  
Old 06-29-2003, 08:52 PM
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Thanks Slowmoe, the gentleman said that the dealership that he purchased it from did all the maintenance except for any recent when he started using a specialist. I would assume that any dealer or specialist on these cars would have detailed records for the sellers records. I am familiar with the dealership and have bought parts for my 240D there. Seem very reasonable, helpful and a class act to boot.

You mention the chassis being very reliable. I have read both positive and negative about this engine's reliability though. any thoughts on this?

I am a DIY'r and ease of repair is an important part. I am looking to get rid of my wifes Acura which is an absolute nightmare to work on for something much easier. As her gasser Acura nears the 170K mile mark, the repair time may become more frequent
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  #4  
Old 06-29-2003, 09:58 PM
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MB Models

http://fly.hiwaay.net/~gbf/mbmodels.html
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  #5  
Old 06-29-2003, 10:17 PM
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If you haven't driven this car yet, then let me give you some advise. Comparing it to your 240 I would say you better hold on, because these cars haul a$$. We also own an '83 TD W123 chassis with the 5 cyl turbo diesel, which is rated at something like 125 HP. My wife drove our '87 TD and the first 3 words out her mouth were "oh my God". These 603 engines are rated at 143 hp and 192 ft lb of torque. Doing 75 mph, you push the accelerator just a bit and within 3-5 seconds you feel the turbo and the car just takes off. Passing somebody on the highway isn't even an issue.
These engine do have alloy heads and over heating is not a good thing.
At 89K that engine isn't even broke in yet. Though sometimes low milage can be a bad thing. It really depends on how the car runs. I think $9500 is a bit much. If he is having the A/C worked then that would be one less expensive headache you wouldn't have to worry about.
Drive it and see what you think. Drive your 240 then drive the 300D, you'll be amazed.
As for ease of maintenance, well there are no valve adjustments required due to hydrualic lifters. The fuel system is self bleeding, so changing fuel filters doesn't require you hand pumping the air out. The only thing that would be a bear to change are the glowplugs. They are all angled towards the back and are located under the intake manifold. I haven't had to replace mine, but it doesn't look fun. The engine has 1 surpitine belt to run everything. The hood engines are better in that to open the hood straight up, the mechanism is easier to use than on the W123 chassis.
Look the car over and decide if you would be comfortable working on it.
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  #6  
Old 06-29-2003, 10:25 PM
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$9500 is a bit steep, but not if it is in perfect condition.

Typical prices run in the $7000 range, but this is usually with 150,000+ miles by now.

Very nice car, by the way, the best of the W124s in my opinion, since the 87 300D with the 6.3 has about the same performane as a 300E, but gets 30+ mpg rather than 23!

Peter
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  #7  
Old 06-29-2003, 10:26 PM
The Least of These
 
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I think the biggest concerns revolve around head issues as these are often very costly to repair. The 123's with the iron heads and blocks had less issues. Some 124s have problems, most do not. It seems to me that the better the car is maintained, the less problems there are in this area.

Having owned both a 123 and a 124, I would HIGHLY recomend the 124. It is a world of difference on the road and the 123 does not touch it in comfort. You will pay more for it, you will likely have a few more expensive repairs, but it is worth it. By the way, everything I have had to do on my car over the past 70K, I would have needed to do to a 123 as well.
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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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  #8  
Old 06-30-2003, 01:34 AM
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What types of expensive repairs are common?

approx cost of glowplugs and longevity?

Any vacuume pump issues?

The a/c is getting fixed so thats one thing out of the way.

Thanks for all the good info so far!
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  #9  
Old 06-30-2003, 01:46 AM
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pdxman:

This article has some excellent advice.

http://buying.articles.mbz.org/checklists/124/
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  #10  
Old 06-30-2003, 09:04 AM
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Excellent checklist for me to print and take along with me.

Thanks.
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  #11  
Old 06-30-2003, 09:11 AM
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After you drive a 1987 300D you will not want any other diesel. They are fast, smooth, and responsive. Ane 30MPG is not hard to take.

Glow plugs look to be a bear to do but I have 200,000 on mine and they just went bad. I'll get to them in a week or so.

If there are no real problems, offer a lower $ and negotiate for a fair price. You won't be sorry.

Joe
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  #12  
Old 06-30-2003, 09:34 AM
The Least of These
 
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pdxman,

The vacuum pump was done on mine before I bought it. Although, I have the 2.5T. I do not know if these are an issue on the 3.0's.

I can't really say that any one repair has been expensive. But, they do add up. So far, this is what I have done over the past 70K:

4 tires
4 brakes
4 rotors
radiator, hoses, thermastat
shut off valve
trans cooler lines
vacuum pump for door locks
drivers door vacuum modulator
fan clutch, fan, serpentine belt, tensioner
tie rods
ball joints
front inner and outer sway bar bushings
front and rear shocks/struts
battery
multiple fluid changes

Total spent is $3,362.00.

I have done most of the work myself with the help of this page and my father-in-law who is not a mechanic. A lot of this I expect would need to be done to a 123 over the same miles. This is why I would opt for the refinement of the 124.
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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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  #13  
Old 06-30-2003, 09:35 AM
The Least of These
 
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oh ya, my glow plugs have are origional and I am pushing 200K
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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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  #14  
Old 06-30-2003, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jfikentscher
After you drive a 1987 300D you will not want any other diesel.
This kind of thing gives me a giggle every time I see it. My 1999 E300 TurboDiesel is not too shabby.
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  #15  
Old 06-30-2003, 05:02 PM
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I would love to have a 1999 diesel. I was trying to compare a 123 to a 124. I'm sorry if I offended anyone it was not my intention. My son has a 123 and hre loves it. I however would take a 124 over it if I had the choice.

Joe.

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1987 300TD 440K - My car
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 107K - Tim's car
2000 - CLK320 100K - Deb's car
1994 C230 150K - Josh's Car
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