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Old 11-09-2003, 11:49 AM
Posts: n/a
Question 1983 300d vs 1985 300d

No time to reference previous posts......sorry
Anyway, in an hour or so, I am checking out another Black 300d.
The vehicle has 208,000 and is in VERY GOOD SHAPE.
The owner began ASKING $6,300 for the ride about a month ago.
He has learned the deal, as I told him back then....I said that I would NOT pay MORE than $4,000 or so if the vehicle was up to my standards.
He has called my wife back and said that his expectations of $ have been lowered.
Quickly, the differences between the 85 and the 83.....I know of the vacuum stuff above the valve cover etc and the transmission.

What else?
By the way, when I was looking for the 85, I had put a note on this particular 83 way back then and AGAIN a couple of months ago.
This time I received a response, albeit a monthe later.
So lets hear any thoughts.
Thanx, spo.
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Old 11-09-2003, 01:24 PM
The Warden's Avatar
Certified diesel nut
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pacifica (SF Bay Area), CA
Posts: 2,946
The '83 should have a 3.07 rear end, as opposed to the '85, which has a 2.83 or so rear end. This means the '83 will accelerate somewhat faster, but it also means that the '83 wil be turning at a higher RPM on the freeway, and fuel mileage will likely suffer slightly as a result.

That's the biggest difference I can think of...

Hope that helps...good luck!
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Old 11-09-2003, 03:04 PM
Peyton300TD's Avatar
S124 owner
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Marina Del Rey, CA
Posts: 1,059
cosmetic differences

you will notice that the 85 has more plush upholstery. the pleats are more numerous and deeper front and back seats. the 85 will also have a rubberized foam cushion underneat the seat which is more comfortable than the horsehair found in the 83. the carpeting will be finer as well.

the 85 will have a larger courtesy light.

the 85 instrument cluster will have a tach-clock integration, higher mph on the speedometer.

the 83 will probably have chrome air vents on the hood as opposed to the black ones you'd find on an 85.

these are subtle differences but interesting ones nonetheless.
Attached Thumbnails
1983 300d vs 1985 300d-img_2452s.jpg  
1995 E320 Sportline Wagon "Bernard"
black on black leather
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Old 11-09-2003, 05:31 PM
jhal's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Brooksville Fl
Posts: 226
The '85 will also have (like mine) automatic seatbelt pretensioners. If they work, they will provide additional crash protection.
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Old 11-09-2003, 06:19 PM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 12,054
That ain't fair Eric.

Take a close look at ball joints and suspension parts. They can go to that mileage before they need changing. I would try to deal with the dude on the black '85 300D.
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Old 11-10-2003, 03:17 AM
Posts: n/a
Thumbs up Thanx for the info.keeep it comming

Surprisingly, the older car, with the lower ass end, still runs aprox. 72mph at almost sea level at aprox. 3,000 on the tach.........The 85 is 2,900 to 3,000 twixt 70mph and 73mph.
The older vehicle has somewhat HARSHER (tho still SMOOTH) shifting
Interestingly, I seem to prefer (however,& in the contect of digital audio), the older "manual" stereo radio (stereo) seems to function rather well. The 85 FACTORY SYSTEM sound "decent. however, without the led information.............the radio process becomes somewhat frustrating level of distraction).
Nice bodywork! ....however frustrating, you'r Black Wagon is FINE...
Correct on the "velour" carpeting on the tunnel and elsewhere. 2 points.......and again concerning the vent covers in front of the windshield.
Nice dark PIPING on the upholstery...
Jhal, the automatic seatbelt tensioners would be a worthwhile addition on an older chassis.....
While hitting 100...during the test drive on the beltway around the north of Boston, the suspension was TIGHT and SMOOTH.
Needs a set of Michelin X one tires in size 205/70/14.
Also, the shox (while somewhat recent are KYB adjustable units), MAY indeed adjustable.....) These babys ride smooth and tight, however, the rebound ( especially on the rebound) are NOT AS SMOOTH as the BILSTEINS.....oh well, nice on the highway!
Thanx for the info, and please lets keep this thread going for a week or so, as I MAY NEED to spend some money on something OTHER than an 85!!!!......
Spo out.
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Old 11-11-2003, 08:47 PM
Posts: n/a
to the top

lets keep those cards and letters coming folks.........
Anyway, the owner of the 83 and I may strike a deal.
I am paying for a partial PPI at a shop that SHARES building space with the "300sl wizard", Alex Dearborn. For those of 'yall that do NOT know of MR. DEARBORN, just run his name on any search engine.....
Mostly, I am paying to have a PROPER compression test on said vehicle. I have decides that for the purchase, the cylinders must be within 10% of each other AND NO MORE than 20% below the factory compression spec.
Can anyone out in the audience respond as to the CORRECT factory compression on the 1983 300d (turbo) happens to be? I am under the impression that it is somewhere around 390psi or so....
Thanx much and PLEASE lets hear some OTHER thoughts as to the pros and or cons concerning the different years.
One example that I seem to recall had to do with inferior German steel ending spmetime in the early 1980's. True or False???
Best wishes and lets keep those diesels humming!!!
Spo out.
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Old 11-12-2003, 12:04 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 68
i own both a 83 300d and an 85 300d (cal)
i believe the trans in the 85 is different
722.4 vs. the 722.3 with was bullet proof.
if you do decide on the 85 remove that trap oxidizer
night and day difference.
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Old 11-12-2003, 06:38 PM
Posts: n/a
Talking FYI

Hello all,
Just for perspective.....I HAVE (and still do) owned MY 1985 300d which is Black with palomino for the past 5 years. It has been a wonderful vehicle. It now has aprox 216,000 miles on it.
The 1983d of which I have been comenting, is the SAME CAR that I had left a note on way back then...It is a local north shore car that I have always seen around town.
This time, I AGAIN left a note on the car. Instead of hearing nothing, the wife (ie;driver) decided to save my note and later I heard from the husband.
Last time (5 years ago), I heard NOTHING.
Also, my 75 year old mother has another beautiful BLACK 1985 300d.......her first diesel, and now has 228,000 after purchasing 2.5 years ago with 190,000 on it.
My references concerning the differences twixt the years are that I ACTUALLY PREFER a 1985 (ie; the final year of the breed).........HOWEVER, this particular 1983 makes me and my wife (the car will be hers) drool.
Best wishes always,
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Old 11-12-2003, 10:38 PM
BoostnBenz's Avatar
Benötigt Mehr Druck!
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,855
Re: cosmetic differences

Originally posted by Peyton300TD
you will notice that the 85 has more plush upholstery. the pleats are more numerous and deeper front and back seats. the 85 will also have a rubberized foam cushion underneat the seat which is more comfortable than the horsehair found in the 83. the carpeting will be finer as well.

the 85 instrument cluster will have a tach-clock integration, higher mph on the speedometer.
My 83 has a rubberized cushion but the pleats aren't as deep as the 84 & 85, a tach-clock in the dash just like the 84 & 85. My 83's speedo is 125mph, I also have the 85 rear end ratio (all stock). That to me is the biggest difference of the 85s they have a more highway friendly rear end in it but it does cost you a little off the line just as the Warden said. I was under the impression that all 83s were the same ratio, but I see a rare few of the other must exist.
Jeff M.
Mercedes W123 DIY pages are now located here.
1983 / 1984 300D Sold
2000 CLK430 Cabriolet ~58k Sold
2005 Avalanche 4x4 ~66k
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