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  #1  
Old 01-14-2004, 06:05 PM
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87 300D value?

What would a 87 300D with 160000 miles be worth? It looks shiny with no rust and no cracks or tears in the interior. I only got to look at it late one evening.

richard
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2004, 06:16 PM
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It depends greatly on the mechanical and cosmetic condition. There's one on eBay right now that looks immaculate, current bid is over $7000. And another in florida asking $9900 with low miles. On the flip side I've heard of a couple straight, non-crunched "parts cars" with bad engines or trannies going for $1500+. The usual examples will fall in between, say $3500-$5500 most of the time. Lots of things to watch for, particularly the inevitable cracked head. One with the head already replaced with the new, improved version is much more desirable, IMO.

Here's a partial checklist of things to look for:

http://buying.articles.mbz.org/checklists/124/



HTH,
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Dave M.
Boise, ID

1997 E420 - 155kmi (Bugeyes)
1994 E420 - 145kmi (Blondie)
1993 500E - 193kmi (Lollipop)
1992 400E - 189kmi (Stinky Dirty)
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2004, 07:06 PM
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This car has the aluminum head? Should I just look at 85 and down? Did I look and get the right info from your site?

richard
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  #4  
Old 01-14-2004, 07:16 PM
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Yup, aluminum head. The 1986-1995 E-class are the 124 chassis, which is light years ahead of the older 123 chassis (1977-1985) with the iron head. The older cars are cheaper and almost indestructible, but are pretty old technology. The 124 is sooooo much nicer - much more quiet, faster, more power, better MPG, *much* better handling & braking, ABS, airbag, the list goes on. But some people are prejudiced against the aluminum head, to each his own... personally I dislike the 123 and really, really like the 124!

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Dave M.
Boise, ID

1997 E420 - 155kmi (Bugeyes)
1994 E420 - 145kmi (Blondie)
1993 500E - 193kmi (Lollipop)
1992 400E - 189kmi (Stinky Dirty)
Check out my website photos, documents, and movies!
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  #5  
Old 01-14-2004, 07:26 PM
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I own both a 123 and 124 chassis cars. The 124 is definetly has better handling and more power. On the flip side to that, I find the interior of the 124 to be cheaper looking than the 123. I am partial to the round vents in the dash in the 123 and the chrome through out the interior. I just wish I could combined the 2 together.
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2004, 07:39 PM
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So, is there a finite life to the aluminum head, or is it a result of overheating? How long can you expect the head to last?

richard
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  #7  
Old 01-14-2004, 07:41 PM
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I have two 123's and one 124. The 124 initially cost me about 6000 including $700 shipping and it looked very clean and had relatively low miles. Since then, I've put in another $1000 or so. I agree with gsxr that the 124 is way ahead of the 123 in technology and features, and also styling. That said, I love my 124 but I probably love the 123 even more. I guess I'm more into the classic cars. But they both have something to love.
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  #8  
Old 01-14-2004, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by fields
So, is there a finite life to the aluminum head, or is it a result of overheating? How long can you expect the head to last?
The aluminum heads used on the six-cylinder cars in 1986-87 ONLY (that's 300SDL, 300D, and 300TD wagon) had weak heads. If overheated, they are very likely to crack. The cooling systems tend to get corroded over the years, and fan clutches fail.... if not corrected, the overheating is possible if you don't watch the temp gauge closely. Or, stupid dealers tell people that if it's not "in the red", it's normal. I was told this by a dealer and later found out it's NOT TRUE. These cars should almost never get over 100C, if they do, something needs to be fixed. Could be simple, could be expensive, hard to tell. Frequent cooling system maintenance is important - not a big deal really. Also, most of the 86-87 cars had trap oxidizers, basically a catalyst on top of the turbo. This causes a serious heat load and one theory is that it contributed to the heads cracking. Another nuisance is that the head can be cracked, but no oil & coolant will mix! So many people rule out head or gasket problems due to that, which is wrong. The early warning symptom is very high pressure in the cooling system when the car is *stone cold* in the morning. Pinch the upper rad hose when cold, it should be soft. Note that this test is invalid if the car loses coolant and/or has a bad rad cap.

Anyway, some original 86/87 heads may never crack if the car never got too hot, and MB redesigned the heads so the replacements are stronger and won't crack. Look at the casting number below the #2 cylinder - 603-016-xx-01. If "xx" is 15 or less, it's the old/flawed head. If it's 17 or higher, it's the new/fixed head.

The 1990-up six-cylinder engines had good heads. All the 4 and 5 cylinder aluminum head engines are fine, there are no problems with those at all. If you can afford a 1990-95 E-class diesel, those are even nicer.... better MPG, no engine problems, but less power.


BTW - I prefer the interior of the 124 greatly over the 123, but that's just my opinion. The 123 is a little too "classic" for my taste, it's closer to "Spartan".
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Dave M.
Boise, ID

1997 E420 - 155kmi (Bugeyes)
1994 E420 - 145kmi (Blondie)
1993 500E - 193kmi (Lollipop)
1992 400E - 189kmi (Stinky Dirty)
Check out my website photos, documents, and movies!
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2004, 08:25 PM
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I've also read on this board that some 92 E-class diesels had a bad timing chain and there was a recall on this. That's all I know.
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  #10  
Old 01-14-2004, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DieselAddict
I've also read on this board that some 92 E-class diesels had a bad timing chain and there was a recall on this. That's all I know.
Read this and be enlightened:

http://www.meimann.com/docs/mercedes/OM60x_Timing_Chain_TSB.pdf

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Dave M.
Boise, ID

1997 E420 - 155kmi (Bugeyes)
1994 E420 - 145kmi (Blondie)
1993 500E - 193kmi (Lollipop)
1992 400E - 189kmi (Stinky Dirty)
Check out my website photos, documents, and movies!
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  #11  
Old 01-14-2004, 08:51 PM
The Bob
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I have just a couple of things to add (None of it groud braking)

All I can say is that I love diesel. and these are the best diesels out there but why do the seats suck.

THe W123 seats are horrid
The W124 a bit better, I like the power options

I never has a W126 to compare.

Some feed back on seat quality would be great

Is there a comfortable MB diesel?


Other than that it is all about perspective..

IF money is a concern go with the w123 They are cheap and reliable and safe.

If you want the car to drive like a normal car get the w124. My 87 is turning into a great road car. I actuallly speed around in it. You wont even bother in a w123. If it is your first diesel I say go for the w123. Learn the ropes on the easier one.

IF you are real frugal and want it simple and sturdy go for a 240 four speed.

If you like the way a new camry drives go with the w124
IF you like the way your old big wheel drives go with the 123


I have had both. I miss my w123. It was a great car. big and sturdy. Poeple moved out of the way. The w124 I have does not have near the character but it is alot more of a road car. She will do 125 and I believe it.

Anyway no bad choice. Just be realistic about what kind of car you would like because any of these cars have the potential for being around a while


good luck


bob
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  #12  
Old 01-14-2004, 10:48 PM
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126 Lover

I say check out a 126 as you can see I have two. The 85 SD has been much more reliable and slightly more fun to drive due to length. Handles rather sporty for a tank . It also has ABS and air bag like the 124.

The 87 I had to do the head on due to so much exhaust gas in the coolant that it was not cooling. Got the improved head and did it myself cost of $2000. Total invested in the car $5000 not to bad for a cross between a limo and a sports car. With the new head and a turbo rebuild it will see all 140 MPH

As for as interior I have seen all three and I prefer the 126. The 123 looks old in styling and the 124 just a little cheaper. Also, the seats in mine are very good for the age though the 85 could use repadded due to the weight of the previous owner.

Sorry such a long post had a lot to share hope it helps.
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  #13  
Old 01-14-2004, 11:35 PM
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THe W123 seats are horrid, The W124 a bit better

I disagee w/ The Bob. I find the 123 seats (if pads are replaced with German pads) very comfortable, firm yet soft if you know what I mean. On long trips they do not bother me. The W124 I bought for my wife, I hate the seats because they are hard for one thing, flat in the center, not curved, and too high. OK I confess, I got the 124 recently for my wife, primarily for the electric seat function! She dislikes the 123 because it takes lot of muscles to move the seats, and they tend to further away from the pedals and she approved of the W124 in those respects.
I like the acceleration of the 124, but can tell you I will not enjoy working on the beast! But man, does it move on down the road! If I had the means I would have a OM 603 engine dropped into one of my wagons!
(Any 124 negatives? yes - I got a look at the PO's service records. Yikes! Too bad he supported the dealer for so long!)
So far we are keeping the '83 300D, its an old, trusted family member, its so darned reliable, I don't think I'll ever let it go!
Dieseldiehard
1971 220 4-spd manual 105258
1979 300TD w/ 85 turbo engine 292375
1983 300D 239670
1985 300TD 210120
1976 300D (still looking for an engine)
1987 300D 255K and newest addition to the family!

Last edited by dieseldiehard; 01-14-2004 at 11:40 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2004, 03:05 AM
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I bought my 87 300D with 159k on the clock. It was absolutley beautiful -- no damage and a near perfect interior. I paid a whopping $6,600 for it when the type was going hot (the other 3 non-private ones for sale I found were all 7K+). The car had an existing shifting problem with culminated with the dealer financing a transmission rebuild. Since then the only major work has been a new radiator.

This car is both a blessing and a curse simultaniously. It's pretty darn fast and handles gorgeously (especially with sportline), comfy, good gas mileage, has just enough technology, and will cruise all day at 120+mph. However, there is ALWAYS a problem with the car, albeit minor some times. It seems like a never-ending cycle, but if you're on top of it and budget a few dollars a month, it's nothing. Then again, I came from a volvo so I really shouldn't talk...

It looks like my head (603-016-14-01 SO CLOSE!) is cracked, but luckily it's not too bad and was much abated with some block sealer. Once I get a new head on, I really don't forsee much of any major work that is predictable for this model, so I'm figuring the last few bits of major maintenance should be it for a while (hopefully).

If you can find a new (preferably 3.5L) headded, transmission rebuilt, cooling system in top notch, no damage, clean examplef or under $6,000 -- I'd say go for it.

Mike
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