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  #1  
Old 01-14-2004, 07:56 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Greensboro
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83 300cd

A few months ago I bought my 83 300CD, blue with palomino, 232,000 miles. It's probably the best running diesel I've ever driven. I drove Audi 5000 turbo diesels for quite a few years and was convinced that they would run until I bought this one.

The man I bought it from paid way too much for it and spent lots of money on top of that. He actually showed me receipts for 8500.00 that he had in the car. I talked to the guy he bought it from and the mechanic that worked on it for him. He bought it for his daughter and she didn't like it, so he drove it back and forth to get his mail at the local post office. It sat in his driveway mostly. I noticed some rust and things like that, but jumped on the 1500.00 that he was selling it for. All that's been done by me are minor things like glowplugs, vacuum lines, little things like that.

The rust is pretty bad on bottom of the rear quarters and front fenders toward the front (next to the bumper). It needs frontend work. I think it's going to need ball joints. The The interior is great. He even replaced the headliner a couple of years ago.

Now I have a dilemma. Is the car worth fixing up? If I spend a bunch of money on body work and such, will I still have a 1500.00 car?

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated......
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Jerry
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83 300CD 238,000
85 300D 288,000 when sold
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2004, 08:16 PM
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I guess the question is, over what time was the 8500 put into it? Even if it was over 10 years, thats still pretty good money put into the car, so it had good care taken of it. If he put $8500 into it over two or three years, chances are, a lot of the bigtime parts were replaced. Front end work is always needed in these cars, most that I have seen that dont handle well still have most of their original stuff, which, even if the car only has 100k on it, will still be old and worn out.

I think for $1500, its a steal. In the worst case scenario, Id pull the engine and trans and put it into a southern car with blown engine. You can hardly get a rebuilt trans for $1500, and you have a really strong running car.

Now, the bad part... Unless you spend in excess of $3-5000, you wont stop the rust. It really needs to be cut out, anti-rust paint applied to all the surfaces in the area, then good prep and painting done on the whole car. That isnt cheap, even if you know someone.

For that price, considering the work that muyst have been put into it, Id probably spend $1000 for the frontend, $2000 for a rust and semi-good paint job, and then have a $4500 car that is going to be better than 95% of the similar cars on the road.

Yeah, you probably can find a really nice one that looks nearly new and runs as well for $3500, but its almost guaranteed that itll need $1000 in something to make it 100%, and then its at $4500, same as the work Id suggest for your car.

Given the longevity and robustness of these cars, I have no problem shellingout $1000 for work on my car. But just make sure the rust is repairable first. If something like the floorpan or subframe is completely shot, it might not be worth it, and an engine swap into another car, or quick sale on ebay might be best.

It all depends on how willing you are to shell a fair deal of $$$ into this car. A lot of people tend away from spending more than the cost of an oil change or similar on a 20 year old car.

JMH
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Current Diesels:
1981 240D (73K)
1982 300CD (162k)
1991 350SD (113k)

Past Diesels:
1983 300D (228K)
1985 300D (233K)
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2004, 09:21 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Greensboro
Posts: 18
Thanks for the input. Most of the work was done the first year of ownership. He had the car for almost 5 years. I think I'll take it by the body shop and see how bad the job would be. I'm not a mechanic, but can probably do most of the front end work myself. If nothing else I can keep it until my 300D needs an engine or tranny one day.
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Jerry
------------------------
83 300CD 238,000
85 300D 288,000 when sold
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  #4  
Old 01-15-2004, 09:30 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: New Jersey
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Yeah, thats the way to go... If the rust is fully repairable, at a semi-reasonable price (probably a few thousand), then go for it, the $ the PO had put into it is significant...

JMH
__________________
Current Diesels:
1981 240D (73K)
1982 300CD (162k)
1991 350SD (113k)

Past Diesels:
1983 300D (228K)
1985 300D (233K)
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