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  #1  
Old 03-04-2004, 11:07 PM
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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Unhappy My diesel mercedes experience

It is time to say good bye to my 220D.

Here is my story,

About six months ago I purchased a pristine 1972 220D from a very nice older couple in my town. My father and I checked out the car, and instantly fell in love with it.

It was almost too good to be true -- brand new paintjob, freshly rebuilt motor, great interior, and excellent maintenance records. After taking it for a test drive, we knew we wanted to buy it.

Only trouble was, another woman wanted to buy the car and had seen it before us. She had arranged to take the vehicle to a mechanic and have a pre purchase inspection performed. My dad and I trusted the seller and loved the car, so we offered cash on site to take it home. He said he would call the other interested party and tell her we were willing to take it without an inspection. She told the seller she wasnt extrememly interested, and to sell it to us instead. I was very excited when I heard the news, and immediatly drove back to his house, forked over the $2400 and drove her home.

Who needs an inspection when the car is so perfect?

I was so happy to find a good, reliable diesel with all major work already done. I drove the car for a month or so.

Then the trouble started. I noticed the car started pulling to the right under braking. Then I realized it was smoking a little much ... unburned fuel smoke. I went on, smoking away for a couple weeks. Then the vacume pump diapram nut fell off. I rebuilt the outer portion of the pump. I bought new tires and had it aligned. I installed new rear springs and shocks all around. Then I invested in new calipers, rotors and pads for the front, and rotors and pads in the rear. Trouble was, I got 300D brake parts for the front, because I was told they bolted up and would give better braking performance. The 300D calipers now had a brake hose interferance with the control arms. I was looking at many, many hours of work to find and install right angle fittings that would solve the clearance issue and

I started to tackle the smoking problem while I was fininishing up the brake job. I tested the compression and all was well. Under advice from my mechanic, I replaced two injectors. Still smoking.

So, I was told I needed a new injection pump. Luckily I found a great deal on a rebuilt IP ... only $500!

I had done all the other work on the car, so naturally, I tried to perform the IP switch. Boy was that harder than I expected. It took a whole day just to get the old one off... and I couldnt figure out all the fittings on the new one, because it was a newer style.

So I did the humble thing, and pushed the car to a Mercedes "mechanc" down the street. I had never been to this [;ace before. It was the only shop within pushing distance.

Turns out, the guys were total hacks. They spent almost two months trying to get the IP back on. Under their care, the car was run without an oil filter housing for a minute or two, the inner portion of the vacume pump failed and shattered the outer housing, the pull start siezed, and on and on. After threatening the shop with a law suit, they finally "finished the job". Two months and $1000 later I had a car that ran WORSE than when I began work. It took almost a minute of cranking to start, and had almost no power. I would guess it felt like it had about 10-12HP.

Finally a few days ago I towed it to a real mechanic. He did a lot of inspection, and found out that the IP was timed wrong. On top of that, the new IP was not rebuilt properly and did not inject to cyl. #1. Since I bought the new IP a few months ago, my warranty had already expired. Ahhg, I was looking at another $1100 for a new IP... but the mechanic said he was going to do a little more inspection because he thought he heard a more insidious internal knock.

He got back to me today.

Turns out their was a lot of metal filings in the oil. The #1 pre-chamber had dropped its bearing into the cylinder. Total destruction. Motor is toast. His estimated cost of a rebuilt motor with 2 yr warranty and install was around $8000.

I believe that the internal damage occured when the #1 cylinder was not recieving fuel and started with out oil in the care of the crappy mechanic down the street. But honestly, who knows?

My reputable mechanic said this was one of the worst rebuilds he has ever seen. None of the bolts were torqued anywhere near spec. Some were hand tightened, apparently.

So, the car is being donated to charity. I am out $5000.

But I will not give up. Currently shopping for another Mercedes diesel.

Cassidy
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Cassidy
1982 MB 300DT - Running Great @ 104K!

1972 MB 220D - RIP @ ~200K (Dropped prechamber)
1992 MB 190E 2.6 - SOLD @ 145K
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2004, 11:15 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Sorry to hear that your 220D didn't turn out to be as good as you originally thought. Next time, spend the hundred or two dollars to have it thoroughly inspected.

Good luck finding another MB diesel. These are very nice and durable cars!
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83 240D (256K miles)
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  #3  
Old 03-04-2004, 11:26 PM
240dnewbie
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ouch...
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  #4  
Old 03-04-2004, 11:56 PM
John Winter
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Quote:
Originally posted by 83MB240D
Sorry to hear that your 220D didn't turn out to be as good as you originally thought. Next time, spend the hundred or two dollars to have it thoroughly inspected.

Good luck finding another MB diesel. These are very nice and durable cars!
Carefull with a MB pre purchase inspection. They will/may say the condition is good knowing a new owner will spend big money on his new love. usually the new owner goes back to the shop that did the inspection to spend thier money.
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2004, 12:19 AM
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My goodness!

What an aweful waste of time and money!

My condolences...

Eric
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  #6  
Old 03-05-2004, 12:29 AM
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speechless................
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  #7  
Old 03-05-2004, 12:34 AM
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That IS a terrible set of circumstances...

John, that is the reason to go to an independant company like " Lemon Busters" which do NOT do any mechanicing.... that way they have no vested interest in the car one way or the other... only with their reputation as machine testers...
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Old 03-05-2004, 02:21 AM
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Is the motor the only problem? If the body and interior are nice I am going to have to suggest keeping the car. Rebuilding that motor for $8,000 is ridiculous, and that price may be artificially high, as your mechanic is probably not interested in doing the job.

I bet you could get a nice running engine around $500.

Motors and mechanical bits can be replaced easily. Bodys, paint and interiors are where the real money goes.

I sold the engine out of my old 220 114 car for 600 bucks and that was a while ago. Motor was like new.
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  #9  
Old 03-05-2004, 04:06 AM
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8k is too high.
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Married men live longer than single men do, but married men are a lot more willing to die.
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  #10  
Old 03-05-2004, 04:40 AM
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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Rebuilt motor with 2 year warranty is $6200.
Labor is between $800-1800 for R&R

My motor suffered such extensive damage it is apparently not a good candidate for rebuilding. If I were to have it rebuilt, it would cost between $3000 and $4000.

The body and interior are very. very nice. However, it has some slight rust problems on the undercarriage. If I could get it back on the road for around $2200, I would. But the liklihood of finding a good motor quickly for the right price is slim. Any advice is appreciated.

I am leaning towards a W123 240D. I am going to take my time finding a car.
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1982 MB 300DT - Running Great @ 104K!

1972 MB 220D - RIP @ ~200K (Dropped prechamber)
1992 MB 190E 2.6 - SOLD @ 145K
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  #11  
Old 03-05-2004, 04:46 AM
ForcedInduction
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Sorry for your loss, the 22D can be a very nice car.

$8000 is far too high, rebuilt used or new.

I would look into a lawasuit with the lemon makers, it's clear to me they are at fault.
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  #12  
Old 03-05-2004, 07:37 AM
LarryBible
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Cassidy,

I'm sorry to hear of your sad list of circumstances. I think you described these guys properly when you used the term "hacks."

Here's what I think happened:

If they were not MB familiar, they did not get the pump governer correct and the engine "ran away." This means that it went to maximum RPM and they took a while to get it shut down. I've been there and done that.

This is what put metal filings in the oil and destroyed what was previously an engine in good shape.

This is only theory and speculation and unless you could get them to admit it you could never prove it in a court of law.

There are many people in many different professions that don't take the trust of their customers seriously. You definitely found one of them. Unfortunately people like this are too easy to find. I guess you can just be glad that it wasn't your doctor that had this attitude while treating you for a serious ailment.

Very best of luck,
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  #13  
Old 03-05-2004, 08:39 AM
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Location: central Texas
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I really have a hard time believing that the pintle ball could have done any major damage....
I know that when it burns through it becomes a little object ' rolling' around in the precombustion chamber... after a lot of time there.... as in a ball mill.... but by the time it is small enough to go through the " tiny holes" in the precombustion chamber and get into the bore it would have to be really really small...
Anyone else had or heard of one getting into the bore ?
This is another reason to think that some of the possible descriptions of how events might have unfolded which others have proffered may be true.... but unable to be proven , absent abject confession on the part of the " hacks"...
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  #14  
Old 03-05-2004, 09:53 AM
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Location: Milford, DE
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If you liked the 220D you are going to LOVE a W123 turbo....

If you don't have somebody lined up for repairs that has experience with MB diesels (or are not willing to do the work yourself) I would stay away from a 25 year old MB diesel.

As you have found out they can be pretty $$$$ if the person that is doing the repair does not have the abiliy/motivation to determine what is wrong and fix it.

Tim
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  #15  
Old 03-05-2004, 11:30 AM
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Cassidy,

Its possible the "HACK" mechanics ran the engine without oil. They may have wanted to try the engine with out the oil filter on so they wouldn't have to R&R it again.

If you could get the second mechanic to testify that the engine was run with out oil and that is what did the damage, you might win your case. Sometimes just a letter from a lawyer threatining to sue will get a response.

I like that new style oil filter on the top of the engine, it makes changing the filter doo easy. But I might not like it as much if I had to remove it to replace the injection pump.

One good thing about the Detroit Diesel in my Chevy PU truck is that to reinstall the injection pump (IP) I just inserted the pin on the IP into the hole on the drive flange with no change in timing. Too bad MB doesn't make it that easy. But then it sunusual that a MB IP has to be replaced. The one on the Chevy had to be rebuilt at only 42,000 miles.

If you crankshaft isn't scored, a ring and bearing job should get the engine running again at much less cost.

P E H
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