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  #1  
Old 05-03-2004, 10:39 AM
Benster Tom
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Question 300 D, SD or SDL ???

I own a 300 SDL, it seems to be a great car here. I've also looked at the D and the SD. Any thoughts on these vehichles? I'm sure someone has owned either of these at one time or another.

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  #2  
Old 05-03-2004, 11:05 AM
Benster Tom
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If i'm not mistaken the SD and SDL are a 126 chassis from 1981-1991, the D is a 123 Chassis from 1977-1985. The E300D was the 124 chassis from1986-1995. However, I was referring more to the 123,124, and 126 chassis. These chassis ran through the 80's and early 90's. I've heard some of the best Benz came from these model years

Last edited by 300SDLTOM; 05-03-2004 at 11:13 AM.
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  #3  
Old 05-03-2004, 11:32 AM
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The 300SD (126) are awesome cars. Good ride, low maintenance, lots of parts available and rock-solid reliable. The 300SDL a little better ride, fewer parts and not as reliable.
I don't know much about the 124 cars.
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  #4  
Old 05-03-2004, 12:27 PM
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I've got a 300D w123 and really like it. Then I got the 300SDL w126 and now my wife drives the 300D... she doesnt like the size of the SDL and that is fine with me, because the SDL is really a great car. So far parts and such have been pretty cheap and easy, just shop around. My indy mechanic lets me bring parts in if I am out of my league on a repair, so that helps keep costs down too.
Now, I might be complaining next week after I work on the a/c on the SDL...
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Old 05-03-2004, 08:37 PM
Benster Tom
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The A/C and Heating units on all MB's are expensive. Well I hear most guys like driving the SDL's. I guess it's just a matter of preference. The SDL that I have has good strong power at take off and going up hills. I used to drive my father's 300 D and when you went to pass a car, you had better make sure you have plenty of distance between you and the approaching car before you attempted to pass.
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  #6  
Old 05-03-2004, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
So far parts and such have been pretty cheap
You will make everybody sick if you tell what you paid for the whole car.

Personally, I like the 300D W123 size the best for a daily driver. I only crank the SD up when I am going to get on the freeway for a couple/few hours at a time.
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  #7  
Old 05-03-2004, 09:23 PM
Benster Tom
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djugurba:

Did you pefer the 123 over the 126? In your assesment, what does either have in advantages over the other? I read alot of threads on here and a lot of guys pefer the 300SD, which I believe is about a foot shorter than the SDL.
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  #8  
Old 05-03-2004, 09:47 PM
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I've owned all three: 123, 126 (SD) and 126 (SDL).

In a nutshell, the 123 is a simpler car and easier to work on. It is also a bit smaller and easier to drive around town. The drivetrain (617) is identical to the SD and both are excellent in terms of durability. They do have a bit of vibration at times and they do make a bit of racket on the highway above 65mph.

The SDL is 6 inches longer than the SD and it is smoother with the 6 cylinder and has more power at highway speeds. Due to its additional weight, I do not find it "peppier" than the SD at lower rpm's and lower speeds. Additionally, it is geared taller thereby resulting in less "get up and go" at lighter throttles.
However, this vehicle comes into its own at 75 mph. It is just unbelievably smooth and quiet at that speed when compared to the 617's. The 617's seem to need to be pushed up above 70 mph and an upgrade at that speed might require maximum available power. The SDL has no such issues. Due to its tremendous length, however, I would not take the SDL shopping around town.
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  #9  
Old 05-03-2004, 10:07 PM
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Personally I really like the 124 cars. All the power and such of the 126's and 20% less weight and bulk. Better handling and better mileage. Other than being a bit "boomier" than the 126 at speed the 124 wagon I have is just like the other 3 I've owned, quick enough to be fun, stable enough to be a bit more fun and enough power to get it back when your fun tries to slide away.


I also replace l/f seat bottems at 1/10th the rate of 126 cars.

123 cars are cool but lousy highway cars, 617 powered cars in general fall into this area. Wound too tight, too noisey, a bit jumpy in turbulance and in general unhappy in that enviroment. Around town, short hops, commuters, absolutly wonderful little cars.

True highway cruisers, the long wheelbase 126 cars, set the cruise on 90 and roll. Quiet, smooth and comfortable. Says it all.


So, it depends on what you want one for.

123, around town, short hop car.
126, highway crusier
124, the best blend of both



Joe
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  #10  
Old 05-03-2004, 10:36 PM
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Joe, Have you ever tried the 300 SD? I hear those are great cars. I just recently drove an '84 300SD that had all the service records as far back as 1995, around $15k's worth of service and maintenance in that span. It sure drove well. Guy wanted $4200. for it and man I almost bought it. It had about 226,000 miles on the odometer.
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  #11  
Old 05-04-2004, 12:32 AM
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where do u get good seat springs and cushions for the 126? Seems like on all mb's thats a problem?
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  #12  
Old 05-04-2004, 01:12 AM
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Um, I don't think I could say that I like one over the other. I was actually looking for a w123 300TD Turbo wagon when our fair moderator tipped me off to the SDL. I had been within 24 hours of buying an '82 SD a while back, and the guy sold it out from under me. So, I jumped on another forum member's w123 300D. Since I had been looking at this pristine SD, the D was a bit of a step down as far as lux is concerned... but I like the relative simplicity of the D compared to the SDL when it comes to working on it. Though, for some reason all these vaccuum lines and other cables are routed over the top of my oil filter housing on the D, so oil changes are a bit of a pain. I'll fix that eventually. The SDL has some extra bells/whistles that I could do without... but they are nice... motorized headrests?... oh yeah...

Right now, the SDL is in much better shape, even though it has 287k miles. I drove it to Pittsburgh from Atlanta and didn't have to stop for fuel (I did stop, but I didn't have to... dog and wife had to use the sanitary facilities). I've done brakes and tires, new washer pump/nozzles/plumbing, a headlight door, and a crossover pipe carbon body-painting session. (don't try this at home ha ha) I had the trap-oxidizer recall done at the dealer, and got some new parts from that. Some other stuff too. I want to get shocks all the way around on both cars, but that will wait I think- the D will be like a new car once I get the shocks and trailing arm bushings and maybe some other bits in order...

but, these upgrades have taken a backseat to the vegetable-oil utility that these cars are destined for. neither has burned petroleum diesel for several months, and they hardly sound like diesels anymore. quiet, smooth, no james bond smokescreen even on italian tune-ups... great! 100% biodiesel in both, soon to be plain old used cooking oil.

I think the SDL is a better 'spokes-model' for the veggie thing, so it gets the treatment first. I think more non mb-types covet the w126 SDL than they do the w123 D, so people can see themselves driving this car. too many veg-oil drivers use old rabbits or jettas, and most people are beyond that in their lives.. I dumped a great new Outback wagon for these oldies, but the build quality and my satisfaction is much higher... and together they cost less than my downpayment on that subaru... I just wish someone wanted to trade me for a wagon!

to answer your question, see Brian Carlton's answer.. he got it... fyi, the SDL is LONGER than a ford expedition. I parked next to one the day I bought it, and couldn't believe how long the car is. However, I used to drive 15 passenger vans every day in city traffic, so it's a mini cooper by comparison. Easy if you are used to it... but a pain to find a parallell spot. in those cases, we take the nimble 300D.

cheers,
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  #13  
Old 05-04-2004, 01:33 AM
Benster Tom
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djugurba,
Well the good thing is you get the best of two worlds with a D, and the SDL. I've spent about $2500. on my SDL. It needed repairs. I had to have a new Belt tensioner and Pulley, Sway bars, Shocks, all new brakes and motor mounts. I also had to have a new oil pan put on after I hit a Ladder in the road here in Austin. Also the previous owner had let someone tighten the lug bolts to tight on the front wheels and one was broken off. So it had to be drilled out. Gotta watch that from now on. Only use about 70lbs of torque on the lug bolts. I also want to do some more work. I need new upper and lower ball joints. I also need new tires. As far as my headrest, there not working right now. So I have alot to do. Slowly but surely. it'll get done. One thing about MB's they can keep you busy. Especially those 10 years and older
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  #14  
Old 05-04-2004, 02:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Carlton
I would not take the SDL shopping around town.

It never fails to make me smile reading stuff like this.
One of my first(and favorite) cars was a 78 Lincoln Continintal.
THAT was a large car, makes the w123 look like a sub-compact, and stares down the 126 pretty well. Heck there all sportscar like compared to that old hunk of steel.



Anyone ever put a 617 in an SDL?

Or a 603(4?, whichever the SDL had) in a w123?
That one sounds like a little diesel sleeper to me..
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  #15  
Old 05-04-2004, 02:52 AM
Benster Tom
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Hi Wolf, Well your probably right, those Mid 70's Lincolns and Caddy's were huge. Boy, those cars drank the gas. However, I suppose if your comparing Benz to Benz, it's preference. My father bought a 300D when I was about 20 and I was basically out of the house. It was rather cramped when i borrowed it from time to time to take freinds out etc. Now the SDL provides plenty of room for me now. I have a 16 yr old and a 14 year old who actually like this older car, mainly because of it's large space and a place to put there friends as well. It also provides me with the 28mpg fuel consumption for a bigger Benz.

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