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Old 05-30-2004, 11:29 PM
Posts: n/a
Good deal on a 300CD?

I'm looking at 1980 MB 300CD right now. I've had my current '01 VW Golf TDI for over 232K miles (no typo), so I'm familiar with diesels, but know nothing about Mercedes cars.

The Good:
Body good. No dents. No rust (Texas car). Glass good. Interior (tan leather) excellent. No rips or uneven wear found. Dash not cracked. Second owner. First owner a doctor in central Texas, sold it two years ago to a guy wanting to restore it, but he lost interest in it. Some records from the original owner (but haven't seen them yet). Owner says it starts right up, runs and drives good. Front end still nice and tight.

The Bad:
Needs brakes. Fuel leak in the line running to one of the injectors. Owner says you can see the fuel sitting there. A/C doesn't blow cold air, but it still blows. Odometer doesn't work, but that is a recent problem. Transmission shifts hard into second, and won't shift into fourth. Vacuum and/or modulator problem? Missing the star from the grill. No doubt hanging around the neck of some gang-banger in Dallas right now.

The car is showing 198K miles, and it looks good even for that. He's asking $2250, but I'm sure I can get it for $2000 even. I've talked to the owner, but haven't heard it myself yet. Going to test drive it early next week, but wanted some opinions from those in the know first. My budget is limited, as is my ability to tear into cars (maintaince is no problem though). Wattayathink? TIA.

Jeff in Texas
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Old 05-31-2004, 12:04 AM
Palangi's Avatar
L' Résistance
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Republique de Banana
Posts: 3,496
I sure don't like the description of the transmission problem. That could be expensive. Everything else you mention is relativly easy to fix.

A 1980 will have the evil climate control servo. Make sure that is not leaking or bypassed.

Check operation of the rear windows, I understand those are difficult on the coupes.

Body and interior parts for coupes are hard to come by. Things like rebuilding the front seats or resealing the rear window could be difficult and expensive.

73 WC5P

2004 C240 Wagon 203.261 Baby Benz
2008 ML320 CDI Highway Cruiser
2006 Toyota Prius, Saving the Planet @ 48 mpg
2000 F-150, Destroying the Planet @ 20 mpg

0BAMA .......... OUTHOUSE
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Old 05-31-2004, 01:06 AM
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Location: TheFlyingDutchManInHollywood
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Bought mine for $1500; 150K miles, strong engine, very good trans., straight body, records back to 1990, previous owner put more the $10.000 in the car over the last 12 years, AC not connected, radio not working, heather works most of the the time.

Since I bought it I put another $2400 in it, nothing big; new tires, valve adjustment, replaced upper and lower ball joints on the right side, trans. flush and adjustment, had to fix the 1/4 left window, new mats etc. I soon will need new shocks, new glow-plugs and a new front window seal.

What I'm trying to say is expect some extra cost, especially with the transmission, but maybe flushing and replacing the fluid will solve it.

It's not that hard to get the special CD parts, but they cost more, only around 10.000 CD's where build.

With the transmission in mind I would offer $1800,-.
Black on Black 1979 300CD (sold), 1990 Black 300SE, Silver 1989 Volvo 780, 1988 300CE
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Old 05-31-2004, 03:35 AM
Jimmy Joe's Avatar
peace out
Join Date: May 2004
Location: California central coast
Posts: 1,004
Pics Please!
Think Alternative Energy!
300CD '80 (now gone but not forgotten...)
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Old 05-31-2004, 10:25 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Milford, CT
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All the problems you listed don't sound like to big of a deal.

But worst case, transmissions for these run about $1200 rebuilt.
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Old 05-31-2004, 10:47 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 46
About 5 years ago my 84 300 d (Turbo) had difficulty shifting into 4th. I did not remember experiencing the hard shift to 2nd. For diagnostic purposes perhaps you could try running it up in 3rd on the highway then let off the accelerator, drop it into nuetral and then back into drive. My car would shift into 4th if I did this. If the proposed purchase car does the same, we may be looking at the same problem. Mine was diagnosed as corrosion in the bowden (sp?) cable. The mechanic greased the cable ($60) and it has been fine since. You may be able to get away with greasing or in may have to be replaced. Please note mine is a northern rust belt car where corrosion is prevalent, so yours may have a whole different problem.
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Old 05-31-2004, 05:03 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Sacramento-Bay Area Corridor
Posts: 1,110
unless you LOVE the car, id keep on looking. There are SOOOO so many w123's out there... finding a 300CD will be a bit harder, BUT youll find another. As I say, if its the right car and the right price and youre absolutely sure you like it, go for it. the price is low. But be aware that you will find a better example if you were to keep looking, and perhaps a newer year (84-85 being the best in my opinion, and have turbo).

the car doesnt sound bad, but make sure the car has records, and be sure to get it inspected before you purchase it. And make sure you dont want a turbocharged version, with newer climate control unit and updated interior.

1995 E420
1992 BMW 525i
1984 300D Turbo sold
1993 Volvo 244 sold
1995 Volvo 944T R.I.P!

"The details are not details. They make the product."
-Charles Eames
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Old 05-31-2004, 05:28 PM
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Location: TheFlyingDutchManInHollywood
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updated interior.
The old interior is better looking, lots of chrome, very classic!
Black on Black 1979 300CD (sold), 1990 Black 300SE, Silver 1989 Volvo 780, 1988 300CE
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Old 05-31-2004, 05:30 PM
Posts: n/a
I appreciate all of the advice. Based on that, and advice from my VW TDI friends who think I'm absolutely nuts for getting rid of my Golf for a MB, I'll probably pass on the car. I'll be glad to give the number of the owner to anyone who might still be interested in it.

One of my concerns is that there are only two MB dealers in the Dallas area, and both are over 60 miles from me. Since the car doesn't have current regristration, it would be hard to get it to them to look at. There may be some indys a little closer, but judging from experiences I've had at VW indys, it would be a crapshoot at best.

My Golf TDI is in perfect shape right now, even with all of the miles on it, and it's a "known factor", as opposed to the 300CD which may have a hundred little things wrong with it. I do know, however, that I wouldn't even be considering it if it wasn't a coupe. And a turbo *would* be nice.

Thanks again. If anyone is interested in talking to the owner, his number is 940-206-7290 and he lives about 40 miles due north of Fort Worth, Texas as the crow flies. As I said, the body, glass, and interior are excellent. Would make a good car at $2000 for someone wanting to spend a little time and tlc with it. I was going to get some pictures today, but he moved the car back to his house, and I didn't want to disturb his family on Memorial Day. I may talk to him in the next couple of days, and if he agrees, I'll post some pictures on here.

Jeff in Texas
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