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Old 06-10-2004, 05:09 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 67
Newbie diesel shopping advice

I have started the process of looking for an 85 or older diesel benz, and being new to these cars, I was hoping you all could share any special pitfalls to be aware of. I have waded trough a lot of these posts to gather as much info as possible. What I am really looking for are any tips specific to these vehicles. What I have seen locally are all 300 series, but I would not rule out a 200 either. I live in the sticks, and will probably have to travel some distance to find something worthwhile, so I want to know as much as possible.
From the reading, it sounds like the tranies can be an issue, being prone to vacume system problems, funky adjustments and such. Any easy way to tell if the trans is simply wore out needing to be rebuilt, or if it is a vacume/adjust problem?
When looking at one, besides body and interior, what do you all look for?

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Old 06-10-2004, 05:34 PM
Rick Miley's Avatar
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Location: Land O Lakes, FL
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Credit goes to leathermang for pointing me to that site.
Rick Miley
2014 Tesla Model S
2018 Tesla Model 3
2017 Nissan LEAF
Former MB: 99 E300, 86 190E 2.3, 87 300E, 80 240D, 82 204D Euro
Chain Elongation References
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Old 06-10-2004, 07:01 PM
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Good link. Thank you.
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Old 06-11-2004, 12:14 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ojai CA
Posts: 181
Where are you Bruce?
'84 300SD veg-oil bliss
'83 300SD veg-oil beater
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Old 06-11-2004, 06:24 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: central Texas
Posts: 17,281
Thanks for the credit Rick....
One way to avoid the auto trans potential problems is to find a 240 stick shift.... I love mine....or get a 300 and convert to manual.... we have several people on this forum who have done this....

MY first thought when I see that someone has not even said which STATE they are in... is that an ex or the law is looking for them.... LOL
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Old 06-11-2004, 09:50 AM
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Manual tranny has some kind of hydraulic shifting- won't shift at all when broken (= tow, not drive, to repair shop.)

But line up a good MB mechanic and your mechanical problems are solved, about the same cost as for any other car.

So make sure the clock keeps good time, all instruments work, especially air condition controls (see other threads) and the interior is the way you like it.

Most important- choose the car you want. You may end up keeping it for 20 years.
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Old 06-11-2004, 05:53 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 67
As far as I know I am not wanted by anyone. Of coarse in this day and age one never really knows I suppose. I live in Northwest Arkansas.
I just woke up this afternoon ( work nights), to find my wife has bought one. Made a deposit anyway, I can make final decision on monday.
It was more than I wanted to spend, but tell me what you think. An 85 300 turbo with every option available. Bought from the shop that sold the car new to a local doctor, they have done all the service to the car since new, have all the records. No body rust or dents, a few minor paint chips. Interior great except springs wore out in drivers seat, ( they will replace), some sun fading, especially rear window area. No cracks in dash.Everything works. Car has 200,000 miles, but has had oil changed like clockwork, runs well, trans fine, new tires all around.
I've looked at a few in the $2000 range, but they all had lots of little things wrong with them, that looked loke it would add up in hurry. So to me this price does not seem too bad. What do you all think?
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Old 06-11-2004, 06:08 PM
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Just a guess, but your wife seems to have pretty good sense.
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Old 06-11-2004, 06:32 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Sacto.
Posts: 443
That price seems a bit on the high side to me. I just bought my '81 300TD for $2,500 with 161k miles and it's in pretty much the same overall condition as yours. But then, it has a few little things wrong with it and came without a maintenance history. I also spent a whole weekend rubbing out the paint -- it was badly faded but looks great now!

So with the good maintenance history on yours, and if everything works, it may be worth $4,600. I say get them to throw in the seat repair for free, make the wife happy and buy the car. My wife loves ours, says it's her favorite car of anything wev'e owned.

P.S. -- All the experts seem to think the '85 cars are the very best year of the 123 series.

'81 300TD turbo <<sold 12/05 to another diesel nut
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