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Old 04-27-2004, 06:33 PM
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Talking 1975 w115 300D for sale in California

Hi everybody, below is a description of the my car for an Ebay auction. As I was writing this, I thought I'd post it here before I run the auction, sort of a "right of first refusal." Don't be offended, I wrote a lot of this for people who know nothing about MB diesels!! Let me know if you are interested and I'll take some photos to distribute.

Matt Clarke


I finally must sell "the diesel". This is a terrific car and I really enjoy it. I thought about saving it for my boys to drive but they are 2 and 5 years old . . . I have had the car for about 2 years now and put on 20,000 miles, mostly around town in Santa Barbara. We all went to Riverside one day when it was about 100 degrees, cruising at 65 mph with the A/C blowing cold!! The compressor was replaced several years back and still works great.

For those of you who are not familiar with older diesel Mercedes, this is not a sports car. The car does not have great excelleration, makes more noise than the average car and smells more than the average car. In order to start this car, you turn the key and wait for glow plugs to operate for about 10-15 seconds, so if you are impatient and like driving really fast, this is not the car for you. However, if you would like a car that is very reliable, inexpensive to operate (assuming you can read a manual and do some work yourself) and will get you where you need to go. The handling on this car is surprisingly nice. The ride is very smooth, the steering wheel is large compared to "modern" vehicles. It has four wheel independent suspension, power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission with 4 speeds but the car starts in 2nd gear by design. The car cruises on the freeway at 70 mph but slows to 55 for hills. The engine uses very little oil. I use specialized diesel engine oil such as Rotella and that seems to work very well. I've used diesel fuel treatment occassionally to keep the injectors in good shape.

This is the W115 body style, not the W123 which succeeded this body style. This car has the same general running gear as the W123 - it has the 617 diesel engine which is proven to be bullet proof. The head and block are cast iron - no aluminium head in this engine.

General History: The car was first sold in Florida in 1975 where it lived until about 1990. It moved to Illinois where it lived until about 1996, when it moved to Phoenix, Arizona. From there it moved to Los Angeles, California which is where I purchased the vehicle. I bought it on Ebay from "hanksoldman" on Septmber 7, 2002. You can look at my feedback and contact the prior seller if you like. The guy who sold it to me was another diesel aficionado and had a 1980s 300D wagon. His wife was expecting a baby so he had to let the car go.

Maintenance History: I have ALL MAINTAINENCE RECORDS for this car nicely organized in a three-ring binder. I even have the original bill of sale - someone paid $12,498 for this car in 1975.

What others have done: Glow plugs, injectors, fuel lines, heat shield (receipt, 6-24-02), prior to that, the list is so long, it would take hours and hours to list everything on the receipts, but some examples are: (1) Blaupunkt plus speakers in 1995, (2) sway bar link 1995, (3) alternator, turn signal, shut off diaphram, part of ignition switch, 1996, (4) wheel bearings, transmission mount, AC pump, drier, AC hoses, expansion valve, right side motor mount, 1996, (5) subframe mounts, differential mount 1997, etc., etc., etc., thousands and thousands of dollars were spent on this car.

What I have done: I have changed the oil regularly, changed the brake master cylinder 11-10-03 (have receipt) and flushed the fluid, changed all 4 brake pads (lost receipt), changed the front brake rotors 2-29-04 (have receipt), changed both fuel filters (same date, have receipt), changed fuel tank cap seal (same date, have receipt), changed wiper blades (receipt), changed steering damper (may have receipt), rebuilt the heater valve using new o-rings, oiled the cables. Heater works great. Engine does not leak, transmission does not leak, radiator does not leak.

Current Condition and Areas that need improvements: Carpet under driver's feet is worn through, needs new carpet. There are four matching In other areas, carpet is serviceable. Vinyls front seats have holes and one seam in driver's seat is open. Driver's door window regulator is broken (motor works fine, the casting which holds the motor broke). Needs a replacement from the junk yard or I can see if the old one can be welded. I have an extra motor as well. The master door lock control at the driver's door leaks air and needs repair/replacement. The part is $25 and easy to replace. When the engine is running, the locks work but when the engine is off, there's not enough air pressure due to the leak. Locks work fine manually. There are two small areas where rust has perforated the sheet metal. One is at the rear, lower portion of the front, passenger side quarter panel. This is where the front tire spits moisture up. The hole is about 2 inches in diameter. The other rust damage is on the same side of the car on the rear quarter panel behind the rear wheel. Replacement panels are not terribly expensive or you can repair the hole using various methods. The paint is original and is thin and faded in places. Basically, the car needs new paint to look great. Chrome is all there and in good condition. Headliner is in good condition. Glove box latch may be broken.

Extras: The car also comes with a Mercedes-Benz factory maintenance manual also in a three-ring binder, which is great reading by itself. I bought lots of new parts some of which I will include with the vehicle. I just never had time to install the parts, though I love working on cars.

Essentially, this is a car that has been taken care of over the years by each of its owners. I have a 300E, a 525i and a Toyota truck and don't have time or space for all four of the vehicles.
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Old 04-27-2004, 08:05 PM
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