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Old 06-17-2019, 06:51 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 1
Looking into purchasing a 300D and had a few questions.

Hey guys, I've been interested in an old diesel Mercedes for a while now and have really enjoyed seeing videos on the W123 diesel models. I wouldn't say I fall for the whole 'runs on vegetable oil for a million miles' thing, meaning that's not what motivates me to potentially own one.

However, I do believe and appreciate they can run forever when looked after. But I'm not sure how much is too much when it comes to purchasing off the bat. Where I'm from (Australia) almost all examples have 300,000km (190,000 miles?) and above with asking prices of several thousand. Strictly speaking on mileage alone, are these cars worth several thousands of dollars?

For example I have had my eyes on a 1979 model with 346,000km and an asking price of $5000 (AUD). Cosmetic condition is good and it is roadworthy and has full service history, but that still sounds like a lot to ask for with a car that's seen this much driving in its lifetime. But that's the thing, does it REALLY have many more hundreds of thousands of mileage left in it providing I looked after it? $5000 is as cheap as you will see these cars here.

I also own a 1985 BMW E30 that I paid a couple thousand more for but is in very good condition and with only 102,000km (63,000 miles) on the clock. I would love to have a companion cruiser as I'm fond of old German autos. It's also worth noting that whilst I do tinker a little and repair some things, I'm no mechanic and happily take my car to a specialist if it needs something.

What kinds of things would you recommend asking the owner?

Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing your opinions.

Last edited by JasperJoran; 06-17-2019 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:39 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Alhambra California
Posts: 2,041
Good documented service records are very important. Annual valve adjustments along with new fuel filters are a must. The fuel tank screen should be cleaned at least every 2-3 years depending on the quality of diesel fuel in your area. There are also areas that are prone to rust:

Hood hinge pockets
Battery tray
Front and Rear window lower channels
Floors (remove the carpets and inspect the floors)
Jacking points
Bottom of doors
Sunroof (if so equipped) channels

Mechanically with this number of miles the vacuum pump should have been replaced and the transmission should have been serviced every 40,000 miles. Cracks in the dash (or a lack thereof) will add or subtract from the value of the car. Crack free replacement dashes are very rare. Driveline flex joints should have been inspected an/or replaced. All accessories including the cruise control, wipers, radio and radio antenna along with the rear window defroster should be fully functional. All vacuum operated door/trunk/fuel door should be fully functional. The ignition switch assembly is subject to wear and may have been replaced.

I am sure others will add to this list. If these items check out and the car is cosmetically sound, $5,000 (AUD) sounds like a fair price.
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