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  #1  
Old 07-24-2008, 01:59 PM
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Location: Redmond, WA
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Well, I'm about to call it quits on old Mercedes.

I'm getting ready to part ways with my 1983 240D, once it's back from the mechanic.

Mechanically, it's in great shape -- I've done all of the neglected maintenance from the previous two owners, the engine runs strong and starts instantly and the transmission is in great shape, although it needs to have its vacuum set properly to shift at the right spots.

But, it's a freaking insane money pit. Or it has been anyway, there isn't much left to fix on it.

I've probably spent at least the amount I paid for the car, possibly more, in repairs and maintenance in this last year. I even do some of the work myself! Although in an apartment complex, it's hard to do anything more complex than change the radiator really.

Once it's back, I'm going to sell it on this forum here or possibly on Craigslist. I'll be buying a Honda Element instead.

The truth of the matter is, the Element is a far more appropriate car for all of the outdoor sports I'm involved with (mountain biking, triathlon, etc.) and it'll probably be far more reliable, and cheaper, as well.

If anyone is interested preliminarily, a quick run-down of the car:

1983 240D
229,xxx Miles
Clean Title

Automatic transmission
Power windows (2 of 4 work. FR needs the window switch cleaned so it will roll down, not just up; RL has a problem with the regulator where the motor works but the window won't move up or down.)
Power sunroof (works, but the wind deflector needs to be pressed down by hand for it to close)
Working air conditioning with manual climate control compressor was replaced by the P.O. about a year before I bought it, "It cost over $1500" he said. There had been a problem with the clutch relays, so there is a wire and a switch dangling which can be used to override all of the switches and force the compressor to engage. It is still wired up, can be used for something else.
4 new Polk Audio speakers
Cruise control actuator is not in the car, amplifier is. Will include 3 actuators including the untampered-with original and an extra amplifier, if you want to have GDL rebuild and need some cores.

The following has been done:
New water pump (sitting in a box in the trunk, it's not really necessary but I got it on expectation)
Full coolant flush
New coolant temperature sender
New radiator and radiator bushings
New 3/2 Vacuum valve
New valve cover gasket
Valves Adjusted
Inner, Outer Tie Rod and Sleeve
Cleaned intake
New starter
4 new tires with road hazard warranty
New engine and transmission mounts and bushings
New transmission vacuum modulator
New master vacuum hose
New glow plugs
"new" (replaced) glow plug relay
"new" (replaced) air conditioning clutch engage relays
New flex disc
New center bearing and support

Cheers.

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D
Automatic, A/C, Power Sunroof, Power Right Side Mirror
231K Miles FOR SALE MAKE OFFER

Last edited by jkoebel; 07-24-2008 at 03:07 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2008, 02:01 PM
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paying cash for the element? If not, then its probably not really cheaper, as most cars that are financed are more when you factor payment, insurance and fuel. I wish the best of luck yo you.
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2008, 02:06 PM
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If you don't do most of the work yourself, an old MB diesel can get expensive. I disagree with the outdoor sports view. I think my 85 300TD is just about ideal for outdoor sports. Just used it to pull a trailer and all my rafting gear to Dinosaur National Monument to run the Yampa.
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  #4  
Old 07-24-2008, 02:16 PM
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JK- I feel your pain.
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  #5  
Old 07-24-2008, 02:57 PM
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When you place it on Craigslist I don't think I'd call it "a freaking insane money pit". But that's just me...
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  #6  
Old 07-24-2008, 03:04 PM
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Well the next owner, won't have a money pit :p they'll have a great, well maintained car with lots of new parts.

I'm paying cash for the Element.
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1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D
Automatic, A/C, Power Sunroof, Power Right Side Mirror
231K Miles FOR SALE MAKE OFFER
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  #7  
Old 07-24-2008, 03:25 PM
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It's natural to want to dump a car after spending a lot of money fixing it, but it's not logical unless there's some other underlying reason. You just fixed all those issues, so why not reap the benefits and enjoy the car now? On the other hand if the main reason is that the Element will fit your needs better then by all means dump this car.
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Past MB's: '96 E300D, '83 240D, '82 300D, '87 300D, '87 420SEL
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  #8  
Old 07-24-2008, 03:30 PM
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Well, the unsuitability is a big reason, I have trouble fitting 4 people + 4 bikes + 4 people's gear in the 240D. It loads to the brim and winds up getting 12mpg at 60mph for the entire trip to our destination.

The car has been two weeks in the shop almost, over a CV boot. (another things to add to list: exhaust manifold gasket, rear inner CVs) They couldn't locate an appropriate one. I can take the Element to pretty much any Honda dealer and have it back the same day.
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1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D
Automatic, A/C, Power Sunroof, Power Right Side Mirror
231K Miles FOR SALE MAKE OFFER
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  #9  
Old 07-24-2008, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkoebel View Post
Well the next owner, won't have a money pit they'll have a great, well maintained car with lots of new parts.
So would *you*, if you kept it.

I had a 1979 Cadillac Coupe de Ville just like that. A nver ending money pit, so I got rid of it after a year.

Ironically, the next owners loved it , and told me they never had to put a cent into it. That could have been ME!!!
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1995 E 420, 170k "The Red Plum" (sold)

2015 BMW 535i xdrive awd Stage 1 DINAN, 6k, <----364 hp

1967 Mercury Cougar, 49k

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  #10  
Old 07-24-2008, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkoebel View Post
I can take the Element to pretty much any Honda dealer and have it back the same day.
Don't count on it. I've read many stories of people with new cars whose cars were stuck at the dealer for many days. That's why dealers have loaner cars. Having said, I'd expect a new Honda to be much more reliable than any old car. Are you buying it brand new or used?
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Past MB's: '96 E300D, '83 240D, '82 300D, '87 300D, '87 420SEL
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  #11  
Old 07-24-2008, 04:02 PM
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New-used, it's a certified car, dealer maintained its whole life w/ service records and everything.

I love the character and status the Benz conveys, but it's just the best damn SUV I've ever seen in my life, I have to have one.

Jim B., trust me, I've thought of that -- and if I wasn't planning on changing my usage habits, I'd totally keep it. But, my future has more of an SUV feel to it so I have to go with that. (Skiing, biking, camping, etc.)
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1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D
Automatic, A/C, Power Sunroof, Power Right Side Mirror
231K Miles FOR SALE MAKE OFFER
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  #12  
Old 07-24-2008, 04:06 PM
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What's this rubbish . . . they're cars, not mutual funds . . . we all get "upside down" financially, so it's all about enjoying the relationship that balances the books.
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  #13  
Old 07-24-2008, 04:14 PM
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Here is the way that I see it. Your Mercedes Benz is 25 years old, and probably in great shape. Sure it may need this or that. However if you go back to 1983 and look at a Honda product from that year, you will see a much less engeneered car. It will not be as safe, will not ride as well, and frankly is much more difficult to work on then any good quality european car...ie MB, Volvo or even a lot of BMWs for that matter.

I feel in buying the Honda, you might have more easy ride for the next few years in terms of maintance, but there is no way it will last 25 years, and even if it would you would not want it much past ten. I would say over the course of the long run you would be better off fixing the last few things or your Mercedes Benz and and enjoying the ride for the concievalbe future.
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  #14  
Old 07-24-2008, 04:16 PM
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New Outback?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkoebel View Post
Jim B., trust me, I've thought of that -- and if I wasn't planning on changing my usage habits, I'd totally keep it. But, my future has more of an SUV feel to it so I have to go with that. (Skiing, biking, camping, etc.)
How about a new Subaru Outback? I just got a new one and it's awesome, and set up for exactly those kinds of things you like. Plus the new ones are really comfortable, luxurious and reliable.

Just avoid the LL Bean ones that have the fancy leather, moonroof, SATNAV, wood trim and things that can bump the price way over $30,000 -$32,000


With a factory rebate of $1500 and zero percent interest loan the dealers give, as new cars are not moving, it could work. It just did for me.

I bought this one with the all weather package and automatic for $21,750



20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, on regular. Full time awd too for snow and mud

All the SUV benefits but with high gas mileage AND reliability


Plus they are considered big and safe now. Lots of factory and dealer roof rack options for kayaks, skiis, bicycles etc. are available too
__________________
1991 560 SEC AMG, 199k <---- 300 hp 10:1 ECE euro HV ...

1995 E 420, 170k "The Red Plum" (sold)

2015 BMW 535i xdrive awd Stage 1 DINAN, 6k, <----364 hp

1967 Mercury Cougar, 49k

2013 Jaguar XF, 20k <----340 hp Supercharged, All Wheel Drive (sold)

Last edited by Jim B.; 07-24-2008 at 04:41 PM.
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  #15  
Old 07-24-2008, 05:14 PM
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That Subaru looks better than the Element, IMO. Probably better mileage too.

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Past MB's: '96 E300D, '83 240D, '82 300D, '87 300D, '87 420SEL
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