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  #1  
Old 01-19-2001, 03:39 PM
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I have determined that I need to replace the radiator on the 1980 300SD. (The temperature rides at about 100 and increases with the speed of the car, but will decrease if the heater is turned on full) A new one is over $500. I understand that this radiator is all metal and can be recored.

My question is, Do I take it to a local radiator shop or is there someone that specializes doing these? Or is there a better alternative?
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2001, 04:46 PM
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Is $500 for the original Behr radiator? Look for an aftermarket brand. I am assuming you checked the thermostat. I put an aftermarket radiator in my car ($250) made by Nissens?? in Denmark. Everything fitted perfectly, no trouble so far, and the car runs a lot cooler.
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2001, 05:49 PM
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Yes, I have replaced the thermostat.

The radiators for the 123 cars are significantly different from the 116. The 123's are plastic and Al. I have used aftermarket and original on the 123's.
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  #4  
Old 01-19-2001, 08:24 PM
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Any reputable radiator shop can recore the radiator. Though let them decide if all it needs is a good boil.

-CTH
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  #5  
Old 01-21-2001, 02:33 AM
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Totally Rad..

Have you called Auto Radiator Outlet at 1-800-252-0333? Or checked http://www.radiator.com (1-888-radiator) I priced a radiator for you at Radiator.com, and for an '81 (they didn't go back to '80) their price was $216.00. They guarantee the unit for life, and also guarantee to have the lowest prices, and next day shipping. None of these places will do the R&R, but they seem to have very good prices for a new replacement. Oh, and there's also Discount Radiators at: http://discountradiators.com/ or 1-800-443-1322, but I couldn't get their search engine to work for me.

I am researching the same thing for my '82 W126 300SD. I went to an independent MB shop, and after seeing their estimate, asked them if they did the work. I was told that they take it out and put it back, but for the actual radiator work they send it to a radiator shop....

The only thing that concerns me is that you say that YOU determined that you need a new radiator. Have you taken it to a shop to have it checked? Are you sure that your problem is actually the radiator? What kind of coolant do you use? When did you last have it changed? Maybe all you need is a thorough flush and a coolant change? You can always check out http://www.radiatorinfo.com/ for more information.

And, when you do change the radiator and/or coolant, use the Mercedes coolant, or at least an "extended life" coolant that is Non-Green in color.




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  #6  
Old 01-21-2001, 11:33 AM
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Mr. Longston,

If the general work force would just take your interest. I wonder what benefits it would bring.

Very Good
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  #7  
Old 01-21-2001, 01:05 PM
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I wrote an answer to this post a few days ago but it didn't take for some reason.

Its even more appropriate now that some answers are in.

I would recommend a good radiator shop and if necessary a recore. It seems from the answers that a radiator is black and it goes under the hood for a price.

First, the 116 chassis radiator is originally brass and bears no more resemblance to an 81 than to a Ford.

Second, is a radiator a radiator because its black and CHEAP? I must be unusual because when I don't know what I'm doing I always differ to the highest cost item. If you buy a MB radiator for less money, you are wise. If you find out that Behr makes MB radiators and buy it even cheaper you are even wiser. If you find that Nissen makes five different radiators for your car in brass and one of them even meets factory specifications you have found another possibility. BUT if you just go to Radiators are US mailorder and purchase a POS with half the tubes, half the fins and a third the weight for CHEAP don't expect me to fix the problems you have caused. (Me being the rhetorical version of all professional technicians).

If you get a recore the same questions need to be asked. A good radiator shop will know what to do unless you come at them with a cheap attitude. You wouldn't want your MB running around with a customized Yugo radiator would you?
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  #8  
Old 01-21-2001, 06:50 PM
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Well said Steve!

I totally agree there. When I found coolant leaking from the rotted out fins of my radiator in my '80 300SD last year, I just bit the bullet and got an original MB unit. It is indeed made by Behr (mine was made in spain) and carries the MB warranty. It was around $550 my cost compared to $730 if I wasn't a dealer employee. Sure it's expensive, but the consequences of an overheated engine are worse. Don't go aftermarket. Keep those 116s on the road! Remember, if it's not maintained with genuine Mercedes-Benz parts, it's not a genuine Mercedes-Benz!
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  #9  
Old 01-22-2001, 12:45 AM
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YOUR Mileage And Other Results May Vary...

Perhaps a disclaimer is needed?

Yes, Steve, apples ARE different from oranges.

I didn't post the cost for an '81 300SD radiator for any other reason other than as a comparison of pricing, and the simple fact was, that I couldn't get an online quote for an '80 on the weekend. OK? I didn't intend to even imply that it bore any more resemblance to an W116 radiator than to a TREE! Their damn search engine simply didn't go back that far. I also couldn't get a quote from MercedesShop, or MegaParts either! I did just get a quote from The Benz Bin website for you, Tref, and it was: Part # 116-501-24-01, Radiator, New, List - 730.00 Your Cost - 620.50 Each.

Now, I also must strongly disagree with Steve's quote:"...when I don't know what I'm doing I always differ to the highest cost item." STEVE! High price doesn't always equate to high quality...

There have been many times when I thought that the dealer's price for an item would be higher than aftermarket, I found out that I was wrong, and that the dealer did have the lowest price for the part. There have ALSO been numerous situations where I have found that the "stock" item wasn't any better, or even in some cases not as good as the aftermarket one. I don't buy cheap crap! Whenever I have, it has ALWAYS come back to bite me in the ASS!!!

So, here's my version: When I Don't Know What I'm Doing, I Do Research, Ask Questions, And Make DAMN Sure That I Know What All Of My Options Are!

But my Mercedes had a non-original radiator in it when I bought it, and I'm not about to pay $500 for an OE radiator to replace it, unless my research shows me that there is a major significant difference between the "Behr" brand and the aftermarket one.

BTW, for my car, I can either buy an OE radiator part # 126-500-35-03 from The Benz Bin for $346.79, or get an aftermarket copy of that one from them for $190.22. I'll need some details, but if these are the same except for the brand name, I'm buying the less expensive one.

And at the risk of "making another friend", I'll also disagree with Aaron's contention, "Remember, if it's not maintained with genuine Mercedes-Benz parts, it's not a genuine Mercedes-Benz!" Personally, I think paying for a nameplate is foolish unless you're restoring a collectible vehicle. And, for some people, even the cost of a $500 part or repair may be beyond their budget. We all have situations where something has to last a little longer, be replaced as inexpensively as possible, or corners must be cut just to keep the vehicle on the road until we can get to where we can afford to "fix it right". If that wasn't the case, we'd all go directly to the dealer for all services and repairs, and there would be no need for this forum, or MercedesShop.

I am a VERY careful shopper, and I strongly suggest that everyone else is too. I would NEVER suggest that anyone, how did you put it, Steve? "just go to Radiators are US mailorder and purchase a POS with half the tubes, half the fins and a third the weight for CHEAP". On that, I couldn't agree more.

But is what you say about this the facts about these particular radiator outlets and their products? Or are you just postulating that they are low quality? I don't want to steer anyone into disaster, I'm just offering some alternative choices to fellow members who may be on a tight budget. I'd gladly defer to your factual experience...

Steve (and Aaron), we rely on you to give us the "factual" benefits of your wisdom and experience as regards the maintenance and repair of these vehicles. Please, with all due respect, I would prefer you make comments about a particular sales outlet, product, or anything pertaining to Mercedes from factual data to back up your statements. I want to be able to rely on your word as gold.

Remember that the opinions expressed on this forum are simply the opinion(s) of the individual poster(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the general membership at large, previous posters on this thread, MercedesShop, Mercedes Benz, and/or Daimler Chrysler. MercedesShop is in no way affiliated with, or endorsed by Mercedes Benz, and/or Daimler Chrysler. The advice given here is strictly to be used for entertainment purposes only, and there are no warranties expressed or implied as to the quality, or factual basis of any and/or all of the information posted on this forum. And always remember kids: "MercedesShop.com, LLC takes no responsibility whatsoever for any technical assistance offered by anyone in the Shop Forum. The Risk is 100% yours.." Your mileage and other results may vary...
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  #10  
Old 01-22-2001, 02:21 AM
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Ok, I have to defend my statement...

"If it's not maintained with genuine Mercedes-Benz parts, it's not a genuine Mercedes-Benz."

Ok, I will side with you that some parts can be had less expensively if they are packaged in a "Bosch" or "Mann" box rather than an MB one, BUT....When it comes to buying a product such as a radiator from a company like Behr or buying some cheap knockoff there is indeed a difference. I'm sure if you buy the radiator directly from Behr it will cost less than if you had bought it from a Mercedes dealership, but when you buy some copy of a Behr, you are really in the dark about what you're getting. There is a place advertised in The Star (name withheld for obvious reasons) which advertises plastic radiators at super low prices. Well for those of you who wish to take the cheap route out, that's fine. You get what you pay for. Put a plastic radiator in a car meant to have a metal one and don't complain to us when it needs a new one after a couple years. You chose to buy a Mercedes-Benz for many reasons I'm sure, and two of them probably being engineering quality and safety. Well, if Mercedes recommends using Behr radiators and Ate brakes rather than what the aftermarket has to offer at low prices, I'm sure as heck going to use the original recommended parts. Mercedes chose these companies for a reason, and that is because they also manufacture well engineered components. I'm sorry if I caused any misunderstanding or disrespect in my statement, but I am a stickler about originality and keeping my Mercedes' "genuine Mercedes". I've worked very hard for what I've got and didn't buy a Mercedes until I knew that I could afford to maintain it properly with the correct parts. An automobile like a Mercedes-Benz is one hell of an investment, and therefore should be maintained to the highest standard. If you can't afford to fix it properly, then I would get a second car and lay the Benz up until the money permits correct repairs. I see way too many cars come in because items such as aftermarket chain tensioners failed, etc...And the owner was just concerned about the money aspect when those repairs were originally performed. Now they've got an even more expensive problem on their hands. You know, I was really hot on getting an old Rolls Royce Silver Shadow a number of years back. I researched all kinds of things on the car and even compared prices in the aftermarket to original Rolls Royce parts, and surprisingly, had I chosen to maintain it solely with aftermarket parts, it could have been a pretty affordable investment! But I've got a problem with doing that to a car of such high respect. Same goes for Mercedes-Benz. When I speak with a customer about options on repairing their vehicle, I always recommend what Mercedes would recommend first, I then give them the option to have the car towed to a shop where only the bare minimum will be performed using cheaper parts. It's really a shame when they opt for the second choice. Waaay too many comebacks because of other shops' carelesness and sometimes even substituting the wrong part in because that's what was sitting on their shelf and would "hold it over" for a while. I even threw a fit when I found out that we don't use original Mercedes wheel weights at the dealership. Well, when I open up my shop in a year or two, I will make it a point to only use Mercedes original or OEM. Things like brake rotors I will certainly buy from Ate and not Mercedes-Benz, it's the same part, but you'll be hard pressed to find any other brand on my shelves. Same goes for small thnigs like nuts and bolts. Mercedes-Benz used Kamax bolts in their cars from the factory, that's what my bins will be stocked with. So, again, I mean no disrespect, it's just my personal preference. I understand at times money can be tight, but for you and your car's sake, please make an effort to keep it "genuine". I stand firmly behind that belief.

BTW, the same goes for me and tools. You won't find a single Craftsman in my box. The world's best car deserves to be repaired using the world's best tools. You'll all probably think I'm totally nuts here, but it bugs me when I see a tech wrenching on a Benz with anything but the finest tools. Additionally, "custom fabricating" tools to use when there is indeed a Mercedes factory tool available just isn't kosher. For a DIYer, Craftsman is fine, but when you make your living servicing cars, I believe that there is no room for cheap tools. Sorry if I have offended anyone. I just needed to rant!





[Edited by Aaron on 01-22-2001 at 01:31 AM]
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