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Old 01-21-2001, 06:51 PM
Rick S
Posts: n/a
Potential purchase of 1984 380 SE

My 16 year old son and I are looking at one (for him) with 184k miles - original owner, who kept it in Alabama and Georgia. He says car has never been hit, not repainted. He has records showing his name back to at least 1990. We stopped looking at that point. Car idles at approx 1,800 RPM even when fully warmed up. He said timing chain was done at 95k. Body is straight and interior is great. However, the paint has odd cracks that, to me, look like enlarged "crows feet" (1/4 - 1/2 long cracks all over the car). Yet the paint shines and feels absolutely smooth.

The car runs very smoothly and steers straight and predictably. No wandering or vibrations. It leaks gas near the fuel pump (steady drip almost a stream). While the climate control push buttons seem to cause the flaps to move, and the fan speed changes with changes to the temperature setting (when fan swith is on automatic), no heat comes out of the ducts. I think I heard the a/c compressor click on when I called for minimum temp.

There is a slight high pitched whine when the car is under any load. The whine stops when the car is coasting. It sounds like it is coming from the rear of the car. Finally, the trunk lid had water all over the underside and the carpet was wet in the left fender well (I am sure the owner had just run the car through a car wash).

Previous posts indicate problems with head studs. Is this issue applicable to this car also? Has anyone experienced the paint problem with original white paint? Is there a typical cause of the climate control problem? Would anyone recommend a reasonable price (or range)for the car?

Thanks for you help. I hope we do better this time than we did when we bought a 1986 300D with 278k miles. I paid $4,500 for the car from the original owner, put $3,500 in parts into the car, and sold it for $3,500 after doniie & crew reported that it needed approx $2,500 in additional parts. BTW, they were excellent to deal with and will get more of our business someday!

Thanks again, Rick & Bob

[Edited by Rick S on 01-21-2001 at 06:55 PM]
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Old 01-22-2001, 02:01 AM
Rick S
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the input, John!

My dad and I actually do much of the work ourselves, so some of the problems will not be so bad when we use our own labor.

I am very interested to see if anyone has had the same problem with the paint?

Also, I went back and read several posts on the idle problem. Are the repairs generally expensive or is it something that is usually easy to fix?

As always, thanks to everyone on this wonderful board!

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Old 01-26-2001, 06:35 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 97
I know this is late, but I have the same thing with the paint on my 380se. It's white, and you can see hairline cracks under the clearcoat. Some of the came out with rubbing compound.
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