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  #1  
Old 07-20-2001, 04:02 PM
Paul S
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Let's say you want to spend exactly $3K on a used Mercedes.

There seem to be a few options available:

- 1984-1988 190E/D
- 1982-1985 S Class (can sometimes find in this price range)
- 1979-1985 240/300D
- Others?

Which model/year would be your choice and why?

Thanks!

Paul

P.S. If it isn't obvious, I'm thinking along these lines and am trying to solicit people's opinions!
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  #2  
Old 07-20-2001, 04:38 PM
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The best $3,000 Mercedes is one that doesnít need $3,000 of work.

But seriously nowÖ

Seeing that you list diesels as a possibility, high performance does not seem to be of significance for you. In which case the 126 380ís are plenty cheap, although you need to be aware of the timing chain problems on the early 380ís, amongst other weaknesses. The 123 diesels are a sure bet. They are solid, durable, cheap, dependable, easy to work on & readily available.

Donít overlook *any* of the later 450 series cars. They are bulletproof, rivaling the diesel engines for longevity. But they are something of gas hogs.

Make sure that the climate control is working properly on any car you look at, as this can be a major expense.

But MOST important is this: A meticulously maintained car. Donít try to buy a fixer-upper (see the first sentence above).

Happy Hunting

RTH
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  #3  
Old 07-20-2001, 04:56 PM
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For $3000, you are not going to find a cream puff, so expect a bit of repair and maintenance to run in the thousands, until you get the aged mechanical components replaced.

As earlier stated, climate control is a royal pain in the $$$ if servicing is needed there.

I would bank on the diesel models for reliability and longevity. The S class models are superbly built, but they will drain your pockets on repairs.

You could find a later model MB for $3K with body damage, but because of the way MB designs crumple zones, I would stay away from "severe-impact" vehicles.
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  #4  
Old 07-20-2001, 05:01 PM
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Buy a California based, 240D. You can easily get one for 1500-2000$, in excellent shape. Then spend the balance on such things as new brake pads, full lube change, rebuild the seats, etc. It will last you damn near forever.
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  #5  
Old 07-20-2001, 07:11 PM
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> The S class models are superbly built, but they will
> drain your pockets on repairs.

Based on what I read forums like this one, I doubt that an 83 300SD will cost more to repair than an 83 300D. In fact, I've read of more problems with 300D AC systems than with 300SD AC systems. Note that I have *not* compiled valid statistics. The 300D has the mileage edge, the 300SD has the comfort edge. For the same price, a 300D should have fewer miles and/or be in better shape.

Sixto
91 300SE
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  #6  
Old 07-20-2001, 09:58 PM
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Cool,

I've been thinking of the same subject too.
I wonder which one costs the least to maintain, the 190's are out for me. I don't have much love for them.

The 240D and 300D Turbo sound good, and so does the 300SDs..
but if the repair costs are going to be outrageous.. I'd rather spend more money on a '90 W124 or W126..

I love the W123 and as a collector's car.. I would prefer the 280E or 280CE.. if only they were easy to find..

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  #7  
Old 07-21-2001, 11:46 AM
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Since the question revolves around money I thoroughly agree with Bill. The 123 is by far the cheapest to maintain. Included in the benefits are that it is the easiest to DIY.

There was an era change with the 201/124 models. All cars since then are a quantum leap more expensive to maintain. Most of the differences are with the A/C but all the electronics and creature features make the new era cars way more expensive and technical.
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  #8  
Old 07-21-2001, 10:56 PM
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Actually, is the Automatic climate control only for the US market? Because I have never seen the auto climate control in the newer benzes or even older ones in Indonesia. Even the W210's..

So, how much would you expect to pay for a late model 240D? Really mind with a stick shift? I haven't really seen a 240D with auto climate control..

cheers,
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2001, 11:19 PM
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I've been looking for a 240D with a manual tranny in decent shape for 3 or 4 years now. The ones I've seen don't compare to my 240D with an automatic, so I just keep this one. I live in the midwest. Maybe if I was in Cali, or florida, or texas, I could find one.

I owned a 1987 300SDL for 10 years, and I must say that the different between the cars is extensive, even though they were both diesels. The 87 needed a lot of work at 160 to 180K miles, and it wasn't really the type of work I could do. My 240 at 240kmiles has not needed the same parts, but when it needs something (usually minor), I have a pretty good chance of doing it myself.

This is a long way of saying that my perfect $3k MB would be a 240 with a manual tranny, or a 300D, with less than 150K miles, and no rust, ...

Joe
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  #10  
Old 07-22-2001, 02:37 AM
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I have both a 74 240 D manual and an 81 SD of course automatic. They are as different as an old Town canoe (240)
to a Yacht tender(SD). Someone told me that the 240D was designed as an European Taxi cab and then dolled up with sunroof and a few goodies for this country.The SD reminds me of what a Cadillac should have been a very forgiving wonderfully comfortable auto that just begs to be driven. Possibly I have a split personality as I love them both dearly.I Don't find the SD any harder to work on in some respects it's easier as there is more room in the engine compartment.
William Rogers.........
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  #11  
Old 07-22-2001, 06:39 AM
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I'll be in Boston, I guess chances ain't so high in finding a good 240D Manual. Maybe I'll just stick with whatever Stick Shift benz I can find.. maybe a 190 2.3-16
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  #12  
Old 07-22-2001, 07:11 AM
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Holson,

You're too picky. You have your choice of manual trans MBs if you look in the 35 years and older category Seriously, most of the W115 240Ds I've seen have manual trans. Pretty much the same engine as the W123 240D.

Sixto
91 300SE
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  #13  
Old 07-22-2001, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sixto
Holson,

You're too picky. You have your choice of manual trans MBs if you look in the 35 years and older category Seriously, most of the W115 240Ds I've seen have manual trans. Pretty much the same engine as the W123 240D.

Sixto
91 300SE
Hi!

Yeah, that's true
but.. uhh... the 114/5 are not exactly my favorite Mercedes.
I think I'll stick with the 240D/300D be it Auto or Manual.. unless I can find a cheap 300SD - or someone sponsors me for a late W124
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  #14  
Old 07-22-2001, 01:02 PM
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There is almost always a good 300SD on Ebay. I even bought one of them.
P E H
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  #15  
Old 07-22-2001, 09:40 PM
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Guys,
check this out..
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=593574695
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