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  #1  
Old 12-22-2001, 12:38 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 345
85 300TD...Questions!! HELP!!

GUYS!!!

Help!!!

I'm still looking at cars....I found a 1985 300TD with all the extras...225,000 miles...for 1500$$$!!!!!

BUTT...here's what the seller says it needs...(what does this mean?)

Idles LOW when cold....probably needs a "tune up"
needs a battery...
power sunroof "probably" needs a FUSE
tiny rust bubble on rear wheel

Now...it's usually not that high of miles for a diesel, right? AND...what might this car NEED after 225,000 miles, ASSuming that it hasn't had much replaced.(assume the worst)

OR..does this sound like trouble???
(the owner doesn't have any records... )

Any opinions appreciated!!

~Christy
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2001, 02:05 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Tucson, Arizona
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Look at the car if you can

Greetings Christy,

There are a lot of folks out there selling cars on the net, Ebay especially and asking a lot of questions and even seeing the car is a real plus. To answer your questions without seeing the car or being able to inquire to the seller further I'll take a stab at it. The low idle when engine is cold could be a number of things that could either need adjustment or replacement. Just how cold is the outside air that the seller is talking about? Here's a few things that could directly affect idle on a cold engine. Idle set to low to start with, look at tach to verify it's idling between 750-850 rpm, bad or going glow plugs would not only cause a rough starting idle but also causes a very hard to start engine, hence the battery replacement they could be talking about. Glow plugs are relatively cheap, $12 a piece, need to change all five at the same time just for piece of mind. Valve adjustment could be required, DIY'er with a new $7 valve cover gasket. Injection timing could be off, but in most cases it affects the engine in cold or hot engine running conditions.
The sunroof needs a fuse, I don't buy that one. Why mention that it just needs a fuse when a $.09 fuse installed would cure the problem? I'd say that either the sunroof motor is toast blowing the fuse, the clutch is either out of adjustment or broken or the cable is snapped and also requires replacement, (That one isn't real fun to do, but is also a DIY'er project if you have patience) Roof motor new runs over $300. or at salvage yard about $75 The cable runs about $42 and only buy this new.
The rust on wheel I assume is meant to mean that there is rust formation on the rear wheel fender lip, pretty common if this is a Northern car. It to can most likely be repaired or at least slowed down from growing.
Not much else was mentioned in your post about how the seller rated the engine performance or tranny shifts. I'd like to know as a buyer how the engine has been maintain as well as the tranny as either one that has been abused can cause headaches and empty wallet syndrome down the road.
Mileage on this car is still quite reasonable and you would probably be able to double this if the engine has been properly maintained. I think I would start asking in dept questions about every feature of this car from seats to climate control for proper operation. I'd keep these emails as well and somewhere get in writing that if it is not as described seller must refund you your money.
You'll probably find that a lot of folks that are selling their Benz on the net either take it in to a shop for all repairs, thus a less detailed description of how the car looks or performs verses the person that maintains their own car that lists replacement parts recently changed or repairs that have been performed. These DIY'ers generally have a heads up on how the car performs and whether it has degraded or not.

Good Luck,

Charles
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"Tell me and I will listen, Teach me and I will learn, Show me and I will accomplish, Involve me and I will succeed."
'84 300SD 256,000 Gold on Brown (Mileage Award)
'86 300E 246,000 Blue on Tan
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  #3  
Old 12-23-2001, 09:11 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 345
Thanks Charles!

I'm with you on the sunroof B.S.....I feel best assuming the worst case scenario...it's a job I'd try and tackle..

Luckily, this car isn't an Ebay discovery, but a private seller about an hour away from me. The seller plans to hook up a battery and have me come and see the car after the first of the year.
I'll let ya know what it is..


I'm not really interested in getting a car to REBUILD...(been there...HAVEN'T done that!)...
but rather a car that I can MAINTAIN...

I guess I just need to get in this car and drive...

I'm concerned that after 225,000 miles that this car will need weird stuff like struts....timing belt...water pump....starter...alternator....etc...is this just a fact of life??

~Christy
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  #4  
Old 12-23-2001, 09:24 PM
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One thing you WON'T have to worry about on it is the replacement of the timing belt
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  #5  
Old 12-23-2001, 10:27 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Tucson, Arizona
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Wear dated parts bound to wear out

Greetings Christy,

Overall I would have to look at the car as a whole looking at parts that will definitely need replacement. Generally a car this age has probably been through a change out of a lot of parts that generally go out in the 100-150 thousand mile range. Things like starters, alternators and the like are generally unforseen problems that just happen and aren't considered a routine maintenance change item. Heaven no, I don't think I'd change out my alternator just because it had 175,000 miles on it. In most cases these items either show that they are on their last leg, or they simply go dead out of the blue. Even the seller can't predict the future of his car. As Bill mentioned though, these are easily replaced items, and in most cases aren't to awfully expensive to buy. If you are convinced the engine is strong and the tranny is solid and the major driveline is stable, then the decision to buy this Benz solely rests on whether it captures your desire to own it. Trust me, there are a hundred little things that could be wrong, and all of them could add up to $500 in part costs and several hours in labor on your part, but in the end it's good for another 100,000 miles. How many U.S. made cars out there last through the warranty period without a glitch where it has something major go wrong with it? I'd say none. Personally I believe that both of my diesel powered Benz's both with over 160,000 miles are just now getting broke in.

Charles
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"Tell me and I will listen, Teach me and I will learn, Show me and I will accomplish, Involve me and I will succeed."
'84 300SD 256,000 Gold on Brown (Mileage Award)
'86 300E 246,000 Blue on Tan
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