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Old 01-08-2003, 12:54 PM
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1983 W123 200T leaded or unleaded fuel?

last week i bought a 1983 200T in the UK, and i have no idea what fuel i should be using. previous owner doesn't know, he only had the car one month and i haven't yet traced an earlier owner.

is there any way i can tell which i should be using, my car is pre-catalytic, which makes it leaded, however apparently most people had them changed over. how can i tell?

until i find out is it better for me to be using one or the other from a damage containment point of view? what damage might occur if i continue to use the wrong fuel?

many thanks in advance, jab

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Old 01-09-2003, 12:28 PM
MikeTangas's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
You only need to put a good mid to high grade petrol in the tank. No worries about lead v unlead as MB has been using hardened valve seats since the 50'-60's. Running no lead fuel won't hurt the valves.

I suggest checking the manual to see what grade is recommended. If no manual, start with the mid and see how it runs. Listen for pinging from the spark plugs. If any ping, bump up a grade.
Mike Tangas
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Old 01-09-2003, 02:50 PM
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Thanks Mike,
This makes me feel a lot happier. I'll use Shell Optimax, as that's full of lots of good cleaners etc. and is apparently good for engines.
There was no manual with the car or any other service history, mind you i only paid 300.00 for the car. having said that i can't believe what a fantastic bargain it was, i've cleaned it up and mechanically it all seems very sound, i can now turn my meagre talents to sorting out the chrome trim and the very few rust spots.
it's a hilarious car to drive, i mean it, it hates any driving input from me preferring to just roll along at it's own pace. i simply sit back and relax with a big grin on my face.

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