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Old 02-14-2003, 12:24 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 140
Poetential W123 300TD Wagon

Hello everyone!! Today I found a nice 300TD (forgot the year) Wagon in Minneapolis burried under the snow at a used car lot. I have never owned a W123 or a Diesel benz and would be very excited to own one. We tried starting it and it turns over but no start. We pushed it into the heated garage and I'll be there tomorrow morning to try again. We thought that the fuel might be frozen (or any of the fuel lines) since the temperatures were below 0F (-20C) for the past few weeks. Is there an additive for Diesel engines which prevents the fuel from freezing? Anyway, the car seemed to sit quite low and since the car was completely stock I don't think that someone actually lowered the car. Does it have air suspension which operates only when the car is running and it drops lower when the engine is turned off? Also, I could not locate the Turbo charger. Is it located below the air filter? What was the first production year when Mercedes used a Turbo on their wagons in US Market?

Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!
1984 MB 300D Turbo Diesel W123 Sedan 132K
1987 MB 300D Turbo W124 Sedan 295K
1983 Porsche 944 104K
1989 Audi 80 Quattro 180K
2002 Audi A6 3.0 Quattro Avant 49K (Wife's car with warranty )

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Old 02-14-2003, 04:27 AM
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go to

this site gives you a whole bunch of useful w123 technical info. i found it invaluable when i was looking for a w123.

good luck jab

ps. in england we are always complaining about the weather, however reading your email makes me realize it's not so bad, currently sunny and warm enough to wear a t-shirt (just).
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Old 02-14-2003, 08:28 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Okanogan County, WA
Posts: 108
123 TD-T

The "T" in TD stands for "touring." The 300TD's first received turbo-charging in 1981. All 123 wagons had hydro-pneumatic leveling in the rear only, and used a linkage connected to the rear "anti-sway" bar to sense when the rear was loaded or un-loaded and compensate by raising or lowering the rear of the car by means of a hydraulic pump adding fluid to nitrogen filled spheres connected to the rear struts or by the release of the fluid through a valve.

The system is pretty durable, and will possibly change ie;leak down, after periods of very cold for long durations. It should immediately raise to "normal" height within minutes of starting the engine. The front should have a pronounced gap between the top of the tire and the fender.

There is an additive which you can pick up at parts stores to keep the fuel from "gelling" which is actually caused by the precipitation of wax crystals due, caused by paraffin which is a natural element of diesel fuel.

Keep in mind that there is no more expensive item than a "cheap" mercedes. these are precision crafted automobiles which require diligent "care and feeding" and if this vehicle appears not to have had that, I'd pass. The fact that it was buried on a dealers lot does not bode well as evidence of this type of care.

Check Ebay or the Autotrader for examples of other cars available, and by all means, have a pre-purchase inspection performed by a mechanic who is familiar with and experienced in the repair of the model which you are contemplating.

Check this forum or try a search on Mechanics or shops in your area.

Happy Motoring

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Old 02-14-2003, 08:48 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Vernon, CT
Posts: 1,845
If you are not familar with Benz diesels and W123s, then read any and all posts about these great cars. How much was this dealer asking for the car? Also, how many miles? Just because th ecar had been on the lot for a long time, may or may not indicate something. I know alot of people who would never think about buying a 20 year old car with over 150,000 miles. I have learned through ownership of these "old" cars, that these cars still have plenty of life left in them. Now, there could be something wrong with that TD, or people don't realize what they are passing up.
1994 MB E320 Coupe (199,500 mi)
1992 MB 190E 2.6 (173,000 mi)
1983 Porsche 911SC (148,000 mi)
2004 Volvo V70 2.5T (198,000 mi)
PCA member
MBCA member
President of CT/Westchester Section
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Old 02-14-2003, 09:06 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Okanogan County, WA
Posts: 108
Check it out

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Old 02-15-2003, 11:37 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 139
rear suspension

the rear suspension is quite expensive. make sure there aren't any 'issues' or set the price accordingly. i bought a used 84 from the dealer and loved the car.
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