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Old 02-19-2003, 02:01 AM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
Your input on a 300TD car rebuild???

This is a copy of a post I put in the Diesel section.

Well let me post here what I plan to do and get your input on what to look at in the car.
First a little backround. Is you may or may not have seen posted. I'm going to rebuild my front end on the 82 300TD. it has needed it for the last 3-4 years.
Let me go a bit further back to fill you in. I have owned the car since 1990. I bought it with 103,000 mi and now have 175,000.
I as well as the dealer maintained the car. Since about 95 It has just been an airport car and "truck" for the Home Depot runs.
I did have the timming chain replaced at 100,000 mi. and the tranny rebuilt in 90 when I bought it.
From the summer of 99 through the fall of 2002 My son and I rebuilt a 65 Mustang Fastback, Completely, What a job. So by the end of that I was pretty burnt out on working on cars. A 2.5 year restoration of a car is very fast and a lot of work.
September 11 hit our family pretty had, I'm a Captain with American Airlines. And since then My wife has dropped me off and picked me up at the airport. It gives us time together and we get to talk. She feels that she's doing something by driving me to the airport, and I don't mind. SOOO the car has not been driven since about last May. I have a leaking front left caliper. And the car did not want to accelerate past a certian RPM. It would go up to that rpm and stop any accelerating. Then when it would eventually shift it would accelerate some more. I checked the tranny and may have overfilled it. How do I know because some fluid leaked out the vent when I overfilled it. We have a 99 E300 that we are going to sell. With the Airline industry the way it is ( American may go bankrupt, maybe in June at the earliest. To prevent that they want the workers to give, think 30% pay cut) and a daughter going to College next Fall ( with a son at Oklahoma State University now) We decided that $935 a month in car payment and insurance could be cut since we have 4 cars sitting at the house.
What I plan on doing.

1. A complete front end rebuild. UCA, LCA, all rubber, springs, sway bar bushings, strut rod, steering linkages etc. etc. Then a 4 wheel alignment.

2. New front calipers, pads, rotors, hoses and bearings.

3. Rear suspension rebuild ( check the brakes) . Rubber and sway bar linkage.
This should be interesting trying to remove the rear suspension to access all the bushings. I feel a forum "search" comming on for this one

4. Flush the rear leveling system and change the filter. accumulators are 3 years old and should be ok.

5. Adjust the throttle linkage, It was suggested that this may be the acceleration problem.

6. Refering to the problem in 5 above. I will drain the fuel tank, replace the in tank filter, add biodiesel doctor, change the fuel filter and bleed the entire fuel system. Possible alge!!

7. Replace all fluid filters and fluids. Power steering, level system, tranny, rear end, oil and cooling.

8. Set the injection pump timming.

9. Adjust the valves.

10. Check the timing chain for wear and stretch.

11. Check all vacume systems for leaks.

12. Wax the poor girl, It's a little oxidized from being an outside car.

13. Clean up the interiors.

Any suggestions?????????
Any that you may have would be appreciated. We will start driving this car and the 560SL on a more regular basis. When my Daughter goes to College in the fall we will get rid of the 86 300SDL, unless we need it because i can't keep thisone going. Any traveling that we do to see the kids, We will probaly rent a car. We can get a car hear for $10 a day over the weekends, I'd rather put the milage on their car and save mine.


The fun ( think $$$$) will come in the spring when I have to repair the AC system. I converted to 134A but didn't flush the system ( yes the R-12 was evacuated), Soooooo It probably has to have everything replaced. I converted to 134A because I had a leak in the inside exchanger and didn't want to tear the dash out. Now I get to do that.

Actually I don't mind. I've begun to realize that the 300TD is becoming quite rare and I'm excited about rebuilding the girl and keeping her for quite sometime, along with the SL.
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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Old 02-19-2003, 07:56 AM
Posts: n/a

To begin with, I can relate to your situation. I work for a software company in a niche market that is extremely challenged. I also have college age kids and am in a very similar struggle and unknown area. So, best of luck on that front.

To your car item by item:

1. My 240D went over a half million miles before ANY front end component was replaced. These cars have an incredibly durable front end. For this reason, I would suggest that you replace only the components that are loose. A competent front end man can push, pull, pry and prod to determine what should be replaced. These components are expensive, and it's just a waste of many to replace ones that are still tight. If a component is still tight, odds are it will stay tight for a long time to come.

2. The calipers are very rebuildable. rarely do the hoses need changing, and the bearings should need no more than cleaning and repacking. The rotors on these cars stay true and rarely need turning or replacing unless the pads are allowed to wear to a point of metal to metal contact. If you replace the sensors every time the light on the dash will come on and warn you long before metal to metal contact.

3. I have NEVER found the need to replace ANY rear suspension components except subframe bushings and sway bar links. The sway bar links will start to rattle and they are inexpensive and very quick and easy to replace. The only thing about the rear suspension you may get into is adjusting the valve link, replacing the accumulators or replacing the rear shocks.

4.With relatively new accumulators, that should be no problem. Flushing the system would be very wise preventive maintenance. These systems are durable for the most part. Suspension bushings, etc. would be a rare failure on these rear suspensions. Again, push, pull, pry and prod to check everything. Make sure you are using a tech that is not just trying to run up a big repair bill. I have seen some situations like this.

5. The acceleration problem is most likely due to the aneroid adjustment. I have never done this, but there has been much instruction in the Diesel Discussion Forum regarding this. You just need a savvy MB guy to check this out. It should not be a big deal. There's not much to go wrong with the linkage itself. In fact I would be suspect of a tech who told you that this was the problem.

6. Lack of fuel flow could account for this, but if this is the problem, most likely replacing the two filters at the engine would correct it. Since you don't drive it alot, maybe algae is a factor. If so, it could probably be corrected with bioguard alone.

7. Never hurts, this is just good, wise preventive maintenance.

8. Again, it never hurts.

9. Refer to 8.

10. Refer to 8.

11. If the door locks work well, even after the car has set for a few hours, the likelihood of a vacuum leak anywhere is almost nil.

12. Always helps for them to look good. It keeps you willing to take care of items such as in items 1. through 11. above.

13. Refer to 12.

The conversion to 134 without flushing may not be a big problem as long as you put in the correct amount of ester oil. These cars have marginal a/c systems, however, particularly in wagon form. The wagons have all that extra volume with no extra a/c capacity. I understand your tendency to use 134, but I don't see how you can possibly have enough a/c capacity with 134 to get the job done in Dallas during the months of July and August. R12 is coming down in cost since the cars that use it are hitting the wrecking yards every day.

The big item with the a/c as you have already pointed out is the evaporator. If you were to replace the evaporator, thoroughly flush, put in a filter drier, etc., putting R12 in the system would probably be about 10% or less of the overall cost and would give you the best possible chance for staying comfortable.

I understand your enthusiasm for your 123 wagon. These cars are fabulously built automobiles. They cost lots of money new because it took lots of money to build such a solid machine built for long term durability. To buy an equivalent new car would be something like $50,000 or more. You can do a lot of things to this solid old ride for what only one car payment on a new wagon would cost.

Best of luck with the car and the airline industry.

BTW, I'm trying to get another 6,000 miles in before March 15 to get American Advantage Platinum for 2002. With some luck, American will get past their challenges so my American Advantage miles will be worth something and more importantly, you can still have a job.

Keep that airliner out of the trees,
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