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Old 06-18-2000, 10:51 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Charleston, West Virginia, USA
Posts: 110
Sorry to be so Shakespearean on you guys...but this is my current dilemma. I am seeking out a Yes or No answer here, since I don't have the time to gather much more data.
Ok, those caveats aside... I have recently been offered an '83 MB 300D W123 with 240k miles. The car needs a new engine, but is currently drivable. In needing a new engine, I mean to say that the car smokes a lot and when you get it up to a highway speed (80mph or so), it slowly drops speed down to 60 or so and hangs there. The car is currently being used as a daily driver by a physician acquaintence of mine who has to move out of town permanently on Thursday. His wife is selling the car. I have seen it, but have not driven it. It has good maintenance records and has been fairly well cared for on the interior and exterior and all the chrome and paint is in good shape.
Asking price: $1000. OK, so yes or I buy the car?

Dear God, what an open-ended question, huh?
No more info and very little time to make any other queries into the state of the car today. Opinions, suggestions, etc??? I have until Monday (6/19) afternoon to say Yea or Nay.

Thanks, Guys...


John J. Meadows
'85 190E 2.3L 99k mi.
My first M-B, not my last.
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Old 06-18-2000, 11:09 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,935


If the body and interior and the tranny are in good order, it sounds like a good buy. A fully rebuilt longblock from Metric Motors in California is $5,400 plus a $900 core deposit. Then you have to figure in installation. But it has a 4 year/50K warranty. Can't beat that. Good luck! By the way, a running 300D in good shape can range anywhere from $3,500 to $5,500 but remember you're gonna have a new motor and will be able to rack up many more miles on this car, but beware of having to put a tranny in it at some point down the road.

Aaron Greenberg
MB technician
Precision Motorcars, Cincinnati, Ohio
'67 250SE Cabriolet
'77 450SL
'80 300SD
'85 380SE
'86 420SEL
'89 420SEL
'93 300E 2.8
'74 Jensen Interceptor Mk.III
'81 DeLorean DMC12
'84 BMW 745i Turbo
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Old 06-18-2000, 11:22 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,316
Before I bought it, I would make sure that the AC and heat work, no noise from the rear-end, transmission working well, finger check the rotors, look for leaks, etc. How is the turbo? These are great cars, but you will be behind the eight-ball if you have to fix more than the engine.

BTW - you are probably looking at more like $7 grand for a new engine by the time you replace hoses, motor mounts, belts and other misc. items.

For the same investment you can get a pretty good 300E. You can probably find a 300D with a good engine for $4000.

Went through this exercise when our '82 300D died.

Great cars, but buy right!

Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'86 300E 5 speed
'95 C220 (wife's car)
'98 Porsche Boxster
Past: '79 280E, '82 300D (18 yrs), '77 240D,
4 250C's
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Old 06-19-2000, 11:15 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Charleston, West Virginia, USA
Posts: 110
Thanks for the responses, guys... I was fully prepared to turn down the offer today for want of a few thousand $$ to get a good rebuilt motor, but now my semi-retired mech. engineer father is expressing interest in doing the rebuild himself...for fun. Sometimes I wonder if I should be scared.

- John

John J. Meadows
'85 190E 2.3L 99k mi.
My first M-B, not my last.
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Old 06-19-2000, 09:56 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
For the price and the fun your dad will have, just do it. If he needs any help, you know where to turn for answers! Thanks

Donnie Drummonds
1992 500E (very soon I hope
1981 280GE SWB
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Old 06-20-2000, 04:27 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Charleston, West Virginia, USA
Posts: 110
Ok Guys,

I told the owner yesterday that I wasn't really able at the moment to make the committment to the car (moving, school, etc) and that I would hate to commit my dad to rebuilding it, even for fun...but that he was welcome to call me if he wanted me to try and find another buyer for it for $1000, still a good deal.

So, he called back today and offered me the car for $500. I just emailed him the cash and I am picking it up tomorrow.

gotta change my sig...

- John

John J. Meadows
'83 300D 260k mi.
'85 190E 2.3L 99k mi.
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Old 06-21-2000, 08:55 AM
Posts: n/a
You can get this car back on the road cheaply if you can find a wrecked 300 in a junkyard with relatively low miles. Have someone knowledgable check out the engine, and when you find a good one, simply buy it, drop it into your car, and go. This is much easier, quicker, cheaper and less risky than rebuilding the engine yourself or buying a $5,000.00 new engine for a car that is 17 years old and probably only worth $4-$5,000 in good running condition. This way, you end up with a wonderful car (the 123s are among my faves) for a couple thousand dollars.
Good Luck!
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