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Old 07-11-2010, 11:28 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 10
Starting the Journey

I'm contemplating the slide into this obsessive yet rewarding realm of Mercedes diesel ownership.

While mechanically inclined, I'm sure there are areas where the not necessarily novice wrencher should fear to tread.

I have yet to purchase a specimen, opting for the opinions of the masses before picking from the vast cornucopia of formidable beasts residing on the meganet.

I have, however, tentatively decided on a 240d manufactured in Germany.

Now the questions, many of which I have no idea of what to ask.

1) Best year.

I'm going for reliability and build quality here, hence the 240d.

I don't need the bells and whistles. I want a 4 speed. No turbo. If I'm hot Iíll turn on the a/c or roll down the window (manually). If it's cold I'll turn the heater on. I get sleepy with the cruise control.

2) What to look for.

Of course I would like to get a prime specimen with 97,000 for $1500 on ebay, but I know the odds are long on that one, so . . .

If it has less than 200k what should I expect to be broken or soon to be broken? 200k -250k? Over 250k how scared am I? Cost of repairs by myself or by competent non-dealer mechanic?

What should have been replaced at or before these points?

3) How much to pay?

Any sage wisdom would be appreciated and respected.


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Old 07-11-2010, 11:45 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 38,553
Buy the best condition you can afford. 1500 will not buy a really nice one. the most expensive thing to repair is a rusty body. second most expensive to repair is the motor. any other major component can be bought used reasonably.

i recommend an 83. the older ones are more rust prone.

get the car checked by a person with mercedes diesel experience. I recommend getting a compression test.

don't pay extra for low mileage unless it is hard documented.

I have had a dozen or so 240s most were 82 or 83 models. it is a car that can be driven for a lifetime. my current dd has over 350K on the chassis with a motor with 40k on a freshening.

good luck. there is no better quality car built ever.
[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:49 PM
daw_two's Avatar
diesel enthusiast
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Germantown, TN
Posts: 5,449

Please update your profile with your location. Determine your budget and how much tinkering you want to attempt. I have owned quite a few in my 3+ yrs of ownership and have done most things except RUST --- beware the rust.

Good Luck in your search. There was a 240D, 4speed for sale in my neck of the would not start. Probably needs to have the engine "refreshed".

Germantown, TN

Sold last car --- 05/2012 1984 300D Light Ivory, Red interior
Cluster Needles Paint
New Old Stock (NOS) parts

3/2008 1986 300SDL "Coda"
04/2010 1965 190D(c) "Ben"
& many more
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