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  #1  
Old 12-23-2011, 08:22 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 18
1978 300SD

New here to the website and forum because I am probably going to be the owner of a 1978 300SD. Just need to finalize it. This car is near perfect with 128K. It is a one owner car. I know little about Mercedes so I am here to ask a question or 2. What I am wondering is, what issues should I be looking for, what are the known problems with these cars besides the climate servo. That is junk and I will installing a solid state aftermarket set up from Unwiredtools.com. Unless someone else has another suggestion. It has only a few small rust areas on the rockers. I can fix those. I am really wondering about mechanical issues. I am open to ideas. Let me hear your opinions and facts about these cars. I am a Ford guy, own a 1941 Plymouth and a 97 Subaru. Oh, then there is the Expedition that does my towing. Any and all input is greatly appreciated. Thanks.




Last edited by olskool; 12-23-2011 at 08:34 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2011, 09:30 PM
Squiggle Dog's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Surprise, AZ, USA
Posts: 3,440
Your SD looks to be in incredible condition! It looks like you have the high-quality chrome fender trim that still has the rubber molding intact. I bought an NOS set from 1980 that the seller had listed for $530. Fortunately for me, I was able to talk down the price.

The problems these cars tend to have is rust, non-working windows, non-working climate control, and the transmissions seem to go out around 250,000 miles. Also, check everything that is made of rubber. The driveshaft flex discs and axle boots tend to go bad and the windshield, door, and trunk seals will leak profusely and cause the car to fill up with water.

I converted my sunroof and windows to manual so I don't have to deal with the electric parts. I'm also working on converting my heat and A/C to manual. I replaced my transmission at just over 300,000 miles (it had shrunken internal seals and needed to warm up before it would drive).
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Highly Optioned, 347,000+ Miles
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  #3  
Old 12-24-2011, 11:52 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: southern CA
Posts: 408
Welcome! Nice looking w116, I have always liked that model but I have never owned one. My Uncle owned one in the '70s until he had a head on at freeway speeds. He walked away and always swore by MB safety.

I am sure you will find plenty of info if you search this and the diesel forum for w116.

Very little rust? I find that surprising considering you live where that funny white stuff falls on the ground.

Good luck with it.
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  #4  
Old 12-24-2011, 12:00 PM
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Location: Wisconsin
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The car spents life in New Jersey until August. The car is unique and that is what draws me to it. It actually is too new for my blood. I have to finish my Plymouth and that will be a daily driver during the summer. I like the idea of 20's for mpg.
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  #5  
Old 12-24-2011, 07:51 PM
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Location: Phoenix Arizona. Ex Durban R.S.A.
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Very nice indeed. But be aware of rust. Remove the seats, and carpets and get underneath with some kind of mallet or something and start poking around.

- Peter.
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81 240D stick. 316000 miles at purchase. 342000 now
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles. Deceased Jan 08
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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  #6  
Old 12-25-2011, 04:50 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 18
Here is a picture of under the rear seat and I pulled up the left rear floor mat & carpet. There is a little water on the floor. I do believe that is from the sunroof. I opened it last week to see if it worked and it did but when it closed the corner didn't come up flush with the roof. It was fine the next day when I checked it. If it isn't coming from the sunroof, where else should I check for leaks. The brown stuff is the horsehair from the rear seat cushion. That's what is left of it. That will be fixed also.

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  #7  
Old 12-26-2011, 03:10 AM
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Location: brisbane,Qld.Australia
Posts: 2,059
That car looks really nice. Buy it, give the engine /trans/diff a service and drive it. If there is no visible rust, there wont be any but if you have snow there ,apply some rust preventive wax in the chassis box sections and doors etc.
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  #8  
Old 12-26-2011, 08:43 PM
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A leaky windshield seal can put water in the rear floor as can a hole under the fuse box that often develops in the W116. The latter can often be spotted by checking in the left front wheel well.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1980 300SD - 495k miles - 'The Ambassador'
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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  #9  
Old 12-28-2011, 03:23 PM
Turbo Diesel 300SD Ky
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 100
for well-built climate servos, George Murphy's are second to none. Performance Analysis Co

i've got a 79 version of the 300SD ... silver + black leather interior. no rust. perfect interior. close to perfect exterior. always gets thumbs up at garages & at the pump.

things i've replaced:
rear window seal
door seals
climate servo
replaced all fluids
front wheel bearings
tires
front suspension work
shocks = upgraded to bilstein heavy duty
hoses
water pump
steering pump
driver side front window regulator
rear antenna (manual)

she gets great gas mileage ... almost double my subaru.

i will replace/work on:
front windshield seal
sunroof
drivers side rear power window
tint the windows
re-upholster the front seats, especially the drivers side.

all in all, it's a solid, safe car.

i drove it across country (california, through the desert, over the rockies, to kentucky) in 2 days ... right after i bought it.

no issues.

she likes biodiesel.
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  #10  
Old 01-01-2012, 11:10 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Fremont, NE
Posts: 59
Ever thought of finding a similar year 240D and getting the climate control out of that? They are bat**** stupid simple. Two cables to the monovalve on the firewall. Would fit in the same spot. Nice looking W116!
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  #11  
Old 01-02-2012, 09:59 AM
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Nicht verantwortlich
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 911
Its a delight to see a 116 that doesn't look as though it's survived Unrestricted Nuclear Warfare. Please do try to keep it out of the snow as they tend to dissolve into brownish powder rather quickly.
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  #12  
Old 02-10-2012, 09:46 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 18
I have taken ownership of the car this past week. So the maintenance begins. I found some paperwork and the original owner surrendered his DL in 2008 and the car sat until last August when it was towed from NJ to WI. I even have the original window sticker and sales paperwork. $25K car with the optional silver paint, radio & sliding roof. It wasn't driven once it arrived here. I have filters ordered for oil,fuel,air and power steering. The flex joints will also be replaced. That is the beginning. More will be done as it warms up outside. I will wait to drive it when most of the snow is gone. I got a little carried away and removed the rear seat base and back rest because the horse hair was bad. I removed the seat covers and found nothing but disintegrated horse hair and fabric. So, now have to figure out how to fix that. At least the vinyl covers are like new. Aside from that, the interior is very nice. Sheep skin covers on the front seats so they are like new also. I think there is also a broken spring on the drivers seat. That will be an easy fix also. Just need another few hours in my day to get all this done. Have to get the preventative maintenance done and the car should be good to go. Thanks to dieselgiant.com I have learned a lot. This is a first for me owning a diesel let alone a MB. Oh, then there is the climate servo. I will be calling George at PAC and ordering an aluminum bodied servo and amplifier sometime. Can't wait to drive this thing when all is done. This will be an adventure!
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  #13  
Old 02-11-2012, 01:02 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Phoenix Arizona. Ex Durban R.S.A.
Posts: 3,658
Quote:
Originally Posted by olskool View Post
If it isn't coming from the sunroof, where else should I check for leaks.
In the windshield channels under the seals. mine rotted out several inches beneath the seal at the base of the A and C pillars. When the seals perish water collects in the channel that the rubber seal fits into and over time simply chews big holes in the metal.

Nice project. A 116 diesel is one of my dream cars.

- Peter.
__________________
81 240D stick. 316000 miles at purchase. 342000 now
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles. Deceased Jan 08
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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  #14  
Old 02-21-2012, 11:21 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 18
I was able to find windshield & door seals on Rock Auto. URO parts brand. Priced very nicely compared to other venders that sell the same. I think I can get all 4 doors and windshield for $180 with shipping. I will be ordering those soon. There is some hidden rust. Rockers have some, the dog leg on the left front fender has a huge area of corrosion. The paint is still there but there is nothing left behind it. Debris must be trapped in behind there. I will clean it out when spring get here. A few little things to fix like the rear seat. The horse hair was powder so I have removed the bench & backrest and taken them down to the springs. Now to fix them. The climate control servo leaks coolant so I will bypass it for now and at least there will be heat. I removed a Buell Dual Air horn set up from it. The original owner must have liked to be heard. Removed the aftermarket alarm system also. After 7 hours, the car was put back together, changed oil & filter, power steering filter. Fuel filters are next. The car runs really good. I have put about 20 miles on it, all in town and shorter trips so I can't wait to get it on the open road. I also have to fix the drivers seat. My guess is a spring has broken because I feel like I am falling towards the door. That will be an easy fix thanks to the web. I do hope to get somewhere around 20mpg in town and mid 20's on the highway. I baby it to try and save fuel. Better than the 8 I have been getting with the truck. It drives different than anything I am used to. That's ok though. I think this car has more character than anything I have owned recently. With 126K on the clock, I have many years of enjoyment ahead.
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