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Old 10-20-2008, 10:03 PM
a2t a2t is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 941
Overhaul Cost? 87 300D ...

Mine has 280k on the clock and is still running pretty well, but its getting to be time to roll my sleeves up and do some serious work. Im trying to get an idea of what all this would cost, so I'll list some items that need attention, hopefully others will chime in and add to my list.

The car is an 87 300D, converted to run a Frybrid WVO kit 30k miles ago. New brakes all around, new h20 pump, new aux pump, serp belt, tensioner + spring, upper rad hose, recall done on the trap - new turbo!!, new fuel thermostat, new IP seals, new starter, new ignition switch, new cruise amp, new throttle linkages with METAL ball ends, fairly new master cylinder.

Easy stuff...
-Fan clutch - mine freewheels at 110C - labor = free (ie, me)
-Radiator - might as well - labor free
-lower rad hose - looks questionable - labor - free
-tstat - might as well, should of done it when I RR the water pump - labor free
-vac pump - original style - labor free, I think, if this isnt too hard!
-check chains - will need some guidance here, but assuming worst it will need new hardware - labor free I think, maybe...
-belt damper - labor free (all the other belt tensioning apparatus replaced)
-alternator - works well, but really old - labor free

Harder stuff -
-trans dripping out of front seal - definitely dont want to attempt this on my own...rebuild it or get a reman?
-suspension - its all gotta be replaced, totally worn, rear axle lots worse than front - again, labor will be paid on this item!

Anything else thats common to replace at this vintage? I take it on long trips with family, and really dont want to be stranded. Trying to decide if its time to move on to newer car, or make this 1 a life long companion.
I need an SDL !
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by a2t View Post
converted to run a Frybrid WVO kit 30k miles ago.
Yep, its ready for an overhaul.
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Old 10-20-2008, 11:15 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sonoma Wine Country
Posts: 8,394
I would recommend having a local place rebuild your transmission if you have a place that can be trusted. There's a guy in the San Francisco Bay area who rebuilds Mercedes transmissions and is supposedly very good. My '85 may have such a transmission (I wasn't the owner at that time and the paperwork doesn't say).

Many rebuilts are done on an assembly line and cranked through as fast as possible with parts bought as cheaply as possible. The results may be good, may not be good. Even if it fails on warranty you still have to go back for the fix. If you are a long way from home, "tough."

The local place that has done two trannys for me (one Oldsmobile and one Mercedes) has an excellent reputation. The mechanic who worked on the transmission out of my W210 car, while the box was apart on his bench, that was his job until it was done. He didn't work on six different jobs at once.

R&R plus the rebuilding job is about $3000, more or less, depending on the cost of labor in your area.

Engine work can be done DIY, especially if you don't have to pull the block or the head. A complete remanufactured engine from a good place like Metric Motors is about $8000, I believe. All the rest of the stuff around the engine in your list is relatively easy.

Some of the suspension work you can do yourself, especially if you invest in the special pullers for the differential rear mounts (and maybe some other special tools – I'm not expert). The rear end has a rather complex set of links that probably will need replacing. They are not too bad but the parts do add up. Shocks you can do yourself – I prefer Bilstein but that's a personal preference item, just don't cheap out. Suspension is a "safety" item not a "comfort" item.


"Buster" in the '95

Our all-biodiesel family
1995 E300D (W124) . .239,000 miles My car
1996 E300D (W210) . .313,000 miles Wife's car
Santa Rosa population 170,685 (2012)
Total. . . . . . . . . . . . 722,685
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:50 AM
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Posts: 517

having recon'd the entire rear subframe about 3-4 months ago, i think if you can install a wvo system, you can do this too. iirc, didn't you do this before?

i made all the subframe bushing tools and i'd be more than happy to send them all to you. you will need to buy and cut a 3/8" rod as well as picking up some 1/2" washers (thicker the better).

dropping the subframe is the best way to replace all the bushings. are you doing links as well? If yes, then without a doubt, just drop the subframe. its easier than you might think but i'll say that you better enlist the help of a friend.

i can write on and on about this, so just let me know if you plan to do this DIY and i can write more here or via email

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Old 10-21-2008, 08:00 AM
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If you can pull your transmission, you should be able to find a place to rebuild it less than $1500.

I had mine done by Eurotrans in Cummins, GA for $1100 a few years ago.
Michael LaFleur

'05 E320 CDI - 86,000 miles
'86 300SDL - 360,000 miles
'85 300SD - 150,000 miles (sold)
'89 190D - 120,000 miles (sold)
'85 300SD - 317,000 miles (sold)
'98 ML320 - 270,000 miles (sold)
'75 300D - 170,000 miles (sold)
'83 Harley Davidson FLTC (Broken again) :-(
'61 Plymouth Valiant - 60k mikes
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:48 PM
a2t a2t is offline
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Thanks guys. Yes I'd love to see some details regarding the rear suspension repair, very nice to help me figure this out!! Email is paul at, and no I havent replaced anything on rear suspension yet. Im scared too! I did have a peak in there last time they were balancing rear tires and I can see links with bushings hanging out. Im assuming its all got to go. I did replace a front spring (with wrong height, apparently), but I had a shop do that once I saw it required 10,000 lbs per inch of compression. The old spring was broken in half and wedged into wheel well, God knows how it flew out of there when they released the lower control arm.

As for taking trans out, maybe I can do it on my own. I know its a heavy beast, Id kinda rather drop off the car somewhere and come back few days later with job done...correctly...1st time. Im a slow learner, and that benz seems to be pretty specialized in such regards.

Yep, its ready for an overhaul.
hahah funny thing is the everything related to WVO part of this car is fine. Doesnt seemto be hurting engine, or its not obvious. Its just the rest of the car falling apart, guess thats to be expected after 280k hard miles. But I'll be the 1st to report a problem caused by WVO, dont worry. In 30k miles there just hasnt been any.
I need an SDL !
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:44 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 333
I just got rid of my '87 four months ago. The maintenance was about to kill me. The rear suspension work was probably the easiest chore I had to do. The "links" were fairly easy to replace, but it did take some muscle! I too engineered my own puller tool for the sub-frame bushings. I bought some threaded rod, some washers, nuts, and two very large sockets. One socket was used to push the bushing, the other to accept it while it was pushed out by tightening down the nuts. It worked very well!

The biggest chore I had was the evaporator core. This was 22 hours of labor. Nothing hard about it, just tedious.

I also rebuilt the front end of the car. The front ball joints were a chore compared to the ball joints on my 123. I also replaced the shocks all around. This was probably the easiest job.

I also did the water pump, vacuum pump, transmission gasket, and many other parts.

The straw that broke my back was when the car started hemorrhaging oil out of the front seal. The crank nut had come loose at some point, damaging the nose of the crank, causing massive oils leaks.

Hope you have better luck with yours.

'80 300D
'84 300D
'85 300D
'87 300D
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:20 PM
Hit Man X's Avatar
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Originally Posted by mplafleur View Post
If you can pull your transmission, you should be able to find a place to rebuild it less than $1500.

I had mine done by Eurotrans in Cummins, GA for $1100 a few years ago.

Yeah, my thoughts exactly. $3k for the 722.3 to be reman is rape.
I'm not a doctor, but I'll have a look.

'85 300SD 244k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 325k
'91 560SEL 189k

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