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Mercedes 300D Suggestions

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Comments

  • rocquerocque Posts: 37
    Mr. Shiftright, How durable are the transmission's and motors and the old MB diesels.
    Could I expect to get 500 000km and more, or am I dreaming in colors...............ps I really want to buy one of these car, but I'm afraid to end up with a nightmare like my old 300zx(A REAL MONEY PIT) thanx
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    I think 500,000 KM is feasible but not without investment in the car. Mine has about 400,000 KM and seems reasonably solid on its original engine and transmission (I inherited all service records) but I and the previous owner certainly have invested money in all the "expendables". Right now I spend about $75 a month in maintenance and repair on average, not including fuel and insurance.

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  • I've just purchased a 1999 E300 Turbo Diesel (58K miles) and would like your opinion on oil weight and change frequency. My driving style is 80% highway, about 30K per year. Would a synthetic blend increase engine life and performance? I live in New England. My aim is to keep the vehicle in top condition for many years.
  • wrighttwrightt Posts: 4
    For anyone who is looking for buying a Mercedes diesel. I bought my wife a used 1987 300 TD in 1991 for $17,000 kept it until last month sold it for $7000 and thought I had a good deal and found out that My mechanic would have paid more for the car if he had known it was for sale. I did not advertize the car for sale but a person approached me and ask me if I was willing to sell the Benz. It was very close to needing a paint job and wheels redone, but every thing else perfect for that old a car.
    I found that the Benz was no more expensive to repair than my suburban. Yes some parts are more expensive and you need to find a competent mechanic who will only do what is necessary to keep the car safe and running. But you do need to do basic service on the car religiously. The car at 150000 miles was as sound as a rock. By the way I found my wife a 1991 190e 2.6 with 50,000 miles on it I hope the gas version is as good to me as the diesel.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Is anybody aware of the '68 Mercedes 220D sedan, now owned by the company, that had 1.2 million miles on it when it was retired? I recall reading somewhere that the owner used to make a 150-mile round-trip commute in it daily. Weird, since it's slower than a VW Beetle.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    I just re-did my maintenance and repair calculations for the last two years and it's actually more than $75 a month, it's $109. I kinda splurged on the tires I think and this jumped it up quite a bit.

    I'm also switching to a better brake rotor and metallic linings. The brakes on a 300D are really really excellent but as you know Mercedes does not allow turning rotors. You have to junk your rotors when they go past accepted thickness. So buying the better-stopping metallic pads works for me, even though they are harder on rotors, because the rotors are not salvageable anyway, even with regular pads.

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  • Hello again, I have done it...I think...Found a used 3.0 L5 for my '81. Fairly low miles and for only 400 dollars. I also found a rebuilt trans for 1400 or would it be less expensive to have mine rebuilt. Danke.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    Sometimes you cannot estimate transmission rebuild costs until you break down the unit. I would guess that your automatic would cost more than $1,400 to rebuild professionally.

    If you are buying an already "rebuilt" transmission, I would be sure that there is written evidence of what was done and by whom. This is not something I would just take someone's word for, since many times automatics are just opened up and given a "small parts" rebuild, a kind of "quickie" to get them going again.

    MODERATOR

  • anibalbanibalb Posts: 193
    Mr. Shiftright,

    I just bought an 82 300D TurboDiesel. It has 123K miles on it. And everything on it works. The engine compartment was clean and the interior does not have a single crack, hence I believe that indeed it only has the 123K miles on the odometer. After it was off, I turned it on and it cranked right up. And while stopped I stepped on the gas and the car actually moved more than I thought. They aren't that slow, so it seems. What problems should I look for in the car? What do you think this car is really worth? I am in CA. I am just curious. The body is good not great! Do you think this is a good catch? Any ideas on how much it costs to have all the windows and doors resealed? And I see service bulletins and recalls with recent dates as late as 1999. Does that mean if I take this 20 year old car to a mercedes dealer they will still provide those services free? I would really appreciate the comments.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    Now why on earth do the doors and windows need to be resealed? That seems a peculiar thing for you to mention.

    I'd say that if you have some cosmetic issues with this car, it can't be worth much more than a couple thousand dollars. Much of the car's value is in the cosmetics when it comes to a Benz.

    As for service bulletins, no, you are on your own paycheck for those. And for a car that old, I don't think going to the dealer is the best idea. But the dealer is a good source for most parts. Mercedes has a great inventory on old diesels, it's pretty amazing. I just walked in and bought right off the shelf an oil filler cap, some dashboard bulbs, a hood release handle and a directional switch rubber boot. Not bad inventory on a 22 year old car, huh?

    MODERATOR

  • anibalbanibalb Posts: 193
    Hi,

    Thanks. About the sealing, I have seen that mentioned several times. And I did notice the rubber on the doors was in ok shape....dried out. So I am sure that new rubber would cut the noise. Maybe you and I are thinking different on the sealing. I am thinking the black rubber moldings around the doors.

    It is more expensive than a couple thousand (3500). And I think I will be willing to pay a premium because of its low mileage. Most have close to 200K. I guess the car was just in really great shape and that impressed me. Am I going overboard? The ones I see selling here are all above 4K and they all have incredibly more mileage! I don't get it. It may just be CA. I do see a lot of them on the road and I have been searching for one for a long time. Let me know if you think that is totally too much. I still have not picked it up and can change my mind I suppose!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,522
    I wouldn't rush to replace the door seals (weatherstrip) unless needed. If they're resonably soft and pliable then try treating them with a rubber preservative. They will be quieter, but it will need to be done on a regular basis. If you replace them yourself figure about $60 per door (4 door, 2 door a little more). Be advised though that the replacement seals, even if said to be OEM, usually don't fit as well as the originals. They always seem to just a tad to large, resulting in insisting on not staying glued down somewhere (usually a corner where they're needed the most).
    I have found the best prices on "OEM" parts to be from one of the many independent suppliers.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    You indicated that the car was "good" but not great, so I downgraded the price on that basis. If it's a sharp car, sure $3,500 is okay. I wouldn't call the miles "low" in an absolute sense, but they are low for a 20 year old car that's true. Still, over 100K is over 100K and you have to deal with that. Lots of things can wear out at 100K+, especially suspension parts. And they are often neglected.

    These cars do seem to run forever. It may be, in terms of reliability, one of the world's best cars ever made. Think of a Mercedes 300D as a Toyota with real sheet metal.

    MODERATOR

  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Don't forget the Volvo 240s, too. Those cars can run forever, and they were pretty reliable.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    Much overated car in my estimation, but they did run a long time, even if every interior and exterior trim piece fell off them, along with their exhaust systems. They are no Benz in build quality, that's for sure. Sort of a Swedish Chevrolet.

    MODERATOR

  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    That's very true; 240s are an overrated car. That's why my father avoided Volvos for a very long time before buying one (an 850). Another comment; old Chevy Caprices are like Volvo 240s. They run a long time, but just about every part of the body falls off.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    It's the Benz build quality that really sets the car apart from most. No matter what your intention and skill and budget, it is very difficult to build on a crumbling platform

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  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    #45 of 48 by jrosasmc May 23, 2002 (07:34 am)

    Don't forget the Volvo 240s, too. Those cars can run forever, and they were pretty reliable.

    #47 of 48 by jrosasmc May 23, 2002 (09:58 am)

    That's very true; 240s are an overrated car. That's why my father avoided Volvos for a very long time before buying one (an 850). Another comment; old Chevy Caprices are like Volvo 240s. They run a long time, but just about every part of the body falls off.


    Jeez, kid, form your own opinion and stick with it.
  • Being German I am biased to a MBZ, but I am currently driving an 88 245DL Wagon and have been pretty satisfied. I don't rate it against my Benz because its not in the same class. 1) 1981 MBZ 300D $27,000.<>1988 Volvo 245DL Wagon $17,999. SURVEY SAYS! But both very good cars.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    Yes, that's a fair statement. Not in the same class. Both are good in their respective classes.

    I just did an appraisal on a 300SD that rear end a Toyota Solara. Mercedes is running still, Toyota is a total loss. Nobody hurt, that's good!

    MODERATOR

  • anibalbanibalb Posts: 193
    Hello,

    Mr. Shiftright, thanks for the response. I bought the car. I have the service records that include a major tune up incl. valve adj. 3 months ago. Last year all the shocks and struts were replaced and it got new brakes. I have all the receipts. I have the records that go back to 1994. So the car is indeed in "great" shape. I will replace tires. I am really impressed with the car. Also after all the bad things I hear of the A/C systems I just presumed that it would not work. To my surprise the climate control works just fine and the interior is still a B+.

    So, now I just have to learn about this car a little more since I intend to do the maintenace, most of it at least. What do you recommend? Are there service manuals for these things. I think I read somewhere that they exist and are pretty complete.

    Any tips for maintenace are appreciated. Where is best place to get parts??? Thanks so much. Glad to join the club!

    Oh. There is a lever in the left side of driver's seat. What is it for? I think it would adjust the height of the seat but nothing happens when I pull it. Ideas?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    Yes, that lever adjusts the "rake" of the bottom seat cushion. I never use it.

    Diesels needs more frequent maintenance than gas cars. Some things I do religiously area:

    Oil and filter every 3,000 miles
    Flush coolant once a year
    Flush brake fluid once a year
    Always use additives in the fuel, both cleaner and cetane booster
    Change fuel filters (there are two) often (see manual).
    Adjust valves as per factory recommendations (I think it's every 15K)

    It would be a good idea to get the factory manuals. There are 3 I believe. One for engine, one for maintenance and one for chassis. I have the whole set.

    MODERATOR

  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    Just for interest sake does the tac work? I was on the third tac sender before I found a good rebuilder. Tac sender is the black screw on device in the front left corner of engine bay.
  • anibalbanibalb Posts: 193
    Paul,

    That is an interesting question. I just realized that it only works sometimes. That will annoy me. So what is the secret to making it work?

    Also the speedometer vibrates when starting to about 20mph I guess. Is that the tires or is it just normal?

    Thanks
  • anibalbanibalb Posts: 193
    Mr. Shiftright,

    I was always under the impression that Diesels required less maintenance. I guess I was wrong. How often should I change the ATF and Differential oil? On my old Honda I used to do a major tune-up once a year and was pretty religious about the 3K oil changes.

    Only one thing. Please help. How easy is it to adjust the valves? I can do everything on the list. I have seen the valves adjusted once on a BMW. And it seemed so darn easy as long as you could tell difference between intakes and exhaust.

    Do the Manuals show how to do this?? I would love a picture or any info on this. I think that I should be able to do it.

    I had a 90 Accord and even though it said you should adjust the valves, I never did. At 170K it was still running perfectly.
  • I have found a replacement L5 for my MBZ what do I need to check for. I believe it came out of a 300CD, he put a Chevy 350 in it, (A common swap I do not understand) but I will take it off of his hands for 400 dollars. And does anybody have an idea how much it will cost to have this engine installed. And does anybody know of any good online or paper catologues for MBZ and Volvo. i.e. IPDUSA, JCWhitney, etc...
  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    Went to a Starfest a few years ago and attended a seminar hosted by Bob Beckman, of Beckman Technologies, Inc. Very knowlegable on MB control modules. They rebuild the tac senders on an exchange basis , the one I got from them was still working 7 yrs later when I sold my 300DT. The last # I had was !-800-742-1021, they were located in Durham,NC 27704, Knob Hill Road. The speedo problem could be the cable, Call Palo-Alto Speedometer 415-323-0234, if you think it is the speedo head, they have been in business a long time.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    anibalb---I think the speedo cable needs greasing is all.

    The valves are easy to adjust but you need a special "crow foot" wrench to loosen the adjuster nut on the valve. A normal wrench can't get it. Mercedes will sell you this tool or maybe you can borrow it. The manual should give the tool #.

    Most people are confused about diesel maintenance. The general rule is:

    Diesel maintenance is less costly per service, but you need to service them more often. So it's really a wash in terms of expense.

    Also a diesel engine will generally cost more to rebuild than an equivalent gas engine, as it is built to a higher standard.

    MODERATOR

  • anibalbanibalb Posts: 193
    Paul,

    What is the Spedo head? Also, can you tell me precisely where I would find this Tac sending unit? Everyone mentions these rebuilt parts. If I went to the dealer is there any chance that they have a new part? Sometimes the new part is not much more than rebuilt.

    Also, where is the Speedo cable located? And how do you grease the cable? Isn't it self contained? How do I get the grease inside the cable?

    I presume when you say grease you mean general lithium grease. I imagine that will do.

    I bought a Hayes manual just so I can look at some of the basic stuff. I hope that I will get a chance to learn this stuff before it breaks down.. Thanks for all the help and tips.
  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    The speedo head is your speedometer guage.The tac sending unit is the round black unit about 2 inches in dia in front left corner of the engine bay, made by VDO I believe, lift hood about a foot back of the drivers side headlight. Looks like the end of a flashlight, just unscrew then lift to disconnect the plug. there is a tether strap which can be removed by removing a base screw or two. The base socket that is now revealed is where the dealer can plug their diagnostic or tac meter for under hood service, it uses the same pickup source from the front damper. The rebuilds are about half price compared to oem , and in my case are fixed permanantly.I'm sure MB has sold thousands of these, and if the original design has not changed ,they are destined to fail. The speedo cable is attached to the back of the speedo guage and the casing unscrews from back of the guage revealing the drive cable inside, just your typical speedo cable. You want to use a lube which will not stiffen in the cold. Most shops use a graphite type speedo lube , available at most auto stores. You may find the guage cluster a bit difficult to get out , not familiar with the particular haynes manual you have, but if you need help post and I can tell you how, good luck.
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