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OT - 1984 Mercedes 300D

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by dmarbell, Jul 18, 2007.

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  1. dmarbell

    dmarbell Active Member

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    This is the ad for the car:
    1984 Mercedes Diesel 300D for sale. Low miles, only 159,000 miles. Euro version. Automatic Transmission. Power windows, power door locks, sunroof. Custom blue cloth interior-very clean; no rips or tears. Great mechanical condition. A/C system replaced recently-blows extra cold. Glow plugs replaced. Regular maintenance including oil changes, fuel filters, etc. Only issue is slight paint peel located on the roof. Car is a daily driver and for trips. Drives excellent with great pick-up for a non-turbo. Does not burn any oil
    (which is rare for a diesel) and starts even on the coldest of mornings. Great deal for a Mercedes Diesel this quality.

    How hard is it to keep a car like this running to be a daily driver? I've been toying with the idea of getting a car that could run on biodiesel or even a vegetable oil conversion. Anyone have any personal experience?

    Danny
     
  2. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    I have a 1990 300D with 199,500 on it. It uses the same amount of oil per 5000 mile oil change as it always has, about 1/4-1/2 of a quart. Still looks new. Gets 36 mpg highway or town. The best car I've ever owned! I had a friend that had one with over 400K miles on it, same engine and transmission.
     
  3. Tdog

    Tdog TS Member

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    Do your homework on the WVO (waste vegetable oil) modification. It's becoming very popular to burn WVO but there are several issues with doing so. The fellows that I know who are succesfully and reliabley running it have put alot of research and work into doing so. Being able to collect and clean WVO is not as easy as some of the proponents make it sound. You'll want a second fuel tank in the vehicle just for WVO. You'll need to install a coolant heated fuel line for the WVO, even for warm season use. Oh and did you check to see if you are required to pay fuel taxes on the WVO that you burn. It does work well when you cover all your bases and the Mercedes is a good candidate for the mods required.
     
  4. oz

    oz Active Member

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    change filters and adjust valves in a timely manner. the car will rot away and the drivetrain will still be good. oz
     
  5. dmarbell

    dmarbell Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I went and drove the car. It's in reasonable shape for a 24 year old car. Paint starting to peel, that kind of thing. Interior's in good shape, nothing to be proud of. It's had the A/C compressor replaced, brake job, a couple of things like that. Anything could happen, but it should be fairly cheap to drive.

    It sure drives like a heavy car with 3 or 4 squirrels running on belts up front. Goes zero to 60 in a couple of minutes. At highway speeds it's as steady as a steamship. I got back in my Toyota van, and felt like I was in a sports car.

    Danny
     
  6. Dutchboy

    Dutchboy TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    I've threatened my son for the last four years to buy him one for his first driver. Strong, safe, economical, durable, and gutless. Perfect teenager car. JMO, Dutch.
     
  7. mercedesman1981

    mercedesman1981 TS Member

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    I may not know a lot about trapshooting, patterning and reloading components but I do know about the Mercedes 300D's.

    I owned a 1981 300D, about 5 years ago. When I bought it, I had it down for almost a year doing a lot of maintenance that was never done. I replaced the timing chain, timed the injection system, rebuilt the injectors and nozzles (the injectors inject the fuel inside a spray nozzle that controls the pattern of the spray - a more efficient method), replaced the vacuum pump (diesels don't have a lot of engine vacuum so they need a pump to create it), rebuilt the vacuum system (the power door locks are actually vacuum controlled, among a maze of other things), compression testing, among a myriad of other things including the transmission - also a vacuum controlled device.

    The cars are built like tanks - period. This particular model is easy to work on and coupled with German made tools- are actually kind of fun to maintain. everything fits precisely and nearly everything needs a torq wrench - even the lug nuts. If you use German made tools, you won't round off a bolt and you can instantly tell when there is debris in the socket. You can change the oil and filter dressed in your best suit without worrying about getting the black stuff all over you by using a hand operated vacuum tank.

    If I were to buy another model and not afraid of a little complexity, I would go for a turbo model for the extra power. The normally aspirated version is supposed to go from 0 - 60 in 18 seconds (actually 0 - 100kph and at 170,000 miles, mine did that precisely). In fact the engine compression was in factory specs. The car will do 105mph, just like the book says. It may take awhile to get there, but once you are up to speed you won't find a better handling automobile. The suspension my feel a little slushy but I did not find a better riding automobile that would go around corners with ease without squealing tires. The S models are even better (the cars on this subject are 'E' class). In its days, these were the safest cars on the road. The whole car is designed to crush to absorb energy and to protect the passenger cabin. Go to a junk yard sometime and look at some of the crashed cars - unless something really, really bad happened to it, you will find the passenger cabin to be largely intact.

    Things to look for:

    Things to look for: Is there a lot of oil/blow-by on the engine? (black oil on the engine or between the engine block/head?) Have a mechanic check the valve timing (this checks the condition of the timing chain which isn't all that tough to change) as you have to take the valve cover off to do it. Check the condition of the vacuum pump, check the vacuum hoses for the presence of engine oil (sucked in via the vacuum pump), check the fuel tank for algae growth (the inspection port is underneath the emergency medical kit on the rear shelf, drivers side), take a look at the trans-axle boots to see if they are torn or were leaking (they are filled with oil - not grease!), look at the shocks - they will most likely need to be replaced anyway but they should be dry. Check the brake disks to make sure they are not worn below minimum specs. though if they are they are also easy to replace with the right tools. Also check for the presence of water inside the cabin or water stains on the overhead (the sunroof has drains in the corners that can become clogged with debris, water will back up in the channels and leak into the cabin).

    Before parting with any money, if this passes, I would take it to a mechanic and have perform a pre-purchase inspection.

    Transmissions: they are extremely well built and will take a lot of abuse. One thing that kills them though are faulty vacuum valves that rest on top of the valve cover. They will cause late shifts, soft shifts, hard shifts, etc. I had to replace mine and then with vacuum gauges connected to the transmission (fed up through the bottom of the floor with the carpet removed) checked and adjusted the shift points. I still had a bit of a problem between second - third as this one must have gone a long time in a dysfunctional state.

    I also installed a water separator type fuel oil filter. Diesels hate water being fed to them. It really tears up the injectors because of the high levels of compression. The water turns to steam and detonates/chips the face of the injector which also tears up the pre-chamber. The pre-chambers are made of heavy bronze (at least that is what it looked like) and can take some abuse but if they were to chip or come apart they are right inside the cylinder with predictable results.

    The high pressure fuel pump is also worth having checked. They were going for about $1800 a few years ago for a quality rebuilt unit. The transmissions are also quite expensive going anywhere between 2500 and 5k so if it doesn't shift exactly right, you need to have it looked at ASAP.

    I learned there is no such thing as a cheap Mercedes, but one can buy them cheaply. When it comes to maintenance, the only parts to buy are Mercedes OEM parts. To keep the quality intact, it is the only way to go. If you treat it like a Chevy, it will last like a Chevy (in the '80's). Geeze, now I have offended all the Chevy owners. Don't think too badly of me - I am part of a large GM family and currently drive a new GMC Denali.

    If you want to continue the discussion off-line, feel free to email me.

    Hope this helps,

    Mike
     
  8. pdq

    pdq Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
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    934
    I recently owned 3 of the turbo version, a sedan and a pair of wagons; I always wanted to have a chance to play with a diesel engine and somehow had 3 of them in short order. All were very clean, well-maintained examples when I bought them. But, there's constant maintenance of little things if your intent is to keep everything working. Luckily, I put myself thru college as a mechanic, so was able to do 90% of the work myself, else labor bills would have been a killer.

    Forget about the fact that it has a diesel engine that is virtually indestructible. The rest of the car is 24 years old. Rubber rots, they are very prone to rust compared to cars today, and forget about safety features such as anti-lock brakes or airbags. As much as I loved the klata-klata of those little 5 cylinder diesels, I had to make a decision between owning one of them, or having weekend time to go trapshooting.

    I'll also echo a comment made above -- if you are hooked on the idea of having one of these cars, get one of the turbo models. After a little hot-rodding, these cars will leap off the line & chirp the tires going into second gear. There are a ton of them still around - just be very very picky & make sure it's been well maintained. I wouldn't buy one unless from a person who was religious about the maintenance and had the records to prove it. Then, spend $150 on a Pre-Purchase inspection by a shop that caters to those types of cars -- you'll be amazed what they'll spot *** before *** you buy the car; your subsequent discussion with the owner about what was found and cost to repair will make that $150 your best investment of the year.

    If you don't know a mechanic of that type, do a google on the Mercedes Benz Club of America, call them, get the name of the president of the section where you live and ask them for a referral.

    I've been active in MBCA, running my sections' tech sessions for 10 years -- you need to take this type of a car to someone who knows them inside out, or you stand an 80% chance of getting hit with potentially costly repairs.

    Hope this helps,

    Pete
     
  9. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    By the way my 300D is the Turbo model. Never any problem with get up and go.
     
  10. Aby Normal

    Aby Normal TS Member

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    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Had an 85 turbo for years, ran on red fuel quite well! Watch out for the vaccuum air system that controls all of the door locks and such, prone to dry out and is a mile of tubes to snake out.
     
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