reliability and longevity: W123 vs W126 diesel; turbo or no? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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#1 Old 09-06-2009, 12:11 PM
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reliability and longevity: W123 vs W126 diesel; turbo or no?

I'm going to buy an old benz. The choice is a W123 300D (or 300TD) or W126 300SD. There's a local 1979 300TD but its not a turbo, and there's a fairly good 1984 300SD three hours away.

We put 50,000 Km (on average) per year on a car, mostly on 2-lane 80Km/hr highways, although if we want to drive to Toronto, we have to get on #11, then #400, then #401 (100+ Km/hr expressways).

Other than aesthetics, looks, whatever, is there any difference in the longevity or ongoing maintenance costs between the W123 and the W126?

What does having a turbo do to longevity or maintenance or repair costs compared to no turbo? How much would I miss having a turbo for the kind of driving we do?

The 300SD is longer but not a wagon. When travelling in our current Pontiac wagon, I don't like things higher than the windows. Which would have more room for stuff (two people and a dog): A 300TD with stuff to the bottom of the windows, or a 300SD with stuff in the trunk?

Thanks,

Doug.
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#2 Old 09-08-2009, 05:38 PM
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Doug,

Welcome to the Forum. Both cars are very reliable if they were well taken care of. As for turbo or non-turbo, I would go with the turbo Merc. Yes, in theory, they can be less reliable then a non-turbo because the turbo is another part to worry about but I have driven Turbo Diesels and Non-Turbo Diesels. Honestly, the non-turbo can't get out of it's own way so go with the Turbo one.
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#3 Old 09-29-2009, 03:38 AM
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Interesting thought, i completely agree with your perspective
 
#4 Old 10-01-2009, 10:14 AM
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Doug,

How did you make out with this?
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#5 Old 10-02-2009, 04:05 PM
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A bit of a nightmare. I bought the 300SD three hours away. Had it inspected by a mechanic who didn't know either me, the owner, or the car so that he was totally independent. On the basis of the car only needing new tires, a hole in the inner fender being fixed, the front exhaust pipe, and the parking brake fixed or adjusted, I bought the car.

Turns out that hole wasn't in the inner fender but in the frame. There were two other frame holes. It needed new pads and rotors all around and two new calipers. Plus new belts and an alternator adjuster. I haven't received the bill for the frame work from the restoration shop (it was supposed to be under $1,000), the tires were $500, the exhaust work around $600, and the mechanicals around $2,500. Plus the cost of the car itself ($2,900), makes for an expensive car. Plus the incipient rust that will exist in the box sections waiting to pop out (as they did to create those holes in the frame).

The rust was fixed by cutting out, media blasting, then epoxy primed and painted: its properly fixed. The concern is what's going to appear as time goes on. Since the goal is to drive such a car for many, many years, this particular car may not do that for us.
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