should I buy this 1981 240d? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-23-2005, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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should I buy this 1981 240d?

I have searched the forum and found a whole lot of useful info. I know the w123 chassis is quite a good one, and the 240 is much slower than the 300.

I am considering a 1981 240d automatic with 253,000 miles on it. I live in Oregon, USA. The current owners have repair documents going back to 1990, but nothing before that. They tell me the car was owned by a person in San Diego, CA before them. The body and interior are in great shape. Within the last 6 months, they put new tires on it, new brakes and new glow plugs because it was having starting problems. They are asking $1450 US for it.

This is the first Mercedes of this vintage I am looking at and I don't want to be premature in the purchase. I want something relatively cheap, less than $3,000, because I want to get rid of my current car (and its car payment).

Is this too many miles for this car? Is the transmission and/or engine likely to fail within the next 50,000 miles? How much can I expect to spend on maintenance on a car like this? Should I pay a little more for a newer 240, 300 or even a 190?

My apologies for the questions, but I don't want my excitement about the car overwhelm good judgment.

thanks
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-24-2005, 12:38 AM
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Well, it sounds like it is likely a good buy. A well maintained mercedes diesel will last a very long time, and as such the mileage would not scare me. Heck, even my dodge is in that neighborhood and runs great! Now without seeing the reciepts and knowing what work was done, I would have to guess that the car has been well maintained just because they kept records and the car looks good. If the transmission is an automatic, I might be concerned about the mileage (check the records). If is a stick, the only thing I would question is the clutch. At a price half of your budget for purchase, you still have room to play with for repairs that might not even be needed.

As for whether you should hold out for another car, only you can answer that. It sounds as though higher performance is not an issue. If that is the case, the simplicity and reliability of the 240D should not disappoint.

\'87 Mer-B 300D (220,000 miles) (sold)
\'93 Mer-B 300D (173,000 miles) (sold)
\'87 Porsche 928 (101,000 miles)
\'98 Dodge Ram quad-cab (250,000 miles)
\'2001 CLK430 Cabrio (50,000 miles)

Past cars: 1969 mercedes 250, 1981 300D, 1972 220D
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-24-2005, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the reply. I test drove it last night. It was not nearly as slow as I expected. In fact, it could more than get out of its own way and the engine accelerated rather quickly. The only real complaint I had was the driver's seat was very uncomfortable. It pitched me to the left and hurt my back. I suppose I could have it replaced or fixed in some way. It was a little loud in the interior, but that is to be expected for an older car.

Another odd thing is the car has an extra fuel tank on the trunk shelf. It takes away some trunk space and prevents reaching from the back seat into the trunk, but it does allow 1200 miles between fill ups!

I think it is a good deal, but it is the first Mercedes I have looked at, so I am reluctant to get it for that reason. The automatic shifted solidly, too.

thanks again.
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-24-2005, 07:25 PM
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It actually sounds like a great candidate for a veggie oil conversion, if it is not already done. Most veggie oil conversions use a second tank that is heated with engine coolant. The car has to start on diesel, but then when it is warm, the driver can switch to the other tank.

I'm considering doing this to one of my cars this summer. Most restraunts will give away the veggie oil, so all anybody has to do is filter it and put it in their diesel's spare tank.

Just food for thought....deep fried!

\'87 Mer-B 300D (220,000 miles) (sold)
\'93 Mer-B 300D (173,000 miles) (sold)
\'87 Porsche 928 (101,000 miles)
\'98 Dodge Ram quad-cab (250,000 miles)
\'2001 CLK430 Cabrio (50,000 miles)

Past cars: 1969 mercedes 250, 1981 300D, 1972 220D
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-25-2005, 09:24 AM
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Oh yeah, that seat thing. I remember the seat spring breaking in my '81 300D before I passed it along to my brother. Same thing - lsting to one side, very uncomfortable. Seats are easy to find for these cars, but it could be worth the trouble of having an upholstery shop (or some other auto interior shop) take a look at it.

\'87 Mer-B 300D (220,000 miles) (sold)
\'93 Mer-B 300D (173,000 miles) (sold)
\'87 Porsche 928 (101,000 miles)
\'98 Dodge Ram quad-cab (250,000 miles)
\'2001 CLK430 Cabrio (50,000 miles)

Past cars: 1969 mercedes 250, 1981 300D, 1972 220D
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