Considering purchasing this 1975 300D. Anything I should... - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-20-2006, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Considering purchasing this 1975 300D. Anything I should...

Hey folks. I'm considering purchasing a 1975 300D that has 67,000 miles on it, selling for $5,500. The owner actually gave me this site as a reference. I am just wondering if there is anything I should know about this car before purchasing? It looks like it was kept in immaculate condition. It's very clean, no rust etc. However, I have never owned or even rode in a diesel before looking into this car, so I don't really know what to look for. The more I read about these mercedes diesels, the more I want one though. Any general guidance would be hugely appreciated. Thanks!
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-21-2006, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Oh come on now... Anyone able to help out a newcomer to the old diesel mercedes scene?

I searched all over the net and couldn't actually find a review of the 1975 300D. Really, all that I am curious about is if there is anything I should look for in the condition of the engine. I already took it for a testdrive and the accelleration was very gradual, though I've come to know that's completely normal for this car. Maybe it would help to know if I should watch out for that transmission at all if anyone has information on that either?

Thanks if anyone can help.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-21-2006, 04:40 PM
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LOL OK, I'll give it a go...

The '75 300D is mechanically very much like the subsequent evolution of the car, since it has basically the same OM617 engine. If you reference the later model (123 chassis) cars on this forum, much of the same information should apply.

No, these are not quick cars but they are very robust, at least mechanically. A "rust free" example of a 114/115 chassis (in this case a 115) is very rare, as the floorboards and fender lips, as well as door bottoms were prone to rusting. Be sure to look at these areas closely before buying, and don't be afraid to lift the floormats and the thick padding under them to see the floor from the inside as well. Also inspect the trunk areas, looking underneath that mat as well.

If all things are as you describe, then it could be a very nice, reliable car. Should you buy it, be sure to keep after the rust prone areas that I mentioned by keeping all the drains and fender wells/lips clean. Some people even recommend replacing the screws that secure the trim pieces at the lower fender wells with stainless hardware as well as a dab of sealant, as this is often where the rust starts.

Please don't ask if the price is fair, as nobody here has likely seen the car and the ultimate question is of what it is worth to you. That said, a classic benz with low miles and in good preservation will likely bring you years of enjoyment.

Good luck.

\'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 #4 of 10 Old 02-21-2006, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Excellent reply, much appreciated. The owner pointed out that the undercairrage had a coating which was completely intact with no rust forming, and I indeed didn't see any either. I would buy this car in a heartbeat if I had the free money, however I need to wait until my current car sells ('91 camry 6 cylinder, 66.5k miles).

Again, thanks for the reply. Do you know anything to watch out for in the condition of the engine? I know that the power locks on all doors but the drivers door don't work, and the fan for heating the cabin doesn't work (though it works when the A/C unit is on), but those are really the only mechanical problems with the car.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-21-2006, 10:14 PM
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The engine design is one of the most robust engines that I can think of. The biggest thing to watch out for is making sure the valves are adjusted and the timing chain is not overly worn ("stretched").

The weakest part of this car and some models that followed is the vacuum system, which is likely the culprit for the power locks. The lacks work on a vacuum system that is tied in directly with the engine. (MB cars in the mid 80's resolved some of the issued caused by the vacuum locking system by having the locks work on a pump independent of the engine.) Over time, the diaphragms in the lock mechanisms (servos) will tear and you lose vacuum, which also affects the engine running. The vacuum lines themselves also get brittle over time and also need replacing as they snap. These are not expensive jobs if you do the work yourself, but it is tedious.


HTH

\'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 #6 of 10 Old 04-05-2006, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hey I just thought I'd let you guys know that I drove this car home today. The selling price was $4,500. As far as I can tell, there is no rust on the body. The only rust I could find was on the platform that holds the battery in the car.

One thing that the seller mentioned was a problem, and that I found also to be a problem on the hour-long drive home was something he referred to as a "flare" of some sort with the transmission. I believe that it's between the second and third gears, that upon accelerating, the RPM jumps up high and it won't switch to third gear unless I let off of the accelerator. I'll be performing a transmission fluid change soon and hopefully that will fix it.

As far as replacing the power door lock servos, that's more of a summer job for me I believe. I will also be replacing everything from the fuel line filter to the oil filter plus oil to the timing chain once this car becomes my primary vehicle. Also, I'm going to figure out if there's a way to maybe dampen the sounds inside the cabin a bit by finding a strategic place for some sound dampening material.

Any thoughts on that transmission problem?
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-07-2006, 12:47 PM
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Congrats on your buy. Is it just not up-shifting, or is it slipping? How is the 1-2 shift?

\'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 #8 of 10 Old 04-09-2006, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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Forgive me, it actually is between gears 1 and 2, not between 2 and 3. It's just reluctant to upshift. I kind of have to coax it to by bringing up the RPMs and then letting off the gas.

Additionally, after having driven it a bit more now I have noticed a couple other things that have got me thinking repairs. One is that the rear differential (at least I think that's what they call the junction midway between the 2 rear wheels) is covered on the outside with fluid, presumably of course from fluid that has been leaking out of it. Sometime soon, I will really inspect the area to see if I can determine the leak.

Another thing is that the battery on it was dead when I went to start it today. It had been 4 days since I drove it last. I am really hoping that it's just a poor quality battery, though it looks really new. I am thinking that it can't be my alternator because after jumping the car to get it moving today I drove it for an hour without stopping.

Yet another thing is that I was going up a moderately steep incline today in Wisconsin, and the car had been traveling maybe 70 miles per hour until I started going up this incline, with the pedal to the floor the car had slowed to maybe 55 before I got to the top of the hill which is approx 4 city blocks long. I am REALLY hoping that this isn't a compression problem. I'm just really new to the diesel scene, this being the first diesel in my family since I was maybe 2 years old. So thx for the interest, maybe you can shed some light on any of these problems?
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-09-2006, 11:44 PM
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The tranny sounds like it might be an easy fix. Search this forum for "bowden cable" or "control pressure cable" for an understanding of what you will be looking for. Basically a cable coming from the transmission to an adjustable linkage on the engine. You might want to slacken it a little bit to help the shift points shift earlier.

Your best bet is to go to a local shop and have the battery and alternator checked. Many parts places do this for free. Even if the battery looks new, it sound as though the car has been sitting for awhile, which can kill a battery.

If both are OK, then you have an electical drain somewhere. Start checking aftermarket add-ons. Radios and alarm systems are usually problem areas.

These cars are not big on power, but I don't know what hilll you were climbing, so I can't help much there. I will say this: you will likely gain some power when you fix the vacuum leaks. Also, since this car is totally new to you, a good once-over (including compression check) might be a good idea for your own peace of mind.

\'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 #10 of 10 Old 04-10-2006, 12:25 PM
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Oh yeah, the differentials do need to be resealed every now and then. You'll have to gauge when to do it, but it sounds like it might me time. While easy, it is messy. Just drain the oil, remove the cover, reseal with a sealant, and replace. I believe that 90W oil is the proper weight.

\'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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