How many miles are on your MB diesel? - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #11 of 30 Old 01-04-2005, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cracker928
As for power, the '87 is ALOT quicker than my '93, and about on par for economy. Results vary on mileage of course, but with a 617 it is fair to expect 25 mpg, while my wife's 603 is typically around 30. There are some computer controls on the 603, though I have not had any problems with mine.
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Originally Posted by OM60x
Nothing that will get you stuck. The worst thing that could happen noticeably due to the MAF malfunctioning, is drop the idle to lower than normal. '86 - '87 are the best years to buy the 6-cylinder diesel. Probably the best diesel engine MB ever built(if it weren't for the aluminum head-cracking). I've never seen a well maintained OM603 3.0 liter go down from natural causes, even today.
So it seems like the 1986-87 OM603 (3.0) is a solid engine. Hopefully that new body (124) was good too. What's MAF? Do you guys know any sites that have an annotated history of engines and the MB models they appeared in?

I'm also curious about the SD(L)s. Were the 350s a larger version of the 300 series SD? I assume the SDL was the top of the line with "L" for luxury.

Richard
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post #12 of 30 Old 01-05-2005, 12:20 AM
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I know there is a guide somewhere in this forum that I can never find when I need it...

The MAF is the Mass Air Flow meter. It tells the computer the intake charge so that it can adjust the air/fuel ratio if needed.

I think the "L" stands for long, as the wheelbase is longer. As OM60x mentioned, the 3.5 liter 603 is to be avoided because they are prone to catastrophic failure (like conrods bending). It is basically a stroked out 603. The later 3.5's were actually very good motors, but I don't know how to tell them from the bad ones.

\'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 #13 of 30 Old 01-07-2005, 09:28 AM
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We've owned a 300TD wagon for almost it's entire lifetime. It's relatively low milage at 166,000. It's been a fairly bullet proof car, though at 150K it did have a problem with the aluminum head that resulted in having it replaced (ouch!). We seriously debated about sinking $6k into it (right after a major service (double ouch!) but drove every conceiveable replacement car and I couldn't find anything I really liked as much. In the entire history of the car, we've only had to replace the hydraulic/steering pump (load leveler), water pump, recently the glow plugs and the radiator. I finally also had the clock and the trip odometer fixed as well.
It's seriously got tons of power (and torque to boot!), the trap oxidizer does a great job of minimizing "black cloud sydrom" and I regularly get 400 miles per tank of gass just bomping around town (upwards of 450 on trips). I take it skiing with three buddies to the Sierra Nevadas every year and am constantly amazed at how much gear it will haul while cruising up the mountain ranges at 75+ -- everyone's comfy and great power and milage too. Never had a problem starting -- even in the cold at altitude!
We've got three years until our youngest starts driving an I see no reason why they won't be driving it for many years. By that time I hope MB is offering the new CDI diesels in wagons! (anybody driven the sedans? I've heard they're the first ones that have as much power as my '87.
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post #14 of 30 Old 01-07-2005, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DieselWagonR
We've owned a 300TD wagon for almost it's entire lifetime. It's relatively low milage at 166,000. It's been a fairly bullet proof car, though at 150K it did have a problem with the aluminum head that resulted in having it replaced (ouch!). We seriously debated about sinking $6k into it (right after a major service (double ouch!) but drove every conceiveable replacement car and I couldn't find anything I really liked as much. In the entire history of the car, we've only had to replace the hydraulic/steering pump (load leveler), water pump, recently the glow plugs and the radiator. I finally also had the clock and the trip odometer fixed as well.
Hi Mark,

It seems the '87s are great years for wagons and sedans. I wonder if everyone has to replace a certain part to avoid the costly repair you went through with the aluminum head. I'm considering an '87 124 sedan now and am not sure how to determine if I'm walking into a $6k nightmare too. Thinking about playing it safe with a '85 123 too as an alternative. Any ideas about how to know if the aluminum head is an upcoming issue? Thanks.

Richard
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post #15 of 30 Old 01-07-2005, 02:15 PM
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Fore Warning Aluminum Head Failure -- Possible

'87 is a great year for them, but knowing if you're going to have a head problem is another challenge.

I had literally just had my major service done by my extremely fastidious mechanic (engine was also completely clean, compression checks came back good, no leaks of any kind), yet within 500 miles (Literally on my way back from Mammoth skiing) the temp guage started rocketing up...while it was 20 F outside....going downhill (Yes, it seems funny now). We shut it down and got it cooled off. Noticed the radiator overflow had nothing in it -- but no signs of coolent leaks anywhere. Topped the overflow off and got another 30~45 minutes before it happened again. Now coolent had begun to leak out near the right front tire behind the inner wheel well. When finally getting a couple of bolts out we could see a some sort of canister that looking like it was molded around tennis ball sized spheres that was leaking. We hoped that we'd just cracked a tube connection and that the system wasn't presurizing.

The good news is that we actually drove the car all the way home (taking stops about every 45 minutes). My mechanic first thought it was a warped head (which it was), but on closer inspection there were also cracks between two of the injectors and valves (minor, but...)

Apparently the head has been redesigned at least five times. You can tell which "version" you have apparently by the stamping on it. Seen elsewhere on this site, the stamping will start 603._ _ _. XX. _ _ (_ are numbers I don't remember). If the XX = 14, watch out as these are the ones susceptable. The final versions are .23. or .24>

I don't think you have to worry about your other MB as this was a problem I'm told was unique to this engine.
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post #16 of 30 Old 01-07-2005, 03:08 PM
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Mark, you really do have an awesome car, there! The '87 300D's are very scarce but an excellent car ( and a real steal if you can find one). One thing though - you mentioned what a good job your trap oxidizer is doing. That was a recall item due to the part falling apart internally and sending pieces into the turbo and destroying the turbo. I have heard that dealers will still honor the recall that may or may not include a new turbo. This is not something that you want to discover on a road trip.

Good info on the cylinder heads. The part numbers really are the best way to tell if the car is at risk for the head problems.

\'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 #17 of 30 Old 01-07-2005, 03:36 PM
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I stand corrected on the trap oxidizer. In fact, until today I thought the original one was still in there until one of these postings contained a link to an MSN forum that had to under-hood pictures...one with one in, one with it revised (or removed). Mine certainly looks like the latter (no water balloon like item in the exhaust manafold area), so I must have been warrentied before I owned the car.

Another item I'd forgotten about, regarding warrenty. Within a couple of years of us purchasing the car (1992 with it at under 30,000 miles), I notice that the muffler was developing holes, especially near the rear seam. I had gotten an initial estimate (Pretty expensive ~ $700 or so I think) I suddenly got a recall notice and they replaced then entire exhaust system from the headers back! Talk about Christmas coming early!

At that point I knew I was dealing with a company that firmly stood behind the engineering of it's products...as apposed to the "catch us if you can" with my Chevy that was on it's third transmission in 2 years!
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post #18 of 30 Old 01-07-2005, 04:03 PM
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Was that the DIYGang forum by chance? I can't access that forum at work anymore, and at home my firewall blocks my attemps to post to MSN. So, I hang out here alot. I like it better here anyway...

\'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 #19 of 30 Old 01-07-2005, 04:33 PM
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That was exactly the forum I was referring to. In fact I think I was reading one of your old posts that lead to the thread. Thanks for sharing...I'd still be in the dark otherwise!
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post #20 of 30 Old 01-07-2005, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the details about what to watch out for in the 124 model with the 6 cylinder*turbo diesel engine. It would be great if we could start a list of items to look out for on the different MB diesel models (70s to 90s). Then when you're shopping for your next oil burner, you could check the list of items to watch out for and pay for the car accordingly.

Cheers!

Richard
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