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I will be looking for a 78-85 300td wagon. any advice on what I should be looking for in trouble spots? any spots prone to rust and anything mechanical that is common. I am a mechanic and have been for 20 years so I can check the usual brakes suspension electrical etc. How are the transmissions. I have owned several BMW's and found that the manuals were fine but autos tend to be iffy after 100k. I have done some minor research on these cars and found them to be quite reliable. Any help is appreciated.
 

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I have had a W123 for a couple of years now and just bought a 1980 S123 wagon this year. The only rust this had was a hole behind the battery tray, probably from acid.
For rust check along the bottom door rubbers, under the mats in the front, especially where the accelerator pedal is screwed to the floor. Also under the plastic strip that goes right round the car. I've never seen any rust under the body. the only other rust you would find is just on the surface where the paint has been scratched.
I find the auto boxes to be very heavy duty and hard wearing. Go for one that has a mechanical linkage and not the vacuum thingy as the valves are prone to wear and it doesn't work properly.

It is an old model but once all the problems are sorted out, the 123 should last another 20 years. In my opinion they are one of if not the best car ever built.
 

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54 Posts
I have had a W123 for a couple of years now and just bought a 1980 S123 wagon this year. The only rust this had was a hole behind the battery tray, probably from acid.
For rust check along the bottom door rubbers, under the mats in the front, especially where the accelerator pedal is screwed to the floor. Also under the plastic strip that goes right round the car. I've never seen any rust under the body. the only other rust you would find is just on the surface where the paint has been scratched.
I find the auto boxes to be very heavy duty and hard wearing. Go for one that has a mechanical linkage and not the vacuum thingy as the valves are prone to wear and it doesn't work properly.

It is an old model but once all the problems are sorted out, the 123 should last another 20 years. In my opinion they are one of if not the best car ever built.
 
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