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from reading other posts, ive found out that i am one of the younger members on this site, hopefully you guys can help me out.

i have been looking into buying a 80's 300d as my first car. i love the style and "tankyness" of the car, along with the diesel factor.

ive heard that the turbo model might be a better choice performance wise, but insurance costs are a concern.

do you guys think that this would be a good first car for me?

i know more than the average 16 year old does about engines and whatnot, if that means anything.

i am also look to spend up to $6,500, all being out of my own pocket.

i was also wondering what the lug bolt configuration is on these cars, im guessing 4 bolt?

and also, if you dont think the 300d is a good car choice for my situation, what would you guys suggest?

thank you in advance,
kyle
 

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Welcome

Welcome to BenzForum! A good choice of a diesel and first car in the 80's would be a 1987 300D. I have one and in my opinion the W124 body style is still a very sporty (modern looking) car with lots of pep. This model is a turbo diesel. You ask about the number of lug bolts -- the stock wheels use five. Good luck on your search.
 

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I'll second that! Just be aware of the cylinder head issues thatthe '87's can have. A good PPI will give you some peace of mind.
 

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I think a W123 model would be much better for a teenager, especially if he wants to work on the car himself. Pay $2500 to $3500 for a nice one and put the rest of your money towards future repairs and maintenance.

The insurance should not be expensive because the turbo only helps to bring the car up to the performance of other normal gas 4 door sedans of that vintage. This is not a high performance car. Whatever you decide, good luck to you.
 

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Kyle,

I am 17. Remember: If you buy a diesel, you are going to hear it. I love mercedes, and will probably own them for life. I have a 93 W124 Chassis turbo diesel. It's a great car, and i love it. But you will hear about it from other people.
If u can take that, then buy the diesel. they're great cars, and so far i have paid no extra maitenence charges. They're not great performance wise, but for a 16 year old you should be more interested in gas mileage then performance.
Buya diesel, but buy a 124 not a 123.

In my opinion of course...
Sam
 

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123...124... they are both excellent cars in their own right. The 124's will get better fuel mileage, but if you truly want the "panzer" feeling then the 123 will give you that. Take the time to try them both, either one should make you happy.
 

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cracker928, what cylinder head issues???
i have an 87 300D. i have some problems when the A/T shifts. it's just like something's kicking the ass of my car when shifting gears. the experts said i need an overhaul of the transmission. flex disk is ok, bearings ok. any comments?
 

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The cylinder head is aluminum and the plastic radiator top tank has a propensity to crack at the neck. The combination of those two things leads some heads to crack. Another thing that lead to problems like this was the trap oxidizer that was first fitted to this car (and shoud have been removed by now in the recall campaign) that could cause excessive heat in the engine compartment and could cause head cracks or gaskets blown.
 

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What Diesel said. The recall trap oxidizer recall campaign was a great benefit to us, as it removed some backpressure from the exhaust, and for some, gave new turbos. I understand that many dealers still honor the recall which is a great bonus for anybody with a car that has not had it.

The cylinder head problem was some sesitivity to heat problems. Mine warped and cracked at about 180K miles. The fix is an upgraded cylinder head, I understand to be taken from the 350SD,SDL motors. You can tell by the cylinder head numbers. If you need more info, I'll have to search my archives, or maybe somebody else here can chime in...
 

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lemuel29110, I guess that we really did not address your transmission question. First, check for vacuum leaks.

Another possibility would be the overboost protection valve. This lets up on some power to soften the transmission shifts. If it is defective, then it might be letting the tranny have full power while shifting. I have never experienced this failure myself, though many have.

If all is ok, then fiddle with the modulator (last resort. If the car has always shifted like this, then I would be more inclined to adjust this). I believe clockwise will tighten the shifts, so you would want to adjust it counter-clockwise. I am sick and tired at the moment, and probably confused, so if anybody out there knows better, please jump in!

If you seem to be lacking power in addition to the hard shifts, my money would be on a vacuum leak.
 

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He needs to take his car to a Mercedes specialist that is recommended by other Mercedes owners and they will take care of the hard shifting pronto. It won't be expensive. Or you could go get a mity-vac and try to trace down your vacuum problems yourself because that is what the problem is. How many miles on the 87 300D? You might want to have your vacuum pump checked, in those models when they fail it can be very expensive for the timing chain and valves. Yet another reason why I prefer the good ole W123 cars. Good luck.
 

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thank you people for your time. i'll try to check those things you mentioned first. i had my problem posted too on the E-class discussions hoping somebody might be interested to answer. Maybe guys i should do you a favor and stick to this thread. Anyway its diesel stuff. thanks again.
 

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hey guys, had my car (87 300D) serviced and its shifting perfectly. transmission was overhauled. we replaced the break bondings, inner clutch linings, ATF filter. they were all worn out. next thing, they checked the vaccum supply from the injection pump... there was no vacuum! probably, this can be due to a leak or it might be congested. so no matter how many times you adjust the vacuum modulator, its no use coz there is no vacuum supply to it from the injection pump. what they did was, instead of fixin the vacuum supply in the injection pump, they connected the hose (connected to the transmission) to the main vacuum pump located in front of the engine. they used a T-tube for the bypass.

thats it. it all boiled down to lack of vacuum..
 

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Thanks for the feedback!

It is the final solution to a problem such as yours that makes forums such as this worthwhile. Until we all know the answers all we have is an unsolved mystery and nobody has benefited.

I'm glad you got your problem solved and can return to enjoying your '87. I just drove the wife's after a long time of driving the '93 and had forgotten what a difference there is! The '87 rules!
 

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but you know, if you really have the money, its better to have your injection pump checked and repaired because the pump has some sort of control over the vacuum supply compared to the constant supply of the main vacuum system. but there is very lil difference when it comes to performance.

ya 87 rules! thanks guys for your suggestions.
 

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Go for the Bulletproof,easy to work on,least maintance and classy lines of a W123.I have a 2003 E500,1994 350SDL,and 2 1985 300Td,and will opt for the later any time of the day!!
 
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