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Discussion Starter #1
First of all I just wanted to say hello to everyone. I am new to this forum and will hopefully be owning my first MB very soon. That is where I am hoping for some friendly advice. I am looking at a 1984 300SD Turbo Diesel. I am getting it for $2000 ($1000 trade-in for the car i paid $1000 for 3 years ago, and $1000 cash.) It seems to be very well taken care of. It is dark blue and seems to be almost rust-free. I did see one small section that was starting to bubble, but nothing too serious. After driving it today, I am very excited to buy it. There are only a few things I have concerns about. One minor issue is the drivers seat. I really like the (spring loaded :?: ) seats, but the drivers side seems to have lost it's strength on the left side. Is this typical? The moonroof moves slowly, but after looking at some past posts, it seems to be an easy fix of possibly a clean-up and lube. I had a very difficult time with the trunk, but finally figured it out :) The front seal on the engine seems to leak a little as there is oil on the bottom of the engine, but no leaks on the driveway. I was surprised by it's lack of acceleration, but that may just be that I am not used to diesels (besides military HMMWV's of course.) It has 230k miles on it. Will this diesel engine typically last a long time? Also the A/C doesn't work. The dealer told me that he occasionally drove it and that it blew cold air, but one day it just quit. I noticed that the A/C belt is missing and it turns freely, so hopefully he was truthful and all it will take is a new belt. The passenger rear window doesn't work and the seat control levers for the front passenger seat are missing, but these are not really important issues as there will rarely be anyone in the back and the seat controls are still useable. So does this sound like a good/bad deal? I'm sorry that I was a little long-winded, but I am very excited about this car and wanted to put everything in so that I can find out if I am getting my hopes up and end the transaction before it's too late. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I appreciate any input.

P.S. What is the difference between D, SD, SDL, etc...?
 

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Welcome to the forum! I can appreciate your enthusiasm for these cars as they are wonderful. With proper maintenance, they can seemingly go on forever, but no car is impervious to poor maintenance. The history of any used car can determine how much of a future it has, but if this car has been as well maintained as you say, then it could well go on much longer. (Was that vaguely affirmative enough? ;-)) These cars are deservingly reputed for their longevity.

As for the seat thing, yes that is common. I have never fixed it myself (as I shuold on m '87), and I hear that it is surprisingly easy and affordable to do.

Rust bubbles scare me on any car, as they usually are hiding a much larger area. Since you are in the rust belt, I assume that you are familiar with the nature of this problem.

It seems you have a good grasp of the sunroof issues.

I fear A/C problems, as they can be quite expensive. Assume the worst, and investigate the repair cost. If the dealer wants to tell you that it is not a big issue, then have the sale of the car contingent upon its repair (push for a warranty on the repair if you can).

The power windows are not terrible to work on, and the source is usually a switch. Did you try both switches- driver's console and on the door? Worst case, price out a regulator.

As for the D,SD, SDL thing, that is basically the car size as listed in increasing length. The numbers tell the engine size. The "D", of course, means diesel. There were (are) also the gasoline E,SE,and SEL equivalents. The "SD" and SDL looked very similar, and very different from the "D". They mostly all shared the same engine with some variation in size and turbo options, but a search on the models and OM617 and OM603 engines on this forum will go much further in detail.

Hope this helps.
 

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The power windows are not terrible to work on, and the source is usually a switch.
It is either a switch or a regulator in all likelihood. The regulator has gears on it that strip eventually.

Press the window switch in the front seat (on middle console) and listen for any noise in the door panel. If you hear noise inside the panel then your switch is fine. You can also try the switch in the rear seat and listen for noise inside the door panel.

I paid roughly 130 for a new regulator from MB Dealer in Santa Barbara years ago. I would go with a new one, personally. I have heard that used ones can be a PITA (pain in the ....) Once you get the door panel off, there are three nuts or bolts in a triangle shape (as I recall) that hold the regulator in place and then there is a small (I think 10mm) nut that holds the window in place down at the base of the window. Ask more if you get into replacing this..pretty easy job.

AC--this car is not great with the AC. I would not expect it to work nor would I be disappointed if it did not. You may check to see if blower motor is working, maybe you just need some freon, maybe you have a leak in the system somewhere. The AC is not a strong point of this car.

I really like the (spring loaded ) seats, but the drivers side seems to have lost it's strength on the left side. Is this typical? The
The seats are not great on this car. The springs in the box spring wear down after so many years and the horsehair in the pads breaks down. If your seats are leather, it is tough to just replace the pads or box spring without changing the seat covers unless the leather is still supple. Talk to an upholsterer about this and get the full scoop. The MB Tex (Tek?) is vinyl and easier to work with, so I hear.

moonroof moves slowly, but after looking at some past posts, it seems to be an easy fix of possibly a clean-up and lube.
That sounds about right.

the seat control levers for the front passenger seat are missing
Assuming that the switch cover (a couple few bucks each) or covers is all that is needed, you should see prongs sticking out that the covers snap onto. The backrest (L shaped switch cover) has two prongs and the seat cushion (square shaped) has...(if my memory serves) also two prongs. What happens sometimes is that these covers come off and someone bangs into the prongs and they snap off...now you need to replace the whole unit.
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Now I have said some negative things about the car but it is truly one of the greatest cars ever, in my opinion. I had mine for nine years and moved on after a recent collision.
 

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okay, that photo did attach. That was last summer driving cross country from Minnesota to California. I attached it out of respect for my car as I said some bad things about it above.

Seats and AC are two of the three negs that I am aware of on the car. The third is..........air filter bracket. If you get the car you may want to modify the air filter housing to prevent repeated breakage of the air filter bracket. If the need arises, post and I will let you know how to do it. I have a photo of it somewhere..in short, you will put a shock bumper between the air filter housing and the valve cover to prevent movement (vibration) of the air filter housing that in turn breaks the bracket. I got the shock bumpers from our host here, yes, for ..less than 10 bucks shipped.

That reminded me of another thing you mentioned:

The front seal on the engine seems to leak a little
If you are speaking of the valve cover gasket (large, square shaped), that is sweat most likely and not a leak. They sweat a little bit. What you may be looking at is an indication (maybe) that the valves were not adjusted recently and/or the gasket was not replaced when they were last adjusted.
 

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Thanks a lot! This site it the best. I REALLY appreciate you both taking the time to help me. I will definetely make an effort to look into all of those things. I spent some time looking for manuals and such online last night and found a great step-by-step (with pics!!!) for adjusting the valves. I will definately do that along with changing the oil right away just to make sure. Knowing that this sort of community exists to discuss these seemingly wonderful cars makes me even more excited to buy it. Thanks again, and I'm sure i'll be seeking your advice again soon. :)
 
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