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Discussion Starter #1
I am entering as a newbie to the MB world and have a lot of questions. My husband, a jet mechanic and repair guy extrordinaire, is a dyed in the wool diesel guy('00 Dodge Ram) has persuaded me that an early 80's MB turbo diesel is the way to go. Mostly because of price, performance and reputation. I put about 50k miles a year on my vehicle and have mechanical questions as well as creature comfort questions.
We're getting ready to look at an '82 300SD tomorrow and I want to be prepared. This is the first MB on the potential buy list with an '83 300DT to see after that.
Mechanical Questions: Any known issues? Things we should be looking for other than the usual rust & seat padding problems?
Creature Comfort (don't laugh guys-my husband does enough of that):
Which models come standard with sunroof? heated seats?
I'm looking forward to hearing comments and feedback and especially becoming a part of the MB community. :D
 

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Welcome!

The two cars you mentioned bascially have the same drivetrain, so there is no significant difference to be found there. The S-class (as in the SD you mentioned) was the larger, luxury model and is likely to have more bells and whistles. Both will likely have sunroofs. The 300D will be smaller and more nimble, and possibly better on fuel, but still comfortable. Thought both cars have most accessories controlled by a vacuum system, the S-class door locks are independent of the other vacuum accessories (this is good).

Either is a good choice, but just a matter of preference.


The main issue to look for on these cars is maintenance. Many owners neglect adjusting valves, changing filters, etc. More characteristic gremlins in clude the following:

As mentioned before, many accessories are vacuum operated, and a leak in one location can cause a malfunction in another. Cruise control amps are also prone to failure, but opening them up and resoldering the circuits is often successful. Air conditioning does not work well with conversion to r134, so the more expensive r12 must be used.

I doubt these are all the possible pitfalls, but the cars are very reliable and safe. Perhaps somebody else will chime in with their experiences...


Happy hunting!
 

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Thank You

Thank you for your tips and suggestions. We're taking the printout with us when we look at the car.
My husband found out tonight that the 300SD for sale belongs to a recently retired jet mechanic for Delta (where my husband works). The gentleman is also from Germany. Somehow the ironies and bonuses are working out nicely. I'll post tomorrow to keep you apprised of the outcome :D
Once again, thank you for your welcome and support.

Kim Q.
 

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Sigh...

Alas, it didn't look good for the '82 300SD. It had a fair amount of rust. Utah roads take a toll on vehicles. In need of new tires and a repair job on the A/C. My husband could deal with everything but the rust. His gut feel on that is, if you see it to the exterior of the vehicle, it's eating away deeper. It's on to check out the the D model and any others that come up. I know the right one's out there, I just have to be patient. Thanks again for your advice on quirk stuff.
 

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I doubt these are all the possible pitfalls, but the cars are very reliable and safe. Perhaps somebody else will chime in with their experiences...
So where do we want to start?

I say, let's wait until we've found a car that has peeked an interest. At 50Kmi/year, you are right in line with what I was doing up until June. The S-class is the way to go with that type of wheel time. Don't ignore the OM603 powered 300SDL's of '86 and '87. Much quieter, smoother, better fuel economy and your husband will not be doing valve adjustments every other month.

-Scott
 

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Thank you

Thank you for the advice. It's definitely helpful and my husband is even more grateful.
Today while shopping it was a little frustrating to not have more of the older models to check out. I suppose that's the rub with looking for an older vehicle. After the '82 300SD, we did test drive a '93 300D 2.5, very nice. A little too far out of the price point at this time, but we're watching eBay for a couple of cars coming up in the next week. An '84 300SD, another '83 300DT and a '79 300SD. I'll expand the search to the later 80's models, too.

I'm glad to have found such dedicated enthusiasts willing to share their knowledge and expertise.

Kim Q.
 
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