Last post on Jun 12, 2013 at 7:38 AM
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Mercedes-Benz 300-Class, Engine, Fuel System, Diesel, Coupe, Sedan
#1180 of 2332 Re: Mercedes 300SD worth buying? [biodegrading]
Jun 08, 2006 (10:57 am)
> Do you want a 2-door?
I mainly just want a reasonably cheap/reliable car! Ideally it would run biodiesel, and/or the car would look and handle in a way that makes me happy. I recently bought a dud of a 1991 Toyota Camry V6 (I didn't take it to a mechanic first, which was very stupid of me), and it made me realize that I find those cars just plain boring. Bland-looking, and with a terrible turning radius, too (why do they design cars that can't make tight corners?). I started looking into biodiesels, and saw that mid-80s Mercedes were one of the few options for that.
After test driving a couple, I also realized that I just like the look of old mercedes a lot better than more recent cars. In fact, the older the better: the car my heart *really* wants to buy is this one:
But, as I mentioned, I've got no experience fixing cars, and have no idea how much it would cost to maintain that old of a car. A 1980s mercedes seemed like the sweet spot between "old enough to be affordable" and "recent enough to not require lots of specialty mechanical work".
I don't have a good sense of what's realistic for me to learn how to fix on a car, and how to best go about learning this stuff, short of quitting my job and going to mechanic school. I don't have a garage, or even a driveway, or any tools (I could buy some, of course, but I don't even know what to get). On the plus side, I do learn quickly, and I'm willing to put some effort in.
In summary, I don't really know what I'm doing, and I'm really wide open as to what car to get. Perhaps I should just be super-thrifty and suck it up and buy some very reliable mid-90s Corolla/Sentra/Civic. But I'm hoping there are more interesting options out there for not much more money and/or effort. I'm not in a huge hurry, at least, so I can troll through craigslist for a while--if only I know what I'm looking for!
P.S. Just to make sure everyone knows that I'm insane, my main project these days is to save up and buy a sailboat in a couple of years and sail it around the world for a while. I'm busy learning to sail, and how to fix fiberglass boats, etc. Most sailboat engines are diesels, so I figured I'd start learning about diesel engines now by buying a diesel car. But most of all, I need to save up money for the boat, which is why I've been trying to buy a car on the cheap.
#1181 of 2332 Re: Mercedes 300SD worth buying? [biodegrading]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Jun 08, 2006 (11:33 am)
Taking a mechanic's course or two at night isn't a bad idea. You'd better know all about fixing things if you're going to sail, that's for sure.
#1182 of 2332 Re: . [Mr_Shiftright]
Jun 08, 2006 (12:40 pm)
Indeed...like a cosmetically perfect W112 300SE LWB with a bad engine or something like that...
That coupe does look nice, odd color.
#1183 of 2332 '77 300D HVAC system
Jun 08, 2006 (6:31 pm)
My '77 300D's AC has been kaput for a couple of years due to leaking compressor. Recently I also noticed I cannot
even get outside cool air thru the vents as only hot air comes out. Mech. said Climate control is faulty and replacement is over $1,000. Not an option given that AC is
also not working. Question is since car is never driven in winter I thought of installing a tap or shut off on incoming coolant hose under the hood which feeds the heater. At least I could get fresh air thru vents. Can I
simply install the shut off valve or would I have to complete the circuit by bypassing the heater and rerouting
coolant 'around' the heater? Thanks for advice.
#1184 of 2332 Re: '77 300D HVAC system [rleitch]
Jun 09, 2006 (6:01 am)
I would just bypass the heater core. Find where the coolant supply hoses for the core enters the firewall, trace them back to their point of origin, then remove them and connect a suitable diameter and length of hose to the origin points.
This is done typically when the core is leaking, but it will serve your purpose also.
#1185 of 2332 Re: happy new benz owner [moparkid]
Jun 09, 2006 (12:21 pm)
Pull the light switch out to turn on the fog lights... on Euro models this will also turn on a rear fog light (looks like one brake light is on). The two setting to the left are for very low wattage parking lights on the left and right sides. In Europe the streets are often narrow and poorly lit. You turn these lights on (the street side) so other drivers can see your car... NRK
#1186 of 2332 Re: '77 300D HVAC system [burdawg]
Jun 09, 2006 (3:49 pm)
Ah yes, that makes sense. Thanks for the tip.
#1187 of 2332 Re: Mercedes 300SD worth buying? [Mr_Shiftright]
Jun 11, 2006 (12:34 pm)
Dear Mr. Shiftright
Is it worthy to buy Merc 300d 1995 w/ 200k miles for $5000 US? I kno you have said earlier that its all about maintenance and if you keep it well maintained it might last you even 500k. Every single maintenance done is by the dealer at the exact mileage intervals according to the manual. Also how much would a rebuilt transmission and engine cost for this vehicle? I read some previous post and you mentioned 1400 for transmission some year back, is it still the same? Thanks in advance.
#1188 of 2332 Re: Mercedes 300SD worth buying? [shahathens]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Jun 12, 2006 (7:30 am)
Ah, you must be confusing me with someone else about mileages and repair costs.
I think the odds of a 300d making it to 500K miles are pretty miniscule. Most are good and dead at 275K--300K and that is a realistic goal, unless you want to sink a fortune into rebuilding everything.
A rebuilt engine would not be worth doing on a '95 300D with 200K miles on it. It would cost more than the car, so that's kind of crazy. A rebuilt transmission would probably be about $2,000--$3,000, depending on who did it and what their idea of "rebuilt" is. $1,400 sounds more like the price of installing a scrapyard transmission.
The price of $5,000 is exactly normal "retail" for a '95 300D with 200K on it. Not a bargain, not a rip-off...book price. Fair enough
The best thing to do with a car like this is to have it thoroughly checked out, and if it passes the test just drive it until something big goes out and then dispose of it. If you got another 100K out of it with only normal maintenance costs (maybe $800 to $1000 a year) that would have been a good deal for you.
Sounds like it's worth checking out and spending a little money on for an inspection.
#1189 of 2332 Re: door locks, heat and brakes [Mr_Shiftright]
Jun 12, 2006 (9:19 am)
It was the vacuum pump- needed rebuild. went from 15 inches of vacumm to 22".
Unfortunately, door locks still have leaks in the doors- so bypassed the door locks vacuum. And didn't fix heat either- maybe the climate control unit or something else.
But at least my brakes are good now!